The Apprentice – Episode 3, “Good Moaning”

The Apprentice Response Recruitment KetchupWeek three of The Apprentice and we have still to see Jane crack a smile.

However, stony faced Jane was part of the winning team this week, with a task set by the Sugermeister to concoct a condiment and then inflict it on a general public who will seemingly buy anything if you tell them it’s organic.

The teams were slightly mixed up this week with Duane and Nick swapping the stag do for the hen party and Katie doing likewise, but the other way round if you know what I mean?

Anyway, confusing metaphors aside, it’s another task that looks simple but I’m sure the teams will blow that concept clean out of the water.

First up, let’s have a quick review of how team Sterling got on, led by Duane, one of the few individuals who actually look right for this process.  Duane’s chosen condiment was pineapple based chutney.

Poison

With calculator in hand, a spiritless Jane proves once again just how useless she is to her leader Duane who unwisely tries a mouthful of pineapple chutney which has the heat of a towering inferno.

Nick ‘Countdown’ Hewer describes the mixture as a ‘dangerous and poisonous concoction’, I’m sorry Nick, but poisonous, in what way exactly?

As Duane coughs up his composure in the corner, the truth is out as we finally see a wry smirk from schadenfreude Jane.

And then we get an Apprentice first, which is some feat considering the level of dumbness we have witnessed over the years on this fascinating show.

Duane’s sub team of Jade, Nick and Gabrielle desperate try to sell to two stony faced buyers a product without any actual samples.  Despite mentioning ‘chutney lovers’ and ‘crackers’, funnily enough the buyers aren’t keen on putting an order in for a make believe ‘rustic but revolutionary’ chutney, the fools obviously just don’t know what they’re missing.

But when they do get their act together and get their now slightly less toxic chutney into jars and whack on a label design from 1986 called ‘infusion’, they return to the same buyers to secure a whacking great order for 300 jars at £1.70 a jar.  And despite a knock back from one retailer who exclaims, “the chutney maker has spoken”, surely this one big order will see them romp home to victory?

Saucy

So over to Katie’s ‘the male manipulator’ team of merry men.  They’ve gone for the slightly bigger, if more saturated market of table sauces, which is surely easier to put together than a stupid pickle eh?

How did they get on?  Well, ermm, where to start.

Let’s kick off with a Mediterranean inspired misspelt name for the sauce, Belissmo, or Bellissmo to give its full Italian title, meaning ‘lovely’.  Can you imagine a sauce called lovely selling in the UK, it just sounds creepy.

So, can they make the label on the product as terrible as the name?  Oh yes.  An inspired Katie looks through the range of images and picks a sweet pepper, a vegetable that has gone nowhere near the recipe for their sauce.

Over in production and Ricky ‘The Shark’ Martin is ensuring that what goes in the jar mustn’t be any cop either and  manages to put together a sauce thicker that Jedward and also ruins an entire batch for good measure.

They attempt to sell their jars of gloopy gunk to a foolish public who week after week put their hands in their pockets to snap up this TV trash, just who are these people?  They bizarely flock when Katie shouts, “Come and get our sauce, it’s Mediterranean”, well if you’d have told me that, I’d probably drive to London just to get my hands on a bottle!

The public may lap it up but the trade are a more pedantic bunch, and surprisingly aren’t blown away by the misspelt label, on a bottle which looks like a prop from Elderado.

And because of the lost batch, the bottles are being sold at a ridiculous mark-up, something the public (for some reason) swallow, but the savvy buyers are having none of.

Salesman of the year

And leading the sub team into battle to sell to the trade is Michael ‘not much’ Copp who has a strange mentality when it comes to the art of negotiation.   With a cut off price of £1.99 a bottle and an offer on the table of £1.95, he walks away from an opportunity, much to the annoyance of ‘fridge bloke’ Azhar and ‘fine wine’ Tom.

A hostile takeover ensues and Michael is ousted as team leader, for being about as useful as a chocolate fireguard and Azhar takes the next pitch.  Somehow the Italian restaurateur puts his reservations about the misspelt bottle aside and puts in a whopping order for 12.

The main team sell their remaining stock at a knocked down price to a corner shop proprietor and when they ring Michael to find out how he’s done, it quickly becomes apparent that barrow boy Michael has been cast as this week’s fall guy.

Supercar Guy

There was only ever going to be one winning team in the boardroom and the chutney romps home selling nearly twice the stock of the ketchup and making a load more money in the process.

The chutney entrepreneurs get to slide round Silverstone in some flashy Porsches as a reward for winning the task.  Katie’s losing lad’s team look heartbroken at this news, but hey, it’s over to the greasy spoon for some pointless conjecture in front of the cameras.

Over a chipped mug, Ricky ‘The Shark’ Martin was full of self-worth basically blaming everybody but himself for the failure of the task.  His get out clause for cocking-up the production?  “Nobody told me I had to make as many as possible”, I mean visit the Heinz factory and they are forever chucking away a batch after they over produce eh?

He really missed the point that if they had more product they could have sold at a lower price.

Who goes, you don’t decide

Anyway, it’s obvious who’s going this week.  Even if the Rickster told Nick that he was lousy on Countdown and that Karen’s ludricous loyalty to Avram Grant cost West Ham their Premiership place, it was always going to be caterpillar browed Michael getting in the taxi.

The Lord points out that they screwed every element of the task up, another embarrassing notch in team leader Katie’s Apprentice history.

And with everybody ganging up on Michael, he comes out to fight his corner by trying to persecute Katie’s strategy and with that failed he pulls on the heart strings with some golden words.

He kicked off with a gem of, “I’m not the best salesman”, followed by garbage about not getting a step-up, nonsense about a “silver spoon” and feeling inferior because he only picked up a GCE in woodwork or something.

As the Lord pointed out, Michael was obviously out of his depth.  Obviously a nice chap, but how did he beat 20,000 applicants to get a place on the show?

Katie again swerved the sacking digit of Alan, but I don’t think I’ll be winning the sweepstake with her name on a bit of paper in my draw.

Thanks for reading, see you all again next week for some more Sugar coated GCSE level business studies.

Nathan Lloyd

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