This week The Apprentice candidates had to find deals for an upmarket website whose basic business plan seemed to be giving us plebs a taste of discount luxury.
This is one of those areas of business that seems to have come out of nowhere in recent years: who’d have thought asking companies to give massive discounts to unknown members of the public would be a viable business model? Now it was time for the candidates to take it on.
After last week practically begging his way through, Stephen would be Sterling’s Project Manager and Jade became Phoenix’s PM.
There was less outright lunacy from Stephen this week, though that was replaced with low-level bemusement and incompetence. Jade was understandably sensible as usual, and her team started to look for deals.
In fact, Jade was competent enough that her one major moment this week was revealing a fantastically dirty laugh at the fact that she may have called a brothel.
For Sterling, Ricky’s first port of call for the team was a luxury restaurant where the host seemed more intent on feeding him scallops and showing him how high up his building was. It was almost as if he was planning to push him out the window to create al fresco shellfish-wrestler Pâté.
He then argued with Stephen over whether it was worthwhile to spend half his day getting a deal from a spa. Stephen said yes, Ricky expressed doubts. In the end Ricky won the argument and with Phoenix gaining their own spa deal, we’d have the chance to see if he was right.
Instead he decided to go round the hotels of London eating more scallops. In fact after three lots of the dish Ricky Martin could be said to have been livin’ la-vi-da-scallop. He did manage to gain some deals on lunch menus despite being weighted down by seafood, which against pretty thin orders from both teams looked more impressive as the day went on.
Again on Sterling, Karen Brady didn’t seem to impressed by Gabrielle’s idea of a fish pedicure, claiming it wasn’t luxury enough. The problem with this idea seems to be that the world’s gone so mad that an idea we’d have once thought to be decadent is now thought too common for an internet discount site.
Tom and Adam struggled to gain discounted offers for Phoenix, and as they became more desperate Adam’s daft side, which has become more endearing of late, surfaced again with him looking for luxury deals from takeaways. Perhaps he was expecting gold plated prawn crackers.
In the boardroom it looked as if Ricky’s deal-making over the scallops looked to have put Stephen’s team back in with a shout, however in a twist it was Phoenix’s own spa deal that hammered home their advantage, possibly leaving him and his scallops in danger.
Left in the boardroom then were Ricky, Stephen and Gabrielle. After an impassioned take-down of the increasingly condescending Stephen, Ricky was safe despite his spa error. Gabrielle didn’t help her cause by gabbling her responses, and Lord Sugar fired her.
Yet the increasingly inept Stephen wasn’t spared Sugar’s firing finger and after last week putting his reputation on the line by blaming everyone else, and he headed home too this week.
The nation, as well as lovers of the English and Italian language breathed a huge sigh of relief.
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