‘When I first started out in business, I was in my mother’s womb. All I had to begin with was a couple of pints of amniotic fluid and I sold them to a kidney. Then I reinvested the money from that and sold a record player to one of my mum’s ovaries. That’s business.’
That may not have been exactly what Lord Sugar said at the beginning of Wednesday night’s edition of The Apprentice, but that reverence for a bit of Del Boy and some wheeling and dealing was certainly the tenuous justification for week seven’s challenge. Treating Poundland as if they’re the inventors of a ground-breaking new cancer treatment drug and not just people whose business model is centred on selling Colgate for a quid less than Tesco, the task essentially revolved around who could sell the most useless tat to the unsuspecting people of Manchester.
One of the key decisions to sort out was the perennial ‘do we sell electronic useless tat or do we sell smelly useless tat?’. Under the guidance of Scott, Team Connexus based their strategy of peddling electronics, branded good and telling lies while a Versatile team led by Gary ‘king of sitting around delegating tasks’ Poulton, went more for the ‘cosmetics/acting like a tit by pretend ice-skating’ strategy.
In addition to the usual mix of bullshit over-confidence, in-fighting and Lord Sugar’s cronies making various faces of displeasure whenever the teams did something stupid – it happened a lot – came Karen’s angry rant at Brett and Vana for their misleading pricing signs. ‘Dishonest dirty scumbags’ isn’t actually the phrase she used, but that’s what she was clearly trying to say with her eyes while stressing Lord Sugar’s unequivocal commitment to honest business practices. It didn’t seem like the biggest issue ever but when Sugar called the pair up on it in the boardroom, it suddenly looked like a decision somehow more questionable than Richard’s baby blue pastel pants.
Versatile won the task with assets totalling £1,511.07 – a figure that sounds incredibly impressive when you ignore rent, taxes, staff wages and other overheads they’d actually have to deal with in the real world. They went to the Shard where Richard made the inane observation that being the tallest person in Europe’s tallest building Gary was ‘the highest thing in Europe’. Yes, that’s right … oh except for:
(1) the many thousands of people on an airplane at that moment
(2) pretty much anyone on a mountain
(3) Peter Crouch on a stepladder
It all meant safe and somewhat subdued passage through to next week for Joseph Valente, the overwhelming favourite to win. Despite picking up a loss, Vana was spared the final boardroom thanks to Scott deciding he was best placed dragging Brett into the scramble for survival. He also took Sam and although he seems lovely, it was always clear where Sugar’s finger of reproach was going to fall meaning angry Brett managed to ‘self-perservate’ himself for another week and Scott would have a very awkward week explaining how he managed to entirely fabricate a threat of physical violence:
“Oh sorry, I thought you said you’d smash my face in when in actual fact you had trailed off and stopped talking. My bad.’
After week seven, the Apprentice betting now looks like:
The Apprentice Winner Odds (hypothetical)
- 4/7 – Joseph Valente
- 11/4 – Vana Koutsomitis
- 10/1 – Richard Woods
- 12/1 – Scott Saunders
- 14/1 – Brett Butler-Smythe
- 33/1 – David Stevenson
- 66/1 – Gary Poulton
- 66/1 – Charleine Wain
- 66/1 – Selina Waterman-Smith
After several weeks of amusing toff-ish flailing around, it was little surprise to see the axe fall on young Sam. A little less time spouting big words and a little more time figuring out how to use a calculator would have come in handy. His elimination took to pressure off David and Selina who had previously looked to be in serious danger of getting the chop.
The Apprentice Next Elimination Odds (hypothetical)
- 6/4 – Selina Waterman-Smith
- 2/1 – David Stevenson
- 3/1 – Charleine Wain
- 4/1 – Gary Poulton
- 12/1 – Brett Butler-Smythe
- 25/1 – Scott Saunders
- 33/1 – Richard Woods
- 66/1 – Vana Koutsomitis
- 80/1 – Joseph Valente