The series 10 premier of the Apprentice brought the usual cabal of big egos to the boardroom
“This isn’t a potato - it’s an experience!” So said Canadian-born social worker, Steven Ugoalah, who may turn out to be one of the most annoying/entertaining contestants ever to grace our screens. Yes, the Apprentice returned last night and there were so many hopefuls that it was difficult to keep track. Some did stand out, however - not all for the right reasons.
The first episode as always features the sales task, and being the 10th season it had to be monumental. Candidates were sent all over London to sell the products that featured in this task in the previous nine seasons, including fish shaped balloons, coffee, t-shirts and hot dogs with the goal of nabbing the biggest profit. They looked nothing short of ruffled by the end.
Our hopefuls were split into two groups: men (Team Summit) headed by Felipe Alviar-Baquero, the Colombian-born solicitor who mainly refers to himself in the third person; and women (Team Decadence) headed by Sarah Dales, the former hypnotherapist who has already been dubbed Katie Hopkins 2.0. Dales’ big ideas for the group were to sell individual slices of lemon and wear short skirts and nice make-up in order to sell more. Both brainwaves would have been better suited to a seedy dive bar and didn't prove popular with her team mates.
Two stand-out contestants this week (and I assure you I’m not biased) were both Irish. Pamela Uddin, who was the first to make a confident sale, and Roisin Hogan - the strategy wonk who would have done a much better job as team leader - deserved the win. The Apprentice has a tradition of strong Irish candidates; last year’s winner Leah Totton hails from Derry, and who can forget Jim Eastwood whose persuasive selling powers earned him the name “Jedi Jim”?
One of the most entertaining things about the Apprentice is the rigid dichotomy between the bold claims of contestants and their actual abilities to deliver. In episode one it was pub quiz director Daniel Lassman who stood out most in this regard.“I am an alpha male. I can make women do what I want in the business world,” Lassman said. Here he is sauntering around Shoreditch dressed as a hot dog, unable to convince a potential vendee who happens to also be female to buy his produce:
But someone had to go, and in this unforgiving process it was Summit who lost and Chiles Cartwright who heard the words “You’re Fired!” This is hardly surprising given that Cartwright - the owner of two companies, a consultancy business and a building materials supplier - as leader of the sub-team dedicated to selling t-shirts,failed to shift a single one. He wasted time trying to choose a suitable slogan - so much so they didn't even pick them up from the printers.
And we’re doing it all over again tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to take our survey below.