The Apprentice contestants had their passports at the ready last night as Lord Sugar trotted them off to the American embassy in Grosvenor Square, London to hear all about their biggest challenge to date. Surprise, surprise, they were off to the US, tasked with launching an ad campaign for a new soft drink in New York.
But not everyone made the flight. In a stroke of evil genius, two contestants from each team headed to rainy Luton to come up with the drinks and their concepts, which drummed up more than a bit tension. Of course, team leaders Bianca Miller (Summit) and Aussie, Mark Wright (Tenacity) opted to go across the pond; strutting the sidewalks and parks, they flaunted their products to unsuspecting New Yorkers. Summit brought their passion fruit energy drink, ‘Big Dawg’ to the Big Apple, while Tenacity opted for the healthy option with their pineapple-based concoction, ‘Aquafusion’ – although if Daniel Lassman had his way, it would have been called ‘Love Water’. Eugh.
It didn’t get much better with the TV adverts. Felipe Alviar-Baquero took the reins as director for Tenacity and his masterpiece was complete with basketballs and a cliché brownstone house backdrop. Contestant Lauren Riley even made a cameo appearance, although her “thanks moam” in faux New York twang won't be winning her an Oscar. It could be worse – Miller’s team didn’t bother putting music in theirs and it all came off a little weird.
The billboard ads were much more promising. They looked bold and garish, which is perfect for display in gaudy Times Square. Seeing your product advertised on the big screens is obviously a massive deal and it all got a little too much for some contestants. An emotional Alviar-Baquero couldn't fight back the tears as he mumbled: “I’m just so proud of what we’ve done”. James Hill was so pleased with himself for coming up with the name Big Dawg that he declared: “The world’s as big as our oyster.” That’s one gargantuan mollusc.
In the boardroom, tensions were fizzing. Lassman and Wright may have had it in for each other but it was lawyer Riley who ended up in the doghouse. Sugar had a “gut feeling” that she just wasn’t up to the task but we know what he really meant: there is no way the show would be so interesting without the two alpha males slugging it out week after week.
There were no special treats for the winning team, which is probably for the best. Jetlagged, a good sleep was probably treat enough.