Well as Week Nine on the BBC tv series The Apprentice unfolded, the drama ramped right up and it left us all ‘green’ around the gills.
Both teams were tasked with creating a skin care product for men as they were standing in the beauty section of a large John Lewis store in London. Looking at the remaining candidates, with a majority of women who clearly spend a lot of time on their ‘beauty’ regimes — where was this task going to go?
Team Affinity needed a project manager, Rochelle wanted to run the show given that she has a ‘beauty’ business but she was bulldozed by Bradley, the construction boss, who had a ‘great’ vision for a male skin exfoliation product. Poor Rochelle had to pout and pivot and settle for becoming sub-team leader.
So strong was Bradley’s vision, he brooked no argument. Therefore a product called Venom, then anti-venom and with a logo which actually made it look like ‘senom’ was born and then the only way was down. He wanted a snake on the bottle, he wanted it to be bright green including the product itself. He ordered the team to ‘stick to the brief’…something everyone regretted later.
On Team Apex, Dani took the lead deafeningly and she wanted a product called Star or was it Start…with a tag line which needed an essay to explain it. Her assumptions about men over 50 were hilarious. She clearly believes we all become invisible, irrelevant having lived a life of banal existence as we swan off on holiday as much as we can before we peg it or collect our Zimmer frames and incontinence pads. Therefore we need to be thrilled and delighted with shapely plastic bottles or containers which will solve all of our problems as we stumble into our dotage. Pass the Tupperware please!
Being of that age myself, I don’t know any bloke who has a desire to buy a product with a star-shaped pot which, when the product is finished, he could use as a paper clip holder or a paperweight…
Yet the real drama happened in the lab creating the potions. Simba and Megan did a good job for Team Apex. The product was white, with a lovely smell — nothing exceptional yet it was appealing and the customer feedback was okay. This had the potential to overcome the mystery tagline and the awful cream ‘pot’ which looked like a scented candle holder. The branding was okay, though the tagline story was poor. No one got it.
However the work of Rochelle and Avi made the show. Following Bradley’s brief to the letter, they created a green liquid after spending some hours arguing about it. Wasting time and therefore not testing their various creations as they both tried to be the dominant voice.
It was made clear that at deadline, the final product would be based on their exact recipe. That deadline passed, the latest concoction was not tested and it became very clear that this bright green goo, stained the skin green instantly.
Not a great look for a man over 50, an instant formula for transforming your skin into something that ‘Shrek’ would be proud of. I bet that would fly off the shelf and into the nearest bin.
Trying to sell a liquid skin care project which dyes your skin green didn’t go well in the sales pitch — so Bradley did, as he’s done before, create a BS story to try to sell the unsellable. Pitching it as something which had to be diluted with water — squash for the skin. No one was fooled. It was the most cringeworthy moment of the series.
While Team Apex’s product was a little bland, at least it wasn’t designed for ‘Shrek’ lookalikes in a bottle which Lord Sugar described as a Brussel Sprout sat on top of a turd. Ouch.
The sales told the story we all knew was coming. The green goop, turd, snake, venom, senom skin care disaster got zero interest. While Team Apex sold more than 11,000 units. Off they went for their treat to experience extreme make-up.
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar wasted no time. Bradley, who has been project manager three times and failed on all three tasks, was booted out without any ceremony, he didn’t even have time to open his mouth.
A priceless moment as Lord Sugar said “I told you I didn’t want to see you in the Boardroom again and I can guarantee I won’t — you’re fired’. And Bradley was on his way, his moment in the cab didn’t even make the final cut. Bradley vanished.
It wasn’t the end — Avi, Rochelle and Marnie were fighting for their place in the competition given they were involved in a task which was one of the worst performances in the history of the show and that’s saying something this series. The girls rounded on Avi. It seems Lord Sugar agreed and Avi was shown the door. Though Lord Sugar did tell him to keep in touch. Perhaps that door isn’t completely closed on him.
Now Simba is the only male in the final few. Next week they have to create dog food. We know it’s going to be literally a dog’s dinner but will one be gourmet or garbage?