7.10 Flip It
“Helen,” said Susie, “you might make it through this process without ever losing”.
You knew then, didn’t you? The clue for which direction this episode was going was given to you right up front. It was impossible to ignore. Helen was going to lose for the first time. I uncorked unscrewed my bottle of wine and settled down for the fireworks.
But before we get to that, the most important matter of the week.
If you ever doubted the influence of Den Of Geek, then let those fears be eradicated now. For four years now, I’ve waged a one-drunkard campaign against the treat segment of The Apprentice, and its failure to inform, entertain or educate in any sense whatsoever. Watching some people that we’re being persuaded not to like going off and enjoying themselves? Even the American version of the show has managed to curtail this segment a little. Mainly because it’s shit.
Finally, then, Baron von Sugar made his most important decision of all time. He scrapped the treat. It was enough to make me go onto eBay and check out the price of one of his E-mailer contraptions, with a view to buying one and offering my support to him. The £50 price tag obviously put me off, but I’d like Baron Alan to know that I tried.
There was an added bonus this week, too, for those who have struggled to, er, warm to Melody. Here, she struggled herself, and for the first time came across a vulnerable, rather than the ultimate hard-nosed, humanity-free candidate.
I’ve said on more than one occasion that I think the editing of the programme has been a little cruel, and I can’t help thinking that she has been on the receiving end on that. This week? Well, what led Helen to attempt to take over the task? For the first time, I wonder if the editors did Melody a favour by not really showing us.
The task itself was quite an interesting one in theory, but one not helped by both teams missing the point. As soon as the Baron started banging on about reinvesting, you could see the proverbial car crash coming. Here was an attempt by the show’s production team to shake up a task formula, which was scuppered by the two teams treating it as a simple selling task.
To be fair, though, Tom proved he was good at selling shit, moving out of his comfort zone for the first time. He also quickly identified that the nodding dog product, which looked suitably rancid, was a good seller. And was thus ignored. Susie, too, seemed to deliver properly for the first time. Usually, in this show, when she’s expressed confidence in a product, it’s been doomed. Here, she bought some crap jewelry, and sold it. Win.
The one who slipped up was Helen The Invulnerable, whose idea to follow a wholesale path was not a wise one. It probably, in truth, cost her team the task, even though Melody could have halted it at any point. Mind you, she could have passed up buying a load of crappy looking electronics, but perhaps that was her tactic to impress the Baron. Not that he’d ever indulge in such a practice.
Truthfully, not many came out of this episode particularly well, given that it was ultimately a story of a hollow victory and a silly defeat. Even Nick and his comedy faces of disapproval seemed a little off-colour (he smiled again. Doesn’t the man realise he has a reputation to maintain?). At least Jedi Master Jim seemed to blink once or twice though, and came across a lot better as a result. Blinking is something I’d personally like him to practice more. One of the key reasons why I drink while watching The Apprentice is simply because I find the man quite so scary, as if his eyes are on freeze frame.
Oh, since you didn’t ask, some nameless Merlot. A fiver. Tastes horrible. Does the job.
Off to the boardroom, then, and in spite of Natasha Who Won’t Win being fined £100 for having no, er, balls (the Baron started his business when he was 9 or something – he forgot to remind us this week – and thus missed biology lessons), her team prevailed. Thus, it was down to Tom, Melody and Helen to do battle, and not a great deal of love was lost between them (Melody was on the Queen’s speech, though. So that was good).
That said, there was still time to cut back to the house, so Natasha and Susie could have a bit of a ding dong. Jim, meanwhile, sat and stared contentedly. The force is strong with that one.
It all felt a bit routine, this, with the added novelty of having Helen in the board room for the first time. But it also looked as if Baron Alan had made his mind up who was going to go long before, so it seemed a bit redundant really. As soon as he gave his speech about how this was based on the past few weeks, Melody was surely doomed. At no point during the show has she come across as the kind of candidate that the Baron would want to work with, and, given the best chance yet to get rid of her, he didn’t pass on it. With regret though, of course.
I’m still predicting she’ll come across as a normal human being on You’re Fired, mind.
Next week? It’s fast food restaurants. Making and selling food: isn’t that where we came in? Mind you, keep the treat out, and I’m sold…
Read our review of episode 9, Biscuit, here.