The Apprentice series 7 episode 9 review: Biscuit

Melody wins more friends. Jim tries more mind tricks. And Alan Sugar does bad jokes. Here's our take on the latest The Apprentice...

7.9 Biscuit

Right then: here’s a challenge for you. We want to see what a Harry Potter movie tie-in to those crappy kids’ biscuits would look like. If any of you have particular Microsoft Paint/Photoshop/Wax crayon skills and want to fire a picture over to our Twitter account (, we’ll gladly retweet the best. We might even dig out a ‘treat’. Doubt it, but you never know.

Certainly, Jim got a prize of sorts for his latest Jedi mind trick blag. Faced with the kind of product that parents fear to buy, one that would fill kids full of sugar just as they got back from school, he just went for the old, reliable tactic: make shit up. In this case, a £30m, non-existent marketing campaign.

Thing is, I’ve now learned that if I want to sell a product into Asda, that’s not a bad way to go. 800,000 orders, based on bullshit? How about Den Of Geek yoghurt, personally endorsed by Batman? It’s odd the business lessons that The Apprentice likes to teach us, especially as Baron Sugar castigated Jim for his approach. Turns out, though, that it’s enough to win you a task.

Ad – content continues below

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Zoe, who once again put herself forward to lead her team. I like her. I appreciate many of you don’t, but more than anyone in the programme, she’s willing to have the difficult conversations with people, to their face. With Melody, in particular, which Melody didn’t seem to like at all. Granted, she makes mistakes. But she’s a rounded candidate from where I’m sitting, even if she would never have beaten Helen in the end.

Because Helen is invincible, with a shield of steel that would make Batfink wince. Here, she managed a ninth win out of nine, with a considerably weaker-looking product to sell than her opponent. Surely, surely, that’s got her to the final? How, in the interview stage of the process, will the assorted grumpy people chuck her out on the basis of that record? She’s got to be the running favourite now.

I wanted to get all of that out of the way, anyway, so I could get to the really important stuff. And the conundrum is this: I don’t know whether you fine people want me to drink any more.

If I do, there’s a comment, not unfairly, added about it. If I don’t, I’m basically left feeling like I’ve let my local Spar down. For the record, this week I’ve glugged my way through the most expensive bottle of white wine that my local store sells, crashing in at a wallet-busting £5.99. Such expenditure demanded reserve, though, so I vowed that I wouldn’t start properly knocking it back until I got to something that made me cringe.

I knew I was going to be trollied from the moment that Melody suggested “role play”. I couldn’t reach for my glass fast enough. And I never put it down again.

I already suspect that Melody’s eventual appearance on You’re Fired will see her as a perfectly reasonable, rounded human being, one who only lightly relates to the persona that we see projected on the main programme. I hope so, anyway, as she’s coming across as the kind of person you’d gladly cross the street to avoid talking to, and I’m not utterly sure that’s fair.

Ad – content continues below

In this week’s episode, her ideas were bad, her resolve about a target market was great, her manipulation of facts was worrying, and her willingness to battle her corner, come what may, was admirable. Yet in the editing room, I bet all concerned couldn’t believe their luck. The pitches to two of the supermarkets, with the am-dram BixMix scene, made me wish the alcohol would kick in a lot quicker than it eventually did. Heck, I half considered running up the road and donating another six quid to the Spar.

While I was there, I could mourn the continued decimation of Tom’s chances of winning. The geek candidate of choice, I liked the look of his biscuit. It’s just a pity it appeared to taste of shit. Heck, I liked his Emergency Biscuit idea, too. But it wasn’t to be.

Anyway, one surprising factor about this week’s episode, and an appreciated one, was the lack of too many biscuit jokes. Jim cracked one, and stared into people’s eyes to ensure they’d laugh. I’m sure the Baron might have slipped one in at one point. But, given this series has been packed full of gags that wouldn’t make the cut on a Saturday evening quiz show, it was a blessed relief to give them most of the hour off.

If they can knob the treat off, too, that’d be appreciated. Luxury hotel? Pah. I’d have sent them all to the Travel Lodge, with a fun sized bag of Mars Bars.

When it got to the boardroom, the result came as something of a surprise. So much so that my drink quickly decorated my trousers, and I was off looking for a cloth when the size of the win was revealed. It instantly looked like it was going to be a three-way showdown in the boardroom, between Melody, Zoe and Tom. And so it proved. That alone was worth it for Zoe’s facial expressions.

In the end, the final battle ended with Tom looking like he was about to get his marching orders, but Zoe ended up taking the fall. And she wasn’t best pleased about it. Melody stays in, and the ratings will benefit. Tom won’t win, sadly. And reportedly Zoe has refused to do press for this episode. Can’t really blame her, especially with Melody gloating at the end.

Ad – content continues below

Next week? Selling things, just for a change. That should be fun…

Read our review of episode 8, Paris, here.