The Apprentice: Tides turn for Titans

The Apprentice

The early wake-up call is back – no more afternoon starts and night shifts to begin week 7.

As the process is progressing, it’s beginning to get a little more interesting.

This week, candidates had to take overnight bag along with them along to their task, leaving most candidates a little curious but excited.

The black, flashy cars containing the candidates left in ridiculously perfect unison (as usual) and off they went to their destination – the Royal Victoria Docks.

Lord Sugar, Karren and Claude greeted the candidates at the very suave Super Yacht – London’s only floating hotel.

The task for this week was to pick products to sell at the Annual Boat Show at Poole Harbour. Selling was the key to this task, and after giving Dillon a slight dig and push on this focus, he declared Frances and Karthik to be project managers.

Pressure was on for Frances who had never been on the winning team throughout the whole process, so she had to prove that Nebula had the potential to stay afloat. Meanwhile, Karthik hadn’t been a project manager yet in the process, so he also needed to prove his managerial skills that he claimed to possess.

Not a great start for team Titans. Karthik ignored the expertise that Samuel put forward in relevance to the task and made a “tactical error” as described by Claude, relating to his choice of positioning of team members. However, at the end of the day, as a viewer it was clear to see that Karthik wasn’t going to be great in making the best decisions anyway, proven from previous tasks.

Frances was more strategic and organised in her decisions, for example splitting up Paul and Sofiane to prevent potential clashes and placing people in the most appropriate positions.

As the teams browsed and trialled the products, Karthik demonstrates his lacking in managerial skills through his unwillingness to make a decision on which products to sell. Though, finally a decision was made and it seemed that both teams opted for a couple of the same items, in which the seller had to decide who they would think would sell the most of their product.

Although Nebula managed to obtain representation for the paddle boards over team Titans – thanks to Jessica, they did fail to retrieve the jet-skis, which Sofiane took a lot more personally than project manager Frances who took it in her stride and carried on with the task.

10am – show day.

Obviously, the higher end products were to produce more money and so, pressure was placed on Courtney and Grainne to sell the jetskis.

A pricing strategy was introduced by Karthik for the lower priced items, but did Samuel stick to what he was told? Of course not! Being his arrogant, know-it-all self, Samuel yet again took matters into his own hands by charging for items at his own price.

It was painful to watch Claude observe Courtney and Grainne learning the facts about the jet-skis as their potential customers were literally walking past.

Although Jessica was selling, it wasn’t strictly in the most moralist of ways. A personal fib here and there was beginning to be her signature tactic in drawing customers in to buying the products she was presenting – however it was working with some, so why stop her?!

The rain began to plunder, which didn’t work in the favour of Courtney and Grainne’s who struggled to receive any deals. But, as the weather began to slightly brighten up, hopes were also looking up. Although the sale was not confirmed, a jet-ski teaching business was interested in buying multiple jet-skis meaning a potential high win yet again for Titans.

Despite the teams’ best efforts to flog their stock, the rain fell heavier and the number of customers around began to sink.

6pm – trading finished.

Frances and Sofiane predicted a selling of around 2 – 3 speed boats, whilst Courtney and Grainne predicted around 4 jet-skis being sold.

First to reflect on in the boardroom was Titans’ performance. Karthik’s decisions were not exactly praised and after Lord Sugar asked “good project manager?” – the silent response spoke louder itself.

For Nebula, a more positive reflection.

Paul praised Jessica in the task – which is rare in the boardroom as the competition is so fierce. The satisfied team praised their project manager and at this point I was really, really hoping that they would fish out Nebula’s first win.

What a result.

Frances lead the team to an amazing triumph, selling £40,000 worth of goods, as opposed to Titans’ £188 – what a way to prove yourself.

After Frances’ emotional win, team Nebula finally experience a treat whilst Titans received the biggest shaming in the process yet.

Tensions had never been so high in a cafe as Titans discussed the task and their dreadfully embarrassing failure. Ultimately, Karthik is the obvious choice to blame and rightly so, but Samuel’s arrogant attitude is so irritating for me as a viewer and I really wanted him gone.

As the so-called ‘team’ returned to the boardroom, Samuel denied dismissing instructions and completely excused himself for saying it was a “bad sales day” which Karren was quick to comment, “not for Nebula”.

The simply diabolical failure of the task left Lord Sugar no choice but to fire Karthik straight away, saying he didn’t even trust him to bring back the right people to the boardroom.

This twist made it very interesting and by this point, I really wanted Samuel gone.

Alana, Dillon and Samuel returned to the boardroom, in which someone else was to be fired. To be quite honest, I didn’t see any of them to be winners, so either could go but I was really urging for Samuel’s exit as I found the more he opened his mouth, the more frustrated I became.

With Samuel not being a team player, Alana lacking confidence and Dillon wading his way though the process being the ‘nice guy’, it was difficult to predict who Lord Sugar would point the finger at.

To my delight, Samuel was fired and whisked off home in the black cab, claiming to be going onto “bigger and better things” – sounded like a sore looser to me.