The Apprentice Episode 9

This weeks task saw the boys pitted against the girls. Never sure of what the rationale is in keeping them the same throughout as LS split them slightly today. I would want to see how everyone got on with everyone else. Perhaps he might say that he could see which ones were learning or not or developing in the set teams ?

Once again Stella shows cold hard efficiency as she just puts the phone down on LS’s PA as she invites them to the city of London, a wonderful spot where the tip of the famous London Landmark the Girkin can be seen as the sun shines on the contestants on an emptyish floor of some high rise. Its almost beautiful.
This weeks task was all about buying –  one which I feel I could do well in. To my shame when I visit Thailand or the like where they pride themselves on getting a tourist dollar for some tat or clothing they love to barter. In the US in stores regular malls and the like it was always possible to haggle a bit of the ticket price. These days this seems not to be the case anymore. Well anyway haggle is the name of todays game with a bit of search required too. They must have been handicapped by not being able to use the internet this week as they sourced their products from the yellow pages and similar hard copy directories and a good old phone.

Well Liz was championing the girls while we might not know how knackered Baggs was as Jaime Lester took to the helm for the only 3 remaining guys. Jamie seemed to manage this quite well however not all of the items on the list was bought.

“Start at 70% lower than what he’s looking at” Jaime Lester on getting the other pair on his track – he perhaps realises his fate may be in their hands. He was also very good at bartering himself and he was intent on surviving this week bartering for the gold tikker which is an Indian Jewelry Artefact at £135. Without the cameras the guy would not have perhaps sold so low the original asking price was £180. The girls got their Tikker at 160 (shop asked 195) after Laura not for the first time wades in with a high figure you know is high as the guy snaps her hand off as they say.

Lord Sugar had provided a tricky list of items for the teams to acquire. Of course going to the obvious sources for some products wouldn’t give the best savings. If an item was missed then a penalty was given likewise for being late. Some of the 10 items required were
Plain Single Tikka

Blue Book

Truffles : Alba White to be specific which they needed to be..

Chicken Feet (“I’m sure the butchers will have them” – Liz)

A specific Singa Sewing machine and more…

“This task is all about getting the item because we don’t want to get the penalties” – Liz captaining the girls into well organised action. Well that’s not right its partly about that yes. If you do get a goal in your head and focus on that make sure it’s the right one, its easy in football as there are only 2 !

Ok on to some of the tricky things to buy, a worktop surface that Jamie couldn’t source , a meter shorter no problem but 4 m is the requirement, the length meant it was a toughie. The girls found one. Also the girls found out that the blue book was the taxi drivers bible, they took way too long to discover this.

It was Jamie and his very hard bargaining that was impressive, also Chris came up with some real bad lying that was so obviously bad it ended up working as the seller found themselves smiling at the stories and perhaps feeling sorry or entertained ? But for me now I see Chris as being fired at the next opportunity. Stuart Baggs if you look back I have been saying that he has started to do well and the media have now picked up on this sleeper kid, he’s a fast learner with a lot of talent and just got caught up in the early pissing contest. And I think LS will enjoy the challenge of whipping this ego into shape.
Stella may have been soft in some of the negotiating perhaps not wanting to be rude, in the contest of course being rude may not be a problem but in the real world repeat business might be. This is a most interesting point in discussion and I may be a bad businessman as on occasion I won’t deal will overly rude people. It was a lot of fun watching them all race round to get the items but onto the boardroom…

The Truffles were found and  purchased at a high price from a restaurant, Liz makes a late realisation.

The Boardroom

We cut to scenes where Jaime fears the worst as he got 2 of his 5 items and the other boys 5 so in total 50 quid per item fine. They were not late unlike the girls who pick up the late fine of just 50 quid. Somehow these fines don’t seem to add up right to me. Every item you buy you then increase your risk, like an investor taking a position the sure negative of not getting the item is a 50 quid fine so you want to know that you will recover all fines in your negotiating on the other items. Elizabeth was happy and thought that LS would be pleased with their performance, it was a bit of a treasure hunt for he and the barering was really secondary to her even at this stage ! Which shows me she may not have what it takes. I don’t have her as a favourite above Stella or Joanna for that matter. Take your pick from these two with perhaps Jamie and the Stuart the Brand Baggs as outsiders. Laura is showing so much how she is not at this level.

Now for the best bit of the show Stuart Baggs recounting items innocently says “plates…it’s like the generation game ..laptop memory…” to subdued laughter all round and LS rebuff “have you opened your Christmas crackers early this year or what” though he did find it funny..

Boys (total fines 511.50). 1020.50 including fines – hang on wasn’t it 50 quid per item ?

Girls a late fine of 50. Total including fine 1094.40

“I can tell you right now what the fault is your bad negotiators as simple as that.” LS on response to Liz being shocked at coming second. Has the penny now dropped Liz ? The goal was not to find all the items.

Liz now does get the chance to see of a contender in Stella and they go at it massively in the boardroom but I think for everyone we all know for sure its Laura who has to go. For a moment I think he is going to can Stella at this juncture as I feel it’s not about finding a Stella he has a ton of those perhaps already very capable people. Is she creative enough is she young enough perhaps more key. But he turns to Laura and thank god yes she gives a last plea to be made PM and get another chance quite rightly LS states she has had enough of those. And yes she gets the boot from the process.

Great Faces this week

Joanna’s face at finding the boys winning a week end on the eurostar in Paris was purchasable with Mastercard.

Liz back at the house as she feels Stella’s exaggeration of the truth and unfairness was too much, here Liz has just dropped the ball for me but Stella needs to be aware of the dagger. Everyone fears Stella when perhaps they should be playing their own strengths.

Watch it here > The Apprentice – Series 6 – 9. Discount Buying