So, Lord Alan Sugar is back and is on his search… not for an apprentice. Hang on, isn’t that the point of the show? No, Lord Sugar and his advisors are back, searching for an ‘apprentice’ for him to invest £250,000 into, for a 50% share of a joint business venture.
The show, despite seemingly undergoing a shape up, is looking very similar to before. The multi-millionaire Lord takes on sixteen of ‘Britain’s brightest business prospects’ and puts them through a gruelling interview process in order to find a business partner. It seems to me that Sugar is now the sixth Dragon, but rather than listening to one egotistical muppet for 15 minutes as they do, interviewing sixteen over the space of twelve weeks.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive fan of the show. I love the structure, the drama and of course Lord Sugar’s famous one liners… And the new series is yet to disappoint me. Sugar compares candidates to a “slow internet connection”, says that he “isn’t here to pat you on the back when you’ve done a good job… I will ask why you didn’t do it on a bigger scale”.
In episode 1, Sugar set the task of turning £250 quid into a profit. The girl’s team, team Venture, seemed united for the majority of the highlights, working together under the leadership of Melody Hossaini, an owner of a business consultancy firm. Melody, who has studied under presidential candidate Al Gore, decided to sell fruit salad and hot vegetable pastas to busy London commuters. The girls managed to double Lord Sugar’s investment, returning with over £500.
The boy’s team, Logic, decided to sell fresh orange juice and tomato soup. But a manufacturing mis-calculation from team leader Edward, saw the boys not able to effectively squeeze the profit out of their oranges. Edward lead the boys extremely ineffectively, with his only strategy seeming to be “rolling with the punches”. This eventually lead to the boys taking just over £400.
The boys defeat was clearly due to their poor performance in production rather than sales. Edward bought his competitors Gavin and Leon back to the board room. Lord Sugar quickly saw that the failure of the task was on the shoulders of the incompetent leader Edward and he quickly sent him on his way in Sugar style… “You’re Fired.”
This years candidates, what can I say? On first impressions, there are some seemingly strong candidates and the usual group of arrogant, egotistical muppets. The men seemed very dis-organised, but that was probably due to incompetent leadership. Despite seeming together and content, the girls were not all sweet as post-task interviews revealed that not everyone was as happy as they seemed.
I am yet to make a complete verdict on any of the candidates yet, but will give it another go after watching after Wednesday nights show, which you can watch on BBC One at 9pm. You can find more apprentice content on the official BBC website and a good review on den of geek. Join the Apprentice debate on Facebook, Twitter @naspearing and on the blog itself. Did Sugar make the right decision?