Lord Sugar sprung a surprise on the candidates, turning up at the house to set the next task on a Sunday afternoon. Catching the candidates off guard, Lord Sugar informed the candidates they would be creating and branding a new range of biscuit. Mixing up the teams, Jim, Helen and Natasha became team Venture, while Susan, Zoe, Tom and Melody became team Logic.
After the task was announced, the people with experience in the food industry were quickest to volunteer to be the project managers. Helen, with her Bakery experience, lead Venture and Zoe, working in a similar industry, was voted the team leader of Logic, despite a weak attempt from Susan to lead the team.
Zoe decided she wanted to be part of the production process, but was convinced by her team that branding was more important. Tom and Melody went to the manufacturing plant in Swansea, while Susan and Zoe stayed to design packaging and concepts. For Venture, Jim went to the manufacturing plant, while the girls stayed to decide branding.
Tom and Melody clashed over designs, as Melody’s abrasive attitude caused problems in the Logic ranks. Melody was set on the heart-shaped biscuit or “biscuits are the new popcorn” ideas, despite negative reactions at the focus groups. Jim set Venture on the course for a chocolate star-topped flapjacks, the “any-time after school treat”. Despite a contradictory strap line, the focus groups liked the idea and the taste. Tom convinced Zoe that his biscuit in a biscuit was a good idea, so Zoe opted for a duo biscuit that could be snapped in half for sharing.
After packaging and biscuit designs decided, the candidates had to pitch their biscuits to three leading supermarkets, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Logic opted to use a stupid role- play scenario to attempt to sell to some of the toughest buyers in the country. Lord Sugar said on Twitter “Whose idea was the pathetic play act before the pitch.” It was clearly a bad decision, seeing as none of the potential investors bought from the team.
Venture, on the other hand, had a mixed result. After receiving no orders from Sainsbury’s or Waitrose, Jim stepped up to pitch to Asda. He delivered a competent pitch, promising the world to the buyers, even the use of a big TV ad campaign and using films like Harry Potter to sell the biscuits.
In the boardroom, It was revealed that Zoe and Logic had no sales, whereas Asda had ordered 800,000 units from Venture for their “special stars”. A crushing win for Venture, keeping Helen’s unbeaten run going.
Zoe decided to bring the production team of Melody and Tom back into the boardroom. Blaming solely of the taste of the biscuit, Zoe was baying for the blood of either Melody or Tom, blaming them as the reason for the failure of the task. Lord Sugar said she should have been part of the production process, despite letting the rest of her team talk her out of it.
Lord Sugar toyed with the emotions of Tom as he suggested he was going to fire him, but it was Zoe who became the 10th casualty of the boardroom.
Zoe was the right candidate to leave the process for me. Melody emerged herself as even more bitchy that ever before. She was disruptive and un-co-operative , an all round nightmare to manage. I do empathise with Zoe for having to manage a difficult character, but if she was right for the job she would have been able to more successfully manage her. Tom once again failed to impress, not realising that it was a high-end biscuit, but yet I found myself rooting for him to stay in the competition. He comes across as an all-round nice guy.
Both Helen and Jim impressed for me. Helen competently lead her team to yet another victory and has emerged as the front-runner for the competition, but we all know that Lord Sugar doesn’t always hire the favourite! Despite winning, I see a not too distant exist for Natasha. She just doesn’t seem to contribute anything useful to tasks.
This week was once again an entertaining one. Lord Sugar provided one of his best one-liners of all time, awarding Jim with the BBIW award (Biggest Bullshitter in the world) for his successful 800,ooo unit pitch to Asda.
What did you think? Did you agree with Lord Sugar? Should Zoe have been fired? Was it Melody’s abrasive personality or Tom’s failure to realise pricing that cost Logic? Send your comments to all the usual places, Twitter @naspearing, the blog itself and on my blogs facebook page (which you should like if you haven’t already). Check out more Apprentice content on the official BBC page and read the official blog.