The Apprentice is back

By now you would have thought that Lord Sugar would have found his perfect business partner, yet every year he gets the BBC to commission another series of The Apprentice. And every year he seems to find 16 businessmen and women who are as useless as the previous lot. Nevertheless we are stuck with them now, so we should make the best of it.

As it is only week one all the contestants are eager to point out why they are brilliant, and rather than just saying why they come up with pointless phrases. Last night’s example of this was one contestant, called Ricky Martin, declared that he is “the reflection of perfection”. That’s nice dear.

Their first task was to create their own printed goods, so they had to come up with a design and print it onto some blank products. As it is early days in the show they split of into a group of boys and a group of girls and come up with their names. The boys went for Phoenix, so if they went wrong and put it right they could rise from the ashes and the girls went for Sterling, because one of them had a dream about it.

Early on it seemed that the girls had the advantage as one of the contestants, Gabrielle Omar, has started her own print company. So whilst the boys came up with awe inspiring products like a teddy bear with a union flag t shirt on and a tote bag with “This is a” written on it with a picture of a bus to complete the sentence and in the process of managed to colour almost all the bag with the dye, apart from where the design was supposed to be. But the girls knew what they were doing as far as making their baby themed products which had a picture of a rough sketch of some zoo animals.

Although this is where any advantages the girls team had quickly disappeared. For some reason the women started bickering and pointing fingers at who wasn’t doing their work rather than doing their work. Meanwhile the boys were knowingly selling crap products to people for a ridiculously high price. Although they did get picked up on this as someone who had bought ten of their bags for stock in their shop pointed out the imperfections, so the boys sheepishly gave them a refund.

However, the girls who for some reason spent time at the zoo in attempt to sell to anyone then started walking the long back streets of London led by Bilyana Apostolova who insisted she knew where she was going. Eventually they arrived at some shops where the staff weren’t really interested in their products, and ended up getting the hard sell from the entire group leading to them being told off. Honestly if these are the best entrepreneurs we’ve got then we should stop trying to make Britain a place to do business.

After their long, hard day of selling they all met up in the boardroom to be given a dressing down by Lord Sugar. And this is what really annoys me about the show, the boys who didn’t know what they were doing but could sell a broken vacuum cleaner as if it was brand new and just off the shelf won this week’s task, whilst the girls who made a better product lost.

So the boys went off for celebratory cocktails and the girls argued about who should go. Now to be honest I skipped most of this to get a bowl of ice cream. But from what I can tell Bilyana, who walked them round London for no reason, talked herself into a bit of a hole and was the first of the series to be pointed at by Sugar and told that she’s fired.

The whittling down of contestants continues next week on BBC1 at 9pm where they will be making a new household gadget. In the meantime you can catch up with this episode on iPlayer.

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