The Apprentice Series 8, Episode 6

It’s 5pm and Ricky “The Fitness” Martin is having a Wii Fit showdown with Adam “The Idiot” Corbally, who is attempting to push and cheat his way to victory. (Did they not have enough of fitness last week?) Laura is looking puzzled when it is her go, but luckily she is saved by the unexpected arrival of Lord Sugar. He doesn’t bother to join in with the fun and games, instead just revealing that this week’s task is to create a mobile restaurant in the “culinary capital of Scotland”, Edinburgh (the location isn’t even related to the task at all, except the fact that the candidates might be sitting in the kitchen where food is made– I am disappointed). He throws emphasis on high quality street food before making Adam PM of Phoenix and Jenna PM of Sterling, before disappearing into the night/evening.

Adam shows off his modest side

Street selling – I’m perfect!

Before putting forward the idea of a traditional Scottish street food stall with haggis and deep fried Mars bards (mmm…gourmet), ruling out Japanese food for no apparent reason, and incurring the wrath of Japanese viewers. Tom leaps to the defence of Japanese cuisine, saying it is becoming more and more popular nowadays, and it shouldn’t be ruled out. Adam tactfully answers this with “WHO EATS SUSHI?” Azhar wings in a chicken wrap idea before the team settle on Italian street food.

Jenna announces that she cannot cook but has experience in the restaurant business. Sterling opt for a Scottish stew route.

Whilst Stephen, Katie and Jade are discovering that high quality ingredients are a must from the vendors who won Dish Of The Year in 2011 (what this dish was, I’m not sure), Adam is thinking of how cheap he can make everything, at the expense of good quality, en route to Edinburgh. He is rolling around ideas of “cheap and simple” – pasta and corned beef (?!). Corned beef is disgusting –urgh. Tom agrees. All this talk of food (if you can call corned beef that) is making Adam hungry.

Elsewhere on the train, Nick and Gabrielle are researching potential pitches for their mobile restaurant, and call up a local hotelier. Nick asks about some locations, including Tynecastle Stadium, where there is a football match on the day. The 

hotelier suggests it might not be the best choice to sell gourmet food. On Phoenix, Katie is actually staking her claim, and her reputation, on selling at Tynecastle Stadium – Stephen is wary, but concedes in the end.

Jenna is wittering on about a pure Scottish language and worries that she won’t understand Scottish people, asking Laura to translate for her. Oh my…

The teams head off to the kitchen to create their vision of gourmet street food. On Phoenix, Adam is still thinking, “cheap, cheap, cheap” and asks about using dried rosemary instead of fresh. Mattia the chef looks shocked – dried?! Adam perseveres saying that they should use dried as it is cheap whilst Tom expresses that he doesn’t always have to think of cheapness – quality is important too. Nick Hewer agrees. Enough said.

In creating names, Adam has got the permission from Mattia to use his name for the brand, Mattia’s Meatballs. In a taxi, Stephen and his sub-team are thinking up some concepts. Stephen wants high-end Italian (like Belissimo with 1 L?). Jade suggests “Utterly Delicious”, which is put through to Adam, and he has reservations about it – nowhere is there mention of Italian or meatballs (I agree, it reminds me of a buttery spread). The idea of Mattia’s Meatballs isn’t completely embraced by the branding team, and Adam is now proposing to add “meatballs” to the end of “Utterly Delicious”, but says he will leave it to Stephen to decide.

Sterling are creating “Gourmet Scot-Pot”: a name that refers to the food itself and the country of cuisine. Take note, Phoenix!

It is selling day, and Adam takes his Utterly Delicious Meatballs (or Morrisons value pasta with odd-shaped meatballs – mmm belissimo!) to Tynecastle Stadium, whilst Azhar is dressed as Julius Caesar, Katie is dressed as pizza (surely she should be dressed as a meatball?) and Stephen is dressed as Italy, and they all head off onto the streets of Edinburgh tod rum up trade. On Sterling, Laura and Ricky Martin have also taken to costumes – traditional Scottish dresswear. They do a bit of Highland flinging before nabbing a real Scottish bagpipe player to play near their food can, located in Parliament Square.

Adam is setting a price of £5.99 for his Utterly Delicious Meatballs, whilst the public at the football ground are scoffing cheap burgers and chips. I am worried. Tom is worried. Katie is worried too. She wants to charge more – £7.99, which is dismissed by Adam.

Stephen, Katie and Azhar have arranged a deal to speak on tourist buses at Grassmarket.  Stephen is ecstatic at this and acts like he has won the task. Steady on there.

Selling is slow on both sides. On Sterling, Jenna wants Laura and Ricky Martin to stop “chatting” to people and start bringing them to the stall to buy food. Laura isn’t happy and to the camera, states that Jenna is already “pointing fingers” to cover her own back should the team lose. At Tynecastle Stadium, Adam has only sold 12 Utterly Delicious Meatballs, and decides to lower the price. Having seen the box, it doesn’t look like you get much – I wouldn’t pay £2 for that! After this, Adam and his selling team head off to Grassmarket.

 

Katie, Azhar and Stephen run up some stairs as Stephen shouts:

Phoenix! Flight of the Phoenix!

as they head off to the first bus. Pitch begins like so

Katie emergers onto the top deck and exclaims:

“Look at me! What kind of food do you think I’ll be bringing you?”

Random stranger shouts out, “Pizza?” (Haaaaaaaah)

Katie now has to improvise

“No…think outside the pizza box…”

Silence descends

Katie squeals, “Meatballs!”

After that amazing pitch, they make no sales and they miss the next bus to pitch on. Adam is not a happy meatball and thinks that the bus pitch was a terrible idea. I think the whole team, except Tom (the only one talking sense) sucks. But they’ll probably win now, won’t they?

Ricky Martin and Laura spot an Aberdeen Angus steal at Princes Street, where there are lots of people and they are hungry, so Jenna moves their van. It pays off as sales increase. Ricky Martin propositions two women who walk past. “Fancy some dinner?” he asks, but the two women just walk past him.

In the final stages of the day, both teams are attempting to get rid of everything. Stephen is selling Utterly Delicious Meatballs as the “perfect Scottish meatball” – I thought it was Italian? Adam decides to cut his prices even more, and then asks where Katie is. Azhar asks a squirrel if he wants some meatballs. The squirrel scuttles away – the thought of Azhar Caesar selling some slop is not a good one. But this has to be the highlight of the series, and I love Azhar for asking the squirrel.

On Sterling, Nick proposes to Jena that they should lower the price of Gourmet Scot-Pot. Jenna is unsure, and Karren talks about how there is little room to manoeuvre in terms of pricing because of the expensive ingredients. Jenna umms and aahs for a bit before agreeing with Nick, and they sell their Scot-Pots for £4, or 2 for £6.

On Phoenix, Katie is still missing!

At the end of the day, Adam congratulates his team, whilst Jenna is not confident that she had led Sterling to a win.

It’s boardroom time – do the candidates always have to wear the same clothes each time? Perhaps it is a condition stipulated in their contract. I feel sorry for Maria – she chose that awful purple monstrosity, only to be forced to wear it week after week. Maybe she chose to get herself fired so she could be free of all the purple.

Adam smugly talks about how he used cheap ingredients such as his 1% pork 99%fat (or thereabouts) meatballs. Sugar looks alarmed, causing Adam to stumbles over his “quality meatballs” and he backtracks massively, and says that he used good (cheaper) ingredients that didn’t compromise quality, emphasising the quality aspect. He asks Tom to help him, and he supports what Adam said (…)

Adam then takes credit for adding “Meatballs” to the name and Jade laughs, saying that they would have added “Meatballs” to the name anyway (hmm…). Sugar points out that Utterly Delicious Meatballs is not Italian and reprimands Adam for not using Mattia’s Meatballs as the name, which sounds more expensive, and oh, Italian!

Sterling’s costs are discussed, and Ricky Martin that they spend “around £268.82”, which sounds very accurate for an approximation.

Results! Phoenix spent £90.25, made £388.29, and made a profit of £298.04. Sterling spent around £268.82, made £588.60, generating a profit of £319.78. Sterling win!

Wow, I thought through some terrible twist of fate that Phoenix would win but it turns out good quality produce and strategy does matter for something in the end. My faith is restored after the shambles of the victory of Groove Train (well, until next week probably).

Apprentice poetry of the week comes courtesy of Lord Sugar:

One thing you can’t cook,

And they are the books.

On their reward, Sterling are at a 5 star country club and are riding Segways. Nick falls off and Laura shouts at him. Nick is a dangerous fiend on a Segway, who would have imagined? Ricky Martin is scared as Jenna prepares to open the champagne bottle. Jenna asks why he is scared and he replies that she is about to open the champagne into the faces of her teammates. It doesn’t take much to scare Ricky “The Fitness” Martin, the manliest of men, the alpha male, the shark and professional wrestler, but apparently, Jenna and a champagne bottle will do the trick.

In the café, Adam is acting rather blasé about the result, stating “Ech…you win some, you lose some”, before bitching to the camera that the loss is not his fault at all, Jade and Katie are to blame, as they are marketing experts but they didn’t do well in the task. Katie blames Adam and his  bad PM skills, while Stephen blames Katie and Azhar for lack of contribution.

Sugar immediately pounces on the lack of sales and lack of quality, to which Adam protests that Utterly Delicious Meatballs is gourmet. Sugar then compares Adam’s meatballs to looking like elephant poo (touché). Katie says that Adam didn’t listen to the research from the food fair that highlighted the importance of high quality ingredients. Katie then goes on about a £6 burger (WOW) at a football ground, to which Sugar wittingly replies “in Chelsea!”

Stephen says that Adam should have used his common sense at Tynecastle Stadium and lowered prices earlier. Stephen’s next plan is to alert Adam to how he is focusing on those who contributed and not those who didn’t, pointing to “quiet as a mouse” Azhar. Stephen, you leave Azhar alone – he tried to sell meatballs to a squirrel (oh and some other stuff to do with sales and publicity). Tom blames the Grassmarket location, and says that he warned Stephen about it. Stephen says that the steam from the meatball van must be getting to Tom’s head as he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Tom answers “Stephen, why do you lie? I did tell you!”

(I think that this all deserves a big “Oh Stephen!”)

And there’s more. Stephen has another argument with Azhar about how he supposedly deflects questions. Stephen answers Azhar’s criticisms and questions, by deflecting them obviously, which helps his case – not (oh Stephen!).

Although threatening to choose Jade, Adam brings back Katie and Azhar. I have a feeling that Azhar might be fired as he didn’t contribute massively to this task and he has been quiet during the weeks so far, but he will be fondly remembered for his Groove Train video and his squirrel moment.

Adam talks up his background as a market trader and his success in running a “big operation” but Sugar is cynical – the market trader mentality (i.e. emphasis on sell, lack of emphasis on quality) might have hindered Adam’s strategy. Adam goes on to boast how he is the best salesman, best negotiator, basically best at everything before Azhar scoffs at this, and points out that Adam wasn’t the best at this task.

Adam then hits back, saying that he has 5 times more experience than Azhar has. Azhar swiftly and coolly says that Adam could have 200 times more experience – it doesn’t change the result of the task. Sugar wonders if Adam is out of his depth (yes he is!). Azhar details how Adam relied on Stephen too much (Katie agrees) and Sugar is left thinking if Adam can be a good leader.

Adam blames the loss on Katie – the football location was poor and the disappearance: she was nowhere to be seen, whereas Azhar was bringing in lots of customers (hey – you just said that Azhar didn’t contribute much. Sneaky of Adam, sensing that Azhar is running rings around him in the boardroom, he now picks on Katie to save his skin). Katie denies disappearing – she was also bringing people in, she says.

Sugar then asks why they should stay in the competition. Azhar says that he “literally does not stop working”, and he grew his successful business using his £2500 redundancy package – a good, and admirable, answer. Adam’s answer is to spout out, “I’m perfect as a business partner”, to which Sugar asks for more originality. Adam then says he has potential and wants a change to prove this. Sugar points out that Adam had a chance – as PM, and he failed. Adam says “good on you” for giving him the PM role. Not a great answer by any means. Katie says that she is brilliant and has good people skills.

Sugar says that although Azhar is quiet, he has spoken up today and makes a lot of sense. Adam is too enthusiastic, but made errors. He the blames Katie for giving Adam the wrong information. At the end, Sugar opts to give Adam another chance to assert his authority (what?!) and after 3 times in the final 3, Katie has run out of luck and is fired.

Back at the house, Tom is telling the other candidates that he had a struggle to work with Adam before Adam and Azhar return. Azhar reveals to the rest of the house that Adam was very close to being fired, before Adam chips in that Azhar got a stern warning too. Azhar says that Sugar only told him to speak up more, and Adam claims credit for saying that he said that too. Stephen tells Adam that he didn’t think he would be coming back, but hopes that they could all move on. Not likely.

I’m not a big fan of Adam – his leadership and people skills are severely lacking, he had no strong strategy or ideas, and the way that he focused purely on money making and not the quality of the product should worry Sugar if they are going to go into business together. Add that to the fact that he is extremely annoying. I accept that Sugar gave him a reprieve this week but there is zero potential in Adam, and I cannot see him lasting that much longer, unless he has a sudden brain and personality transplant. Katie has had some good ideas but has failed to make a big mark on the competition, despite her taking some prominent roles. I think this week, she made a big error in staking her reputation for selling at the football match, which played a big part in their loss. She has been given too many chances so I think it was her time go, although I would have preferred Adam or Stephen to go – no good business sense – all words and no action, and just plain annoying.

 

Next week, the teams are doing a bit of selling. Ricky Martin and Stephen are showing off their extractable and extendable super mops and there is some more Apprentice poetry to come: They want that tan as soon as they can.

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