If ever you need an example of why boardroom tactics are vital in The Apprentice, tonight we got it.
Paloma seemed like such a strong candidate, indeed just last week one of the pundits on You’re Fired was pushing her as a potential winner, this week she blew it all in the boardroom.
This weeks fashion selling task was lost on product choice pure and simple. Much like last week the two teams spotted the hot product, in this case a range of reasonably priced party dresses, and again as last week blew it on the pitch. As Paloma was leading the pitch, and then opted for a highly priced and difficult to shift second choice, some blame shifting was needed.
Her choice was the hapless and mildly irritating Alex. He made an early mistake over a choice of promotional pitch, by his own admission isn’t much of a sales person, but knows his retail theory and redeemed himself by getting a video promotion spot that brought in sales. Yes he was irritating, but he was all the more irritating because he was right.
Once the team made it to the boardroom Lord Sugar was pretty clear who he wanted to go – Alex, who owned up to his mistake early on was given an easy ride, Sugar was after Sandeesh who as well as being alongside Paloma on the fateful failed pitch, Sugar seemed to think wasn’t contributing. When Paloma then picked Sandeesh alongside Alex, citing performance on previous tasks as the reason, that seemed to further annoy Sugar – it may have been clear he wanted Sandeesh to go, but the way Paloma picked her it sounded like she was doing Lord Sugar’s job for him!
Once Paloma, chastised for not having a coherent reason for bringing in Sandeesh, then banged on about Alex, and with Sandeesh joining in, Alex’s safety was assured as he seemed clearly to be a scapegoat. Sugar was clear he thought the failure was down to product choice, not the promotional location. However even at this point she was handed one last chance. During Sugar’s summing up she asked to speak, whereas Sugar often silences candidates when they do this, he gave her one more change. She sealed her fate when given a last chance to save herself she attacked Alex again instead.
Lord Sugar quite often allows candidates to make mistakes, and use the opportunity to get rid of candidates that haven’t massively messed up, but aren’t impressing him – on that basis it looked like Sandeesh was heading out the door. A badly handled boardroom from Paloma, despite being such a strong candidate, and she was gone.