There seems to be a pattern developing in the Apprentice with two teams competing to lose â€“ much the same as usual some would say. There is a criticism often levelled at the show that it is not a realistic representation of the real business environment. Certainly on paper, the owner of a successful sandwich business such as Rocky, who earns more money that is on offer from the show, should have no trouble with a task that involves selling sandwiches. But then in reality he wouldnâ€™t move into a new market at the other end of the country in two days, with no real research, and an unskilled and untrained staff.
Having said that, you can play the game, which is what the winning girls team did. Last week they lost on costs, this week they went cheap, really cheap, and although they won marks on the quality of their delivery, they lost on the quality of the food. In real life they wouldnâ€™t get repeat business, but for a one off they made a 200% profit and walked away with it, despite clients ending up with chicken wraps with no chicken, others finding hairs in their salad, and generally being unhappy with the quality.
Ultimately though, the boys deserved to lose. Rocky was really out of his depth, as with a lot of previous candidates, trying to manage a group of competing big personalities. When faced with enthusiastic support for a theme with costumes, he didnâ€™t go with his gut feel to simplify the whole thing. He went with the cost recommendations of colleagues, and then when his budget was slashed thanks to Phil who managed to negotiate the sale of a Â£60 a head menu at Â£15 a head up against the massive cost cutting from the girls the task was lost.
The final nail in the coffin was his boardroom tactics, where he brought back in the wrong people. Whilst James did a pretty good job at talking himself out of a job, Phil who messed up the negotiations and was playing the criticise and moan about everything tactic was let off, as well as Noorul who was pulled up by Nick over his lack of contribution.
As to whether there are any potential winners amongst those who are left, itâ€™s probably a bit to early to tell, and Iâ€™m still very much at the stage of those I donâ€™t like. I still think that Phil has to go, and although she didnâ€™t feature much this week, from the trailer for next week it looks like weâ€™re going to get to see some more of Debra in action too.