The Apprentice: Home Fragrance

“It is a frail memory that remembers but present things.”

Ben Jonson

We’ve now reached the third episode of the tenth series of The Apprentice, and this week Teams Summit and Tenacity must each create a scented candle and room diffuser for sale in the markets and hotels of London. Says the Almighty Lord Sugar, “Profit margins: that’s what it’s all about.” I half expected him to start doing the Hokey Cokey.

The respective PMs this week are Obsessed-with-the-Smell-of-her-Home Katie for Tenacity and Roisin the Other PM for Summit. As you can probably tell from this piece of information, the teams have been mixed up somewhat: Desperate Daniel, Felipe Who? and Abrasive Stephen are promoted to Tenacity, while Other PM Roisin, The One Called Bianca, Lindsay and Nurun of the Scarves are effectively demoted to the underperforming Summit. And all hell breaks loose again, as Desperate Daniel messes up another pitch (seriously, why do they keep letting him do that?), Sarah the Feminist wanders around complaining that her team’s candles are too pricey to sell (no-one else is struggling, though) and Karen is forced to have A Word with Mouthy James about sales ethics.

Apprentice Quote of the Week goes to Obsessed-with-the-Smell-of-her-Home Katie for this, which strikes me as pretty much The Apprentice in a nutshell:

It might not be the best quality wax, but we can make it look good.

And who said capitalism was a bad thing?

Where it really got interesting, though, is in the boardroom. Lindsay, on being questioned as to her poor selling record – she sold one candle throughout the entire task – replied simply this:

I know I didn’t do very well.

And there was a long, long silence. Because nobody ever says this in the Apprentice boardroom. Nobody ever says, “I screwed up”, or “I’m not very good at that”. They’ll argue and they’ll fight and they’ll split hairs until the cows come home, but nobody admits that maybe they’ve just done a bad job.

Of course, ALS, still using his Slap Bet privileges, sent Lindsay straight home after this announcement on her part; which is a pity, because Lindsay seemed the nicest and most honest person there (which is probably why she wasn’t terribly good at it). “The process”, as ALS rather ominously terms it, grinds out the honesty and the niceness to leave only the arrogance and the mouthiness (Mouthy James, for instance, survived the boardroom, although I rather liked the fact that he talked back to ALS, who is not, after all, a god).

But, on the bright side, it means we can be mean to all the people who are left. So let’s not be too sad. Everyone knows that The Apprentice isn’t real life, anyway. Thank the gods.

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