‘It’s like someone died, because you genuinely don’t see them again’
Don’t worry, Alice, I’m sure you will see the losing candidate again – perhaps at the end of series wrap party. There’ll be a disco and maybe some squash.
The task this week? Create a cookbook in two days. Or rather make a cookbook in one day, pitch it the next. Ok, just a sample cookbook with three recipes (and please note, as we learnt this week: a recipe is instructions, not just an ingredients list) and a concept that the teams could pitch to Sainsburys, Play.com and Waterstones. But not a long time at all.
We start off with the boys and girls talking about the difference between the sexes. AGAIN. And David talking about being dogs. AGAIN. The teams are mixed up a little though this week with lanky sidekick Steven going over to the girls in Platinum, and Maria, the Irish blonde one, going to Odyssey. Sean is made project manager for the Boys+1 as he’s an award winning publisher. His award? Young Publisher of the Year. For the girls+1, it’s previously anonymous Lucy, because she makes cup cakes and is an aspiring lawyer and whatever.
Maria’s idea for the cookbook is to pitch it to the ‘professional woman’ because that’s a market a group of 16-17 year old boys, and one 16/17 year old girl, know a lot about. It’s obviously a terrible idea as we see a lot of close ups of Karren’s perplexed face. Andrew (16, catering entrepreneur – thanks Apprentice-titles-bods), is against it from the start, and when he and David go to a focus group of ‘professionals’ they’re all against it too. Men cook! And women don’t like things that are targetted just to them. Maria pooh-poohs the focus group. Stick with your gut! she cries. We need to have a niche market! she whines. And Sean, poor dear, hair-flicking, diplomat, extremely polite and erudite Sean, simpers and agrees with Maria. Because she’s there in the car with him, badgering on about the ‘Professional Woman’ and Patrick, Andrew and David can’t get a word in edgeways. If I was in a focus group for this series of Young Apprentice I would tell them to get rid of Maria. She is far too abrasive, and not in a good way. And you should ALWAYS listen to the focus group. Apprentice 101. Unfortunately, from the start of the episode, where they show what’s going to happen in the series, I knew that Maria (and David and Andrew and Navdeep and Lucy) at least weren’t getting fired this week.
On t’other team, Steven suggests a comic strip cookbook, and Amy, pushy (sorry I know that doesn’t narrow it down at all) girl with braces, says to go for the student market. At least that’s something the group are a bit more familiar with, though they’re not quite university students yet. They decide to make it all hip and that by using a hashtag. How cool. What’s the betting that #Where’s Mummy? was trending during the episode? I’m sure team Platinum were trying. Nick pretends he’s never heard of twitter. Nice try, Hewer.
While Sean keeps the peace; Girls+1 descend into the usual cat-fights. Ashleigh, Amy and Alice are asked to get recipes, but don’t, but then are aggrieved when Lucy says ‘whatever’. Later on, the 3A subteam are trying to write up the copy for the book but are delayed because of pictures which are delayed because Lucy, Navdeep and Steven don’t have the recipes. This goes on and on, with lots of indignation, and huffing. Pity we didn’t see what happened that evening, but by the next day they all seem to be friends (until the boardroom punch ups start up again). The other problem for Platinum? They can’t spell. Courgettes, potatoes, ratatouille and of. All misspelt apparently. But, for a sample cookbook, it didn’t really matter in the end. Neither did Amy telling the Waterstones chap that they cater to an older, middle-class audience. If not Maria, I wanted Amy to get the chop, but it was always going to be the ‘Professional Woman’ cookbook that would lose, even if Maria and Andrew gave great pitches together.
So yes, Patrick gave a dire pitch to Waterstones and they didn’t make any orders of ‘Professional Woman’, but then neither did Sainsburys. Only Play.com ordered 800, but the #Where’s Mummy? cookbook got 1000 orders from Waterstones, 1500 from Play and 5000 from Sainsburys. Sean decided to bring David and Maria back into the boardroom. Maria for obvious reasons, David because he was a bit quiet. Or rather because Maria asked David in the boardroom whether he was a quiet mouse and badgered on about him being in the background too much. Sean should have brought Patrick back in instead of David, but LordAlan probably would have fired the PM anyway in this task. Maria is given another chance because she has a ‘fiery character’ and that says it all about the rationale for keeping candidates in. Anyway, maybe she’ll take LordAlan’s heeding and fake-out in the firing, to calm down a bit and go on a ‘journey’. And Sean can always go back to his award-winning publishing. Who needs the Apprentice when you’re a budding entrepreneur at 16 and have great hair anyway?
Next week: The Buying Task!