Vincent Ralph looks back on the first episode of the new series of BBC One's The Apprentice.
The Apprentice is back for its tenth series and it looks like being as wonderfully frustrating as ever.
It started with the usual ridiculous statements about everyone being better than everyone else, making the candidates look so up themselves that either they haven’t watched previous series or they really are that arrogant…or they are told to say those things because it makes good telly!
And then it was over to the boardroom, where Sir Alan Sugar had a little surprise up his sleeve, calling “the other candidates” into the room – much to the surprise of the 16 already there – to make it a nice round 20.
This made things particularly confusing for me, considering it takes me a few episodes to stop calling them “the blonde one” or “the bald one” and actually refer to them by name.
Still, it wasn’t long before Sarah and Felipe put themselves forward as project managers – two names down, 18 to go – with the former making an early bid to set feminism back a few decades by asking her team to wear short skirts, hike up the longer ones and “bring makeup”.
The girls then plumped for the baffling team name Decadence, with the person suggesting it later admitting she “wasn’t sure of the definition”; surely grounds to be fired then and there.
The boys had gone for the name Summit, which I quite liked even if everyone else put on a Cockney accent and turned it into a joke.
The task was to sell stuff…lots of different stuff…and they were both pretty bad at it.
Sarah had the idea to cut up the lemons and sell individual slices, seemingly expecting there to be plenty of mid-morning drinkers wandering the streets of London with beverages in need of a little extra decoration.
The boys went big on selling hotdogs, spending the vital lunch-rush buying hummus and subsequently trying to feed people who had probably already been fed.
The girls sold coffee...or more specifically they argued in front of people who were queuing for coffee.
And both teams missed a trick, printing t-shirts they had no time to offload – the girls selling their #London designs back to the person who had printed them for £60 (including coat hangers) and the boys just scrapping the idea altogether and selling potatoes instead.
It was this decision which ultimately cost Summit the task, the girls winning despite having arguably the worst project manager in the show’s 10-year history.
Sir Alan told Decadence to change their name before sending them off to the London Eye. The boys sat in that worryingly empty café which appears to encourage self-service. And then everyone blamed Steven, who had spent the entire episode shouting at people but had at least tried to focus on the t-shirts.
Steven was not to blame for the failure of the task, and Felipe quickly realised how much Sir Alan hates the wrong people being brought back into the boardroom, plumping for Chiles (who had opted to ignore the t-shirts) and Robert (who really wanted that hummus).
Chiles ultimately got the boot, and so began another glorious 12 weeks, with Daniel – who didn’t really do anything worth mentioning in the first task – winning the award for most ridiculous quote of the week:
“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” he said, “but there are five in ‘Individual Brilliance’.”
There is one in ‘You’re Fired’, too, and 18 more people have to hear that phrase before a winner is crowned. Here’s hoping I have learnt all their names by then.