Vincent Ralph looks back at the third episode of series 10 of The Apprentice.
With the boys team winless despite the girls’ team having some of the worst candidates ever to appear on the show, Lord Sugar mixed things up for the third episode of The Apprentice.
The task was to sell smells – or more specifically scented candles and reed diffusers – and things started off well for Summit when project manager Roisin and co came up with the undeniably impressive Beach Dreams.
The hook was in awakening memories of holidays gone by, and along with a classy box and understated logo the product was one of the best seen on the show for some time. The problem was Roisin – an accountant who should have known better – appeared a little flaky on the price.
As a result James went into full-on Del Boy mood and sold the products at the market for whatever the customer was willing to pay - £15 here, £8 there and two for a tenner if you threatened to walk.
Over at team Tenacity, project manager Katie ignored the market research – which to be fair is usually asking one person their thoughts and taking it as gospel – and went for bright yellow candles including a host of foreign smells and labelling it British Breeze.
When she said they would be selling them for £35 each I had her down as a goner. People don’t really spend that much on a garish column of wax, do they?
Alas I was wrong, because candles and reed diffusers are big business and some of the figures were simply baffling to me, a man who either plumps for Airwick or those tea lights you buy in bulk at Ikea.
In the end, Summit lost the task by £14, with Roisin needing to take much of the blame for selling half her stock to a gift shop at a knockdown price when they already had a luxury hotel interested.
Lindsay was fired first, after perhaps the first moment of absolute honesty shown by any contestant in the history of the programme.
When questioned about her performance there was no waffle, no blame-redirection, she simply held her hands up and admitted she thought she would have been better than she was.
It was a heart-breaking moment and she deserves credit for admitting she was not right for the process; although questions have to be asked as to how she got into the final 20 in the first place.
The same can be said of Nurun, who has looked lost in all three tasks and was ultimately the second to be dismissed.
James produced the best moment of the episode, carrying out a series of stretches as Lord Sugar readied himself for some judgement and prompting the boss to ask, “What are you doing?”
The same could be asked of many of the candidates thus far, with few standing out as possible business partners after three weeks of action.