The Apprentice 2014: Episode One

The Apprentice is back for a tenth series and to mark the occasion there was a twist. Instead of enduring merely 16 candidates there would be 20 just to round it off and make the firing a little more fun.

Within a few minutes of intros you had to wonder where Lord Sugar had discovered his latest batch of irksome candidates. Sure, in their expensively tailored suits and awe-inspiringly ridiculous haircuts they looked the part, then they opened their mouths. “I’m a cross between Gandhi and the Wolf of Wall Street” said Scott. "There's no 'i' in team but there's five in individual brilliance" said Daniel. "It's not going to be just a potato, it's gonna be an experience" said Steven. Someone should really put these statements onto t-shirts.

The task itself was simple enough; sell, sell, sell, yet strategy was to scupper both teams. The girls had Sarah as their leader, a woman who strenuously believes that there are people out in the real world who will buy chopped up pieces of lemon from girls in short skirts. Felipe was in charge of the boys and had the self-aggrandising habit of talking about himself in the third person.

Aside from potatoes, lemons and cleaning products were two 'killer items' - sausages and t-shirts. Not that either team were treating it like that; the girls had forgotten to bring the cash with them to even buy the t-shirts. Meanwhile, the boys spent so much time faffing in an organic supermarket that they missed the start of the lunch hour to sell their sanctimonious Shoreditch sausages.

Soon enough these mistakes made way for personality clashes as Steven managed to disrupt proceedings in his own 'it's not my fault so if I'm loud enough I'll make that clear enough' fashion. While the obnoxious Canadian accent set him apart, it was the way he managed to dress every statement in just enough smarm without realising how awful it sounded that really grated. Inaction spoke louder than words for Sarah as she managed to ensure her hands remained clean when she refused to help serve coffee, instead she appeared to dole out cash like a mother to her nine neglected children. When she finally had to prove her sales patter to offload a collection of cleaning products to a zoo she failed while the others choked with embarrassment.

What it eventually came down to was not how effective each team was at selling, rather how much remained unsold. There was only around £50 difference between the teams and the t-shirts were singled out. The girls managed to sell theirs back to the retailer for £60, whereas the boys failed to pick them up and sell them at all. For that, the boys failed and the many fingers of blame were pointed.

For all the apparent disruption caused, Steven was ganged up on for which Sugar seemed to be sympathetic. Decisions and not disruption caused the failure and for opting for ludicrous hot dog toppings Robert was brought back in along with Chiles for failing to sell the t-shirts. The only surprise was that Sugar decided to dispense with just one candidate, Chiles.

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