The Apprentice 11.03. Negotiating Week

The Negotiating Episode, one of Lord Sugar's favourites and arguably a series highlight too. Again this was boys versus girls but with a twist; half of each team was sent to Calais with the other half remaining on the Kent coast. Nine items on the list and fines for those not sourced, let the bargaining begin.

For the girls, Vana put herself for PM due to her street smarts and ability to speak French. She then delegated items across locations which seemed a bit limited, surely bargains would be spotted and communication would be key but already logistical issues were apparent. Joseph took the PM spot for the boys and instantly pulled out a ridiculous quote, "negotiation is selling but flipped the other way round", which is unlikely to ever appear again in print. Soon enough he was worried; of Richard's undermining and the girls' good looks charming French men. Yes, even someone as cocky as Joseph gets worried.

Only one man connected with Team Versatile could speak fluent French, alas Claude was not likely to offer the boys any linguistic help. "Parlez-vous Anglais?" *phone disconnects* Even local custom was proving troublesome as they waited outside an antiques dealer at lunch. The girls were certainly able to charm a bargain; €45 for 7 champagne flutes with a few "je t'aimes" thrown in. Then the cattiness came in as Selina schemed her way around Vana while the American teamed with Natalie. If anyone was having fun it was the fromager, he offered €15 for a 'whole' piece of Maroiulles cheese to the boys only to haggled down to €14.50 by Richard (the retail price was €14.80). Much to April's dismay the girls misread the instructions and settled for a 1/4 piece assuming the cheese was made with 'whole' milk. Oops.

Opportunism was evident as Brett and Ruth managed to source free manure from farmers. Gary bought an inflatable toy boat for just £10 while Elle eventually went against her gut feeling and after four trips finally bought hers for £250, well, Vana definitely wanted it. Others were having trouble buying anything; Jenny offered to look for the Louis Philippe mirror as her father is an antiques dealer. Even if she was the best negotiator a fishmongers will probably offer a better deal than a restaurant, even then she failed to get past the waitress.

When the girls did manage to negotiate they actually did quite well. Charleine got the anchor for £12.50 compared to Scott's £20, the boys paid €180 for Leavers Lace while the girls only paid €70. The boys spent £409.21 while the girls only spent £398.44 but failed to get the mussels and the mirror while they bought the wrong cheese so adding in fines brought it to £725.90. Quite the loss. As ever, the bitchiness led into the boardroom and out into the café with Charleine labelling Selina as a 'moral vacuum'. Both escaped but after Jenny failed to live up to the hype she was fired for being a dead weight, if only she had found the manure.

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