10. ‘Manly Moist’
The boys really kick-started the series with ‘Western Shampoo’ – a product Lord Sugar praised highly in the boardroom. But the original suggestion of ‘Manly Moist’ slipped under the radar. For some unknown reason, the lads seemed to think it was a bit gross. I propose this question to project manager Richard Woods: Does anyone remember the name of your crisp brand? No. Manly Moist? Now that won’t leave your mind. Ever. The only suggestion better than this one was first-to-go Dan Callaghan’s team name of ‘The Sugarbabes’.
9. ‘Can I speak to David please?’
Charleine Wain decided to manage the notorious Richard with the bizarre technique of appointing him sub-team manager and then refusing to speak to him on the phone. Instead, she insisted that David Stevenson repeat everything Richard wanted to say into the phone like some sort of English-to-English translator. Perhaps David was translating Richard’s bullshit into coherent truth, but it certainly wasted a lot of time and was one of the strangest management techniques ever practiced on the show.
Oh, the week of £1.87. If Lord Sugar had sent the six candidates to beg on the street they would have made him more money. In fact, if Lord Sugar had sent six donkeys to walk down the street with gum on their hooves they would have made him more money. April Jackson’s plan for £9 salads was so poorly constructed it was an atrocity that she wasn’t fired for her decisions as project manager. I half expected Lord Sugar to announce he’d actually set April a Big Brother-style secret task to sabotage her team. But no, it took until week six for Sugar to come to his senses.
7. Shitty Snacks
A milestone in The Apprentice: the two products were so incredibly bad that, for the first time ever, neither team sold a single unit. £1.87 began to look like a decent total. As a consequence, both the teams were sent to the crap cafe and brought back to the boardroom. Lord Sugar missed a trick though, by not forcing them to eat their own horrible, oily crisps as punishment.
6. The Two Worst Kid’s Birthday Parties… EVER
When you think of the best parties you had as a child, what springs to mind? Walking around the world’s most boring assault course? Trying to break through a wall of marshmallow to get at the planet’s most vile-looking cake? Watching your mum sitting on a bench, staring at your party longingly like an ex-girlfriend with a restraining order? NO. That’s why it was so hard to believe either team actually got paid for their services. The episode was dominated, however, by Gary Poulton and his bizarrely ambiguous statements to a client with a severe nut allergy about the chocolate spread that was Nutella and may contain nuts but did not contain nuts and actually wasn’t Nutella. Don’t worry, we were all confused.
5. Selina’s Resting Bitch Face
No one has ever seen a contestant, or even a human being, as perpetually miserable and dissatisfied as Selina Waterman-Smith. When she wasn’t sulking around the cat-scratching posts and ‘not’ insinuating very heavily that Charleine Wain was less ‘polished’ than her, Selina was making some weird statements. Such as when she declared there would be ‘no more Miss Nice Girl’ after taking a sledgehammer to some people in the boardroom and stating that she didn’t like children… before leading a children’s party task.
4. Scott Quits
Scott Saunders was actually a credible candidate at the start of the process and it seemed he would go far. Yet something changed in week seven and Scott began to crumble before our very eyes, until week nine when he completely gave up and quit before Lord Sugar could fire him. Thankfully, this was not before Scott came up with some incredible self-sabotage tactics – such as chatting absolute shite. This was particularly evident in the week nine property-selling task. Scott came out with some classic lines such as ‘Obviously, these are walls’, ‘This is the dining room’ (about a lounge-looking room with a sofa in it) and, my personal favourite, ‘The sun will come through [the window] in the day and the night’.
3. Linda Ruins Richard
After his initial ‘Western Shampoo’ victory and another eight wins in the process, it seemed nothing would shake Richard’s adoration for himself. Whether it was his notorious way of ironing his tie whilst chanting ‘Winning’, or striding out of a terrible interview to declare it had been an ‘11 out of 10’ success, Richard was the classic example of a candidate who would never lose his unfailing belief in Richard. Or would he? Welcome to this series’ new edition, Linda Plant.
Whatever tactics Linda used – which seemed to consist mainly of repeating the word ‘bullshit’ – she cracked Richard and blew his ‘business cloud mountain’ to smithereens. Richard not only agreed with Linda, but realised he wasn’t actually the ‘Swiss Army knife of business skills’ he’d always assumed he was, claiming he ‘wouldn’t blame Lord Sugar for not investing’ in his business plan. It’s never nice to watch someone collapse, but there is something strangely satisfying about watching a man like Richard, in a business suit, hugging his knees on a sofa, moaning ‘I want my mum’.
There is really no singular, best moment of Mergim Butaja. He kicked off the series with his shampoo idea, where he gave us an insight into his sexual fantasies: “My idea is that… Sexiness. A gentlemen with quite similar hair to mine, and slow-motion women. Just looking. At his face.”
Shortly afterwards, Mergim was proving he wasn’t just an ideas man, but an opportunist, when he attempted to sell fish to a vegan restaurant, claiming it was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’. Mergim continued to be impressively useless – even after he’d been fired and starred in winner Joseph Valente’s advert. In a video that participant Elle Stevenson correctly described as ‘a 1970s porno’, Mergim delivered his lines like a short-circuiting robot: “Neither. Is. The. Bath.” We may laugh at Mergim, but he was certainly lovable and a stand-out character of the series. Plus, he did manage to ‘screw a nail’. And he was right: no-one ever offered the vegan restaurant fish again.
1. Joseph’s Transformation
In the interviews week, a new candidate joined the process… oh, sorry, that was Joseph without his moustache. Even Claude Littner asked ‘Are you really Joseph?’, to which this new guy replied: “The new and improved Joseph. I’m ready for business.”
With the loss of facial hair, New Joseph seemed to burst onto the scene from nowhere, like 2006 Take That. Joseph had blossomed from a boy into a man – it was like watching The Princess Diaries (2001) all over again. His fan-girling over Lord Sugar and tear-jerking speech in the boardroom convinced most that he was the right partner for the business magnate – they would certainly be a match on DatePlay.
Charleine nearly starting a teenage pregnancy influx by claiming her ingredient was a great contraceptive instead of an aphrodisiac.
The woman who said ‘My husband is going to kill me’ as if she was buying a pricey pair of shoes, when she was actually purchasing a flat.
When Gary jokingly insinuated to an estate agent that he was going to take a dump in the show home toilet.
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