If only someone had made a celebratory banner…
When Stephen Brady laid it all out on the boardroom table last week promising a win if he was project manager, everyone knew this week would be his downfall. The prospect of watching this most evil candidate crumble under pressure and squirm under Sugar’s gaze was as good a reason to keep watching as the series has ever come up with.
This week’s task was to act as agents for a poncy discounts website offering cut-price luxury deals. The deals they brokered would then be mulled over by their website superiors and the chosen deals would go up for one day only. The team who make the most from sales wins.
Stephen took the reins of Team Sterling, as promised, with Jade offering herself up on the other side. The former decided to go for multiple deals with each business they met; the latter plucked the standard “quality over quantity” clichéd tactic.
Sterling shot out the gates with Ricky sent out on his own as Stephen kept Gabrielle “on a leash” (his awful words, not mine). This figurative leash was because Stephen thought that the task was beyond her, which we’re not going to say was sexist but it was certainly condescending (keep that in mind for later).
Their first deal was a successful one, getting £100 off a tooth-whitening session at a fancy dentist. While this was going on Ricky was being sent on a lengthy journey to a posh restaurant which offered him a very lengthy guided tour, some scallops and absolutely no discounts. A wasted journey.
Elsewhere in London, Jade and Nick chipped away at an initially sceptical spa until they offered up a deal, which was more than could be said for the dynamic duo of Adam and Tom. Turning into the show’s comedy double act, the pair seem to have given up on winning the show and just want to hang out with each other. Bros 4 life and all that.
Tom seemed to give up after he lost the art task two weeks ago in such dramatic style, as for Adam, I’m not entirely sure he knows why he’s there. He’s having fun though, bless him.
Together they gallivanted around town enjoying their bromance as best they could as the clock ticked down. When a luxury hotel wouldn’t discount any more than 35%, Adam fought tooth and nail for a free tea or coffee on top of it. Well, it’s the thought that counts.
Having escaped the restaurant that offered nothing but scallops, Ricky was told to venture even further away to win over a well-known country retreat. Understandably Ricky didn’t want to go on another even lengthier journey when the reward could once again be nothing so he let it be known that he wanted to stay closer to the city.
Stephen, admitting that the pressure was getting to him, first turned him down and then later reversed his decision, leaving Ricky in the city and able to seal more deals at fancy restaurants, each of which offered him yet more scallops - the lucky swine.
Stephen and Gabrielle were getting nowhere and their desperation manifested itself in a trip to a not-exactly high-end spa offering a fish pedicure. Stephen, who was totally foreign to the concept, eventually sampled the fishy delights and they made a deal but allowing fish to eat your feet is not exactly luxury and wouldn't sit well with the website.
At this point it was clear that any victory would be down to Ricky’s wining, dining and scallop-sampling.
Jade and Nick went to St Pancras late in the day for a last ditch effort which almost came entirely undone thanks to the difficulty with maths that has loomed over the candidates for the entire series. Difficulty is an understatement however; Nick (the show front-runner) and Jade should have been left dead in the water by the restaurateur opposite them.
Luckily (or unluckily) for them he was the sort to try and teach them a thing or two, both demolishing them and telling them where they went wrong. He eventually gave them what they came for and the pair knew they were lucky to get away with anything.
With that the website bosses made their decision, the products went on sale and Stephen enjoyed a sleepless night - presumably.
After a quick debriefing and run-down of what happened, Jade’s team were revealed as the winners by a huge £8,000+ margin, leaving Stephen in the dust and Adam and Tom very relieved.
In the boardroom Lord Sugar spread the blame, giving each of the losing side a lambasting for their performance and making each seem a contender for firing. Ricky got the brunt of the blame for not wanting to make the potentially task-winning trip to the country club and Gabrielle was told she hadn’t done enough.
It was Stephen though that was at blame most of all and despite some editing to make us think otherwise, however briefly, it was inevitable that he would be chopped. Lord Sugar swung the axe over his head and apparently brought it down, but – in a shock move - it was Gabrielle who got fired.
Before this however there was a very condescending air in the boardroom as Stephen and His Sugarness laid into Gabby with their very worst. Sugar was a "nice girl" away from patting her on the head and Stephen was thrilled to see some passion from her before Ricky saved the day and shut him up.
Ricky is our favourite.
But wait! It was a double firing remember? As inevitable as it was, Sugar turning his attention to Stephen and firing him was the highlight of the show. He then turned to a lone Ricky and it seemed that a triple firing may be on the cards but Sugar wimped out. Poor form.
Quote of the Week: “I can work it out if it’s round numbers.” – Jade
Next week: Ricky says, “It’s too fruity” and some other things happen.
This week's Apprentice rated out of a possible five runaway squirrels!