Apprentice 2012: Week two verdict - A Million Units!

After an opening episode that fell a little flat, 'The Apprentice' came back this week with a great hour of entertainment. Shouting idiots, fighting idiots, idiots who can’t do the maths, this show had everything an 'Apprentice' fan would want.

There was even a glimmer of genuine good business-thinking in there somewhere.

Our Sugary overlord punted the contestants' smartly dressed arses into task number two - to invent a product and sell it to potential buyers as though they were a small-fry business just starting out. NOT as though they're a delusional ego maniac - but we'll get to that later.

Team Phoenix, or Team GuysGuysGuysGuysGuysGuysGuys as I prefer to call them, decided that they would make a food waste compactor that looks like a time capsule. The brainchild of Duane Bryan, it seemed an idea that could do well despite a nagging feeling that it might actually be quite useless.

Team Sterling (a name we hope is a nod to ‘Mad Men’ character Roger Sterling, but we know probably isn’t) decided to dilly dally for a while, unable to come up with any ideas. Lord Sugar’s right-hand lady Karen Brady then pulled a face.  Eventually Laura decided to tell the room that she is in fact the world’s most boring parent, declaring how annoying she finds it when her child splashes her at bath time.

Desperate for something to go on, the team decided to run with the idea of a splash shield, eventually adding some more fun elements to what would have otherwise simply been a sheet of plastic. To the deluded contestants we’re sure the idea held some weight, but when the prototype arrived it was clear they were in trouble. In practice it looks like a safety screen used when people handle radioactive material, something many non-parents could liken to a baby but that’s not the point.

Project manager Azhar took the boys and split them into two groups for the focus testing. On the smaller team Adam invented another product - washing up gloves made of sponge material with scouring pads over the knuckles and fingertips. When Azhar vetoed the idea, the small team didn’t react too well, saying that they didn’t feel important to the group.

It could have split the team but the boys rallied together for the sales pitches and came through those petty well. Meanwhile project manager for the girls’ team Calamity Jane McEvoy was pitching to Amazon. She sold the dubious product rather well until she decided to say, “If you were to buy, say, a million units...”. Looks were shot from the Amazon people and, channelling her inner Nick Hewer, Karen Brady pulled another face.

This is not the face of someone who wants to buy your sheet of plastic

There was more! Following the ambitious sales gambit Jenna decided to inadvertently rub salt in her own team’s wound by completely messing up the finances, confirming this year’s group of ‘Apprentice’ girls as the worst in the show’s history. Not that we’re ones to judge or anything.

In the boardroom the boys savaged their project manager, while the girls defended Jane. Perhaps the boys were unsure of their chances while the girl’s seemed pretty confident about theirs, little did they know that their attitudes would be better suited the other way around. Team Phoenix walked the task as the girls failed to sell many of their sheets of plastic.

After a fair amount of general loudness, Jane decided to bring back ‘maths genius’ Jenna and Maria to the final boardroom meeting. Sugar was already not a fan of the baby shield saying as soon as he laid eyes on it, “This is a toy!” To which Jane could only muster the timid reply, “....err it’s... a portable... product...” Good one!

Sugar laid into the trio, laying the blame at Jenna’s feet for her financial faff, at Jane’s for a poor project manager performance and at Maria’s for generally being useless. The latter’s enormous gob didn’t help matters either as, much like Bilyana last week, she dug her own grave.

Even if she was the most active person in the group, we don’t think Maria would have survived the chop having fallen asleep in the back of the limo during the task. Which even with my lack of business savvy I know is not a great idea.

Maria asleep in the back of the car after realising her only hope of winning the show was in her dreams

Quote of the Week: “If you were to buy, say, a million units...”

Next week: The teams try to come up with the new ketchup, a contestant is seemingly violently sick and yes, Nick Hewer pulls a face.