The Apprentice: Lesson ten - wheeling and dealing

By: Rachel Miller

Date: 28 May 2012

BBC Apprentice - Mapping out the deals{{}}The last few candidates have to do some high-end wheeling and dealing on this week’s The Apprentice. They will be working for an up-market daily deals website, sourcing big discounts on luxury experiences.

Last week, Stephen stuck his neck firmly on the line — he offered to be the next project leader and promised a win. Famous last words are always the order of the day on the Apprentice. Will he live to regret them?

The teams are reorganised once again and look like this:

Team Sterling: Stephen, Ricky and Gabrielle.

Team Pheonix: Tom, Nick and Adam with Jade in charge.

Jade starts strongly by doing a great deal with the luxury spa Sanctuary. But she flounders when she meets the celebrated chef Marcus Wareing in his new restaurant at St Pancras Hotel. Jade is woefully ill-prepared and is like a rabbit in headlights when it comes to discussing the numbers.

I’m sure that Marcus Wareing, once Gordon Ramsay’s right-hand man, doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Amazingly, he gives Jade and Nick five minutes to sort themselves out and ends up shaking hands on a deal.

Meanwhile, Stephen is being his usual passive aggressive self, explaining that he wants to keep Gabrielle on a “short leash” and sending Ricky off on his own to impress some of London’s top restaurants.

Ricky has his work cut out for him — not all of the restaurants are willing to do deals. But everywhere he goes he is rewarded with a tour of the kitchen and a sample dish. As he is offered his third plate of scallops, he looks like the cat that got the cream. Way to go Ricky Martin. Talk about livin’ la vida loca.

While Ricky lives the high life, Stephen and Gabrielle are scrabbling around for deals in the far less salubrious world of fish pedicures, teeth whitening and virtual golf. They seem to have forgotten that they are representing a very discerning daily deals website and have completely lost sight of the fact that not every deal they make is going to be featured.

All is revealed in the boardroom. Out of nine deals, team Sterling gets three accepted (a dinner deal, a lunch deal and a golf deal). And team Pheonix only gets two deals accepted out of six — the spa offer and a lunch deal.

The star performer is the Sanctuary spa offer — it brings in £8,613 for team Pheonix, giving them a total income of £14,563. Team Sterling only manages a total of £6,440.

So Stephen is back in the boardroom and — despite what we were promised — there’s no instant dismissal for him. Lord Sugar says he will be fair and see who is responsible for the failure. Ricky holds his hands up and admits his own errors. But it is Stephen and Gabrielle — the “headless chickens” — that Lord Sugar has in his sights.

Gabrielle has to be prodded to stick up for herself. When she does, Stephen congratulates her. “This is the most passionate I’ve seen you.” It is odious. And so it seems terribly unfair when Lord Sugar points his finger at Gabrielle. Or at least it does until he then fires Stephen as well.

Justice is done. Only five remain. Who will win? In this series, it’s anybody’s guess — and sadly that just goes to show that none of the candidates are standing out for the right reasons.

Next week: There’s a special show about the final five on Tuesday night.

Find out more about the candidates on the BBC Apprentice website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice

Highly recommended: Matt Edmondson’s hilarious Funny Bits video review on the Apprentice website.