The task on The Apprentice this week was to create a non-alcoholic drink to impress the corporate buyers.
The project managers were Sophie Wilding, who’s a big crystals fan, and last week’s Boardroom escapee Nick Showering, who Lord Sugar insisted took the PM role.
Presumably Nick couldn’t believe his luck. His Apprentice bio says that he is hoping to make a name for himself in the drinks industry with his line of flavoured water.
No wonder he was confident and controlling with this week’s task. He had a vision that told him a non-alcoholic vodka tonic was needed in the world, and Vodify was born, effectively a lime cordial that made Harpreet’s throat claggy and whose only compelling selling point was that it wouldn’t give you a hangover.
Nick, a qualified accountant, prides himself on his numbers acumen. Last week, his magical thinking turned a rejection by 80% of his focus group into a 50% commitment to buy.
His numerical wisdom this week was that the formula for success was 30% product, 30% brand, 30% sales, which similarly doesn’t add up. Perhaps he is reserving the missing 10% for re-sitting his maths GCSE.
Meanwhile, project manager Sophie promised her audience of buyers that her product would take them to paradise.
Perhaps she had gone there for an earlier recce as she seemed curiously absent even when present. Her leadership was okay, the project teams for the most part did their best and the branding was alright.
However, the product was terrible: a peppery, peachy, mixed-spice beer substitute combo even worse than her rivals. To be fair none of them are mixologists and Apprentice candidates are hardly recruited for their sense of taste.
Sophie seemed functional but a bit faint-hearted throughout the whole process including when defending herself in the Boardroom.
When Lord Sugar asked her which of her colleagues should go, giving her the chance to deal her killer blow, she instead fell silent for what seemed like an age.
Sophie will need to put her inner doubts aside, and channel her chakras for resilience and energy if she wants to stay in this competition.
Two candidates left the competition this week. Firstly Shama, who was forced to withdraw for health reasons, which was a shame as it would have been great to have seen more of her.
Then Navid, whose softly spoken manner meant that he struggled to be heard. He also seemed strangely incompetent with drinks measurements and syringes, which is a bit worrying given that he is a pharmacist.
While we enjoyed him describing Harpreet as a “silly girl – who did shit all” he’ll be remembered for his gentleness, and let’s hope that never changes.
The search continues.
Corinne Mills is a career coach with Personal Career Management and author of best-selling books on CVs and career change.
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