The eight series of The Apprentice kicked off tonight on BBC 1 with an unexpected result.
Lord Sugar must have had the easiest decision to make in deciding who should be fired after tonight’s tasks thanks to Bilyana not knowing when to shut up.
Lord Sugar tasked the 16 candidates with the simple task to Buy blank stock such as T-shirts, mouse mats and mugs, create and print designs on them, then sell them to the public.
The teams were a simple split of boys verses girls, and the teams were sent out on their first task to make a profit on £500 of startup cash.
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar was interested to hear that none of the boys were willing to put themselves forward for the Project Manager role on Phoenix and was impressed with Nick for stepping forward.
However he was less impressed with the boys’ designs stating, “you can have the greatest margin in the world but in the end if the punter doesn’t want to buy your product its meaningless isn’t it?”
Turning to the girls, Lord Sugar was bewildered at Jenna’s explanation of the origin of the team name Sterling, “I actually dreamt it the night before, my friend gave it to me in a dream.” The girls’ designs went down well however Gabrielle Omar’s management style is questioned by Jane who explains that she had taken charge of the finances after nobody else did, “it just needed to be done.”
After the initial discussions, it was time to reveal the numbers:
Sterling had total sales of £690.60 with a total spend of £475.80 so a total profit of £214.80
Phoenix had total sales of £1015.60 with a total spend of £399.40 so a total profit of £616.20
Phoenix were treated to an art inspired reception with canapés and cocktails at the house whilst the girls were left to battle it out in the boardroom.
After Lord Sugar started to question the girls’ trip to London Zoo that resulted in few sales, Nick Hewer informs him of their behaviour to the retailer, “the shopkeeper was so affronted by their sales approach that she wouldn’t buy anything, she couldn’t stand being cornered by a pack of baying hyenas.”
Attention was then drawn to Katie Wright, with questions asked about her involvement in the task and Nick Hewer commenting, “I thought you were missing really.”
Gabrielle decided to bring Bilyana and Katie back into the boardroom while the other girls went back to the house and explained her reasons, “Katie because maybe you did pull your weight but I myself did not see that and I’m just going on what everyone else has told me, and Bilyana for making everyone waste a lot of time.”
Lord Sugar then delivered his final verdict:
He told the lady’s: “Gabrielle – you did work hard and you showed a lot of passion but there’s been lots of talk from the other people about the lack of direction and this task was deliberately designed to be simple, it’s not rocket science.
“Katie – people have been in this boardroom many times telling me ‘I don’t want to override that one”’ and sometimes those people’s actions cost them dearly.
“Bilyana – you have clearly got the capability of doing something but you have not given anybody any credit for doing anything.”
He went on: “It is a difficult decision to make in this first task so the person leaving today may feel that they haven’t had enough time to show themselves but that’s tough, that’s what this process is about. I did say in my introduction that I didn’t want anybody to hide and on that basis…”
But before Lord Sugar was able to reveal his decision, Bilyana interjected again, much to his annoyance, seemingly talking herself into getting fired.
“You don’t do yourself any favours, Bilyana – You’re Fired,” he said.
As she was driven away in a black taxi, Bilyana Apostolova reflects: “I feel the decision wasn’t fair and I don’t think that my performance cost us the task. But my business plan is excellent so I’ll just move on straight away.”
The Apprentice 2012 Candidates: