Melissa, Melissa, can't shut up her kisser, the others rightly
diss her, but you'd be gutted to miss her - in last night's episode
if for some reason you happened not to see The Apprentice.
(If that's the case, what on earth were you doing? Lord Sugar makes
Wednesday nights worth staying in for).
Yes, the Melissa show last night was entertainment to such a
high standard that it has indeed moved us to poetical works.
Getting creative with language - that's what Mel was all about.
Before we get onto the business antics of last night's Apprentice,
let us first indulge in a few choice Melissa-isms - seeing as we
ain't going to be getting any more of them this series.
in, "you can lie down or sit up to find comfortability". We kind of
get it, but - really?
in, "let's get everybody happy on sectionality of the pitch."
Thought for the day: is 'sectionality' linguistic shorthand for
'the quality and feel of the slides we are using to split the
presentation into sections'? If so, we quite like it and feel it
should be instated into common business parlance. Please
Conversate: as in
"I find it very difficult to conversate with her." Ahem. The irony
of your inability to conversate is not lost on us, dear Mel.
manoeuvre, half movement. It's a word mashup. Simples.
in, what Mel lacks.
retributed: as in, because the universe speaks louder than
Mel and will come to her rescue against Stuart and Jamie, who are,
in her own words upon leaving the boardroom (in a manner distinctly
stained by un-professionality): "horrible people - thanks for
ganging up on me guys."
Ah, and so the definition of 'karmacally retributed' brings us
neatly to the real core of Melissa's firing. Mel was, very simply,
the most unprofessional specimen we've ever seen pass through Lord
Sugar's boardroom door. (So many examples to pick from, so little
time: throwing a strop at not being allowed to be project manager
for a second week; ignoring all buyer feedback in pitches and
jabbering on desperately even when the buyer had clearly said no;
suggesting to Debenham's it opened a gardening section to
accommodate the dodgy gardening fork and showerhead she was trying
to shift; point blank refusing to listen to anything that remotely
resembled constructive criticism from any of her team-mates.)
Throw in a good heap of general annoyingness (good lord, the
wordplay is contagious) and it was no surprise that Lord Sugar got
What else of note this week? Well, the huge sums both teams
raised for a start - Jamie's losing team still managed a phenomenal
£76,000 in orders, while Chris's rustled up a record-breaking (for
The Apprentice) £122,000. The latter effort was almost entirely
down to the efforts of investment banker Liz, who raked in a cool
£90,000 from retailer Kiddicare alone.
Less praise can be heaped upon Liz's project manager Chris, who,
though not flawed in any apparent way, was unfortunately so
unremarkable that we had actually forgotten he was project manager
by this morning. His monotonous voice was compared by Nick Hewitt
to an aeroplane coming in to land. We would go one further - it was
more akin to the single-note drone of a dozen or so plane-spotters
murmuring unexcitedly to one another about an aeroplane they'd
spotted a thousand times before coming in to land. Buck yourself
up, Chris - we suspect you're quietly a bit of a business hot shot,
but we need to see some sparkle if you want us to love you - and if
you want Lord Sugar to take a shine to you.
Where Chris's team did cash in, though, was in their product
choices: the baby grow that changes colour if the baby is
overheating (products that appeal to ever-apprehensive new parents
will always, always fly off the shelves) and the men's T-shirt that
sucks and tucks the gut into a pseudo six pack (if you want proof
of the market for this one, look no further than M&S new men's
Jamie's lot, meanwhile, were landed with a double-headed
gardening fork that apparently relieved back strain and an
eco-friendly, money-saving shower head. The latter was a good
product - save the world, save money - though we weren't so sure
about the fork. It was the only choice the team had though, really,
after Stuart successfully repelled the baby grow manufacturer by
tactfully suggesting a baby would already be dead by the time the
Baby Glo started working.
Lord Sugar had set the teams up with meetings at B&Q and
Kiddicare, so in theory both teams should have had an even chance
given the product balance - but Jamie's team failed thanks to the
embarrassingly fluffed pitching efforts of Stuart 'I'm 21 and I'm
an amazing salesman' Baggs and Melissa 'What has my ability to
pitch got to do with the success of the pitch?' Cohen.
Back on Chris's team, the real cringe moments came from more
in-fighting from the women. Laura, Sandeesh and Paloma fought
ruthlessly over who had earned door-to-door sales - and their
refusal to allow one another to prosper or even to share their
successes ended up damaging them all.
So in entertainment terms, last night's Apprentice was
undeniably a goodun. But we've kind of got to the point now where
we're itching to see more of the commercial astuteness of Liz and
other similarly professional contestants, rather than just all this
silly bitching that never, ever does anyone any good - in real life
business as much as in business reality TV.
*Apprentice competition* We've got two signed copies of Lord Sugar's new autobiography to win
- click the link for a chance to win!