The Apprentice: A brief paean to Melissa

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.

Comfortability: as in, "you can lie down or sit up to find comfortability". We kind of get it, but - really?

Sectionality: as 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 discuss.

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.

Manoeuvrement: half manoeuvre, half movement. It's a word mashup. Simples.

Professionality: as in, what Mel lacks.

Karmacally 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 rid.

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 underwear line).

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!

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