The Apprentice: The sorry tale of why Sandeesh went, and how Stuart stayed

Here is a (by no means comprehensive) list of the ridiculous things Stuart Baggs The Brand came out with last night:

  • "I have to reign in my own extreme masculinity in this task."
  • The creepily sexual weird aside to Laura: "Be careful, or you're going to get fifty grand's worth of car IN you."
  • "We're all on the same songsheet now."
  • "I'm just going to use my psychic powers here and predict what they're saying about me, and they're saying: 'he can't make a decision'. But what they actually mean is, 'I can't make a decision - I need to be spoon fed'."
  • To Stella: "I remember everything in my head, and you write everything down. It's quite interesting to get a different perspective... you're obviously just a lot more corporate than me."
  • "I'm an entrepreneur, I'm impulsive."
  • To his fellow contestants upon winning a champagne tasting session (snidely): "I'll keep some on ice for you guys" (smug laugh).
  • Shortly followed by: "Well, we haven't got on all that well, but I think you'll say that we had a SPARKLING victory" (cue another smug laugh at bad joke).

BLURGH. Even Nick Hewer had had enough of him by about minute 11 of the show: "His leadership style leaves me trembling with irritation... Who does he think he is?"

Stuart epitomised everything bad about bad managers - he was bossy, he dismissed other people's ideas, he recklessly went off to have a play in some sports cars when he should have been leading, he was condescending, he showed no respect for his teammates, he was disorganised, and he was exceptionally, unfathomably, irrepressibly annoying.

So it was a tragedy, by all accounts, that Sandeesh's team lost the task. Lord Sugar obviously thought so too. It wasn't an easy one, though, the blue screen task - in fact, we think it was probably the toughest sell yet. I mean, how many people really want a weird 10-minute-long DVD of their kids doing something entirely faked and stilted, that they will probably never watch, that will remind them only of being ripped off by the contestants of a TV programme half-way through a hectic day of dragging the kids round one of the UK's biggest and busiest shopping centres? Hardly baby's first steps, is it?

The toughness of the task was a deft move from Lord Sugar, we thinks. It forced the contestants' determination and petulance to the surface.

Jamie looked like a bit of a plonker for the first time as he moaned on about himself being 'wasted' by not being head salesperson, then desperately protested he did 'probably the most important role' to Lord Sugar. (Arrogant and spoilt? Moi?)

Liz, despite fluffing the orders, we think actually shone pretty brightly. Going to spy on the other team and ripping off their kiddy-car idea exposed her all-important 'killer instinct' (the lack of which earned Sandeesh the boot).

Joanna finally and defiantly patched up the damage she'd done herself in the first couple of tasks (remember all those pathetic spats with Melissa?) by wooing parents and coming up with the glorious idea of giving children medals every time they finished their car race. Big tick for her on that.

Military Christopher, as always, remained a silent mystery. Who is he? Does anyone else know he's there? Is he a ghost that only us viewers can see or hear? The wordless wonder rolls on, wordlessly.

It really was bad luck that Liz, Chris and Sandeesh ended up in the boardroom (a mere £40 in it). Poor old Lord Sugar more or less apologised to Sandeesh for firing her. Sugar obviously liked Sandeesh - he's said a few times to Nick and Karren that she's hard working and good at logistics. Sure, she messed up on the pricing strategy by dropping from £12 to £8. Okay, actually that's quite a big error. But it was, really, the lack of 'killer instinct' that meant she couldn't cut it.

The moral therein? Work hard and be nice to people, but don't be so nice you forget to be competitive. Which, of course, applies to small businesses as much as the contestants of The Apprentice.

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