Rarely have the contestants been more out of their depth as in this week’s arty challenge. And no longer can The Apprentice be accused of failing to reinvent itself – at least marginally. In an eerie Skype meeting in tunnels by Waterloo station, the teams were set the exciting challenge of acquiring and selling urban art for a hefty commission.
Watching the be-suited contestants grapple with a task that forced them out of their corporate comfort zone was refreshing, and entertaining. Both the teams, headed by Tom “the art expert” and Gabrielle, the self-proclaimed “creative sprit” of the gang, visited artists and clients to try to gauge the market and the buyer. This gave the contestants ample room to make their inadequacy as art dealers painfully obvious to everyone involved. Adam, the fruit-and-veg man, certainly made his amateur status obvious – but managed to produce sales figures that had Lord Sugar firing of the puns like never before.
However, Tom’s pretentious namedropping to the artists he spoke to, coupled with his lack of genuine enthusiasm, lost his team what proved to be some bestselling art work. And Laura’s poor selling skills dragged the whole team, bar Adam, back into the boardroom for some Sugar schooling. Tom defended his strategy, and having preformed well up until then, escaped the pointing finger of doom – but was left with an unsettling question about his intentions for entering the competition in the first place.
Having spent most of the task looking perplexed, Laura now took the opportunity to speak up. But as we have seen so many times before, Lord Sugar had no time for people who just talk the talk but stumble when they walk. So Laura was sent home, continuing the trend established in this series of sparing the project managers from blame.