The Apprentice: Week 2 and Weak Candidates: Students remain uninspired by a continued lack of creativity

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As the clock struck 9, another Wednesday night was illuminated by active live-blogging to The Apprentice on The Student Room.

‘Oh, I love ‘pitch a product’ tasks – so much fail…’

Episode 2, “Household Gadget”, once again sparked lively discussion on The Student Room ‘s very own devoted The Apprentice 2012 thread, with some observing the same mistakes recurring in product design tasks series after series.

‘Oh, where would the product task be without ‘our focus group hated the idea … but we’re going with it anyway’?’

Round 2 Feedback

    Leadership skills

First things first, electing the project manager…

‘Ooh, guys actually have a volunteer this time.’

There was surprise that the boys’ team actually had a less reluctant volunteer to lead the way for week 2, notwithstanding that he seemed to be the only one.

‘Poor Kate, it was her chance to redeem herself and take PM’

Nevertheless, the girls continued to show their feisty side with Jane beating Katie at the vote to be appointed their second PM. There were also more comparisons between the contestants and various celebrities.

‘Also does anyone think Jane looks a bit like a cross between Catherine Tate and Lesley Joseph lol’

‘Anyone else think Maria sounds like Adele?’

    Creativity and Attention to Detail

‘Seriously, that’s it for the bath guard? I could have done the same with a sheet of acetate.’

Once again, TSR members found the teams lacking in creativity and were least impressed with both the girls’ products: the splash guard and the tap cosy.

‘the bin idea is quite good, but they need to make it simple for people to use.’

‘think the splash screen is ridiculous.’ / ‘Tap cosy was an awful idea too, to be fair – who sits with their back to the taps?’

They were also generally unimpressed with the lack of cohesion and the subdivisions within both teams.

‘Oh, I love this, the team isn’t even designing the same product.’

‘The boys need to sort out the coherency of their pitch, but their product is better – I hope they win.’

    Sales and Marketing

‘A good product is no good if the team behind it can’t sell it.’

Posts on the thread expressed frustration at the candidates complete disregard for their own market research,

‘Err, they didn’t all like the gloves, one said he’d rather buy a sponge…’

and disappointment at the girls’ failure with the figures once again, this time failing to total up their sales sums and profit margins.

‘Who would buy a MILLION of any product, let alone that one, made by random people on a TV show?!’

    The Boardroom Battle

’3 very annoying voices. Jane, Maria and Jenna. Triple, at least double firing please Mr Sugar.’

Despite Maria’s power nap in the car, many felt that she was not to blame, and was only likely to go if she became too confrontational.

Jane has gained little favour on TSR, with the majority finding her abrasive, while others still view her as a strong candidate compared to the other women in the line up.

‘…I just think she’s a really odious person… very quick to pass the blame, incredibly sarcastic… pretty disgusting and childish behaviour if I’m honest. She comes across as if she thinks she’s completely above and better than everyone else. Not that many of the others are anything special… but dear lord…’

‘…I usually don’t like the domineering, sarcastic, aggressive candidates, but there is something about her that I like. She obviously thinks she’s better than the other girls, but I think she’s right as well…’

As for Jenna, there was discussion around whether it was brave or stupid to assume a role that you know you are not competent at.

‘Both are equally bad, really. Not stepping up is not knowing something, which is fine but you should try to improve. Completely messing it up is tragic, but at least you were brave.’

Ultimately, there was some agreement that the failure was related to both teams’ defiance of their market research. The final reactions included surprise at not seeing Jenna go and Jane’s escape from a double elimination with Maria, and satisfaction that Maria was the right choice.

‘…the boys did make this same mistake but were just lucky this time.’

    Feedback

‘All the candidates this year strike me as mediocre. The gadgets they came up with were laughable.’   /   ‘The thing that struck me is, none of the ideas were gadgets.’

This years hopefuls continue to seem hopeless to their student scrutinisers, other than Maria whose external accomplishments have resulted in little concern over her exit.

‘Shame about her firing, but she doesn’t seem to suit that competition much anyway and will probably still do well without it.’

Week 2 also sparked criticism of the boys’ interpersonal indiscretions despite their success, both in their attacks on PM, Azhar, and his own reluctance to concede the success of the task to the product.

‘I was almost feeling sorry for Azhar until at the dinner he disregarded that they won because of their product.’

So it remains to be seen whether the partial mixing of the teams in week 3 could be the catalyst to impress and that finally sparks success for Team Sterling.

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