The Apprentice: Week 3: Students pick Nick and like Duane but feel many others are still failing to cut the mustard

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In the build up to Episode 3, “Condiments”, excitement was running high with discussion of the candidates’ potentials, starting early Wednesday afternoon and carrying on into the evening until finally it was time…

‘…Duane stands out to me. He seems to have his head screwed on the right way and comes up with good ideas. Out of the girls, none are that striking either way. I don’t mind Jane or Jenna at all, I just don’t think they’ve shown themselves to be particularly special really.’

In anticipation of episode 3, The Apprentice 2012 thread experienced activity by TSR members from lunchtime onwards identifying their favourites so far. Nick was named the pick of the bunch and Duane was also in good favour following his success as the mastermind behind the eco bin in Week 2.

‘Nick is by far the least annoying one of them all.’

‘I want Nick to win too! …He looks like a hot (and less chavvy/emoey/whatever he is) Frankie Cocozza.’

There were also yet more celebrity references, and hope for Ricky Martin to live up to his showbiz name and steal the spotlight in Lord Sugar’s sauce task.

‘Ricky Martin has to do something this week. With a name like that he can’t keep flying under the radar’

Round 3 Feedback

  • Leadership

‘Hmmm, I wonder if Katie will be the project manager.’

Finally it was Katie’s turn to lead, but not with the ladies, instead she was elected to wear the trousers as the single lady on the boys’ team, Phoenix. In exchange, Duane and Nick swapped to Team Sterling where Duane stepped up in the hope of leading the ladies to their first victory.

‘I would have thought a drinks manager would have some knowledge of how the food market works.’

  • Playing to their strengths

‘Hang on, why don’t the former-girls team have the person in the food business as PM?’

Despite Duane’s confidence and professional background as a drinks manager, some posts were confused as to why, given her knowledge of the food industry, Jane didn’t put her money where her mouth is and lead, rather than just bringing her experience to the table during the initial product discussions.

‘Why didn’t they try to make her? She’s obviously going to be running the show anyway.’

Some posts once again anticipated dominance and aggression from Jane due to her recommendations being overlooked, while others placed any blame for the potential failure of the product on Duane for failing to utilise her expertise.

‘…Duane is shooting himself in the foot by not listening to her. If it backfires, Duane’s head is on the block, but if you do what Jane says (since she’s the “expert”) and it backfires, she’s getting the chop.’

  • Language Skills

‘Once again, the stupid things.’ /  ’Ha, I gave it two L’s when mocking ‘vellisimo’.’

Team Phoenix were under fire for their lack of language skills reflected by the ‘Spelling fail’ in the product name itself, however, most of the mocking centred around candidate Stephen’s uncertainty about whether it should start with a ‘B’ or a ‘V’.

”Why does he think Belissimo starts with a V’ / ‘Ah, that famous italian saying. Vellissimo!’

‘Lol, didn’t they check the spelling for B instead of V? Not that I knew about the ‘l’s, ‘s’s and ‘m’s, but I’d have noticed…’

Nevertheless, Stephen’s linguistic flair during the team’s sales drive in the shopping centre was more favourably received than the behaviour of his colleagues, Azhar and Tom, during a trade sales pitch.

‘Lol the guys at Stratford are jokes! Arrivederci! Ciao Bella’

‘I thought they were quite rude to the Italian guy; “Yeah, two L’s, we know. But it looks very nice, doesn’t it?“‘

  • The Boardroom Battle

‘…Sterling won mostly due to luck, Phoenix were unlucky. Their product wasn’t as salvage-able when it went wrong, the buyer LS lined up didn’t have any use for it, the good sales people were all put on the other team…’

Duane served up a treat by finally scoring a win for Team Sterling, however, some felt this was more a matter of luck than leadership and that Phoenix’s ketchup was the better product, in line with Jane’s earlier expert advice.

‘Ha, they didn’t exploit Jane’s background at all!’ / ’Duane as PM was good, Jane just cannot be pleased.’

/ ’3rd time lucky for Team Sterling I guess. Waddayaknow, the name didn’t win it for them…’

Initially there was no real consensus on either who should be in the final three or who deserved to go, until it became apparent that Michael had not really made much of impression on his student viewers let alone Lord Sugar.

‘Michael to go. Purely because no one knew who he was until Katie said “Michael, go head the trade sales”‘

Having now led the boys to their first failure in addition to facing her third week in the losing team and second in boardroom, there were mixed feelings about Katie’s future in the competition but some feel she has been unlucky and drew positive comparisons between her and The Apprentice 2011 winner, Tom Pellereau.

‘Next time Katie is in the boardroom, she’s gone.’  /   ’Ah, but remember, he threatened Tom Pellereau with that several times.’

  • Feedback

‘I actually feel quite sorry for Michael – I don’t think he did poorly, actually. He admitted that face to face selling isn’t his strong point … so he doesn’t start a business that involves face to face selling, problem solved.’

In the end there was some sympathy for Michael’s loss but many agreed with Lord Sugar’s assessment that he was out of his depth.

‘These people are such a face palm. They’ve picked the stupidest people this series.’

For the remaining contenders, despite mixing the teams there is no gender divide when it comes to a general feeling that this year’s contestants are not yet measuring up to the performances of their predecessors.

‘Some of these girls are terrible – how they did they even get onto the show?’

‘The boys are too competitive, this may be their downfall down the line in the show.’