The Apprentice 2012 - Our recruitment-led view of Episode 2


Poundshop Gadgets

Ding Ding.' Its round 2 of the reality show which never fails to prove that a sharp suit doesn't always mean a sharp mind.

After all, what could be easier than developing a gadget and pitching it to Amazon and the slightly less well known Lakeland?

Given two whole days, the best that the lads could come up with was the Eco Press; some kind of eco-muncher, which turned out to be basically a hybrid of R2-D2 & a cafetiere and the ridiculous 'magic hands' ' which was far from magic.

The girls efforts were even more abject with the 'Splish Slash', a cheap looking bath accessory aimed at putting an end to bathtime fun and the tap cozy, another product that the world neither needed or would want.

At least the lads listened to the'market research'and went with the product that was received the best.' Team leader Jane, basically put her fingers in her ears when it came to any 'expert' advice, going with a product no one apart from her little sub-team seem to like.

When it came to facing Amazon and Lakeland, the meetings were almost predictably shambolic.' The girls managed to really stuff up both meetings, in particular Amazon with their Jedi Jim sized guff about '240% profit margins' and a '9 million initial order - utterly ridiculous.

Laura giggled her way through the Lakeland pitch, which cut no mustard with the two stony faced buyers who treated the product with the contempt it deserved.

As for the lads?' Their initial brainwave of gagging the inventor and therefore the person with the most passion for the product was quickly realised when the Amazon meeting was only saved by a last minute intervention by inventor Dwain.

Despite Stephen's best sycophantic efforts at the next meeting at Lakeland, Dwain again came good to deliver a much improved pitch from the Amazon debacle.

Back at the board room and an unhappy Lord Sugar pours scorn on the girls for ignoring market research, developing a toy and not a gadget and trying to extrapolate the largest ever initial order in Amazon's history with a pitch with holes in it larger than those found inBlackburn, Lancashire.

Adam over in the boys' team blathered on about the unjustice of not being able to take their 'magic glove' to market and what an underwhelming team leader Azhar was.

Despite this, the lads win when Amazon and Lakeland decide that there product is only marginally less rubbish than the girl's bit of plastic tat.

All the boys celebrate except for team leader Azhar who has the demeanor of Mario Ballotelli slotting a last minute penalty away at the Etihad Stadium - composed and non plussed.

After the Bridge Caf', Jane brings Jenna and Maria back into the board room.

All three are useless.' So how will the Lord choose?

Jane, who 'really, really wanted it more than her crying son', or something, was a useless team leader, failing to listen to any of her team and basically just going in her own selfish direction.

Jenna, who seems to have all the business acumen of a'Gerald Ratner, confessed to having a stab at the numbers, in the same way you might try and win an F1 race'equipped with'penny-farthing.

As it was, Alan chose to point the finger of fate at Maria, a gobby young lady who liked to have a nap in the middle of a task and appeared to be shocked by just about anything anybody else said.

Maria later turned up on the'Apprentice: you're fired'dressed in a curtain and spouting the usual diatribe that she was relieved to be out of the process.

Thanks for reading, see you again for another slice of Sugar coated GCSE level business acumen next week.

Marc Powell