The Apprentice: cartoon antics and a shock firing

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The Apprentice: cartoon antics and a shock firing

One of Lord Sugar's former boardroom victims delivers her verdict on Episode Three of the latest series of The Apprentice

It’s Week 3 of The Apprentice and the battle of the sexes has officially come to an end as Lord Sugar announced the teams would now become mixed, as the remaining 15 candidates were tasked with creating a short, animated cartoon aimed at pre-school children between the ages of two and four.

Team Affinity was led by Project Manager Avi, whose father owns a nursery school – and team Apex was led by Scottish theatre school owner Reece – both seemingly ideal candidates to take on the role of PM for the task, so what could possibly go wrong?

Affinity created a story about a giraffe who is self-conscious about her height – they named the cartoon Yogita the Giraffe, a bit of a mouthful for a two-year-old to say, let alone remember.

Meanwhile, Apex produced a story about Femi and Faye, two children playing together – one of them being in a wheelchair. Although I appreciate their effort of inclusivity, they massively missed the mark – and instead produced a cartoon that was most probably offensive and demeaning to disabled people. The cartoon portrayed how Faye couldn’t go down a slide due to her disability – so they chose to play a different game together that both of them could partake in. This in itself is problematic as, for a start, being disabled doesn’t mean you cannot use a slide.

The industry experts that they pitched to criticised team Apex’s cartoon and felt it had a condescending moral behind it – I completely agree. How they ended up with that as the final product without any of the team flagging that this could be offensive is just mind-blowing.

Ultimately, team Apex found themselves back in the boardroom – and in what will probably be the final nail in the coffin of this series, Gregory found himself being fired by Lord Sugar for his lack of involvement in the task.  A colossal mistake by Lord Sugar if you ask me! As one of the only stand-out candidates of the series, who has provided both brains and entertainment, his absence from the line up won’t go unnoticed by viewers.

Lord Sugar told Gregory that in business you have to “adapt”, which makes no sense and isn’t applicable in the real business world. If you don’t know about something and it isn’t your area of expertise, you can be supportive to your team and help in whatever way you can, but ultimately you should let those with the applicable experience and expertise get on with it.

If Gregory, who told his team that he didn’t have any experience in this area, tried to contribute significantly for the sake of being involved, he would have found himself being fired for negatively impacting the task by wasting precious time with his unnecessary and unhelpful contributions.  It was a lose-lose scenario, no matter what he did.

Lord Sugar clearly fired Gregory because he is intimated by educated, intelligent people – consistently opting for candidates who are rough around the edges and lack a solid education. I don’t think Gregory was Lord Sugar’s cup of tea, but his intelligence, class and expertise, would have made him a great business partner.

After Gregory’s firing, Lord Sugar told Denisha she had to take on the role of PM for next week’s scavenger hunt. During my time on the show, I asked Lord Sugar to appoint me as PM of the next task before prematurely firing me, but he wouldn’t afford me that opportunity – instead choosing to remove me from the process without giving me that same chance he offers other candidates during each series of the show.

He clearly didn’t like me and finally had me where he wanted, in a position where he could fire me and remove me from the process. Much like Gregory, I too had a solid education, good business acumen, and a fully functioning successful business, which I wanted to scale up and expand with Lord Sugar’s help.  However, Lord Sugar was intimidated by me, just like he was by Gregory, which in this show sadly leads to premature ‘shock’ firings.

Great for ratings, great for Twitter fodder, but, extremely unfair to the candidate, who, in my and seemingly in Gregory’s situation, go on the show for a great potential business opportunity and not 15 minutes of fame or to start an influencer career.

Of course, if you’re never being brought back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar can’t fire you – which is why as PM of the losing team, you are automatically brought back in.  In my opinion and having gone through the process, I think the losing team is often engineered to lose so that the producers can bring back a particular person for Lord Sugar to fire by a certain point in the series.

I predict that next week we will most likely see the fall of Denisha – knowing that the task is a scavenger hunt and with her leadership skills not being great, I’ll be surprised if she survives.

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