So, I have to say I was a little disappointed with last night’s Apprentice.  While I thought the task was great, and the potential for comedy value, huge (who didn’t have a chuckle when Jim oiled up a half naked geezer), I don’t feel that any of the contestants really stood out.

I’m going to start this week’s blog at the end, focusing on poor old Ellie’s comment, ‘I thought she was my friend’.  Ellie’s (somewhat naïve) belief that everyone on the show is her pal refers to something we know as Fellowship. 

In simple terms, Fellowship is how you would define your relationships within the workplace.  For someone who has high Fellowship, which Ellie so clearly does, work is seen as a social event, your colleagues are your friends and you will happily talk with them about your weekend, your disastrous date or your wife going crazy with your credit card.  For someone like Ellie, work is an extension of her social life.  Work and play are not mutually exclusive.

And then there’s Felicity.  In her audition video, Felicity clearly states that she has no interest in making friends on the show, that she does not believe mixing business and personal relationships is ever a good thing and she would never do so in ‘real life’. 

In short, Felicity is low Fellowship.  She could turn up to work after her whole family had been blasted to smithereens and no one would know any different; it’s not relevant to her job in hand and certainly of no business to her colleagues.

Obviously, in a situation such as The Apprentice it is hard to judge what the candidates’ Fellowship truly is, after all, they are all competing to win a once in a lifetime opportunity, and in that respect everyone is an enemy.  But, it was interesting and somewhat sad to see Ellie’s genuine hurt that someone she believed was a friend could stab her in the back.

Now, I’m not here to make a call on whether high or low Fellowship is better. There is no right or wrong answer to that, your Fellowship is your personal value. But in this situation, Ellie needs to remember what she is on the show for – and rein it in before it clouds her judgement.

But back to last night’s task; select two beauty treatments, set up a salon and make as much money as possible.  Oh, and if you can sell a few beauty products along the way all the better.  And it was this last point that both teams seemed to be missing, happily spending a whopping chunk of budget on ‘beauty essentials’ they struggled to shift, ignoring the huge profit margin they’d make on the treatments.

At least team leader Zoe showed some initiative, and despite the claims of Susan ‘I sell skincare for a living’ that she could shift 60 bottles of fake tan, she listened to her instinct and only bought half.  A good call as no one seemed keen to buy.

Now speaking of Susan, she’s an interesting one to watch.  After a reasonably successful stint as team leader on last week’s show, she seems to be a girl very much ruled by her emotion, a double-edged sword. 

Susan is what we call ‘high emotion’.  She has the ability to change the room; when she is happy and excited she is great to be around and her passion will infect everyone, but equally, when she is feeling negative or unhappy she will drain energy, and bring a team down.  So although her enthusiasm over the spray tan was ultimately what won her team the product, she ruined it all by having a tantrum when it was pointed out that she wasn’t selling what she promised.  But she’s young, and if she can learn to channel all her passion into positivity, then the girl will go far.

But like I said, none of the contestants really stood out for me tonight. Soup-a Man Jim met his Kryptonite, claiming to have booked a couple of great appointments, until Nick pointed out the total spend of this booking was £14.  Evil Edna kept a lid on it for once, as did ‘ladies man’ (pass the bucket) Vincent. 

In fact, the only person that showed a bit of spark was Leon.  After laughing at him trying to proclaim his masculinity saying over and over again how uncomfortable he was having makeup applied, protesting against spray-tanning a naked man, I was suitably impressed to how he stepped up his game on the sales floor. 

Ok so his line of ‘it’s a pretty colour, and you’re a pretty girl’ was pure cheddar, his linking pinky fingers and dragging the girls off to the counter was gold.  He knew his strength was to flirt his socks off with the ladies, and he worked it to his advantage making more sales than anyone.  Now it might not work in the business world, but for the purpose of last night’s task it was great, and let’s face it, it made for fascinating viewing.

And so to the final three.  We touched on Gavin’s lack of authority last week, and once again it was low authority that led to Felicity’s downfall.  Despite all her moaning about her (non-friend) Ellie in the boardroom, it was her inability to make a decision – without asking what the world and his wife thought – that resulted in her being at the end of Lord Sugar’s pointed finger. 

The candidates must remember the prize at the end of it all.  The opportunity to set up and run a business with SurAlun, and if they can’t make a decision on which colour nail polish to buy, how will he ever be able to trust them to make multi-million pound decisions needed to run a business?

Quite frankly he won’t.  So for me, he did it again, Big Al made the right decision and uttered ‘You’re Fired to the right girl.

And while I can’t get the image of the sweet old lady’s crusty toes out my head, I can’t wait to see what a dog they make of next week’s pet food assignment!

Until next time…