Unluckily, it was on the cover of The Sun.
Swings and roundabouts, really.
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There’s been some controversy this past week, as one of this year’s contestants, James Hill, was discovered to be a convicted criminal, having committed assault in the past. The BBC has noted that as the conviction is spent, meaning that the entire sentence plus something like one and a half again its time has passed, he is still eligible to join the programme. So there’s that.
Today’s challenge even starts with Lord Sugar saying he’s disappointed in the ducklings, and mixing up the teams, transferring three men over to the women and four women over to the men. This week, they’re making home fragrance products, which is always kind of a pitfall for the contestants.
The women’s team start off working together really well and making good decisions, going about market research in a sensible fashion, and deciding on paraffin wax candles and reed diffusers on account of them being drastically cheaper. They start to fall horribly apart when one of the transferred boys suggests that they brand their product - which is scented entirely with substances from East Asia - ‘British Breeze’, giving the whole thing an unpleasant stench of imperialism. After some struggle, they managed to get the luxury retailers to order a few of their products.
The men’s team, meanwhile, had ‘Beach Dreams’ candles and diffuser bottles, using scents like sand, and ocean salt. They seemed to be getting on better than the women’s team, mostly due to the expert leadership of Roisin, one of the transfers from the women’s team. They saw massive success with selling orders to luxury retailers, who loved the product.
The next part of the challenge was to sell to the public.
Its at this point that Sarah, the contestant who in week one declared that her team should dress in short skirts and high heels to ‘sell to the boys’, started yelling at her sales team leader, Lauren, about how she was so bossy and she needed to stop ordering people about.
Later, she called the sales team together for a meeting, saying that she hadn’t managed to sell any because the price (£30) was too high. When the other three members of her team all pointed out that they had no problem selling them for that much and had, in fact, sold multiple units, Sarah had yelled “But this is my personal experience, and clearly people just won’t buy them for that much!” leaving everyone around her squinting at her and wondering if she’d heard anything they said.
I really don’t like Sarah.
One thing that did strike me is that Roisin isn’t just a good team leader, she also showed herself to be a great saleswoman, having sold almost all of her team’s diffusers to a store for premium prices. The rest of her team was not quite as competent, with several of them selling them for vastly under the recommended price, sometimes even as low as £5.
Things got worse for her when one of the men on her team told her to cancel a sale on the two remaining diffusers, saying he could sell them for more, only to then give them away for free in what I can only presume was an elaborate act of sabotage.
In the end, though, the women’s team won, by a margin of fourteen pounds - which is almost certainly because certain members of the men’s team were selling at ridiculously low prices, to the point where I wonder if they were doing it just to spite Roisin and try to get her ousted.
In the boardroom, there was probably a first for the entire show: A candidate (a swimming instructor called Lindsey) saying outright that she wasn’t cut out for the contest and should leave. She was fired on the spot, although Lord Sugar was fairly gentle about it, as you would be.
A young man called James (who was the one who kept selling at shockingly low prices) seemingly decided to give Sarah a run for her money as worst contestant, constantly talking over Lord Sugar whenever the dude tried to say anything. A woman called Nurun was fired eventually, though.
Next week looks like an absolute shambles too.