The Apprentice, Series 10, Episode 8
The Eight Tragic Mistakes of James Hill, being a Story of Heartbreak and Whimsy.
So it turns out that this week was a task about selling things at the Royal Bath and West Country Show. For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a very expensive, very large country show in which farmers do shows with their livestock, people joust, and lots of people sell stuff, with the bent of the product usually being ‘rural living’.
The task was to sell one already proven product that had been sold at the show before, and two debut products that had never shown up there.
We’re going to be talking mostly about James in this post, because James was a bloody omnishambles lurching about committing error after act of misconduct after error, and it was torturous to watch.
First, he nominated himself as team leader, something everyone agreed to so quickly that I can only presume it was because they saw a chance to get rid of him. That was his first mistake. His second came when he was chasing after a particular product - hot tubs that used an optical illusion to make the water appear to be fluorescent blue.
The other team was also going for it, but we may never know which pitch was better, because James kept calling the seller, whose name was Anthony, ‘Derek.’ These two names do not sound alike. They are not the same length, nor do they share any letters. They don’t even come from the same language, Anthony being Latin and Derek being German.
That was James’ second mistake.
When he was told this by the angry seller who had decided not to sell him the hot tubs, he agonised over what to tell the rest of his team. Roisin, the only other person who knew, suggested he tell the truth.
James’ response was, and I quote: ‘Well, that’s what you think. But today’s about what I want to do. It’s about what I want to do.’ He then proceeded to lie to the rest of his team, saying that he had made an executive decision to go with the alternate option of some lawnmowers. This was James’ third mistake.
James’ fourth mistake was being awful at sales. While selling the lawnmowers, he wandered around with a clipboard held in front of his face, yelling at customers that they should buy his stuff but being unable to answer any questions. Roisin, meanwhile, was startlingly professional and informed for someone selling something she knew nothing about, and ended up with the highest sales of the team.
James’ fifth mistake was behaving threateningly towards Roisin. This involved yelling at her, getting in her face, and at one point, initiating unwanted physical conduct. This was all caught on camera. Well done, James. This is now the second female contestant you, a man previous convicted for assault, have intimidated, and both times you’ve done it in settings where they couldn’t easily get away.
When they went to the boardroom, it was revealed that James’ team had lost, earning £4000 to the other team’s £30000, £29500 of which was from the hot tubs that James had failed to get due to his name blunder. The other team then went and had a boxing lesson with Anthony Ogogo, so that was - nice for them. I’m sure what this unstable group of angry, shouty people need is to be taught how to throw a punch, that can’t possibly go wrong.
In the boardroom, it came out that James had lied to his team, but not before he attempted to lie to Lord Sugar, Baroness Brady, and Nick Hewer (Mistake #6). He repeatedly yelled over Roisin after Lord Sugar specifically asked her to tell him about the task (Mistake #7), and brought her back into the boardroom, despite her having the highest sales (Mistake #8).
Then he was fired. Because of course he was.
Next week, the team are apparently selling nine items that have all been sold in previous series, because the BBC are cruel and feed off suffering.