Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Guest Post: Murphy Rants about... The Apprentice S11E5

So, this week’s challenge is an entirely new one. New and, I think everyone will agree, absolutely terrifying. The candidates had been tasked with creating (including writing and sourcing the artwork for) and then selling a children’s book. For children. If that doesn’t make you scream loudly out of fear of the unknown, then I’m not sure what will.

Connexus, who is referred to in my notes as Team Not-Bee for reasons which will soon be apparent, thank you past me, put private tutor and creative writing graduate Sam in charge, which turned out to be the most horrendous mistake they could have made. Clearly far more in love with the idea of spreading his limitless creative vision to the world than in actually making a product that children would enjoy and that bookstores would want to stock, Sam immediately launched into babbling about his idea about a magical adventure with an elephant giraffe dragon.

Many of the candidates on his team tried to stop him and remind him that this was a book meant for other people to read, not a vanity project for himself, but he just would not listen. The creative shenanigans on his part didn’t stop there, either, as when the audiobook version was being recorded (yes, they had to do audiobook versions), he had advice like “Say it like the wind.” How the fuck do you do that, Samuel? Breathily? Whispering? Screaming? Whistling? There’s no end of adjectives that have been ascribed to the sound of the wind.

(It doesn’t help that out of all the candidates, a fairly upper class bunch at the best of times, Sam comes off as the most posh, with all the hallmarks of that, such as ‘full of meaningless bluster’, ‘unwilling to actually defend his own views in a debate of equals’, ‘totally detached from reality’, and ‘lustful towards farm animals’.)

When the books were being sold, he also proudly announced that everybody loved the book, despite reactions to it having been, at best, lukewarm. He led one team that was pitching, and handed the other team over to Scott, who you may remember as Hair Replenishment Guy. Scott actually did surprisingly well, but was let down horribly by Natalie, who failed to do the basic maths necessary before trying to pitch to a bookstore owner, resulting in them all being practically thrown out of the shop when it was clear that Natalie was incompetent.

This isn’t the first time Natalie has fallen down on pretty basic calculations, either - she did so in the pets task, too, and as with that time, it seems less like she wasn’t able to and more like she couldn’t be bothered.

Versatile, meanwhile, referred to in my notes as Team Bee, did a book about bees, and how bees make honey! Guess how many members of the team knew anything about honey making. Guess. Guess now, do it now.

It was none, none of them knew anything about making honey, you guessed correctly. Well done.

But in spite of what could be charitably described as a colossal screw-up on the most fundamental level of planning, Team Bee still won, because it did, at least, occur to them that they might want to make their children’s book appeal to children, as opposed to a twenty-something posh dude from London.

And yet Sam did not leave! He made the wise choice of bringing back Natalie, and her repeated unwillingness to perform basic maths doomed her to being fired. It was a close one, though. If he’d not brought her back, he would have definitely been fired. 

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