The Apprentice: The Stuart Baggs show

The Apprentice: The Stuart Baggs show

November 18, 2010 by Rachel Miller

Missed the seventh episode? Catch up here:

The task

The cars are coming to take the candidates to Pinewood Studios. Joanna has vaguely heard of the world-famous film studios where Harry Potter and the James Bond movies are made and hazards a guess, “I’m sure it’s a furniture store.” Standing in front of the biggest blue screen in Europe, Lord Sugar explains that the two teams have to create and sell virtual experience DVDs to shoppers at Westfield Shopping centre. This involves making a background action movie, buying props, filming people in front of a screen and flogging the DVDs.

The best bits

It was the Stuart Baggs show last night. Project leader for Apollo, Stuart was so bad, he was good. There were definite shades of David Brent. The team selected motor-racing for the backdrop which allowed Stuart to race around Brands Hatch and utter the immortal line, “I have to rein in my own extreme masculinity in this task.” Stuart’s leadership style was horrendous. He talked over everyone, made quick bad decisions, took a dramatic u-turn when he realized his mistake and then took the credit for the new strategy. At one point he says, “I think we made good decisions under quite a lot of pressure.” Guess who provided the pressure? Best of all, he kept trying to score points against Stella in a game of “how many different ways are there to say, ‘I’m brilliant and you’re useless.’” Stella simply batted him away like an annoying fly.

The worst bits

Synergy, meanwhile, was lead by Sandeesh, who was trying to assert herself and shake off Lord Sugar’s accusation that she does “naff all”. She did try, bless her, but was undermined by Jamie, who was unhappy with his role as errand boy.

Both teams displayed a very cavalier attitude to pricing. Apollo started selling the DVDs for £10 but as sales took off they decided to up the price to £15, leaving customers distinctly unamused. Over on Synergy, the team dropped the price early on and sold the DVDs too cheaply.

The winners and losers

Neither team did brilliantly but Apollo scraped a win. It’s worth watching Stuart Baggs’ hilarious reaction to winning, puffing himself up and only just stopping himself from punching the air and shouting “come on”. Ooh the masculinity! And so Synergy lost and it was left to Sandeesh to bring two team members back into the boardroom. To say she doesn’t have the killer instinct is putting it mildly. She has been the sacrificial lamb enough times, but for some reason she lets Jamie off the hook and selects the two strongest members of her team, Chris and Liz. Why, Sandeesh, why? It doesn’t take Lord Sugar long to point the finger. Sandeesh, you’re fired.

The ones to watch

Stella continues to shine like the star that she is. I’m ready to put money on her to win. But let’s hope Stuart Baggs hangs on for a few more weeks to keep us entertained and to make the saner contestants look good.

Quote of the week

“Stuart’s leadership style leaves me trembling with irritation. Who does he think he is.” Nick Hewer.

Missed this episode? Watch it on BBC iPlayer.

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Comments

Lights, Camera, Action!!

The Apprentice last night went to film-land for this weeks’ task.

The early morning telephone call – which seems to come at the same time each, week, but half of the candidates are still in bed - saw the candidates heading off to Pinewood Studios to meet Lord Sugar. The first indication of trouble ahead was when at least one of the candidates thought that Pinewood Studios was a furniture shop!

On arrival at the Studios vast complex, they were deposited by their drivers in front of a huge blue screen, in the middle of a very large outside area, which was a very cold place to be, judging by the shivering and frozen look of the candidates. Clearly, they had not heeded the words of their parents all those years ago, to - “wrap up warm, when you go out on a cold morning!”.

Lord Sugar, emerged from his nice warm Rolls Royce, to explain that the blue screen was the largest such screen in Europe, and was used for digital imaging in the film industry. The excitement & enthusiasm with which this piece of information was received by the candidates was palpable!

The task, Lord Sugar explained was to use digital imaging to produce a film, that would be sold to shoppers at the Westfield Centre in London. They would then produce a DVD to sell to the customer as a momento of their experience. For those who are still unsure of what they were being asked to do, it is the situation whereby you are placed in a film, like for example a car race track, or a ski slope etc. even though you are not there.

After a bit of mixing up of the teams, Lord Sugar made Stuart ‘The Brand’ Baggs, and Sandeesh Samra, team leaders, and sent them on their way.

Over the next part of the programme, the teams had to decide what their ‘backdrop’ was going to be, who their target market was to be, and more mundane information (well mundane to them anyway) like what they were going to charge, how many DVD’s to order etc. etc.

Sandeesh’s team quickly decided to go for a skiing theme, and two of the boys – Chris & Jamie were sent off to the local indoor ski slope to record the background images.

Stuart’s team was told by Stuart, what was going to happen – nice inclusive type of leadership style – and he managed aswell to alienate himself to the entire female cohort of his team. Even Nick Hewer, couldn’t quite believe what was happening, and managed to add at least three new faces to his repertoire!

Stuart having decided that his teams theme was going to be motor racing, set off to Brands Hatch with Laura, and enjoyed the rest of the day playing with ‘boys toys’, leaving the rest of his team to make all the other decisions.

By now, large proportions of the watching public were throwing things at their television sets, promising to do unmentionable things to Stuart, and generally wishing the worst on him.

But do please remember that this is the man who described himself as having - 'no sense of political correctness', and said 'I’m Stuart Baggs the Brand – I’ve got a certain type of charisma.' What were you expecting? – humility??

And so we moved to the Westfield Centre, where each team had a ‘pitch’ to work. Stuart and his team set to, and began trading with some gusto, whilst Sandeesh & her team managed eventually to start trading one hour late, because she had had to train the ‘backroom staff’ in how to use the technology – which really meant knowing how to burn a DVD on the computer & put it into a nice box.

Stuart’s team set their selling price at £10, but, when Stuart saw how well they were selling, increased the price to £15, and then tried to suggest to the buying public, that they suffered from some sort of hearing disorder, and must have misheard the price quoted.

Sandeesh & her team set their selling price at £12, but then reduced it during the day, when they were not selling enough, if any, DVD’s.

Eventually, everybody finished up back in the Boardroom, and by some miracle of modern science, not previously known to modern man, Stuart’s team won, and didn’t his face tell a story when that was announced!!

Sandeesh’s team had lost by just under £40, and were back in the Boardroom, whilst the ‘winning’ team, were sent off to a champagne tasting – what a waste of good champagne!!

Sandeesh brought back into the Boardroom with her Chris Bates – the investment banker, and Liz Locke, both of whom put up a good solid performance of defending themselves, leaving Lord Sugar to utter those immortal words – Sandeesh: you’re fired.

So it was a tearful Sandeesh, who disappeared off into the distance, the latest ‘victim’ of The Apprentice.

Well, that’s show business for you!

www.imageandprofile.posterous.com

What I find amazing is that, with the exception of the finalists, all the losing candidates are at home watching their downfalls occurring week after week. On the surely quite reasonable assumption that Mr. The Brand did not make the final, you have to wonder what he makes of all this coverage...

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