Apprentice Episode 8 Review: French Fiasco

THE APPRENTICE: Wednesday 22nd June, BBC1, 9pm

How long until the interview episode? It has to be coming up soon, surely. This week was another Apprentice staple: selling British products to foreign markets, which saw the eight remaining contestants shipped off to France, well, I say shipped; they actually took the train.

Melody is ecstatic, because she gets to show off: “I used to be able to speak six languages. I taught myself Italian as well. Obviously when we do work at UN level we use a lot of languages there; I run a global business.â€? It’s amazing no one slapped her in her multilingual mouth. Oh, and of course ever-adaptive Jim can speak a little French too. Tom takes – is forced into – the team leader role, with Susan project managing their rivals. For some reason voiceover man has done away with team names this week, actually, everyone has too, so I’ll just refer to them as team Susan and team Melo… sorry, Tom.

The teams split up and we have the usual product picking scene. Susan flits about asking childish questions and randomly choosing products, “at least she’s decisive,â€? says Karren, but the backhand compliments don’t last as Susan asks one stupid question too many: “Do the French like their children?â€? To which Karren replies (to camera), “You do not have to have been to France to answer the question ‘do the French like their children?’ I mean, that really is beyond stupid.â€?

Tom favours the idea of a backpack-come-booster-seat, but Melody – who hasn’t even seen the products – forces through her idea of a light up teapot. The entire episode is basically ‘The Melody Show’; she gets the most camera time, she’s the only one fluent in French, she arranged all of her team’s appointments, she takes all the pitches – save one, that she ‘lets Leon in on’.

Susan’s team win, by over £200,000, “this is not just a loss, this is an annihilation,â€? says Sugar. So someone from Tom’s team must go. Leon was the obvious choice; he didn’t do anything this episode, literally nothing, in fact, he hasn’t done anything of note all season. Which now leaves us with seven hopefuls: Jim is still a strong choice, recovering well from the horrific decisions he made last week, but the front runner has to be Helen; she’s been a stand-out through the whole process, and this week’s backpack-booster-seat pitch was flawless, earning her team €214,000. However, anything could still happen – as I said, we’re still waiting on the interview episode.

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