Warning: spoilers ahead
Phone call, 4am, yadda yadda yadda. But has the phone in The Apprentice house always been a hippo?
Anyway, the remaining six are off to KidZania, where children roleplay jobs such as doctor, banker and firefighter. For this challenge, the candidates will have to regress to their younger days to create a healthy baby food. They’ve to design the branding and packaging before pitching their product to two leading retailers.
Tim isn’t available for this episode so Mike Soutar, whom you may recognise as an interviewer on previous series of The Apprentice, is stepping in.
Lord Sugar is shifting the teams again. Aaron and Brittany move to Diverse and Stephanie moves to Infinity. Momentum is slow on Team Diverse but as Aaron is the only candidate left who has children, he takes on the role of project manager in breezy fashion. Harpreet comes forward for Infinity.
Team Infinity + Karren: Harpreet (project manager), Stephanie and Akeem.
Team Diverse + Mike: Aaron (project manager), Kathryn and Brittany.
Both teams are keen to go international in a bid to nurture some worldly babies. The project managers are taking to the kitchen. Harpreet knows her flavours, incorporating salmon, spinach, onions, cauliflower, carrot, coconut milk and spices to make a salmon and spinach curry. Aaron tries to connect with Mike for guidance, but this aide isn’t giving any candidate any help. Violin plucking signals that peril is ahead as he decides on a ‘Moroccan Medley’ of sweet potato, butternut squash, lentil, couscous, brown rice and cumin. “It must be alright if I keep eating it,” he reassures himself.
The other pairs are off to do the branding at the House of Fuji. After a minimal outline, Mike is worried that the Kathryn and Brittany haven’t been given enough direction.
Sub team leader Stephanie seems keen on the word ‘bubba’ but I’m glad they swerved it as connotations of golf, Gump and/or shrimp may come a cropper. Phew. They decide on ‘First Time Foodies’. Karren spots an even bigger problem with their logo, though: “It says ‘First Time Dies’”. Yup, that’s definitely worse. Branding can often be about tapping into peoples’ emotions, but they’ve inadvertently triggered every parent’s greatest fear – and that’s before they even check the label for allergens.
Kathryn and Brittany plump for Little Taste Adventure. Mike is bereft of a scooby on the logo: “It doesn’t mean anything to anyone at all,” he says. Also, planet Earth in a frying pan is touchy imagery for concerned climate scientists.
Chewing it up and spitting it out
Harpreet and Stephanie’s pitch is accented by an eyebrow twitch from one of the reps from Ocado. They’re challenged on ‘First Time Dies’ and how they didn’t spot it.
Brittany and Aaron are on the pitch for the other team. The food being squeezed from the pouch is like a visual aid for constipation. “It’s so thick,” says a member of the panel. Oh, I’ve missed the poo jokes from earlier in the series. “It’s the most bland [sic] baby food I’ve ever tasted.”
Kathryn is with the market research group: the parents and babies. They’re a lot less tactful than the adult reviewers but they are in agreement. The food goes in and comes back out on contact with a few taste buds. All in all, it’s a bland blunder from the blender for Diverse.
Akeem is with the other parents and babies. The parents see ‘dies’ first on the food packaging, as does the next retailer: Iceland.
A dressing down of bib-lical proportions
It’s not long before Lord Sugar addresses the absolute circus elephant in the room. “What is the matter with you?” he barks at Team Infinity, exasperated.
It all comes undone at the end for Team Diverse too. Kathryn and Brittany complain as they felt they weren’t given any direction by Aaron.
The final results are a shocker, though – take a look.
High street retailer: 0 orders
Online retailer: 0 orders
High street retailer: 0 orders
Online retailer: 0 orders
The online retailers were impressed by Team Infinity’s baby food but were let down by the atrocious branding. In fact, they would have bought 10,000 units if it weren’t for branding.
So, nobody wins, nobody loses. What happens now? The shame-faced six head out to the café.
Aaron is asked to leave the process more or less straight away while the rest are sent to reception so that Lord Sugar, Karren and Mike can discuss their performances.
When they’re brought back, Lord Sugar says “four of Final Five”. Someone else is about to go. Having not made much of an impact on Lord Sugar, it’s Akeem that’s sent home.
It’s a tale of two exits. Aaron’s departure is very quick, with a shot of him wheeling his suitcase out the door and no back-of-the-cab soundbite. Akeem has a shot of him sitting on the couch, hugging the Final Four, getting in the cab and chatting to camera. Hmmm, curious.
There it is: Aaron and Akeem, the last two lads standing, are down. Not only does that make the traditional Final Five a Final Four, but an all-female final.
Next week: The Final Five (sort of)
More is being revealed about the final four candidates and their businesses in the next episode. Plus the return of Claude Littner. Join us then for the recap.
Watch the whole episode on BBC iPlayer.
Catch up with the rest of the series
The Apprentice: Hardly a cruise for the candidates – series 16 episode 1 review
The Apprentice: Oops, they did it again – S16, ep 2
The Apprentice: Shaken and stirred with plenty of zingers – S16, ep 3
The Apprentice: For goodness’ hake – S16, ep 4
The Apprentice: Gaming, blaming, shaming – S16 ep 5
The Apprentice: Ask and you shall be ripped off – S16, ep 6
The Apprentice: No peas in these pods – S16 ep 7
The Apprentice: High-speed hijinks – S16 ep 8