Beauty in the eyes of “The Apprentice” beholders

April 15, 2009

Incompetence, in-fighting and all-round confusion. That’s right folks, “The Apprentice” is back on our screens tonight and this time “Britain’s best business prospects” (their words, not ours) are here to show us how not to sell beauty products.

Sir Alan Sugar shuffles the teams again (as if that will make any difference) and picks two of the “quiet ones” as project managers. Paula and Noorul lead the teams as they try to create and sell their own line of cosmetics and, for once, they both get off to a good start.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t last. Under Paula’s rule, team Empire plug for a shower gel and soap combo and head to Poole beach to collect their key ingredient, seaweed (as you do). It all falls apart, however, when they misread the formula of their product and confuse three percent with three grams and, to make matters worse, expensive sandalwood with cheap-as-chips cedarwood.

When Nick Hewer, Sir Alan’s right-hand man, points out how much product they will have to shift to make any money, the candidates are, for once, speechless.

Meanwhile, team Ignite put all their faith in a honey-based product which, despite team leader Noorul’s chemistry background, does not turn out as planned. Unable to start again, they are left trying to sell a product that is sticky and congealed.

Needless to say, the punters are hardly enthused. But when faced with sales-pitches like “Come on, you can give it to your mother” and “It’s a personal favourite of the Queen” (lie), who can blame them?

Not so much soap as soap-opera. And all the better for it.

— The Apprentice, Wednesday April 15 at 9pm on BBC ONE —

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