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Episode 9: Emercrunchy On Planet Earth!

Ben Rawson-Jones, Blog Editor | 21:56 UK time, Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Bloody hell. You can understand Lord Sugar's choice of words upon seeing the results of the Biscuit Task, as the seemingly unstoppable Helen and her team Venture destroyed their opponents. Fittingly for an outfit pushing a Snap 'n' Share product, there was plenty of snapping on Zoe's team Venture. It all culminated in the Project Manager leaving in a taxi - which she fortunately did not have to share. But would you have fired her?

Melody and Tom make biscuits


In a parallel universe, Zoe might have plumped for the upshot of Tom's cunning plan to "push the boundaries in creating something unique" – the 'Emercrunchy' biscuit! A treat designed "to be eaten in an emergency", the product would been better material for amorous pitches to supermarkets than Bix Mix. Just imagine how it would have unfolded before Nick Hewer's twitching eyebrows…

Tom: Hi honey, I'm home!

Melody: Hey sweetie, how are you?

Tom: Great thanks, but what's this I smell? Is it gas?

Melody: That's right sugarplums – there has been a gas leak.  But I don't know what to do!

Tom: This is really serious!

Melody: I know. (cough) I think I'm going to pass out. (splutter)

Tom: Well… (strokes his chin) I think it's time to crack open The Emercrunchy! Where are they cuteypie?

Melody: They're… (cough)

Tom: Where?

Melody: (cough) They're… (wheeze)

Zoe: (stepping into view) Actually, they're in the hands of Team Logic and these pimped up digestives can be yours right now for just £1.99!

Tom and Melody: (in unison) Woohoo!

Who would possibly turn that down? Other intriguing biscuit ideas included Helen's 'Men That Munch', which even Natasha of 'how to blow your load' fame deemed to be "a bit rude", and Melody's 'Popscuit'. This hybrid concoction of popcorn and biscuit failed to impress the focus group though. Just as well, as the next logical step in that line of products would be the 'Gumscuit' – a chewable biscuit that would be the scourge of pavements across the globe. Which one of the proposed biscuits would you most like to be crunching on?

Jim's ambitious pitch for Special Stars propelled Venture into the ascendancy, securing a whopping 800,000 orders in return for exclusivity. The "Irish bulldozer of charm" stopped just short of projecting a hologram of David Beckham mid pitch, in which the footballer professes to wholeheartedly endorse the brand. Presumably a large delivery of Special Stars will soon be dumped in the front garden of Number 73 in return for the Rubbish Task snubbing of the alleged Jedi.

It was to be Zoe who was fired for the critical mistake of not attending the biscuit development, something she initially wanted to do until Melody and Susan persuaded her otherwise. At least she can look forward to a new career path – in acting. For not even Kate Winslet could have summoned up the amount of thespian prowess required to act all pally with Melody in the 'girly night in' roleplay moments after their epic fall out in the supermarket aisle. Today The Apprentice. Tomorrow The Academy Awards.

 

What are your thoughts on the Biscuit Task and the staggering result? Let us know by clicking on the Comments button above. 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Watching this episode amazed me, I designed the same product in my GCSE graphics class in 2001! I think my packaging was better though! It was obviously a good concept, although being a vain 15 year old, I named mine vickstar!

  • Comment number 2.

    I can not believe Melody is still there! Last week she listened to the Market research in France just because she didn't like the product, despite the fact most of the people she asked did. This week she decides that ten people can't possibly be right just because they disagreed with her. Also why wasn't she picked up on her disgusting remark last week about the north; "it's not like we are going to a car boot sale or the north"!!!??
    That role play was just embarrassing, I really hope she is fired next week, she makes my blood boil!!

  • Comment number 3.

    Was Zoe supporting a hickey in the boardroom or was it just a scratch on her neck? https://the-apprentice-fired.blogspot.com/2011/06/zoe-crumbles-in-biscuit-challenge.html

  • Comment number 4.

    This episode was one of those tasks where there was a clear opportunity for all the candidates to shine and contribute. The results even with the time constraints looked just average especially when you consider the whole biscuit market, both nationally and globally. Nevertheless, both teams made an item, packaged the item, branded the item and made presentations and well done for that. However, there was no sparkle, no example of excellence where a £250,000 prospective investment becomes a reasonable investment in a candidate and a business venture.

    The 800,000 order placed by ASDA needs careful thought. I like Walmart, I really like Walmart's excellent ASDA but their credibility, their own standards from an intelligence perspective has to be questioned on how an order of the magnitude of 800,000 units with a retail value of some £1.6 million could be made in such circumstances. If The Apprentice show is not careful the various companies with their chosen employees as representatives may start making showmanship their real motive as opposed to real and actual management processing of orders. I would not place an order of £1.6 million if I managed the excellent ASDA stores; I may go to say £0.3 million maximum on a trial basis for this particular item. This point is worth consideration because serious shows can become comedies if orders are seriously unbelievable. Overall, as I predicted earlier, I did think Zoe was one of the weaker candidates and now Lord Sugar is left with a good set for his possible "Star". Continuing best wishes.

    Best Regards,

    DINESH R MAKWANA (DREAMWORDS AND INORBITS)

  • Comment number 5.

    I am with Katharine on this one... Melody should go, but not surprised she is still in the game. She is covered herself very well in the boardroom so far. She might get caught before the interview process... but I willing to bet she doesn't get past that. Either based on her own past/personality... and/or based on her business proposal (which we heard a bit of in a previous episode and does not sound very promising). I think she will be found to have built a lot of her confidence from NGO roles and positions which she thinks makes her a great business leader but will not impress the interview panel. In the end, the truth will be seen during those interviews anyway.

    As for predictions... I have always liked Susan. Helen has come on strong as of late... and can say has surpassed Susan. Susan may be a bit immature, but I think she is a quick learner and can mature quick enough. I think the final will be Susan and Helen with Helen getting the win. The others... Jim and Natasha are more talk than substance and Tim, although a smart guy, is just not decisive/forceful enough. Just my thoughts.

  • Comment number 6.

    I am not sure if this has been discussed as yet, but the key to winning the tak was to properly interpret the feedback from the focus groups. this was done very well by Jim who was relativly quiet but intractive to gain the best information. the next step is to fully utilize the information on your road to market.
    The losing team seemed to think that you had to pitch your ideas to a focus group (Dumb) the response was, well as you saw" silent" it frutrated me to see people clouding the judgments and comments of the foocus group that was their to serve them by not listening and using this very useful and powerful apprasail and marketing tool.
    one word that im ssure has been used alot and can be directly relavant to my rant above "Melody".

    Rant over
    Regards
    Mark

  • Comment number 7.

    ASDA role played along with Jim. He was promising TV coverage and links with films and film stars. This was also an exclusive deal so ASDA would have had free advertising paid for by somebody else as well.

  • Comment number 8.

    Interesting episode - I am sceptical over the ASDA order.. are they actually going to pay £1m+ to Sugar and 'Swansea biscuits inc' for those Special Stars - in fact, I guess they will have been in Supermarkets (and bargain bins) for some time now.

    Think it was a little unfair for Zoe to go, she often talked a lot of sense, and had to deal with strong personalities. But allowing that awful roleplay to go on was a huge mistake. No one would take you or your product seriously after that.

    @ Prophetic_Blogger - I think that is a scar from surgery rather than a hickey! Glad to see her smiling on the post show interviews.

  • Comment number 9.

    Why wasn't the pitch deliverd to Asda disqualified on the grounds of obvious mis-representation. As was said by Lord Sugar, anyone could drive products into a store by promising them upwards of a £20m advertising budget spend to launch the product. It would appear that the ASDA order was heavilly decided on the information provided at this particular pitch. Does this mean that in future tasks the contestants are allowed to deliberately lie to achieve their goals? To me it all seems like double standards, not a level playing field and totally unfair.

  • Comment number 10.

    I have never cringed so hard before in my life as I watched Melody and Tom play out that god awful advert in a pitch to a buyer. I actually couldn't sit still I was so uncomfortable with what they were trying!

    I think because of this & Melody's desperate struggle with power when she isn't PM is seriosuly undermining her challenge on Helen.

    Helen is now out front on her own with Tom & Jim rescuing themselves from previous slips, but still not in the category of untouchable. Leaving Melody and Susanne, who will both, sadly fall by the way side because of their attitude to working with others and unprofessional manner of handling relationships. Cut throat or not, Alan will not want to go into business with someone who either refuses to accept other POV's or fails to notice the key details of their required tasks.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi All,
    What another great show last night! Loved it. This is certainly the best series to date.
    I’d just like to make one point; I don’t think Jim got the credit he deserved for this task. Essentially he won the task for his team based on his pitch, regardless of how outrageous his marketing ideas were. He was never given a budget to market the product, so he was correct to “aim for the stars” (pardon the pun) and pull out all the shots when asked how he would market it. Excellent pitch and he showed his marketing awareness by telling Asda exactly what they wanted to here. If Lord Sugar is smart, Jim is his partner! He is head and shoulders above the other candidates.

  • Comment number 12.

    Firstly, I am so glad Zoe got fired. She is a bully, especially against Susan and she lies all the time. In previous episodes she categorically denied Susan's claim of the boiler deal and this time she denied Melody's claim of insisting that they need to get target audience first. She also then expressed how disgusting the biscuit was, when she was all praise about it, being like an old school. Yes, when you are in boardroom and almost to be fired, you are under pressure and you say things that you never intend to, but sometimes its over the top. I dont think she respects her colleagues, and as we seen in on tv, she wasnt professional by showing the gun signs etc on the phone everytime Melody speaks. And the fight in Asda? How unprofessional is that. So yes, Lord Sugar did give the right boot.
    Next, Melody. She seems intelligent and she is but as Lord Sugar sum up last week, she will bite you, chew you and then spit you for breakfast (or somewhere along the line). She is very insistent on what she thinks is a good product and completely ignores the focus group feedback. She ignored last week about the bag/car seat and she ignored the "no pop-corns" this week. Sometimes she doesnt think straight - you can stick in 200 pop corns or more in your mouth, can you do the same with biscuits - especially when watching a movie? She is a strong candidate but she is full of herself, though she did from the 1st second insisted that they need target audience. She was also almost crying that she didnt want the Snap and Share product, though Tom was spot on, on the concept of it. Its a great idea...though Sugar was right, the choc should have been sprayed vertically, not horizontally...that would have been more attractive.
    Finally Jedi Jim...ha, he is my favourite though I think with Helen's 9 tasks winning track records, she is in the lead to win. I feel sorry for him as he is being targetted by Lord Sugar and crew. He has the charm but its not like he had a gun on Helen's head and told her if she didnt go with his lines, he would shoot her? The Anytime is a Treatime is definitely a flaw motto. Though Natalie was against it, she didnt suggest one of her own yet alone insisted that it wouldnt click well to the target audience. Ah, my least favourite and I think the only person being carried in this process....though her luck is that she has been on winning team a lot. But Helen went for it. Shocking. Having said that, for Jim to go down to the factory, run the whole process including getting f

  • Comment number 13.

    opps, comment chopped off.
    Having said that, for Jim to go down to the factory, run the whole process from manufacturing the star biscuits to getting and delivering the right feedback from focus group, you have take your hats off for that. But even then Karen on You Are Fired show last night took the credit from him by stating it wasnt the pitch that won the order (ok it may not be, but give him some slack!). He has the right to claim that one though. He is a bit mouthy and sometimes I sit on my sofa asking him to shut up (not that he is able to hear me!) as I feel his mouth might cause him his place, had their team lost...
    Susan - very good but no chance in finals, as her only weakness is that she cannot defend herself and she hasnt got the authoritive voice. Its always "its really unfair for you to say that..."
    In conclusion, Zoe was right to be fired, Melody needs to listen and share, Susan needs to be more authoritive and Jedi Jim needs to meditate more.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think that number just needs reiterating: 800,000 units. With an RRP of just under £2, that's a total taking (pre-cost) of £1.6 MILLION. How on EARTH did they do that?!

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry to all the Jim lovers, yes there was no set budget to market the product, but for Jim to fulfill that deal he would have to spend near £10m to brand & advertise so although it is an order of £1.6m RETAIL stock, it won't be worth that much to the company. In fact it would be a record loss of near £9m because the exclusivity prevents them from selling the same amount to Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons & Waitrose.

  • Comment number 16.

    This is a wild shot but I'm posting this in the hope someone might see this and help. I was always taught that if you don't ask you don't get.

    I head a children's charity in the Isle of Man. The very same place where Stuart Baggs resides.

    The charity I work for goes into schools and helps young people develop business and entrepreneurial skills. We have Nick Hewer coming to the Isle of Man in November to give a talk to year 12 students.

    We are holding a corporate fundraising event and I would love to get hold of some of boxes of the star buiscuits from series 9 or any other memorabilia from the Apprentice. Any suggestions?

  • Comment number 17.

    Is there anyone who felt Zoe was unlucky to be fired?

 

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