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Episode 10: Stuart gives his verdict

Stuart Baggs | 21:57 UK time, Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The 10th week of The Apprentice is a fence at which no candidate wants to fall. Having been through the process, I can tell you weeks 9 and 10 are perhaps the toughest of them all. You've come so far down the line that leaving without even the basic accolade of reaching the "final 5" would be a real kick in the teeth. More to the point, the atmosphere in the house changes. Those you considered friends become real competition, and everyone suddenly focuses on the prize.

This friction was self evident in tonight's episode, with tensions, tantrums and tears from the off. It was also an episode that delivered a hitherto unheard sound effect from Nick, quite literally barking the words "woof woof".

In the boardroom, #duvetgate ultimately cost Melody her place in the process. Perhaps Lord Sugar should consider his choice of firings before removing a key piece of eye candy in the future.

Hot off the heals of last week's Emergency Biscuit was this week's Emergency Mobile Phone Charger. The only emergency as it transpires was a lack of stock, and a cancelled treat for the winners. Maybe Lord Sugar decided to treat Nick and Karren instead?

Now the final 5 have secured their place, next week's task will sort the men from the boys. Whilst the candidates are probably expecting a round of interviews, they'll actually be running a fast food business. I can see next week's trending Twitter topics already. #hotdoghelen # susiessausage and #tomstomatoes.

Thank's for your comments especially gtdp & KevinRedfern. Like I say, I read everyone and whilst I respect your opinion, when I come to power, you'll be the first forcefully imprisoned.

Until Next Week

Brand Love



  • Comment number 1.

    Does anyone know the haunting piece of piano music that was playing at the end of the programme in the boardroom?

    Have checked on BBC web sites endlessly, but no reference for it. Thanks. Thanks.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's by the composer Erik Satie and the piece is called Gnossienne n°1. All his music has the same eerie sound and are all fantastic.

  • Comment number 3.

    I thought it was probably the best episode yet.

  • Comment number 4.

    an interesting episode considering the teams had to decide when it was appropriate to restock.

  • Comment number 5.

    Isn't she the one who met the Dalai Lama? One has to ask what the poor man could have done in a previous life to suffer such a shallow, self-promoting bore. Can the BBC please investigate and find out what it is she actually does for living as I strongly suspect that she merely works in a Public Sector non-job.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Absolutely" she is no more a business person than Stuart Baggs was, and we all know what a failure he was/is. If she was that successful what is she doing in this process? Another dysfunctional person dying for some "celebrity" but more suited to an x-factor type dumbed down show. She didnt even sense the patronising from Ruby! A Tom/Susan final beckons with Tom the victor, he is the best out of the second weakest field of candidates ever (the weakest by far was last year)

  • Comment number 7.

    A wrong team lost, a wrong person had been fired. I am no Melody fan, but I think she is still a strong candidate with a winning mentality. Yes, listening is her weakness, but hey, everyone has one! How Natasha stayed this long is beyond me. She didnt have a clue in most processes, and the only one she actively contributed is the pet food. In other cases, she was a tag along and worst in this, as she failed to understand about "reinvestment" and that the extra stock + cash in hand = final asset. So, really if she had £300 - she could have reinvested all £300 anyway but she thought the $$ in hand that she brings back is the ultimate winner. She disregarded Jim and Susie and she had the cheek to blame it on Susie for the failure of getting the treat. In other words, she didnt even know or understand what happened in the board room. Thick as you get. And then she just puts the bracelet around her wrist, whistling and jumping around. Clueless and definitely headless. Jim, is the person I stood up for all this while and have proven many critics wrong in this task. With combination of his sense of humour + irish accent + ability to see, he has done v well. My only disappoinment in him, is that, this task was up on his street. he should have been the PM but he stood back and let the girls to have cat-fight. Susie - hmm, a tough one. Ppl think she is the dark horse. The idea of buying bracelet for 1.50 and selling it back for 5 is a great idea and worked well...but she would have been in deep trouble, had the team lost, as the blame can be easily shifted on her for buying those bracelets without team consultation. I dont think she would last long (its either her or Natasha on next series) as she cannot stand up for herself or fight her corner. She is the kind, who runs back home everytime being picked on at school.
    I feel sorry for Melody. I went to the Apprentice, You Are Fired show and when I saw her, my heart melted. She seems a lovely person with that charming smile. But people seemed to be on her case. When she said, she is arrogant at her most vulnerable moment, it is the key. Her weakness is to listen, but then everyone has weaknesses in them. I am not sure if she would have lasted till semi-finals, but it was too early for her to leave. Hope she carries on pursuing her dream.
    My take has always been Natasha, Susie, Tom, Melody, Helen & Jim in order of who gets fired. Seems like that is now mixed up, so lets see how the show procee

  • Comment number 8.

    I still can't believe that BOTH teams missed the point so spectacularly, how was Jim the only person with a proper grip on the whole point of the task? And if Natasha was so bothered by working with Susan she should have put her in charge of making the reinvestments to keep her out the way.
    Ultimately, Melody did deserve to go, regardless of Natasha's flukey win. In the last several weeks she's displayed a total lack of team spirit and total disregard for those with more business experience than her - her hypocrisy in the Paris and biscuit tasks put me off her completely. And she can grumble and whinge all she wants that it's hard to manage a team when they don't respect or listen to you - because she should have thought about that when Tom was trying his hardest to manage her on the Paris task, and Zoe was trying to rein her in on the last task. If ever somebody loved the sound of their own voice more than Melody, I'd be hugely suprised!

  • Comment number 9.

    I posted this on Helen Milligan's page and thought this was nothing but constructive criticism, and an encouragement. But this was clearly not appreciated.

    I do not know Helen personally, but only by what I saw on the programme, and I cannot say I was impressed by her actions (or those of the other team members) in the last programme. Nor was Sugar, and I think she is very lucky she has not been fired, as she kept making a point about the retailers she went to see which she felt was the right thing to do. She was wrong. She should never have reiterated the ‘retailer’ point again in the boardroom, it just highlighted her lack of understanding about business and her lack of entrepreneurial acumen. And Sugar pointed it out, rightly so, that it wasn’t Helen who ‘won’ the previous tasks, she was just lucky to have been in the winning teams, although there is no doubt Sugar would have remembered some of Helen’s effort in the previous tasks. Last programme, in my view, was the easiest task of all the tasks that Sugar has assigned the teams. I expected Helen to shine as she has done in some of the previous tasks. I couldn’t not believe my eyes or ears when the two went into a pound shop to try and sell watches for £25. This is precisely why I don’t watch this show. No initiative, no common sense, no entrepreneurial instinct.

    The other team’s performance was even worse! If I were Allan Sugar, I would have fired them ALL! I would not want to invest into any one in the process, NOT ONE! Melody would walk all over Sugar if she stayed in a partnership with Sugar, Susan would run with whatever comes first into her mind “I have done it, I know it”, and then fail again. Tom would just keep nodding his head all the way through, noting everything in his little notebook, and Helen would be a good olde ‘supporter’, an assistant to Sugar the CEO. Why would Sugar want any one of these people? And why would any one of these want Sugar in the first place if they really are successful individuals? WHY? If I have a brilliant idea, I don’t talk about it, or participate in some ridiculous shows, or beg for money in the Dragon’s Den. I go and do it. Allan Sugar did it, so can anybody else.

    I do not usually watch the show, it is not my favourite show on TV. I believe if a person has an entrepreneurial instinct he/she does not need to prove this through a show, to Allan Sugar or anybody else. More so, this person would not require Allan Sugar's money to succeed. He himself had a penny in his pocket when he started, he did not require a quarter of a million to get where he is now. It is very clear that the participants are in this 'process' for self-promotion purposes and nothing more. I just wish there was something in there to promote in the first place. Very disappointed indeed.

    I really really hope Helen does NOT win, because I do believe she has the potential to succeed and she would be wiser to treat this as an experience and learn from it. She needs to take this as a ‘kick in the but’, a ‘wake up call’ and go and do something real out there in the real world. Prove you are worth it! Start something of your own, start it from scratch. That’s when you show yourself and the rest of the world you are a someone, not a sheep following the rest of the herd, chased by a dog! Allan Sugar is not respected because he asked for a quarter of a million investment. Not at all. He is valued and respected because he made it all from nothing, from scratch. Learn and apply.

  • Comment number 10.

    A fantastic task needing an absolute control on a half an hour or maybe an hour basis; of the exact cash and stock position. This would allow critical decision planning on purchases going forward and would reduce error; by also giving stock choices and stock replenishment, that important business edge. Melody Hossaini failed in this task in not mastering this very important aspect of this challenge. Equally, if you sell one product well, you ensure that a major part of your working capital drives that product sales further and quickly.Going to retailers at all was a very bad mistake too. Melody Hossaini made mistakes but should she have been fired?

    In my opinion, the weakest candidate of the six was Natasha and I am sure Lord Sugar probably would have share my view on this. However, the whole dynamics of this show is quite strong in that even if the wrong candidate gets fired; somehow the right candidate surfaces. In that respect Melody Hossaini should not worry too much on this occasion because despite her very strong performances and some much higher than those of Natasha and in some cases Jim; she was still slightly short of the top grade as Lord Sugar's Apprentice this year.

    Having seen Melody Hossaini's website at InspirEngage, she clearly has credentials and some very noteworthy achievements that include meeting the excellent Al Gore. This website should be viewed so the masses now understand what she really does!

    With all those magnificent credentials and her Iranian background, this attractive and intelligent lady may be able to progress her work into the International political arena periodically to harness peace and prosperity and at difficult times.

    In summary, the dynamics of this show does not allow top performers to stay the course and whilst it's arguable that the likeable Tom should have been fired; Melody should in fact be pleased; as in my opinion her role is away from The Apprentice type set up at this stage; but that does not mean she cannot be as rich as Lord Sugar! Good luck Melody.

    I am hoping Susan Ma wins. She has a neat mind, is presentable, can sell and has shown an understanding and listening class at high levels. Good luck Susan.

    Continuing best wishes,


  • Comment number 11.


  • Comment number 12.

    Had a look at Enspirengage and Melopdys website, its full of the same nonsense that came out of her mouth in the boardroom, meaningless claptrap....

  • Comment number 13.

    Sugar was DYING to sack Natasha (quite rightly) anbd got in a right strop when he couldn't even after inventing a dodgy £100 fine.

  • Comment number 14.

    I have fortunately found a way to view this show from the US and like it better than the one here with Donald Trump. I like people who made it from the earth rather than the clouds.

    Tonight was especially fulfilling to me. While Melody is pretty and has very clear eyes and skin, inside she seems so bitter and not at all up to who she thinks she is.

    I think Melody’s final words said it all:

    “Perhaps our paths will cross again and then I can really tell him what I do.” She did not say “show him”, but "tell him". More talk. She is a very confident person, who will sadly not learn from this the one thing that would empower her the most, the one she lacks the most, humility.


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