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Episode 11: Don't Tell Me The Py's The Limit!

Ben Rawson-Jones, Blog Editor | 12:48 UK time, Thursday, 14 July 2011

The educational powers of The Apprentice came to the fore during the Fast Food task. "Columbus is British... and Caracas is Mexican? - lack of common geography and history knowledge," blasted Rosie Bortoluzzi on the Facebook fan page. It could have been worse. At least Tom didn't think a British detective called Columbo discovered America…

Natasha, Susan and Jim in the restaurant

Mr Notepad Calculator and Helen's culinary concept was described as "either utter madness or complete genius" by the former, but it captured many an appetite. "Pure madness, but it worked", felt Ruth Saele. "I would definitely buy a MyPy... and probably a Columbus one just for the pure irony," tweeted MerriamUK, with former candidate Liz_Locke adding: "Love MYPY, great brand and flawless process throughout". What would the reaction have been if Tom had added an Emergency Pie to the menu? Or even a Piesquit – Half Biscuit, Half Pie, All Gravy Encrusted?

The Twittersphere was full of suggestions for the proposed franchise. "I don't know about Byron ...what about Pyron??" pondered MrPeterStott. "MyPy slogan should've been "I spy with my little pie something 100% British" suggested susannaclark7. A rival franchise was even mooted by Nathan_Jones_: "My Pi… where everything costs £3.14."

Decimal places were the bane of Macho Nacho PM Jim over on the beleaguered rival team and their Mexican food outlet. "I hope Jim becomes my bank manager. I'd be loaded!" laughed Tezarozaboza. "No business plan - no costings - what a fiasco," slammed Anne-Marie Marshall. After the previous task in which Nick Hewer confessed his fondness for the "Irish bulldozer of charm", do you think his stock has taken an irreversible tumble? Richard David Evan Thomas thought so, saying he'd "had enough of his chilli con blarney!"

It was a case of "chilli con carnage" in the boardroom according to sarahsadsocks, as Jim, Natasha and Susan downed their sombreros to desperately fight for survival. "It never bodes well when the candidates have an 'expert' in the team!" surmised emsy_louise, referring to Natasha's four years studying Hospitality at university. That proved to be the candidate's downfall, with sambha25 offering a "great big mexican wave bye bye, natasha!" and Pat Joyce adding "she seemed to have no interest in the task & even withheld a valuable skillset."

On the positive side, at least Natasha persuaded Lord Sugar to order those extra nachos. That accolade surely deserves a place in her CV… just above that fateful BA Hons in Hospitality. I'll leave you with a razor sharp comment from LauzTheGeek to round off the penultimate Debrief of the series…

"Anyone order a final 4?". No Jim, we're still waiting for our fajitas…"

How tasty did you find the Fast Food task? Which restaurant would you have visited and who would you have fired? Click on the Comments button above to have your say.



  • Comment number 1.

    "British detective called Columbo"??? Are you talking about Peter Falk?

  • Comment number 2.

    I was thoroughly dissapointed with Natasha last night, though I haven't been her biggest fan. Her attitude & gesticulation wind me up a treat, then again I did think she handled being PM with the Covered mag task was good despite her ignoring some of the input from focus groups.

    Inevitably she was the one to go because her efforts were waning in the last two tasks as she succumbed to Jim's dominance and sometimes overbearing manner.

    That said, Jim did well to avoid more punishment for having no business plan, though I do agree that he did have to deal with Susie & Natasha. Ideally he should have taken the brand aspect on himself with Natasha alongside him for her guidance, leaving Susie to work on the menu which she should be fully capable of!

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    People often refer to mathematics, one of favourite and strongest subjects, as an art as well as a science and I can really understand and see what they mean by this; the number line is so complex and artistic in patterns that spring up and vast area of different topics that crop up in mathematics. You can also see how mathematics is what you make of it; there is no definite label on how maths should be done, throughout history many cultures have used maths in their daily lives probably right back thousands of years ago when people would evenly share food between a family (the theme of division is evident here). The ancient Egyptians used complex hieroglyphs for their fractions that still only a trained interpreter would be able to understand and make the correct calculations with. It is this that intrigues me the most about mathematics; how different cultures used mathematics in a variety of different ways and the history behind discovery's and great advances in maths.....and the cultures and the new company being formed by Lord Sugar will need mathematics!.....and so Jim goes into the final with a rather sad minus to say the least for not knowing his 60 times table or worse still his 7 times table!

    This was a very tough challenge week but in my opinion both the ideas from the teams were poor. The fast food industry is a walk out pace industry where the product is already made in most respects and sometimes making a very simple product pays....even ready hot baguettes pay!

    Jim's lack of business fundamentals was a disaster and any Director or Managing Partner would be horrified, just like I was; and Helen's 23% margin....well that's a different type of financial meltdown in view of the huge overheads of these business models. Nevertheless, Helen flew through because she had numbers and not because they were good numbers. This should give an indication of why I do not believe Helen, as good as she is, is not the one to win The Apprentice this year, and despite her ten wins so far.

    Natasha's long overdue sacking at last happened; proving that the dynamics of this show also allows weaker candidates their longer stays but eventually they are weeded out too. Personally both Leon and Glenn were much better candidates than Natasha in this series; and whilst both would not feature in my last four, they were far better than Natasha.

    So again, Susan Ma is my choice this year and for all her competencies and superb attributes and those that I have mentioned before. So, good luck Susan again.

    Continuing best wishes,


  • Comment number 5.

    Anyone else think that Tom is just like Brains from Thunderbirds? Especially with the way he moves his hands/forearms???

  • Comment number 6.

    VINCENT DISNEUR is a brilliant double of Eric Idle in the "Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink" sketch from Monty Python.
    TOM PELLEREAU could easily be played by actor Michael Sheen or by Brains from Thunderbirds (Thanks Sukey).
    Anyone else with more Apprentice Lookalike ideas?

  • Comment number 7.

    Didn't need to watch the last 3 episodes to see who was in the final. The front cover of the Radio Times available on 21st June had a picture of Tom, Jim, Helen and Susan. Bit of a clue as to who was going through. Waste of time watching who was going to be fired as we already knew.

  • Comment number 8.

    It took me ages to get registered to voice my opinion on this matter-mess around with this-get onto this blah blah-now i'm here-i am flabbergasted that any of the *wats that are on the show have, or are going to be our nations business elite-it really beggars belief-that Jim is a total bully & sexist-he should get thrown off NOW!!!

  • Comment number 9.

    In last Wednesday's Apprentice programme, contestants decided Christopher Columbus was English. No-one disputed this, not even Karen, although Nick looked dubious.

    Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Helen and Tom were brilliant and I loved the simplicity of the name they chose. In my opinion, they both deserve to be given a chance in life, but sadly, Jim will be the winner.
    Now, Degrees and Universities and whenever I had a chance to watch an episode, every time I saw at least one candidate letting out IGNORANCE and total lack of general knowledge; every single one and today it just got pathetic. Opening a Mexican food restaurant and call it Caracas? And, they didn't even know what the word stood for?! And these people have Degrees?! Had they gone for MARACAS, it would be okay since it is a musical instrument and which is used namely in Mexico as well as other countries, but the Venezuelan Capital and they didn't even know what it was?! Degrees or not, these people candidate themselves to this sort of thing and won't give a minute of thought to the ridiculous figure they may become, because of their ignorance and worse of all, thinking that it is funny not knowing what CARACAS is.
    Tom and Helen, also messed up with the Columbus bit, but at least their work, their capacity to do a job well done, sort of lets me forgive them. And no, it was not Columbus who discovered potatoes, but that is another story.

    Susan, well I praise her for all she has done and understand that life was not easy, but she is not yet ready for the big world and needs to learn a lot, including a bit more manners, although she is going in the right direction in all fields and I wish her the very best.

    Tom, given time and help or support, could be a brilliant fellow in business, but is still very green.

    Jim is mostly talk and very charming indeed but I think he is the one that is not going to have 1 error in the Business Plan, but loads and he is not polished enough for the big world; he would not know the difference between a fish fork and a steak knife, if I may put it that way.

    Helen, not only is she ready and trained, she is organised, she knows what she wants, how to do a job, she is dedicated, very professional and no doubt, she is the ideal business partner and I would love to work with her; she is ready in every aspect and girl, I hope you get it, though I doubt it as his "Lordship" is going to prefer someone who he identifies more with; Jim.

    Caracas?! The name for a Mexican restaurant?! I should be laughing, but I am saddened by their ignorance.

  • Comment number 12.

    I couldn't belive that Jim said that 60x7= 4.800 ? but Helen is sparkling, I hope she win.

  • Comment number 13.

    Ok... in my predictions in the Episode 9 blog comments... I had predicted Susan and Helen in the final with Helen winning. Well... it looks like now there is no one-on-one final... just selecting the winner after the interviews.

    So, I still think Helen is the winner. It appears that the main focus of the interviews is the business case. And I think Helen is really the one that will have assembled the most robust and solid document. Jim's business case will get torn apart for half truths and embellishments. Tom just seems to have his head on the create side of business and will not have the business case rigors necessary to top Helen. Lastly... and my favorite, Susan... even through I hope she will win, I think her business background is more "street smart" then book smart (and she is a bit young)... so I think this will hurt the business case she produces.

    And a final factor... Helen does have significant experience in dealing with senior corporate leaders so I think this will enable her to navigate the interviews leaving the best impression of the four candidates. Well... just my thoughts... and I guess that is it to next year. Have a good summer all.

  • Comment number 14.

    @Dinesh - I think the 23% was the costs rather than the margin; she did say that the steak pie was 41% and that they knew they were taking a hit on that.

    I think Tom and Susan have to be the favourites; why would Lord S have kept them in the process if he didn't have one eye on their business case from the start?

  • Comment number 15.

    How do I get an email to the producers ? I have an absolutely Brilliant idea for Toms Ergonomically Designed Inventive Chair... Which with my pre-orders and estimation a lot of chairs indeed..

    Mark Hamilton-Taylor [Personal details removed by Moderator] see my results offering a similar service so with another product we could really make a difference their is angle they have not displayed they have even thought about ? https://mhtlife.com/testimonials-2/


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