This week the candidates met Lord Sugar, Claude and Karren on an airport runway. This is where they should have ALL stayed if they wanted to protect their reputations as serious business people.

Apprentice candidates meeting on a runway

Meeting on a runway

This was the task that will go down in Apprentice history. This is the task where I would have loved to have been part of the conversation between Karren, Claude and Lord Sugar as tales were recounted of bombs in logos and wipe down air hostess outfits. After the initial disbelief, there must have been some belly laughs, before Lord Sugar sobered up and realised he had to invest in one of these clowns.

Ok, I’m being unfair, not everyone lost respect in my eyes, some emerged almost unscathed due, in the most part, to staying safe but my top ten is now dramatically different as I felt a little let down by some of the worthier candidates.

A Quick Run Through the Episode

I won’t bore you with the ins and outs – the Independent and the Metro will do that but for context, this is an overview of what was supposed to happen.

The teams were to come up with logos, branding, uniforms, and TV ads for a fictitious airline. They could choose a demographic, business or party. Kurran became project leader on one side, (he had no choice), while Sabrina put herself forward for the other.

Leaders like Limp Handshakes

From the outset it was clear neither had great leadership ability. Kurran, despite his dapper appearance and air of Persian royalty allowed himself to be cajoled into representing the 18-30 party market. The Lambrini swigging brits who love to pull moonies at passing planes, and carry inflatable phallic objects as they dare Sharon to cop off with the DJ. This is not Kurran’s scene at all.

Sabrina, meanwhile, chose business flyers but seemed to become confused as she tried to “trendy” the brand, adding slapstick humour with Kayode to a soundtrack for coffin dodgers. It was not a good combination. Luckily, her weak leadership meant that Jasmine took over, mostly, and they did produce something almost professional, although Jasmine’s sense of humour reached mythical status.

Where Did It All Go Wrong?

Where didn’t it go wrong? There were so many mistakes made that this episode was hilarious. Like car crash TV I couldn’t help but watch. Usually I’d shout at the screen and cringe at the mistakes being made but after ten minutes viewing I gave up and saddled up for the ride, and my, what a roller coaster it was. It was clear from the beginning that there was no saving either project. This was an episode on how NOT to launch an airline.

In my humble opinion, I think a lot of errors could have been avoided if both sides had simply written down what their target market look for in an airline. What anyone looks for in an airline.

Answers they wouldn’t have found on the list:

  • Fun
  • Boozy
  • Flirty
  • Funny
  • Meek

Answers that should be on the list include:

  • Safety (probably a top priority)
  • Reliability
  • Comfort
  • Value for Money
  • Stress Free
  • Flight Frequency
  • Reputation
  • Modern Technology

It’s no surprise that neither team took the second list into consideration.

Sabrina’s Airline

I can’t even remember what it was called, that’s what I mean by meek. I remember a clock and an M on a dirty water background. I remember Kyode with inflatables being ultra annoying, I remember Jasmine’s stern face and the soundtrack, “highway to hell” and I remember the Emirate Airlines hostess outfit but I can’t recall the name. Sabrina and Kyode thought that being creative meant being funny. Sometimes, that works however not when people are literally putting their lives in your hands. Humour does not work well with an airline. Reassurance, confidence and safety work brilliantly. Cheap jokes do not. I think both were a little out of their depth choosing a more mature audience to market to.

The Apprentice 2018

Kyode annoys a business passenger

Meanwhile Tom designed a logo that was not his best work, while Sarah Ann modelled an air hostess outfit that seemed as symbiotic as Venom due to the pained look on her face. There was little originality, while the tagline, “save and prepare” sounded like a funeral plan.

Kurran’s Airline

I felt a little sorry for Kurran. He believed his team hung on his every word. He believed his team would do as they were told. They didn’t. Jackie and Camilla sewed him up like an old kipper as they designed the most disgusting brand ever to grace a runway. Starting with the name, JetPop. Although viewers didn’t really complain at this as it was better than the alternative – StrawPedo. What on earth was Camilla thinking? The logo included an explosion, which Jackie and Camilla were so thrilled with, not once connecting the dots and realising a bomb should never be associated with an airline. Then came the podium dancer outfit.

Jackie models the outfit

It was certainly eye catching, bright, loud and original. It was also practically swimwear which was confirmed as Jackie reassured the panel that is was “wipe down”. Even Claude broke his staunch stance and could be seen enjoying a raucous belly laugh at the incredulous looks on the airline expert’s faces. As Jackie began to demonstrate the versatility of the outfit, the whole room held its breath, convinced she was to become topless, as where else could the outfit go?

There will be memes, many memes, made of this episode.

Karren summed it up brilliantly when she asked, “can you imagine asking a woman to wear that?” Now, if Richard Branson was hiring from Hooters or the Playboy mansion, maybe!

Personally I’d have chosen a practical layered outfit for a variety of seasons, that included NO HEELS. In fact if I was a contestant I’d also wear no heels. How do the girls sprint around London effectively in Jimmy Choos? Those sore little toes must really put a dampener on their attitudes.

I’m a huge fan of Claude and admit he used to terrify me, but even then I admired him. He saw through the bull and didn’t suffer fools gladly, he still doesn’t. I do hope he’s interviewing this year. He’ll sort the wheat from the chaff!

Kurran meanwhile directed and produced an advert as if he’d been handpicked by Warner Bros to do so.

Kurran takes his directing seriously

This was his calling and nothing would stand in his way. Khadija tried to, but even her scowl didn’t make him back down, probably because he’s never run into the typical “hard girl” in a comprehensive school.

I’m Leaving On a Jetplane…

Kurran left the process, only to be immortalised by his words on “You’re Fired!”

“I had a plan but I can’t say it had anything to do with business.”

As he finds it difficult to move and speak at the same time, I don’t think it has much to do with acting either, although he’s certainly provided entertainment. Bravo Kurran, you shall be missed!