Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Apprentice UK Season 7 Episode 5

Two birds in one stone! I honestly didn't expect to see a double elimination but great for Lord Sugar to rid me of Ellie and Vincent's presence. In all honesty I did not expect Ellie to be fired for this task but it's pretty obvious Lord Sugar doesn't like a bystander and Ellie was for most of the tasks. She was never going to win so why not fire her now? But suddenly this whole process has got that much tighter, now we only have 10.

Question: Why did they go all the way up to Lincolnshire to make pet food? I'm utterly perplexed.

From the get go Vincent's idea was flawed but the editing of the episode made me think that Venture may incur their first loss, luckily this wasn't the case because all designers know that all encompassing is never good in design; you need to be a specific, find a niche. It's a very naive but common mistake to fall into. Vincent was so enthused about the idea that he didn't get the point even after speaking to a vet, that was his biggest downfall. By all means Tom tried to speak wisdom to Vincent but honestly did he do enough?

Well Venture didn't do too well themselves. Glenn suffered a vital error and that was to think that "I'm a designer so I can single handedly win this task", did he get any help from his team? I didn't see any and none of them seemed enthused at all. Whilst personally I did not favour the name "Lucky Fish" I thought CatSize was too confusing. Firstly it sounds like capsize to me (which they nearly did) and secondly they put the slogan "See their light" or did they spell it they're? I'm not too sure. It was too gimmicky and like a joke that only the teller understand, basically far too confusing and actually for a "designer" Glenn never sold it, he doesn't speak eloquently enough.

So there were a few segments of this task to judge; the advert and poster, the packaging, the idea and the pitch. Logic's advert was decent, it sold the product well enough so Natasha did do a good job but I don't think it was that important relative to the other parts of the product. Also, I did like their poster. Venture's advert was awful, I didn't understand it the voice over was too overpowering and weird and the language used just didn't work. So Logic wins this round.

Packaging design is something I've had a touch of myself, whilst I'd argue there wasn't much input into the actual design of the packaging I think it's still an important part of the project because in the end that's the finished product that is advertised. In that perspective CatSize was much better and looked very professional whilst Everydog looked just like its name - too bland and a tad cheap. Catsize wins this round.

Idea wise it's obvious Catsize did miles better simply because they honed in on a USP which Everydog didn't. Whilst they could have improved on this I think the concept was there and that's the most important part of the design process in this project. Catsize 2, Everydog 1.

But a redeeming factor for Everydog was the pitch. Melody pitched well, she is becoming a slight favourite, but Leon was too jumpy and it was evident he was nervous and unsure of what he was saying. So 2 to 2 but I'll still give it to CatSize anyday.

Quote of the Week:
Lord Sugar: Never mind Logic you should be branded tragic.

This must be the first time on Apprentice history that somebody has lost 5 times in a row. Whilst Tom has a chance to redeem himself Vincent doesn't and must be statistically the worst Apprentice candidate of all time based on that fact.

What did surprise me this week was the sudden "lets all blame Jim" stance that everybody suddenly took. I'm not a fan of Jim but I don't see why he was victimised. What he did was give an idea out, which at the end of the day everybody has to do, to be blamed for that because it's a bad idea is going too far. These guys aren't industry professionals, they probably speak a lot of bollocks but the person to blame is the one who acted on this idea and that was ultimately Vincent. However Vincent should have brought Jim back simply on tactical terms.

So with 10 left we are starting to see who the favourites and weak links are. After this week Jim is in huge danger, originally he was a favourite but now he will be scrabbling to survive because Lord Sugar has his card marked so he really needs to step up. Tom has set himself out to be a huge contender because he has been seen as "the guy with logic and isn't afraid to say it" type of candidate and so will be a huge threat. Whilst I think Melody won't win simply because of the way she speaks, Lord Sugar likes the more straight talking type, she has set herself as a contender for the final stages as well because she hasn't done much wrong and is steadily making a good impression. Glenn is now a huge question mark, I think he isn't a huge favourite to get kicked out soon but his performance didn't mark him up to be a favourite either. The fact that he hasn't been featured much is a worry. Leon is now looking to be a sure fire Top 5 guy though I think he has a minimal chance of winning. Edna and Helen really need to start showing up because they've been very quiet lately. Natasha is slowly climbing back up, she's not going to win but could be a dark horse whilst in my heart I do think Susan makes it far but just not far enough. The dark horse is definitely Zoe in my opinion, I don't like her but I just have a feeling she'll make it reasonably far.

My favourites now are Susan and Melody with Zoe still my least liked contestant this series. Leon is starting to grate on me so he's now taken the spot of second to last on my favourites list.

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