The Apprentice, Series 16, Episode 6: The Mulletted Bargaineer

Ah, the strong smell of cheddar and a back note of an HR disaster when he gets back to the office and has to explain why he bought these tickets.

This is a preemptive apology to the Welsh Tourism Bureau, I hope you recover swiftly.

We pick up where we left off in the last episode, with the candidates being bundled off down to Wales where they would have to put on tours for a tourist attraction and potentially commit upwards of 3 hate crimes along the way. Wales, I am sorry, if there was any justice in the world the next task would be to have the candidates produce apologetic muffin baskets for everyone within a 15 mile radius of Blaenau Ffestiniog and whichever field Brittany tortured her tourists in.

There’s no time for mixing up the teams, so we have:

Kathryn, Amy, Aaron, Harpreet and Akeem.

Stephanie, Sophie, Akshay, Nick and Brittany’s Occasional Existence.

I don’t quite know how the activities the groups got were decided, usually they’d have to pitch themselves to site owners or something, but in this case one team was given the thrill of a zipline and a slate mine and the others had to make do with a train ride and painting in a field…?

Some Miner Issues

With Aaron, Kathryn, Akeem and Harpreet having all taken the reigns as a Project manager, Amy really should have just stepped forward and bitten the bullet, but as Amy is want to do she immediately rejects the position as “she has no experience in tourism and hospitality” only to minutes later talk about all of her experience in selling theatre tickets to tourists in Edinburgh, which was about as much experience as Kathryn had in the field, and who eventually stepped up to the plate of being PM. Meaning she is the first candidate to do it twice. I can’t blame Amy, she’s clearly waiting for that very common task in which they have to shift a bulk of eyebrow razors…

Immediately pricing became the biggest issue that this team would face with Kathryn just wildly listing potential ticket prices at her teammates just to see which one would make them wince the least, the ballpark figure being that they wanted to try and sell a spur of the moment tour purchase to people on Llandudno Pier at £85 only to then become an absolute cropper at the negotiation with the owner of the Llechwedd Slate Mine who, like a fish restaurant owner being sold monkfish at £30 a fillet, was mortally offended when Kathryn offered to buy a batch of tickets for £40 each. And so he gradually inches them higher and higher until Kathryn has shilled out £62 per ticket and is sweating in her seat because she’s being watched by Karren dressed like she’s about to kill her husband on the ski slopes

but don’t worry, Kathryn is confident that they can sell the tour for £90 because there’s also a cheese tasting session tacked onto the end of it. Now, I love cheese as much as the next person who regularly wakes up at 2am with the munchies, but no amount of luxury cheddar is going to make me pay £90 for a tour I bought from someone on a pier shouting down a megaphone and sounding like someone left a WatchMojo video on maximum volume

and these two really sold themselves on their selling abilities, and in the process made themselves sound like better candidates for Project Manager with Amy’s aforementioned experience and Aaron having literally worked as a holiday rep…? It became very clear to the two of them that they were, in absolutely no realm of reality, going to be able to hawk their tour for £85, especially when one of you sounds like a countdown of the Top 10 Most Iconic Drag Race Runway Moments interspersed with adverts for Squarespace. The fear really set in once Kathryn told them their tickets had been bought for £62 each

The Amy Having a Miserable Time Cinematic Universe is ever expanding.

And so they desperately restarted their ticket selling but alas, Aaron was no match for The Myth, The Legend, The Icon that is The Mulletted Bargaineer

who very swiftly cut their £85 price down to £70 without so much as blinking and leaving Aaron thoroughly rattled

Despite the odds, Amy and Aaron did manage to sell all of their tour tickets, none of which was for the full ambitious £85 – which wasn’t very surprising considering at no point did they seem to mention that the tour involved a zipline or an abundance of cheese, instead they seemed to exclusively focus on Akeem’s Tour of Mining Death. But Amy and Aaron made sure to lead with the fact they sold all their tickets during their team meet-up, which Kathryn was absolutely thrilled by

only to very quickly crush any hope she had of winning by telling her they were for £70

I know everyone talks about Karren being the Reaction Jpeg Queen but Kathryn deserves an Oscar nomination for her contribution to the artform.

In order to make up for the fact they were only making an £8 profit per ticket, the pressure was on MsMojo and Aaron to negotiate a decent commission price on any cheese they managed to sell to their tourists. So Amy opened up with a brazen 45% figure with the cheesemonger visibly curdling in from her and saying that he’ll do 5% BUT! If they managed to sell all 20 of his £40 luxury cheese hampers to the tourists, he’ll give them 17% for each one, which would’ve netted them £136. The catch however was that there were only 16 people on the tour, of which at least one person was willing to buy £80 worth of cheese

and I’m proud of her.

And who could have resisted the cheese after Amy sermonised her cheese tasting session

Oh Lord and Saviour, Cheesus Christ.

And while Amy eulogised her newfound love of cheese, having spent most of her life eating American Government Cheese, Aaron stood beside her begging for the sweet release of death

this series has rapidly dissolved into a race between the contestants to be fired – there’s a distinct energy about it all that NOBODY except maybe Kathryn, Harpreet and Akeem actually want to be involved with the show anymore.

I probably would’ve needed 3 weeks worth of cheese too after being taken on Akeem’s Tour of Mining Tragedies. If you thought Akeem was excited about last week’s video game challenge, the man was positively euphoric as he pored over his book of mining facts that he got from the gift shop, and he was confident he had an angle for his debut as a tour guide

and then he went on to only talk about the horrors of the slate mine and the gruesome ways in which the miners died – which isn’t *unfair* considering that’s basically all you learn about mining in Year 7 and expecting the candidates to offer anything above a junior school education in a historical subject is asking the world of them – I will never forget the series in which the candidates had to conduct tours of Hever House and one of them consistently referred to the portrait of Anne Boleyn as “a photograph”.
But I did HOWL when one of the tourists asked what the miners ate and Akeem just stared into the never ending abyss of the mine where the “misbehaving miners” were sent to eat alone as a punishment

so Harpreet had to come to his rescue, and in the process made the Welsh miners sound like a raft of ducks

and Kathryn offered an assist

Was it Miner-strone? Carrot and Colliery? Cream of Tomat-ore? How are my mining soup puns going down?

I do think this group had the better tour and definitely conducted it the best – God bless Kathryn going full Butlins in truly miserable weather while their tourists bundled up in several layers and Karren watched from afar like a woman standing atop a Widow’s Walk waiting for her whaling husband to return from sea

sadly we were robbed of watching Karren going down the zipline in her House of Gucci costume, but she did it nonetheless

and screamed significantly less than Akeem.

Trains Rights

While the other team had the high octane thrill of a 40mph zipwire to absolutely not capitalise off of, this team, helmed by Steph, had to make do with a vintage train and an open field. But at least they had some whisky at the end, because OH BOY, were their tourists going to need it.

Steph managed to at least negotiate a significantly better price on their tickets for the train ride, with each one costing them £47.50, it’s just a shame she then decided to make her selling team Sophie and Akshay, which Sophie was obviously thrilled by

Amazingly though, they didn’t spend their afternoon on Llandudno Pier squabbling like a pair of seagulls over some discarded chips. But Akshay did spend a significant amount of time trying to persuade an Italian tourist to come on the tour and cancel his plans to be 135 miles away in Hereford so that he could come and listen to Nick muddle his way through some basic facts about Wales, paint in the rain and drink a modicum of whisky if he could stay awake during Sophie’s lecture about whisky distillation

A moment of silence for our fallen soldier.

Sophie was naturally put in charge of the whisky tasting session because she owns a cocktail bar and the last time she used that experience, it worked out so well for her

this did mean that she had to negotiate the selling commission on their whisky, with the opening offer from Mr. Big Whisky being a hope dashing 1%. Sophie managed to inch him up to 7%, which was only 43% less than her naive dreams of getting a 50% commission on what seemed like suspiciously cheap whisky. At no point is it acknowledged that it was significantly easier to make a profit off the whisky than it was the cheese.

On top of badly negotiating the commission, she also had to try and soak up enough facts about the whisky, completely disregarding the fact that all her tourists would want to be doing was drinking the stuff. But alas, Sophie was determined to learn all about it and copper plates were to her as 19th century miner deaths were to Akeem. She also had to learn how to pronounce the Welsh names of the whiskys and almost immediately came up against a woman who was there only to fight

brave is the person that picks a fight with Sophie holding a blunt object in her hands.

But they could only get to the whisky if they managed to survive Nick’s tour of the Welsh countryside and his entry level facts about Wales. I’m sure the Welsh are absolutely sick of the fact about sheep outnumbering people in Wales. But I did rather enjoy Nick implementing sheep as a verb

And sandwiched between Nick’s counting of the sheep, was Brittany’s masterclass in watercolour painting, which Steph was conducting like a prison yard activity as she marched between the tourists with a stopwatch in her hands

there was a lot of discussion about quite how long they should run the painting activity far, Stephanie wanted to spend as little time doing it as possible so that they could spend a maximum amount of time getting their tourists tipsy and ready to spend cash more easily, completely unaware that Sophie was planning on putting on a university lecture about copper plating. Brittany however was of the opinion that the painting should run for long enough for everyone to paint their pictures. It was a battle she was most certainly not winning because Stephanie, who apparently holds the powers and abilities of Aeolus, summoned up a significant enough rainshower to end the activity. Which was a shame, but I did get a real kick out of watching Brittany treating the minor inconvenience with a level of panic I would expect from someone facing a hurricane

Toto? Toto!? Has anybody seen Toto!?

I do think overall, this tour was significantly weaker and I find it hard to believe that ANYBODY dropped a tip in Stephanie’s tip cup’n’bowl with their hurriedly scrawled sign

although according to the tourists, Nick’s bumbling jaunt along the Snowdon Mountain Railway was “so bad it was good”, feedback that Nick was thrilled by

Karren, not so much

I mean, take a compliment when you can.

The Boardroom Blitz

I was rather desperately hoping that Stephanie’s team would lose this challenge, not because I think they had a particularly poor showing, but mostly just because I wanted Akshay to continue his impressive track record of failing upwards with a 6th consecutive loss and no elimination. However, because of the fact Kathryn’s team was only making an £8 profit per ticket, it wasn’t surprising that Steph’s Wet Tour of Wales won with a profit of £356.83 – which for the record is terrible when you consider they’re a team of 5 people. And for his first prize, Akshay got to go drink champagne on a very cold roof terrace

on a day like that, sipping tea in The Café of Depression and Backstabbing might have, in a way, felt like its own victory.

Amy and Aaron are very quick to point the blame at Kathryn’s negotiation, saying that if she had got the man down to £50 per ticket, they’d have won, but they very quickly dug their own grave because Aaron started embellishing the story, which basically meant that Kathryn was safe as houses

and so Harpreet became their new target as she committed the cardinal sin of not impressing Karren, who thought she didn’t actually do anything

you can tell Harpreet has worked retail just for how expertly she delivered that line – the slight lean in, the head wobble, the dearth of sincerity – a masterclass!

But Harpreet could at least rest safe in the fact she was part of the more successful group, in so far as ensuring customer satisfaction and truly either Aaron or Amy was doomed for bigging themselves up as the salespeople of the team and then not being able to shift tickets for anything close to the RRP. And they couldn’t really rest safe on pointing out the other half of the team were bad at negotiations when they did so badly with the cheesemonger, and Kathryn wasted no time in deciding to bring ba-

and as soon as Aaron mentioned he’d sold 11 of the tickets, it became very obvious that Amy was getting fired what with her dodging the PM job and not being able to sell an undervalued tour, but that didn’t stop Sugar going all Dermot O’Leary on Kathryn


But yes, Amy is fired, both as a candidate and gay twitter icon, long live Harpreet and Kathryn

I will say that I am sad we won’t get the opportunity to hear Linda Plant’s opinions on Amy’s eyebrow razor empire.

And so, 8 candidates and the shadowy form of Brittany remain

And if you’ve enjoyed this recap of The Apprentice’s trip to Wales and would like to support the blog, you can leave a small donation via my Ko-fi HERE.

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