The Apprentice 2023, Episode 11: Potato Scrubbing Penance Walk

Black Swan (2010, Darren Aronofsky)

That’s Miss Reviews, to you.

My absolute my favourite thing about the Interviews episode, and potentially the only good thing about this year’s iteration, is the fact the episode opens with the candidates talking about their business plans while doing things around the house that represent their respective businesses, so Marnie, the boxing gym hopeful, shadow boxes like she’s just had an interview with Linda Plant

Megan really, really likes desserts because she’s the 150th dessert parlour vying for an investment

Rochelle’s planning to open salons so she gets to brush her own hair for a bit while delicately perched on the side of the bath reading her business plan like a Disney princess wishing for More

which robbed Dani, the hair extension entrepreneur, of her schtick so she just got to sit next to a pillow calling her a Ho

and lastly we have Victoria with her pick’n’mix company but like hell is she going to be caught dead eating sugar on camera so she went to the gym instead

I think having 5 candidates for this round didn’t help matters, with many of the interviews being terminated after a single statement from the interviewer before the candidate had a chance to respond or defend themselves. I also think we need some new blood in the interview pool, although they did add Karren Baroness Brady for The Gag™ this year

it turns out, she wasn’t a great addition.

Claude seems to serve a purpose by concentrating on the numbers, which we have very much established is a void of proficiency for this year’s candidates. And Mike at least comes with the gimmick of pulling out props from beneath his desk like he’s prop-comedian Carrot Top

he’s the Shirley Ballas of The Apprentice

and then we have Linda Plant, the perfect overlap in the Pat Butcher / Donatella Versace Venn diagram

I don’t think anyone came off worse this episode than her, and I say that after Victoria thought she could get a 77% discount on London retail properties, Rochelle planned to take 16 people hostage in a Belgravia box room, Marnie planned to pay people with exposure, Megan just stopped computing and looked directly to camera

and Dani asked Mike where she should counter sign on the confidentiality form she’d handed him. It was the latter who brought out the worst in Linda as she went off on one about Dani using mermaids as her brand identity because mermaids don’t exist and Dani just had to sit there in slightly stunned silence as she was accused of having the cognitive abilities of an 19th century pirate

and when Dani did try to defend her decision Linda just proceeded to shout “It’s rubbish” over and over again as though “mermaid hair” isn’t a literal trend all over social media every summer – and “hair” is at least the 4th thing you associate with mermaids after fish tails, seashell bikinis and redheads acting like having red hair is racial oppression.
There were however bigger issues with Dani’s hair extension business and that was the fact she couldn’t really supply accurate product costings and quality assurances. She was also struggling with financial terminology, which never does anyone any good. However, looking at her Instagram, her business is doing pretty well, which is nice.

Dani wasn’t the only one struggling with figures and terminology as Victoria pretty much walked into every single trap you could possibly walk into in this round, with misogyny being the biggest pitfall of all – there were A LOT of assumptions being made about her on the grounds that she was a flight attendant, again Linda being the biggest offender of using this as a rod to beat her with

which is wildly disappointing and I genuinely think the show owes Victoria an apology – she’s performed well this series, I can’t think of any glaring mistakes on her part but I might have forgotten something because this series feels like it’s been on for 5 years now – please, we only need 12 people on a cast.
Is she in an over saturated market? Yes. Do I think arranging bulk bought Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe sweets in a rainbow gradient makes you “the most instagrammable pick’n’mix”?

probably not. Should she have felt humiliated over the fact she dropped out of school after her GCSEs, on a show where Lord Sugar boasts about the same thing and how hard he worked as a potato scrubber? Gonna say no on that one, chief – consider this entire process Victoria’s potato scrubbing penance walk, she’s proven herself to be competent enough. HER ORDER OF 5000 BOXES OF BULK BOUGHT YE OLDE SWEET SHOPPE SWEETS PROVES HER COMPETENT ENOUGH

Linda bulldozed right over that and just about used the term “trolley dolly” instead.
As an aside, I ADORED Victoria’s outfit for these interviews

I would still quite like to see her and Sminty Drop in the same room though

I do enjoy how often the female candidates are just doing full drag – and the bravery to do it in broad daylight, they’re my superheroes.

Coming in to this interview process, I thought Marnie and Megan were the frontrunners – the former very much remained so and constantly sounded like she was giving a rousing William Wallace style speech to lead the other 4 on a rebellion against the interviewers

the way they all looked her afterwards, they would have followed her into full scale war

The revolution will be Girlbossed.

Sadly Megan just crumbled – accidentally calling Karren “Karren” with a hard R and never really recovering from the fact that only after 10 weeks has Karren decided she has to be called Baroness Brady

I guess she and Harpreet were just really good friends

that is in my Top 5 moments from The Apprentice – the scathingness of her response and the fact she went on to win, iconic.

And then of course there was the supposedly absolutely flummoxing concept of Megan wanting to set up a dessert café that swaps over to a cocktail bar at night, or if you’re Linda Plant “Groovy bar and DJ”

tell me you peaked in the 70s without telling me you peaked in the 70s.
So at least Megan had a twist on the dessert café concept – it also wasn’t as flagrant as Linda was making out (obviously) but I do now wish they had made her introductory activity at the top of the episode her making herself a martini at 9am.

Expansion locations were a particular sore spot for the candidates – Megan not costing one in and seemingly hoping she could just commandeer another café with brute force and Rochelle hoping someone would knock £100k off the price of a shop outfit in Belgravia

OK Baroness “Eight Figures” Brady, cool it before we eat you.
But don’t worry, she can afford it because she’s only planning to pay her luxury, highly trained salon workers £12.40 per hour, which to be fair was better than Marnie seemingly planning on paying her gym instructors with a gym membership – I’m assuming she was basing it on the PureGym model, I’m just not sure she worded it particularly well. That wasn’t Marnie’s only issue as of course there was Mike Soutar’s big “gotcha!” moment for Marnie in which he marked out every gym within the vicinity of the location Marnie had bookmarked for her own boxing gym like he was playing a game of Risk

and so Marnie’s conquest of the London fitness industry begins.

As for the firings, Victoria was the first to go, having to leave the boardroom with Alan shouting “Keep it as a hobby” while she visibly rolled her eyes despite her back being turned

stamp collecting is a hobby. Trainspotting is a hobby. Going to therapy can be a hobby. Selling vaguely aesthetically pleasing boxes of bulk bought gummy sweets on Instagram isn’t a hobby. The ONE THING The Apprentice has going for itself is that it casts as many women as men in a corporate environment, to then treat Victoria like what she’s doing is akin to a 10 year old running a tuckshop flies in the face of that.

Dani was the next to be fired because her figures didn’t really add up, and to be fair I would also be a little scared of anyone wanting to bulk order £200,000 worth of hair without a detailed plan of what they were going to do with it

and that was really Dani’s shortcoming, I think hers was actually one of the most investable businesses, I mean you can sell 22 inches of hair to a drag queen for the price of 40 inches and apparently she won’t notice

as long as she believes it’s 40, it’s 40.

This then left Marnie, Megan and Rochelle – which you kind of knew would end up with Megan being fired because her business plan was only 14 pages of frazzled anxiety and milkshake stains

and Alan needed to send a message to the dessert café owners that this isn’t Lord Sugar’s Next Top Creamery, so she was fired

thus leaving the final two as Rochelle’s Search For a Belgravian Discount and Marnie’s Military Campaign for Gym Supremacy

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One thought on “The Apprentice 2023, Episode 11: Potato Scrubbing Penance Walk

  1. Dee

    I’ve loved your reviews. They are so good. Are you planning to review the final of the apprentice?

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