It was the end of the road for Alex Mills, 22, as he was fired in episode 9 of The Apprentice after losing the task as project leader.
It was an early morning briefing in The Gherkin as the teams were challenged with targeting the ready meal market by developing and selling a good quality meal for home consumption. Lord Sugar was keen that Alex project managed Team Endeavour and left Team Evolve to sort out their own leader. They chose Neil as PM.
Alex was off immediately imagining the food they would offer rather than the target market or the branding.
On Team Evolve neither Luisa or Francesca wanted to head off to the kitchen. It was a bit of a surprise since Luisa’s business idea is a food based one. So Neil and Luisa ended up on the branding whilst Francesca headed for the kitchen. It was considered best not to leave Luisa and Francesca in the same room alone!
Luisa (the non cook) then briefed Francesca (the other non cook) over the phone how to cook their Caribbean dish idea. It was not looking good when Francesca asked “can you burn chicken?” and then immediately found the answer to her own question.
Meanwhile on Team Evolve, Jordan and Leah were directed to the kitchens whilst Alex and Myles went off to research their ideas for deadly dinners for kids. They may have a bit of a problem with the food labeling with this concept.
Whilst Leah and Jordan were developing an international themed range, their marketing colleagues were keen on the deadly dinners concept, complete with skull and crossbones .
Meanwhile the Caribbean and Thai fusion dish from Francesca did not go down well with consumers. Francesca admitted to not trying her own cooking. It was not looking good. However, Neil decided to stick with the fusion concept, which ended up as Oh My Pow!
At the initial tastings it was mixed results. At Evolve, The Oh My Pow meal was a little lacking in the Pow department. There wasn’t enough chilli and the flavour was too bland.
At Team Endeavour the Bats Blood and Prawn Pasta options went down well with the kids. However one parent said “I don’t normally buy food for my kids with a skull on it”. Most parent were keener on healthier options. There were some alarm bells ringing here but Alex didn’t seem to hear them.
It was then on to three major retailers to pitch the product with packaging.
It was Asda first for Team Endeavour. Myles blew the pitch with Alex’s help as he messed around trying to prepare food samples.
Ocado were the first to see Oh My Pow. They felt it was a little bland but Neil covered this by saying that the taste could be changed if a big order was placed.
Morrisons were next for team Endeavour and Leah presented, although she was interrupted by Myles from time to time.
Jordan pitched to Ocado and presented well. It was his first pitch of the series and it was a nice surprise to see him perform.
Francesca presented Oh My Pow to Morrisons and the feedback was the same. Nice branding but weak food taste. Luisa kept digging at Francesca about the quality of her cooking.
In the boardroom, maybe not surprisingly, Luisa suddenly decided she was the best cook out of her Neil and Francesca despite previously saying she could not cook at all. As we were all aware Karren Brady had been put on Luisa’s case after the poor bahavious last week. Fortunately for Luisa, Karren was quite impressed with her – despite Luisa apparently lying though the teeth about her cooking abilities.
Evolve: 300 units ordered from Ocado, nothing from Morrisons, 2500 units from Asda.
Endeavour: 1000 from Ocado, nothing from Morrisons, nothing from Asda.
Evolve went off to the Bedford autodrome to spin round in a Ferrari whilst Endeavour went off to lick their wounds. The losing team felt the skull and crossbones was probably the key mistake. It was Myles and Alex who were really at the heart of the failure of the task.
Alex took Myles Mordaunt and Leah Totton back into the boardroom. Alex was clear that he was happy with Leah and Jordan but since he had to bring someone along with Myles he picked Leah as Jordan’s pitch was stronger.
In the boardroom, Leah put up a strong defence of her performance in the overall process. Alex really came across as lacking confidence in his own idea.
It was Alex that Lord Sugar decided to fire (with regret). It was the right decision although it has highlighted that Myles has suspect judgement in a number of areas.
So after Alex’s departure six candidates remain and Lord Sugar’s search for his business partner continues.