The first episode of the eighth (yes, really!) season of The Apprentice saw Lord Sugar give his usual poker-faced lecture to his crop of 16 candidates - "If I wanted a friend, I'd get a dog."
Their first task - what Sugar called "simple", was to build a printing business to design, build and sell some simple products.
From kick-off, it was clear that the boys were having a slightly more natural time of collaborating - there was a general bonhomie in the planning stages that was missing from the girls' deliberations.
Having decided on the name Phoenix and with Nick reluctantly settled in as project manager, the boys settled into the flow of designing their product - settling on the less than enthralling teddy bears with London bus T-shirts.
Meanwhile, the girls with architect Gabrielle volunteering as project manager because of her experience in design, seemed to be stopping and starting at the design stage, even with the talents of one of their team Jade, ably deployed to design their animal-theme products.
Jenna's contribution was a little more ethereal, that of the name Sterling: "I actually dreamt it the night before, my friend gave it to me in a dream."
The girls appeared to be more intuitive than the boys at this stage, heading off to potentially captive markets at London Zoo, but they just couldn't synchronise their efforts, with lots of accusations of "wasting time" being thrown around. Their frustration came to a head when they ended up intimidating a shop-keeper, and were firmly told off.
In the end, they only made a profit of £214.80, in comparison with the boys' riches of £616.20, and were left having an unseemly blame-shifting fisticuffs in the boardroom, culminating in Bilyana's dismissal.
The enduring magic of this series is how, in the midst of the aspirational, self-improving concept, it remains so accessible and human - we've all stomped our feet impatiently watching someone else dither over a market stall, we've all been tempted to try to take control when it looks like everything's falling apart, when we're faced with a disapproving authority figure, we've all wanted one more chance to prove ourselves.
Unfortunately for Bilyana as she packs her bags, that extra chance wasn't coming from Lord Sugar, although she put an impressively strong face on her dismissal. For all the others, that dream-killing conversation can be put off - for at least another week.
Here are all this year's Candidates, with dismissals in black and white as they happen...