Not one but three candidates exited ‘The Apprentice’ boardroom this week, as Lord Sugar quite rightly tired of the collective ineptitude revealed to him by this week’s task.
Both teams were challenged to run a two-day odd-job business, something that should have been easy pickings for project managers Elle and Brett, a construction operations exec and a builder, respectively - well, you’d have thought so, anyway.
Brett made a game go of things, being saved by a) his sub-team charming a lady into inexplicably parting with her cash to have her garden tidied, and b) his rivals being so bad, they looked like actors in a early 1980s sitcom - you remember the sort, where a wonky shelf was the punchline before the commercial break, and… you’ll never believe it… they only went and got paint on the wrong sign. Yep, there’s a reason those shows aren’t around any more. No one’s that stupid. And yet…
So, to the boardroom, where Elle quite rightly was despatched before she even had the chance to bring anyone back in with her. To her credit, she accepted all the blame, but you have to wonder… isn’t this pretty much exactly what she does for a living?
But Lord Sugar wasn’t done. Despite Mergim’s impassioned account of his life’s hard journey to Lord Sugar’s door, he was soon going back through it, too.
And still Lord Sugar didn’t rest, bringing up the finger again to get rid of April - which was a surprise. Yes, she was rubbish, but no more than David who, it turned out, couldn’t actually use a tape measure.
All of which brings us to the night’s even more surprising revelation - the impressive focus and know-how of Joseph, who stepped into the vacuum left by the tottering Elle, and was so masterful that even alpha-male Richard couldn’t make this about him, and instead joined the others in genuflecting to the one person in the room who knew what he was doing.
From the others, we saw indecision, blank faces, confusion over basic arithmetic, and the chance of any of them showing flashes of brilliance before this series is over about as likely as anything staying put on Mergim's wonky shelf.
'The Apprentice' continues on Wednesday evenings at 9pm on BBC One. Who do YOU think is looking on track to be crowned this year's successful Apprentice?