28/03/2012 18:07 BST

The Apprentice Review: Episode 2 - The Girls Splish Splash Out Of Favour (PHOTOS)

Last week’s debut episode left the candidates in no doubt of Lord Sugar’s ability to wield a sharp knife. With Bilyana’s dismissal, 15 remained…

It was an early start for the teams, at a time when the girls seemed in far more combative frame of mind than the underpant-clad boys.

They were dispatched to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where Lord Sugar seemed horribly crisp for that time of the morning outlining their next task: designing a gadget and flogging it to the masses.

Jane and Azhar both stepped up as team managers, and brainstorming sessions were revealing. The boys were quick to sort themselves out – deciding swiftly on kitchen items, and recycling themes – and Adam was inspired with a twist on Marigolds: washing up gloves with a sponge on one hand, a scourer on the other – I want some!

So simple and helpful, these seemed beautiful to behold, but unbelievably, he was overruled in favour of... “basically, we’ve invented the bin,” at which point the team morale seemed to disintegrate, with Ricky Martin (not that one!) leading the rebellion, but Dwayne’s enthusiasm for his eco-press composter carrying the day.

At the first pitch, Dwayne was forbidden from speaking, something Nick Hewer found ridiculous (“he’s the INVENTOR”), but their second patter was far more polished.

Meanwhile, initially, the girls, mostly improbably blue-eyed, were reduced to staring at each other, unblinking, waiting for inspiration. From the ideas they bashed around, this lot seem to spend an enormous amount of time in the bath… “somewhere to put your feet up”…. presumably applying eyeliner (ouch!) – before they settled on Laura’s splish-splash bath screen for kiddies. Their satisfaction with the product when they actually saw it was contagious and seemed to pull the team together for the first time. Even Maria stayed awake, something she hadn’t managed earlier in the car.

It didn’t last long – they got bogged down with inaccurate number-crunching when they faced their first customers and started looking around again for someone to blame, just like last week in the park.

Once it got to the boardroom, however, the girls sounded far more unified than the boys who couldn’t help but bicker. Despite this, the boys were rewarded on the sales front and rewarded with a trip to the Ivy, while the girls had to set themselves up in the Sad Café and wait for another dismissal.

Lord Sugar homed right in on the problem of the figures that had embarrassed the girls at the pitch, reflecting, “I don’t know why they gave you an order, quite frankly, they must have felt sorry for you.”

He seemed quite despairing as to which girls to save, let alone which one to sack, voicing his disappointment with all of them, before finally plumping to ditch sleepy Maria, despite her protestations.

Apprentice Candidate profile: Maria O'Connor

The girls are going to have to find a way of getting on a bit better, if they are not all to disappear before Lord Sugar even starts on the boys.

Meet this year's contestants in the slideshow below...