You're tired

The Apprentice: season 14, episode 1 recap: "Can You Do It Squid Pro Quo?"

Becky Suter

4th October 2018

Theresa May was right - the British people need to know an end is in sight. 14 years of this and not even Alan's Twitter can bring down the behemoth that is The Apprentice. I'd take Lord Sugar's Racist World Cup over the next 12 weeks of more corporate cum dumpsters trying to flog pork sandwiches to a vegan cafe before being sent home in a black cab (Note: this is a lie).

The task

Barely two minutes in, and we already hit peak Apprentice. In the first fun twist of the 2018 format, one contestant proudly outs herself as an extremist hell-bent on world domination, leaving us to wonder if her business plan is to set up an more intersectional Isis. Camilla also declares herself to be a "nut enthusiast", which I had no idea you could do professionally. Another contestant bleats that she's the Beyoncé of business, but I forget who because I can't stop thinking if Camilla's plans to deal with infidels is to use jizz or almond milk.

The second fun twist is that we're kicking off with the Scavenger Hunt, and not only that, we're off to Malta just so Shugs can shoehorn in a Brexit joke (my guess is that there has to be at least one per episode lest the BBC be accused of bias). Last year, Sugar was planning one hell of a BBQ for his 70th birthday so what's on his shopping list this time?

Top of the list: find out where Malta is. No one seems to know. The third twist to spring up: they're not picking team names just yet, unless we're sticking with Boys and Girls all the way through this series, which is probably what Sugar wanted all along. Jackie, who looks like the type of woman who would complain to HR if you used her coffee mug, nominates Jasmine to be PM without any prompting, which immediately strikes me as suspect. I see I've already found my nemesis for this series. On Team Boys, an effervescent Kayode wants to lead his team as a "family"; I know it's obvious, but we all know they'll be more like the Manson family before they've even got back to Acton.

Fair play to the lads who, seeing as using Google is not an option (whhyyyy?), ring up the Maltese tourist office to ask what some of the lesser-known items are. Just when I think that not all hope is lost, they get stuck on one item. One of Sugar's requests is "An octopus with a 40-inch hose", which is actually a piece of scuba-diving equipment but the boys think is a remarkably long cephalopod. "Maybe we could just stretch it out?" ponders one of them, in what in turns out to be an incredible act of foreshadowing that ultimately leads to one of the greatest Apprentice moments ever witnessed later on.

The Girls are already starting to show signs of strain, as brassy Sarah is determined to use her Northern charm on the locals to get a good deal. Unfortunately, they fail to understand her charming accent as she bellows she needs a boat and some honeycomb - "A borht! I need a borht! A BORHT! Unni corme? I need UNNI CORME NUM NUM NUM" breaking down barriers using the classic British tactic of shouting louder and louder and gesticulating wildly to be understood. No wonder no one's sorry to see us leave the EU. (Quick joke: how do you know someone is Northern? Don't worry, they'll tell you soon enough hahaha, sorry).

"This giant octopus will kill us all!"

The Boys, followed by a scrunchy-faced Karren, march around the island like lads on tour on the search for a tentacled friend. Declaring, "I don't want to look like an idiot", they then walk straight into a fishmongers and ask for a 40-inch octopus. "Did she say nose, or hose?" asks someone, as the bewildered lady behind the counter gets out a measuring tape as her colleague dangles the gelatinous blob in front of them, but it doesn't matter - is it 40 inches? Kurran, who looks eerily like Lord Farquaard, confirms it definitely is, nose or no nose. How much do they pay for it? Sick squid.

On The Girls' side of the island, the task has quickly descended to the level of a hen party in disarray. Khadiya is put out that Sarah overtook the negotiation when it was meant to be her turn, loudly crying to within earshot of Claude that she's been stabbed in the back. In what I think is an act of spite, she goes off-list and manages to get a shopkeeper to sell her the blind from his window for €50 just to get a sale, before checking if the other team have already secured one. They have, and for only €1, meaning it's an Apprentice first: one team has managed to bring back two of the same item. We really are setting the bar low this year.

Before the teams have to jet off, Alex "Call me Google" stops off at a supermarket for some booze, desperate to show off his negotiation skills. The total of the two bottles of wine is €59. Alex takes a deep breath, and comes back with his counter-offer: "Can you do it for €58.99?". The guy on the checkout swiftly agrees: this negotiation stuff is easy! I'm going to Asda to see if I can get 0.0001p off a bottle of Asti Spumante.

The boardroom

The blame starts flying around quicker than a bout of gonorrhoea during freshers' week. Khadiya will shout at anyone who will listen that she wouldn't have managed the task the way that Jasmine did, even though she didn't put herself forward at the beginning. She also gets the award for being the first person to say, "Can I just finish?" in the boardroom this year. Jasmine tries to pin the blame on her sub-team, saying that no one was making any decisions. Camilla retorts, "I made the decision not to make us look stupid". Sick burn.

Boys' PM Kayode is trying to take all the praise for the few things his team actually managed to get right, until Karren puts him straight. As well as the octopus debacle, Karren wants to know why they attempted to buy salt from an off-licence? I DON'T KNOW KARREN, I'VE NEVER BEEN TO MALTA BEFORE.
Who got fired?

Jasmine brings back Jackie and Sarah, probably because they were the most annoying. The first to be fired is Sarah, which is unfortunate as she would have made good TV. However, Sugar warns Jackie he will be keeping an eye on her...
Does she thank him?

I think so, I couldn't really hear because I was screaming "Nooooo" at my TV. The chance to see Sarah and Khadiya go at it was too delicious and now I've been denied.

Next week: the candidates are in charge of planning the Brexit Festival, using only the items sourced from this week's task.

Additional observations:
- Sarah Ann's eyebrow piercing makes me very uncomfortable
- David and Alex might as well be the same person at this stage

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