The Apprentice – Live Blog on Tonight’s Buying and Negotiating Task

apprentice 2Tonight it is the legendary "buying and negotiating" episode of the Apprentice UK TV programme, where hapless contestants compete for the chance to go into business with Lord Alan Sugar, and condemn themselves to being forever known as "that bloke / bird / idiot off the Apprentice who fell out with SirAlan and now does a bit of reality TV".

This is the tenth series, so in a twist on the usual task, tonight they will be buying nine items at the lowest possible price that represent a sort of "best of" from this task in previous years. So they have to acquire kosher chickens, nigella seeds, a skeleton and oud oil. And some other rubbish no doubt.

We're going to live blog our way through this tonight - tune in from 9pm for our latest on the eight remaining contestants. Come on Roisin and Solomon! ...

21.03   Lord Sugar comes to the house! He's checking they haven't made a mess of his nice house. Or does he just want to see them in their pyjamas? Yet the girls appear to be fully made-up? He's giving them the list of products.

21.06  Diamonds, a skeleton etc. Daniel knows London, so does Mark. And Katie wants to lead team too. Has Mark stitched up Daniel by letting him be project manager? Sanjay going to lead other team. £1,000 and some maps for each team, because no-one has invented the Internet yet. Bianca has heard of Hatton Garden, as a diamond source, that's a promising start. Didn't know Daniel was Jewish. He gets a £6 kosher chicken for £4 by using that - a good start.

21.12 Sanjay's team still sitting around phoning. There is a fine line between good planning and not getting on with things. Has Mark paid too much for the sink - the guy accepted his first offer at £75, so should he have started lower? ("Anchoring" as Daniel Kahneman would say).  Then Bianca from other team, he asks the sink man how much he charged the other team, and he tells the truth! Why? I would have said "£200". But that's smart from Bianca! Get's it for £60.

21.20  Oh no!!! Daniel's team are thinking outside the box! Buying a paper skeleton. That ain't gonna go down well with Lord S. He doesn't like people being smart-ar**s.  Solomon can't pronounce anatomical. Don't blame him. But I don't think paper counts as anatomical. "As long as it meets the specification" says Mark. Yes indeed - I think we can see where this is going... They have bought the paper skeleton for £14 and they are very proud of themselves. Bye Daniel!

21.23 Daniel and Felipe are agreeing secret negotiating signals before they go to negotiate diamonds! What fun. Diamond guy tells them they are not treating him with respect. Roisin smiling nicely at her sales guy, I think she has him in her grasp. "I like blondes" he actually says that!! She's got him! Daniel has paid £175, against Roisin's £50, that was seduction as a negotiation tool, "a heist movie" - indeed! Solomon waffles on, Bianca jumps in and gets a small discount on the skeleton.

21.27 Lack of urgency with Sanjay's team. Now they are panicking. Mark and Katie are buying Oud Oil from a dodgy council flat, from a guy who sells it online. Bit of pure bargaining, of course who knows if £48 is a good price or not? Ah, now we know! Sanjay and Roisin are going to pay £100 for the same oil from some fancy shop. The bromance between Felipe and Daniel is getting a bit creepy.

21.30  Sanjay's team have missed deadline to get back to the Boardroom. Lord Sugar ain't gonna like that.  But will the paper skeleton kill the other team? What else have we learnt? Don't look into Roisin's eyes if you are negotiating with her. Lord Sugar says he is known for negotiating with a vending machine. ha ha. Daniel's team got all the stuff, came back on time.

21.36 Oh no, the skeleton made of paper is disclosed. "I've got something here for you", says Nick, producing the paper skeleton. Lord Sugar is cross, this is a question of unclear specification clearly! But Lord S calms down pretty quickly.  Now it comes down to the skeleton - and yes! It has cost them the task! Oh dear...

21.40 Even after the fine for being late and the lack of a kosher chicken, Sanjay escapes the consequences of his lacklustre project management - thanks to Roisin's diamond heist and the skeleton fiasco, which led to Daniel's team losing. But Felipe, who is a lawyer, is going to take this to the High Court I reckon.

21.45 Felipe takes responsibility. Sugar is not fond of lawyers so maybe Daniel can escape. Felipe points out that none of his teammates argued with him. Now Lord S is suggesting that maybe Mark and Katie had doubts but let the other two get on with it. Sneaky...  OK, it is Daniel, Katie (why?) and Felipe in the Boardroom. Maybe Daniel and Felipe to go home?

21.50 All fairly restrained really this week in the Boardroom. Katie gives a nice little speech - she is safe. Not the liveliest debate we have seen in the Boardroom, and you get the impression that Sugar is just sick of seeing Daniel in the Boardroom - his fourth time.

It's very difficult, says Sugar. Sends Katie back to house. Felipe is fired. Lord S really hates lawyers, doesn't he?  Wow, Daniel has escaped! Good gracious. Felipe is talking about himself in the third person again, love that!

roisinSo, the procurement lessons from tonight-

1.  Make sure you really understand the specification.

2.  Smart guys in suits can rip you off, interesting guys in council flats can give you a very fair deal.

3.  If you're a middle aged man who likes attractive Irish blondes, try and avoid negotiation with attractive Irish blondes.


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Voices (2)

  1. Guy Allen:

    Think there was also an issue of integrity from Daniel……..once he realised LS didnt want a paper skeleton he distanced himself from that decision. Felipe was too nice to bury him…..would love to him try that with Mark or Katie

  2. Dan:

    4. Sometimes you’ve got to be a bl***y mind-reader when dealing with your stakeholders

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