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The Apprentice – Episode Three – The Pie Challenge

This week’s challenge was to create, make, market and to sell a completely new flavour of pie.

The winning team is the one who makes the most profit. They were given $2600 for the challenge. 

But first project managers had to be chosen Amy Cato, a business woman from South Australia was one, and Gavin McInnes the buffed lawyer was the other.

I loved how the narrator had to point out to the viewer the pro’s and cons about being the project manager, you don’t have to be a member of mensa to work that out.

Then their was a surprise twist where Amy and Gavin had to swap teams, and lead them.

Gavin said this week “it is time to bring out the personality.” which if by the following comment is anything to go is a tad chauvinistic. When talking about the women he said “They need to be controlled as the fly off the handle easily….”

The girls settled on a vegetable curry pie. Which I don’t think was actually a new flavour of pie, but maybe just not one sold at Hannah’s. They had the advantage of having Mary-Ann on the team who had been in catering and knew the tricks of ordering already peeled and washed potatoes. Also both her and Carmen were accomplished cooks.

Back at team Pinnacle Amy was doing market research on where they are going to market the pies so this delayed the discussion on what pie to make. Sam showed his frustration and Amy bawled him out about it.

I kind of got the feeling that Amy has done business 101 and was not going to diverge from the basic management strategy, white board included. To be honest I thought in this challenge Amy Cato’s likeability was pretty low. They finally decided on a lamb, potato and mint pie, that came out of one of Sam’s brain storming saying anything that comes out of his mouth ideas. He was talking about a roast, and John (I think) expanded upon it. So maybe spewing crap is not such a negative trait after all.

I was very happy they ditched the veal parmigana concept, and some of their more disgusting ideas.

They bought unwashed potatoes which took much longer to prepare. Oh and their prepping technique how much dirt was in their pie?

Then it was onto marketing. Blake’s view was “If you use your personality you don’t need a T-Shirt.” I am not sure if he was talking about his personality, as I have not seen any sign of it yet, or if it was a generic comment. But Amy insisted on T-shirts and flyers.

Gavin’s marketing plan was much more strategic as he got some free t-shirts by offering advertising of the printers logo on them. It would have been nice if Channel 9 had at least flashed the company name once.

Back to Amy and Blake they were handing out flyers at Darling Harbour the day before they were going to sell them there. How dumb was that it is tourist central where it was highly unlikely those people would be back the following day. Oh and the kicker they did not even start selling at Darling Harbour, but at Hyde Park.

At this stage of the show I was starting to wonder where Heather was, but it was later revealed she had the flu so she was staying home.

Team Eventus got to the pie machine first and were very slow, and Sabrina and Gavin disappeared after their marketing prep was done.

This resulted in the teams have a bit of a tiff over when Eventus would get off it. Carmen was tough saying we’re getting our pies done. Amy was whining “It is in the spirit of the competition to be fair,”.

That meat mixture looks disgusting, like pureed dog food. Even though they had a late start Pinnacle ended up producing more pies.

The teams was selling in two locations – Bondi Organic Markets, either Hyde Park or Darling Harbour. Obviously the last two location had to be pre- arranged. But I loved the way the narrator implied the teams had just rocked up there.

In the end the pies were being discounted with Morello selling them for below cost. I am not sure Morello is real smart.

Sabrina and Gavin were giving away t-shirts with their pies but they still had 200 pies left over.

And then it was off to the board room.

Eventus got their heads kicked in for marketing the pies as home made. And Sabrina I thought unfairly got swiped at by Mark Bouris when she pointed out that the t-shirt’s slogan said “for that home made taste”. Bouris thought it was a gray area and he said “we don’t go there”.

Personally I thought it was not a huge sin considering when I think of something as home made I think of it as hand crafted not necessarily made in a house. And the girls did do those pies by hand.

Anyway Eventus made $567.60 but if Mark Bouris thought the Home made sign was so false and misleading he should have stuck a ACCC fine on the for being false and misleading under the Trade Practices Act. Anyway he didn’t and they got to go for a meal at Quay.

Pinnacle’s net profit was $194.70 so a big loss for team Pinnacle, because $20 of that was from Eventus when they bought them out of the prime spot in the markets.

Amy started scapegoat as soon as the team’s loss was announced. But Bouris laid into them for having no pricing strategy and no margin policy. The team had not put a price upas they wanted to allow for pie price flexibility but Mark Bouris scathingly said “I don’t know any business who gives the sales team that sort of flexibility.”

Amy not surprisingly chose to bring back Sam and Morello into the boardroom.Her reasoning for Sam was because he did not express the business maturity the others had, and Morello for selling too low.

Bouris concerned that Morello is one dimensional, but kept him around for another week and it was Amy who got fired. I am not unhappy with that,  as I don’t think I saw anything dynamic or spectcular about her in her three weeks on the show.

20 comments

1 Wurstsemmel { 10.13.09 at 8:56 am }

I was hoping the women would lose so we might see the back of Blondie and her dirty tricks. Can’t see how Bouris could justify keeping her around. But Morello lost the plot really and Amy didn’t have a clue. She deserved the boot

2 Missy { 10.13.09 at 9:11 am }

Last nights episode was a cracker, Certainly saw a different side of a few contestants. Team Eventus clearly had the upper hand from the inital brain storm with Mary-Anne on the team, she knew what she was doing, which suprised me as until now she looked like she did nothing. What I could not work out was how Pinnacle even got pies made, based on what was said, at 7.50pm, you could not get pies through the required process beofre 9pm, I think there must be some tv time extension and maybe thats why Events were feral? Amy stank as project manager, to be “flexible in pricing” is ok with a garage sale but not in business, it screams discrimination and lacks belief in your product being worth money. I agree that Eventus should ahve lost with a fine, if Bouris had any business ethics, I think it could have been an honest mistake, but he should ahve made a point of it. – Looks like something else goes down next week… The show is getting better, just wish it was in a 8.30 time slot!

3 Anonymous { 10.13.09 at 10:34 am }

I actually twice walked past them doing the pie selling in Darling Harbour – maybe a month ago, maybe longer? Couldn’t for the life of me work out what they were fimling. It’s a shame they didn’t try and accost me to buy their gross looking pies!

4 Reality Raver { 10.13.09 at 10:38 am }

Anonymous – It is a pity you did not eat them so you could tell us what they actually tasted like!

5 Reality Raver { 10.13.09 at 10:39 am }

Wurstsemmel – Carmen did do the cooking on the pies, but if they had lost she would have had to be the one to go. However I know Gavin gave Sabrina a shout out, but I really did not see her do much. The stupid thing about Mark Bouris asking Gavin who did good, or bad is that he spent barely anytime with Carmen and Mary-Anne on the challenge.

Missy – Agree The Apprentice is rollicking good TV the advisors are becoming more confident in their roles, as is Bouris. Also agree an 8.30pm time slot would be so much better. Also agree with you re: the flexible pricing policy. I like to know a price before going up to a stall. Also if someone offered me a pie for $2.00 I would be wondering what sort of disgusting meat off cuts would be in there.

Also agree the timing was all very dodgy.

6 Miss Apprentice { 10.13.09 at 10:49 am }

The Eventus Team clearly had the upper hand in organizing themselves, but how did they end up spending so much more time cooking the pies (hours and hours ?) by comparison to the Pinnacle Team starting so incredibly late yet cooking more pies in about one and a half hours all up ?????

Amazing one Pinnacle team member was peeling potatoes with a big knife, cutting big chunks off the sides everywhere , that way you end up with half the potatoes you start out with and a lot of money wasted !
Haven’t these people ever heard of a potato peeler ?

Next it was a very bad idea to target a tourist area for selling pies.
Foreign tourists don’t know what pies are and you have the language barrier trying to explain (as was shown) which is a total waste of time.

I also thought it was really bad for both teams (at the markets) to be fighting over ONE customer, even to the extend of pulling the customer by the jacket, that was just sooooooooo bad !!.

Where was Amy when Morello was wheeling/dealing dropping the prices to give away levels.

I think the young guy (Sam) is being made the scape coat in just about every episode, but considering his young age he is on the ball a lot more than all his team mates with their greatly inflated sense of how great they are !

7 Culinary Boner { 10.13.09 at 10:51 am }

Why did Bouris/the producers specify a ‘new flavour’ of pie then not follow through on it. I was looking forward to connoctions featuring sea urchin roe, jelly fish or guinea pigs. Although perhaps the boy’s team accidently did come up with a new variety with the amount of dirt, grit and soil they had in their prep. Isn’t soil one of those new fangled molecular gastromony ingredients? Mmmm.

8 Miss Apprentice { 10.13.09 at 12:45 pm }

Anonymous – that is interesting you saw them filming the pie stand episode at Darling Harbour.

Were there actually any people there as on t.v. it looked like there was hardly anybody there, the place looked deserted and the team had to run after people to get their attention to buy a pie.

I am still in two minds about Carmen’s sign of Home Made Pies and not so sure if that really was a devious marketing ploy on her part.
It appears she was truly proud of her cooking efforts and was part of the pie making process from beginning to end, even though the actual pie ovens were in a pie factory, but how was she to know where the fine line was in Home Made or Factory Made – Gheez !

9 Reality Raver { 10.13.09 at 1:09 pm }

Miss Apprentice – I tend to agree it was not like it was made on a production line apart from just the pastry machine. Maybe a touch pedantic.

Culinary Boner – Yes I think Pinnacle could have been fined for hygiene infringements, and Events for Trade Practice infringents.

10 Miss Apprentice { 10.13.09 at 1:15 pm }

Can anyone tell me how you can bake hundreds of pies in your oven at home for them to be called Home Made ?

11 Miss Apprentice { 10.13.09 at 1:40 pm }

Back to Amy and Blake they were handing out flyers at Darling Harbour the day before they were going to sell them there. How dumb was that it is tourist central where it was highly unlikely those people would be back the following day !

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Oh yeah, haha, that was so weird, like they were promoting an upcoming Rock Concert instead of a PIE.

I am still laughing about that bizarre marketing idea !

12 sourkraut { 10.13.09 at 2:07 pm }

Is Morello a candidate for the next masterchef? I nearly fell offn my chair watching him peel spuds, there was enough waste to feed Biafra for a week. That’ll teach him to buy pre peeled next time.

OH DEAR I just cant do it! I just CANT barrack for Carmen, blonde or not, she’s truly just too gauche. Makes my beloved Chris b look like Mother Teresa! Next nearest blonde is Heather. GO GIRL!

Morello a super saleman? Bouris you are kidding! His technique of selling is enough to make me squirm right off my easy chair. I’d better not say any more. but i think the white shoes and fedora with black hat band would suit!
And what sort of “business people” don’t work out the dreaded bottom line first?
Mr Bouris puh-lease! Since when has false advertising ever worried an Australian business man? How many people have been ripped off as a result of “the fine print” to quote just one example. Oh well Reality Raver, you said these shows are here to amuse us. I guess something like this does make me cack myself laughing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still the appearance of the “vita wheat” girl (another blonde) cheered me up during the ads.
In the end i think Amy was a little hard done by. She did not admittedly manage the team very well, but with a young typical gen-yer know it all working out costs and a salesman that didn’t know which end of the pie was up in his sales techniques, she was always going to take a hit for the team.
Pity all 3 were not fired

13 sourkraut { 10.13.09 at 2:10 pm }

Culinary boner
I was thinking of platypus and plankton pie. I’m reliably told it tastes somewhere in between koala fillet and Wombat steak (but NOT like chicken)

14 Jen (jenius.com.au) { 10.13.09 at 2:44 pm }

I agree that Sabrina was unfairly swiped at as well but i was hoping it would trigger a bit more action in the boardroom. When are the cat claws gonna come out?

Oh, and the prize wasn’t a dinner at Quay. Guillaume Brahimi of Guillaume at Bennelong cooked a three course meal for them at the house. Now that’s a prize I’d be jealous of. Pity there were barely any shots of Guillaume nor of the food.

15 Jen (jenius.com.au) { 10.13.09 at 2:50 pm }

ohh and did anyone notice Sabrina’s annoying Sefton High School jersey? i also hate that Amy kept dodging Mark’s question about who she thought was the weakest link in her team. what does she mean she’ll get to it later? it was a bit like her pricing strategy… she just goes with the flow. i’m sure she had a lot more to offer but she didn’t stand up for herself at all.

16 CG { 10.13.09 at 7:20 pm }

I missed last night’s Apprentice Australia (AA) because I fell asleep. I think one of the reasons their ratings are low is because it is shown “late” on a Monday night. Aren’t most people exhausted Monday night because it is the first day back to work, esp if you’ve had a busy weekend? Anyhoo, I’ve been trying to watch the AA episode on line but Ch9’s website for AA has videos but they wont’ upload. If Freemantle is producing AA why don’t they use the same platform as MC for online replays? Never had any probs with MC videos if I missed an epi. Does anyone know if there are other sources of TA replays?

17 Francois { 10.14.09 at 12:26 am }

CG

If you have Digital TV GO! Re-plays the show during the week. Check your guide for the times, but yeah you can see it.

OMG What an episode! Firstly I timer recorded it, which is never good as I forget how bloody late 9 runs.
So I only saw up to the whole “swipe” incident before the show stopped (I watched it tonight- Tuesday).

But I honestly thought carmen (is that it, Im terrible with names this early on) was completely in her right to grab that customer. God don’t Pinnical whinge a lot?
I mean, why come up and try to steal a customer from Evantas just to whinge when they steal him back? Duh!

Also this whole ‘home made’ business is a load of crock. I agree with what someone has already said here. It was made by hand, except for the last part. To me, that is HOME-MADE.
And you’re right, how can you cook like 600 pies in a home oven? idiots!

In anycase, as I said I didn’t see the last part (from “the swipe” on) and I would have loved to.
I will go out on a limb and say this now: I HATE MARELLO!
Never liked him from day bloody one!
I would have loved to have seen that smug face of his in the board room with the so called ‘bottom 3’.

Sad Amy had to go, but I guess she really didn’t do crap and spent most of the time on bloody t-shirts (rolls eyes).

Sabrina, sorry to say, needs to use her looks in a challenge. If you need to sell stuff and you’re like miss australia or whatever, then why not use that?!?

So far, not really having a fave, but if I had to I’d say Sam. At 19 he is far more intuative then the rest.

18 Laura { 10.14.09 at 8:36 pm }

I missed the ep too! But I just wanted to say that I think it was ridiculous to have male/female teams (initially), the dynamics would have been a lot more interesting if the teams were mixed, and also the skillset would be more even i.e. the gardening challenge and the cooking in the pie challenge. Sam is my favourite, and I am sick of him being scapegoated.

19 Sheila Black { 10.15.09 at 9:11 pm }

Sabrina and Gavin need to get a hotel room and sort out their sexual frustrations although me thinks the majority of the sexual frustration is coming from Sabrina.
Carmen – don’t like her idea of business ethics although I must commend her on getting something right – A team can win with or without Sabrina.
Sam does get picked on quite a bit, gotta feel for the guy. But does he really know the difference between revenue and profit?!
I think MaryAnn has strong business acumen. Look forward to seeing her as a project manager.
Amy – her first mistake was allowing Carmen to negotiate that lawn mowing job for $400. Heather and MaryAnn stepped foot and immediately realised the job was underquoted.
Gavin – if you watch one of his diary entries you’ll see he talks a lot but there’s not much substance. Anyway shouldn’t a corporate lawyer be earning a six figure salary already?!

20 Jason { 10.17.09 at 4:07 pm }

You know, this is the first episode of the series that I’ve watched, and the first episode of ANY of the Apprentice series I’ve watched all the way through..

Frankly, I never really had much interest in this show in yeas past, but that might have been because of my being young and naive. But now, with only a short little time left to find out what I want to do for a while, this show’s sorta suckered me in a bit with the whole entrepreneur pie selling.

Anyway, I think that Amy had terrible management skills in this challenge. She kept on pinning the blame onto poor Sam when they were back in the Board room, but really the blame falls on HER shoulders. She was supposed to organise the other members of the team, and any lack of organisation could have been fixed with her actually telling them to get their heads into the game. But she didn’t. She let them go about their own, each wanting to get it done their own way.

Also, her complaining about how the competition was supposed to be fair, etc. Really a stupid and invalid point when you think about it. The aim of the game is to outdo your opponents. And if Carmen and Mary Ann were still making pies, they had every right to keep on making pies.

Morello’s choice to seriously undervalue the pies while putting them on special was a great example of what NOT to do.. I think anyone with common sense would know that selling something below how much it cost to make is not a way to make a profit. However, I do see his logic when he makes the point that it’s better to sell them then to be left with them…

Anyhow, the shows suckered me in… Most likely gonna become a regular watcher now. Haha.