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The Apprentice – Art Is NOT Like Selling Cars

This week I was disappointed the girls were put in team Eventus together, and the boys were put in team Pinnacle. It was a bit like the first episode’s gardening challenge you kind of knew who was going to win from the start. I am notsaying that men cannot sell art, it was just the men left would be too heavy handed to be able to sell it that well.

This week’s challenge according to the delicious Mark Bouris was about having a good eye and knowing what people wanted to buy in relation to art.

The teams had to visit six Australian artists at their studios and choose two artists to represent in a one night only exhibition where the team that bought in the most money wins.

Sabrina was the project manager for Eventusand for the boys it was Gavin. Gavin’s philosophy was “The art of selling art is similar to selling cars,”. He cannot be serious was he going to wear sunglasses and chew gum. Also will he make the team wear polyester suits?

Heather did not have to worry about that stupidity but she was concerned that Sabrina was a bit weak in her leadership style. Something Mary Ann also appeared to have a problem with.

Eventus’sstrategy was to pick the works they liked regardless of price, and they did have the ability to strike up a rapport with the artists something that team Pinnacle lacked.

Ben Frost the pop artist thought Morello and Sam were like Laurel and Hardy.  He did not like having to deal with insensitive corporate lackeys. But then again Morello and Sam did not like him. Why was Morello limping?

Heather dealt with Ben much more smoothly and also asked for his contact list, which was an extremely smart move.

Pinnacle wanted Shannon and the Kings sisters, but got to the sisters after team Eventus so they settled for landscape artist Laura Matthews. It would have been interesting to see the two artists that missed out on being picked just to make a comparison.

Mary- Ann started fighting with Sabrina at the gallery. First she wanted to separate the pop art from the Indigenous art something Sabrina did not want to do. Mary-Ann was right ” If you don’t get the hanging right you won’t be able to sell as the paintings will be crap”.

Meanwhile  Pinnacle had started their marketing campaign which I thought was bit strange handing out leaflets on a retail street. Also going into shops. Don’t they realise that most retail assistants get about $15 an hour, so buying art would be out of their price range?

Whereas Eventus’s targeting art buyers was much more strategic, with Heather hitting the phones to ring Ben Frost’s client list.

On the night Mary-Ann was getting annoyed at Sabrina for not being ballsy enough. And I did agree with Mary-Ann I thought the indigenous art and the pop art should have been hung separately. Also if you don’t know Mary-Ann is pregnant on the show, something she did not know at the time so  she was probably hormonal, and tired so no wonder she was feeling slighty psychopathic towards Sabrina. Sabrina always appears so tentative.

Pinnacle had a lack of people at their exhibition with Sam finding it difficult getting into the sales pitch. Morello who I thought would be bad in this area was a bit too full on but he does has charm, something I found Gavin’s sales pitch lacking.

By the way I really liked Shannon’s pieces and if I had been there they would have got a sale out of me.

However they then auctioned a piece of her art to try and boost sales. I thought Morello’s house selling style of auctioning was too over the top for his audience.

It was time for the boardroom and the gloves were off.

 Mary Ann said that Sabrina’s rule by consensus was annoying as she did not make decisions. Something Sabrina disagreed with.

Team Eventus won making over $30,000 whereas Pinnacle only made $5000. The prize for winning was to being sent to Herringbone where they will be fitted up with new clothes. Heather and Sabrina thought this was fabulous whereas Mary-Ann had to fake enthusiasm as she knew the chances of her finding something in the shop that fit would be very small.

Mark then told off the guys. He said the boys over analysed it. After Morello told Mark it was Sam who put the kybosh on Ben, Sam defended himself by saying he thought  his fans may not like the other art work. 

The boys team were criticised heavily for their dealings with the artists, as both Ben Frost and the Kings sisters did not feel they would have even liked the guys to sell their art.

Sam admitted he was a weak link as a nineteen year old trying to sell art to older patrons.

Gavin said “Sam still has a lot to learn.”

Sam shot back saying “Gavin was responsible for not getting the indigenous artists first and that cost us $26,000.”

Gavin said that Morello was more suited to real estate not corporate life in Yellow Brick Road. Morello refuted this.

Sam was predictably fired, however he was told by Mark Bouris to come and see him in his office after the show is over.

“You’ve been in here to many times,” Bouris said to Gavin, and told him he had been close to being fired.

There was no house scenes this week either the before the challenge bathroom shots where we normally saw Gavin’s pecs, but also no shots of them waiting to see who would be coming back in. Obviously it was no surprise that Sam was sacked.

Next week a double episode and Bouris sacks someone who he thinks has been flying under the radar.


1 Anon { 11.10.09 at 12:11 am }

Thanks Reality Raver for posting so soon after the broadcast. Tape cut out so I missed the firing. Never heard of Herringbone before but it explains why there were no shots of Mary Anne modelling her selection…or did I miss that also?

2 Reality Raver { 11.10.09 at 12:17 am }

Anon – No shots of mary-ann modelling the clothes.

3 Sheila Black { 11.10.09 at 12:31 am }

Mary-Ann seems to have taken more pleasure in the boys’ sorrows of not being able to be share in the joys of the Herringbone prize. And Gavin ‘only wears Herringbone’ – according to Heather.
Agree with Mary-Ann that Sabrina does not need consensus on whether she should deliver two glasses of champagne to some guests. If she can’t make a decision on that how can she make real decisions as Bouris’ apprentice? (no need to reply, rhetorical question)
Glad that Sam stood up for himself in the boardroom.

4 lydal { 11.10.09 at 7:26 am }

Sabrina was annoying most of the time but Mary-Anne is always complaining. I agree she is a hard worker but difficult for her to find something positive sometimes (maybe hormones, maybe she is like this).
I really hope Gavin doesn’t win. I can’t believe how arrogant he is (arts = cars ??!!!).
I liked Sam a lot but he was totally out of his comfort zone so it was clear he was gonna be fired. Good for him if he has an interview after the show with Bouris. (anyone knows if this interview has happened yet?)
Last week, Heather was doing nothing as a project manager and this week she was clever and hard worker. Surprise me…

5 Miss Apprentice { 11.10.09 at 7:46 am }

I knew things weren’t going to go well for Gavin and his team as soon as he said “selling art is like selling cars” and he said that twice !

Needless to say you knew straight away that team was going to get fried and they didn’t even have to go very far to find out as the artists themselves didn’t like the Pinnacle team on sight and that is a bad start if ever there was one (!!)

The Art world has its own Universe and you don’t find art buyers by handing out flyers in shops and on the street, you need to tap into their Universe as the girls so cleverly did !

Having an art Auction wasn’t such a bad idea in itself, but when it came from Morello you just knew it was going to be a horrible experience and it was painful to watch him butchering the concept of an artful evening into a car salesmen convention (!!)

I needed a Bex powder and a lie down after watching that painful experience (!!)

The girls on the other hand were buzzing with Heather and Maryanne putting it all together and Sabrina just there for decorative purposes, which would have been nice just to get her photo in the social pages of a newspaper, but she was there to actually perform the task of team leader from which she was completely absent.

It was sad to see there had to even be an argument to get the Art shown properly, so much time and energy spilled on something so basic.

Back in the Boardroom young Sam had to be the sacrificial lamb, it was his fault Gavin and Morello can’t rise above being used car salesmen, but cudos to Sam for managing to stick up for himself in such dire company, he remains a shining star !

Methinks Mark is going to offer young Sam a proper apprenticeship at the end of the day, as he is the only one deserving of one !!

6 Chuck { 11.10.09 at 8:11 am }

Mary-Anne was just bummed that the prize was not a free suit from Big Ron’s Big and Tall clothing store.

7 Chuck { 11.10.09 at 8:35 am }

I don’t think Sam did anything overly impressive on the show and surely there was a better credentialled young web entrepreneur who should have been in his spot on the show. Tended to throw out 50million ideas at once (zoo poo suggestion was ridiculous in episode 2) and then just take copious notes in the ever-present pleather folder without ever really being in a position of importance (and therefore danger) in any of the challenges. A uni scholarship from Bouris should help him out though.

To not ask for the artist’s client list was a massive mistake and as Gavin was the leader he should have been fired (although they were all rubbish).

8 Miss Apprentice { 11.10.09 at 10:17 am }

Anon – No shots of mary-ann modelling the clothes.


Haha, that’s right, but she did leave with a very large bag and I will be forever wondering what was in it (!!)

9 Anon { 11.10.09 at 12:38 pm }

I suspect that there was nothing in those Herringbone bags …

10 Anth86 { 11.10.09 at 2:01 pm }

I do like Morello, I think he has good sales charm but I question his adaptability. Like Bouris said in a previous episode he needs to change the way he approaches the boardroom depending on the circumstances. I believe that this comment should apply generally to his approach to each task – you can’t always approach a task as a salesman.

I think you need to be more than a good salesman to be a good businessman and tonight showed (again) that perhaps he struggles to adapt to new and different situations. A better approach would have been to hold an auction but in a different style to a real estate auction, now that would have shown some real business flair.

11 Justine { 11.10.09 at 4:04 pm }

I think that last nights episode was quite funny, I think Mary-Anne was obviously annoyed at Sabrina and just told her to the face, unlike many others who would not confront her.. I would be annoyed to if I had to live with that 24.7 whilst filming – Agree about the Herringbone, but that is a bit crap of the producers as no doubt it would be the same issue with Morello, does it really matter what size they are, those two seem to be the ones who consistently pull their shit together, I saw on the facebook site that Mary-anne sold $20,500 of the art for Eventus, so i think that the final 2 will be her and morello, next week it has to be Sabrina… or Gavin both of them give me the shits… big time

12 dmc { 11.10.09 at 5:03 pm }

This is now Mary-Anne’s to lose, with perhaps Morello as a dark horse if she stuffs up.
Gavin seems to have hoodwinked them into thinking that ‘stepping up’ means the same as succeeding.

13 Wurstsemmel { 11.10.09 at 7:45 pm }

Sabrina, Sabrina, Sabrina. If your team had not won the challenge (and little of this can be attributed to you), you would be gone, gone, gone. No more ‘I’m Miss World Australia 2006′ although I think we can all do without that. You remind me of Fran Drescher, quite decorative but the voice is simply annoying.

If you have to manage by consensus the delivery of 2 glasses of champagne to thirsty clients, how can you really expect to be taken seriously in business?

Morello, cheeky chappie, but a big turn off in terms of approach. Needs to expand his repetoire beyond sales because, beyoind that, I’m not sure what he’s got to offer. Can’ t see him winning.

Mary-Ann. Has the head screwed on and works very hard but I wish she’d tone down the level of irritation. Best of who is left though.

Heather. It’s often hard to know what, if anything, she does. She’s so far under the radar, she’s almost a submariner.

Gavin. What is he still doing here? He reminds me of Max Headroom. Seems very one dimensional in this arena.

I missed some of the artists. Loved the landscapes though.

Thanks RR for the recap. I know I can catch up with missed bits here everytime. Now, off to watch 2 hours of Survivor (muhahahaha).

14 Sheila Black { 11.11.09 at 11:03 pm }

What is the big deal about Morello? He can sell, work hard (i.e. walk to McDonalds in the middle of the night) and has confidence. What business ideas does he bring to the table? For example Heather was clever enough to get the contact list. Gavin – got marketing equipment for free by advertising the printing company. Even Sabrina sold naming rights to score $800 revenue. Mary-Ann – knew that Carmen underpriced the gardening jobs, organised diced & peeled vegies for the pies. What has Morello done to demonstrate business ideas/acumen??

15 Laura { 11.15.09 at 8:11 pm }

I don’t like Bouris’ method of firing. Trump’s is: team leader always leaves, unless one of the team members are particularly useless. Bouris seems to judge them all on the same level. It means that if the team leader wins, they get all the glory, but if they lose, there is just as much chance of them leaving as the other members. There is no incentive for them to take responsibility and make hard decisions.