The Apprentice girls knew fine for not getting boat would be less than £250 they spent on it

The girls’ team were already aware that buying the dinghy cost more than simply facing Lord Sugar and the boardroom result without it on tonight’s shopping task


Here’s a head-scratcher for you The Apprentice fans: the girls’ team bought a dinghy boat for £250 during tonight’s shopping task, knowing it would cost them more money than simply turning up at the boardroom without it and accepting Lord Sugar’s fine.


Yes, it was shopping time again on The Apprentice tonight, as the teams – split across France and the UK – had to try and buy each item on the boss’ list for the best possible price. If they missed an item – or bought the wrong one – they’d face a monetary fine in the boardroom. This would be added to their total spend. The team that spent the most, lost. understands that the contestants were aware during the task that – as explained to viewers during the show – a missing or incorrect item would incur a fine of £50 plus its average retail price. Fired candidate Jenny Garbis, who was on Vana‘s UK sub-team (led by Elle), told us she knew the dinghy purchase would eventually lead to them losing the task.

“As soon as we bought the boat, I was saying to Elle, this is ridiculous, we’re actually buying it for more than the fine would cost us,” Jenny explained, the boys – in comparison – having opted to buy a toy one for just £10. “What we should have done is focus on getting on a cheap boat or no boat if we couldn’t get anything for less than £250.”

“Buy the boat” Vana eventually decided during the task, as Elle swayed between buying it and leaving it, returning to the shop a total of four times. “Did you get a loyalty card?” Lord Sugar quipped as aide Karren Brady told her she shouldn’t have gone against her “gut feeling”. 

It seems strange, I put to Jenny, to buy it if it’s obvious it will be more than the fine. “Yep, and yet here I am,” Jenny laughed.

In Elle (and ultimately project manager Vana’s) defense, one can imagine telling Lord Sugar you opted not to buy something because you had a ‘ball park’ retail price in your head, and therefore figured the fine would be less, might not go down too well in the boardroom. As buying a paper flat pack skeleton last year, in the hope of swerving an expensive free-standing one proved, Lord Sugar doesn’t go in for smart aleck behaviour on task.  

But still, wouldn’t you just leave the expensive boat and suggest it was a shrewd business move..? 

Of her own firing, Jenny – who has just released a book, which analyses the different funding options available for start-ups in the renewable energy market – says she’s disappointed Lord Sugar didn’t see her business plan.

“I think this week I was dealt a very difficult hand because I was given two items [the leavers lace and mussels] rather than one. Both of them were impossible to source in the UK. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to come out of that; have a magic wand to be able to magic up an item.

“I think it was a difficult one and hopefully the public will be disappointed that I’ve left. My business plan was all about helping renewable energy start up companies. It would have been a really good fit with Lord Sugar.”


The Apprentice continues Wednesday at 9:00pm on BBC1