The Apprentice 2009 – Episode 2 Dead cats and rope-a-dope

Naïve Rocky knocked out in round 2 as Sir Alan throws in the towel, while Yasmina proves she has more balls than Gordon Ramsay.

2nd April 2009 at 9:33 am

Let’s get the mandatory boxing analogies out of the ring right away.

Rocky, my hot tip to be dodging and weaving his way to the final bout of The Apprentice in ten weeks’ time, has suffered the blow of a technical knock out in round two as the ref decided he could take no more punishment.

Personally, I was hoping Rocky Andrews, at 21 the youngest of the competitors this year, was playing an elaborate game of rope-a-dope in episode 2 of The Apprentice last night.

As the owner of 15 sandwich shops in the North East he was the obvious choice of project manager for a task which pitched the two teams into catering for high-fliers in the City.

A young contender waiting to prove himself, Casius Clay-like before an expectant world.

But in the opening seconds he looked wobbly as the ludicrous 2012 Grecian toga and gold lamé idea perpetrated by smirking team mates landed flush on his chin.

Moments later he swayed back onto the ropes as the only other person in his team with catering experience, Howard Ebison, suggested £60 a head was the going London rate for cheese on a stick.

But when the moment came to sway off the ropes and deliver a clinical one two, poor Rocky proved this was no Rumble in the Jungle re-run.

Decision one to take gobby James into the boardroom with him followed by decision two to take Howard proved fatal.

Other than leading him on, James had done nothing obviously wrong and showed his dismay at being selected with the classic line:

I honestly feel like I did when my cat died.  It hurts inside.

Howard, other than leading him on had also done nothing obviously wrong and Sir Alan had little choice but to put Rocky out of his misery, particularly as under his leadership the team had made a loss.

In fact, I reckon this was good news.

Rocky was the only real entrepreneur in the whole show and will, I’m sure, do much better for himself now than he would have done by progressing.  I think Sir Alan recognised that too.

Meanwhile, Yasmina Siadatan leading the girls team and a restaurateur herself proved she had more balls than Gordon Ramsay.

Forcing her team-mates to shout ‘yes chef’, taking dictatorial control over all decisions, and flogging cheap tuna and tomatoes for ridiculous prices, proved she is a real contender, rather than a could have been.

As one of her team said:

The food looks like it’s come from a funeral at a working man’s club.

Yasmina didn’t flinch.  I wouldn’t want to eat in one of her restaurants though.

Business lesson of the week: lead from the front, sell cheap stuff expensively and sod the customer.


Alex is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the UK's first podcast dedicated to small business, start-ups and entrepreneurship. Alex writes about topical small business issues, entrepreneurs and anything else that catches his eye here on the small business blog.

Commenting Is Easy

Do you agree with this blog post? Disagree? Have something to add that others might find helpful? Then please leave a comment in the box below.

If you'd like to have your image included next to your comments here, then you can set yourself up with an avatar in just a couple of clicks.

Leave a comment


Listen to the sales podcast for SMEs Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes


If looking to boost your businesses performance with promotional marketing, travel incentives or incentive schemes get it touch with NDL Group