In an unprecedented turn of events, the hopes of four of our final six contenders on this season’s Young Apprentice went pop as the two teams were tasked with the challenge of developing and pitching a new popcorn brand to three potential corporate buyers. Once the order books were closed and totted up Lord Sugar‘s Digit of Doom™ dismissed first the entire losing team and then one member of the winning side, leaving us with just James McCullagh and Zara Brownless to battle it out in next week’s final.

It seems like the series has barely hit its stride, and yet Monday sees the penultimate episode of Young Apprentice. The pressure is really on as the candidates must shine both as teams and individuals as they tackle one last task to determine who will progress to the final and who will fall at the final hurdle.

*** Mild spoilers for this week’s episode below ***

The (size ten) shoe is on the other foot as Young Apprentice does Bargain Hunt. Rather than selling, the teams are asked to buy ten items for Madame Tussauds waxworks ranging from the statuesque Elle Macpherson to the pint-sized Justin Bieber. After a day spent chasing all over London from Saville Row to Skid Row to negotiate the lowest possible prices for their various wares, Team Atomic found themselves well and truly gazumped in the boardroom, resulting in Hayley Forrester becoming the sixth victim of Lord Sugar‘s Digit of Doom™.

As we enter week six of eight of this season’s Young Apprentice, the final and the prospect of becoming the recipient of Lord Sugar‘s investment must seem within touching distance for the seven remaining candidates. But there can be only one winner. This week’s discount buying challenge may appear deceptively simple, but it is arguably the toughest the teams will have to face in a task which will ruthlessly expose the candidates’ weaknesses.

Let’s preview Monday’s episode and have a look at the three keys to success which will determine who becomes the sixth candidate to be dismissed by Sugar’s Digit of Doom™.

*** Mild spoilers for both this and next week’s episodes below ***

This week on Young Apprentice it was the turn of many people’s favourite assignment: the advertising task. Led by Zara Brownless, Team Atomic finally won their first task with their youth deodorant Raw. Meanwhile Harry Maxwell led Kinetic to their first defeat – but his fifth in five tasks overall – after a shambolic team performance. However despite being rounded upon by his entire team Harry survived, with fashion designer Gbemi Okunlola carrying the can for a poor packaging execution as she became the fifth recipient of Lord Sugar‘s Digit of Doom™.

It’s time for Young Apprentice to tackle everyone’s favourite task: advertising. Four weeks into the process Team Atomic have yet to win a single task – and Harry M is the only candidate to have lost in every week so far – so the pressure will be on them to end their nightmare run.

Deciding the winner of the task is always a subjective matter – there are no definitive measures such as sales or profit to separate the teams here – but the series has tackled advertising enough times for there to be some clear dos and don’ts which the eight remaining candidates would be wise to heed. Here is my guide as to how to win the task.

This week we reached the halfway point of Young Apprentice in a task which presented us with a number of surprises, such as James McCullagh proving to be a calm and effective leader. Less shocking, however, was yet another defeat for Team Atomic – that’s no wins in four tasks now – as a result of which Lord Sugar‘s Digit of Doom™ fell upon the increasingly incoherent Lewis Roman. The Scouser ended up with egg on his face after his half-baked questioning and incessant waffle proved that selling to the over-50s really wasn’t as easy as pie.

This week’s task marks the mid-point of this season’s Young Apprentice. It sees the remaining nine candidates take on the apparently straightforward assignment of selecting products aimed at the over-50s and then selling them at an exhibition. Of course, we can be sure that things won’t go according to plan.

Here are my pre-episode thoughts ahead of tonight’s episode as to how the task will be won and lost.

The business world isn’t all hearts and flowers, but for one week only Young Apprentice was all about the latter as the teams turned their hands to floristry. Led by Lizzie Magee, Kinetic blossomed, whereas Atomic discovered that every rose has its thorns. After a few verbal barbs, Hannah Richards became the third casualty to be weeded out in the boardroom as her hopes were thrown onto the compost heap.

For many viewers, one of the most enjoyable aspects of watching Young Apprentice (and its parent) is the way we can see the teams’ mistakes unfolding in front of us, sometimes before they even happen. Of course, the candidates are having to work in highly pressurised situations, and there are many thing that can go wrong. Even so, it is usually possible to predict in advance where the key errors will occur.

With that in mind, here are my pre-episode thoughts ahead of tonight’s floristry task as to how it will be won and lost.

This week’s Young Apprentice task took us back to nursery – the children’s variety, not the horticultural kind – as the Apprenti-Kids™ were asked to design and pitch a new product for the mother-and-baby market. They were forced to get to grips with toddler tantrums, bouts of hopeless inarticulacy and one participant spitting his dummy. (The babies, on the other hand, were extremely good.) All this proved to be bad news for gardening entrepreneur Ben Fowler, who was all fingers-and-thumbs rather than green-fingered and found himself on the receiving end of an entirely different type of finger: Lord Sugar‘s deadly Digit of Doom™.

It’s summer, and an unruly mob of teenagers are causing havoc. They rob people blind, accost them in the streets and ruthlessly grab whatever opportunities present themselves. No, I’m not talking about the London riots. It’s the return of the newly rebranded Young Apprentice. Yes, the Apprenti-Kids™ are back for eight weeks of puerile puns (and that’s just Lord Sugar), finger-pointing (and that’s just Lord Sugar) and unfathomably illogical decisions (and … you get the idea).