Week 5 sees our be-suited buffoons called to York Hall (Ricky: “It’s your call” – ho HO!), which rather than being a Northern Whippet repository is a boxing gym in the East End that the voice-over says has “been keeping Cockneys fit for almost 100 years” (it took over from TB). It looks like the sort of gaff that the Krays chilled out in when they weren’t looking after their own, hence Lord Sugar looks utterly at home as he outlines the latest task: to design a new fitness trend and sell licenses to some of the “leading health club chains” (Fitness First, Virgin and Gym Box for those of you who like me didn’t know or care). He lists a few current trends to inspire the candidates: Zumba, Spinning, Body Pump, Insane Self Torture Bop…

Steve’s confident that his sector knowledge as a shiny suit wearing ex footballer will help him lead Pheonix to victory, and nobody disagrees, which leads him to worry that this task “could be a banana skin” for him.

Ricky suggests that as an ex-pro-wrestler (“They call me ‘the Fitness'” – I think he may have misheard that one) that he’s the best project manager for Sterling, and he’s voted in ahead of Jenna (who er rides horses and has realised that she’s done sod all yet in the series). Ricky wants to look at the current trends and add a new twist, suggesting that the “boot camp element” is currently big. (How about Guantanamobics – where to pumping metal music you lift weights fashioned to look like bits of dead suicide bombers?). Laura, who used to be a dancer but doesn’t like to talk about it, thinks street dancing is (annoyingly) very “now”. Whilst Ricky goes off to watch some kick dancers spar (and do a bit of fisting in the ring himself) and pick up moves; Duane, SilentAgainGabby and flopsyNick take notes at a street dance session. They come up with the intense sounding Beat Battle (tag line: fight to the music!) which incorporates the elbows and knees of martial arts into street dance routines into a fitness regime that enables you to flirtatiously combat would be sex attackers.

Sterling brainstorm ideas. Adam likes “Fit Skip”, which sadly just involves jumping rope rather than work-out moves inspired by rooting through bins. Katie rather scarily likes the idea of a fitness dating class (“OK now thrust that pelvis!”), but she’s also smitten with a retro 80s theme which is (shit) music to Steve’s ears and he drags Adam along to an 80s disco to get “really excited” about girls gyrating over a space-hopper to Flashdance (“Blimey!”). Adam copies the girls doing some of the moves to Thriller and manages to look like a brain damaged ballet dancer

Sterling demo Beat Battle to “fitness expert” Lindsey who asks if any of them have any fitness experience. “I danced when I was younger” squeals Laura, reluctantly. Although Lindsey likes the concept she thinks it could be a little bit too complicated.

I’m not sure if Pheonix really have a concept as such, and Jade points out that they have to at least pretend to care what effect doing “the funky lunge” and the “swingaling” will have on the human body. Tom’s concerned that gyms might not buy all the space hoppers as they have nowhere to put them, but everyone chooses to ignore him and Katie (who’s finally starting to annoy me) tells him they can “only win big by taking a risk”. Steve decides to call the package “Groove Train” and I have only just worked out that “train” could be interpreted as “training”. Oops! He bounces eagerly on Mr Hoppy in front of another fitness expert Stuart who stifles hysterical laughter and pretends to think it’s all an ok idea.

Jade recruits a weedy looking bloke in a headband for the promotional video for “Beat Battle” and asks Adam if he’ll lead the workout as he knows it. Adam goes a nice shade of plum, spluttering angrily “I don’t know it ALL!”, but nonetheless gets our retro waif lunging like a pro. His feet just can’t help themselves!

Ricky asks Duane to lead a video shoot with support from flopsyNick and Laura. “What if I need to make final decisions and can’t get hold of you? Can I make them?” asks Duane eagerly. Ricky gives him his blessing and as soon as they’re at the location Duane decides to re-make a few of his project manager’s initial decisions too and rewrites the script for the shoot. Oh dear. As is the curse of many men given a DV Cam in “The Apprentice”, the hitherto excellent Duane is doomed to act like a massive, dictatorial cock during this part of the “process”. As long as Laura teaches dance moves and flopsyTom wonders around looking a bit vague and ruffled in headphones like a proper media lacky, Duane is happy. As soon as anyone questions his ideas, he goes ballistic and they shut up (“These tasks always end up in a squabble” observes Nick Hewer sagely). Thus Duane manages to direct a video about a street dance:martial art fusion that contains hardly any martial arts moves. Maybe Laura should have rhythmically waved some nunchuks about. Even flopsyNick gets annoyed when Duane bombastically declares “I don’t feel like we’re working together to be honest” (translation: I don’t feel like you’re obeying me completely). In the car to the editing suite, Duane complains that “there was a disagreement at every single stage” of the shoot. “I agree” declares Nick with promising comic timing. Duane seems to think that his accepting leadership for this part of the task means that anyone else offering input at a later stage is a Johnny Come Lately out to steal his glory. Eventually Nick notes how killy this is making Laura and tries to encourage everyone to shake hands and be friends, but Duane’s still off on one, and Nick reverts to the last vestige of the sensible; looking out of the window and chuckling.

In the 80s nightclub, Adam is proving that even proximity to a DV Cam can turn some people into tools as he constantly reddens and grips at Jade’s directing skillz. As he’s clearly bottled leading the workout, Azhar has to take one for the team and prance about in little red shorts whilst Adam “motivates” from the sidelines. (“Er yeah do tha!”). Meanwhile Ricky has bizarrely given the calculator of deadly power to Jenna and Gabby so they can work out costings whilst he demos his ninja Beat Battle skillz at them (whilst mouthing off David Brentisms like “my team is really happy”). Has he not seen what damage Jenna and Gabby can do with a calculator?

In the edit suite, a now beetroot Adam slags off Jade’s lack of panning on the Groove Train dvd, rather than pointing out that the opening graphic looks like a 1980s video game. Jade chooses wisely to blithely ignore him (Adam: “She doesn’t shout me down ..no-one could do that – but she just doesn’t listen. Ah don’t know if she’s thick or deaf or what!” – no love she’s just normal).

After finishing his final tweak on “Beat Battle”, Duane sits back happy with his work and asks Laura and Nick if they have anything to say. Silence ensues.

It’s pitch time and after all the fuss, the Beat Battle video is just very dull, and so short! The pitch is fairly strong from Ricky, although the bloke from Virgin just thinks it looks like Boxersize. Costings are £45 per month for a class, with a 2 month discount for a year (I have no idea what it should cost so fall asleep a little bit here). Ricky wants to learn from the questions, but the main one seems to be about the video not demonstrating what Sterling say the regime is due to the lack of elbow moves in the video or something.

Steve runs Groove Train past Fitness First who look a little bit stunned at Azhar’s mental yet jolly face beaming out as he does lunges and sit-ups in his little shorts, calling out instructions in his North Western accent. “It looks like you had amazing fun making that” sneers FF lady as Steve and Tom outline the pricing (£35 per course per month, but £1500 off per year if it goes to all their venues nationwide which doesn’t seem all that generous but again what do I know?). FF Lady asks what would happen to studio capacity if they bought all the space hoppers and hula hoops required. “You’d lose 8 people per class” says Steve confidently (as though he’s worked it out), but he then promises that they would supply all the space hoppers as part of the license (which proves he hasn’t worked things out). “Er where would we keep them all?” smirks FF Lady.

“These questions about stock are doing my head in!” moans Steve post-pitch. “It’s only £20 per course”. Tom does some quick math; “Erm 2000 space hoppers, made out of rubber?” Karen’s especially unimpressed at Steve “pulling prices out of the air”.

Next Sterling pitch to Gym Box, and there’s a live demo in which Laura skips around like something out of The Wicker Man. Duane demonstrates the campest “super punch” ever (Ricky: “You’re struggling there mate”), but the Gym Box bloke thinks the regime could have a “wide appeal” and there’s big matey hand shakes all round.

Pheonix meet Virgin and Steve hula hoops hopefully before them like Alan Partridge dancing for Tony Hayers. He claims that Groove Train is aimed at “the female market. All ages and abilities?” “Isn’t it just a kids class” asks Virgin bloke mockingly. “That would work” Steve brightly clutches at straws.

Ricky pitches to Fitness First and has clearly done his homework on the market and any potential competitors. If this is another typical predictable attempt at wrong footing the viewer as to which team win, then it’s going to be a massive shock.

Back in the Boardroom and a particularly grumpy Lord Sugar describes “Beat Battle” as “like a punch up in a disco”. Ricky thinks they got “good buying signals” from Fitness First and Virgin.

“That was myself!! Me me me!” yells a purple Adam as soon as Lord Sugar asks who choreographed Groove Train. Turns out he’s a bit premature but does want to make it seem as though he did something of import on the video shoot. Azhar cringes as there’s yet another dvd play and looks shiftily from left to right hoping to catch out the bastards who are snickering at his performance (everybody is). “Is that IN at the moment” gasps a genuinely gobsmacked Lord Sugar and Steve assures him that it is, although Steve does live in 1983.

Sugar’s less than impressed that Steve was offering Space Hoppers for £2, Hula Hoops for a quid and skipping ropes for 50p (Bargain!), suggesting the whole thing is a “flawed business model”, but Steve’s still convinced it could make a “very healthy profit”

Anyhow here’s the scores from each of the gyms:

 Fitness First

They hated Pheonix and didn’t order any licenses

They quite liked Sterling and offered a £5,000 “one off development fee”

 Gym Box

They hated Pheonix and didn’t order any licenses

They quite liked Sterling and ordered licenses on a 3 month trial basis totalling £2,970

Virgin

They didn’t order any licenses from Sterling

They didn’t really like Pheonix for the target market, but liked it for families (hence the kids question) so ordered licenses at £17.50 each (eh?) on a 6 month trial across 122 clubs totalling £12,810 – so there is your shock.

Sterling are hilariously stunned as the jammy gits of Pheonix waltz off for luxury spa treatments while they have to sweat in the steam of Losers Café. FlopsyNick points out that the gyms all suggested the product needed further development, but Duane refuses to accept that anyone did anything wrong. “We did though… we did lose” flopsyNick points out gently.

Back in the boardroom and Nick Hewer mentions that all the buyers felt the routine was very watered down, which is blamed on the blandly inoffensive video which apparently got negative comments from all the gyms. Ricky feels Laura is at fault as she took the sequences to the video shoot, but on the evidence of the finished dv clearly tried to show off her dance skills that she doesn’t really care to mention much. When even Jenna starts saying that Laura should have thrown “a few more kicks in” (eh?) Laura’s clear that she’s “not liking the way this is going at ALL”.

Duane starts digging by stating categorically that he takes FULL responsibility for the video. “Compare yours to Pheonix’s..” Karen suggests. “Yours is dull”.

“But theirs was cheesy” Ricky gapes. Apparently that’s the bladdy point and cheesy still sells.

It’s quietly pointed out that the licenses were also seen as too expensive but nobody points their finger at Jenna or NowMuteGabby for their already evidenced dodgy sums. Therefore Ricky stupidly brings Duane and Laura back into the boardroom and few lucky souls slink back to the house.

Lord Sugar points out that Ricky’s bought back the people who contributed the most, allowing the slackers to get away with it, but Ricky’s adamant that he wanted the job to be done correctly and that “the man who said he could do the job under-delivered” because he got too “emotionally involved” with the filming. As Lord Sugar turns to Laura, Duane leaps in to excavate a little more from his hole. “Laura shouldn’t be here.. she contributed lots” he insists, adding unconvincingly that Ricky “hid himself away” during previous tasks. It gets Laura on side at least, and she also thinks Ricky should go (“if he was so concerned about the video, he should have gone to the edit”), but there’s little chance of that and after reprimanding Ricky for his “bad management move” of bringing the wrong people back, Duane is fired, although there’s a slight card marking for Laura. So maybe not such a rubbish strategy for “The Fitness”.

In the taxi of doom Duane thinks we haven’t seen the best of him. I kind of think we’ve seen the worst, so as long as you stay away from cameras you’ll be fine Duane.

Laura meanwhile struggles to disguise her pique at Ricky daring to take her back into the boardroom in the first place. Ricky however just gives it all that when he gets back “Lord Sugar knows who I am! He knows what I got!”. Wow, for a pro Wrestler he sounds a lot like every cocky telesales team leader I’ve met. Weird that.

Next week the teams try to sell unhealthy meat options to the Scottish. That should really test them.

Liking: Azhar, Tom, Jade

Come on love, sort yourself out: Katie, Gabriella (was she on drugs for this episode?)

Warming to: FlopsyNick

Meh: Steve

Disliking: Ricky

Should go next: Adam or Jenna

Really disliking: Laura

Bye Bye: Duane, Jane, Michael, Maria, Bilyana

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