Welcome to my blog for Season 9 of the Apprentice, and with a promising selection of delusional wankers and backstabbers following last year’s snoozefest, I’m fired up like the proverbial fuckhouse for this series.

We kick off with the cream of the shiny suited cretinous crop.

There’s Zee a big-faced CEO of Property Investment Company who states that he is “an innovative leader” who takes his “inspiration from Napolean”. So doomed to have a bout of diahorrea then lose horribly.

“I am half machine. I can process things at a speed that is out of this world!” boasts Jaz, an “Educational Entenpreneur” (she sells pencils?) with all the external bounce of Alison Hammond presenting playschool, yet the sad eyes of an abused puppy.

“My effortless superiority will take me all the way” croons Jason, the bastard child of Ed Miliband and David Walliams. Jason, we learn, has never had a full-time job but has studied Greek Modern History, which is the posh austerity version of the University of Life.

Alex reckons he’s a “New breed of businessman”. That’ll be the cat-arse-lipped Freddy Mercury breed of businessman. The one who has eyebrows that look like they’re trying to murder him.

I’ll put my cards on the table now and predict I’m going to enjoy hating the big-eyed weasel face of “Retail Entrepreneur” Luisa, who declares she has “Energy like the duracel bunny, sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit and the brain of Einstein”, before revealing that she has “fake hair and fake boobs, but a really good business brain”.

Lord Sugar seems feistier this season (“You shaddup, and you shaddup and you talk…. you’re all a bladdy waste of space.. I don’t wanna see your face anymore”), presumably because rather than palming off some nothing tea making, crap email phone selling job based in a broom cupboard on the winner and then destroying them in court if they dare complain, he now has to hand over a quarter of a million (“in a 50:50 business”) to the apprentice with the winning business plan (provided they aren’t randomly weeded out throughout the process).  Understandably LordSugar is fed up with the “usual BS” on the candidates CVs (“giving 110%, thinking outside the box, inside the bladdy box… I’m sick and tired of all that bladdy rubbish. Actions speak louder than words”). Hence we have the first of a series of pointless  tasks to test the candidates skills, which they probably will never need to use again.

We learn that Neil,  who should be playing Gary Barlow’s really evil twin (you can tell he’s the baddy as the beard is darker and he acts like a sneakily controlling cock throughout the task) has a business plan for a “Unique online estate agency”. LordSugar stirs by pointing out that the wonderfully named Miles Mordaunt says on his CV that “Estate agents are tossers” (as you do).  “I’m not an estate agent.. that’s just my business plan” Neil quickly explains. It’s ok Neil, as you said in your VT, you’ll do anything to win (Cheating, lying, I don’t care”).

Jaz’s business plan is actually something with a social conscience (“an online learning platform to help eradicate illiteracy”. So she’s screwed already then.

The task this week is to go to Tilbury Docks to intercept some shipping containers full of “imported goods” (smuggled tut) which they have to sell to trade by 4pm the following day. First Lord Sugar throws a “curve ball” by asking for volunteers for Project Manager. Jaz’s hand is already up, maybe she wanted a wee but didn’t want to admit it with everyone staring at her. Whatever she’s the first PM for the girls team.  “I’m so enthusiastic!” she gushes like some frighteningly deranged dating video.

Jason volunteers for the boys, but immediately is overcome by delayed wimpishness and meekly asks if “anyone else wants to volunteer.. if they’ve got fire and drive…” “Do it!” Neil cuts him off forcefully. Jason confides to camera that “my intelligence is like a machete in the jungle”.

Neil kicks off the willy waving in the boys car, bragging about his 14 years sales experience.  “I’m from Wales” Alex counters. Maybe he misheard “sales”, whatever, beat that Neil!

The girls decide on a team name. Doctor Leah likes the idea of “some kind of explosive? Asteroid?” How about Haemerrhoid?

Luisa suggests “Evolve”, which Grace Dent’s skinnier evil twin Rebecca also likes. I’m not convinced they actually know what Evolve means. Maybe they think it’s a posh internet vajazzling site?

Jason manages to convince the boys to go for “Endeavour” (perhaps after Captain Cook’s boat, the wreckage of which has never been recovered). “We all want to win, but it’s not always going to happen” explains Jason reasonably, to which Neil makes a hacky “You fucking what?” face.

Everyone reaches Tilbury (Jason:  “I’ve lived in london all my life,I’ve never really gone down the docks before”. Everyone else: rolls eyes) to be greeted by containers crammed with such random goodies as toilet rolls. bottled water, leather jackets, bubble wrap, hi viz jackets (Zee: “These are amazing! They’re going to sell!”) and Union Jack mugs. Apart from the wonderful waving Chinese Lucky Cats, it’s like a UKIP campaigner’s goody bag.

Jaz goes into “education entepreneur” overdrive, delivering a “motivational speech” that couldn’t be more cheesily patronising if she was wearing patchwork dungarees and using a glove puppet. “What do you expect from me as PM?” she sings. Even the tumbleweed stares at her, but to make her stop the girls volunteer “erm dedication? listening to us?” It just makes things worse. “OK if I deliver that what can I expect from you?” Jaz continues gratingly.

Over on Endeavour and Jason’s people management skills are proving as effective as a velvet glove containing an elderflower jelly fist. Neil hisses at him “You need to control this” before leaping in and talking at everybody with the sort of insane self confidence that a lot of people fall for briefly before everything goes tits up. Karren Brady is unimpressed (“I feel for Jason”), but somehow Neil manages to make it look as though he actually is the one true king of Endeavour by, as it was mystically foretold, managing to make a decision between choosing cat litter  or union jack mugs. I already think he’s a bit of a cockend, but hopefully he will stay in to be dismantled during the interview episode.

At this point I get a bit distracted by Kurt Wilson, a Derren Brown-lookielikie Scouse Health drink entepreneur saying things convincingly down his phone without holding it like a twat.

Dr Leah gets to lead a subteam and reckons “It’s gonna be about the water”. She delegates to Rebecca, who has apparently won “lots of awards for selling. I don’t let people walk over me in life or in business”. And somehow they end up in an all night pub at Smithfield Market trying to flog bottled water. Eh? Cos when butchers have finished a hard shift packing meat they really need their thirst quenched?  “I imagine you sell a bit” Rebecca reaches to the pork faced landlord. “Not much” he responds. “I’m hearing that” Rebecca plays her pop psychology to devastating effect, selling him a whole two cases for £15. Which even lovely Dr Leah thinks is a bit shit.

Meanwhile the boys actually do something sensible and go to a coach company looking for a bulk deal. Alex pitches but the Coach company boss completely wrongfoots him on price and he ends up agreeing a deal, but coming away thinking he “gave up too easy”. Zee still goes in for a befuddling high five, clearly inspired by Napolean.

Jason’s taken his subteam to a Casino where he tries to flog his lucky cats for £6 each but the rather suave croupier suggests that for such a thin, plastic product that’s unreasonable, and says he’d only pay £2-3. Myles thinks he’s had a stroke of genius and suggests putting batteries in all the Lucky Cats and selling for £3.50 each, and it’s a deal (maybe the Croupier thinks it’s a bargain to get all those batteries?). After 2 hours putting the batteries into the cats, Myles proudly hands the result to the Croupier who smiles “I didn’t expect you to put the batteries in. Good service!” at which point Myles briefly grows a chin just so it can sadly hit the ground.

The girls from Evolve head to Chinatown at 9am to attempt to sell their lucky cats to Chinese Supermarkets, but despite the expert knowledge of Sophie Lau (who suggests wisely that Chinese people will have bought these items cheaper from China, but somehow doesn’t think to let people know that Chinatown wakes up late) they can’t access any stores and are poignantly waved off by a whole pride of Lucky Cats from behind the window of a closed shop.

Luisa pushes Leah to allow her to sell the rest of the water at a club in Farringdon (“I run 3 businesses all of which are sales and, no offence; you’re a doctor.” Oops, it looks like offence has been taken),  but gets her way and annoyingly does quite well, closing a deal for £50 more than the boys.

Manwhile over on Jaz’s subteam, any structure or plot has been utterly lost. Francesca, a leopardskin print loving hard faced blonde who looks a bit like previous “winner” Stella English on crack, is not impressed “It’s gone a bit kamikazee and a bit crazy” as Jaz storms into a tourist tut shop and tries to flog mugs at £1.50 each (when they’re on sale in the shop for £1.49 each) to a bloke on the till who reveals that despite his enthusiasm for the deal, he has to talk to his boss first at which point Subteam Jaz drifts disconsolately back onto the street and whilst Nick Hewer derides Jaz’s leadership skills, she illustrates his point by shrieking “Big Smiles! Showtime” as though that would motivate anyone to do anything other than kill and kill again.

Whilst Alex tries to shift “Left over toilet roll… it’s all clean and freshly packaged, not re-used”, Jason’s concerned that carrying the ukelele and the union jack mug will make them seem like “purveyers of tat” (perish the thought), so promptly drops the mug. Whoops. Broken Britain.

The Leah subteam shift the leather jackets, but are struggling to find buyers for the kitty litter, what with scary-eyed Uzma, who has somehow landed the role of “logistics” phoning up Pets at Home and other major stores who all have regular suppliers and usually avoid buying knock off cat gravel from random crazy women. Jaz phones and suggests that they make an appointment with Battersea Dog’s Home, but Uzma says it’s too far away (and she doesn’t like being told what to do),  so instead Zee gets the appointment for team Endeavour.

Neil admits on the way to Battersea Cat’s Home that he despises cats (further proof that he’s a bad’un), but on arrival at the home he brazenly regards a collection of frolicking kittens, like a bearded komodo dragon contemplating lunch and says “They’re absolutely beautiful”. Zee does the sales pitch, but when the Battersea blokes admit they can’t afford the £8 per massive bag of kitty litter, it’s Neil who calls the time-out. “He’s a real backseat driver” gasps Karren Brady, half appalled, half seduced. By the time they get to closing the deal, even Zee’s wise to what just happened. “Are you going to shake his hand or am I?” he jokes to Neil, before vowing to camera he will put his foot down in future. Sadly that just means he loses the plot during the next confrontation with Neil (who’s taken control of the phone and won’t hand it to anyone else) “I need to speal to him!” insists Zee. “Why are you shouting?” Neil innocently and punchably yells back.

Sophie’s still unconvinced of the wisdom of selling Chinese products to Chinese people in Chinatown, and what with her being half Chinese you’d think she’d know, but she still gives it a bash, and as suspected the bloke in the Chinese supermarket points out that he can get the cats cheaper in China. Sophie’s halfway through saying it’s a different story in the UK, but Natalie  a 30 year old more prematurely wisened than the dessicated shrunken head of Edith Bowman, leaps in and offers him 10 at £3 each. Yeah go Natalie. Only 40 Lucky Cats to go. Sophie’s not a happy bunny, but Natalie insists “We were gonna lose it”.

Tim, a smily and endearing chap who is either living up to the “Nice but dim” stereotype, or is playing a blinder, manages to close a deal on the Hi Viz jackers to a fast food entepreneur and bounces around grinning for a bit afterwards.

Jason’s suddenly realised “We have loads of ukeleles”, and declares, as though it’s the new Labour Party Policy “We’re gonna run like hell to sell those ukeles”.  Somehow Jordan, another bloke trying but failing to look like Morrissey sells 5 ukes for £30.

“They can’t even sell 10 leather jackets in London” Alex moans about his project manager’s subteam despite their ukelele success. Neil spots an opportunity to do some stirring. “Do you think he’s a good Project Manager?” he asks. Zee takes the bait and expresses his lack of being impressed.

The Leah subteam find a hardware shop run by a sarcastic cockney bloke (or Sean Lock in a fat suit) who seems to be joyfully ripping them off by feigning great wisdom with regards bubble wrap (“what size bubble?” “Erm small bubble?”) and toilet rolls.

Sophie tries to make a suggestion to Jaz about sales strategy. “Go for it… unless it’s about cats”; Jaz is fresh out of bouncy enthusiasm now, revealing she has absolutely zero skills. “No-one’s listening to me” Sophie wails haplessly.

Trading’s over and Jaz reveals that her subteam sold £270 worth of tut. Luisa’s incensed. “We’re not going back in the Board room and even if she suggests it I’ll be on her like a fly on shit”. Lovely Luisa.

Neil’s still convinced that “Jason appointed me as another PM within the team” rather than a subteam leader.

Back in the Boardroom, Luisa’s quick to stick the knife into Jaz (“To me, Leah was PM”). Jaz admits she was left with “300 mugs, 7 jackets and 40 lucky cats. It’s a cat..” she does a half hearted wave as her voice trails off. “Yeah I know!” Lord Sugar cuts her off.

Jason believes that “Endeavour…  put in a very robust performance”, but Lord Sugar suggests that Neil “kind of took it over” (Neil: “I kind of agree with that, yeah”). Alex goes a bit Yoda (“Critical, clear, concise instructions…were left out from the start”), and only Jordan has the nads to have a pop at Neil (“Only he believes in himself more than everyone else here does”) from behind his Morrissey specs.

Alex springs to Neil’s defence. “I  worked with Liam all day” he starts. Oops. Myles also doubts Jason’s leadership skills (“More Vicar of Dibley than market trader”) until he’s pulled up on his batteries lunacy and is left gaping helplessly like Beaker from Sesame Street.

Tim is lovely, all  garbled and blushing as he discusses his Hi Viz jacket sale (generic Sugar joke 67931:- “They must have seen you coming”.

It’s time for the scores, and I quite like the incredibly divisive tactic of splitting them by subteam. So we learn that on Evolve, whilst Jaz’s subteam made £270, Leah’s subteam made £893.30 giving a total of £1109.30. For Endeavour, Jason’s subteam got £324, Neil’s got £843.40 – so a total of £1167.90.

Tim seems to have prepared a speech about why he failed which he begins to deliver on nervous autopilot (“At the start I was struggling”, Sugar:- “You’ve won – so shut up!”). Oh bless Tim. He could be the biggest black swinging heart business bastard from Hell, but he’s won me over.

Anyhow the boys er get to go home first and eat what looks like some burned beef. The girls have to apparently spend the night swilling bitter tea in the Cafe of Doom. “I don’t want to pass the buck” Luisa passes the buck to Jaz, “but we sold more than triple what you sold”.

Back in the Board Room, Luisa puts down Jaz for volunteering as PM (“Just because you put yourself foward you can’t expect to go through” Jaz “Well thanks for that contribution”). Jaz knows that if she had to do it all again she would definitely change more than a single thing, but objects to the suggestion that Leah did all the Project Management “It sounds like I was just sat down humming a tune”.  Luisa also manages to diss Rebecca (“She went on about her awards then went in and epically failed”) even though she ended up being the biggest seller.

It transpires that Uzma didn’t sell anything, but she claims she was “operations and logistics” not sales. So why didn’t you go to Battersea where the boys cleaned up is the retort from Karren Brady.

Jaz brings Sophie (poor sales) and Uzma (didn’t follow cat litter lead)back to the boardroom.  Uzma does a big fib and claims she tried to sell to Batterseat Cats Home. “You were the Logistics Girl!” Sophie urges, and it’s hard to tell if she’s being Urban or Sexist. Maybe Uzma can’t tell either as she fires back a retort and ends it by spitting out the word “Darling!” Play nice girls. Jaz tries to be all urban too by shouting “Man!” at Lord Sugar. It is equally unsuccessful.

Somehow Lord Sugar falls for Uzma’s “I was only Logistics” line and says she’s safe before finally firing Jaz for making some “fatal mistakes” not least putting herself forward immediately. In the Taxi of Regret she has no regrets about volunteering first, but she is “gutted to go before I had a chance to show how amazing I am”

So Uzma and Sophie return to the house, where Uzma talks about the “daunting” boardroom experience, and Zee suggests, bravely that she get ready for it again.

Next episode the teams will be selling flavoured beer. And Alex will call Jason a “silly shit”.

We’ve only just begun.

Liking: Tim,

Liking a little bit despite my better judgement: Jason, Zee, Alex , Jordan

Wanting to like: Sophie, Francesca, Kurt, Leah

Disliking Mildly:- Natalie, Rebecca, Uzma, Myles

Getting Ready to Hate on:- Neil, Luisa

Bye Bye: Jaz

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