Sugar ambushes the candidates with an evening call giving the girls nary enough time to apply nuclear levels of blusher before they rush to meet him at the Angel building where he sets them the task of designing some Flat Pack Tat and selling it to John Lewis, Argos and whatever fools they can find in thatLondon.

Scary skeleton in a wig Natalie leads Evolve and the ladies brainstorm. Francesca thinks a space saving cube could be the answer. I would prefer one of those mirror things that Superman imprisons General Zod in – just throw it at a pile of grubby smalls and watch them spinning around in perpetuity, but nobody suggests this. Luisa doesn’t want to actually assemble anything more complicated than the outside of a Kinder Egg, so they come up with the idea of a cube that slots together. Uzma puts herself up as head design lady given her services to the eyeliner industry. Unfortunately during this design phase, whilst Uzma scribbles frantically, the team are still coming up with alternative uses for this amazing now multi-dimensional cube. Natalie thinks the “multi-functional cube shaped table” could also work as seating. Leah thinks it could incorporate “a wine rack” and “something to put ice in”(!). Someone else suggests a laptop holder and a hole for a cup. Maybe a food tray? Rebecca wants to make a suggestion but Natalie and Luisa ignore her. “Are we table? Are we desk? Are we chair?” (Are we human? Are we dancer?) asks a befuddled Sophie, who decides that none of the girls work as a team so she, Francesca and Rebecca (who also dislikes the cube idea) are paired off to to the dread “market research” whilst Uzma scrawls what looks like an aertexed decapitated K9 on her notepad to take to the unimpressed design-bods at a studio in East London.
The Evolve Market Research team go to “I saw you coming” in Shoreditch where a man in a lemon striped boating jacket enlightens them on the finer points of interior furnishing and exactly how high a table needs to be if you’re not in a 1940s Japanese film. They phone Natalie and explain that tables need to be high and have leg room to work, but Natalie is so caught up in the multifunctionality (“How can we use it as storage then?”, Luisa: “Why wouldn’t they just buy a table?”) that she fails to see – it doesn’t have to be a freaking table!

The boys keep it simple. Jordan leads Endeavour where Alex immediately comes up with “Foldo”, which rather than being a holder for the One True Ring is a table that turns into a chair. He takes a pretty thorough drawing to the design studio as well as a working cardboard prototype. Wow! As “lead designer” Alex gets to go crazy ape bonkers with a big tape measure and shout at the rest of his subteam so that they get all their measurements wrong (“Wooah, woah woah woah! This is only 400 – you said 490!” “Someone sit in the chair to check the height! Not you Jordan, someone normal sized” etc). Nick worries the product will end up like “the camel. Which is the horse as designed by committee”.

Myles, Kurt and Zee do pointless “Market Research” by taking rough badly put together sketches to the public – who respond with rough, badly put together opinions although one man suggests some form of arse protection might be necessary, so Zee buys some minty green fabric to upholster Foldo’s seat with.

Uzma checks the design studios mockup for the cube which look like an Evil Hostess Trolley. She thinks they could be stacked over each other (“It could be one of our unique selling points”. Yes – storage to store storage in. Amazing!). Nat however wants something more rounded, which the designer points out would be harder to slot together (and to beat a client to death with, he presumably adds silently). Karren rolls her eyes and despairs at how crap the girls are. “I’m very creative” Uzma smiles, “I’m very good at visualising and then drawing”. She then plumps for a nice eyecatching shade of greyish green for the cube (which now has a lid! I mean tray.), and Natalie goes with “the majority” (or at least the ones who shout the loudest).
Rebecca’s not impressed by developments when she calls in with the latest market research (“Are you listening to market research, or Luisa?”, Luisa (whining): “Why is it my fault?”), and they are asked to find a cushion in B and Q (Francesca “We are in a DIY store, if you had told us beforehand we could have gone to an upholsterers. This was an ipod easel and not it’s a tray in a seat in a box”), which they do, but not necessarily the right size. Oops.

The prototypes are produced overnight and 8am sees the delivery of the girls “Tidy Sidy” (it sounds like something nasty you get from a really cheap chicken and burger place) is unwrapped. They can’t tell it’s unwrapped though as it’s essentially a box. With a lid. The manufacturers have left a nice note (“Hi guys. The cushion was a bit too big so we had to leave it for you to fit”), so they lube up the cushion and force it into place. Karren shakes her head sadly “They’re going to have to do a bloody good job to pitch”.
The boys Foldo chair actually works, and Alex sits on it. “My god! It hasn’t collapsed” gasps Jordan, impressed.

Half of the teams head up North to pitch to LordAlan’s leads (Mr Hazel suggests that up North people might still be impressed by boxes. He lives, for now). The rest search London for suckers.
Jordan sends Neil and Myles for the major pitches, along with Alex, but he heads the London subteams suggesting that they all try one pitch each. Zee gets all arsey at this percieved slight to his pitching skills and narrowly avoids a macing from the furniture store women on his first pitch.

Francesca, Uzma and Leah pitch to another London store; slotting together the cube like they’re playing kerplunk with a dodgy booze recycling bin. The posh shop man is not convinced it would work “in any room” (“It would be good in a part of my house you couldn’t see maybe”). The subteam tell Natalie that with her shitty unglossy product she’s on a hiding to nothing and Natalie pulls a pained face, but you can’t tell.

It’s Argos appointment time and all the girls have put on their tightest dresses and highest heels, which seems to work with the normally bored blokes on the Argos panel, who perk up when Luisa talks about it being “really, really easy… to assemble”. “Is it not just a box on wheels” one asks, slightly spellbound. “I think you have to think outside the box” Luisa simpers. They’ve done as well as they could here, and Argos like the ease of assembly.

In contrast, they couldn’t look less interested as Neil demonstrates Foldo, and it’s all “No further questions M’Lud” at the end of his pitch. Although maybe, as Nick points out, they were simply aghast at Alex wriggling his “wide backside” in their faces whilst assembling Foldo. No amount of allen key action was going to make that sexy.
Back in London, Francesca persuades a French Bloke in a self consciously trendy furniture store to buy 4, a bloke in a cut price store to buy 20, and a baldy man to buy 50 boxes with lids. Her panelled leopardskin dress is working overtime.
Meanwhile at John Lewis, Rebecca’s pitch is very dry and professional and in no way going to convince anyone to buy a grey box. Not even Wayne Rooney would have been interested.

It’s Myles’s turn for Endeavour and yet again, as has happened all day, everyone points out the chair is very high. Now my response would be to say this makes it perfect for all people but especially elderly relatives or people with mobility problems, but Myles misses this goal by suggesting the target market is 16-40 year olds, “the student market”. One woman worries that students wouldn’t pay £75 for a chair. In the post tuition fee, mainly elite world of students nowadays though wouldn’t a few of them have parents who could pay? Anyhow Myles’s pitch is a bit dull. “Is it something you’d consider stocking?” he asks grimly. “We’d have to have a chat” says John Lewis man unpromisingly.

Jordan’s still in London trying to flog his “multifunctional chair” (technically bi-functional, and totally useless if you need a chair AND a table unless you buy 2). Zee somehow gets another go to pitch and harrass female store managers. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” he announces grandly. “Sorry it’s not our target manager” says shop woman, adding cuttingly “I think it’s more your British Home Stores”. Zee’s reaction to any setback is to ignore it. “Lets start a relationship! Let’s shake hands!” he declares, whilst Shop Lady reaches for the alarm button. Finally Jordan decides to give Kurt a go and Zee has a massive sulk (“There’s no reason I shouldn’t do the third pitch”), but Jordan insists and Zee’s face when Kurt sells is just lovely.

Finally Leah does a good pitch to another trendy store, and sells 100 by aiming high and suggesting 200 first. It’s all been about the subteam for the girls this week.

Back in the Boardroom and Natalie’s now blaming Francesca for the “Tidy Sidy”. Uzma looks gutted at all the negativity about the design, but everyone agrees that Natalie was a good team leader in a big unconvincing love-in.
Jordan backs Alex’s design all the way (Sugar: “It’s a bit tall.. do your feet dangle Jordan?”), but Nick Hewer thinks it looks like “Old Sparky” the Electric Chair. Lord Sugar thinks as PM Jordan should have gone along to the two large scale pitches, especially as Myles confesses John Lewis “picked up on a couple of points I raised.. even though I didn’t say it was just for 16 year olds”. “It knocked the credibility of the pitcher though” slams Nick.

To keep us “guessing” they split the scores up by pitch.
Evolve
Subteam in london sold 174 units
Endeavour
Subteam sold 216 units

Endeavour – John Lewis didn’t like the styling but liked the concept so went for 500 with a few tweaks.
Evolve – john lewis didn’t order any units.
Endeavour – Argos bought 2500 units
Evolve – Karren cruelly says “Argos loved the pitch.. loved you guys… but hated the product and made no orders” just so we can watch Natalie’s face go to nearly happy and back to sucking lemons.

The boys get the prize of climbing over the O2 prize whilst mocking the girls for not being able to “sell any boxes”. Alex is told that Foldo is one of the best products seen in the history of boardroom. In the land of complete tut, the table-chair is king.
The girls add to their running tab at the Sad Cafe. Natalie feels she trusted people too much. Sophie feels (correctly) that the excessive functions confused things and Luisa pulls one of her faces (like a female preying mantis pulls before she looms in on a head) and calls Sophie “the weakest link”. Sophie’s convinced she did the right thing, “I don’t design, don’t manufacture, don’t sell, don’t pitch”.. er Sophie what do you do?

Back in the Boardroom and Lord Sugar calls the “Tidy Sidy” the “wishy washy poxy boxy” comparing it’s grey geometry to something out of “1970s East Germany” (they should have called it the Bo-Haus).

Natalie turns on Uzma for “harping on about being a designer” and when Sugar admits the interlocking was a good idea, Luisa claims that was her and Natalie and tells Uzma “You can’t claim that as your idea”. A bitch fight predictably ensues with Natalie repeatedly telling Uzma “Nothing is ever your fault”. Uzma tries to call Luisa (“What did you put forward?”) and Karren summarises that Natalie “tried to amalgamate everyone’s idea into one cube”. Luisa complains that the “feedback from the market research was very contradictory” (erm because the product was?) and Sophie gets some stick for having done a dissertation for market research yet lacking the ability to flog a dead horse loudly. Or something. Anyhow, predictably Natalie brings back Uzma and Sophie – and Lord Sugar sends the rest home with their cards very close to marked (“You should be embarrassed”).
Karren suggests there have been issues between Uzma and the other girls in previous tasks (she could say the same for most of the women other than Leah and Francesca). “Yeah but you know what women are like” laughs Sugar, clearly wearing a concrete posing pouch today.

Natalie claims both Uzma and Sophie hide from responsibility and blames the design on Uzma who rightly points out Natalie signed it off and Natalie gets all shouty. She also thinks Sophie’s market research wasn’t good enough, and Sophie claims she did exactly what Natalie wanted (but she’s not very strong fighting her corner). “You wouldn’t have even listened cos you were so influenced by Luisa” adds Sophie, finding some feistiness too late, and hitting the mark.

It’s revealed that Natalie claims to want to work in fashion yet denies having creativity. “I do have a creative eye… for fashion” she claims. I just watched it an hour ago yet I don’t have a clue what Natalie was wearing.
Still, it’s Sophie that gets fired in this season’s early attack of Boardroom “not fair!”ness because Lord Sugar thinks “Market research is hiding away” (he’s never been threatened with the anal insertion of a clipboard).
“The only fair here is the cab fare home” he adds, unrepentent of the firing or that pun.
In the Taxi of Doom, Kitty finds claws as Sophie accuses the other women of being bitchy and claims “I like to keep my dignity, and my class”.

Back at the house Jordan tops Zee’s hate list by telling everyone that the Napolean complexed one was the only boy not to sell. Luisa predicts Sophie will leave as she doesn’t see “her fight as being as good as Uzma’s”. Natalie and Uzma return and all the women look daggers at each other. Game on.

Next year cute critters abound and I don’t just mean Jordan and Jason as we visit an inner city zoo and the candidates get to run a farm shop.

Liking: Jordan, Francesca
Finding Amusing: Zee, Jason
Wanting to like:  Kurt, Leah, Neil, Rebecca, Alex
Disliking Mildly:– Uzma, Myles
Getting Ready to Properly Hate:– Luisa, Natalie
Bye Bye: Jaz, Tim, Sophie

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