Archives for the month of: June, 2013

Week 9 dawns with a 6am call which Alex answers, revealing that he apparently bizarrely considers chinos and a T-shirt to be appropriate night apparel. (Although I suppose leg warmth is appropriate when you’re skulking around looking for virgins to bite). Anyhow’s the candidates are called to meet LordSugar at the top of my favourite London landmark that resembles a snake-skin bound sex toy; the Gherkin. The restaurant at the top is an unfortunate choice of location for Sugar to reveal that this week the candidates have to develop ready meals to pitch to three retailers.

Alex is finally appointed PM of Endeavour (Jordan, Myles, Leah) by LordSugar the Kingmaker. “I don’t know why people don’t have confidence in me. Is it age or business experience” he acts a tactfully silent Jordan who resists the urge to scream “NO IT’S YOUR FUCKING FACE!!!” into Alex’s fucking face.

Luisa decides , after her card-marking last week, to not put herself forward to lead Evolve, with Neil and Francesca both putting themselves forward so she gets the casting vote and predictably uses it to put the boot into her female rival, choosing Neil (because “You’re more of a natural born leader and for ease of working together”) whilst Francesca gives her pointed evils. Neil’s up and running and suggesting “fusion” food. Didn’t work for Alexander Litvinenko.

Alex fancies a bit of paella. At least he doesn’t say the word in the poncy way – despite him being Welsh so understanding what to do with a surfeit of “L”s.  Jordan and Leah both slap him down for not identifying the market first. I say if he likes Paella let him do paella, but Myles wants to develop an exciting brand based around kids which he seems to already have in his head. Alex decides to send Leah to the kitchen because she is a WOMAN (“I know you don’t like cooking, but I’m sure the chef will be nice to you”). He sends Jordan  (“I can cook… a pie”) with her for being troublesome and short.

Neil diplomatically asks the women if either would mind going to do the cooking. Francesca doesn’t do cooking, she said when nominating herself to PM that she lived on ready meals so she has a point. Luisa claims the same, which is harder when your business is a frigging bakery. “I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on savoury ingredients” she whines and Neil lets her come with him to do the branding at another wanktastic marketing house whilst Francesca is sent to Derby to slave over a hot hob.

Myles’s concept is “Dracula’s Dinners” (with their PM they could even take a photo of the vampire to go on the label  – just like Paul Newman or Lloyd Grossman). Somehow this evolves into “Deadly Dinners” which is not so good. Maybe the estate of Bram Stoker would still sue from beyond the grave? However Alex has the brainwave of a colourful character called “Pop Di Ping” (Welsh for Microwave, and quite catchy) giving kids a “geography lesson” by introducing them to foods from around the world. “If we do Spain, we can dress him as a bullfighter” (he’s still obsessed by paella, and hits the streets to market research, preaching the good news about paella for kids where they will be  “actually eating a prawn!”; at least one woman seems to like the idea). Myles is still unimpressed and needles away to try to get Alex to drop his brand of Welsh multiculturalism and come to the dark, “deadly” side, but the project manager is adamant and shows Myles a crudely drawn sketch of a stick figure in a stripey shirt on a boat. “Look, I’ve got Pop Di Ping on a Gondeler” he announces. Case closed then.  Besides Alex reckons “No-one will like Dracula at Christmas”. He hasn’t met many children then.

Neil and Luisa have decided to sell to students as they’re well known for eating any old shit and Neil decides to fuse Caribbean and Thai, or is it Thai and Caribbean – they’re just so similar it’s hard to decide.  Anyhow it’s some variation on jerk (snigger) chicken and pad thai, which I would probably have a go at if it was cooked well.  Luisa phones Francesca with a recipe at breakneck speed. “It’s simple” insists Cake Girl innocently and Karren smells a rat regarding Luisa’s supposed lack of cooking nous. “I’ve been royally stitched up” Francesca moans. “Can you burn chicken?” “Er yes” her bemused chef chaperone informs her.

Luisa and Neil, meanwhile, are bonding over their shared twattiness at the marketing agency, to the bemusement of the milky bar work experience kid who’s been sent in to sit with them. Rejecting Luisa’s “Good Stuff!” (hmm) they plump for “Oh my POW” (Oh my head! Well maybe it will appeal to fans of Tenko) and a multicoloured Hypno Box featuring insane pseudo Nazi slogans like “POWERFUL CUISINES.. BOUGHT TOGETHER FOR POWERFUL MINDS”. It’s the food equivalent of those Lucky Waving Cat boxes. Whilst it seems to be Neil having ideas and Luisa tagging along for the ride, she still insists that she and Neil are “level pegging”.  They spend most of the episode blowing smoke rings up each others arses (“Go dream team!”) fooling even Karren into thinking she can see “a serious business woman emerging” in Luisa.

Eventually Myles wears Alex down and he does a last minute veer down the “Deadly Dinners” route. They attend a focus group of kids and parents where the kids LOVE the idea of bats blood Bolognese and er more sodding prawns (clearly prawns are horrific enough in themselves;  you don’t need to call them “Sea Locusts” or something). Whilst most parents are rightly perturbed about the idea of giving their children food that might actually be fun (oh and calling it “deadly”), one mad bint enthuses about the prawns (“Our children LOVE prawns. For their birthday they wanted prawns in a box”. That was a chess set they were trying to ask for you crazy bitch!).  “Would you get your Mum and Dad to buy that?” Alex manipulates the children who all scream “YAYY!” because the sauce is laced with Sunny-D. Alex and Myles finally deign to tell the rest of the team they’re going with Deadly rather than Geography, before heading off to design packaging (A little grey and black box (definitely hinting at disaster) with green writing and at least three upsettingly prominent skulls on it, which Nick Hewer points out is more reminiscent of bleach). Alex wants to add another carrot, but Myles won’t let him (to be fair the vegetables already floating round the skull just make it look like a bulimic).

Francesca reassuringly hasn’t burnt down the house yet, but her chef chum winces as she chucks the noodles at the wall to check if they’re done, and apologetically plonks down her offering before the soon to be violently ill focus eaters. They declare their hatred for the food, And Neil berates Francesca when she admits she didn’t taste it before presenting it to them. Somehow it doesn’t occur to Neil that they can change the recipe at this point so he declares that they keep going with the same idea. Next a bunch of students complete questionnaires about the product, and whilst 93% like the packaging, the flavour is universally panned, with Luisa taking quite delight in reading the negative comments to a weary Francesca: “There’s no Pow in ‘Oh my Pow!’”, “Shit Sandwich” etc. Francesca tries to rally with the fact that only 32% of students said they’d buy the product based on the packaging and suggests it will need “spinning” in the pitch. “Just don’t put that in” Luisa declares.

Myles pitches to Asda whilst Alex loudly stabs the plastic film covers on “Deadly Dinners” and faffs around with the microwave, creating an interesting soundscape, but not much business sense. The Asda woman gets all Mumsnet on Myles’s ass “It would appeal to my two boys but not to me as a mother!”

Luisa pitches “Oh my Pow” as “Fusion Fashion” which makes me see red and go stabby, whilst Francesca makes a pained face every time anyone from the retailers tastes the finished product. Neil promises they could put extra spice in with a “substantial order”. That’s nice of him.

Leah then pitches to Morrisons, well she provides the background hum whilst the men in her team jump in to talk over her as clearly she’s incapable of explaining how food works. Being a woman and blonde. And a FUCKING DOCTOR. Leah doesn’t convince when she says “What does it say? It says ‘deadly’” because nobody from Morrisons has watched The Commitments so they don’t know that in Oirish “Deadly” is good.

Neil goes all Statto at Morrisons “32% of 93%” and Luisa can’t spice it up with her intriguing and painful suggestion of adding “scotch bonnet chillis and pineapple”.

Jordan is asked to pitch to Ocado with Alex explaining, Welsh David Brent like that “I’m more of a manager.. anyway I’ve given you the floor” How very kind of him. He actually does a good job and even discusses possible exclusivity “with the right deal” and the rest of the team worship him as a pitching god.

Ocado are less impressed by Evolve and don’t get the “Explosion of Power” promised. Neil again promises to heat things up and improve the flavour. In the car back, Luisa can’t resist reeling off more of today’s criticisms of the food in front of Francesca, who finally cracks “Go on Luisa, keep stabbing me”. Luisa does her “innocent” face. “It doesn’t take a genius to keep trying food” she insists “reasonably” whilst Neil sensibly tries to hide in the corner.

Back in the boardroom and  Lord Sugar scoffs at “Deadly Dinners” (What next? “Lethal Lasagne, “Homicidal Hummus” Ho ho!) but accuses Myles of browbeating Alex into the idea. “Ow my Pow” is likewise dismissed (“It sounds like a dog food”) and Francesca’s culinary skills are again derided until Karren leaps to the rescue, sneakily suggesting it was a shame that “neither of the ladies could  cook”. Luisa can’t resist leaping in to say she can cook “a bit” and Karren springs the trap “You actually made it clear you can’t cook at all”. Luisa to her lying beeyatch credit remains cool “It became clear I had the most knowledge” and Neil stares at her in disbelief. Lord Sugar reads out yet more brilliant pieces of feedback “Serving suggestions: Don’t”, “Less heat than a snowman’s nose”, but Karren also has it in for Neil’s number heavy 20 minute borefest of a pitch.

Anyhow here come the results:-

Ocado felt that if Evolve could change “Oh My Pow”’s recipe they would buy 300.

They  liked Jordan’s pitch for Endeavour and placed 1000 trial orders.

Morrison’s didn’t order from either Evolve or Endeavour as not even Freddy Flintoff could entice people to eat either product.

Asda felt that Endeavour’s “Deadly Dinners” were “Just plain wrong” and didn’t order, however they believed Neil would improve the recipe so ordered 2500. So Evolve win and Alex goes a shade paler towards ultra-violet.

Evolve are sent to test drive a Ferrari and Myles, tingling on the verge of an early mid-life crisis does a gutted face. Endeavour head to Sad Cafe where Alex blames Myles and Myles says “It’s a fair cop” although he doesn’t carry that attitude back into the boardroom and comes out fighting against Alex.

They are told the reason they lost is the supermarkets said “mum is our customer” (sexist twats, Fathers for Justice will be blockading Lidl on the back of that).

Alex says the branding and concept were all wrong. “Why didn’t you say at design stage” Myles drones nasally. To be fair he did ask for an extra carrot on the box. Nick Hewer observes that they were both “swept away by the enthusiasm of 50 or 60 kids” without taking a second to think about what fickle bastards children can be. Jordan’s briefly commended for managing to sell some, and he reveals his secret was offering the option to do a “double campaign” with one aimed at winning the hearts and minds of parents by plugging the healthy aspect of the meals so they didn’t feel guilty. Oooh. There’s more to him than glasses and silly trousers you know.

Lord Sugar suggests Alex is weak willed, prompting our wild Welsh weirdo to insist he’s only going to bring in Myles in a tone that suggests he wants them to be left alone with a selection of weapons. Forced by Lord Sugar to make a decision, he drags back Leah too who finally speaks up for herself by drivelling on and on in a circular fashion on how “Week after week she has delivered” (maybe she was working part-time in a maternity ward?). “I am a sensible person” she insists. Boring! She blames Myles for the task failure and he fights dirty (and accurately) suggesting she’s good at slating people’s ideas but brings no creativity to the table.

Lord Sugar has a pop at Myles’s self-perceived international playboy status (“You won’t bump into Prince Albert of Monaco in Loughton” (you probably wouldn’t find A prince albert in Loughton).

Alex’s mad enthusiastic lurching from one idea to an unrelated one is compared to his home life where from a tombstone (well slate) business he set up a CCTV business and now has a business plan relating to law despite having no legal training. “Are you saying Richard Branson can’t do space ships without space knowledge” Alex asks, breaking the cardinal rule amongst bearded entrepreneurs of taking Branson’s name in vain.

Leah interrupts to talk her way back into trouble with a further slagging of Myles which mocks his 23 years alleged business experience (“I have been on the planet for 23 years”), which doesn’t endear her to the walnut faced peer. “Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth shut” he advises and Myles unpleasantly sticks a snide boot in, hissing “Take his advise and keep quiet”.

Despite Leah being a boring mardy cow and Myles thinking he’s it whilst in fact he is shit, it’s poor old Alex who gets the chop for his vacillating ways. In the taxi of doom he’s fairly stoical about the experience (“I shouldn’t have listened to other people”). Lord Sugar tells Myles that although it seems like he got away with murder that his many years (more than 23!) of experience tell him Myles deserves to stay in. And Leah must have a cure for AIDS as a business plan or something.

Next week the candidates have to create a business from scratch in two days, which sounds a bit same old same old. Shouldn’t we be entering the Battale Royale phase at this point?

Liking: Jordan
Tolerating: Francesca
Disliking Mildly: Neil
Disliking Moderately: Myles, Leah
Disliking Disproportionately: Luisa

Bye Bye, So Long: Jaz, Tim, Sophie, Uzma, Zee, Rebecca, Kurt, Natalie, LovelyJason, Alex

Who will win? Probably Neil, although my fellow shortarse Jordan could be a dark horse (well, dark Shetland pony). I sort of don’t care anymore.

(Note from Hazel: I missed the first 40 minutes of tonight’s episode so, in keeping with the romantic theme, I left it in the capable hands of my better (and swearier) half to blog the show. He appears to have given contestants his own names so will try to clarify where necessary. Over to Paul then. )

 

As the missus is off doing some poncy Shakespeare rehearsal for ‘The Merry Wives of My Bellend’ or ‘Much Ado About A Big Pile of Shit’ or something equally rhyming-couplet related it’s up to me to pen this week’s Apprentice blog on her behalf. I don’t know – bloody actors – mincing about in crinoline talking a load of old nonsense, and not a car chase or a tank in sight. Bastards!

Anyway, as I couldn’t give a monkey’s left ballbag for the drivelling cunt faced twat bastards which ooze onto the show – least of all that monkey faced cock forehead Alan Fucking Sugar – I’m not going to be too good at getting their names right, so henceforth I’ll have to refer to them in the main by their stereotypes – i.e. Posh Boy (Jason) is that posh twat who everyone loves because he’s so fucking incompetent he should be running the fucking economy (note the similarity in fecklessness between Posh Boy and Osborne – with the difference being that Osborne should be hung from the nearest yard arm and thrashed soundly until he stops liking it), and Essex Girl (Luisa) is that woman with the high whiny voice and the orange face who spends her time whinging away like a total git – come to think of it that’s everyone on the Apprentice. Anyway, you’ll get the drift of it.

But first of all we get the usual 5 minutes of bumbling time filling shite as Voice Over Man tells us a bunch of grasping, ulcerous wannabes are willing to crawl up Suger’s crusty old clagnut ridden behind to get a slice of his readies, tickling his balls along the way if necessary. It’s a load of old time filler and I’m already feeling suicidal and the fucking pre-amble hasn’t even finished yet. What with this load of old monkey’s cock cheese and Big Brother bum-touching it”s way into the nation’s mind it’s no surprise we’re a colony of drooling fuck nuggets!

Anyway, after the delightful sight of watching a bunch of tousle haired cheeky munchkins scrabbling around for the phone as they are ordered to the firing squad of Suger’s business sense we get to the meat and bones of the situation. Team Wankbiscuit (Endeavour) and Team Arsebadger (Evolve) have to coalesce their tiny imaginations into creating a new online dating concept and shagging an advertising campaign into existence. Of course, at this point it would be far too fucking easy to make some snide, ill-judged comment about creating a dating agency for feckless shit buckets who spend their spare time shoving money up their marmite motorways and rubbing pound coins over their nipples and going, “Oooh, Blimey, that’s nice” but I won’t. I’m far too lovely for that.

Old Marylebone Town Hall is the setting for the execution of good taste and common sense this year as Jordan is moved over to Shitdeavour, whoever those grinning arseholes are. Speccy Northerner (Neil?) says he’s never done online dating, probably as sex with farmyard animals is illegal. Welsh Dracula (Alex) BANGS ON ABOUT ALL THE different sexual types there are, before we segue nicely into an advertising agency called Kamarama, which is massively shit, cunty, fucknobbed and shitbiscuit.

Posh Boy becomes project manager as he’s managed his cock in the toilet before, and Welsh Dracula and Jordan Speccy Twat both fight for the right to be Top Twat. Welsh Dracula is poo-poo’d for being mental and so Jordon Speecy Twat is next up on the executioners block. There;s some motivational bollocks with Welsh Dracula who comes up with Fifty Shades of Work as a name. What a cunt.

Team Whatever – the other one -chat about passion and vigour and marketing a site to old fogies who need splints for their Herman Gelmets and clamps for their fannies, and Paddick (Myles) runs about snapping pics with that blonde tart with various suitors who all look a bit dim and infected with something nasty in the genital region to me.

Essex Girl is on website duties and says an object is ‘so cringe ‘ which immediately means she must die. They get vox pops for ideas from blokes in pubs and no one mentions the site should cater to men who like birds with big knockers and no morals.

Speccy Jordan suddenly becomes a woman for 5 seconds and talks of himself as ‘sexually liberated’ and Welsh Dracula says all women like men in a suit. Basically he’s looking for a quick shag. Posh Boys team have taken the vox pops to heart and opt for a sickly sweet dating site for the over 50s.

Cuff Links is the Speccy Jordon’s name for the website, and the Irish Doctor Sex (Leah) opines it’s a bit old fashioned, and she prefers men wearing a posing pouch shaped like an elephants head. Well, she doesn’t actually.

Posh Boy flaps over the website and pisses Essex Girl off and comes up with some really over the top ideas for colour scheme – spending 45 mins fucking around with the colour scheme, and they leave bickering like an old couple – I sense the stench of yuppies and their mating rituals here.

Cuff Links website looks like it’s been designed to showcase computer systems – bland as a load of old cock monkeys shiny bellends.

Posh Boy faffs again and delegates to Essex Girl, spending his entire time looking perpetually confused.

Brian Paddick Man has the idea for the advert being about some dick not having a good date, and Speccy Jordan options the idea of ‘getting an ugly actor’ for the role.

Back to Posh Boy and he’s all over the fucking shop. Northern Man is somewhat flummoxed by the lack of a finished website, and Essex Girl sticks the knife into Posh Boy, doing a vote to get him usurped and putting herself forward and they swap to Essex Girl as the Head Git.

It’s advert time!! Essex Girl and Posh Boy are in the advertising agency (obviously populated by streaming cocks, but that isn’t pushed forward in the edit, unfortunately) where Posh Boy basically nods and bangs his head against a mirror like a sad orphaned budgie.

Welsh Man tries acting and looks like death warmed up. Hard Faced Blonde Tart (Francesca) goes all Scorsese on everyone’s bottoms whilst the other team yank on a couple of old coffin dodgers in front of the camera and the filming goes lovely and everyone’s happy. Cuff Links shoot is turning into a freaking nightmare as Welsh Dracula tries to take over and Irish Doctor Sex tries hard not to belt him in the cock end.

Nick Hewitt does not approve, probably due to the lack of foxy boxing.

The shots of Welsh Dracula are fucking hilarious, and make up for 7 weeks of toe curling shite. Some boring old toss in the editing room fills out a few more seconds as Essex Girl drivels on and makes me claw my own ears off rather than hear her fucking Sloany old crap.

Northern Neil says he wants to do the pitch, and Essex Girl is taking no shit from his honky ass. The Cuff Links ad is fucking hilarious in all the worst possible ways as Welsh Dracula embarrasses the human race by trying to act a bit, and Paddick shits a brick as Irish Doctor Sex looks stunned that her masterpiece is denigrated by plebs.

Essex Girl pitches to a bunch of massive wankers (no evidence for this but they must be as they’re all corporate types,) The over 50s advert is dull and staid and makes everyone laugh as there are old people on the screen and they’ll die soon whereas they’re all young, you hear me, YOUNG!! Understandably it gets a right fucking drubbing from the massive cunts, but it’s really like watching a bun fight in a wanker factory – utterly pointless.

Cuff Links next and Paddick tries not to bite his own cock off in shame as he introduces the advert, which is a comedy spectacular. Welsh Dracula justifies the name as it reminds scrotes of business types and some bloke says the advert doesn’t fit the corporate image and blah blah blah, who gives a fuck – they’re advertising types and they should be forced to spend a few years… I don’t know – doing something worthwhile with their pointless empty lives, the massive greasy old todgers!

The board room – Jordan smarms and Karren Brady points out no one voted for Welsh Dracula as he probably smelled of old tramps wee. They fill more time by showing the fucking adverts AGAIN and Sugar initially approves and then it’s on to the website. He points out the obvious disparity between the shit video and the corporate website and wobbles his bollocky chins a bit. They all like Spekky Jordon as project manager but Karren Brady and Lord Bollockface poo poo him and call him a cunt, spilling his pint, and he runs off and cries like a big girl. Or not.

Posh Boy admits to not being any good and tries to make it out that he delegated to Essex Girl to take over as project manger before Nick Hewitt jumps in and says they hounded the poor old big eyed orphaned puppy into handing over the reins to her.

The website gets a bollocking and Lord Bollockface points out it looks like a funeral business website. Advert on fucking AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! and I’m trying hard not to skull fuck the screen into oblivion and descend into my own private hell.

Crunch time – the advisors Sugar bribed to watch the shit videos hate almost everything, but the over 50s one gets a massive kick in the knackers, and thus Cuff Links win and start touching each others genitals.

Fish poo for the winners in the shape of caviar, and for the losers the Tea Shop of Shame.

Sugar points out they didn’t touch the grey dollar and Posh Boy blames the bad market research rather than his own bumbling way of tripping over all common sense in his quest to be a bit dozy. He has a mild go at Essex Girl and does a little bit of savaging of her attitude, but it really is like he’s a big toothless puppy gumming a teddy bear.

Essex Girl and Posh Boy plump for bringing back Francesa and she rightly givers them a collective genital mauling as Hewitt admits she did alright and he likes her knockers.

And we’re back in the room.

Posh Boy blames Francesca for the video being cack and for fucking up with the focus group and it’s basically pissing against the wind of his own fate. Essex Girl defends Francesca and opts for kicking Posh Boys arse. Posh Boy says he’s a thinker when the complete opposite is quite obviously true.

Sugar finally delivers his ‘you shut up – and you shut up’ the programme’s been trailing since day one and Posh Boy gets to deliver his plea for clemency as he admits to taking the ‘courageous’ decision for the unity of the team – basically admitting he was utter cack only to be promptly brow beaten by bloody Essex Girl once more.

Crunch time. And Posh Boy gets the boot for being too nice and too academic and the puppy walks off a million grannies’ hearts break. Back in the boardroom they all agree Essex Girl is a nut crunching bitch and needs tanking down a peg or two.

Next week they have to come up with a ready meal, and the missus will tell you I lived on these for the last 30 years, so I’m looking forward to this. Although it won’t be quite as fluffy without Posh Boy. Altogether now – ‘aaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwww’.

 

(It’s Hazel again. Well that was different wasn’t it? Without my favourite fey posh boy who so nobly sacrificed himself to stop the women and children drowning (and to spare Luisa’s family from listening to her voice for another week at least), it’s hard to find anyone to like, but here’s my summing up of the remaining runners and riders:

 

Liking: Jordan (at a push, especially his “feminine side”)
Warming to but not yet having the love for:
Myles
Finding Amusing: Alex
A bit bored by: Francesca
Disliking:- Leah, Luisa
Back to hating: Neil, Luisa
Bye, Bye: Jaz, Tim, Sophie, Uzma, Zee, Rebecca, Kurt, Natalie, Lovely Jason and his Teddy Bear

I missed the first half of week 7 due to prancing round like a prat in rehearsals for the Merry Wives of Windsor, so had to rely on Mr Hazel’s precis:-

They all got summoned to the tower of London. As I’ve just finished reading “Bring Up the Bodies” I got quite excited, but Mr H explained that they were merely sent to Coventry, well at least Birmingham NEC to the National Motorhome and Caravan show to choose products to sell to aging campers (No, not Quentin Crisp). Firstly the teams browse accessories including folding chairs and bikes, then they are given a budget for a “high end item”. Neil is Project Manager for Evolve and they buy a folding camper apparently worth “10 fecking grand” (Mr H), despite loving a cute retro camper. Kurt leads Endeavour and looking at the sales figures for the folding camper thinks it’s the best item, but Alex disagrees and leads Kurt down the retro camper path.

I arrive at 9.30pm and think I’ve been slipped a dose of peyote mushrooms as I watch Jason close a ten grand deal on the folding camper (“I’m on the verge of a sale”), however we’re lead to worry that the cheque made out by the caddish customer may well bounce (as though Jason is some sort of hapless PG Wodehouse character). Neil admits through splinteringly clenched teeth that Jason making the first sale hurts his “man pride”, but adds that Jason isn’t “god of sales”. Whilst Jordan and Luisa sell electric bikes to the terminally lazy, Neil convinces an incredulous bloke that it’s possible to put up a folding camper in “five minutes” (lies) and makes a 10.5K sale.

Over on Endeavour Alex is as usual moaning, as he isn’t in Kurt’s elite “high ticket” sales team (Kurt and Myles, spectacularly failing to sell the rather cool retro camper to aging ramblers), so he’s stuck with “stupid” girls and reduced to asking women if they want “a look at my boat box”. Kurt meanwhile decides that his sales pitch needs some “eye candy” so summons Leah over (cue Natalie looking comically rejected – it could have been worse, he could have called over Alex) and the Irish Diana Dors emerges after 10 minutes honking and pouting at a nice old couple claiming she thinks she’s sold a “big one”.

In the boardroom Lord Sugar qualifies that sales only count if the finances check out ok (oh no! Poor Jason!).

It’s revealed that Endeavour’s Alex (who’s never been PM) gave way to Kurt on this occasion as Kurt has camping experience (Pontins 1992?) . Sugar throws in the curve ball that perhaps nobody trusts Alex. Alex tries to look trustworthy but his eyebrows have different ideas.
Myles thinks the products weren’t right and blames Leah for not being passionate about the accessories and saying things like “Obviously I don’t have kids”. Natalie also puts the boot in claiming Leah lost the bike by asking three times for a discount. Leah maintains it was only once and Nick Hewer ends it by declaring it irritated the bike vending lady.

Kurt gets some stick for not choosing the folding camper, due to Alex, who insists he is right as “I have personally dealt with people spending thousands”. Kurt retorts”Isn’t your company an internet business?” (KURT SLAM!) and Alex gets all haughty (“I have sold to the Royal Family”).
Neil as PM for Evolve based his decisions wisely on the average sales per day for products. Lord Sugar wryly addresses Jason “I bet you’ve never been camping”. “I’ve never been to Birmingham either” Jason says proudly. I love Jason.

Anyhow here come the sales results.
Endeavour made £1479 on accessories, but didn’t sell ANY retro campers (no matter how close Leah was – that’s one handjob she’ll regret giving).
Evolve won on accessories alone (£3116) but also sold 3 folding campers (£30499) making a total that’s well, massively more than Endeavour.

Evolve leave but Jason is called back in, his wide eyes darting fearfully as he wonders how he’s cocked up and I think it’s the cheque, but no, Lord Sugar’s been setting us up and just wanted to say “well done”. Jason visibly deflates, “I hope to keep impressing you”, whilst Leah from Evolve pulls a “licking piss off a nettle” face.

(Dark) Lord Sugar channels his (not so far) inner Yoda “Learning from the process clearly Jason is” before sending Endeavour to bitch in the Laff Free Cafe whilst Evolve get to race Chris Hoy at Manchester Velodrome (Jordan is best placed).

Back in the boardroom, Kurt’s under fire for choosing the worst product according to sales figures and Alex is castigated for having a target market of over 50s yet choosing a product for 35-45 year olds. (Karren “It’s not your opinion that matters Alex”). Talking of Jedi, Myles (“I know my way about closing a high ticket sale”) is mocked for describing himself as the “Jedi Knight of Sales” on his CV (Obi Buy Wan Get One Free Kenobi?), but still thinks the product was wrong and Alex still disagrees and thinks it’s a personnel problem (if that’s the case why did you still sell less on accessories you lamprey faced lunatic?) .

Nick grasses on Kurt for bringing Leah over as “eye candy” and Leah gives Kurt a hacky look and a hair flick whilst Natalie begins to say “it would have made sense to bring me..” and as they all stare in silent “What the Fuck”ness she hastily adds that it’s not to do with her looks but “because I’m in recruitment… you’ve seen the figures”. No, sorry, What the Fuck? “I don’t know what point you’re making” says Sugar and for a moment me and the Lord are as one.

Kurt brings back Alex and Natalie, claiming that the latter scared people away from the bikes (erm I didn’t see that bit but I thought everyone blamed Leah earlier?), insisting like a spoiled Scouse kid addressing an estranged parent at a Christmas get-together that “You never got the bike. You never got the bike you said you would get”. Natalie’s not happy, but Kurt points out she only managed one fifth of the accessory sales too. More than you soft lad. Leah gets a lucky escape here I reckon.

For the second time in the boardroom Natalie turns on the tears, claiming Kurt brought her on tactically because everyone is talking about the fact Lord Sugar said to Natalie he would fire her if he saw her in the final three again. (The irony is that this time she could have played the gender card and had a point, Kurt having proven himself a sexist twat).Kurt asks her to stop crying, repeating that she sold the least and she shoots him a look of pure loathing.

Kurt confesses he messed up by picking the wrong item. Alex states (after a long self-aggrandising speech) that it’s “not in my nature to sit and brag”. At the end of the day it’s in Alex’s nature to let clichés do the talking. “Actions speak louder than words” he adds smugly. Then shut the fuck up.

Sugar declares that “This task failed cos of the product. It was a fatal error” and Alex does a little gulp before Kurt is fired for messing up and slopes off scousily. He’s not that bothered in the cab (“I took a risk and lost”) and maybe that’s been his problem all along.
Natalie’s eyes magically dry and her mouth forms into a thin, satisfied smile. Then Sugar fires her too (“You’ve had a hell of a lot of chances”) and I laugh long and hard. Perhaps I’m taking this too seriously? In the taxi of regret she insists she is still upset “Kurt bought me in tactically” as though it were some sort of GAME or something!

Alex is sent back to the house to reflect on Lord Sugar’s words and put the fear into the remaining candidates.

Jason looks amiably round whilst swirling a large glass of red thoughtfully, “None of us are safe. We’re all very good. It’s high-caliber stuff now.” and the others start to wonder, in a sudden cold sweat of terror, if, just maybe, he’s not a complete freak. Or at least if he’s going to last longer than them. The shame!

Next week it’s my favourite task where the candidates create an advertising campaign. And this time it’s for an “online dating concept” – and one team somehow selects Alex to appear in their advert showing off his “guns”. Maybe they’ve developed http://www.serialkillerswithstrangeeyebrowsdating.com – can’t wait!

Loving: Jason
Liking: Jordan (despite the trousers)
Impressed by & warming to but not yet having the love for: Neil
Finding Amusing: Alex
A bit bored by: Francesca, Myles
Disliking:- Leah, Luisa
Bye, Bye: Jaz, Tim, Sophie, Uzma, Zee, Rebecca, Kurt, Natalie

Week 6 sees the sun rising photogenically through the shard, as Jordan rises photogenically ,draped in a towel that almost reveals a lot more than his obligatory nobby tattoo, to answer the 6am call directing the 11 remaining candidates to Guildhall. Talking of twattoos, Neil appears to have one too, and has confusingly started wearing specs. In fact the only way I can tell him from Jordan now is Neil has a neck beard and less stupid trousers, and he’s slightly taller than 3ft.

Lord Sugar sweeps into the gothic majesty of the Guildhall like Satan having a hissy fit to explain that this week’s task is about organising a Corporate “Away Day” for a client he’s organised. The success will be measured on both profit and customer satisfaction, so it’s “Not some jolly” he growls.

Myles is moved over to Endeavour, and Sugar insists that Leah project manage this time, with the rest of the team comprising Alex, Natalie, Kurt and Neil, who automatically starts taking over, suggesting a school theme complete with egg and spoon races and beatings by angry nuns or something. Leah wants a history theme complete with archery and suggests a vote. Four choose school (Neil: “It’s four against two but that’s your call… it sounds boring”). Leah insists on history. “Mental” splutters Alex incredulously. Neil just continuously talks his agenda, “I’ve been to numerous of these events and know what works…Everybody has been to school, not everyone is into history”; I only see one person winning this one already.

Francesca is outed as having corporate event experience (and hence is doomed) so is forced to PM for Evolve with Jason, Luisa, Rebecca and Jordan making up the rest of the team. Immediately Luisa starts voicing her hatred of the corporate world whilst Francesca’s vast knowledge of the area leads her to offer the team a choice between Vegas, Bond, Moulin Rouge and (erm) Back to School. They all choose the latter one on the grounds it sounds least mental (unless the “Away Day” is for 1970s DJs of course). Immediately Rebecca suggests wine tasting as presumably her school was rough as fuck, although fortunately she decides not to suggest lynchmobbing and back street abortions as other group activities.

Francesca also wants there to be a chocolate making class, but Luisa points out she has run classes in cupcake making, which is “really similar to chocolate making” and insists this would save the team nearly £1000. Francesca insist she wants a professional, none “DIY” feel to the event, leading Luisa to suddenly decide she doesn’t think her PM is any good and launch into a ten minute car based bitchfest as a hapless Jason “Mmmms” and nods and all but “I knooooow”s.

Evolve pitch to Lastminute.com who want the day to encourage quick and efficient communication. Jordan insists he will be looking to add “business value” and nicks Sugar’s line “It’s not a jolly” and the Last Minute lads look impressed.

Meanwhile Leah’s en route to meet Barclays UK, with Myles desperately trying to talk her out of her theme (Leah “Can we focus on history now please”. She manages to turn up late and rather than apologising whinges about the traffic. Nice start! The very dry Barclays boss explains that this event will be for senior branch managers who need to “significantly improve their listening and communication skills” and he’s looking for a “huge impact”. No pressure then. Leah’s medival theme sounds like a medieval fayre with “classic hot food” and “classic mediaval ‘Majestic Escapism'” (WTF? Is that like thinking you’re the king of Spain or something?). Barclays shake their heads sadly and explain that they’re “Looking for a fresh perspective…” and “need to remember  that the objective is “understanding and  listening to customers better”, before sneering and laughing as Endeavour leave, with Leah somewhat bemused by how ..um.. corporate it sounds.

Neil’s been busy bullying the archery lady into offering her services for £80 less than advertised when the call comes through from Leah that their new theme is now “Army”. Next to Neil in the car Alex has another of his little Welsh breakdowns (“Noooo! That’s diabolical!”

Jason and Luisa have been sent to see the lady who offers chocolate making courses, who asks if they’ve ever made chocolates before. “No! I make cake!” Luisa snaps eagerly, adding helpfully “I’ve got a cake shop”. It seems the choccie course is too costly, so of course Luisa decides to run a cupcake course herself, explaining heartlessly to the crestfallen chocolate girl “I am you, but in a different industry so there’s no point me paying you…” before asking “Can we buy some piping bags from you”. Cue broken incredulity from the professional chocolatier.

Francesca and Rebecca let little Jordan push their shopping trolley round the supermarket as they joyfully fling in cake mix with no regard for the costs. If only they’d let him sit on the little kids seat in the trolley he could get his calculator out and tell them they’re overspending, but instead they ignore his protests and tot up a £284 bill. “They won’t be starving that’s for sure” chortles Francesca like an idiot.

This is contrasted with Leah haggling in a cash and carry. She may be boring but she knows how to keep costs down. Neil reckons they need another afternoon activity and suggests Sumo Wrestling. Leah’s dead set against the “distasteful” idea of Bank managers writhing around wrestling each other (Besides surely all you need to do is drop an envelope full of used tenners on the floor to get the fat bastards rolling over each other to get to it). Alex is close to exploding now “Leah you’re talking nonsense!!” he screams so loud she can hear it over the phone. “Tell Alex to have a bit of respect” she suggests  coolly as he gurns and whines that it’s a ” total calamity”.

Luisa and Jason next test team-building activities such as walking about on planks and trying to jump. For this and two other activities (Skipping with a plank? Beating Brian from Accounts to death with a plank?) Luisa negotiates a £40 discount and pays £310. They saw you coming love.

Back at the house, Neil has appointed himself the trade union leader for Endeavour and presents a list of gripes and suggestions to Leah who appears to humbly aquiese to his demands. He puts himself forward as the motivational speaker for the end of the day, as he’s been a football coach, and Leah takes one look at his sparkling, eager weasly little eyes and decides resistance is futile.

Rebecca suggests paying for a professional motivational speaker, although Luisa thinks she could do it herself. Francesca inists she wants some quality in the event and it’s not all about profit, amusingly putting Luisa’s pretty nose well out of joint.

9am the next day and Myles is pleased to see their venue looks like a military academy (it reminds me of the army stronghold in 28 Days Later. Maybe they could get Seetec to provide unemployed plebs to dress up as zombies and charge across the lawn so Leah can get the bankers to shoot them down with the archery kit?

Neil and Myles wisely discuss how to “tailor” the activities to fit with the remit of “communication and listening skills” (oh the irony).

Natalie and Kurt are relegated to kitchen duties. “Food’s a big part of it” Kurt insists glumly. “It is SUCH a big part of it!” Natalie agrees, happy to hide behind a potato masher.

Similiarly Evolve as usual have stuck Jason and Rebecca on chef duties. “It’s the most effective use of our skills” Rebecca insists, like a fool. Jason doesn’t put a gloss on it but just seems genuinely proud to be “cleaning broccolli”. Aw.

Lastminute.com arrive but whilst they enjoy the complimentary choccy biccies, they’re confused as to what is going on as Francesca decides to wait until AFTER the tea is poured to tell them, and when she does they all get HOUSE on Buzzword Bingo as she witters on about hoping they get “a feeling of communication, teamwork, motivation, success in work, in yourselves and happiness” and Luisa for once is justified in making sneery faces at Jordan. Francesca tried to get some inspiration in there, suggesting the day will look at their childhood dreams and work with them.”I wanted to be a policewoman” she starts brightly, before trailing off slightly “I’m not a policewoman now, but err…”

Meanwhile Neil admonishes the senior bankers to call him “Sergeant Neil” and introduces them to Colonel (Kurtz?) Alex, natty in khaki and Rambo face-pain, who invites them to his “Officers Club” and couldn’t sound more sinister if he tried. The bankers are marched to play “Blind Croquet” which does force them to communicate as they direct their colleagues to shoot balls through hoops. Neil’s feeling pretty damn smug at their success so far “Hopefully Neil Clough again will save the day”. Oh dear, third person mentalism, and he was doing so well.  Neil’s hubris angers God and it rains, forcing Leah to restrategise with an indoor activity. This starts as a “conflict resolution exercise” until Myles and  Neil run out in the sumo suits that they clearly invested in anyway, and start grinding against each other in the bizarre and ever so wrong blubbery yellow wrestler outfits whilst the bankers smell bullshit and start rolling their eyes.

Luisa’s method of encouraging communication consists of her shouting “TALK TO EACH OTHER” at the Lastminute.commers as they do plank jumping.

It’s lunchtime and whilst Rebecca dishes out school dinners, over on Endeavour, Natalie’s feeling unappreciated “That guy hasn’t even touched his mashed potato Kurt, he’s missing out”.

After lunch, Jason bumbles through a “wine tasting class” with Rebecca explaining that it’s to help the Lastminute.commers suss out the “most expensive” wine (rather than explain how to taste or appreciate wine). When they ask why she spins them some yarn about how they “provide 5 star events” and how it’s “to do with costing and quality” (rather than communication then), and if that didn’t have them smelling a rat then Jason forgets which is the expensive wine anyhow (“Does anybody need a drink?). Result. The rest of the company do cupcake decoration with Luisa, and some trouble maker with shaggy hair asks Francesca how this fits into the theme or the business requirements, prompting her to launch into some spiel about “It’s about you having all these experiences and working out how those things are relevant to you”. He admits he “got bored” half way through her explanation and she looks daggers at him.

Leah’s team use the archery to help the bankers focus on their business goals, and Karren’s impressed. They finish with Neil doing a surprisingly decent motivational speech drawing on his dad getting cancer when he was a kid and his semi professional football career – and the bankers are hooked. If he doesn’t win this he should have a go at the X Factor. As the bankers applaud, Neil reckons they’ve got it in the bag.

Francesca meanwhile introduces the “UK’s leading motivational speaker” and she and Rebecca hug each other with pleasure as a balding man with a confident manner delivers a good, but impersonal speech, which Lastminute.com all decide is the best part of the day, although they still don’t really know what they’ll be “taking back to the office”.

In the boardroom, Leah admits Project Management wasn’t easy and to illustrate this Neil leaps in and grasses on her for having a vote then ignoring the results. Karren’s definitely got it in for Leah as she backs up Neil and has a go at Leah for turning up late to pitch and for the history idea (“Completely half arsed”. Ouch!). LordSugar worries that for a doctor “trained to diagnose” Leah is a bit of a useless ditherer.

Karren’s definitely on a strop in this boardroom as next she has a pop at Alex’s Colonel for being “a bit pantomime”. Alex thinks he used his skills well. “Bullying the delegates” Sugar asks, and Alex mutters more than half seriously that he hoped he was “getting the best out of my troops”.

Jordan describes Francesca’s management as “weak” and Luisa’s straight in “Yeah, I’d agree.”

Anyhow both teams got paid £5000 by their clients, expensive for shit team building but cheap for prime time product placement.

Endeavour spent £2170.50 but Barclays asked for a 25% refund due to the lack of rainy day contingency plans so the overall profit was £1579.50

Evolve spent £2654.19 and the client wanted over £1200 refunded, giving them a profit of only £1095.81

So Endeavour, lead by the very Fortunate Leah are sent to a luxury spa for pampering so we can learn the secret of Alex’s eyebrows (“I last had them done a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been plucking them ever since”). Sadly Neil doesn’t get his neck shaved, but his head does get swollen as Karren (who lurves him) points out that the client was very impressed by his work.

I’m surprised Evolve even have the direction to make it to the Bridge Cafe, where Jordan’s quick to point out that they lost by the cost of the motivational speaker, and he gives Rebecca a pointed look. Francesca’s determined that if she goes down it will be “in flames” and they return to the boardroom to learn that Lastminute.com (more irony) felt like they were being blagged (never blag blaggers). Francesca stupidly blethers on about the creativity and “coming together and making things” that they were engendering, until Karren scathingly asks “Do you believe what you’re saying? Do you hear it?” and Sugar suggests she’s “swallowed the Harvard Business Book”.

Luisa points out she didn’t think much of the motivational speaker that Rebecca’s blamed for wasting money on, and points out she wanted to speak, even though she thinks “a lot of empty words are spoken in the corporate world” and that “people were sniggering” at Francesca’s corporate-speak (well Luisa was) and “maybe people don’t want to hear a load of crap”. Karren iciliy suggests that Luisa might find that a “rough attitude when you’re in front of a bank asking for money for your business”. Ooh!

LordSugar asks if Jason is a waste of space despite being an “awfully nice fellow”, which is practically putting a sign up on Jason’s head saying “PICK THE DAFT POSHO”, but somehow Francesca accepts Jason’s explanation that he “did alright in my own little remit” and she brings Luisa and Rebecca back to the boardroom and Jason & Jordan scuttle gratefully home. Luisa immediately suggests this is a personal vendetta, but Francesca argues that it’s down to Luisa’s “distaste for the corporate thing” which for me is the one decent thing about Luisa I’ve witnessed. Reading my thoughts LordSugar refers us to Luisa’s CV which actually states “I’m very unforgiving and if you push me I will flip” as though this is some sort of business skill.

Rebecca senses a way out and states Luisa was obsructive and argumentative prompting the lovely big haired cupcake tycooness to declare breezily that she “won’t flower around girls… I work better with guys”. I wonder why. “You’re either a pain in the arse or you’re with people who don’t know what they’re talking about” Lord Sugar decides. Why can’t it be both I wonder?

Somehow Francesca gets away with fucking up despite her corporate event background as Sugar turns tantalisingly towards Luisa (“Can I?” Sugar:”No!”) before predictably firing Rebecca. It’s always the quiet ones. “Thank you for the opportunity” she grovels before going out to twitch sadly on the sofa of regret whilst in the boardroom, Luisa’s card is proper marked (“I’ve got my eye on you”). In the taxi of “What if?” Rebecca confesses she’s in shock, before admitting she’s disappointed Lord Sugar didn’t get to see more of her abilities (not much point being shocked then Rebecca, unless you thought he was hiring a dinner lady).

Back at the house and Neil’s indefatigable: “There’s only nine more of you to get fired before I win” he declares cockily as the rest of the candidates marvel at his motivational abilities. For example motivating them all to want to kick his arse. He won’t win, although I’m suspecting a glorious second place.

Next week the candidates are selling camping gear. It could get intense. (sorry).

 

Liking:  Jordan (despite the stupid trousers and tattoo), Jason
Impressed by but not having the love for: Neil
Finding Amusing: Alex
A bit bored by: Leah, Francesca, Myles, Natalie
Disliking:– Kurt
Makes me go all hatey:- Luisa
At Ease Soldiers: Jaz, Tim, Sophie, Uzma, Zee, Rebecca