Week 8 dawns and the candidates gather amongst the flowers and cute baby goslings at a premium dogging spot, where our favourite brillo pad headed peer instructs them to “tap into the rural market” at the Royal Bath & West show. Firstly they have to find their products, with one proved seller to be selected at the show, and two new wacky ones to be found to introduce to the market via a series of meetings with insane inventors in London. As per usual the team with the most sales wins, and Sugar announces he will be looking for everyone to sell and monitering each individuals’ sales.

Daniel chooses Felipe to lead team Tenalady, and Katie and Mark concur. Daniel and Katie head off to Somerset to check products at the show, whilst Felipe coos over the crazy products; gutter-cleaning robot (“This is amazing! I would like this for my garden”), self flushing cat shitter, flat cap tweed handbags (“Very English! I know my wife would love this”) etc. , child’s bicycle trailer (“I don’t fit in it!”), foldable wellies (“I can see a market for this”) with Mark yes-manning in attendance.

Over on team Armpit, James declares that he fancies this as he’s grown up selling. Bianca tries to butter him up “Do you think you should focus on sales rather than being project manager” but James is adamant he can do both, as he “always puts” his “balls on the line” (sadly not an electrified train line). Whilst James and Roisin head off to the sticks, Solomon, Bianca and Sanjay try to push hard to get leeway on dropping prices and manage to negotiate the bike trailer down to £250 selling price.

Mark agrees with Felipe that the flat cap handbag is “how you imagine all English people dress” (Mark: “Maybe if I bought one for a girl, I might not be standing here a single man”), Mark is all about establishing a relationship with a supplier, even though that’s not the ultimate point of the fricking task”, so they inform Katie and Daniel they’re choosing the product, only to wince when Katie enquires over whether they negotiated over dropping the £60 selling price. “OK, that’s a very good point” declares a crestfallen Felipe. “That could be a very good point” Mark nods, distancing himself subtly from the bad business decisions as usual. Katie’s unimpressed (“No good sales person fails to ask that”). They still go for the handbag as Mark thinks it will sell by waving it in people’s faces. In the countryside they will probably just shoot you for that.

After all their careful fact finding and negotiations, Bianca, Solomon and Sanjay go for the bike trailer and a “pet finder” thing that lights up when your dog runs off to slaughter your neighbours lambs. However, James completely ignores their suggestions and insists on the foldable wellies and hanging chair, cutting off Bianca’s “but” with a brusque “Good stuff guys keep working well done!”

In the countryside man, James picks his way around sad looking sheep and a man molesting a heiffer to discover that “there’s lots of wellies everywhere” (so hardly a new fucking product that you insisted on there). He likes a lawnmower that you can sit on and drive around and seems to get on well with the Joad family who are selling it.

Yes it’s time to pick that fabled “established product”. Daniel understands what they have to do “All we have to do is negotiate a product, sell it and win the task. It is literally that simple!” WIth this in mind he goes to a BBQ stall run by the wild folk out of Deliverance and starts ranting on about their brand and how much (repeated) PASSION he has to sell barbecues, whilst the slack jawed yokel stare at him and a wicker man is hastily assembled. “We’re a family business” points out BBQ Bloke, “it’s not a hard selling show”. Katie diplomatically suggests that he needs to tone down the intensity, but Daniel’s clearly not listening (“That’s what I thought, yeah”).

Katie takes more of a lead with the next product “high-end” hot tubs, talking about how they can “grasp the product” and relate it to people. “We want to make sure people leave with a smile” chips in Daniel (yeah of relief to escape from you mate).

James comes to the same stall and is very impressed that Anthony the hot tub man has sold 7 of these £4000 hot tubs so far today. So impressed in fact that he keeps calling the bloke “Derek” for some reason (being a nob probably). He therefore makes another executive decision on behalf of the team (“Fuck it! Hot tubs!”).

It’s all about the Hot Tubs, and Anthony gets to flirt with both teams over the phone, before plumping with Tenacity as “Katie seemed very intelligent” and he liked her “passion” (not Dan’s passion note). He lets James down none too gently by admitting that being called the wrong name twice made the blustering Northern hobbit look like he was “winging it”. James does a sad, but belligerant face (“Sod him! If what really matters to him was a name!”. He’s broody in the car back and declares that rather than demotivate the team by telling them he ballsed up big time he wants to not tell them at all. In many ways James is like Christ. Roisin doesn’t want to lie, but James does his big toddler pout (“That might be your advice, but what do I want to do”) before informing the rest of the team, to their extreme confusion, that he’s made a last minute “business decision to go with the lawnmowers”. Bianca clearly knows she’s in the presence of a Maverick (“James strikes again!”).

Katie proves she’s much too nice by including Daniel as one of the reasons they won the hot tub deal. Meanwhile Mark gets to work on Felipe (“I’d be far better at selling the hot tub than Daniel”), and whilst he’s undoubtedly correct, I can’t fully believe his statement “I’m not here for Mark Wright today, I’m here for the team”, unless he’s talking about the guy from Towie on Strictly who looks like Quagmire out of Family Guy.

The teams set out their stalls for the new products and Felipe decides funnily enough that Mark should go out with Katie to flog hot tubs. Daniel is more outraged than the whole of Twitter and starts harping on at poor Felipe (“That doesn’t make sense! How can a salesman be happy selling lower end products” – that’s ok Daniel we know you’re not a salesman) but Katie looks sneakily relieved. Mark admits he was “sneaky” getting onto the hot tub gig, but insists he hasn’t seen Daniel sell at all and “you don’t leave your prize pony in the stable” (unless you have a whole field full of ponies).

Meanwhile Solomon awkwardly enquires why James didn’t go for the hot tubs, and James looks shifty (“it doesn’t matter now, get it out of your head”) before leaving them to try to sell thin soled wellies to a bunch of countryside alliance types wearing wellies with soles made out of tank tyres. Sanjay whines as usual about how they left the family and dog products when they’re surrounded by familes and dogs, but James “don’t want to hear about the products” and moans to Roisin about the stall team being negative and bringing up “the past”. “You’re being negative to them”, she points out reasonably and he stomps his foot and yells “Not! Not! Not!”. “I’ll just shut my mouth”, Roisin sighs. “You’re patronising me” sulks the Northern Spoilt Bastard. Whilst Solomon and Bianca manage to sell Sanjay particularly struggles with John McCrirrick’s posh twin sister (“Is it something I could interest you in today?” “No”, Sanjay “It’s a difficult crowd”).

Mark and Katie both manage to flog a hot tub which makes Daniel even more depressed, but Karren hints ominously about having to do finance checks on large items. Meanwhile poor Felipe is much too laid back and sweet to sell, and spends his time being provoked into slightly camp bickering with Not Bitter Much Daniel (“I secured that hot tub deal – he got into your brain. Stop bringing me down mate”). Daniel even tries to nick Katie’s last appointment so he can get a sale, but she points out they are coming back to see her specifically cos they think she’s Sarah Millican, and he’s off on one (“You can deal with my flat cap comeback. What’s the difference?” Over £3000?), declaring himself “royally stitched up”. Felipe finally cracks and admits he didn’t choose Daniel to sell hot tubs as he’s “quite arrogant” and goes “for the kill”. “You talk too much mate!” snaps Daniel. It’s like they’re married.

Nick Hewer notes James and Roisin’s very distinct selling times (i.e. her bothering to learn about the product and the price and him not giving a monkeys) and to nobody’s amazement Roisin sells one first, which unleashes James’ enraged outer child (“Every time I try to talk, you’re all over me! You undermine me, you patronise me”). It’s embarrassing, and as Roisin points out “borderline unacceptable” (more than fricking borderline if you ask me. This footage should be used to help managers pinpoint totally unacceptable behaviour.)

Solomon does well, first of all channelling the Harry and Paul Drs sketch whilst haggling (“45”, “46”,”45″,”46″, “45”, “50!” over the price of wellies and then flogging one of the almost useless hanging chairs to a wimpy, hen-pecked bloke who has to send his wife a photo of the kids dangling in one in order to get permission to make his own fecking decision (“Kids what do you think?” kids “Yay!!! Sucker!”).

Sadly James sells a lawnmower to the Marquis of Bath or someone.

At Mark’s final appointment the customer appears to be driving a hard bargain, until he then reveals he owns a caravan park and would want to buy seven! Even Mark does a Beaker face of gormless disbelief.

Back in the boardroom, with James doing his usual Alpha male impression by swaggering in first (always ruined by the fact he walks like he’s soiled himself).

Sugar mocks Felipe for taking negotiation advice from Katie (“So you phoned mum”) before having a go at Mark and Felipe for not asking the right questions of suppliers (Mark “we never thought of that”, Sugar “we?”, Mark “I never thought of that).
Dan’s described as a “bull in a China shop” and he claims he “did pick up on that”, but Katie reveals she actually spotted it “and had a little chat” (Sugar: “So mummy calmed you down a little bit?” – I wish he’d stop saying that Katie’s their mummy, imagine having to breastfeed them!). Felipe reveals he thought Daniel was too “aggressive” to sell, and Daniel admits he was panicked by individual sales being monitered and regrets not being calmer. Too little too late Dan (Sugar “If I put you in a team of one, you’d have an argument with yourself”). It all descends into willy waving again until mum, sorry Katie steps in (“Do you know how silly this sounds”).

Felipe is happy he stuck by his decisions, but Mark is all for undermining him by claiming the process at this stage is too tough for “nice guys”. Aww bless Felipe, he’s “not going to change being a nice man” (Lord Sugar (resisting a laugh) “Please don’t”, Felipe (earnestly) “I would never change”).

Over on team Armpit, James’s team mutiny and grass him up for being an ignorant shitclown and not listening to their product consultation. Sanjay’s particularly galled over not getting that pet tracker). “What did you fancy?” Sugar asks and James insists that “For me it was the lawnmower” until Roisin begs him to “please tell the truth or it will make the baby Jesus cry”. “Oh no no Ok” begins the explanation of a man caught in a sizeable pork pie, with James insisting “sometimes businessmen make mistakes” but he didn’t want it to affect the rest of the team and was going to tell them eventually, honest, before finally confessing “I called the guy Derek twice instead of Anthony”, at which Felipe pisses himself laughing. Sugar points out he’s more Trigger (“Alright Dave”) than Del Boy, which he claims is his nickname (I suppose like Del Boy, he stopped being amusing ages ago).

Anyhow the sales figures are in:-
Summit sold two lawnmowers and got over a grand on the new products, making £4757.50
However Tenacity, whilst only making £500 on products, manage to shift 10 hot tubs with all the credit checks coming in OK, making a total of £30,115.25 (Solomon looks mightily impressed by Mark selling 7 hot tubs to one bloke who wanted to advertise his caravan park on telly). Whilst Daniel felt “sick” to not be sent to sell hot tubs, Sugar hints he’s lucky his team won and they’re all sent to do a boxing masterclass with Anthony (“Don’t call me Derek”) Ogogo where Mark can fantasise about punching Daniel, but Daniel and his inner rage end up “winning” according to Ogogo and Dan then engages in some homoerotic Women in Love style wrestling with Mark. Guys, get a room.

James’s bottom lip sticks out and Roisin insists that Lord Sugar will “hear a lot more” from her, as she gives her erstwhile PM some ice queen death rays. In Cafe Doom, Sanjay admits he sold the least, which surely means he must go?

Back in the boardroom, Roisin unleashes her tactical nuclear strike on James and it’s fucking magnificent (“He comes across as a cheeky chappy but is demeaning and difficult to work with and hasn’t listened through the entire process… when things don’t go your way you have a tantrum. You leave a trail of destruction behind you.”). Sugar almost looks prepared to justify James’s fibs by claiming he’s kept errors internally quiet for “motivational reasons” (he probably told his people that email phones were brilliant and would be a doddle to sell), but he wants to know why James didn’t fess up at the end of the day as he’d planned to.

However Sanjay gets more stick for “standing around like Wurzel Gummage” and only selling three pairs of wellies, with Nick going all Gandalf to chip in that Sanjay “doesn’t stand out” and is in fact “nameless” (eh?), “NAMELESS!!!”).

James brings Sanjay back for being shit at selling and surprise surprise Roisin but not for pulling him up, oh of course not. Back in the boardroom he elaborates patronisingly “Roisin has shown some good strengths but I question her decision making”.

Roisin tries to say something nice (“I admire your passion and enthusiasm and want to be directed in the right way”) but James doesn’t take it in the presumably intended spirit (“Oh so it’s all about me now is it?”).

Sugar slips into rhyming slang (“Sanjay, you’ve been a banker all your life”), and Sanjay as good as commits process suicide by declaring “I never claimed to be the most amazing sales person”.

Sugar’s concerned he hasn’t seen Roisin enough in the process (that’s because she’s been winning or too good to bring back in the boardroom you walnut-foreheaded fool), but Roisin admits that she’s formal and professional (“I am an accountant”) whilst bigging up her creative side (creating a less crap board game than “The Relationship Guru” – which was clearly a big ask).

Sugar reveals that James’s CV states that he “can get over-excited and on people’s nerves” so at least that part isn’t bullshit. Whilst the world’s tiniest violin plays tragic airs, James delivers a tear jerking speech about never having “had an education” and how he’s in “this big wide world on my own”, and “it’s not about the money money money”, he just wants Lord Sugar to be his daddy or something. Sugar still sees a “spark” in James, although he has “got a lot to learn” , but before it becomes a Darth Vader moment, he asks James to “culture that bit of good stuff about you, and you will go somewhere” before firing him “with regret” (I missed James thanking everyone in the room due to my other half whooping in celebration), but in the Taxi to Job Centre Plus James insists he’s “probably better off on my own in the big wide world, I’m a survivor. One day I’ll achieve what I want to” like he’s reading the synopsis of a 1980s soft rock ballad.

Sanjay with his rubbish selling and general whinginess has dodged a bullet here and Sugar reminds him that it’s “a very loud warning that I want to see something”.

In the house Solomon is mightily impressed by Roisin finding her voice at last “fair play to her” and looks on respectfully as she returns and insists she couldn’t let James get away with lying. Bianca’s amazed that Lord Sugar has sacked his son for this series.

Next week it’s the scavenger hunt where the teams are sent to find weird, wonderful and occasionally even ethnic items. I’m expecting more ignorant cross cultural japes – now James has gone – Daniel I’m looking at you.

Favourites
Katie
Bianca
Solomon

Liking
Felipe
Roisin

Moaning Minny
Sanjay

One’s angry and delusional, one’s good at selling (but doesn’t he like letting everyone know?) and hugely passive aggressive, but which is the biggest tit – you decide!
Mark
Daniel

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Katie, Solomon and bloody Mark.

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