Archives for the month of: December, 2014

So we’re down to the actual final (although my telly tells me that there are 2 more weeks of postamble, during which I shall be forsaking blogging for my usual annual festival of quaffing Baileys Irish Cream). It’s a relief that Dara introduces proceedings from the “You’re Fired” studio, as it’s clearly only going to be 1hr of final followed by a load of lovely Dara mediated fluff, and besides at this point, Sugar being a product man as we all know (defunct computers, unpopular email phones, bendy nail files), we all know it’s obviously going to be Bianca (isn’t it?) so why not just stop now. After last week’s character assassination, Bianca has been wrongly accused of being robotic, but I still have fond memories of her taking down a shouty James with some wit and sass, rather than a clinical death ray (sure my memories would be even fonder had that occurred).

Of course, as it’s the final, Mark gets first to the phone (and has probably set booby traps to ensure this), and the pair are summoned to the Bloomsbury Ballroom, apparently a home of “high profile events”. On the way Mark manages to be smug and patronising (“I respect Bianca. Well done to her for getting here”) whilst fingering his ring nervously. Nick and Karren greet them as ludicrously over-dramatic incidental music announces the entrance of Lord Sugar who tasks our finalists with launching their businesses to a panel of experts at the same venue. They have to research the market, design the brand and come up with a promotional video to back up their pitch.

Sugar brings a small number of previous candidates as “help” (I’m bemused to see no Roisin, but maybe she would look too good and show the finalists up; I’m gutted to see no Stephen as he was hilarious) and we enter into an awkward school sports team selection process. Bianca wins the toss so gets Katie. Mark goes for Solomon. Bianca opts for Felipe (aww), Mark picks Sanjay , Bianca picks Lauren. Mark has an internal struggle over what’s left before selecting James, Bianca then goes for Daniel and Marks face falls (he clearly wanted Daniel to be the last kid picked and has just realised what remains) before he’s left with Stepford Sarah (“Welcome abroad, we need some beauty” he says sort of gallantly).

Even though Bianca supposedly got Daniel fired (Nope that was down to Daniel surely?), he’s right behind her, because he hates “Mark more”.

Bianca’s got a great idea with her accurate skin tone match tights, but everyone goes WTF? when she announces that she want to create 30 different colours and charge £35 per pair (as someone whose legs act like CFCs to the ozone layer that is tights, I would only pay £35 for a pair made out of chain mail). Lauren’s with me (“That’s a lot of money to be gone in one go”).

Mark’s online digital marketing company is really hard to get excited by (poor Solomon looks about to curl up somewhere warm for a nap), so he tries to get his team brainstorming catchy names (Solomon:”Splash?.. Sponge?..” Mark: Are you having a laugh?).

Over on Bianca’s team, Felipe likes “B Miller” as a name, and Daniel backs him up (“In France YSL probably sounds like Alan Smith”), but eventually she goes with Daniel’s suggestion of “True Skin”). It’s tough working with a team who don’t seem to understand hosiery (Katie: “I’ve never heard of two gussets to be fair!”), which perhaps explains Bianca’s unwillingness to completely delegate throughout the task. However, it’s slightly less forgivable when she dismisses the sage advice of a hosiery expert lady who loves Bianca’s clear selling point but thinks she should only have 6 or 7 colours and charge a fuck of a lot less. Bianca finds out that this woman’s top selling tights go at £20-25 so decides to drop her price to that of a probably established brand. Bianca’s all about the compromise so goes down to 15 colours (10 would be more sensible, no?) in the range, over twice what she’s been advused. Oops. Felipe helps her come up with some incredibly boring packaging. She drops the price to £24, but Felipe still thinks it’s too high.

Sanjay and Sarah are sent out to find potential clients for Mark’s boring company (Sarah: “What about funeral directors? They’re going to be making a packet! There’s always someone dying!”), and they realise from their research that they have to very quickly have to differentiate themselves from faceless overseas companies offering the same service. Sanjay (who suddenly seems to be useful in this programme) thinks that the personal element in terms of account management will work and James agrees, just so it looks like he contributed. Mark consults a posho branding agency about a business name, and whilst I’m convinced someone suggests “Chlamydia”, the name he comes out with is “Climb Online”.

The next day, Bianca recieved her True Skin samples, dyed by Daniel, Felipe and Laure, and loves them. She decides to name each shade after a fictional woman (e.g Jane etc). “In your professional opinon what colour would I be?” Daniel asks and Bianca again proves that she has a personality (“I reckon you might be a bit of a charlie”).

Felipe, Lauren and Daniel do some market research with actual women, who all love the idea of something that isn’t American Tan; but hate the packaging and the price (“More basic than luxury”, “If you’re selling colour then you need colour”, “If it was two in a pack I might buy it”, “I wouldn’t pay a fiver if it was in this packaging”). They all angst about breaking the news to Bianca and Felipe draws the short straw, but Bianca is adamant that the packaging looks “luxury” and only drops her price to £22. When the Katie edited advert is ready to show, Bianca sends away all the other candidates because they” be in the way” with their feedback and opinions and having eyes and ears shit, which Lauren thinks is pretty wanky and no mistake.

Mark’s video is shot in front of a climbing wall, and when it’s pointed out that he’s meant to be showing his personality as part of the USP for “Climbing Online” he loses it again, but somehow Sanjay manages to edit it to a version that Mark approves of (Mark: “Sanjay will never know how much I appreciated that” – erm he will you doofus, he’s in the studio audience watching this). Meanwhile in Shoreditch, the unlikely pairing of Solomon ad Sarah managed to convince a bloke from a hair and make-up academy that they would be worth spening £3,000 a month on to offer a bespoke service on. Mark is overjoyed and Solomon bigs up Sarah for being “charming”, but nobody wonders how much this “personal account manager” mallarkey they are all pushing will actually cost.

As the twats and vampires that constitute the “cream of business” flood into the Bloomsbury Ballroom, our finalists rehearse their lines.

Bianca’s still not listening la la la with regards dropping the price, and Nick Hewer points out, his mouth screwed up into a walnut of disapproval, that listening to the market is “the first rule of business”. She pitches True Skin quite well and it’s all glamourous models and the ad isn’t too awful although all she needs in it is a white coat to start harping on about the science of control top 10 or 20 denier tights in 15 tones and 4 sizes and erm matt or gloss (which works out to be like a million (well 240) permutations of tights – arggh!). The tights are aligned with women’s names to show how in touch they are (because that little ploy never seems patronising) and are aimed at the 30plus discerning woman, who Bianca admits have to have some disposable income to spend 20 quid on something that could probably last a day (or in my case seconds as I tend to go for the “stick a fingernail through the foot whilst you’re putting them on and hop about swearing and crying” strategy of putting on tights). A lady in the audience loves the product, but wonders, “why luxury?” why not to just anyone who needs it? Bianca is silly and says she’s not willing to compete with the mass market of five quid tights. “I’ll pay six quid” the woman chips in helpfully. Sugar’s bunch of harpy advisers aren’t completely impressed and suggest that for Bianca’s idea to work it “needs to be international” and that she “needs help on branding” – which make him pull a worried “will this cost?” face.

It’s time for Mark to start shitting a brick over the prospect of pitching to a much bigger room full of people than the one that reduced him to a coughing muppet. Sanjay calms him down, noting Mark hasn’t memorised his script (“you’re reading a lot”). Mark decides the only thing to make him look good is to put Solomon in charge of entertainment, and on cue our “ideas” boy comes up with the notion of dressing up James and himself as orange and blue gimpy dancers (Sanjay “I really can’t see you how guys didn’t get to the final”). His audience is comprised of “online giants” (sadly they don’t go “RAAHHH!!!”), who sit politely through Solomon’s cirque du gimps opener (“The orange dancer is a company not using Climb Online, the blue dancer is…” er yeah ok). Mark clears his throat worryingly, but as Karren looks at him aghast he gets his shit together and delivers a competent but very dull pitch to a room of probably competent but very dull people. The climbing wall video showing various businesses helped to get ahead by Mark with his guide ropes of search engine optimisation is like a Job Centre plus advert, but his promise to offer tailor made campaigns (“I want a mechanic to think he has his own marketing department”) goes down pretty well. Mark sees a business without digital marketing as like a shop without a front door and urges “Let me be your front door”, which nobody in the audience sniggers at, tsk.

Mark’s asked if the USP of personal service will disappear as the business grows but Mark insists he will be able to provide the same service to every customer by using his army of invisible pixies. A bloke from another marketing agency says Mark is marketing himself “into the past”, but Mark points out that he hasn’t heard of the bloke’s agency (cheeky!) and is “intentionally going back in time” as it is a competitive and changing business area. Good answers, and Sugar’s harpies agree, saying “if he will win it will be through grit and hard work” (and not stabbing his competition supposedly).

There’s some banter back in the boardroom with Felipe about his skeleton. Sugar likes “Climb online” as a name as it says what it does. Mark gets stick over his video stage fright (“I hear you were sweating more than Daniel’s accountant”), but it’s clear that despite the crowded market, Sugar’s veering towards Mark due to the £36K per year potentially already generated with the hair and face academy. “This can only work with massive passion” Sugar warns, and Karren steps in “which Mark has” – like she’s some fickle Olympian goddess who has suddenly decided to help him. Mark shows good project management skills and insists that “all the team contributed”, prompting glowing eulogies of what a pleasure it was to work for him by even the difficult and annoying members: James and Sarah – heck apart from Solomon Mark chose the worst team here, so it is impressed he got them working for him.

Bianca looks smug about her big colour range, but Lord Sugs reckons her concept could work due to its uniqueness, but the issue is the £20 price. Sarah chips in from over the table: “I wear tights every day, but wouldn’t spend more than 6 quid” and Bianca shoots her evils (“It’s ok to share your insights”). They’re all asked if she was a good PM, and strangely agree, well strangely apart from Daniel (“It’s a no brainer.. I mean Mark’s a lovely guy….”) who keeps up his ongoing mantrum with Mark.

Sugar points out that the distribution and manufacture would eat up Bianca’s money from day one, and she starts considering reducing the number of shades and sizes to what’s pointed out is only “90 variations”, and it’s clear she’s been blinded by fashion and not done her maths. Karren asks why she didn’t choose the mass market and Bianca says she wanted to go for “superior quality and lasting the test of time” but Sugar doesn’t give a monkeys about all that ponce (email phones anyone?) and suggests she would have to scale up in order to force her way into the luxury market who all have brand recognition whereas she has a picture of some legs.

Mark’s asked how he will staff his business and admits that he knows a load of nerds “who don’t shift from the computer all day”. Sugar’s not sure (“at least I have a product with Bianca, with you when do I see the money coming in?”) but Mark says something boring to reassure him, and says he’s set a minimum budget of £400 per month to make the service more personalised… who the feck is he paying a split of that to? Does his sales team consist of starving orphans and £400 buys the gruel?

Sugar’s very clear that whoever he picks will not get more than the £250K out of him and they have to make it work, and has a little huddle with Nick (“You always have been a product man.. you can make a fortune”) and Karren (“With Mark you get an exceptional individual” – oh now she LURVES him).

The finalists are called back in and given one last opportunity to sing for their supper.

Bianca has clearly finally taken her head out of her gusset and done a little thinking and says her concept is strong and she can “consider mass market or luxury”. Sugar goes “Aha you’ve changed your mind” and she responds quickly “I’m just saying there’s two options. I can do a higher volume for a lesser margin, but could make money more quickly. She knows the market and has run a small business and spent thousands on companies like Mark’s” – eh HANG ON, aren’t you advertising Mark there you daft mare?

Mark decides not to change the habit of the series and rather than bigging himself up he metaphorically wees over Bianca’s product (“It is a saturated market and is ONLY FOR FEMALES.. I see things at the bottom of bargain bins that look just the same.. it’s not even a comparison to my business”) he really is a massive bellend. Which is what this process is presumably all about finding.

Sugar still thinks Bianca has a good idea but that he will need to hold her hand through the manufacturing process (Bianca “You don’t need to!”), he thinks Mark is in “what I call the new world business” (Lord Sugar’s vision of the future being about 20 years out of date). His instinct says “product”, “but the devil in me says service industry” (it’s like how the decline of UK manufacturing began) and he, to absolutely nobody’s fucking surprise goes for Mark as his “business partner”.

Poor Bianca just gets to sit there awkwardly as Mark goes off to the hastily rebranded TAXI of WINNINGNESS to blether on about how stoked he is and how he never thought when he left his tiny Aussie town and his family of dingos that he would one day be sitting in a taxi.

And that’s it. All over with a whimper (don’t think I’ll be bothering with the extra programmes). I’d like to say it’s been great or fun or something, but in reality it’s been a bit of a chore once we lost the most potentially interesting character Steven (his flouncing might have reduced the tedium of the final). Also sadly Sugar announces that Nick Hewer is leaving the show because his face has stuck like that after ten years and his wife always thinks he’s farting.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely Christmas.

Whilst Mark won – here is my totally non corporate assessment of all the candidates:

My favourite Cute Bouncy Puppy Idiot: Solomon

Lovely, but bonkers: Felipe

Actually seemed genuinely nice and normal: Lindsay, Katie, Nurun

Should have had a better idea then might have won idiot: Roisin

Delusional Idiot: Daniel

Stitched up by Mark and could’ve done better, but did look a bit like a Bratz Doll: Lauren

Not listening idiot: Bianca

Flouncy Idiot: Steven

Bit dippy: Jemma

Aggression issues idiot: James

Stepford Wife Idiot: Sarah

Hoxton Idiot: Robert

Dour Idiot: Scott

Slightly Deranged: Pamela

Posh Idiots: Chiles, Ella Jade

Arrogant idiot that won and will probably end up doing the interviews next series: Mark

So it’s Week 11 and five candidates are hanging on to the dream of becoming Lord Sugar’s gimp with 1 week to go before the final (and bizarrely 2 more episodes scheduled afterwards). They’re given 24 hours to perfect their business plans before facing interviews at the Leadenhall Building.

Mark Wright has the highest sales figures but overall has been the losiest, so feels “bruised and battered”, but has “learnt so much” (yawn).

Cuddly technical entepreneur Solomon Akthar has finally started harping on about how bloody young he is (” I am only 23 but I think that’s a great thing”). He’s “all about the idea”. The idea unfortunately with him could just as easily be spelling out BOOBIES on an upside down calculator.

Bianca Miller is joint-highest ranking in the process and apparently owns a top 100 startup, but she just wants to prove herself as an “investable businesswoman” and not a corporate fembot.

Joint best with Bianca is former accountant Roisin Hogan who gets all teary when she relates how she has left her job to pursue her “really solid” business plan. She looks a bit like Gwynneth Paltrow and now she’s doing a Gwynnie (“sorry erm.. sniffle…what’s happening?”).

Bulldog-licking-piss-off-a-nettle faced Daniel Lassman has faced the final boardroom 4 times, but believes he’s “grown as a businessman” and that “Determination, motivation and passion” are all you really need. What about love Daniel. Oh no, he’s not a lover (“I’m a fighter!”).

6am the next day and the candidates prepare to head for the city with their business plans. Poor Solomon struggles to tie his own tie without Fat Daddy Felipe on hand. Roisin rather bravely dons a pure white two piece, whereas I would probably choose a burnt ochre ensemble to brave Lord Sugar’s interview attack dogs: “Publishing heavyweight” Mike Souter, Media agency manager Claudine Collins, professional angry baldman Claude Littner and what’s this – why it’s square headed ex wrestler Ricky Martin, clearly now totally living la vida loca and under contract to do whatever shitty job Margaret Mountjoy or beardy weirdy Bordan Tkachuk turn down, since he won the show two years ago. Or maybe running the recruitment wing of Sugar’s empire is currently not that lucrative as there’s no real fucking jobs about.

Mark and Daniel resume their homoerotic bickering in the car, weighing each other’s cocks business plans (Mark: “Mine feels more like the winner Daniel”, Daniel: “Yours feels heavier – you’ve got bigger font than me”).

“Have you included your financials?” Bianca asks Solomon, who insists he’s got the “nitty gritty stuff” in his head, having dispensed with writing an actual business plan and instead slipped the Bumper Colouring Book for Special Boys into his folder for a lark. Bianca does a hacky eye roll.

Most of the candidates manage not to lapse into nodding doggy mode as Lord Sugar growls instructions at them, apart from Solomon, bless him. They hand their folders to Nick and Karren and we’re off.

Solomon meets Claudine first who asks him about his side project “Willykini” (sweet Jesus!). “It’s basically a mankini but smaller”, Solomon starts eagerly. “OK. Got it” winces Claudine doing a Too Much Information hand gesture. He describes part of his business as shipping products, using the water glass as an example. “Can you put that down? You might break it” Claudine worries, adding “You come across like an excitable puppy”. “Ah” Solomon blushes. So far Solomon’s pretty unphased (“If someone whips out a fish, I react to that. I think Mark couldn’t deal with it”), so next he meets Mike Souter, who pulls him up on describing himself as “Someone from the ideas generation” (so he’s an ancient Roman?). Solomon proudly admits that he’s always tapping ideas “into my phone” so Mike pulls the cunt’s trick of shipping Solomon’s phone in and demanding some idea magic. “Erm. Breakfast in bed?” Solomon starts, describing an amazing application where one can send the ingredients for breakfast around the world. “Haven’t you just described online shopping?” Mike asks innocently. Solomon gets a bit rattled looking through his phone and accidentally stumbling on all the porn (“Um there’s other things in here, not just ideas”) before suggesting a place to get a bed for a sleep in towns. “Isn’t that a hotel?” Mike deadpans. Solomon resists the urge to shout out “Monkey Tennis” a la Alan Partridge and finally admits that his business plan is the best idea he ever tapped into his phone, but sadly Mike sees real flaws in it, not least the fact it’s “8 pages long and almost half of it is pictures”. Back in the waiting room, Solomon still thinks his idea is” genuinely amazing” and looks forward to seeing Claude. Oh dear. “Hi there” he bounces into Claude’s room. “SIT” barks Claude, who then wrongfoots us all by stating that Solomon’s CV filled him “with pleasure” (“No boastful brags about how great you are. Very mature. Very nicely written”) and adds that he thinks Solomon is very “enterprising” for starting his business (“I’ve never put so many ticks next to anyone”). Oh oh. Here comes the traditional Claude Littner Punch in the Balls. And then Claude “read” Solomon’s business plan. “And frankly its a bloody disgrace!.. You can leave.”. Poor Solomon tries to argue his case, but Claude is adamant. “Two bloody pages with pictures of sailboats on” (Solomon should at least point out that he’d doodled shark fins in the margins too!), “You’re taking the piss. Please leave”. (beat, whilst Solomon bumps into the window) “That’s not the way out”. Finally Solomon escapes (“Bloody Hell!”) to a long lift back to the waiting room, where he admits, winningly “I was getting out of there as quickly as possible as he was so angry”. I love Solomon.

Claude meets Daniel next (“Sit”) and asks him if he’s any good at numbers. Daniel admits he isn’t and concentrates “on what I’m good at” (arguing and avoiding shaving), but Claude find it “embarrassing” that Daniel doesn’t know his business numbers, and Daniel twigs he has to say something about how important it is to understand “yearly accounts”. “Daily” tuts an unimpressed Claude. In the boardroom Mark’s convinced it’s better for Daniel to go first as anyone else will look good after him, and he may have a point as Mike Souter outs Danuel for bullshitting about winning Sales Person of the Year award at a previous company (“We contacted them.. they said you didn’t win any award”). Daniel still insists that his CV is probably an underexaggeration of his great skills. Ouch. Mike presses Dan’s buttons by emphasising how shit a salesman he is compared to Mark. “I was selling £50 caps whilst he was selling hot-tubs” Dan whines, only to be informed that even without that result Mark still wins and his dad is bigger than Daniel’s dad. “Can I get the figures, it must have been close?” Daniel grasps. “Nope he fucked you and your sales in the ass” Mike insists, sort of. Daniel’s idea is to move forward from his pub quiz company and run a whole events company but via a website, which doesn’t impress Claude (“Frankly your business plan is ridiculous” (again!) “people wont trust their wedding to a website” – actually lazy stupid people might just go for it, and as far as we know Daniel just means a corporate events booking website, which businesses just MIGHT use). “I just believe in the idea Claude” Daniel insists, but he is dismissed with a treble helping of “ridiculous”. Claudine is impressed by Daniel’s progression from someone who described himself as a “Loud attention seeker” on his application form to a lesser degree of twat. Daniel admits he was getting into arguments and “rubbing people up the wrong way” but thinks Lord Sugar sees him as a rough diamond to polish, rather than a turd.

Ricky Martin meets Mark and is clearly enjoying being a massive prick for money and lording it over people who are in the same position he was 2 years ago. He announces that he enjoys “Looking for bullshitters” and quibbles over Mark’s CV showing him as Sales Manager for longer than he actually was at his current firm. Reasonably Mark points out that he’s just summarised where he spent the longest time within the business. “I see that as being deceitful” Ricky insists , setting up his witch ducking stool. Mark explains his business as an “Advanced Digital Marketing company which helps smaller companies to generate leads” (i.e. a load of bullshit). “Sell me a solution” Ricky insists, instigating an excruciating role-play, which also feels a tad Alan Partidge-esque as Mark gets half way through explaining his solution before Ricky cuts him off with “I have to stop you, I haven’t time for this call”. Claudine relates all Mark’s balls-ups to him, and he responds with disarming honesty, admitting “I thought I would breeze through” but he blew the pitch, but (tragically) “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a businessman”. (I think this is the saddest thing I ever heard. I wanted to be a cowboy and an actress. At the same time). However this fess up attitude goes down well with Claudine. Claude beams broadly as he mentions Mark’s business plan (whereas Mark sensibly admits it is the first one he’s written) which is dimissed as “bland” and unoriginal. “How sure are you of success?” Claude snaps. “I’ve never been so confident” Mark states and Claude reckons that’s a good enough answer as it’s clearly a given that Mark is going through.

Roisin describes her business plan for a “virtually carbohydrate free ultra low calorie ready meal” (sounds hideous) to Ricky (” you said you’re an accountant and always be an accountant”). Claudine highlights Roisin’s lack of experience (Roisin; “Yeah but obviously I eat food”) and asks about her market research which turns out to be 6 people and Roisin’s family, which, however Irish you are is a pretty shit sample. Next Roisin gets torn apart by Claide who decides she’s on cloud cuckoo land by virtue of trying to “Go global” immediately and from expecting to get 100 stores on board with 50% giving her credit to fund the venture (which she also reports will cost £750K in the first year, with the remaining £500K being covered by sales). “Ridiculous!” snorts Claude and not for the first time. “You’re a tiny operator. You’re not even a blip on anyone’s screen. Not even in a month of Sundays”. It gets worse as Mike reveals that Roisin’s unique ingredient (not Soylent Green but a shapeable vegetable fibre) is sold in shops and has actually already been made into a ready meal. “Well I was unaware of that” blusters a shaken Roisin.

Poor Bianca has to pitch her idea of “revolutionising the hosiery and shapewear market” by producing tights in tones for black people. Claude looks aghast, suggesting that she needs to focus on either one (hosiery) or the other (shapewear) whilst claiming “I understand your concerns. From speaking to women, this is an issue” (he clearly doesn’t speak to that many women as for me hosiery and shapewear pretty much work together). However Bianca takes it on board as she tells Mike Souter that “in hindsight we are offering shapewear far too early”. “You’re changing your mind?” Mike queries. “No I am not” Bianca insists, whilst changing her mind. She’s been Littnerred. Mike cheers her up by revealing that he has spoken to one of “Britain’s leading fashion editors” who said Bianca is “really onto something”. Claudine likes bianca’s CV but insists that Bianca tell her something personal that she wouldn’t know, and after a series of fails (“Erm I like my family”) declares that Bianca might “take professionalism so far it stops you having a personality. It feels like you’re hiding”. I really feel sorry for Bianca, who looks on the verge of tears in the lift (Mark is however overjoyed that “Claudine has really rattled her”). What the fuck is she supposed to say to something like this (“Am I hiding something? I don’t know!”). It gets worse when she meets Ricky – who quizzes her on her audacity to charge people money for interview skills advice and CV writing when that’s part of her business, and again insists that he wants to know her “personality”. She finally cracks (“erm. erm. Can I get a tissue?”). “Why are you upset?” Ricky demands cuntily, and she hits him with it: “I’m upset becauseIi think throughout this process I’ve been myself; and me as a person and my character has been questioned… I don’t usually cry in interviews and I want to give this as good advice to people, especially if they’re paying for the advice” (she smiles wryly through the tears), “I think I’ve got something great and I just want that” (her voice finally splinters) “chance”. And I love Bianca and want her to win at this point. Nobody else is asked to justify who they are behind the professionalism by the way. Unless they all got asked and Bianca was the only one to cry.

Sugar invites his cronies to feed back on the candidates and they agree with Karren that Solomon’s bright but “immature” and incapable of preparing a business plan. Although he does a lovely picture of a sailboat.

Karren thinks Bianca worries about her image, as though that’s somehow strange. Ricky grasses her up for getting “incredibly emotional with little pushing” which makes him sound like a heartless square headed tosser, although he adds that he thinks her “professionalism will help her succeed”. Claude admits he’s done some hosiery research (“which I found quite pleasant”) and there is a market, which Mike confirms, but Claude worries about manufacturing as though Bianca has to get out there and bloody well make the tights herself.
Claudine liked Mark a lot, as did Claude, who describes Mark as “another Ricky”, which really isn’t selling the man to me.
Roisin is dismissed by Sugar as a “bean counter turned bean producer” and Mike tells everyone that her particular “magic” bean is a root called konjac, which Sugar like me deliberately mishears as “Kojak” (“tasteless, but it fills you up”) and is sadly already part of a similar product on the market. http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fmcg/ambient/nah-launches-konjac-pasta-ambient-ready-meals/372842.article
Mike is worried by Daniel’s obsession with being “super saleman” but Sugar thinks “he’s got spirit” and whilst Claude agrees Daniel’s made a business “out of nothing”, he still thinks planning an event without meeting everyone involved doesn’t make sense. He should try running a comedy night. Mike thinks Dan is a tryer though (“he wouldn’t stop trying for you he’d die in the attempt”. Claude “Or you’d kill him”).

Back in the boardroom, Mark says although his idea has 100s of competitors his is acer and skiller and he worked in his parents businesses so he knows what it’s all about. Erm. It’s time for Karren to stick the spanner in (“It’s stressfull setting up a business… I’ve seen what happens to you when pressure gets to you”) but Mark insists his meltdown just shows “how much the process means to me” (all together now – aww!).

Bianca’s asked if she understands the tights manufacturing process again, but has actually done the homework and knows which manufacturers to approach.

Solomon admits that “Claude gave me a bit of a rollocking” but he’s only 23 bless him. Sugar tells him he’s an “intelligent young man” (Lord Sugar speak for You’re Fucked) and, despite Claude saying he thought Solomon would go far, he is fired (disarmingly telling everyone he “really enjoyed the process” and thanking them for being fair) and ends up in the Taxi of Doom, still relentlessly upbeat (“for me to make the final 5 at such a young age” – what’s that Solomon? How old are you? – “Is an achievement in itself”).

Daniel gets flak for saying “all I need is cash, a good name and some contacts” (“You sound like a criminal on the run!”).

Roisin is informed that she has no “understanding of the enormous scale of things that need to happen for” her business plan to succeed, and for expecting to go global based on the market research of 6 people plus mammy and daddy. Sugar insists that “to fight for space in chillers in supermarkets is like gold dust” which suggests he’s never been to Aldi. The fact she thinks £750K spending in the first year was “conservative” dooms her (Nick: “The scale of your ambition exposes your naivety”), and with regret she is fired, with nary a chance to convey her feelings in Loser’s Taxi.

Again the candidates are sent outside for Sugar to bitch about them with Karren and Nick, and to admire “Daniel’s passion and desire” (ooer). All of a sudden when he brings them back in, he declares he wants to think of them as “people” not just business plans (this after sending two perfectly capable people away).

Daniel still deludedly thinks he’s a great salesperson even when it is pointed out he was 6th amongst the candidates and he will never beat Mark and they should just snog right now.

Mark admits “I should have fought with more passion to be PM more than once” adding “I risked it all to be here” (really?) before declaring himself better than his oppenents in every way (“Oh my God I will blow them away in terms of earnings!” which sets Daniel off, who waves his “I’ve run a successful company what have you done?” willy in Mark’s face.

Wisely Bianca chooses to ignore the “petty squabbles” – insisting she has “the passion to drive the brand”. It’s a good thing she’s not a corporate clone eh? Daniel gets all sneery about the fact that she’s just selling tights, so Sugar sacks him, although he is “a better man than when you walked in” on account of changing his manner. Daniel keeps his new leaf on display by wishing both finalists good luck (“You done amazing”) despite being clearly gutted. In the taxi of despair, Daniel upbeatly insists that the process made him a better person which is “worth more than a quarter of a million to me”. He must be lying right?

Bianca has a smile a mile wide on learning she is a finalist. In the car back Mark starts on some playful mind games (“I can’t wait to win this.. I’d hate to be in your shoes Bianca”), but she just laughs “let’s see eh?.

Next week is the final and clearly Daniel is on Bianca’s team (“You got me fired” (eh?) “but I hate Mark more”). We’re nearly there, well done for hanging on in.

To win
Bianca

To perish in a tragic coughing fit disaster
Mark

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James, Felipe, Katie, Sanjay, Solomon, Roisin, Daniel

Week 10 dawns and the remaining shiny suited shitclowns are summoned to Tate Britain where Lord Sugar continues with the tenuously linked tasks, explaining that Lord Tate made his fortune in Sugar (ooer!) so the teams have to create and brand a range of luxury desserts to pitch to three retailers and the team with the most orders and who can cause the most cases of type two diabetes will win. Daniel’s moved over to Summit with Roisin, Bianca and Solomon. Sanjay switches to Tenacity with Mark and Katie and promptly starts bitching about he’s well rid of Bianca as he was always bailing her out or something.

Roisin and Katie are appointed Project Managers seeing as their business proposals are both based around food. Solomon suggests a “British Inspired Cheesecake” and they toy with the notion of “Teasecake” as both Dan and Roisin are very keen to this pudding to have tea in it. Roisin definitely wants to do the branding and picks Bianca to help, until Solomon uses his “Men are crap in the kitchen” card to consign Bianca to dessert making drudgery (Bianca looks peeved but passive aggressively insists she is “happy to support the team”). Meanwhile Daniel, who also gets stuck on production, just seems happy to be there and keeps his gob mercifully shut.

Katie meanwhile stresses to her team that they are not pitching to a Michelin Star restaurant, but just to your normal supermarket plebs. She’s convinced this task is right up her street as her business plan is to launch a healthy eating restaurant. The entire of the North disowns Katie at this point. She waltzes round sampling bizarre ingredients like saffron and oriental grapefruit type things whilst squealing “ooh tangy” and trying not to look confused.

Meanwhile Mark and Sanjay wolf down puddings in a Michelin Star restaurant and Sanjy insists that a trifle containing pear and hibiscus will combine luxury and mass appeal with a little bit of insanity. The chef advises them to make something with familiarity for consumers, but Sanjay are off in the car brainstorming names (“Fancy Full”, “Treat Time”), until Mark suggests “Sweet Pleasure” and it all gets a bit 50 shades of sugary treat.

Daniel tries to pull a clever face whilst tea tasting with a “tea sommelier”, and thankfully doesn’t swirl and spit. “That doesn’t resemble tea to me” he says thoughtfully “because I’m very uneducated… in the world of tea”. Meanwhile Bianca ponces on about “flowery aftertastes” and the tea sommelier is impressed, whereas Daniel is amazed (“Suddenly Bianca seemed to know all about TEA!”). Daniel says “TEA” a lot in the production lab, in between failing to break eggs (“are these magical eggs?”), just in case we didn’t realise their dessert contains TEA. He thinks there’s too much TEA in the dessert. Bianca thinks it’s not enough. Nobody asks a vicar. Eventually they create some cheesecakes which Daniel fingers rather worryingly, and give each other high fives on a job well done. I must say Daniel’s lobotomy still seems to be keeping him nice and easy going this week.

Katie donns her Greggs hat to mix up some strawberry and hibiscus (“Ugh that’s horrible!”) before losing it with the saffron, picking out two tiny strands (“Is this supposed to dissolve”) and dithering over why she can’t taste anything (“I’m being over cautious”) before chucking in a bucketload (about fifty quid’s worth) of the stuff. She eventually creates a dodgy looking jumble of fruit and cream (North Eastern Mess?) and proudly declares “it doesn’t look artificial”. Neither does poo.

Sanjay and Mark bond over a shared love of red and white gingham for their rubbish, camp vintage style trifle branding. Sanjay chooses the name “A trifle different” and thinks he’s fucking Oscar Wilde or something. Sadly you can’t read the name properly on the sub Happy Shopper finished product which looks like something you’d buy at a 99p shop for an enemy. It arrives the next day and both Sanjay and Mark love it (“That looks like a product!”).

Meanwhile Roisin and Solomon come up with “Tea Pot” which is simple and classy (i.e. plain and dull) but doesn’t seem to clearly explain that it actually is a dessert and not just a delicious beverage based product. Solomon is cruelly mocked by Roisin for saying he would buy a dessert for a girlfriend, which makes me suspect Roisin is really an emotionless business cyborg who doesn’t understand the healing powers of pudding.

Katie is typically democratic and says each team member can take a pitch to the supermarkets. Roisin chooses to lay down the law and says she will lead with Bianca supporting and they will only give Daniel a go if Hell freezes over and there is a Z in the month and if things don’t work out. He’s amazingly chilled about this, despite like Solomon, being desperate to prove himself. His mask slips a tad in the car as he says he’s realised “Roisin is actually in love with Bianca”. Saucer of milk!

Sanjay does his market research and 6 out of 7 people like the trifles. One completely mad bloke gives it 10 out of 10 and Sanjay likes the cut of his jib. However one woman says the saffron makes it taste savoury and Sanjay gives her an overwrought pensive look.

Solomon calls Roisin to explain that the traffic is shit so he and Daniel might not get there in time for the first pitch to Asda. Cue elation amongst the women of the team, and a fresh order for another saucer of milk for Roisin (“I’m not at all concerned Daniel and Solomon won’t be there”). Roisin plays buzzword bingo at the Asda pitch, harping on about “treat seekers” and “grazing consumers” (for Christ sake woman why not humanise it and just identify “aspirational, toothless, spotty fatties” as your target audience?). Asda man however thinks there should be more tea in the pudding. Told you they should have asked a vicar. Roisin tells the boys her pitch was “seamless” however when they meet at Waitrose. Dan’s eager for just a tiny thing to say in this pitch (“can’t we mention the market research we did?”) but Roisin and Bianca insist the boys stay silent and look pretty and try not to look too bored and end up interrupting with something inane and distinctly none Waitrosey. Oops too late, Daniel’s off telling the Waitrose woman that the tea “smacked me around the face” and that he doesn’t have a posh palate like what she does, whilst Roisin looks icy daggers at him. Afterwards Roisin tells him to “bite your tongue” in future, but he still thinks her pitch was a “bit monotone” (“I quite liked the product before that pitch – she’s put me off it”).

Katie’s Asda pitch isn’t great and predictably the Asda people think the flavours are too mental for even your average Asda shopper. Mark does his usual non-Jedi mind tricks on the way to the Waitrose pitch (“He’s a good guy but is Sanjay the guy you want in front of the largest supermarket? He was in the boardroom for underselling”) until Katie rings Sanjay and offers him the Waitrose pitch with support from her and Mark. Sanjay resists a hissy fit but insists he can handle a pitch by himself. Unfortunately Waitrose call them out on the Saffron tasting “earthy” whilst costing the earth and they think the branding doesn’t look “premium or top tier”.

It’s Tesco time and Daniel begs to be allowed to mention his precious market research just this once. Roisin relents (“but keep it snappy”). Tesco are really positive from word go about the tea pots and Solomon feels buoyed up enough to get in on the action by mentioning that he would buy one as a gift for a friend, which the Tesco people all nod at whilst polishing off their cheesecakes (maybe Daniel slipped some crack cocaine into them). Daniel introduces himself (“Hi, I’m Daniel”) and comes across as David Brent (as played by Oliver Reed) whilst relating the positive consumer feedback (“‘It’s really good and I can really taste the green tea coming through”), but in reality they had the greedy little Greg Wallaces at Tesco at the word “dessert” (Tesco man waxes on about them combining the “nation’s favourite drink and a dessert with fun”). Solomon reckons Tescos woman winked at him (“that’s a good sign isn’t it”) – the boy is OBSESSED. He seems more and more like a naughty schoolboy who gets by through smiling, nodding and looking slightly abashed on occasion. Not that that’s a bad strategy in most workplaces, and I still can’t help liking him.

Mark starts his pitch to Tesco and promptly starts choking more than the Boston Strangler in an old folk’s home, interspersing dull business figures with disturbing gravelly coughs. It’s an utter Mark Meltdown. So it seems he can sell but he can’t pitch. As he descends into a hacking fit, Tesco take pity and offer him water, but he still fails to form coherent sentences (“Diet fruit… sorry DRIED fruit”) and apologises profusely when they leave, although in the car he slyly looks around wondering how he can shift the blame.

In the boardroom, Roisin tries to dismiss Solomon’s branding contribution, but Nick leaps to his defence (“he was bouncing up and down with little ideas”) and Sugar is bemused by “grazing customers” (“what? a donkey or a goat?”). Sugar notices the deafening silence from Daniel’s general direction (“Ave you got a sore throat”), but our boy can’t be gagged for long and when Roisin admits that she wanted to keep Daniel away from pitching, he’s off (“What were we supposed to do. Stand there and hold the doors open for the girls?”). Unfortunately for Roisin, who says Daniel’s contribution at the second pitch was rubbish, Nick again sticks up for the poor oppressed blokes (aww) by stating that Waitrose actually LIKED Daniel, and even Solomon looks quite frankly astounded.

Sanjay gets stick for failing to address negative points raised during market research in order to pre-empt difficult questions from the retailers, and Katie tries to airbrush the Asda woman’s response to saffron in a dessert by saying she wasn’t “keen” until Karren steamrollers in (“She thought it was disgusting! It went in the bin!”).

Mark admits he “dropped his bundle” (eh?) and “the situation beat me”, but promises it won’t happen again. “Nobody else has buckled” Nick slides the knife in smoothly.

Results time:

Asda didn’t like Katie’s pitch, but did like the products that didn’t have saffron in, so ordered 13,500 units.

Asda hated the tea pots (“too niche”) that Roisin and Bianca pitched alone and didn’t order any.

Waitrose didn’t think Tenacity’s trifles were posh enough so ordered none. However they quite liked Summit’s tea pots and ordered 5,500.

Tesco were “confused by Tenacity’s branding” and probably didn’t fancy anything that Mark had coughed all over so didn’t order any. They did like the tea pots (although thought they needed “tweaking” to include more drugs) so ordered 20,500.

Summit therefore win by 12,500 orders and are sent to eat macaroons and drink martinis on the world’s smallest exclusive yacht which was apparently in a Bond film (it’s pretty fricking exclusive as it only seems to seat four).

Poor Katie and her team are sent to brood in cafe doom and she turns a peculiar shade of grey as it dawns on her that having a food related business plan may not make this the best task to fuck up.

Back in the boardroom and she tries to argue that “desserts are not my strongpoint” but still gets stick for using too much saffron (“clearly you have no concept of costs”). Her business proposal is to take foods that are traditionally unhealthy and “make them healthy” (“Fastie Pasties?”), but fortunately she doesn’t “plan on being chef”, and she insists she has run front of house in a restaurant before. “I’ve been to Macdonalds too” sneers Sugar. Ouch!

The “gingham and splodges” packaging is described as looking like “someone had sneezed on it with a mouthful of custard”, which you just know there is probably a ‘speciality’ magazine about somewhere.

Katie tries to blame Mark, but he claims it’s down to the branding, which Karren points out he was responsible for, so he tries again (“80% of the purchase decision is made by the taste of the product and Katie got that wrong”). Hmm. Last time I checked I wasn’t allowed to make sound consumer judgements at the cold counter by peeling back tinfoil lids and dipping my spoon in, so I was forced to go for the dessert that looked least shit which I could actually afford.

It turns out that Sugar doesn’t give a flying monkey bollock about the task and it’s all down to the business proposals from now on in. Therefore Sanjay’s idea of a sort of facebook for gym users (I get the feeling this exists already but I never want to know about it), where people pay a membership fee, but Sugar thinks he’s “deluded in thinking that is a lucrative business”.

Mark insists “I want to be here more than anyone else” and Karren can’t resist sticking her oar in (“You failed in front of Tescos”), prompting Sanjay to state that there’s been a “few occasions” when people thought Mark should have been brought back into the boardroom (Mark: “Why are you diving in mate?”). Mark claims he’s become one the the UK’s top internet entepreneur with 7 (SEVEN!) whole staff and a company turning over 1.5million quid. So why is he there again?

Sugar, Nick and Karren send the candidates out to wait whilst they chat about how useless they all are, and as soon as Sugar mentions that “Sanjay has spent his whole life in banking” you just know he’s toast. Everyone troops back in and Sugar tells them that although sole traders are the “backbone of the economy” he’s not interested in that market. Katie declares that although she is a sole trader, she’s ready to go to the “next level”.

Sanjay insists he can make 1.1million in 5 years, but Mark starts blinding him with knowledge about internet advertising and tells him it’s not possible, even though Sanjay says he has 4 other revenue streams which are too top secretly non existent to actually share with the boardroom. They all shout over each other until Katie becomes mum again and tells them to stop.

Sadly whilst she thinks she has the business model to go global from Sunderland with her rabbit food empire, but Sugar’s unconvinced and fires her with regret, and she sweetly tells Karren and Nick it’s been lovely meeting them. In the Taxi of Ruefullness she’s still “proud of everything I’ve done”. Bless.

Sugar makes the boys sweat, but we all know he’s going to fire Sanjay, who only makes things worse for himself by trying to brand Mark as a one-trick pony, but unfortunately picking a quite important trick (“Selling you’re great at. If you want a sales guy Lord Sugar, pick Mark”) and Sugar takes his advice (“You are an intelligent and clever fellow”) and although Mark’s business proposal is “all abaht sales.. but there’s so many of you out there doing it”, our wrinkly walnut faced peer fires Sanjay (no regret this time).

Mark’s still blanched, sweating and waiting (“Can I speak again Lord Sugar?” “No”) but he eventually gets a reprieve and returns to the house, where Daniel is telling everyone that even though “Mark screwed up completely” (of course), he thinks it’s “impossible to let Mark go”. One day these two men will kiss.

Roisin’s stunned that Katie has gone. Who will darn the boys’ socks now? Mark explains that “it’s all about you now and your business plan”. They all stop and think that Daniel’s business plan must be shit hot.

Next week, Sugar unleashes the bulldogs of war onto the candidates for the interviews round. Mark thinks going into an interview after Daniel is a good strategy (“You’ll look good then”) and baldy business bastard Claude Littner growls at someone “It’s a bloody disgrace”.

Favourites
Bianca
Solomon

Scary Fembot
Roisin

Still bonkers – but making me laugh.
Daniel

Bundle Dropper
Mark

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

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Daniel (call it a hunch – he wouldn’t be there still otherwise) and fecking Mark.

Christ on a wobbly segue, but Week 9 of The Apprentice is a massive festival of dullness, and I almost miss having James to shout abuse at within the first 5 minutes. A BBC montage of diseased pigeons, binmen and early morning radio shows is juxtaposed against Lord Sugar’s car heading ominously towards the candidates’ house like a really shit Jaws. Sadly when Sugar knocks at the door, it’s not opened by a cross-dressing moth enthusiast serial killer a la Silence of the Lambs, but by a cuddly eager Columbian self referencing lawyer a la Felipe. (edit – I’ve been informed Solomon opened the door, clearly I was opening wine at this point in proceedings).

Whilst Sugar stands around looking angry amongst the Argos furnished living room, the candidates panic. Sanjay wants anyone but him to “offer him a cup of tea or something”, whereas Daniel’s fears are more primal (“If he was in here he would have destroyed me” – ooer!).

Anyhow this task is all about the negotiation. The candidates have a list of 9 items that have been purchased in this exact same bloody task over the last decade. The candidates who purchase the most of these items in 1 day for the least amount of money will win. Both teams have £1000 spending money, a business directory and a map of London, and a suicide capsule.

Here are the dread items of doom:-

Nigella seeds
Rough cut diamond
Oud perfume
Belfast sink
kosher chicken
Anatomical skeleton
1 metre of old rope
1 kilo of delicious scallops
And fucked if I know the last one

So after Mark getting an extra hour to check the cut of his suit in the mirror, he’s ready for the power struggle of team Tenacity, where Daniel puts himself forward (London knowledge, not quite on a taxi driver’s level), Mark puts himself forward (Lived in London for 2 whole years) and Katie throws her hat into the ring because she doesn’t want Daniel and Mark to waste all their time willy waving. However Daniel (“desperate to be Project Manager”) manages to convince Mark to back him, and Mark works out that he can blame it all on Daniel oif it goes wrong and accepts. Daniel immediately disappoints by making good decisons; making Katie sub-team leader with Mark, divvying up which products to get and taking Felipe along with him to look for diamonds in an attempt to heal their rift from last week. Daniel then blows it all by talking down to Mark and Katie and acting in an utterly deluded stylee, but once he’s on the road the transformation into a positive bloke is astonishing.

Meanwhile on Summit, Sanjay decides that after the last board room bollicking, he needs to put his “money where his mouth is” (Of course if he had money he wouldn’t be mouthing off on the shoe) and nobody else steps forward so he goes with what seems like the sensible plan of staying put and planning out the day – for two and a half blimming dithery hours – after which they all run about like headless Kosher chickens. Roisin quickly decides she wants to find the diamond (being an ice queen), and London girl Bianca suggests Hatton Garden-, but Roisin decides she would do better outside of central London, and Bianca pulls a face like mine would be (although she fails to suggest phoning around to get the best deal, so I am still unimpressed).

Daniel uses his inbuilt Jewdar to detect the cheapest Kosher chicken in Golders Green (Yes it’s impressive he remembers the name of Jacob the chicken seller, but it’s only getting him a 4 quid chicken). ” We’ve got this!” Daniel fistpumps, with one item in the bag.

Bianca makes an appointment with Declan to buy a Belfast sink, but Katie from Tenacity is already at the scrap yard with Declan (only Irishman in London) and, with Mark’s passive aggressive prompting manages to haggle him down from a mighty £80 to a puny £75. Mark and Katie then tell Declan to fuck over the other team, but when Bianca arrives she manages to haggle him down to £60 for an admittedly shit but still acceptable sink.

It’s skeleton time and Solomon cant say anatomical (“antomonical”) which makes me love him a little bit.
Whilst Sanjay is idly cruising, Roisin spots another skeleton in a shop display, but it has a name (“Adam”) and therefore won’t be sold for less than £2,000, no matter how eagerly Sanjay measures it.

Felipe spots a “build your own anatomical paper skeleton” and convinces Daniel that it meets Lord Sugar’s specifications (“I’m a lawyer”). It costs £14, and when Daniel calls Mark and Katie, they heartily approve, although they may just be thinking this will be the best way to get rid of Daniel. “As long as it meets the specifications it saves us pennies everywhere…” Mark semi-enthuses. An over-riding image of the peace and love between Daniel and Felipe occurs as they rush across The Strand, hand in hand. Deal done, Felipe is enormously proud of his purchase (“£14 when we could have spent £200!”). Daniel insists it’s down to him “thinking outside of the box” as they look happily at the thin flat pack skeleton box. Mark does a knowing look as he gets the triumphant phone call in; “I hope it’s the right one”. In the words of that well known feminist comedian Dapper Laughs “He knows”.

Sanjay struggles to spell out the word “kosher”, so you sense he gives up on the chicken. Next Roisin advises he checks out “fish and chip shops” for scallops (as she’s Irish I wonder if she means potato scallops like I used to get from the chippy as a kid in Liverpool), but he just slaps her down. I’m just astonished that nobody suggests Billingsgate Market.

It’s diamond time next and Daniel appoints Felipe his wing man at Hatton Garden (“You come in with the story”). Daniel tells the hard arsed diamond seller man that he is “looking to get married” (stupid as anything involving weddings costs at least 3 times as much) However he haggles the jeweller man down from £215 to £175 apparently by virtue of being Jewish. UKIPers go all frothy about global conspiracies.

A few doors away, however, Roison haggles the furiously masturbating jewellery man down from £145 to £50 by virtue of being blonde (just like the jewellery man’s wife) and him being fat, sweaty and so desperate for female attention that he pretends he has a blonde wife. “The guy was just putty in his hands” gushes Karen. Sanjay can’t believe it (“You basically just stole that diamond off him like in a heist movie”). UKIPers cheer that the pretty blonde done well, until someone tells them that, being Irish, she is technically theForeign too.

Solomon and Bianca have found an anatomical (or as Solomon can’t help saying “antomological “) skeleton called Steve, which Solomon plays with whilst Bianca sorts out the deal. Sanjay decides that because he has been so skill allowing Roisin to do the diamond deal, that poor Bianca and Solomon have to do the rest of the work.

Mark and Katie find Scrooboius Pip supplying Oud from a dodgy looking block of flats which Mark decides looks like “the North” and Katie haggles the supplier down from £60 to £48, but Mark decides to blame Katie for not getting a lower price. Meanwhile in a posh shop, Sanjay gets some Oud for £100 and disappointingly nobody decides to call Lord Sugar’s bluff and bring in a tentacle faced Dr Who alien character.

Sanjay decides to wimp out and call his team back to avoid the latecomer fine, whilst invoking the “no chicken” fine, but unfortunately Solomon has refused to be “beaten by one kosher chicken” (kinky!) and sets out on his own unsuccessful mission, meaning that Sanjay’s team turn up late and without all the items. “I’ve been decisive and clear” insists Sanjay. Bianca disgrees, unless he meant clearly a twat.

Back in the boardroom and Dan’s team all get in on time with all the items (according to Columbian law), prompting Felipe to state that “Daniel became a man” with this task and Katie to comment that Daniel was “much more positive” and “turned over a new leaf”. It’s all a lie, he’s still mental, you fools.

Sugar is in full on grouch mode and gets shitty over Tenacity’s free “old rope” being more than a meter (“You couldnt find a pair of scissors?” ). So it’ no surprise he’s pissed off by their free interpretion of what constitutes an anatomical skeleton. It looks pretty bleak when the flat pack is contrasted against Steve the Skeleton, but Daniel maintains “We tried to think outside the box”.

Bianca claims she manages to turn Sanjay’s strategy of staying back to organise plans but missing the first contact with retailers to her advantage “as a point of negotiation”, but sadly Sanjay failes to be so positive whilst explaining how Summit failed to get 4 items (“Erm the kosher butchers didn’t have a whole chicken!”)

Anyhow it’s scores time:-
Summit – spent £483.97 – with their missing items and late fines the total is £644.97
Tenacity – spent £347.59 which with the inceridibly petty rope fine becomes £399.59
However Sugar intervenes and disallows the “skeleton” in a massively suspicious and arbitrary manner- adding an extra £310

So Summit get to go on a treat I fail to notice through my outrage at this arbitrary punishment.

Tenacity get to go to the cafe of Despair, where Katie angrily blames it all on Daniel and Felipe (“We could have walked this “).
Back in the boardroom, Sugar pretends he’s “really really angry about this” whilst being almost impressed that Daniel’s team did return with all items. The big issue is the skeleton, and Felipe rather nobly claims responsibility for this , although Nick notes that Daniel backed away from responsibility, which gives Mark the chutzpah to blame Daniel for not haggling better for his diamond.

With some faux reluctance Daniel brings Felipe back into the boardroom, followed by a more feisty Katie who thinks Daniel is just responding to her calling him a massive brooding dick the night before (of course he is). Still Mark gets to go home unscathed. Why don’t he and Daniel just get a fricking room?

Lord Sugar tries to help Daniel with a football analogy (it’s the only language Daniel understands). “It’s like one of your players missing a penalty four times” Sugar taunts Daniel over his boardroom appearances, but Daniel constructs a half-decent response” (“That player still has to step up.. and I’ve grown as a person.”), but Sugar won’t play football analogy keepy uppy any longer (“I’m not free therapy for the deluded”), and he still predictably ends up just firing poor Felipe because he hates lawyers. Especially smart arse ones. And this is a massive fix.

In the Taxi of Doom Felipe explains everything that “Felipe is capable of”, and it’s nice to see Mark’s hacky face at Daniel’s return.

Next week the candidates design and market desserts. Cos that’s nothing like designing and marketing soft drinks is it, you boring witless repetitive 5 more weeks to go of this producer gits? Oh.

Favourites
Katie
Bianca
Solomon
Roisin

Moaning Minny
Sanjay

Silly and deluded

Daniel

Bit of a tit

Mark

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

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