Well I would like to write an entertaining and informative account of Week 5 of The Apprentice or #RuthWozRobbed as I now know it, but COUGH COUGH I’m so very poorly SPLUTTER

But anyway at 6am the contestants are dragged screaming (“Do you ever wake up and think it’s not worth it” – April) to the London Library on St James’ Square, where in the least convoluted task connection to date they are tasked with producing a childrens book for 3-5 year olds (including an audio book) and then selling it to pro-retailers.

Sam’s moved to Connexus and Sugar clearly has his card marked as a posho academic lyrical motherfucking wordsmith as he hints “this may be time for you to use your talents Sam”.

Fortunately Sam “would love to be PM” as he loves language and has a degree in literature. He is duly elected and embarks on a three hour journey in search of plot (“A story dies without a good plot”) whilst quoting Aristotle on tragedy. Team Connexus go a bit dead behind the eyes.

Meanwhile Charleine, as a mother of young kids, puts herself forward as leader for Versatile, as she doesn’t “have the best vocabulary or literature skills” but she has a working fucking womb. Charleine suggests kids would like a story called “party pooper wee wee” and is unanimously elected as leader. She wants an adventure helping kids to let go of their comfort blankets and Joseph suggests “Buzzy’s Quest For Honey” the story of a humble bumble bee who hasn’t realised that as a single drone his input into pollen production would not be welcomed. Bit like Richard this week then. Anyhow April has a degree in creative writing and suggests Joseph’s bee odyssey is the most adventurous, so Buzzy it is. Richard’s keen on getting the honey story right (April’s also concerned about lying to kids about the origin of honey), but Charleine’s determined to step on his ego whenever possible so makes him the marketing subteam leader to take him away from creative input and fair play the pompous plonker falls for it (Richard: “ I would have preferred to have been on the other side but … ok”). Unbeknownst to Richard, Charleine has a masterplan to use David to pass all information back so she never has to talk to her subteam leader again. Muwahahaha!

Sam’s still working on his epic about a mythical creature surrounded by other creatures and becoming accepted which through his warmly accepted team input becomes a tale of a sneezy dragon crossed with an elephant called Snufflegruffle no Snufflebum no Snifflebottom. It’s all getting a bit Black Books quite frankly. Finally, after several hours Elle forces him to accept Snottydink. “The moral is about acceptance; so a child who is good at rugby but rubbish at chess should not be outed from school” Sam speaks, clearly from slightly altered experience.

The teams divide at 11am with Richard still grumbling that he should have been kept in creative because he wears the reddest,most annoying braces, whilst David yawns unsubtly.

Poor Joseph, like most creatives, watches as his simple Bee tale is taken over by April and Charleine (“I’m thinking ‘swishing and swirling and tumbling and turning’”). Richard calls back from the kids (focus) playgroup he’s attended with David and Mergim to report that mums like rhymes… but Charleine’s having none of it (“Can I speak to David please?” David: “Erm mum’s like rhymes”, April: “Buzzy got lost, after being tossed”, Everyone: Silence).

Sam’s team are finally getting pissed off and realising they need to do some work (Scott: “We need to pinpoint this. It’s not hard I don’t think” Elle: They breathe fire, he breathes water. We just need a clincher”, Sam: “Yeah yeah, we’ll get there”).

Mergim, David and Richard work out a number of Buzzy related songs, the best of which is a Buzz Buzz Buzzy song which has them all falling about laughing like kids, which should be a good indicator, but no, Charleine calls (“Who am I speaking to?”, Richard: “Richard.. would you like me to pass you to David? We’re doing really well”, Charleine: “Can I speak to David please?”, Everyone, including David, “Oh For fucksake!”, Richard “I will just go grab a coffee, seeing as I’m not needed”) . David ends up going for the lame “Little busy, everything is honey” even though anybody with a brain is still singing the Buzz Buzz Buzzy Song. Charleine calls again and Richard requests she stop asking to speak to David. She hangs up.

Sam’s dithering is holding up Selina on the song team (“We can’t write a random song with no relation to the story”) and he rushes out his Opus Sammus, and it sounds quite nice, and a bit Dr Seuss, but Selina and Gary (who apparently struggles with the word ‘duck’ at one point due to being a Brummy – as though duck is a word that couldn’t be understood in any dialect) are converned by Sam’s use of big words like “moisture” and “rife” for 3-5 year olds (maybe this is Sam’s way of releasing a porn epic he wrote at the age of 14).

The teams oversee their designs and Sam has to go for a “mental” (April) looking Snottyding, whereas Charleine, having full control, declares herself happy with her book colours and hopes “we’re beating Shakespeare on the other side”. The products arrive and whilst “Buzzy’s First Adventure looks professional, Snottydink looks like the product of a drug addled bipolar mind which should surely appeal to most parents nowadays.

Vana tries to talk Charleine out of doing the pitch, and Richard offers his sales skills, but Charleine is determined to go it alone (“I wouldn’t say English is my strongest point but I’m not that bad of a speaker”). David advises Charleine to get the customers attention in the first 10 seconds, but rather than listen she bores the arse off the Waterstones reps, who find her fembot pitch and the clunky rhyming “cringy”. Meanwhile Mergim begs the owner of a kids cafe (where he and Richard have tested Buzzy on unimpressed kids and parents) to buy three books for a tenner and is unsuitably overjoyed (“That was a cheeky little deal”; Cafe owner “At last, some cheap artisan coasters”). Charleine’s pitching is so emotionally cold she manages to make the word “passion” sound like it’s being croaked from a deathbed into an empty void, but Richard of course is none too secretly loving her failure (“she should have listened to me”).

Sam wants Natalie to help him pitch, but she’s too busy faking a cold and doesn’t want to have to act out a coughing fit mid-pitch so he asks Brett and Scott instead. Natalie then goes to a playgroup (because she doesn’t fear infecting children with her IMAGINERY FUCKING COLD”) where parents tell them that moisture is too big a word for even them to cope with (a bit like contraception). Despite her terrible illness, Natalie goes on to fail to sell to shops with the subteam, and despite Brett rigidly going through pricing options with her she’s incapable of remembering the discount percentage for one completely uninterested storeholder, so collapses into her “oh I’m so very poorly” spiel again (Shopowner “I’m sorry, I don’t think this is for Hackney” – the best alternative way of saying FAIL I’ve heard for a while). Charleine fares somewhat better out in the field after her brain death pitches, as her natural falseness allows her to bully shopowners into buying all of her books.

Sam cleverly bats off Foyles concerns about big clever words in kids books at the first pitch by suggesting the book is a learning tool. They are impressed by the visuals and rhyme, so Selina, having failed to sell 150 copies to them goes straight down to 50, causing Gary and even Sam to audibly groan. Waterstones buy 50 Snottydinks and Sam finally focuses on trying to get the rest of the team to sell every copy. Unfortunately he sends them to the antiquarian book end of Charing Cross Road where shopowners haven’t even heard of the dark magic that is CDs. Selina manages to shift the lot for the grand total of £1.75 per copy (Sam “Selling your baby for £2, God what a heartless mother I am!”).

Back in the boardroom, Sam is lovely and unflinchingly positive about his team. He is pulled up on taking hours to decide on a story and apologises to his team whilst taking full responsibility. Natalie meanwhile is acting out the symptoms of Bubonic plague.

Charleine maintains “Richard works better when he is a subleader and wants to achieve more” because she is a proper patronising beeyatch. Sugar asks Richard why he alienates people and Richard plays a blinder by taking it on the chin (“You don’t always get on with everyone, that’s life”) and bigging up Merkim for selling to the focus group and making all of a tenner. It’s agreed that Charleine made a “bad management decision” by sidelining Richard (who thus goes into smug mode).

Anyhow scores are:-

Versatile sold 210 books making £609

Connexus sold only 205 (despite selling all their stock!) making only £587

Nobody hugs Charleine, who sold 125 in her last minute pitch, and despite the winners’ wonderful (appropriately crap) treat of watching a magician perform in a library, Richard maintains Charleine was just lucky.

Meanwhile in the Sad Café, Sam wants to talk about what went wrong. Six hours later all the other blokes blame Natalie. “But she was ILL” Sam insists over kindly.

Back in the boardroom Scott and Brett grass up Natalie for being shit, and she looks a bit aghast and does a croaky voice. She blames Brett for not managing the financial information, but he points out he gave her that info and accuses her point blank of being a liar. Selina gets stick for leaping from 150 to 50 in her sales pitch, but she turns it on Sam “If you’re so smart you don’t know how tonegotiate” adding that she “didn’t understand the pricing structures” (well guess whose fault that is love).

Sugar accuses Sam of having weak logistics and business acumen before asking Sam who he’s bringing back in, which inspires some epically risky sighing and dithering. Natalie is selected as the weakest seller (she gives a piteous sniff) and after much very noble struggling Sam clearly decides to be a gentleman and not risk looking a bit sexist (as he should have) bring in Selina so plumps for Brett (Sugar: “WHO??” Brett “Me.”).

Back in Sam justifies his second decision by blaming Brett as subteam leader for not sorting his logistics, but Brett points out his team sold in every shop where Natalie didn’t pitch (“I shit you not Karren was there and she fucked it”, Natalie: It’s a fair cop).

Sugar decides that Brett needs more time in the process to make a proper full blown entertaining arse of himself), and he sees Sam and Natalie as immature. Still it’s Nat who gets the chop and Sam looks proper sad (“I’m so sorry”). In the Taxi of Despair however Nat insists Brett should have been fired and DOESN’T SOUND BITTER AT ALL. Much.

Sam, like me, was convinced it was going to be a double firing, so sees it as a compliment that he’s stayed in, rather than a mere controlling of the narrative in order to keep the viewing figures up.

So 13 candidates left in the lazy 8 weeks where next week they are asked to set up their own handyman business. Cue professional indemnity claims rolling in from everyone they come into contact with.

Liking:

Sam

David

Warming to

Joseph

Merg(k)im

Scott

Not convinced by

Gary

Elle

April

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett

Charleine

Vana

Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie

Looking Forward To

Selina and Charleine finally settling differences in a vat of lime green vodka jelly.

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