Archives for the month of: December, 2015

And after all my “hard work” I somehow managed to miss last night’s final. Maybe something to do with the BBC hiding the fecking thing on a Sunday night!

So I’ve been trying to catch up on the completely unsurprising news that Spivvy faced school of hard knocks salt of the earth Joseph Valente and his outsourcing of tradesmen to come round to people’s gaffes and do backwards whistles whilst working out how to charge people shed loads of money on MASSIVE CALCULATORS has somehow beat New York Street Smart Daughter of Architects but never mentions it eyeliner addict Vana and her dating service for desperate socially inadequate nerds (who had about as much chance of beating Joe as Tyson Fury had of becoming a new presenter on Strictly Come Dancing).

The candidates are summoned to a big building in the city where rather than the usual convoluted link crow barred in to a spurious task – they both have to make their business plans happen, and present branding and ads to a roomful of corporate twots. The winner gets half a million of Sugar’s hard earned readies (and their future career and credibility completely screwed).  But first they have to pick a team, based on who is the least loathsome and incompetent from their previous colleagues. Joseph chooses poorly with Corporate Gary, Enthusiastic but dim Mergim, useless Elle and TA Brett amongst his team pretty quickly rather than being last to be picked along with the chubby spotty kids.  Vana wisely gets Tricky Dicky and Charleine on board (horrid as they are they do have some skills) as well as brilliant Ruth of the power clown suits. Nobody gives a monkeys what the teamnames are now I presume? (Like we ever did).

Anyhow Vana comes up with “Play Date” as a brand name for her game driven dating product, despite it sounding like a condom name or some sort of sex cream. (“Game for a Date”?) and Charleine puts together a photoshoot that appears to be advertising Saga sex workers (“A lonely old man… and a lonely girl… have a lovely moment together”). She also comes up with glow in the dark jugglers for her advert (maybe florescent willy “hoopla” would be more appropriate for an app that allows people to play games whilst they decide if they want to shag?). “It represents them passing data” she explains (rather than bodily fluids – boring!). Joseph comes up with Prime Time Plumbers (they turn up during the World Cup Final or when you’ve just started eating your tea) and creates a porn flick advert featuring Brett in his plumbers overall coming to the aid of a housewife (it’s all a bit “Schtop! This plumbing porno is not ready yet”).

Vana’s told the £250k wouldn’t be enough for start-up for a dating app despite her promising high returns, but she delivers a slick presentation complete with academic research via Oxford Uni’s “Doctor of Desire” (who sounds like someone who needs her app).  Joseph’s crapping himself but manages to talk falteringly about plumbing for a bit – so does what his rather dull branding says on the tin.

Back in the Boardroom and “Prime Time Plumbers” and the retro logo that took Joe and Brett hours to come up with are slated, but Joseph points out the name and logo doesn’t matter, it’s about knowing the business (OK let’s call it Flange Plumbers then Joe).  It transpires that Joe used the presentation as an opportunity to network with the industry bigwigs and picked up 6 or 7 business cards and possibly an STD, and his chutzpah impresses Sugar. Whilst Sugar thinks Vana is a very “clever lady” I’m not sure that’s a compliment from him (and he’s certainly not impressed by her repeated references to “venture capital”) and sure enough he picks honest to goodness Joe and his hard luck story (“Since the day I was expelled from school I knew I was going to do something big with my life.”) to be his new Apprentice.

So goodbye and see you all next  year. Merry Christmas and sleep tight by remembering, in The Apprentice, cor blimey honest to goodness jellied eel barrer boy values will always triumph over slick US glamour.

 

Winner: Joseph Valente

 

 

 

Week 11 sees the candidates desperately putting their business plans together for the interview round.

Corporate Gary” is confident that his global events business will win. Whilst 25 year old Joseph (the youngest remaining candidate aww bless) is struggling to get his ideas down he still thinks he’s a “long way from that 14 yr old that got expelled” and I should hope so too! Vana is confident that she’s got enough knowledge of online dating to sell her rival to Tinder. Charleine’s started to realise she s..stutters under pressure (I actually never noticed. Maybe because she shouts so much). Finally Richard thinks his performances as PM (the first was the best advertising Lord Sugar had seen in a long time and the second time I sold millions worth of real estate) and the fact he has a twenty six foot nob (honest) will see him winning through.

So at 6am on the way to the Leadenhall Building, Richard’s still feeling “massively confident” and chanting “I’m going to win”. Charleine just thinks he’s massively twatty.

Four of Lord Sugar’s “most trusted confidantes” are given the business plans in advance of the extreme grilling. So it’s the return of Scottish weirdo Mike Souter and media millionaire hair flicker Claudine Collins, whilst we have a newbie in the form of international internal designer and walking botox warning Linda Plant. Finally Claude resumes his best role as Sugar’s recruitment rottweiler.

Linda Plant firmly establishes her mean credentials by calling Charleine a bit of a cry baby for getting emotional in the boardroom. She’s unimpressed by Charleine’s aim to “top Tony and Guy”. “Have you done any international shows” sneers Linda. “I’ve been down in the South West.” (um, just because you can buy a Cornish passport doesn’t mean they’re international). Linda’s still unimpressed “I know you got an award from a local newspaper…,but you haven’t got a brand… who’s gonna know your name?” Charleine (“I would sacrifice EVERYTHING”) is a tad crestfallen. Claude points out that “having 1 salon is quite different to having a franchise” and he fails to see her “training academy” making money, but she remains tight lipped, clippy heels and highly strung and insists that she will work her socks off, which nobody doubts.

Mike’s not convinced by Gary’s claims of being “responsible for a property spend of £1 billion” at the Tescos (“Your references say you actually didn’t oversee budgets”, Gary: “You could say the CEO oversaw it, but the day to day was my responsibility”, Everyone else: “Hmmmm!”). Likewise Gary’s claim of managing a multitude (“600 people danced to my tune”) comes under scrutiny (“Your reference said you were only responsible for 3 people”, Gary: “ I chose to lead smaller teams at the end”, Everyone else: “Hmm now what is that beefy pooey smell?”). Gary’s supposedly global idea is called “Celebration Bisco” because Gary currently runs a Mobile disco and he has no imagination. He claims he will run 2000 events a year (Linda:“How you gonna do that!”), but his only USPs are using the latest technology, including lighting (Linda: “Nothing special, everyone has lighting”). Gary’s Business Plan describes the product as “innovative and multi channel” but it transpires that he wants to use something that sounds very like Skype to enable people in different countries to be at the same party. Nobody swoons at the innovation. Gary’s business makes me think, strangely, of  “Dazzling Darren” the DJ from Dear John “Dazzling Darren” the DJ from Dear John.

A disconcertingly youthful looking clean-shaven Joseph is quizzed by Mike on Lord Sugar’s autobiography (Mike: “Your claim you read it and didn’t sleep for weeks is either a sincere tribute or a blatant attempt to butter him up”) and even more worryingly gets all the questions right. Joe mate you need to get out more! Joe’s sums don’t add up however, and Mike works out Joe’s potential franchisees would make a £5k pa loss based on his numbers. Joseph’s eager to look at making changes if needed, but Mike describes his business plan as “sinking on the numbers”. Claudine Collins asks “Why does Lord Sugar call you Valentino?” (does he? I must have missed that episode), but Joe quickly responds “It’s because my surname’s Valente and I am a bit of a romancer”. “ARE YOU?” asks Claudine angrily. “I like to think so” Joe rejoins, because he is young and a bit of a div. “I just want the world and everything in it” he insists, adding on leaving “Just tell Lord Sugar I’m the right person”. You can tell he’s totally charmed her (Claudine “I might… and I might not) and he probably sells her a stopcock after the show.

Claudine doesn’t like Vana’s idea of a dating app (“Playdate”) which slowly reveals the picture profile of a potential datee the more you play online games and quizzes with them (despite the fact this sounds like the best business plan from all of the remaining candidates). “I would get fed up and leave” she bitches. Mike’s also concerned. “Have you used online dating before?” Vana asks (Mike “I have not”)and with the most New York Jewish slant on The Apprentice ever she insists the secret is getting “good quality men” (“That will attract the women”). Mike worries Vana is “burning 32k per month” and will run out of investment money in 6 months plus it took Tinder 2 years to start making money, but she insists it’s not a “completely ludicrous” idea.

It looks like everyone’s got Richard’s number. His claim of being voted “Surrey’s number one business man” turns out to have come from an ego stroking exercise in his “business breakfast group”. Richard wipes vast quantities of charlie from his nose and apologises for being sloppy, but Mike thinks it’s “more than a sloppy mistake, it’s misleading”. Richard’s “Project X” is merely an outsourced marketing agency but comes with added business bollocks (“The concept of climbing up a mountain shows why we are different”). Unfortunately it transpires there’s nothing that original about Richard’s business plan, as Mike’s web stalking has revealed that Richard has posted the same idea on social media and even the business plan branding echoes that of the marketing company that Richard is already running on a 50 50 basis with his brother. “They call you Tricky Dicky” Mike points out. “I find that a very strange name to call me” Richard objects. (cut to the waiting room where Vana wonders how “Tricky Dicky is getting on”).

Claude bravely reads from Richard’s “Project X” manifesto stroke business plan. It’s chock full of corporate crap. “We will follow a 4 step process to strategise with you” Claude reads, and to his credit he doesn’t get an instant nosebleed. “I’m none the wiser” winces Claude. “It’s like bad 1980s marketing book full of mumbo jumbo. Lord Sugar will hate it”. Claude adds that whilst he thinks Richard has some ability that he doesn’t go about things in a straight way “it’s aways like you have a little agenda.. You come across as slippery and political”.

Richard keeps coming back to the waiting area looking more and more destroyed by his interviews (“I’m a winner!” Charleine apes him bitchily).

Joseph finally meets Claude who describes him as “a very small player”. Joseph insists “If I hadn’t run before I could walk I wouldn’t be here right now”. Claude points out that “Big business is much harder”. “Yeaaaah” Joseph takes on board the feedback but insists he can tweak the product and that he can make Lord Sugar a profit. And Joe is a plumber so he should know about profits.

Poor Linda has had to read Richard’s business plan though snippets such as “base camp “ and “unlock the goldmine”. “What is a trailblazer?” she asks apparently innocently, before adding “you haven’t done anything first have you Richard… ever?” She points out that last year his existing made £17K whereas he promises to make £3million by year 3 in his business plan. “I mean is it bullshit?” Linda grimaces through the botox “I think it’s bullshit”. Richard tries to brazen it at first (“I could scale up”) but he suddenly has an existential crisis (based on being called on his bollocks). “I don’t believe it”, he splutters, “I produced a business plan, which to be honest with you has a lot of waffle in it”. Linda attempts to lay into him some more, but he stops her, beaten, “I think I’m agreeing with you”).

In the lift, Richard can’t “believe the crap that comes out my mouth sometimes”. Joseph sees his face in the waiting room and laughs (“He got beaten!”). “I was torn apart” Richard admits, “quite right as well. There’s nothing more to be said.. maybe ask her out to dinner that’s all I’ve got” he collapses onto an unyielding business sofa, “I want my mum”.

By the time Richard sees Claudine, he’s apparently had a bullshitter’s epiphany (Honesty is surely the real last refuge of a scoundrel)/ “ I was the leading candidate and I’ve thrown it away” he moans. Claudine seems to take pity “Do you believe in your concept?” “I think if the wind blew away leaves what’s left is a really good simple idea that I have overcomplicated and I wouldn’t blame Lord Sugar for not investing in me”…

Charleine starts thinking she’s on X Factor (“I lost a child and was in a very bad place so I want my children to know they can be anything!”)

The interviews are done and only Gary seems to think he was great. Even Richard admits he’s finally scared of the Boardroom. Whilst the candidates stew, the interviewers grass them up.

Gary gets the most stick, with Sugar describing his tragic £300 events as a meet of “The Piers Morgan fan club” (of course). Karren puts the boot in (“Party planners are normally FUN”). Joseph gets the predictable attempts to seem conflicted whilst viewing him as a diamond in the rough. Claude thinks Vana is “incredibly clever .. and the market is booming, but her problem is on spend..” although everyone realises Tinder’s 50m + users are not to be sniffed at (unless the app is invented). Mike, like me, sees Vana’s idea as having enormous potential if she gets it right. Richard gets the most mixed feedback with Claude befuddled by the cockwomble language of Richard’s Business Plan. Claudine however feels she’s seen the real Richard after he was beasted into submission by everyone else, and reckons his idea isn’t that bad. Karren mentions how good Richard was on the advertising task. However Mike outs Richard’s idea as being not quite as new or innovative as our favourite follicled fool would have people believe.

It’s Boardroom time and Sugar asks who wants to volunteer to speak first and to her credit it’s Vana, who is passionate about “making dating fun” (apart from the living hell it is.. actually she has a point) with brain puzzles and games that “scientifically” match people. The problem for Sugar is the cost, but she hopes to make enough to cover costs within the first year. Sugar reiterates that Tinder took 2 years to make a profit but she passionately (and I think rightly) says “this is a trend that is here to stay”.

Sugar clearly hates Gary and his spurious budget and people management claims don’t help, but Sugar’s determined to hate Mr Corporate whatever and refuses to get the idea of a “Global Virtual Party” (Karren that’s Skype innit? Gary Nah it’s better, Everyone else Hmmm what’s that smell?).

Richard admits he’s submitted a piece of gobbledegook as his business plan which is actually managing marketing budgets for small businesses. Which sounds the same as the business he is running with his brother. Whoops!

To Charleine – Sugar says “respectfully” that she would have to be “big” to start a franchise. She insists she would leave Plymouth, where her current salon is, and move to London to make it big. Sugar points out she can’t just start up on a high street in London if nobody knows her, and Claude wisely advises that she just carry on in Plymouth. Eventually Lord Sugar “with regret” fires her as her plan just isn’t as exciting as giant email phones.

You can tell Sugar has the barrow boy love for Joseph when he notices the tache has gone (“You’ve gone from looking like Boycie to a rather credible young man. Good”). Sensibly Joe has realised that Sugar isn’t going for a plumbing (or any) franchise and airs his contingency plan of expanding his business using contacts in nationwide property companies which he hasn’t currently been able to do due to only having 3 engineers. “Show me a path” Sugar insists and I’m not sure Joe does but he certainly sells himself as having made £60k profit in his 2nd year with no help (“ I made a hell of a lot of mistakes; wasted money on some crappy vans…”).

Gary is next to get fired (“You take great pride in being a corporate fellow” – and here’s me thinking it was Sugar who took pride in calling Gary that) and he “genuinely” wishes “everyone well in their future ventures”. Nice but boring.

Sugar consults with Claude and Karen before the last 3 come back in. Claude insists that Richard had the opportunity to be straight about his company but just fudged it. Everyone loves Joe who gets a free pass to the final when they reconvene and looks like a happy, spivvy puppy (“I won’t let you down I’m gonna make you a lot of money!”)

Richard has to admit that his brother is a fixed stake shareholder in his existing company. Sugar rightly worries he will give 50% to his brother, and then pretends to vacillate over the decision to include friends and family.

Seeing Joe get to the final, Richard tries one last crooked throw of the dice. “Can I alleviate one concern. I want to go 100% and get rid of all shareholdings”, but it’s all a bit last minute dot com and Sugar fires him, under the flimsy pretext he would rather take a gamble on Vana.

Vana and Joe are all sweet and huggy. “This has been the greatest day of my life” Joe gasps, “now let’s fight it out to the death”. Meanwhile Richard is driven to the nearest home for the criminally deluded in the Taxi of Doom, insisting he “could have ironed out the problems in his business plan”.

Next week the finalists have to launch their businesses. Maybe they will combine so you can date a plumber and play games on your phone whilst they keep nipping off to B&Q and demanding money from you.

Liking:
Joseph

Still Warming to and will probably win

Vana

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina, Brett, Charleine, Gary, Richard

It’s Week 10 and apparently it’s an episode full of “twists and surprises” well how utterly unsurprising.

After last week when Selina proved herself to be the shittest of a shit bunch we need a new way to weed out the chuff from the chaff so at 5.30am the remaining candidates are summoned to the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre where the not so tenuous link is to do with fitness and healthy food. Apparently the UK spend £90billion a year on snacks (most of that is me buying Gingsters Steak Slices), so Sugar (oh the irony) tasks the teams with developing and branding alternative healthy snacks and pitching them to 3 major retailers. Most orders win and (hint) he wants to see everyone contributing.

Versatile (I’m so thankful this is the last week I have to remember the team names, type them out and work out who was on the fecking team) consists of Charleine, Gary and Joseph. It turns out Gary’s former employer (TESCO if you don’t know) is one of the retailers they’ll be pitching to, which you would think would make him a good PM as he could wow them with his knowledge of corporate values, but Charleine eats snack bars so it’s agreed that she PMs and Gary pitches. They all want to go for bars. Yay! Not those sort of bars. Boo! They’re vaguely tempted by the idea of crisps, but Gary rejects it (“If I was being healthy I would avoid crisps”).

Over on Connexus, “gym enthusiast” Brett is elected as PM as he is “conscious of food”. Vana is happy to support. Richard points out that he runs “a digital marketing agency” so suggests he does all the branding. Vana suggests they go for vegetable crisps and Brett is well up for that as he likes cauliflower cheese. Richard visualises a massive V on the pack (because he is a space lizard) with a colour scheme for each represented vegetable.

Joseph suggests healthy bar names (“I’m thinking life”, Charleine “Can you spell it out to me?” Joseph “L.I.F.E”) and they go with his “Rejuvenate” bar because it’s not that much to ask that a plastic wrapped piece of crap brings you back to life.

Charleine blows her mind at a raw food restaurant where a fembot introduces her to baobab, acai berries and maca (known as “Britain’s Viagra” apparently. FFS!).

Whilst she’s immersing herself in (and struggling to pronounce) the world of health wank, Joseph and Gary are sent to do the marketing, meaning they divide up the heady work of taking notes and doing branding whilst she runs around like a blue arsed fly. Which is probably a viable ingredient for her fucking health bars.

Next the teams have to cook up 3 different flavours of their healthy option and poor Charleine is cluelessly mixing up ingredients (“just a touch more berries”) ,cos weighing is for wankers, and barking the estimated ingredients back to her slightly less overworked branding team. Karren points out that there’s no way of defining health benefits if the ingredients going in weren’t measured. Charleine tries to keep Gary and Joseph informed of what should go on the packaging (“Maca.. that’s great for contraception… no not for that for the other one”, Superfood expert: “sexual function?” , Charleine: “That’s the one!!”).

Connexus have cleverly decided to create their crisps by dehydrating vegetables (hence allowing them to call their uncooked product “raw”, as it’s one rule for vegetables and another for magic mushrooms). Unfortunately Vana immediately starts thinking of making these crisps salty (which I am sure is unhealthy). However the flavours they come up with sound ok (Courgette,oregano, tomato; Red onion Crunch (it was red onion and cheese until Vana pointed out it contained nutritional yeast rather than cheese) and red cabbage. Claude notes that PM Brett is well down in the team pecking order from King Richard of the branding and Princess Vana of the kitchen.

Joe and Gary work on the “Rejuvenate” branding but Gary worries that their silhouette of a woman “just targets ladies”. They therefore blokify the image by sticking one the the Es of Rejuvenate over her face. They try to get some nutritional info for the packaging from Charleine, but she’s massively stressed and is “STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF MAKING THE BARS!!!!”

Princess Vana’s secret weakness is olive oil and she adds over 100g more than the recipe suggests to the dehydrated crisps, despite Brett being in the kitchen with her and getting his SPECIFICATION head on. Richard calls to check nutritional claims and Vana insists he say “Gluten free, Vegan and Raw”.

With 5 minutes left before print deadline for branding, Charleine shouts out random ingredients for the last recipe as Gary tries to slow her down in vain. Gary decides to just go with “natural energy superfoods high in antioxidants” – so a lot of claims that are impossible to back up given Charleine’s less than Breaking Bad cooking skills.

So it’s pitch day and the packaging arrives. Richard finally realises that raw means uncooked, despite having been told by Vana, and admits that he took “Raw” off the packaging. They make yummy noises about the “crisps”. “That tastes so Meditteraniany… oh it’s slightly oily” Richard emotes (no shit! There’s dead guillemots floating in it!).

Charleine’s “Rejuvenate” bars arrive and she’s forced to admit they’re a bit “crumbly” (like little bags of sand). A dietician’s report also arrives stating they can’t say the bars are “high in antioxidants” so they’re forced to go over this claim on the packaging in black felt tip. Classy!

Bizarrely the candidates test their products on the great unwashed AFTER the creation & branding phase. Vana discovers that the public she encounters see V crisps as healthy looking but way too oily and not crispy enough. Joseph has a tougher time with “Rejuvenate” bars. “Do you think the name will stand out?” he ventures. The resounding response is “No”.

It’s pitch time and Charleine and Gary stand before the judgemental fuckers from Holland and Barrett who denounce the bars as “crumbly” (Charleine “the finished product will be a lot more firmer”). She mentions the bars contain “extra large portions of antioxidants”. “How many in a bar?” asks H&B man and Charleine plucks out the figure of 3 grammes, which apparently is the entire contents of the bar (Whoops!). They then have to admit that the black marker pen on the packaging is because they couldn’t back up the antioxidants claim.

Brett pitches on behalf of Connexus to Virgin active and if health was measured by garbled English he’d be onto a winner (“We are passionate about our product and our product is passionate”). Richard responds well to the criticism that the crisps are too oily (“we are aiming to reduce the olive oil”).

The penny drops to Charleine that they need to sell the health benefits of each ingredient she randomly lobbed into her bars. Therefore she puts pressure on Joseph to present on the market research he gathered. Which unfortunately is the same as the feedback she got in the first pitch in that the public Joseph met didn’t like the name, packaging or product. She insists that he up the non-existent positives and they head off to Asda (Charleine “Have you ladies heard about the superfoods?”) where Joseph is asked to share his consumer feedback (“Erm… so I went out this morning…and they said they didn’t like the name, but”) and ends up just making shit up (“..they said the product was AMAZING and they would buy it at a snap”). Problem is their packaging STILL doesn’t tell people what each superfood does.

Richard pitches to Asda and promises to reduce the olive oil content by 50% in order to take on the “kettle crisp market”, but Asda don’t see the difference from Kettle Crisps. Richard admits the dehydration process could be added to the back of the bag ( the one you knocked “raw” off of, you knob). Brett tries to rally (“The picture of the vegetable iconifies that it is raw”) but everyone pretends he hasn’t just talked a load of shit.

Tesco are the next retailer to pitch to and having recently banished unhealthy snacks from their checkout, they’re on the lookout for an appropriate product. Sadly they get little joy from Connexus. However Versatile unleash their secret weapon Gary, who, having worked for Tesco for years knows the way they speak (“I have experienced your passion for customers”).

Tescos woman throws them a bone “Sum up in one line the benefit of your product range”. Charleine burbles on about “The feelgood factor that it gives you.. etc etc.” whereas Gary (who maybe Charleine should have left it to) goes with “Energy, fun, vibrant”.

Brett thinks “it is sorrowful to think if we fail it’s down to too much oil and Vana’s mad scientist moment”.

And so back to the Board Room where we see clearly that Rejuvenate looks like a well woman product and Charleine cannot pronounce new words (“The Booba” Karren “The Baobab” etc). Sugar thinks the product “looks like soil from Chernobyl” and the packaging contains “as much information as a North Korean tour guide”. “Is it healthy?” he asks. “I’m not too sure” Charleine admits.

And onto Connexus, whereupon Sugar suggests Tesco have a statue of Gary outside. (Did Amstrad even bother doing that for Sugar?). He gets incredibly and unconvincingly angry about the V crisps oil content (“You went to retailers with this???!! Did you use Castrol GTX?”) and is unimpressed when Richard points out they suggested to the retailers that they would rectify the problem, because there is no fucking consistency in this show. (Sugar makes a standard attempt at a vegetable pun here, but there is not enough tumbleweed in the world to dignify “Elvis Parsley”.

Anyhow, excitement mounts as the scores come in and NO FUCKER GOT NO ORDERS FROM NOBODY (although Tesco apparently liked Versatile – I’m betting it was the Gary effect – but the zero orders probably was too in a “Serve you right for leaving” way).

So nobody gets a tiresome treat or a trip to the Sad Café as Sugar tells everyone to go away so he can come up with a “defined exit” (and he slags off Brett for talking bollocks). Instead Sugar tells both losing PMs to bring in one person each. Whilst Charleine is sent outside for a bit of a cry, Joseph has to fend off (valid) accusations of making outrageous claims (which by the way – EVERYTHING in Holland and fucking Barrett does), and he honestly admits they made “wild claims, but if we didn’t cling on to those claims then what could we do?”. At which point Charleine staggers back inside and insists she can’t take full responsibility, and Joseph points out “at no point have I said it was”. I like Joseph. Apart from the outrageous and uncomfortable lies he was forced into to support the pitch earlier he seems a pretty honest bloke.

Brett seems to have drawn his team critique on worrying clear lines. To him Vana is a “mad scientist” (she takes responsible for the olive oil débâcle), but Richard was “phenomenal”. Sugar points out that marketing expert Richard failed to sell the health benefits or use the word “Raw” and Richard has an excuse (“I didn’t find out about the process till the 2nd day”) which Vana insists is bullshit (even Brett is forced to admit Richard was told about it on day 1).

Charleine brings Gary back in claiming he failed at pitching (Gary is all “WTF!”) and Brett proves he’s not a COMPLETE idiot by bringing Richard back. Sugar has his usual “Mr Corporate” go at Gary (“I’ve come across a lot of Garys and Richards but not many Charleines” hmmm), before rightly firing Brett, whilst telling him “you leave here as an honourable man” to assuage Brett’s Gareth from the Office TA style issues.

Gary is devastated to lose his mate. Charleine is in bits to come so close to losing her dream. Catching the Taxi of Fail, Brett is slightly chirpier (“I done what I needed to do”).

Next week it’s interviews. Yes Richard will be interviewed. This will be fun!

Liking:
Joseph

Still Warming to
Vana

Totally Not convinced by
Gary

Scared by
Charleine

Yeah he’s a tosser
Richard

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina, Brett

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Vana, Charleine

Looking Foward to
Charleine going apeshit kill crazy when she doesn’t win.

Week 9 is Hi Viz heaven as the candidates are called to Southbank Tower, the centre of UK kitten squashing (or just a high-up windy building) where Lord Sugar tells them that as they are on a 70s building which is being turned into luxury apartments, that they have to sell the priciest product of all: GOLDEN LEAR JETS (well actually property worth millions and some mid range apartments – mid range in Apprentice language being £350,000). Whilst I start to vomit at the disgusting disparity of life, Sugs informs the candidates that the team with the most value of commissions win and sends Selina to Team Versatile (to team Connexus’s glee and Charleine’s general dismay).

Joseph puts himself forward to lead Versatile (Selina, Charleine, Gary) as he has done property rentals (but not property sales).

Richard announces that he worked as an estate agent to fund his studies at Uni (studies in being a GRASPING CUNT) and is thus elected as the leader of Connexus (Vana, Scott, Brett).

So it’s time to divide the team between the high end (over a million) and the “mid range” (that’ll be £350k FFS!). Scott really wants to work on high end but once Vana has revealed (not for the first time in tonight’s show) that her parents were architects in New York, Richard has to let a clearly humpy Scott down (“You’re the project manager – you make the decisions”). Scott’s miffed and pretends to be concerned that Richard will just boss Vana about (cut to Richard in the car treating Vana like she’s his PA). Over on Connexus Joseph decides that he and Selina should take the high end properties. Charleine immediately questions this decision and the ever-brewing Selina:Charleine bitch fight seems imminent, but Joseph insists there will be no negativity and everyone should just get on, so Charleine and Gary are consigned to “mid fricking range” and we are denied our guilty fun of watching two blonde psychos rip shreds out of each other.

First property is the Manhattan Roof Gardens in Stratford. Vana mentions architect parents (as she does all the way through this task so let’s just take it as a given and save my typing). She’s also all about feelings which works well with the crazy artist guy who’s trying to sell his development. Even Richard has to shut up and let her work it (“He really bought into US “ – it’s always US or WE when Richard hasn’t actually done the work).

Joseph and Selina go to the same complex, where Joseph brusquely demands information on pricing whilst the both of them stare at their notebooks and this makes the crazy man sad (“What is important is not price but your understanding of the product”). Crazy man also dislikes Joseph’s outfit, because it’s a bit random (even though Joseph later defends himself in the boardroom by pointing out he wore a “nice suit and a purple shirt!!!” – bloody architects know nothing about style).

Brett and Scott from Versatile arrive at their “Mid Fucking Range” converted printworks near Clapham with apartments featuring a cupboard that contains a washer drier and all for £320K. Meanwhile Charleine and Gary from Connexus head to a Lewisham former office block where they are flogging tiny apartments for £350K. And I drink some more wine in disgust.

Scott having only just learned the layout spots some potential apartment-buyers and decides to give them the great pitch. Nice move except he hasn’t got a clue where anything is. “This is the dining room” he announces in a room without a big table. Brett rescues him sort of (“It’s the lounge.”) but clearly thinks Scott has lost it (“It’s a train crash” (Brett either thinks car crash is too clichéd or he is a bit mad and apt to use the wrong words for a cliché, bless him).

Anyhow at “High End” Canary Wharf building site, David Gorman (not that one, how Google Whacky would that be) the high end property dealer gets proper pissed off by Joseph leaping in to demand a 4% commission rate (“You’re miles away”). Somehow Joseph comes away thinking this went well, and is very keen on getting Canary Wharf.

Richard and Vana debate about the best high end apartments to choose, but agree that Canary Wharf is a “brand name”. They shouldn’t worry as both development reps liked them, whereas Joseph is gutted to hear that his team wasn’t “suited” and “weren’t polished enough” (Selina: “That sounds like a personal thing”, Joseph “I don’t think it’s aimed at me in particular – I feel slightly offended”, Selina “I don’t think it’s aimed at me”).

Anyhow it’s 7pm and the teams have 2 hrs to book in buyers. Brett gets asked by a punter what his return would be and Scott does a “fuckedifIknow” noise.

Charleine meanwhile sells a 350k Lewisham flat and is ecstatic (“You could buy a street in Wales for that money! I might not have the most eloquent of accents bur I can really sell! Joseph did a big mistake not taking me on the high end!” Um yeah).

At 6am Richard tries to motivate his middle range sales team (“This is not that difficult”, Scott (pissed off):”Thanks very much, appreciate that”).

Selina manages to demotivate everyone by sharing David from Canary Wharf’s “Not polished enough” feedback, and it gets Charleine’s back right up, whereupon Selina points out that she has “sold to the Royal Family”. Charleine simmers (“Selina is cheeky. I find her judgemental and insulting and very unpolished for a business person”) and Joseph, sensing blondebusinesswomanageddon refuses to change the teams around.

Scott and Brett develop a slightly sexist bromance (Scott ”Ladies like chocolates”;Brett “milk tray”, Scott: “Yeah absolutely!”) and are a bit out of their depth (Scott: “Everybody’s enjoying the Clapham; Everything’s here from off-licenses to fish and chip shops”; Nice old Indian bloke “Are you going to give ANY discount?” (Scott offers 1.5% they bugger off to better chippies), Scott “It’s a tough old game”).

Richard and Vana go full out schmooze on their Canary Wharf Clients, but choose to ignore the show flat (which Karren sees as a balls up as they don’t have layouts or floorplans). Richard manages to screw up the developers name in one pitch, which Karren will never forget of course.

This is juxtaposed with Selina being utterly clueless in Stratford and blaming Joseph for not prepping her properly (the poor lamb!).

In Lewisham Gary advertises the highlights of an apartment (“Some people will like looking into the city; some people will like looking into erm Lewisham” – and here’s me thinking the bonus of living high up in a place was not having to look at it).Charleine sells a fifth floor flat in the same block like a woman demented, because she’s OBSESSED with Selina (“I BET Selina will say I sold cos I had easier properties to sell”.)

In Clapham Brett shows people round the wrong attic apartment style floor and only realises when Karren “helpfully” outs his mistake (“I did just say 4 windows, that is visually what your’e looking at though”, Clients leave, Brett facepalms).

Meanwhile Scott’s in full BS mode and sells a flat by offering a “free bottle of prosecco” to the woman buyer.

Joseph somehow manages to sell a luxury apartment with a 1% discount, although he reckons his “outstanding sales technique” did it. Selina sourly suggests “The customer clearly came in looking to buy”, but the rest of the team (especially Charleine once she’s figured out it wasn’t Selina who made the sale) are happy for him. Joseph feeds back to Selina the good news that Charleine has sold yet another flat, and Selina makes a noise like a cow having a stroke.

Even simple Joseph is starting to think Selina manipulates situations to make people think problems are not her fault.

Over in Canary Wharf and Vana and Richard play potential buyers by offering a discount on parking space and what do you know it works (I think Vana’s poor New York Architect parents story helped mind) and Richard comes in his pants!!!!

It all goes sell sell sell and we realise how stupidly rich some people are when a dippy woman blurts “My husbands going to kill me!” (Oh oh silly me I bought a 350K apartment – FFS!!!).

At Stratford Joseph welcomes the last potential buyer to Manhattan, but Selina keeps leaping in and they scare the punter off.

Selina’s concerned she didn’t sell (“It’s a real shame”), but somehow manages to blame Joseph (“He underestimated the complexity of the task”).

Charleine convinces Gary to kidnap a random person from the street and try to sell them a flat (Charleine:”We literally have a minute left”, Puzzled client: “It’s a very expensive minute”).

Anyhow at 7pm selling stops and the next the they’re back in the BoardRoom.

It turns out people who buy massively overpriced flats are massively overblown tosspots as Karren reveals both sets of clients wanted Richard and Vana to sell their flats. (Even Richard bigs up Vana’s client banter skills, which confuses me).

Scott gets shit for his Clapham meltdown (“You called the bidet the hot tub!”) and for saying the area was close to the chippy, but he insists he wanted to demonstrate what the area had (and we should be grateful he wasn’t bigging up stabbings).

Selina gets stick for not helping Joseph out (“You need to sit and listen even if you’re not bleeding interested”. Joseph’s still getting over Harry’s dislike of his braces (“I had a very nice suit on with a purple shirt!!!!”).

Scores are:

Versatile

Lewisham made £18.2K on commission

Stratford made 29k

Connexus

Clapham made £72.5k

Canary Wharf made £63k

So Connexus have won, and HOW FUCKING SMUG WILL THIS MAKE RICHARD??!

Karren and Sugar agree that Scott is lucky to stay, whereupon Scott doesn’t budge and hands in his notice in a SCOTT SCHOCK moment (“Thank you for the opportunity, but I would like to exit the process”). All the candidates are like “For Fuck sake! What?” but he just waltzes away with the arse on, confiding in the Taxi of Doom that he was brilliant and Lord Sugar should have seen it straight away rather than titting him about for 9 weeks. So Scott goes right up in my estimation.

Meanwhile Charleine and Selina finally have a catfight in Sad Café, and despite being incapable of deciphering their high pitched shrieks it’s obvious that Selina is a snotty person who cannot admit she’s wrong and Charleine is a psychopath.

Back in the boardroom and Joseph is forced to admit he was out of his depth and lacked sophistication on this task (“We wasn’t good enough”).

Selina insists none of it was her fault as she was “slightly sidelined” (ooh you lying cow) prompting Joseph to observe “It’s the first time in 9 weeks I worked with you…and I don’t want to again”. When both Sugar and Joseph observe that Selina is a tad negative she moans that “I just had to deal with Charleine screaming at me for 5min”. It transpires that Joseph split his teams to keep our favourite angry blondes apart and even Mr Nice Guy Gary observes that Selina accusing the whole team of not being polished enough based on the feedback from Canary Wharf David (about her and Joseph) “rubbed people up the wrong way”).

I’m not trying to win a personality contest” insists Selina, and Lord Sugar reassures her she wouldn’t have a chance, whereupon she says she’s being scapegoated.

Joseph unsurprisingly chooses Selina to bring back in, and, probably sensibly, deprives us of another bitchfest by also bringing Gary in due to his low sales figures.

Back in the room and Selina’s none existent sales are raised (“You couldn’t even flog property playing monopoly”) for which she blames Joseph again. “You’re talking nonsense” he declares, and she tells him not to shout (“I’m not shouting I’ve just got a loud voice).

Poor Joseph gets stick for not being a high end sophisticat like what Lord Sugar is, and for describing himself as “The Godfather of business” on his application ( I like to think he leaves horses heads in the toilets he plumbs), but he gives a good spiel about taking feedback on board and working hard (“I know what 20 hours a day looks like, I’m gonna break my back for you”).

Selina gets her spiel so horribly wrong talking about why she is more of a boss so struggles to work for people and she is more interested in big business than Lord Sugar’s shit and demeaning (million pound apartment) task.

Gary’s still got his Sugar card marked for being corporate, but ultimately the right decision is made and Selina is fired. In the taxi of reflection she is unrepentant (“I would be great in business with Lord Sugar but if it means having to work with people as unpleasant as Charleine, he needs to get someone else”) and has clearly NOT learned from “the process”.

Mind you back at the house Charleine admits “I am so happy to not see her, I’m not going to lie” (You’re fucking STOKED you lying cow!).

So there’s 6 left (at last) and next week the remainder get to twat around with “super foods”. In other news, Selina fails to show for the “You’re Fired” show, yet Scott does. I am now worrying about Selina.

Liking:

Joseph

Warming to

Vana

Not convinced by

Gary

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Charleine, Richard

Looking Foward to

Richard coming apart in the interview round.