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.

Advertisements