So it’s the week 12, the final, and usual our finalists Courtney and Alana are expected to “launch” their businesses and present them to industry “experts” within 2 days. So Alana needs to be able to show she can build a small bakery to a giant brand, whereas Courtney needs to be able to pitch novelty shit to sell at large volumes (shouldn’t be any problem post brexit). First they have to pick a team from previous contestants and Courtney’s fairly bold going for Jess, Sofiane and Karthig, Alana actually chooses Rebecca and Grainne (thinking this is a good idea) and Frances as well as Sausage Man Olly for his foody business skills. Poor Angry Paul looks irate as nobody picks him till them end (Courtney: “Paul I’m gonna choose you anyway mate”).
Everyone including Claude enjoys scoffing Alana’s cake and it inspires them with business names (“Gooey” which I would have gone for) but they end up going for “Ridiculously Rich” which is terrible (surely it should match her name: “Alarmingly Anal”?) but at least better than Fran’s arse clenchingly awful ‘Oh My Bake’). Somehow drippy Rebecca is put in charge of logo and branding design. I hope Alana likes beige.
Courtney’s team brainstorm company names (“Bingo Bongo? Ringo Dingo? Pocket Pleasures? Bonkers Conkers” Paul “Grrrrrr! I don’t want to sound like the fun police, but no). Eventually Karthig asks Courtney’s favourite animal (“A Whale”) and his favourite colour (“Purple”) and an illogical but potentially brilliant brand name is born.
The teams have to design a “digital sign” and Courtney’s team subteam go for full on twat about with props and edit afterwards ending up with a jaunty story of someone wearing big false hands gesturing towards their testicles (Courtney likes this as it’s “clear, clean and simple”). Grainne and Fran represent Alana by getting Fran to dress up as an oppressed cupcake as Grainne chucks ricin laced flour at her, whilst bitching about how rubbish and “Womens Institute” lite Rebecca (Grainne: “Ridiculously Shite more like!”) is at marketing and making Alana fall apart a little bit (“What are you trying to achieve?!”).
Courtney actually y shows some nous by investing time in presentation coaching (where he gets to make angry bee noises whilst being held around the waist by his tutor)
The teams start shooting actual advertising videos, with Jess (who Courtney wisely gives “final say” to) trying to reign in Angry Paul and a permanently pissed off Sofiane whilst shooting an epic about Karthig forgetting his anniversary & phoning to order some love heart scoops thus winning his wife’s love (“You melt my heart just like this ice cream is melting). Karren points out the product is online not over the phone and they
Alana wants a video suggesting repeat custom so Grainne invents Maureen a sad cake addict who keeps coming to the same shop (“Hi Maureen!”). Grainne and Fran get the arse with Rebecca joining their creative team (“Just because it’s luxury, it doesn’t have to be dull).
With no reference whatsoever to customer feedback (“tasty but dull”) Alana has a branding rethink and adds her signature to the box (“a bit of ownership”, realising the brand needs to reflect her. She leaves Olly to mind the brand, insisting that any reference to Wales be kept to wording and not a Welsh Dragon as he insists. So as soon as she leaves Olly asks for a Welsh Dragon. “Did she want that” asks designer Bloke. Olly does a big fib and the dragon remains unwanted on the packaging. Olly’s convinced he’s suffering for his art (“It’s my time to shine!”.
So at city hall the pitches are due before the industry names and Alana is losing her shit, whereas Courtney appears to have wisely had a bifta or two before gong in “If I wasn’t nervous I wouldn’t be human.”
Poor Alana goes first advertising the home spun business (a little country kitchen I started when I was 17 – yeah cos “ridiculously rich” fits with that story). She tries to tie together “luxury and home-made” by smiling fragilely and saying “that’s me”.
Someone in the audience questions her on price and she’s totally on the ball though. Whereupon Lord Sugar himself pipes up asks if she will keep production in Wales and she’s well up for it and I have no idea whether that’s sunk her because he hates the Welsh or not.
So now it’s Courtney time and everyone claps like a coked up seal. When Courtney finally speaks he’s a lot better despite his love of random things. His baby beaker cup gets some attention especially when its realised it can be coloured with football team hues.
Back in the boardroom and the ads are rolling with Courtney insisting K had to be in it because of his “acting skills”. Everyone’s bigging Courtney up with Sofiane amazed that the baby trophy beaker was designed and made within 12 hours (it looks like it took less time).
Alana however seems to be disowning her team’s advert (“Maureen is NOT me!”) and Sugar is dismissive of her chances (“how do people know YOUR brand… it’s just a cake” etc like he’s some Kung Fu expert trying to wind up his star student.
It transpires that Courtney would have to pay licensing to football clubs to use their colour scheme and he suggests cheekily just using generic colour schemes similar to say West Ham colours (this in front of Karren Brady). Still Sugz and Karren get to have some quality Lahnhan footy banter so it’s not all in vain.
Back in and Courtney’s fighting for this, putting Alana down as a humble baker, but when it comes to his own business he’s revealed as a cloud cuckoo land dingbat who has failed to fulfil orders in the past whereas everyone loves Alana’s sexy margins – so amazingly Alana wins and is waved on to the LIMO OF JOY like she can’t quite believe what’s happening!
Someone gave me a “spoiler” that Courtney won, and it’s amazing how that skews how you watch the show (I was going “Ooh Purple Whale sounds good!” as though Purple bloody Ronnie had never existed and cheap tut was a good thing, I almost forgot how much better than everything else cake can be, but ultimately the constantly overlooked and belittled vulnerability of Alana beat the weaselly and slightly stoned way of Courtney and I’m so happy that at least one decision went right this year. Have a lovely Christmas and eat more cake everyone.