Archives for the month of: December, 2017

It’s the final! Hidden away on a bloody Sunday again to alienate the remaining audience.

Our finalists are summoned to the Sky Garden. James has “come here to win this” and therefore wears a Donald Trump red tie.

The task is to grow their business and they have to pick teams from departed candidates, school PE style.

James takes the piss by picking Charles first followed by  Joanna, Anisa . And Elizabeth.  Erm.Sarah takes Michaela, Harrison and Andrew. And ends up with Siobhan as nobody else wanted her.

James wants to expand IT recruitment. Branding is key. Charles suggests ConnectIT. But James points out “if you look at that written out you get TIT”.

Sarah hands out her sweeties and asks for possible names. Harrison’s on it “How about your surname in it like Lynn’s sweets”. Funnily enough Michaela is asked to lead the advertising team, with Siobhan and Andrew in support and the message she doesn’t want “tacky”. It doesn’t take long for Andrew’s lack of a shit to wind Michaela up. For the video Siobhan suggests Andrew is her boyfriend (“And sweet on me” hurr hurr). Andrew immediately takes himself out of the picture.

James confesses he hates branding and he wants Jo (who says she’s not best at coming up with names) to help him. He sends Liz to lead the subteam with the instruction that she listen to them. Poor Liz really needs to lay the law down and doesn’t as Charles rides about on a mini bike and Anisa insists Liz “lighten up”.  Liz is doing her full on Dennis Waterman impression (“I wanna write the song, sing the song” etc) and phones James up to suggest “First Tier Recuitment”. He and Jo change it to “1st Tier Talent”. Meanwhile Liz is bossing everything to do with the billboard whilst Anisa looks sad. For godsake speak up.

Sarah somehow ends up choosing Sarah’s Chic Sweets, but confesses she would have liked more time to think about it. Because it’s only a business she’s been running for 7 years or something.

Michaela struggles to get a shit billboard together whilst Andrew and Siobhan piss about. Sarah’s not happy – she wanted “glam and sophisticated” she got “ravings of demented clown”.  She swops Andrew for Harrison.

James decides in his video Charles will win a race against the girls, due to his IT skills. It’s all a bit dodgy. They manage to lose the storyboard and have to make the voiceover up… sure it will be ok, won’t it?

Sarah puts together a nice sweet box as a card and reveals she has changed the name again, going just for Chic Sweets as she wants a more global and stylish image. Has anyone told her that they are just sweets? Plus aren’t the logos and billboards done? Oh the video’s getting done now and Siobhan is losing the plot trying to simply open the door and receive her sweets. Is she on crack? “It’s doing me head in” moans Michaela. Then Sarah changes again and goes for “Sweet Eaze” which sounds a bit medical to me.

There’s a hoky bit where previous winners pretend they are not now dead eyed wage hostages and talk about their dreams. Ricky Martin (square headed recruitment guy – not the other one) recommends James focus on “cyber security”. Sarah meets flaky Cake maker Alana (in a really grotty kitchen) and she’s like “just go for it babes”. This might have been useful earlier.

It’s last minute market research time. Everyone wonders why Charles is wearing a lobster suit in one bit and  Liz pipes up that lobsters mating for life a bit like IT recruitment companies do. None of Joe Public get the brand.

There’s mixed reaction to Sweet Eaze but Harrison doesn’t want to trouble Sarah with that. “She said she wanted all the feedback” Siobhan points out. “How was it?” asks Sarah “All really good and positive” Harrison responds. No negatives. Oops.

Experts from the worlds of confectionary and recruitment mingle in a once in a lifetime event. Sarah pitches first and she looks dead proud when her video plays bless her. She’s also a bit of a Search Engine Optimisation expert (and you thought she was DULL) and wows the experts with the fact nobody is top of the search rankings for “sweets for dad and mum”. Erm how are they rankings then?

Still James’s pitch is an utter carcrash of bullshit. He’s totally made up the cyber security theme and even mentions the lobsters mating for life in a surreal moment. He huurr hurrs loudly and nervously over the video and generally dies on his arse.  So sensible Sarah versus Snake Oil James. Should be easy huh?

Back in the Board Room I love how Andrew gives not one fuck about anything. All the old contestants are sent away whilst Sugar prepares for a “Deep Dive discussion” with the remaining two. I wonder if it will include lobsters mating habits.

It’s pointed out that “First tier” sounds like entry level and James is a “Small time Charlie” but James still thinks he’s “charismatic and endearing”. Sarah points out she’s actually run a business and dealt with VAT. Fascinating.

Sugar reckons he has a “dilemma” – really? – and decides to jump the shark and go into business with both of them. It’s a proper anticlimax and no mistake.

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Winners: Sarah and James (and BBC for getting me to bother watching)

 

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade, Joanna, Elizabeth, Michaela, any semblance of credibility

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Week 10 and I come in 30 minutes late thanks to a meeting that made Claude Littner look like a fabric conditioned kitten. I don’t have the time or energy to recap so will link you to the rather sweary blog my better half has assembled. Here.

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Opposite Experience to my evening before the Apprentice.

The interviewers are comprised of reliable rottweiler with a heart (human, ripped out) Claude Littner, faux dour Scot Mike Soutar, saucy media bitch Claudine Collins and melted plastic evil effigy Linda Plant.

Mike confronts Jo on her temperament and she’s pretty much contrite with him and every other interviewer. Bless her she shouldn’t have to apologise.  However when she explains her ethical business (giving share of profits from selling business wear to third world women to buy suitable clothes to get ahead in the workplace) he gives her brownie points and she skips away relatively unscathed.

She doesn’t get away so lightly with Claudine who confrontationally challenges her “HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CONFRONTATION?” before adding “You’ve argued with some of your team members”. She basically reduces Jo to tears before saying “Don’t get upset – why are you getting upset?” in the least concerned way possible. “I got it wrong at first but I’ve tried so hard and I’ve never been able to shake this perception of me” blubs poor Jo. Bless her! Claudine appears to show some empathy “Do you think you can rein it in?” “ Yes 100% I know I’m outspoken but it’s been my biggest battle to show people how I really am”. Claudine gives a wise look, but you just know she’s going to dob in Jo for crying. Like a massive twat would do.

Linda tells Sarah her sweetie gift set website is shit. Sarah explains she wants to change her business with the platform. “What have you been doing?” barks Linda. She has a point, Sarah’s been in the same business for over 7 years. She could have paid somebody’s child to set up a better website.

I love Liz in the lift, like a big mad Ripley from Alien “God it’s Claude – come on you got this!” Lucky lucky lucky lucky!

Back in the waiting room James smugs “He’s gonna ruin her!” “Yeah” agrees Michaela eagerly.

Claude starts and you know it can only go downhill: “I have to say you have a terrific work ethic, a “can do” attitude, you’ve been memorable but…” (and it’s a big BUT) “You are impossible to work with and so overbearingly bossy it’s been traumatic to watch you taking over any task”.

Liz nods sagely “I understand what you’re saying… it COULD be one of my weaknesses”.

Claude thinks Liz’s three florist shops barely make a profit, but Liz is keen to expand into the corporate gift sector. Claude wonders if she can, she thinks she can, he says “the numbers say different… bye!”. Unfortunately her foot goes to sleep on the way out which she of course reports out loud with a Liz twinkle. Claude winces (and tries NOT to smile).

James is greeted by Linda “In 18 months you’ll be turning over 3million is that FANTASY LAND?” who talks over his every attempt to respond and points out that all his achievements have been “under the umbrella of a multinational company”.

Actually she raises something that troubles me, as James was proud enough to say is his application that he “got his old boss demoted” which seems somewhat twatty (I guess he is young – but still!). He argues that’s not the case, but then it turns out he got fired for meeting with other investors on the side (he argues “they wanted to get rid of me it wasn’t just that” which I’m not sure is the best argument). James feels these episodes added to his character. Linda points out “It more puts a shadow over your trustworthiness”.

He limps back to the Waiting Room where Michaela spots his puffy eyes “Are you crying?” “Er..no I just got like bloodshot eyes”. Good old Liz doesn’t ask any questions and gives him a hug. “Let’s get out of here” insists James.

Next day in the cab Michaela confides the process “near killed me” and regrets she can’t get “Lord Sugar in a headlock… can I?”.

Firstly the evil interviewers spill the beans on Jo. Claude’s worried about her lack of experience. Claudine points out she’s young but then dobs her in for crying and laughs that Jo “didn’t accept she is argumentative and thinks she is wrongly labelled”. Perhaps Ms Sneery as a young black woman she’s as mardy as most of the people in the process but in the past has had to face some repetitive attitudes and has a point? At least Mike sticks up for the ethical part of her business plan.

Liz gets the treatment next as Mike thinks she doesn’t have a USP as there are online flower delivery services that businesses use. He likes how she says what’s on her mind although it’s “sometimes a bit fighty”. Claude loves her work ethic but think she’s not corporate enough. This sums up part of why I love her.

James is a “young man in a hurry” according to Claude. Mike thinks “his ambition leads him to rooky errors” such as saying on his website he had a certain accreditation that he doesn’t actually have. So lying basically. Rooky errors my arse! Claudine found James “very charming” and if he wins he will be despatched to her dungeon.

Sarah gets stick for being unoriginal and not having sorted her website out since 2009. Claude sees her as “honest and credible”. Which I hope he means as a good thing.

Claudine is confused by Michaela saying she lacks confidence and not making eye contact whilst having run shit loads of businesses. That’s cos it’s bollocks. Claude quotes Michaela as having “built from nothing to 3m, but doesn’t know how to build to 30m”. Mike points out she can’t remember how many businesses she’s launched in the last 7 years, and given her idea is to have a Planning Database for contractors (the local council should be putting that online mate) he doesn’t know how it would compete against more respected databases. He adds “she is a natural entrepreneur and you shouldn’t underestimate her”.

They’re dismissed and the candidates come in for slaps on the back and in the face as they’re honed down to two for the final.

Sarah gets stick from Karren for being “Calm but cautious”. Sugar’s shit gag is she’s like “a bubble gum that lost its flavour”. “Oh that is SO frustrating to hear” interjects Sarah mildly because she must have better gum jokes.

Sugar accuses Jo of having no fashion experience. She appears to be wearing clothes that look er fashionable but whatever. She’s got lots of experience in optimising marketing websites though. Or do transferable skills no long exist unless it’s from barrow boy to scraping the barrel? Actually I’m surprising myself by getting so angry on Jo’s behalf but I’ve warmed to how hard she has been prepared to work. Sugar asks her lots of questions about quantities and returns and she has actually researched reasonable outsourcing companies. I am impressed. Sugar ain’t. It’s Claude’s go next and he describes the women’s fashion industry as a minefield. Jo points out there would be no business if that attitude was prevalent. It doesn’t work. Sugar almost pats her on the head telling her to “Go get a job in that industry and then build your business”. Yes because Jo wants to be an UNPAID INTERN as that’s all she’d be likely to get with her experience. He fires her – regretfully. Tit. I hope she starts up a fashion blog with a fundme site and goes from strength to strength with her idea. I wish there was a similar thing for school uniforms funding uniforms in poorer countries.

“Don’t give up your dream” Sugar calls sadly after Jo. Even though he crushed it

Liz admits she’s learned a lot and Karren is a proper snidy cow (“I’m SURE you have.. I’m pleased for you”). She deals with questions about scaling reasonably well.

Michaela is asked why people would use her database and admits she’d be targeting small companies as a cheaper option. Oops. Karren asks “Are you a serial entrepreneur or bored easily?” Michaela says she don’t know what an “entrepreneur” is. It’s someone in between hairdos love. Like from when this was filmed and “You’re Fired” was.

James claims he made 900k in IT recruitment last year. Sugar points out that was the company he was working for – and they may not want to work with James when he’s on his Lord Sugar assisted tod.

After all this arsetwaddle the divine Liz is eventually fired (also with regret) because of scalability (and I reckon Sugar thinks flowers are girly). “THANK YOU ALL ITS BEEN MY HONOUR AND MY PLEASURE” Liz croons on the way out. She’s ace.

So the last three step outside for Karren to bitch about them and then are dragged back in to say why they should win.

Sarah reckons her product has huge scalability and growth. Amongst fat kids.

Michaela is after a fresh start. “Ah don’t know about sweeties or recruitment – if you want them then crack on”. Oh I just warmed to her. Damn!

James thinks IT Recruitment makes money and he has energy and passion “no disrespect to Sarah” (Sarah “WTF???!” James adds “I also can give 100% unlike Michaela”. “Spoken like a true salesman” deadpans Karren.

Michaela argues like a spouse caught in flagrante “All those other companies I’m just a shareholder with –  nothing serious.. you’ll be the real thing” etc. But surprisingly Lord Sugar fires her. “When I need a building next I’ll go on your site” he adds. “Yeah it’ll be 4 grand though no mates rates” Michaela retorts. Oh I do like her. In the taxi of doom she admits she’s off for a “Bath of wine to celebrate getting through this shitstorm. Lord Sugar just lost £50 million. Bad business move!”. Never mind Liz, this lady is proper bonkers.

So the final is a choice between bland or fibby. Sarah suggests “Sugar’s going sweet”. James says something that isn’t as good. Next week they have to present their business plan to over 200 people. I tried a poll in our house: – which wins IT recruitment or sweets? Our panel says ouch our teeth hurt and we love it!

WANT TO WIN:  Sarah (head girl)

Liking a tiny, tiny little bit less: James

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade, Joanna, Elizabeth, Michaela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 10 and 7 contestants remain. I don’t think I can cope with more 5am men in their pants. Fortunately it’s Liz in a dressing gown looking much like I would at that time of day. Poor woman. They’re all summoned to Somerset House, like now and nobody knows what it is. Jo and Jade bitch about Liz in the taxi there (Jo “I hope it’s not antiques cos that’s probably another module Liz studied”. Jade “What cos it is an antique”).

This week’s tenuous link from Sugar is that Somerset House has hosted fashion shows. The teams have to choose a designer, choose a magazine cover and sell to the industry. And someone loses for no tangible reason.

Jo and Michaela move to Graphene  (with Liz and James) who get men’s fashion – Jo wants to PM as her business plan is about clothing. They all say yes. Michaela and Liz get sent as a subteam to meet male models. There is much rejoicing and Liz goes a bit Father Ted judging the “Lovely Girls” competition.  Jo and James go to meet designers.

Sarah is moved to Vitality who get women’s fashion. Harrison does not put himself forward as he knows sod all about ladies fashion. Sarah likewise so Jade is PM by default. Jade isn’t sure what is reasonable commission – Sarah says just talk to them. Sarah is apparently an expert on negotiating but lets Jade go off to meet the designers by herself. Harrison and Sarah interview models. Much ding donging ensures.

The designs range from top end (Think “Cousin it” or tinfoil hats) to more “mainstream”. They all look mental (types the woman wearing an M&S sale dress).

Jade meets Helen from “Helluva Girl” (“This was inspired by post apocalyptic regal rock and roll I won designer of the year last year”) Jade says “Ooh” and shakes on it, after negotiating commission of 10% and not asking about discounts Jade (“they are higher price so we can push on commission”). She phones her subteam (“Think Henry VIII meets darkness and rock and roll”). The highest price dress costs £1045 but Sarah’s unconvinced by how much Jade squeezed for commission. “Well” Harrison surmises “It looks like were going for a deathy gothic sort of theme which is er nice”. He and Sarah pick their models based on the new theme (Harrison: “I quite liked Ella Jess and the Ginger one”). Jade takes pictures of the model “Give us a Grrrr” and is looking for a “Dark and sinister rock and roll regal tudoresque bold statement”. The model leans back slightly, “YES! I love it!”.

Jo meets Zara Mia who makes cheaper clothes with an ethical messages made out of coconut and bamboo and guilt.  I bet they chafe like fuck. She gets 17% commission and a 10% discount if the whole range is bought.  They phone the subteam designing the front page and James suggests “Fashion Conscious with a Conscience”. Michaela gets confused by how to spell Conscious and Conscience and everybody facepalms.

Jo and James go to the photoshoot and Jo decides she wants two models. James is all “Well I could do it” because HE WANTS THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING EVER. (“I can go into photoshoot .. I’ve never done anything like that but I can do it.. I am the target market .. the magazine will love it”). Yes James. Ironically he is much prettier than the selected model, who Jo asks to act as James’s conscience in the photos. Whilst wearing crap urban clothes. Michaela and Liz pick up the ensuing pictures and Michaela mentions that a shot featuring James holding his hands as in prayer signals “ethical to her”. Liz adds a bamboo background. They actually work together really well.

Next day it’s fashion show time. Sarah’s all about discounts until Jade reveals she didn’t negotiate any. She was on her own FFS.

Jo we remember negotiated 17% commission and 10% discount – but she reminds her team she doesn’t want it offered straight off – just used as an incentive.

Sarah likes the magazine cover and Jade is determined to “pitch the hell out of this”.

Graphene like their cover but Liz points out that she only did the bamboo and Michaela did all the better than bamboo stuff (which is nice unless she thinks bamboo is somehow a sure fire winner).

Michaela and Liz set up (Michaela: “Try that outfit” [Liz appears in Kevin & Perry style get-up] “… yeah better than what you come in”).

Sarah and Harrison set up (Harrison “It’s like a gold ghost –ones’ a cape, the other’s a space raider; one’s like something out of Dawn of the Dead”).

Jade pitches to Stylist Magazine using Helen Woollens’ name. They ask is that her brand and she bluffs “yes”. They get a bit kickass on her arse as a result and when they ask if she means “Helluva Girl” she lies that it’s the new brand going forward. Erm.

Jo meets her magazine guys and nobody is impressed when she identifies James as one of the models (Magazine Guy to James: “Your pose is more amateur magician”). They hate that the picture has 2 people and that the background is bland. Jo blames her subteam. James looks on the bright side now all his dreams have come true “It’s still a good brand – we have to sell it”).

Jade gets the cover! She meets her subteam putting up “Helen Woollens” balloons at the Oxo tower and lets slip the designer goes by her brand name (“I said were moving forward with her as a designer”. Helen turns up and looks angry as she wants people to know her brand so Sarah hides all the balloons in the cupboard”.

Jo insanely appoints Liz as director of the Graphene catwalk. As you know by now I love Jo but if she gets a role she’s passionate to the point of inflexibility about it. Sure enough Jo wants to run the models through their moves and Liz won’t let her (“If you want me to direct” etc). Oh Liz – directors still have to see what they have to work with. Jo was right there.

Harrison’s taking a break on this task from now on (“ I don’t have a business plan that has anything to do with catwalking”). Bye bye Harrison.

Buyers arrive for the pictures and Jo invites them to “feel the love and the eco friendly contemporary fashion”.  She basically lists prices of the outfits on display which makes sense. Even James does a star turn as extra model and if anything he’s better than the professional ones as he takes his time (naturally) on the catwalk, giving buyers a proper look (I suspect that’s not how catwalks are meant to work and it’s all deliberately quick because rich arseholes will buy anything). But whatever THIS IS JAMES’ MOMENT IN TIME. He does Blue Steel and Magnum bless him!

James Blue Steel

Vitality next and the room appears to have had no attempt made to make it look special, which was Harrison and Sarah’s job. Jade stutters in her opening gambit and then talks absolute fashion wank without mentioning prices (let’s face it – at this end it’s probably gauche to do so).  Industry people look bored and not even Jade stuttering “When you put this on you become queen of mars” can improve things.  Harrison thinks Jade was “awesome”. Oh bless him.

In the post catwalk mingle Jade has to admit she has no discounts  and Karren notes that Harrison in his eager but not quite confident way morphs into Sarah’s sales assistant. Meaning Sarah gets more sales (although most people there think the brand is too expensive – oops).

Graphene sell like bitches although Michaela gets carried away harassing non-takers (“Surely you want something diff to what H&M do?!” Fashion retail lady runs away).

Boardroom Time and Sugar’s full of larfs, describing Vitality’s brand as “bacofoil is the new black”.  Karren gets away with more sexism “You enjoyed auditing models didn’t you Harrison?” because it went over his head a bit “”Yeah I thought I’d take one for the team”.

Sarah disses Jade about only getting 10% commission but Sugar points out that could be a lot of money on a high end item.

Sugar suggests that Liz on Graphene could be “Hugo Bossy”. Oh ha ha ha. Michaela get stick for her aggressive sales technique.

And it’s points mean prizes time or something:-

Vitality got 10% on £11015sales giving  £1101.50 commission

Graphene took orders of  £25663 giving 4 grand commissions

So Graphene are sent to some sort of free fall contraption – and it’s so sweet to see Liz’s cheeks jigging in zero gravity whilst the other team languish in the Sad Café.

Jade admits she got everything wrong. In retrospect, Sarah suggests she should have gone to meet designers with Jade.

Harrison goes on about how determined and passionate he is – cos he’s toast.

Back In: Harrison says he knows nothing about ladies fashion (To Jo “I think you’ve worn more women’s dresses than I have” – erm) but Sugar points out he needed to demonstrate the ability to adapt quickly.

Jo complains “I had to take on lot of responsibility” because that’s being Project Manager, silly.

Sugar faux “worries” as to whether Sarah  has staying power, but then Jade admitted all the errors.. but Harrison did sod all so” with regret” he’s fired..

Sugar then sets Jade up to say something stupid and fires her too. Madness!

Sarah’s set back to the house like the last survivor of a massacre.

In the taxi of doom, Jade feels robbed (“ I deserved to be in the final 5”) whereas Harrison anticipates greatness (“I will become a Household Name – So Close!”).

Next the final 5 face interview!!! Bring it!

LIKING:  Elizabeth, James

Liking a little bit less: Michaela, Sarah, Joanna

BYE BYE: Danny, Jeff, Elliot, Siobhan, Ross, Sarah Jayne, Sajan, Andrew, Anisa, Charles,  Bushra, Harrison, Jade