Week 10 sees our remaining six be-suited shitclowns assembled at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich and tasked with creating and flogging their own brand of gin. “You may be wondering why you’re here” Lord Sugar muses. Another tenuous link perhaps? Ah yes “During the 18th Century” continues the be-knighted hairy walnut “The navy helped to make gin” (really?!) “and loaded boats with the spirit to pay their sailors”. (Er hang on wasn’t that rum? Oh whatever!).
He mixes the team so Nebula is now Alana, Jess and Courtney whereas Titans consists of Grainne, Fran and Trishna.
Courtney is still pretty cocky despite being the only chap left in the process whereas the remaining women dream of an all Y chromosome final. “Who’s going to win?” they chant in the car. “The girls!” they conclude because nothing screams ambition like infantalising yourselves.
It’s time to pick Project Managers. Alana points out she works in the food industry, but Courtney says ambiguously he’s from a “product background” (well aren’t we all?). However Alana insists she’s “surrounded by alcohol all the time” (I know the feeling), but Courtney buts in moaning he hasn’t had the chance to lead a creative task before. Alana says as we’re all thinking that it’s not all about Courtney, it’s about winning and poor Jess sits there dizzily (“I’ve got faith in both of you”) until Courtney forces her to pick who’s best and she wimps out and picks him. Courtney wants to do the branding with Jess so he can send poor sidelined Alana to the kitchen/distillery by herself. He then insists on patronising Alana a bit more by worrying she’ll even be rubbish hidden away from public view making gun. “This is very close to what I do” she points out and he backs down. They taste a load of gin and wastefully spit it out into a big bucket. Alana suggests that fruity flavours sell the most, and has the idea of “raspberry and pink pepper”, and Courtney meekly agrees. Maybe so he can blame the flavour on her later?
Over on Titans Grainne’s pitch for leadership is “I’ll be honest.. I’ve tried a lot of gin” (Irish contraception) and she’s in. Job done. She picks Trishna to go to manufacturing and sends Fran to do the branding all by herself. They all get their moneys worth on the gin samples, swallowing rather than spitting, and plump for a spicy flavour.
Fran’s concept initially seems to be inspired by the Naval College (“a naval officer travels the globe and comes up with exotic spice flavours in India”), but gradually gets more sinister as she suggests the product be called “Colony Gin” and there should be a “colonisation map” on the label (“It’s a shame we can’t get England on there” she tells the designer, who simply moves everything about so India disappears from the label and Africa dominates with the UK in the top corner, “Oh there we go! I actually got an exam in geography you know”). Is Fran’s dad Godfrey Bloom or something? It could only get worse if she goes for “Bongo Bongo” gin. A young woman clearly somehow stuck in the 1970s she also likes the idea of an orange and brown colour scheme on label inspiring Trishna to make an orange coloured gin.
Alana gets to work with Thomas the distillery expert who informs her that colouring is frowned upon in the gin world (racist) and that raspberry is not a usual gin flavour. Undaunted she comes up with her own recipe adding yet more raspberry as Thomas looks worried.
In the distillery Grainne is starting to get a hot flush whilst sampling yet more gins as she and Trishna embark on a giggly gin bender (watched by an unimpressed Karren) whilst poor Fran tries in vain to call them to get the ingredients and alcohol percentage to go on the label. She ends up (“pissed off”) having to go with her own ideas and only by the time Project Manager Grainne finishes “making” gin (“I just need to sleep”) well after the deadline for branding does she realise she’s missed 19 calls. I now think every customer services department in the UK is getting pissed on gin whilst we listen to Greensleeves.
Meanwhile Grainne and Trishna have gone all “Gin Lane”
Courtney’s “creative genius” shines through as he comes up with “giin” (the two is represent two people apparently because Courtney is all about ego). His next thought is spelling GIN “with an X”. Jess restrains the urge to shout “wanker” and asks what the X means. Apparently it’s a secret. Wanker. He fails spectacularly to make a decision despite Jess’s urge to “choose yer concept”, but eventually plumps for Giin making out it’s Jess’s decision as boardroom ballast. Apparently “giin” will be all about “drinking with friends”. Radical! What about the ever growing lonely alcoholic market eh? When they break it to Alana she thinks it sounds stupid and Courtney slams her down “just focus on making giin” (yeah shut up and get back in the kitchen I mean distillery!). He then tries to get her to make the gin pink. She explains this is not acceptable in the world of gin (apart from pink gin obviously but I think it’s to do with using non natural colourings) and Jess fortunately backs her up. Courtney then whinges that the gin doesn’t taste like raspberry when it arrives whereas Alana at least has the grace to decide to pitch like a beast for “giin” despite thinking it sounds like something a “toosser” would come up with.
At 7am both Grainne and Trishna look peeky as Fran breaks it to them that there are no ingredients on their label (“If you don’t like it tough!”) and Trishna descends into a depressive fug whereas Grainne tries to look on the bright side (“I know it was a mistake but”) by making sure Fran and Trishna take the difficult first pitch whilst she gathers customer feedback (and someone finally points out the “negative connotations with the word COLONY”).
Courtney seems to want Alana well away from the pitch and decides she should do consumer testing until she stands up for herself and Jess agrees to mingle with the plebs (who state they would prefer a pink label). In the car Courtney asks Alana about the pronunciation of giin (jiin) again and she clearly winds him up by getting it wrong. I like Alana.
First pitch of three is to pretend posh offy Majestick. Courtney struggles to erect his easel and stumbles over his pitch (Claude “Courtney is incredibly boring”) giving Alana little chance to speak. He’s obsessed by the word “concept” (“The concept is we are three er friends” “Why’s there only two ‘i’s?” “Er”, Alana “We didn’t bring her with us!”). The Majestick panel don’t taste the raspberry but decide it’s “different” which could be good (or shit).
Jess arrives and tells them to mention the label colour from the consumer research in the next pitch because she’s desperate to have some input. Courtney insists he doesn’t want to add doubt and Alana reiterates “do not bring negatives up in a big pitch” leaving Jess thoroughly “fuming”.
Whilst Trishna clanks around like bottles recycling day in a middle class suburb Fran pitches about “the colonies at the height of the British empire” and Trishna mentions the Colony gin contains “grains of paradise” which sounds like a friction rub you’d buy from Anne Summers. Majestick like the taste but hate the colour. “Is it from the orange?” they ask. “Oh yeah it’s utterly natural” fibs Trishna despite it looking like radioactive hobo wee.
Somehow Courtney gets to choke through another pitch (oh yeah he’s PM) to Tesco. Jess still wants to mention the market research and promises not to be negative honest (“We DID realise from consumer research that it makes sense to use a pink colour in the branding”) and everyone gets a bit carried away (Alana in the post-mortem “It was a bloody waffle off!”).
Tesco are even less impressed with Colony and don’t enjoy the drink even when still pissed Grainne extols the virtues of “Jupiner sorry Juniper”, pointing out it’s the same colour as a certain “Scottish soft drink”. “We could take the colour out” offers Fran prompting Trishna to declare that NEVER NEVER will they take the orange out of Colony (“Take away our colour take away our brand”). Trishna blames Grainne afterwards for not mentioning a woman who “didn’t drink gin” and said she enjoyed it in order to escape during the market research (“That was a key quote”) and Grainne gets consigned to a separate car whereupon angry Trishna gets poor Fran to phone her up and tell her the pitch wasn’t “structured” enough. Grainne gets all angry fishwife (“WHAT?! This is sounding a bit patronising!”).
Jess pitches to the third client “Barworks” (me neither) and Nebula work quite well as a team. Barworks bloke even enjoys the flavour (“It’s got just enough raspberry”) until Alana almost blows it by presenting them with the uninspiring (“Raspberry eruption”) cocktail they’ve clearly devised to disguise ginns failings which barworks find too “gimmicky” (“It says Halloween to me. It’s ruined it for me”).
Nobody understands why Colony is orange as it doesn’t have a picture of Willy Wonka and the Oompah loompahs on the front. (“Nobody wants to order a gin and tonic and it come as murky dishwater” – or berrocca wee) and Grainne insists it doesn’t change the flavour. “Then why are you adding it?” ask Barworks and Grainne says it’s a “natural flavour”. “What?” “Er like a er food colouring”. Whoops! Barworks are tearing Colony apart and start on the geography of Fran’s map (“You look at the bottle you think Africa”). “India’s at the top” Fran tries gamely and they laugh at her.
Outside a twitchy Grainne takes delusion to a new level insisting “They didn’t say they hated it – we could still get sales”.
In the boardroom Karren grasses up Team Titans lushy ways (“The spit bucket was empty”, Grainne “We were researching gins”, Sugar “You must have been as researched as a newt”) and Grainne is forced to admit she didn’t take Fran’s vital call as “we left our phone in a separate room”. Was that cos you had too much gin?” asks Sugar and Grainne splutters meekly. Grainne then complains that “Fran was questioning my ability to hold a conversation in a room” and says she found it “Underminding”. Sugar sighs and turns to Nebula.
“Courtney you was PM” (“Yeah” sighs a long suffering Alana). Giin gets some stick although Courtney maintains not knowing how it’s pronounced is a talking point. Karren pounces “It’s good if you don’t know how to pronounce your brand?” but Courtney bats her away quite well (“Well Nikey or Nike”). Courtney’s pitching skills come under scrutiny (Courtney “You don’t get much time and it’s a new product” and boohoo everybody else is in the same boat) till Claude asks why he didn’t just get someone else to do it and there’s nothing he can say.
Anyhow results time.
Tescos brought 1200 bottles of Giin for £20400 (how fucking much?) but didn’t order any Colony cos it was too fucking orange for even their Essex branches.
Majestick ordered 240 bottles of Colony for their racist punters making £5280 but didn’t order any giiin because it sounds too foreign.
Barworks ordered 2000 bottles of Giin for £51000 (which sounds like a rip off when you look at what Tesco paid) but didn’t go for Colony at all.
So Nebula made £71,400 and Titan only £5280 and Alana and Courtney have to strap Jess down to stop her doing a victory dance. nebula go on a helicopter ride where Jess and Courtney big themselves up and Alana looks on the verge of vomiting.
Grainne looks frozen in horror as they leave to Sad Café where Grainne tries to blame everyone else and has a proper aggressive go at poor Fran like a nasty drunk “You PHONED ME 5 minutes before a pitch saying YOU’RE INCAPABLE” (er no she didn’t say that). Trishna goes very quiet – she knows she’s done bad.
So back in and Frances learns the difference between India and Africa (“I know now – India’s underneath” “No that’s the South pole”). Sugar points out that the most successful pitch didn’t involve Grainne and finally Fran is vindicated as it’s pointed out that Trishna got her to make the call (“She was just the messenger” , “Er I apologise, I didn’t realise”).
Frances gets stick for having lost 8 tasks but gamely points out she was only in the final three once before and won big as Project Manager.
Grainne blames Trishna for being moody on day 2 (“I didn’t go to market research with a horrible face” Trishna “It didn’t affect my performance” Claude “er what about your team’s performance”) and Trishna and Grainne launch into talking over each other until I’m begging for all of them to be fired. Sadly Lord Sugar blames Trishna too (“The colour was down to you” – Racist!) and fires her. Somehow Grainne survives.
In the Taxi of eternal regret Trishna thinks he’s made a big mistake. I agree if only because Trishna was clearly way more competent than Fran and Grainne – but that’s the curse of gin.
Back in the house Jess is singing a little song “3200 units please 70 grand in the bank”. If she doesn’t get fired next week someone MAY smother her in her sleep. “Shall we have a gin and tonic” she asks? “No a jiin” corrects Courtney. Oh fuck off.
Next week it’s the interviews round. Surely this is payback time for Grainne?
Liking: Alana. I want her to win which means she probably won’t
Liking with gritted teeth: Jess. She’s mad she is.
Next leader of UKIP: Fran
Weasel Boy: Courtney
She scares me. A lot: Grainne