Archives for category: 2011

It’s episode two of the first week and the next shortest person in the Apprentice household is presumably cacking their pants.

The candidates all called into the kitchen at 5am to watch a pre-recorded Lord Sugar video on their laptop, like the guiltiest porn ever. Today it’s a tech task, something Sugar reckons reckons he knows “a thing or two about” (maybe he’s been doing evening courses since Amstrad?). The teams have to design a “world class” smart phone app which will go live online for a day – with the team with the most downloads winning.

“We have to put ourselves on the map and prove why we are here” rally rouses Glenn. “Are we fast app roaching where we need to be?” , before the boys slide into the murky mire of “app” puns. It’s Vincent’s chance to prove that not only is he a suave kind of good looking guy, but hey he can rock the world of comedy too. “Do you have an app le?” he smirks. A tumbleweed cloud engulfs the car in stony silence.

Logic continue their laddishness with a tussle for the role of PM, with Leon putting himself forward first (“I created an app for my business”). Gavin’s still being dour and scouse, claiming “I’m just interested in getting the right person”, without actually nominating himself, but he opens the floodgates for Vincent (“I’m experienced in software writing” – hair flick), Jim “I can lead”, Glenn “pick me!”; everyone in fact except Alex, who’s just so damn respectful he thinks that although he “could lead, there are probably people better placed”. After all this faffing around, Leon is duly selected to lead.

There’s little argument amongst the Venture ladies when Edna elects herself as team leader. “I’m a chartered business psychologist at the top of my game.. I don’t suffer fools gladly..” (hmm great psychology!). She’s immediately issuing calls to action, ordering a pogrom on people with limp handshakes and sending out Felicity’s sub team to do market research (they discover that people who use apps like them to be “idiot friendly” – well of course).

The boys brainstorm their apps. Gavin’s idea is cyber bubble paper (think it’s been done). Inventor Tom gets more scientific, with an app that can tell you what the temperature was on this day a year ago (handy if you’re a Time Lord with a limited wardrobe). He’s got another idea though. “Traffic lights”. It sounds promising and everyone turns to him to hear more. “I er didn’t think it through more than that” he falters sheepishly. Glenn comes up with the idea of a “simple, cheeky, easy little app” that gives out regional accent insults, and all the boys, addled by years of flicking through “Zoo” and “Nuts” on the toilet, fall hopelessly in love with the very idea of laughing at difference using their phones! Jim comes up with the name “Slang-a-thang” and Vincent’s is the only voice of mild dissent (“I think we have to be very careful that we don’t insult people”), but they all hate him, so ignore him, whilst probably plotting to do a Vincent voice on slang-a-thang (like an effete Tony Tiger). “We’re going global” they all crow (what with regional accents?). Gavin also says he wouldn’t have chosen the app, but only to camera.

Evil Edna’s flip chart is looking relatively empty, mainly because everyone seems too scared to make a suggestion. Susan’s not going to be intimidated though “I’ve got an idea.. I think it’s a brilliant idea.. and er.. ok.. you’re me and i’m you and er ok…”. Whilst everyone’s eyes go into orbit she bravely soldiers on “Like, where do you think we are.. er…”. (Perhaps Susan has mistaken the word “app” for “map”?). Edna looks like she wants to squash Susan like a bug and suggests it sounds “too complicated”, but Susan’s indefatigable “You type the answer and it gives the question?”, but Edna’s had enough and won’t let her wibble on for another hour, so Susan goes into a teenage sulk (“It’s SO frustrating!”) and decides Edna is just an old hag jealous of her youthful vitality (sadly nobody is dumb enough to join in her ageist bitch fest later; Melody in particular doesn’t want to get involved – boring!) . Nobody else has any ideas, until Felicity’s recce group returns and she suggests an application of noises to annoy people. Everyone turns to the strange hairless social media technician boy who’s been sitting in on the brainstorming, and as soon as he Y-chromosome approves it (“It’s very feasible”) they all agree it’s the best (only) idea they have. Natasha has some valuable input by suggesting a completely shit name (“Ampi App” – it sounds strangely remedial)

The boys press-gang a bloke on the street to be the “face of Slang a tang” and photo him in front of a flip chart, the idea being, for each accent that emanates from the app, his poor face will be topped with a different stereotyping hat. Glenn, Jim, Vincent and Alex then get busy doing outrageous accents, with Vincent getting slapped down any time he dares to mutter anything like “that’s a bit stereotypical”. Alex contributes a Welsh farmer voice and Jim does a rubbish scouse (“Eh? Mate? Ow’s your wife an my kids?”) – Gavin will be impressed. Poor Nick Hewitt just doesn’t get it. “It’s bland and meaningless to me unless I’m missing something.. Maybe I’m too old.. I’m very perplexed” he sighs. No Nick, you’re just not a shallow tosspot.

Cut to the girls and they’re having a massive bitchfight! Bah it’s just being recorded by a long suffering soundman for “Ampi-app”. Along with whining and screeching and other normal girl noises they also record animal sounds (Melody does a mean retarded cat). Susan’s not convinced (“I think we could be heading for a blooming disaster”).

It’s time to write a punchy description for the app. I’m learning so much in tonight’s show. I’ve never even seen a fucking app. I can probably get down wid da yoot now.

Jim writes a pun laden missive (“Slang a tang gives you the app ortunity to listen to hilarious local folk from around the world”). Meanwhile Felicity pens a dull “does what it says on the tin” actual product description.

Helen, high on her power hairspray, dares to challenge Edna’s authority by nominating Melody to pitch to the evening shebang at Earls Court erm app-exhibition thing (“She works in the youth sector”), but Edna Business Psychology senses warn her to brutally jackboot to death any sign of insurrection (“I’ve looked at your strengths and your limitations in my opinion and decided I will do the pitch. Any questions? Any queries? No? OK good”).

Still the idea of even pitching Ampi Apps to three online mags is starting to look daunting to Venture, as most of the team worry about how random and unconnected the noises are, but Felicity urges them to present the randomness as a positive.

On the way to the techie mag pitches, the boys are cheered to learn they already have 50 downloads. This should be a cinch.

It doesn’t start so well with Leon’s pitch. “Have you thought about marketing?” asks techie mag journo. “Um we were hoping you could facilitate us with that.” Pause. “I see.”. Silence.

Mind you Melody could have done the research, managing to insult her first online mag by telling them they get 37,000 hits a month (“Actually it’s 1.7 million. That’s a big difference”). The randomness factor is picked up on too. “Is that the picture of an elephant and the sound of a dog?”, “Er yes. It’s meant to be like that. We are in fact crazy.” “Do you have the sound of an elephant?” “Er no”. Natasha gets all inspired and structuralist: “The elephant is meant to symbolise noise!” I like that the elephant is becoming the girl’s elephant in the room.

It’s Vincent’s turn to pitch next (“I’m gonna go in and give them my usual … charismatic attitude”) and blimey it’s a shocker. Vincent’s desperation to impress people with his cool makes him the least cool person on the planet and he stumbles through his pitch (literally knocking into the visual display), stringing together nervous coughs meaningless soundbites that Edward left behind in the voice of a paedophile geography teacher until he totally dries up and Jim (of course) barges in to rescue the pitch with sentences and facts. Even Nick notes there’s something a bit too good to be true about Jim (“He always takes charge when things go wrong”).

Outside Vincent is all giggly and embarrassed: “I couldn’t think of the word.. Jim went in.. he went BANG!” (there you go with the Irish stereotypes). “Was it OK?” he asks nervously, but everyone sees something really interesting on the floor rather than respond.

The teams then go somewhere where da kidz hang out to market their apps. The boys go to town dressing as the cast of Mind Your Language, with Glenn the ringleader, encouraging the punters to roll up roll up (“If you can’t ride it, park it!” – eh?) like Suggs doing another advertising voiceover.

The girls waste this opportunity to make a visual impact. Nobody even thinks of dressing up like an elephant.

Jim pitches to the biggest online magazine, but is disappointed by their square attitude towards stereotyping, claiming that Logic were deliberately “sensitive” with their content and that “stereotypes can be positive”. When challenged on the Australian hat, he blankly says “that helps illustrate he is an Aussie” (in a way that the accent alone, a crocodile on his head or skin cancer can’t), but it’s clear that the mag-men remain unmoved in their politically correct stance. That doesn’t stop Jim hi-fving the team outside (“Oh that bit about stereotyping.. that was just them making sure we were comfortable with what we were trying to achieve”).

As Venture make their way to Earls Court, Melody tries to be “positive”: “The pitch is only as good as the product”. They all look haunted.

They fill time by checking if they have any mentions on the online mags. Slang-a-tang gets “app of the day” on two and there is much rejoicing from Logic. Then “Ampi App” gets the accolade from the big “kick stereotyping out of apps” mag.

Edna’s pitch is terrifyingly awful. Dressed in dominatrix gloves like some Nazi baddy from an Indiana Jones film she delivers empty patronising platitudes in a sing-song voice and everyone in the room shuffles around worried that they’re somehow meant to be finding this all fascinating. Damningly she fails to give any information about the app or how to access it, but at least she’s given us as much insight as we need regarding Edna.

The boys split the pitch with Gavin being sensible and Alex playing it for laughs as a Welsh gumby. Glenn does a great job of bribing the audience with free doughnuts for the first 50 people to download the app there and then (having explained how to do so) and Logic lap up the applause.

Edna waltzes back stage like she’s Grace Jones, wearing the biggest shit eating grin possible. “I think we were all thinking we might just have been thrashed” sighs Melody, voicing everyone else’s thoughts, and Edna’s grin freezes dramatically.

So it’s back to the boardroom, and LordAlan plays along with Logic’s furious backslapping orgy, even giving kudos for the fact that Leon planned in ways to make money out of the app by selling updates. However he points out that the girls won app of the week in the big magazine. “We were confused about that – we didn’t know why” whines Vincent, looking a little lost. Jim’s adamant that Slang-a-tang is not as offensive as the sound of Ampi App (although that is kind of the point of Ampi App too).

The girls show slightly less faith in their product, with 5 of them admitting they were not happy with it (Edna “That’s the first I’ve heard – it’s quite shocking”).

Those crazy Apprentice editors mix it up by giving the download scores after only 6 hours first, and the boys then had a storming lead with 3000 compared to Venture’s 1000. Of course when the overnight global figures are included (or as Karen put it “the world woke up”) the effect of millions of children with trendy phones and the rather localised appeal of Slang-a-tang conspire to make the boys taste an enormous fail. Overnight they only got an extra 951 downloads whereas the girls got 10667. “How strange folk can be” muses Lord Sugar.

The girls get to dine chez Michael Roux Jnr and are spoiled silly with kisses and blueberry soufflé in probably the most envy-inducing Apprentice team prize I’ve ever seen. Meanwhile the boys are spoiled with mugs of coffee and vitriol in the Bridge Café. Alex has already started blaming Leon, who rather haplessly sits there meekly pleading “was anyone not pulling their weight?”

Back in the boardroom, Tom thinks failing to impress the big magazine was a key factor, and blames Jim, whose shackles are up (“I personally delivered and fielded difficult questions”). Lord Alan warns them not to assume it’s because of the website, and Tom gets brave (“I know it’s a very dangerous game to disagree with you”) by claiming the bloke at the magazine had it in for them. It’s all a red herring though, and Gavin’s the first to suss (“We should have considered in hindsight that it wasn’t a global app”).

Lord Sugar’s other point of contention is Jim’s smartarse wording for the app description, as opposed to Felicity’s more immediate information. Jim admits to drafting the words “in it’s entirety” but blames everyone else for saying he’d hit the nail on the head with it, especially his project manager.

Alex leaps in to point out what a valid contribution he made (not anybody can pretend to be Welsh badly) and attack Jim for his ad wording (“You had the final say on it” – er no). There’s no way Jim’s losing to this oik and he comes out fighting “You clapped your hands as much as anyone else.. its not about being a passenger.. “. Alex goes all sneery and petulant “You might have saved a pitch, but you saved a small pitch… you didn’t get the big one did you?”, only for Jim to deliver the coup de grace (“Your contribution is Nada”).

Leon decides to bring in Alex and Jim. Until Jim does his Jedi Mind Trick and tells Leon straight out that he’s wrong and he can change his decision. Which Leon does, picking Glenn. Holy fuck! Smelling a massive fish, Glenn decides to play a bout of team leader tennis, suggesting that Leon is wrong again (Glenn: “What do you think Jim?”). Brilliant. Leon is a bunny in the headlights until LordAlan warns him to cut the crap and he sticks with his latest two choices. Weak.

Both Glenn and Alex understandably lay into Leon for his poor decision making (no shit!). “Does the PM have to make the final decision?” reasons Leon (er yes). “Can’t it be a majority decision?” He’ll be bringing in AV next.

Alex continues to shout and over-react his way into trouble, telling Leon “You should have had the guts to stand up to Jim!” Leon regains some composure and points out he’s got way more experience than Alex, who is a bit useless (“I guarantee you’re not going to make it to the final”). “I’m only guilty of not demonstrating what I can do!” retorts Alex. “Right” says Lord Sugar. Oh dear. Alex completes his lovely deep hole by telling Lord Sugar what to do (“Make me project manager next week.. you fire him now because he’s failed”. So it’s not really a surprise when Alex is fired.

Leon’s card is, however, marked for having already been in the boardroom twice (“there won’t be a third chance”), although Sugar is obviously impressed by Leon’s previous business record (given Leon’s inability to assert himself I am frankly astonished at it). Glenn’s also marked out as a concern for being a “technical man” (eh?) – which usually means no business skills.

Alex is predictably bitter about Leon’s weakness in the boardroom as he bounces home in the taxi of rejects. Equally predictably he doesn’t take the opportunity to say anything about what he could have done. Div.

Back at the house and Leon tries to spin events (“I had to quickly switch tactics”), but Glenn has his number (“You bottled it mate, I’ll tell you that for free”). Jim merely sits back and gives the tiniest of winks. Oh my god – he IS Satan!

Next week it’s the buying task and the teams mix up. And there’s only one episode. On Wednesday. I’ve enjoyed the last two nights – but thank fuck!

Liking: Tom, Gavin

Warming to: Glenn, Felicity, Natasha, Leon

A little disappointed by: Susan

They mean nothing to me: Helen, Zoe, Ellie

Almost feeling sorry for: Vincent

Frightened by: Jim

Still needs a slap: Melody

But needs a bigger slap (with elbow length gauntlets): Edna

Adios: Alex, Edward

Disappointment of the week. The opening credits montage of firings. There’s nothing along the lines of “You’re a lightweight” – just “I don’t think I can go into business with you” – unless that’s because the candidate being dismissed is a former war criminal I’m not impressed.

Advertisements

It’s Week One (Day one) and the helicopter soars high over Canary Wharf from the top of which you can almost see the boardroom in Brentwood. The latest 16 besuited bellends saunter stiffly in for LordAlan’s Big Society Business lecture on how it’s just as possible to start a business now as it was in 1967 with just a few nicker in your pocket, a cheeky smile and a barrow. “I’m sick and tired of the moaning culture” he growls, “all you need is a concept, hard work and determination” (and idiots with money who want to buy crap email phones). This series LordAlan isn’t looking for an employee on a 6 figure salary, presumably because he got stung so badly on maternity leave in the past. Nor does he seek bladdy sales people (“I want someone with a brain”).  Instead he’s giving the winner £250K to start a business in “uncivil partnership” with him (“Don’t expect me to be doing all the work; I’m not looking for a sleeping partner, so to speak. I’m not Saint Alan, the patron saint of bladdy losers”).

The first task is therefore a task of how well they can do with a £250 investment. The teams (girls v boys) are instructed to buy and produce food stuffs, with the one making the most return on the money winning.

First there’s the small matter of coming up with team names.

Brittle ice-queen Helen Milligan (who bizarrely works for the CEO of Greggs) has prepared two suggestions; “Galvanised” and “platinum” (I get the feeling she read these words on the back of her various eye make-up products). Everyone recoils, and the instant irritant that is Melody Hossaini leaps in with the slightly less awful “Venture” which gets a half hearted majority vote, backed up by Edna Agbarha the scary (“I seek pain rather than pleasure”) “business psychologist” with a superiority complex (“Weak people are a waste of space.. a limp handshake in business is unforgivable”) . Melody smugly claims to have founded a global youth consultancy and to have been trained on climate change by Al Gore, as well as taught by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. So she presumably has a website somewhere called KidzTalk (or “Venture”) and has attended a few lectures, but is an exceptional bullshiter.

Sales manager Vincent Disneur has already won the public over (into unanimously declaring him a dick) in the pre-show trailers, with his slimy mix of arrogance and delusion (“I have plenty of charisma and.. hey… I’m not bad looking”). His team name suggestion “ability” suggests he has hidden depths of idiocy and closet fascism, in fact I’m surprised there aren’t more takers. Perhaps if he prefixed it with “Mixed”? Edward Hunter the cuddly self hating accountant, who, in a film of this episode would be played by Danny De Vito, is not impressed. “I don’t like ability” he whines. Clearly. There’s worse cockery to come though, from Leon Doyle (who apparently started up a £1million online takeaway business; if it’s one I use then thanks Leon!), who looks like a bit like Orlando Bloom wearing a young Stephen Fry’s hair and has come up with the even more “self-effacing” and fucking stupid “Leontrenpeur”.  I think Glenn Ward (design engineer, looks a bit like a streamlined version of last year’ cute but annoying Jamie) comes up with “Logic”, which has huge potential to haunt the team horribly every week. He’s backed up by Jim Eastwood, an apparently normal (for now) Irish Sales & Marketing Manager. And the vote is cast, but Vincent blithely ignores it. “So who likes ‘Ability’ then?” he grins limply. The reaction is oddly reminiscent of that to Rick in the Young Ones here 

With that settled, there’s a little time to “oooh” and “aah” at their new luxury Richmond pad. I do enjoy inventor Tom Pellereau getting flustered at finding himself in the girl’s room and promising “that’s the last time I come in here”. Tom looks like actor Michael Sheen crossed with a geeky ex of mine, so I instantly find him adorable, but he warns us “Underneath these glasses is a core of stone”. Maybe he should have a word with Scouse online optician Gavin Winstanley (“The fear of failure drives me every single day” – supporting LFC does that to a man).

Next they have to choose Team Leaders for this task. Edward volunteers to lead Logic, and everyone looks nervously at their shoes until Gavin pipes up asking what sort of experience Mr “I’m not an accountant honest” has.  Leon scents an opportunity to land Gavin in the position of doom too (“OK. Then do you want to be leader?”), but he patiently points out that isn’t what he’s saying, he’s just trying to make an educated decision. Sadly nobody can understand his accent, so Edward gets all feisty (“If you wanna lead then lead it” and shouts himself all the way into winning the leadership vote. Edward describes himself as “a wheeler dealer who accidentally became a finance professional and I want out.”, so much for leaving yourself a safety net mate.

Susan Ma, a “natural skin care enteprenur” (Avon lady), makes the product decisions, aiming to capitalise on the breakfast market with a health giving fruit salad and the lunch market with a suicide inspiring vegetable pasta. I like Susan, who is keen to tell us that there is more to her than seeming “short, sweet and smiley” yet spends the rest of the episode using those very virtues to her advantage. The girls appear to be doing vaguely sensible things like working out how much they need to buy and make, and what the pricing structure should be. I said appear.

Edward is keen to maximise efficiency with easy products like juice and soup. “You can’t get soup wrong.. they may not buy it again but they won’t be sick.. er anyone know how to make soup?” Edward “ain’t got time to show off by working out profit margins”. He’s a maverick accountant on the edge. “Just mash it all up as soon as possible and sell it all. That’s my vision for this task” he blusters.

And so it’s off to the fruit market. And when Edward and Vincent have finally worked out what an orange looks like (at least they don’t ask the colour) they buy 1400 of them, with Edward’s pitiful attempts to haggle met repelled by a disdainful grocer (“That’s £9.50 a box”, Edward “How about £9.25 a box?” Grocer “I can see you don’t know about this, so I’ll tell you £9.50 is the bottom line”, Edward “OK £9.50 a box, you’re on!”, Grocer “Yeah, that’s what I said!”). Edward’s all about the immediate process, he’s “not concerned with sales right now” , he’s buying fucking oranges. Unfortunately his zest (oh suit yourself) leaves Jim, who’s been appointed “Soup man” only £40 left to buy all the ingredients for a soup. Edward doesn’t give a shit (“We’re not after Michelin stars”), yet somehow, astoundingly Jim manages to make a soup that looks edible. I think he just bought red dye.”We are gonna make soup like we’ve never made soup before” he motivates. “Yeah cos we’ve never made soup before” notes Alex Britez Cabral (an estate agent, being almost funny).

As usual the girls play on the by now famous predilection of male market traders for power dressing female twenty-somethings flicking their hair in pencil line skirts. However, every time Melody or Susan manage to negotiate a bargain on boxes of fruit, Edna pounces to try to put the kibosh on them spending money, as she’s been put in charge of the purse strings (“I’ve been given a very important task”). “How can I keep control when they do deals?” she moans. It’s almost like they’re trying to do business you dopey mare. Edna’s idea of return on an investment would be handing Lord Sugar back his £250 plus any pennies the team had managed to find on the street. Predictably they run out of fruit half way through preparing their stingy fruit salads, but Edna’s not parting with that last £80 for no-one, especially not when Susan asks, and Melody doesn’t have the balls to argue, so the even more reduced fruit salad is packaged up, missing more cherries than a school disco in Hartlepool. Susan and theatre luvvie Felicity Jackson still manage to flog these overpriced molecules of vitamin C to breakfasting fools at Canary Wharf (whilst recruitment consultant Natasha Scribbens takes a busmans holiday by standing around looking feeble and letting them do all the work).

Whilst Jim is capably churning away his magic soup, Leon is made chief juicer due to his foody credentials (um he deals with ordering and distribution), but is urged by Edward into over-working the groaning electric juicers to death so the team have to hand squeeze the remaining 1000 oranges. The boys have already missed the breakfast crowd, but Edward becomes insanely obsessed with completing this step, but Glenn is understandably getting impatient to send out sales teams to flog what they have and starts doing a motivational “lets get selling” speech to erm everyone in the kitchen. “I feel like I’m doing your job for you” he complains to Edward, who’s busy doing the washing up. Glenn’s on the verge of shouting “For Fucks Sake!” and Edward starts insisting that he’s treated with “repect”. Thankfully, there’s a man in the kitchen who can pour soupy oil on these troubled water, and Jim strides over like Kofi Annan. “I’ll defuse the situation” he declares before leading Glenn away, allowing Edward to repeat Glenn’s motivational “lets get selling” speech as though he’d just thought of it.

Whilst half of the boys sell juice and soup from Alex’s van at Liverpool Street Station, Vincent sex pests his way around offices forcing women to put their lips around something orangey (I’m hoping his spray tan doesn’t extend that far). Karen Brady grimaces “Vincent thinks he’s a ladies man.. strangely enough they seem to be quite impressed and they’re buying from him”. His sales pitch is less rohypno-rapey than Edward’s though (“It’s juice, it just sells itself. There’s no point me talking.. JUST DRINK IT!”)

The girls have sent their satellite team to Euston station, where Helen pops up trying to terrify commuters into buying vegetable pasta from Ellie, who can’t even spell “veg et able”. Ellie (think a Yorkshire Atkins from Bad Girls) is described as a “Managing Director”, but struggles with shifting pasta to Northerners departing London and hoping to take some of the glamour of the capital home with them “for tonight’s tea”.

Over at Canary Wharf, Melody’s running out of scraps of fruit, so plucks up the courage to call Evil Edna and ask where the extra stock is. “It’s not been sent, it’s being made as we speak” deadpans Edna medaciously, “I’m trying to make sure I get the numbers right”. Melody manages to hold in a torrent of obscenities by saying she’s “disappointed”, but there’s no way she’s going to win against Edna who uses her business psychology to pull off the Jedi Mind Trick of being an Obstructive Cunt (“Melody, we’re going over old ground .. I’m trying to sell here… Oh her phone mustn’t have a signal…” So with an hour to go, Melody drags her succesful team to Euston to pick up fruit salads and sell them as part of a meal deal for mentals along with the now bargain bucket pasta; it’s not only Edna saying “WHY?!”

Back in the boardroom, LordAlan’s looking for a return on his investment.

Glenn and Tom question Edward’s randomness and lack of organisation. Karen points out that if Jim hadn’t bought all his red dye in the market with the paltry £40 left to him then there would have been no soup. Edward is spectacularly immodest and clueless, claiming that he “hand picked Jim as I knew he was the man to lead the soup team.” It all starts to unravel when Edward’s asked about his buying and pricing strategy. “I didn’t want to speculate.. that part was production. Selling can take care of itself”. “You were trained by the leading accountancy organisation in the UK” sighs LordAlan despairingly. “I don’t fit the mould” retorts Edward. For Christ sake don’t mention accountancy to Edward or he’ll start talking like an autistic Yoda. “It’s all there” he adds mystically, as though he’s reading out the lyrics to Nik Kershaw’s “The Riddle” in the style of William Shatner. This takes precisely 0.05 seconds to piss LordAlan off. “Stop talking to me in semaphore. We’re not sending bladdy text messages!”

Melody’s not backwards when it comes to promoting herself and the fact her team name “was voted the most popular”. “I definitely have the style of leadership that takes into account other people” she trills, to much eye-rolling from Susan and open sneering from Edna. Edna’s financial over-thrift is raised, and Melody is equally as quick to divert any blame for herself (“Edna volunteered for that role”, Edna: “I was volunteered, but I didn’t shirk away”.)

Anyhow here’s the profits (there were some – wow!):

LOGIC boys made £339.20 on juice and  £92.93 on soup giving a total of £432.13 (that missed breakfast cost them).

VENTURE girls made £37.28 on pasta but a stonking £555.05 on overpriced fruit salad making them the lucky winners by miles.

Once it’s established they’ve won, luvvie Felicity starts some vomit inducing sucking up to Melody, but Susan admits she didn’t think Melody was that great and Evil Edna has a face like a slapped arse.

In the cafe de fail, one bright spark pipes up (I bet it was Vincent) “I think the problem lies in the fact we didn’t produce enough orange juice”. (Wrong, you didn’t produce orange juice quickly enough Einstein).

And we’re back in the boardroom, where Edward’s lack of planning is coming under fire, and he’s muttering more crazy gnostic bullshit (“I knew 10p an orange could make 500 drinks”), until it transpires that he kept all his sums in his head rather than admit to anyone that he had maths skillz in case he got laughed at and wedgied. The rest of the team admit no knowledge of Edward’s “plans” (“It was a ‘need to know’ basis” mutters Jim darkly).

Tom plays a blinder suggesting that Edward’s lack of planning cost them the task due to “Edward trying so hard to show us he wasn’t an accountant that he left all the good parts of accounting out”. Even LordAlan’s impressed “That’s the most sensible thing I’ve heard all night.”

Leon’s briefly under scrutiny for breaking the juicers with his big sausagey fingers when LordAlan does the math for Edward and works out they had enough oranges to make 470 bottles but only made 146. Alex, similarly, is outed by Karen of being overly van proud and only ever cutting bread or mopping up rather than selling (“A van is a good place to hide” suggests Nick mischievously.). Despite this latter massive glaring hint by LordAlan’s henchies, Edward tightens the noose around his neck by bringing back Leon and Gavin.

The rest are free to return to Richmond towers, but still Tom manages to almost undo all his good work for me tonight by uttering a cringing “Sorry Lord Sugar” on the way out. I’ll put it down to nerves and politeness, but his card is marked.

Meanwhile Edward tries to blame Gavin for the task failure, because Gavin didn’t put himself forward to lead as vehemently as he could have. Oh grow up. Gavin points out that Edward told the team to go away when they tried to get involved with decision making. “I’m not gonna sit here and be made to feel THAT big” whines Edward. “Well that’s how big you are” slams back Gavin (sore point), “You wanted the leaders hat but you didn’t fulfill the role”. Unfortunately for Edward, Gavin sold the second highest number of units, so is safe.
Edward, however is in meltdown, it’s just not fair: “I’m the youngest” he wails. “Well done” snaps Gavin, causing Edward to play his trump card (“I’m the shortest” – oh dear).

Whilst Lord Alan’s not so bedazzled by Leon, it’s no great surprise after that that Edward’s fired, and despite some sterling advice (“Don’t be ashamed at what you’re best at doing”) he manages to throw Sugar a “talk to the calculator, fucker” face before flouncing off to an unreflective yet aphoristic taxi ride (“Lord Sugar got it wrong.. the world is my oyster.. roll the punches”).

Vincent, who’s already incorrectly predicted that Leon would be fired, tries another desperate ploy to appear popular by getting everyone to raise a toast to Edward. Everyone puts their hands on the floor.

Quote of the night: “Edward reminds me of a slow internet line” (Lord Alan)

Liking: Gavin, Susan, Tom (with reservations)
Warming to: Glenn
Not Sure About: Natasha, Ellie, Alex, Jim
Probably Irrational Dislike for: Helen, Leon, Felicity, Edna
Laughing at (not with): Vincent
Already want to slap: Melody
Was she even in it? Zoe Beresford – she’s listed on the BBC site but I’m buggered if I noticed her.

Bye bye Edward

Welcome to the new home of my blog.  Due to Myspace having transformed their hitherto usable and legible blogging tool into a bastardized Facebook as imagined by Helen Keller in a K hole, I’ll be moving as many as possible of my old TV & travel blogs over to this site in the next few weeks. I also plan to keep providing my typically angry reviews of BBC’s The Apprentice here.

The Guardian have helpfully provided a list of the latest bunch of stripy suited shits in the city who will be providing the cannon fodder to our favourited angry beknighted walnut face over the next few months.

Guardian Apprentice Preview

Don’t they look delightful? My own personal hate-dar has been sent a-twitching already by Ellie, the hard-faced (think Shirley the David Bowie lookalikie on Eastenders, but with a bigger Adam’s apple) hater of dolescum (disliking posh kids does not make her any more likeable); Jim (” ‘I’m not a show pony, or a one-tricky pony. I’m not a jack-ass or a stubborn mule, and I’m definitely not a wild stallion that needs to be tamed. I am the champion thoroughbred that this process requires’) – crap equine analogies are so LAST year dahhling – and Vincent – who thinks he’s good-looking although he resembles a poundshop Robert Carlyle presenting Spanish Language news.

Anyhow see you here next week when the bile will flow freely.