Archives for category: Series 10 2014

So we’re down to the actual final (although my telly tells me that there are 2 more weeks of postamble, during which I shall be forsaking blogging for my usual annual festival of quaffing Baileys Irish Cream). It’s a relief that Dara introduces proceedings from the “You’re Fired” studio, as it’s clearly only going to be 1hr of final followed by a load of lovely Dara mediated fluff, and besides at this point, Sugar being a product man as we all know (defunct computers, unpopular email phones, bendy nail files), we all know it’s obviously going to be Bianca (isn’t it?) so why not just stop now. After last week’s character assassination, Bianca has been wrongly accused of being robotic, but I still have fond memories of her taking down a shouty James with some wit and sass, rather than a clinical death ray (sure my memories would be even fonder had that occurred).

Of course, as it’s the final, Mark gets first to the phone (and has probably set booby traps to ensure this), and the pair are summoned to the Bloomsbury Ballroom, apparently a home of “high profile events”. On the way Mark manages to be smug and patronising (“I respect Bianca. Well done to her for getting here”) whilst fingering his ring nervously. Nick and Karren greet them as ludicrously over-dramatic incidental music announces the entrance of Lord Sugar who tasks our finalists with launching their businesses to a panel of experts at the same venue. They have to research the market, design the brand and come up with a promotional video to back up their pitch.

Sugar brings a small number of previous candidates as “help” (I’m bemused to see no Roisin, but maybe she would look too good and show the finalists up; I’m gutted to see no Stephen as he was hilarious) and we enter into an awkward school sports team selection process. Bianca wins the toss so gets Katie. Mark goes for Solomon. Bianca opts for Felipe (aww), Mark picks Sanjay , Bianca picks Lauren. Mark has an internal struggle over what’s left before selecting James, Bianca then goes for Daniel and Marks face falls (he clearly wanted Daniel to be the last kid picked and has just realised what remains) before he’s left with Stepford Sarah (“Welcome abroad, we need some beauty” he says sort of gallantly).

Even though Bianca supposedly got Daniel fired (Nope that was down to Daniel surely?), he’s right behind her, because he hates “Mark more”.

Bianca’s got a great idea with her accurate skin tone match tights, but everyone goes WTF? when she announces that she want to create 30 different colours and charge £35 per pair (as someone whose legs act like CFCs to the ozone layer that is tights, I would only pay £35 for a pair made out of chain mail). Lauren’s with me (“That’s a lot of money to be gone in one go”).

Mark’s online digital marketing company is really hard to get excited by (poor Solomon looks about to curl up somewhere warm for a nap), so he tries to get his team brainstorming catchy names (Solomon:”Splash?.. Sponge?..” Mark: Are you having a laugh?).

Over on Bianca’s team, Felipe likes “B Miller” as a name, and Daniel backs him up (“In France YSL probably sounds like Alan Smith”), but eventually she goes with Daniel’s suggestion of “True Skin”). It’s tough working with a team who don’t seem to understand hosiery (Katie: “I’ve never heard of two gussets to be fair!”), which perhaps explains Bianca’s unwillingness to completely delegate throughout the task. However, it’s slightly less forgivable when she dismisses the sage advice of a hosiery expert lady who loves Bianca’s clear selling point but thinks she should only have 6 or 7 colours and charge a fuck of a lot less. Bianca finds out that this woman’s top selling tights go at £20-25 so decides to drop her price to that of a probably established brand. Bianca’s all about the compromise so goes down to 15 colours (10 would be more sensible, no?) in the range, over twice what she’s been advused. Oops. Felipe helps her come up with some incredibly boring packaging. She drops the price to £24, but Felipe still thinks it’s too high.

Sanjay and Sarah are sent out to find potential clients for Mark’s boring company (Sarah: “What about funeral directors? They’re going to be making a packet! There’s always someone dying!”), and they realise from their research that they have to very quickly have to differentiate themselves from faceless overseas companies offering the same service. Sanjay (who suddenly seems to be useful in this programme) thinks that the personal element in terms of account management will work and James agrees, just so it looks like he contributed. Mark consults a posho branding agency about a business name, and whilst I’m convinced someone suggests “Chlamydia”, the name he comes out with is “Climb Online”.

The next day, Bianca recieved her True Skin samples, dyed by Daniel, Felipe and Laure, and loves them. She decides to name each shade after a fictional woman (e.g Jane etc). “In your professional opinon what colour would I be?” Daniel asks and Bianca again proves that she has a personality (“I reckon you might be a bit of a charlie”).

Felipe, Lauren and Daniel do some market research with actual women, who all love the idea of something that isn’t American Tan; but hate the packaging and the price (“More basic than luxury”, “If you’re selling colour then you need colour”, “If it was two in a pack I might buy it”, “I wouldn’t pay a fiver if it was in this packaging”). They all angst about breaking the news to Bianca and Felipe draws the short straw, but Bianca is adamant that the packaging looks “luxury” and only drops her price to £22. When the Katie edited advert is ready to show, Bianca sends away all the other candidates because they” be in the way” with their feedback and opinions and having eyes and ears shit, which Lauren thinks is pretty wanky and no mistake.

Mark’s video is shot in front of a climbing wall, and when it’s pointed out that he’s meant to be showing his personality as part of the USP for “Climbing Online” he loses it again, but somehow Sanjay manages to edit it to a version that Mark approves of (Mark: “Sanjay will never know how much I appreciated that” – erm he will you doofus, he’s in the studio audience watching this). Meanwhile in Shoreditch, the unlikely pairing of Solomon ad Sarah managed to convince a bloke from a hair and make-up academy that they would be worth spening £3,000 a month on to offer a bespoke service on. Mark is overjoyed and Solomon bigs up Sarah for being “charming”, but nobody wonders how much this “personal account manager” mallarkey they are all pushing will actually cost.

As the twats and vampires that constitute the “cream of business” flood into the Bloomsbury Ballroom, our finalists rehearse their lines.

Bianca’s still not listening la la la with regards dropping the price, and Nick Hewer points out, his mouth screwed up into a walnut of disapproval, that listening to the market is “the first rule of business”. She pitches True Skin quite well and it’s all glamourous models and the ad isn’t too awful although all she needs in it is a white coat to start harping on about the science of control top 10 or 20 denier tights in 15 tones and 4 sizes and erm matt or gloss (which works out to be like a million (well 240) permutations of tights – arggh!). The tights are aligned with women’s names to show how in touch they are (because that little ploy never seems patronising) and are aimed at the 30plus discerning woman, who Bianca admits have to have some disposable income to spend 20 quid on something that could probably last a day (or in my case seconds as I tend to go for the “stick a fingernail through the foot whilst you’re putting them on and hop about swearing and crying” strategy of putting on tights). A lady in the audience loves the product, but wonders, “why luxury?” why not to just anyone who needs it? Bianca is silly and says she’s not willing to compete with the mass market of five quid tights. “I’ll pay six quid” the woman chips in helpfully. Sugar’s bunch of harpy advisers aren’t completely impressed and suggest that for Bianca’s idea to work it “needs to be international” and that she “needs help on branding” – which make him pull a worried “will this cost?” face.

It’s time for Mark to start shitting a brick over the prospect of pitching to a much bigger room full of people than the one that reduced him to a coughing muppet. Sanjay calms him down, noting Mark hasn’t memorised his script (“you’re reading a lot”). Mark decides the only thing to make him look good is to put Solomon in charge of entertainment, and on cue our “ideas” boy comes up with the notion of dressing up James and himself as orange and blue gimpy dancers (Sanjay “I really can’t see you how guys didn’t get to the final”). His audience is comprised of “online giants” (sadly they don’t go “RAAHHH!!!”), who sit politely through Solomon’s cirque du gimps opener (“The orange dancer is a company not using Climb Online, the blue dancer is…” er yeah ok). Mark clears his throat worryingly, but as Karren looks at him aghast he gets his shit together and delivers a competent but very dull pitch to a room of probably competent but very dull people. The climbing wall video showing various businesses helped to get ahead by Mark with his guide ropes of search engine optimisation is like a Job Centre plus advert, but his promise to offer tailor made campaigns (“I want a mechanic to think he has his own marketing department”) goes down pretty well. Mark sees a business without digital marketing as like a shop without a front door and urges “Let me be your front door”, which nobody in the audience sniggers at, tsk.

Mark’s asked if the USP of personal service will disappear as the business grows but Mark insists he will be able to provide the same service to every customer by using his army of invisible pixies. A bloke from another marketing agency says Mark is marketing himself “into the past”, but Mark points out that he hasn’t heard of the bloke’s agency (cheeky!) and is “intentionally going back in time” as it is a competitive and changing business area. Good answers, and Sugar’s harpies agree, saying “if he will win it will be through grit and hard work” (and not stabbing his competition supposedly).

There’s some banter back in the boardroom with Felipe about his skeleton. Sugar likes “Climb online” as a name as it says what it does. Mark gets stick over his video stage fright (“I hear you were sweating more than Daniel’s accountant”), but it’s clear that despite the crowded market, Sugar’s veering towards Mark due to the £36K per year potentially already generated with the hair and face academy. “This can only work with massive passion” Sugar warns, and Karren steps in “which Mark has” – like she’s some fickle Olympian goddess who has suddenly decided to help him. Mark shows good project management skills and insists that “all the team contributed”, prompting glowing eulogies of what a pleasure it was to work for him by even the difficult and annoying members: James and Sarah – heck apart from Solomon Mark chose the worst team here, so it is impressed he got them working for him.

Bianca looks smug about her big colour range, but Lord Sugs reckons her concept could work due to its uniqueness, but the issue is the £20 price. Sarah chips in from over the table: “I wear tights every day, but wouldn’t spend more than 6 quid” and Bianca shoots her evils (“It’s ok to share your insights”). They’re all asked if she was a good PM, and strangely agree, well strangely apart from Daniel (“It’s a no brainer.. I mean Mark’s a lovely guy….”) who keeps up his ongoing mantrum with Mark.

Sugar points out that the distribution and manufacture would eat up Bianca’s money from day one, and she starts considering reducing the number of shades and sizes to what’s pointed out is only “90 variations”, and it’s clear she’s been blinded by fashion and not done her maths. Karren asks why she didn’t choose the mass market and Bianca says she wanted to go for “superior quality and lasting the test of time” but Sugar doesn’t give a monkeys about all that ponce (email phones anyone?) and suggests she would have to scale up in order to force her way into the luxury market who all have brand recognition whereas she has a picture of some legs.

Mark’s asked how he will staff his business and admits that he knows a load of nerds “who don’t shift from the computer all day”. Sugar’s not sure (“at least I have a product with Bianca, with you when do I see the money coming in?”) but Mark says something boring to reassure him, and says he’s set a minimum budget of £400 per month to make the service more personalised… who the feck is he paying a split of that to? Does his sales team consist of starving orphans and £400 buys the gruel?

Sugar’s very clear that whoever he picks will not get more than the £250K out of him and they have to make it work, and has a little huddle with Nick (“You always have been a product man.. you can make a fortune”) and Karren (“With Mark you get an exceptional individual” – oh now she LURVES him).

The finalists are called back in and given one last opportunity to sing for their supper.

Bianca has clearly finally taken her head out of her gusset and done a little thinking and says her concept is strong and she can “consider mass market or luxury”. Sugar goes “Aha you’ve changed your mind” and she responds quickly “I’m just saying there’s two options. I can do a higher volume for a lesser margin, but could make money more quickly. She knows the market and has run a small business and spent thousands on companies like Mark’s” – eh HANG ON, aren’t you advertising Mark there you daft mare?

Mark decides not to change the habit of the series and rather than bigging himself up he metaphorically wees over Bianca’s product (“It is a saturated market and is ONLY FOR FEMALES.. I see things at the bottom of bargain bins that look just the same.. it’s not even a comparison to my business”) he really is a massive bellend. Which is what this process is presumably all about finding.

Sugar still thinks Bianca has a good idea but that he will need to hold her hand through the manufacturing process (Bianca “You don’t need to!”), he thinks Mark is in “what I call the new world business” (Lord Sugar’s vision of the future being about 20 years out of date). His instinct says “product”, “but the devil in me says service industry” (it’s like how the decline of UK manufacturing began) and he, to absolutely nobody’s fucking surprise goes for Mark as his “business partner”.

Poor Bianca just gets to sit there awkwardly as Mark goes off to the hastily rebranded TAXI of WINNINGNESS to blether on about how stoked he is and how he never thought when he left his tiny Aussie town and his family of dingos that he would one day be sitting in a taxi.

And that’s it. All over with a whimper (don’t think I’ll be bothering with the extra programmes). I’d like to say it’s been great or fun or something, but in reality it’s been a bit of a chore once we lost the most potentially interesting character Steven (his flouncing might have reduced the tedium of the final). Also sadly Sugar announces that Nick Hewer is leaving the show because his face has stuck like that after ten years and his wife always thinks he’s farting.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely Christmas.

Whilst Mark won – here is my totally non corporate assessment of all the candidates:

My favourite Cute Bouncy Puppy Idiot: Solomon

Lovely, but bonkers: Felipe

Actually seemed genuinely nice and normal: Lindsay, Katie, Nurun

Should have had a better idea then might have won idiot: Roisin

Delusional Idiot: Daniel

Stitched up by Mark and could’ve done better, but did look a bit like a Bratz Doll: Lauren

Not listening idiot: Bianca

Flouncy Idiot: Steven

Bit dippy: Jemma

Aggression issues idiot: James

Stepford Wife Idiot: Sarah

Hoxton Idiot: Robert

Dour Idiot: Scott

Slightly Deranged: Pamela

Posh Idiots: Chiles, Ella Jade

Arrogant idiot that won and will probably end up doing the interviews next series: Mark

Advertisements

So it’s Week 11 and five candidates are hanging on to the dream of becoming Lord Sugar’s gimp with 1 week to go before the final (and bizarrely 2 more episodes scheduled afterwards). They’re given 24 hours to perfect their business plans before facing interviews at the Leadenhall Building.

Mark Wright has the highest sales figures but overall has been the losiest, so feels “bruised and battered”, but has “learnt so much” (yawn).

Cuddly technical entepreneur Solomon Akthar has finally started harping on about how bloody young he is (” I am only 23 but I think that’s a great thing”). He’s “all about the idea”. The idea unfortunately with him could just as easily be spelling out BOOBIES on an upside down calculator.

Bianca Miller is joint-highest ranking in the process and apparently owns a top 100 startup, but she just wants to prove herself as an “investable businesswoman” and not a corporate fembot.

Joint best with Bianca is former accountant Roisin Hogan who gets all teary when she relates how she has left her job to pursue her “really solid” business plan. She looks a bit like Gwynneth Paltrow and now she’s doing a Gwynnie (“sorry erm.. sniffle…what’s happening?”).

Bulldog-licking-piss-off-a-nettle faced Daniel Lassman has faced the final boardroom 4 times, but believes he’s “grown as a businessman” and that “Determination, motivation and passion” are all you really need. What about love Daniel. Oh no, he’s not a lover (“I’m a fighter!”).

6am the next day and the candidates prepare to head for the city with their business plans. Poor Solomon struggles to tie his own tie without Fat Daddy Felipe on hand. Roisin rather bravely dons a pure white two piece, whereas I would probably choose a burnt ochre ensemble to brave Lord Sugar’s interview attack dogs: “Publishing heavyweight” Mike Souter, Media agency manager Claudine Collins, professional angry baldman Claude Littner and what’s this – why it’s square headed ex wrestler Ricky Martin, clearly now totally living la vida loca and under contract to do whatever shitty job Margaret Mountjoy or beardy weirdy Bordan Tkachuk turn down, since he won the show two years ago. Or maybe running the recruitment wing of Sugar’s empire is currently not that lucrative as there’s no real fucking jobs about.

Mark and Daniel resume their homoerotic bickering in the car, weighing each other’s cocks business plans (Mark: “Mine feels more like the winner Daniel”, Daniel: “Yours feels heavier – you’ve got bigger font than me”).

“Have you included your financials?” Bianca asks Solomon, who insists he’s got the “nitty gritty stuff” in his head, having dispensed with writing an actual business plan and instead slipped the Bumper Colouring Book for Special Boys into his folder for a lark. Bianca does a hacky eye roll.

Most of the candidates manage not to lapse into nodding doggy mode as Lord Sugar growls instructions at them, apart from Solomon, bless him. They hand their folders to Nick and Karren and we’re off.

Solomon meets Claudine first who asks him about his side project “Willykini” (sweet Jesus!). “It’s basically a mankini but smaller”, Solomon starts eagerly. “OK. Got it” winces Claudine doing a Too Much Information hand gesture. He describes part of his business as shipping products, using the water glass as an example. “Can you put that down? You might break it” Claudine worries, adding “You come across like an excitable puppy”. “Ah” Solomon blushes. So far Solomon’s pretty unphased (“If someone whips out a fish, I react to that. I think Mark couldn’t deal with it”), so next he meets Mike Souter, who pulls him up on describing himself as “Someone from the ideas generation” (so he’s an ancient Roman?). Solomon proudly admits that he’s always tapping ideas “into my phone” so Mike pulls the cunt’s trick of shipping Solomon’s phone in and demanding some idea magic. “Erm. Breakfast in bed?” Solomon starts, describing an amazing application where one can send the ingredients for breakfast around the world. “Haven’t you just described online shopping?” Mike asks innocently. Solomon gets a bit rattled looking through his phone and accidentally stumbling on all the porn (“Um there’s other things in here, not just ideas”) before suggesting a place to get a bed for a sleep in towns. “Isn’t that a hotel?” Mike deadpans. Solomon resists the urge to shout out “Monkey Tennis” a la Alan Partridge and finally admits that his business plan is the best idea he ever tapped into his phone, but sadly Mike sees real flaws in it, not least the fact it’s “8 pages long and almost half of it is pictures”. Back in the waiting room, Solomon still thinks his idea is” genuinely amazing” and looks forward to seeing Claude. Oh dear. “Hi there” he bounces into Claude’s room. “SIT” barks Claude, who then wrongfoots us all by stating that Solomon’s CV filled him “with pleasure” (“No boastful brags about how great you are. Very mature. Very nicely written”) and adds that he thinks Solomon is very “enterprising” for starting his business (“I’ve never put so many ticks next to anyone”). Oh oh. Here comes the traditional Claude Littner Punch in the Balls. And then Claude “read” Solomon’s business plan. “And frankly its a bloody disgrace!.. You can leave.”. Poor Solomon tries to argue his case, but Claude is adamant. “Two bloody pages with pictures of sailboats on” (Solomon should at least point out that he’d doodled shark fins in the margins too!), “You’re taking the piss. Please leave”. (beat, whilst Solomon bumps into the window) “That’s not the way out”. Finally Solomon escapes (“Bloody Hell!”) to a long lift back to the waiting room, where he admits, winningly “I was getting out of there as quickly as possible as he was so angry”. I love Solomon.

Claude meets Daniel next (“Sit”) and asks him if he’s any good at numbers. Daniel admits he isn’t and concentrates “on what I’m good at” (arguing and avoiding shaving), but Claude find it “embarrassing” that Daniel doesn’t know his business numbers, and Daniel twigs he has to say something about how important it is to understand “yearly accounts”. “Daily” tuts an unimpressed Claude. In the boardroom Mark’s convinced it’s better for Daniel to go first as anyone else will look good after him, and he may have a point as Mike Souter outs Danuel for bullshitting about winning Sales Person of the Year award at a previous company (“We contacted them.. they said you didn’t win any award”). Daniel still insists that his CV is probably an underexaggeration of his great skills. Ouch. Mike presses Dan’s buttons by emphasising how shit a salesman he is compared to Mark. “I was selling £50 caps whilst he was selling hot-tubs” Dan whines, only to be informed that even without that result Mark still wins and his dad is bigger than Daniel’s dad. “Can I get the figures, it must have been close?” Daniel grasps. “Nope he fucked you and your sales in the ass” Mike insists, sort of. Daniel’s idea is to move forward from his pub quiz company and run a whole events company but via a website, which doesn’t impress Claude (“Frankly your business plan is ridiculous” (again!) “people wont trust their wedding to a website” – actually lazy stupid people might just go for it, and as far as we know Daniel just means a corporate events booking website, which businesses just MIGHT use). “I just believe in the idea Claude” Daniel insists, but he is dismissed with a treble helping of “ridiculous”. Claudine is impressed by Daniel’s progression from someone who described himself as a “Loud attention seeker” on his application form to a lesser degree of twat. Daniel admits he was getting into arguments and “rubbing people up the wrong way” but thinks Lord Sugar sees him as a rough diamond to polish, rather than a turd.

Ricky Martin meets Mark and is clearly enjoying being a massive prick for money and lording it over people who are in the same position he was 2 years ago. He announces that he enjoys “Looking for bullshitters” and quibbles over Mark’s CV showing him as Sales Manager for longer than he actually was at his current firm. Reasonably Mark points out that he’s just summarised where he spent the longest time within the business. “I see that as being deceitful” Ricky insists , setting up his witch ducking stool. Mark explains his business as an “Advanced Digital Marketing company which helps smaller companies to generate leads” (i.e. a load of bullshit). “Sell me a solution” Ricky insists, instigating an excruciating role-play, which also feels a tad Alan Partidge-esque as Mark gets half way through explaining his solution before Ricky cuts him off with “I have to stop you, I haven’t time for this call”. Claudine relates all Mark’s balls-ups to him, and he responds with disarming honesty, admitting “I thought I would breeze through” but he blew the pitch, but (tragically) “Ever since I was little, I wanted to be a businessman”. (I think this is the saddest thing I ever heard. I wanted to be a cowboy and an actress. At the same time). However this fess up attitude goes down well with Claudine. Claude beams broadly as he mentions Mark’s business plan (whereas Mark sensibly admits it is the first one he’s written) which is dimissed as “bland” and unoriginal. “How sure are you of success?” Claude snaps. “I’ve never been so confident” Mark states and Claude reckons that’s a good enough answer as it’s clearly a given that Mark is going through.

Roisin describes her business plan for a “virtually carbohydrate free ultra low calorie ready meal” (sounds hideous) to Ricky (” you said you’re an accountant and always be an accountant”). Claudine highlights Roisin’s lack of experience (Roisin; “Yeah but obviously I eat food”) and asks about her market research which turns out to be 6 people and Roisin’s family, which, however Irish you are is a pretty shit sample. Next Roisin gets torn apart by Claide who decides she’s on cloud cuckoo land by virtue of trying to “Go global” immediately and from expecting to get 100 stores on board with 50% giving her credit to fund the venture (which she also reports will cost £750K in the first year, with the remaining £500K being covered by sales). “Ridiculous!” snorts Claude and not for the first time. “You’re a tiny operator. You’re not even a blip on anyone’s screen. Not even in a month of Sundays”. It gets worse as Mike reveals that Roisin’s unique ingredient (not Soylent Green but a shapeable vegetable fibre) is sold in shops and has actually already been made into a ready meal. “Well I was unaware of that” blusters a shaken Roisin.

Poor Bianca has to pitch her idea of “revolutionising the hosiery and shapewear market” by producing tights in tones for black people. Claude looks aghast, suggesting that she needs to focus on either one (hosiery) or the other (shapewear) whilst claiming “I understand your concerns. From speaking to women, this is an issue” (he clearly doesn’t speak to that many women as for me hosiery and shapewear pretty much work together). However Bianca takes it on board as she tells Mike Souter that “in hindsight we are offering shapewear far too early”. “You’re changing your mind?” Mike queries. “No I am not” Bianca insists, whilst changing her mind. She’s been Littnerred. Mike cheers her up by revealing that he has spoken to one of “Britain’s leading fashion editors” who said Bianca is “really onto something”. Claudine likes bianca’s CV but insists that Bianca tell her something personal that she wouldn’t know, and after a series of fails (“Erm I like my family”) declares that Bianca might “take professionalism so far it stops you having a personality. It feels like you’re hiding”. I really feel sorry for Bianca, who looks on the verge of tears in the lift (Mark is however overjoyed that “Claudine has really rattled her”). What the fuck is she supposed to say to something like this (“Am I hiding something? I don’t know!”). It gets worse when she meets Ricky – who quizzes her on her audacity to charge people money for interview skills advice and CV writing when that’s part of her business, and again insists that he wants to know her “personality”. She finally cracks (“erm. erm. Can I get a tissue?”). “Why are you upset?” Ricky demands cuntily, and she hits him with it: “I’m upset becauseIi think throughout this process I’ve been myself; and me as a person and my character has been questioned… I don’t usually cry in interviews and I want to give this as good advice to people, especially if they’re paying for the advice” (she smiles wryly through the tears), “I think I’ve got something great and I just want that” (her voice finally splinters) “chance”. And I love Bianca and want her to win at this point. Nobody else is asked to justify who they are behind the professionalism by the way. Unless they all got asked and Bianca was the only one to cry.

Sugar invites his cronies to feed back on the candidates and they agree with Karren that Solomon’s bright but “immature” and incapable of preparing a business plan. Although he does a lovely picture of a sailboat.

Karren thinks Bianca worries about her image, as though that’s somehow strange. Ricky grasses her up for getting “incredibly emotional with little pushing” which makes him sound like a heartless square headed tosser, although he adds that he thinks her “professionalism will help her succeed”. Claude admits he’s done some hosiery research (“which I found quite pleasant”) and there is a market, which Mike confirms, but Claude worries about manufacturing as though Bianca has to get out there and bloody well make the tights herself.
Claudine liked Mark a lot, as did Claude, who describes Mark as “another Ricky”, which really isn’t selling the man to me.
Roisin is dismissed by Sugar as a “bean counter turned bean producer” and Mike tells everyone that her particular “magic” bean is a root called konjac, which Sugar like me deliberately mishears as “Kojak” (“tasteless, but it fills you up”) and is sadly already part of a similar product on the market. http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fmcg/ambient/nah-launches-konjac-pasta-ambient-ready-meals/372842.article
Mike is worried by Daniel’s obsession with being “super saleman” but Sugar thinks “he’s got spirit” and whilst Claude agrees Daniel’s made a business “out of nothing”, he still thinks planning an event without meeting everyone involved doesn’t make sense. He should try running a comedy night. Mike thinks Dan is a tryer though (“he wouldn’t stop trying for you he’d die in the attempt”. Claude “Or you’d kill him”).

Back in the boardroom, Mark says although his idea has 100s of competitors his is acer and skiller and he worked in his parents businesses so he knows what it’s all about. Erm. It’s time for Karren to stick the spanner in (“It’s stressfull setting up a business… I’ve seen what happens to you when pressure gets to you”) but Mark insists his meltdown just shows “how much the process means to me” (all together now – aww!).

Bianca’s asked if she understands the tights manufacturing process again, but has actually done the homework and knows which manufacturers to approach.

Solomon admits that “Claude gave me a bit of a rollocking” but he’s only 23 bless him. Sugar tells him he’s an “intelligent young man” (Lord Sugar speak for You’re Fucked) and, despite Claude saying he thought Solomon would go far, he is fired (disarmingly telling everyone he “really enjoyed the process” and thanking them for being fair) and ends up in the Taxi of Doom, still relentlessly upbeat (“for me to make the final 5 at such a young age” – what’s that Solomon? How old are you? – “Is an achievement in itself”).

Daniel gets flak for saying “all I need is cash, a good name and some contacts” (“You sound like a criminal on the run!”).

Roisin is informed that she has no “understanding of the enormous scale of things that need to happen for” her business plan to succeed, and for expecting to go global based on the market research of 6 people plus mammy and daddy. Sugar insists that “to fight for space in chillers in supermarkets is like gold dust” which suggests he’s never been to Aldi. The fact she thinks £750K spending in the first year was “conservative” dooms her (Nick: “The scale of your ambition exposes your naivety”), and with regret she is fired, with nary a chance to convey her feelings in Loser’s Taxi.

Again the candidates are sent outside for Sugar to bitch about them with Karren and Nick, and to admire “Daniel’s passion and desire” (ooer). All of a sudden when he brings them back in, he declares he wants to think of them as “people” not just business plans (this after sending two perfectly capable people away).

Daniel still deludedly thinks he’s a great salesperson even when it is pointed out he was 6th amongst the candidates and he will never beat Mark and they should just snog right now.

Mark admits “I should have fought with more passion to be PM more than once” adding “I risked it all to be here” (really?) before declaring himself better than his oppenents in every way (“Oh my God I will blow them away in terms of earnings!” which sets Daniel off, who waves his “I’ve run a successful company what have you done?” willy in Mark’s face.

Wisely Bianca chooses to ignore the “petty squabbles” – insisting she has “the passion to drive the brand”. It’s a good thing she’s not a corporate clone eh? Daniel gets all sneery about the fact that she’s just selling tights, so Sugar sacks him, although he is “a better man than when you walked in” on account of changing his manner. Daniel keeps his new leaf on display by wishing both finalists good luck (“You done amazing”) despite being clearly gutted. In the taxi of despair, Daniel upbeatly insists that the process made him a better person which is “worth more than a quarter of a million to me”. He must be lying right?

Bianca has a smile a mile wide on learning she is a finalist. In the car back Mark starts on some playful mind games (“I can’t wait to win this.. I’d hate to be in your shoes Bianca”), but she just laughs “let’s see eh?.

Next week is the final and clearly Daniel is on Bianca’s team (“You got me fired” (eh?) “but I hate Mark more”). We’re nearly there, well done for hanging on in.

To win
Bianca

To perish in a tragic coughing fit disaster
Mark

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James, Felipe, Katie, Sanjay, Solomon, Roisin, Daniel

Week 10 dawns and the remaining shiny suited shitclowns are summoned to Tate Britain where Lord Sugar continues with the tenuously linked tasks, explaining that Lord Tate made his fortune in Sugar (ooer!) so the teams have to create and brand a range of luxury desserts to pitch to three retailers and the team with the most orders and who can cause the most cases of type two diabetes will win. Daniel’s moved over to Summit with Roisin, Bianca and Solomon. Sanjay switches to Tenacity with Mark and Katie and promptly starts bitching about he’s well rid of Bianca as he was always bailing her out or something.

Roisin and Katie are appointed Project Managers seeing as their business proposals are both based around food. Solomon suggests a “British Inspired Cheesecake” and they toy with the notion of “Teasecake” as both Dan and Roisin are very keen to this pudding to have tea in it. Roisin definitely wants to do the branding and picks Bianca to help, until Solomon uses his “Men are crap in the kitchen” card to consign Bianca to dessert making drudgery (Bianca looks peeved but passive aggressively insists she is “happy to support the team”). Meanwhile Daniel, who also gets stuck on production, just seems happy to be there and keeps his gob mercifully shut.

Katie meanwhile stresses to her team that they are not pitching to a Michelin Star restaurant, but just to your normal supermarket plebs. She’s convinced this task is right up her street as her business plan is to launch a healthy eating restaurant. The entire of the North disowns Katie at this point. She waltzes round sampling bizarre ingredients like saffron and oriental grapefruit type things whilst squealing “ooh tangy” and trying not to look confused.

Meanwhile Mark and Sanjay wolf down puddings in a Michelin Star restaurant and Sanjy insists that a trifle containing pear and hibiscus will combine luxury and mass appeal with a little bit of insanity. The chef advises them to make something with familiarity for consumers, but Sanjay are off in the car brainstorming names (“Fancy Full”, “Treat Time”), until Mark suggests “Sweet Pleasure” and it all gets a bit 50 shades of sugary treat.

Daniel tries to pull a clever face whilst tea tasting with a “tea sommelier”, and thankfully doesn’t swirl and spit. “That doesn’t resemble tea to me” he says thoughtfully “because I’m very uneducated… in the world of tea”. Meanwhile Bianca ponces on about “flowery aftertastes” and the tea sommelier is impressed, whereas Daniel is amazed (“Suddenly Bianca seemed to know all about TEA!”). Daniel says “TEA” a lot in the production lab, in between failing to break eggs (“are these magical eggs?”), just in case we didn’t realise their dessert contains TEA. He thinks there’s too much TEA in the dessert. Bianca thinks it’s not enough. Nobody asks a vicar. Eventually they create some cheesecakes which Daniel fingers rather worryingly, and give each other high fives on a job well done. I must say Daniel’s lobotomy still seems to be keeping him nice and easy going this week.

Katie donns her Greggs hat to mix up some strawberry and hibiscus (“Ugh that’s horrible!”) before losing it with the saffron, picking out two tiny strands (“Is this supposed to dissolve”) and dithering over why she can’t taste anything (“I’m being over cautious”) before chucking in a bucketload (about fifty quid’s worth) of the stuff. She eventually creates a dodgy looking jumble of fruit and cream (North Eastern Mess?) and proudly declares “it doesn’t look artificial”. Neither does poo.

Sanjay and Mark bond over a shared love of red and white gingham for their rubbish, camp vintage style trifle branding. Sanjay chooses the name “A trifle different” and thinks he’s fucking Oscar Wilde or something. Sadly you can’t read the name properly on the sub Happy Shopper finished product which looks like something you’d buy at a 99p shop for an enemy. It arrives the next day and both Sanjay and Mark love it (“That looks like a product!”).

Meanwhile Roisin and Solomon come up with “Tea Pot” which is simple and classy (i.e. plain and dull) but doesn’t seem to clearly explain that it actually is a dessert and not just a delicious beverage based product. Solomon is cruelly mocked by Roisin for saying he would buy a dessert for a girlfriend, which makes me suspect Roisin is really an emotionless business cyborg who doesn’t understand the healing powers of pudding.

Katie is typically democratic and says each team member can take a pitch to the supermarkets. Roisin chooses to lay down the law and says she will lead with Bianca supporting and they will only give Daniel a go if Hell freezes over and there is a Z in the month and if things don’t work out. He’s amazingly chilled about this, despite like Solomon, being desperate to prove himself. His mask slips a tad in the car as he says he’s realised “Roisin is actually in love with Bianca”. Saucer of milk!

Sanjay does his market research and 6 out of 7 people like the trifles. One completely mad bloke gives it 10 out of 10 and Sanjay likes the cut of his jib. However one woman says the saffron makes it taste savoury and Sanjay gives her an overwrought pensive look.

Solomon calls Roisin to explain that the traffic is shit so he and Daniel might not get there in time for the first pitch to Asda. Cue elation amongst the women of the team, and a fresh order for another saucer of milk for Roisin (“I’m not at all concerned Daniel and Solomon won’t be there”). Roisin plays buzzword bingo at the Asda pitch, harping on about “treat seekers” and “grazing consumers” (for Christ sake woman why not humanise it and just identify “aspirational, toothless, spotty fatties” as your target audience?). Asda man however thinks there should be more tea in the pudding. Told you they should have asked a vicar. Roisin tells the boys her pitch was “seamless” however when they meet at Waitrose. Dan’s eager for just a tiny thing to say in this pitch (“can’t we mention the market research we did?”) but Roisin and Bianca insist the boys stay silent and look pretty and try not to look too bored and end up interrupting with something inane and distinctly none Waitrosey. Oops too late, Daniel’s off telling the Waitrose woman that the tea “smacked me around the face” and that he doesn’t have a posh palate like what she does, whilst Roisin looks icy daggers at him. Afterwards Roisin tells him to “bite your tongue” in future, but he still thinks her pitch was a “bit monotone” (“I quite liked the product before that pitch – she’s put me off it”).

Katie’s Asda pitch isn’t great and predictably the Asda people think the flavours are too mental for even your average Asda shopper. Mark does his usual non-Jedi mind tricks on the way to the Waitrose pitch (“He’s a good guy but is Sanjay the guy you want in front of the largest supermarket? He was in the boardroom for underselling”) until Katie rings Sanjay and offers him the Waitrose pitch with support from her and Mark. Sanjay resists a hissy fit but insists he can handle a pitch by himself. Unfortunately Waitrose call them out on the Saffron tasting “earthy” whilst costing the earth and they think the branding doesn’t look “premium or top tier”.

It’s Tesco time and Daniel begs to be allowed to mention his precious market research just this once. Roisin relents (“but keep it snappy”). Tesco are really positive from word go about the tea pots and Solomon feels buoyed up enough to get in on the action by mentioning that he would buy one as a gift for a friend, which the Tesco people all nod at whilst polishing off their cheesecakes (maybe Daniel slipped some crack cocaine into them). Daniel introduces himself (“Hi, I’m Daniel”) and comes across as David Brent (as played by Oliver Reed) whilst relating the positive consumer feedback (“‘It’s really good and I can really taste the green tea coming through”), but in reality they had the greedy little Greg Wallaces at Tesco at the word “dessert” (Tesco man waxes on about them combining the “nation’s favourite drink and a dessert with fun”). Solomon reckons Tescos woman winked at him (“that’s a good sign isn’t it”) – the boy is OBSESSED. He seems more and more like a naughty schoolboy who gets by through smiling, nodding and looking slightly abashed on occasion. Not that that’s a bad strategy in most workplaces, and I still can’t help liking him.

Mark starts his pitch to Tesco and promptly starts choking more than the Boston Strangler in an old folk’s home, interspersing dull business figures with disturbing gravelly coughs. It’s an utter Mark Meltdown. So it seems he can sell but he can’t pitch. As he descends into a hacking fit, Tesco take pity and offer him water, but he still fails to form coherent sentences (“Diet fruit… sorry DRIED fruit”) and apologises profusely when they leave, although in the car he slyly looks around wondering how he can shift the blame.

In the boardroom, Roisin tries to dismiss Solomon’s branding contribution, but Nick leaps to his defence (“he was bouncing up and down with little ideas”) and Sugar is bemused by “grazing customers” (“what? a donkey or a goat?”). Sugar notices the deafening silence from Daniel’s general direction (“Ave you got a sore throat”), but our boy can’t be gagged for long and when Roisin admits that she wanted to keep Daniel away from pitching, he’s off (“What were we supposed to do. Stand there and hold the doors open for the girls?”). Unfortunately for Roisin, who says Daniel’s contribution at the second pitch was rubbish, Nick again sticks up for the poor oppressed blokes (aww) by stating that Waitrose actually LIKED Daniel, and even Solomon looks quite frankly astounded.

Sanjay gets stick for failing to address negative points raised during market research in order to pre-empt difficult questions from the retailers, and Katie tries to airbrush the Asda woman’s response to saffron in a dessert by saying she wasn’t “keen” until Karren steamrollers in (“She thought it was disgusting! It went in the bin!”).

Mark admits he “dropped his bundle” (eh?) and “the situation beat me”, but promises it won’t happen again. “Nobody else has buckled” Nick slides the knife in smoothly.

Results time:

Asda didn’t like Katie’s pitch, but did like the products that didn’t have saffron in, so ordered 13,500 units.

Asda hated the tea pots (“too niche”) that Roisin and Bianca pitched alone and didn’t order any.

Waitrose didn’t think Tenacity’s trifles were posh enough so ordered none. However they quite liked Summit’s tea pots and ordered 5,500.

Tesco were “confused by Tenacity’s branding” and probably didn’t fancy anything that Mark had coughed all over so didn’t order any. They did like the tea pots (although thought they needed “tweaking” to include more drugs) so ordered 20,500.

Summit therefore win by 12,500 orders and are sent to eat macaroons and drink martinis on the world’s smallest exclusive yacht which was apparently in a Bond film (it’s pretty fricking exclusive as it only seems to seat four).

Poor Katie and her team are sent to brood in cafe doom and she turns a peculiar shade of grey as it dawns on her that having a food related business plan may not make this the best task to fuck up.

Back in the boardroom and she tries to argue that “desserts are not my strongpoint” but still gets stick for using too much saffron (“clearly you have no concept of costs”). Her business proposal is to take foods that are traditionally unhealthy and “make them healthy” (“Fastie Pasties?”), but fortunately she doesn’t “plan on being chef”, and she insists she has run front of house in a restaurant before. “I’ve been to Macdonalds too” sneers Sugar. Ouch!

The “gingham and splodges” packaging is described as looking like “someone had sneezed on it with a mouthful of custard”, which you just know there is probably a ‘speciality’ magazine about somewhere.

Katie tries to blame Mark, but he claims it’s down to the branding, which Karren points out he was responsible for, so he tries again (“80% of the purchase decision is made by the taste of the product and Katie got that wrong”). Hmm. Last time I checked I wasn’t allowed to make sound consumer judgements at the cold counter by peeling back tinfoil lids and dipping my spoon in, so I was forced to go for the dessert that looked least shit which I could actually afford.

It turns out that Sugar doesn’t give a flying monkey bollock about the task and it’s all down to the business proposals from now on in. Therefore Sanjay’s idea of a sort of facebook for gym users (I get the feeling this exists already but I never want to know about it), where people pay a membership fee, but Sugar thinks he’s “deluded in thinking that is a lucrative business”.

Mark insists “I want to be here more than anyone else” and Karren can’t resist sticking her oar in (“You failed in front of Tescos”), prompting Sanjay to state that there’s been a “few occasions” when people thought Mark should have been brought back into the boardroom (Mark: “Why are you diving in mate?”). Mark claims he’s become one the the UK’s top internet entepreneur with 7 (SEVEN!) whole staff and a company turning over 1.5million quid. So why is he there again?

Sugar, Nick and Karren send the candidates out to wait whilst they chat about how useless they all are, and as soon as Sugar mentions that “Sanjay has spent his whole life in banking” you just know he’s toast. Everyone troops back in and Sugar tells them that although sole traders are the “backbone of the economy” he’s not interested in that market. Katie declares that although she is a sole trader, she’s ready to go to the “next level”.

Sanjay insists he can make 1.1million in 5 years, but Mark starts blinding him with knowledge about internet advertising and tells him it’s not possible, even though Sanjay says he has 4 other revenue streams which are too top secretly non existent to actually share with the boardroom. They all shout over each other until Katie becomes mum again and tells them to stop.

Sadly whilst she thinks she has the business model to go global from Sunderland with her rabbit food empire, but Sugar’s unconvinced and fires her with regret, and she sweetly tells Karren and Nick it’s been lovely meeting them. In the Taxi of Ruefullness she’s still “proud of everything I’ve done”. Bless.

Sugar makes the boys sweat, but we all know he’s going to fire Sanjay, who only makes things worse for himself by trying to brand Mark as a one-trick pony, but unfortunately picking a quite important trick (“Selling you’re great at. If you want a sales guy Lord Sugar, pick Mark”) and Sugar takes his advice (“You are an intelligent and clever fellow”) and although Mark’s business proposal is “all abaht sales.. but there’s so many of you out there doing it”, our wrinkly walnut faced peer fires Sanjay (no regret this time).

Mark’s still blanched, sweating and waiting (“Can I speak again Lord Sugar?” “No”) but he eventually gets a reprieve and returns to the house, where Daniel is telling everyone that even though “Mark screwed up completely” (of course), he thinks it’s “impossible to let Mark go”. One day these two men will kiss.

Roisin’s stunned that Katie has gone. Who will darn the boys’ socks now? Mark explains that “it’s all about you now and your business plan”. They all stop and think that Daniel’s business plan must be shit hot.

Next week, Sugar unleashes the bulldogs of war onto the candidates for the interviews round. Mark thinks going into an interview after Daniel is a good strategy (“You’ll look good then”) and baldy business bastard Claude Littner growls at someone “It’s a bloody disgrace”.

Favourites
Bianca
Solomon

Scary Fembot
Roisin

Still bonkers – but making me laugh.
Daniel

Bundle Dropper
Mark

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James, Felipe, Katie, Sanjay

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Daniel (call it a hunch – he wouldn’t be there still otherwise) and fecking Mark.

Christ on a wobbly segue, but Week 9 of The Apprentice is a massive festival of dullness, and I almost miss having James to shout abuse at within the first 5 minutes. A BBC montage of diseased pigeons, binmen and early morning radio shows is juxtaposed against Lord Sugar’s car heading ominously towards the candidates’ house like a really shit Jaws. Sadly when Sugar knocks at the door, it’s not opened by a cross-dressing moth enthusiast serial killer a la Silence of the Lambs, but by a cuddly eager Columbian self referencing lawyer a la Felipe. (edit – I’ve been informed Solomon opened the door, clearly I was opening wine at this point in proceedings).

Whilst Sugar stands around looking angry amongst the Argos furnished living room, the candidates panic. Sanjay wants anyone but him to “offer him a cup of tea or something”, whereas Daniel’s fears are more primal (“If he was in here he would have destroyed me” – ooer!).

Anyhow this task is all about the negotiation. The candidates have a list of 9 items that have been purchased in this exact same bloody task over the last decade. The candidates who purchase the most of these items in 1 day for the least amount of money will win. Both teams have £1000 spending money, a business directory and a map of London, and a suicide capsule.

Here are the dread items of doom:-

Nigella seeds
Rough cut diamond
Oud perfume
Belfast sink
kosher chicken
Anatomical skeleton
1 metre of old rope
1 kilo of delicious scallops
And fucked if I know the last one

So after Mark getting an extra hour to check the cut of his suit in the mirror, he’s ready for the power struggle of team Tenacity, where Daniel puts himself forward (London knowledge, not quite on a taxi driver’s level), Mark puts himself forward (Lived in London for 2 whole years) and Katie throws her hat into the ring because she doesn’t want Daniel and Mark to waste all their time willy waving. However Daniel (“desperate to be Project Manager”) manages to convince Mark to back him, and Mark works out that he can blame it all on Daniel oif it goes wrong and accepts. Daniel immediately disappoints by making good decisons; making Katie sub-team leader with Mark, divvying up which products to get and taking Felipe along with him to look for diamonds in an attempt to heal their rift from last week. Daniel then blows it all by talking down to Mark and Katie and acting in an utterly deluded stylee, but once he’s on the road the transformation into a positive bloke is astonishing.

Meanwhile on Summit, Sanjay decides that after the last board room bollicking, he needs to put his “money where his mouth is” (Of course if he had money he wouldn’t be mouthing off on the shoe) and nobody else steps forward so he goes with what seems like the sensible plan of staying put and planning out the day – for two and a half blimming dithery hours – after which they all run about like headless Kosher chickens. Roisin quickly decides she wants to find the diamond (being an ice queen), and London girl Bianca suggests Hatton Garden-, but Roisin decides she would do better outside of central London, and Bianca pulls a face like mine would be (although she fails to suggest phoning around to get the best deal, so I am still unimpressed).

Daniel uses his inbuilt Jewdar to detect the cheapest Kosher chicken in Golders Green (Yes it’s impressive he remembers the name of Jacob the chicken seller, but it’s only getting him a 4 quid chicken). ” We’ve got this!” Daniel fistpumps, with one item in the bag.

Bianca makes an appointment with Declan to buy a Belfast sink, but Katie from Tenacity is already at the scrap yard with Declan (only Irishman in London) and, with Mark’s passive aggressive prompting manages to haggle him down from a mighty £80 to a puny £75. Mark and Katie then tell Declan to fuck over the other team, but when Bianca arrives she manages to haggle him down to £60 for an admittedly shit but still acceptable sink.

It’s skeleton time and Solomon cant say anatomical (“antomonical”) which makes me love him a little bit.
Whilst Sanjay is idly cruising, Roisin spots another skeleton in a shop display, but it has a name (“Adam”) and therefore won’t be sold for less than £2,000, no matter how eagerly Sanjay measures it.

Felipe spots a “build your own anatomical paper skeleton” and convinces Daniel that it meets Lord Sugar’s specifications (“I’m a lawyer”). It costs £14, and when Daniel calls Mark and Katie, they heartily approve, although they may just be thinking this will be the best way to get rid of Daniel. “As long as it meets the specifications it saves us pennies everywhere…” Mark semi-enthuses. An over-riding image of the peace and love between Daniel and Felipe occurs as they rush across The Strand, hand in hand. Deal done, Felipe is enormously proud of his purchase (“£14 when we could have spent £200!”). Daniel insists it’s down to him “thinking outside of the box” as they look happily at the thin flat pack skeleton box. Mark does a knowing look as he gets the triumphant phone call in; “I hope it’s the right one”. In the words of that well known feminist comedian Dapper Laughs “He knows”.

Sanjay struggles to spell out the word “kosher”, so you sense he gives up on the chicken. Next Roisin advises he checks out “fish and chip shops” for scallops (as she’s Irish I wonder if she means potato scallops like I used to get from the chippy as a kid in Liverpool), but he just slaps her down. I’m just astonished that nobody suggests Billingsgate Market.

It’s diamond time next and Daniel appoints Felipe his wing man at Hatton Garden (“You come in with the story”). Daniel tells the hard arsed diamond seller man that he is “looking to get married” (stupid as anything involving weddings costs at least 3 times as much) However he haggles the jeweller man down from £215 to £175 apparently by virtue of being Jewish. UKIPers go all frothy about global conspiracies.

A few doors away, however, Roison haggles the furiously masturbating jewellery man down from £145 to £50 by virtue of being blonde (just like the jewellery man’s wife) and him being fat, sweaty and so desperate for female attention that he pretends he has a blonde wife. “The guy was just putty in his hands” gushes Karen. Sanjay can’t believe it (“You basically just stole that diamond off him like in a heist movie”). UKIPers cheer that the pretty blonde done well, until someone tells them that, being Irish, she is technically theForeign too.

Solomon and Bianca have found an anatomical (or as Solomon can’t help saying “antomological “) skeleton called Steve, which Solomon plays with whilst Bianca sorts out the deal. Sanjay decides that because he has been so skill allowing Roisin to do the diamond deal, that poor Bianca and Solomon have to do the rest of the work.

Mark and Katie find Scrooboius Pip supplying Oud from a dodgy looking block of flats which Mark decides looks like “the North” and Katie haggles the supplier down from £60 to £48, but Mark decides to blame Katie for not getting a lower price. Meanwhile in a posh shop, Sanjay gets some Oud for £100 and disappointingly nobody decides to call Lord Sugar’s bluff and bring in a tentacle faced Dr Who alien character.

Sanjay decides to wimp out and call his team back to avoid the latecomer fine, whilst invoking the “no chicken” fine, but unfortunately Solomon has refused to be “beaten by one kosher chicken” (kinky!) and sets out on his own unsuccessful mission, meaning that Sanjay’s team turn up late and without all the items. “I’ve been decisive and clear” insists Sanjay. Bianca disgrees, unless he meant clearly a twat.

Back in the boardroom and Dan’s team all get in on time with all the items (according to Columbian law), prompting Felipe to state that “Daniel became a man” with this task and Katie to comment that Daniel was “much more positive” and “turned over a new leaf”. It’s all a lie, he’s still mental, you fools.

Sugar is in full on grouch mode and gets shitty over Tenacity’s free “old rope” being more than a meter (“You couldnt find a pair of scissors?” ). So it’ no surprise he’s pissed off by their free interpretion of what constitutes an anatomical skeleton. It looks pretty bleak when the flat pack is contrasted against Steve the Skeleton, but Daniel maintains “We tried to think outside the box”.

Bianca claims she manages to turn Sanjay’s strategy of staying back to organise plans but missing the first contact with retailers to her advantage “as a point of negotiation”, but sadly Sanjay failes to be so positive whilst explaining how Summit failed to get 4 items (“Erm the kosher butchers didn’t have a whole chicken!”)

Anyhow it’s scores time:-
Summit – spent £483.97 – with their missing items and late fines the total is £644.97
Tenacity – spent £347.59 which with the inceridibly petty rope fine becomes £399.59
However Sugar intervenes and disallows the “skeleton” in a massively suspicious and arbitrary manner- adding an extra £310

So Summit get to go on a treat I fail to notice through my outrage at this arbitrary punishment.

Tenacity get to go to the cafe of Despair, where Katie angrily blames it all on Daniel and Felipe (“We could have walked this “).
Back in the boardroom, Sugar pretends he’s “really really angry about this” whilst being almost impressed that Daniel’s team did return with all items. The big issue is the skeleton, and Felipe rather nobly claims responsibility for this , although Nick notes that Daniel backed away from responsibility, which gives Mark the chutzpah to blame Daniel for not haggling better for his diamond.

With some faux reluctance Daniel brings Felipe back into the boardroom, followed by a more feisty Katie who thinks Daniel is just responding to her calling him a massive brooding dick the night before (of course he is). Still Mark gets to go home unscathed. Why don’t he and Daniel just get a fricking room?

Lord Sugar tries to help Daniel with a football analogy (it’s the only language Daniel understands). “It’s like one of your players missing a penalty four times” Sugar taunts Daniel over his boardroom appearances, but Daniel constructs a half-decent response” (“That player still has to step up.. and I’ve grown as a person.”), but Sugar won’t play football analogy keepy uppy any longer (“I’m not free therapy for the deluded”), and he still predictably ends up just firing poor Felipe because he hates lawyers. Especially smart arse ones. And this is a massive fix.

In the Taxi of Doom Felipe explains everything that “Felipe is capable of”, and it’s nice to see Mark’s hacky face at Daniel’s return.

Next week the candidates design and market desserts. Cos that’s nothing like designing and marketing soft drinks is it, you boring witless repetitive 5 more weeks to go of this producer gits? Oh.

Favourites
Katie
Bianca
Solomon
Roisin

Moaning Minny
Sanjay

Silly and deluded

Daniel

Bit of a tit

Mark

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James, Felipe

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Katie, Solomon and bloody Mark.

Week 8 dawns and the candidates gather amongst the flowers and cute baby goslings at a premium dogging spot, where our favourite brillo pad headed peer instructs them to “tap into the rural market” at the Royal Bath & West show. Firstly they have to find their products, with one proved seller to be selected at the show, and two new wacky ones to be found to introduce to the market via a series of meetings with insane inventors in London. As per usual the team with the most sales wins, and Sugar announces he will be looking for everyone to sell and monitering each individuals’ sales.

Daniel chooses Felipe to lead team Tenalady, and Katie and Mark concur. Daniel and Katie head off to Somerset to check products at the show, whilst Felipe coos over the crazy products; gutter-cleaning robot (“This is amazing! I would like this for my garden”), self flushing cat shitter, flat cap tweed handbags (“Very English! I know my wife would love this”) etc. , child’s bicycle trailer (“I don’t fit in it!”), foldable wellies (“I can see a market for this”) with Mark yes-manning in attendance.

Over on team Armpit, James declares that he fancies this as he’s grown up selling. Bianca tries to butter him up “Do you think you should focus on sales rather than being project manager” but James is adamant he can do both, as he “always puts” his “balls on the line” (sadly not an electrified train line). Whilst James and Roisin head off to the sticks, Solomon, Bianca and Sanjay try to push hard to get leeway on dropping prices and manage to negotiate the bike trailer down to £250 selling price.

Mark agrees with Felipe that the flat cap handbag is “how you imagine all English people dress” (Mark: “Maybe if I bought one for a girl, I might not be standing here a single man”), Mark is all about establishing a relationship with a supplier, even though that’s not the ultimate point of the fricking task”, so they inform Katie and Daniel they’re choosing the product, only to wince when Katie enquires over whether they negotiated over dropping the £60 selling price. “OK, that’s a very good point” declares a crestfallen Felipe. “That could be a very good point” Mark nods, distancing himself subtly from the bad business decisions as usual. Katie’s unimpressed (“No good sales person fails to ask that”). They still go for the handbag as Mark thinks it will sell by waving it in people’s faces. In the countryside they will probably just shoot you for that.

After all their careful fact finding and negotiations, Bianca, Solomon and Sanjay go for the bike trailer and a “pet finder” thing that lights up when your dog runs off to slaughter your neighbours lambs. However, James completely ignores their suggestions and insists on the foldable wellies and hanging chair, cutting off Bianca’s “but” with a brusque “Good stuff guys keep working well done!”

In the countryside man, James picks his way around sad looking sheep and a man molesting a heiffer to discover that “there’s lots of wellies everywhere” (so hardly a new fucking product that you insisted on there). He likes a lawnmower that you can sit on and drive around and seems to get on well with the Joad family who are selling it.

Yes it’s time to pick that fabled “established product”. Daniel understands what they have to do “All we have to do is negotiate a product, sell it and win the task. It is literally that simple!” WIth this in mind he goes to a BBQ stall run by the wild folk out of Deliverance and starts ranting on about their brand and how much (repeated) PASSION he has to sell barbecues, whilst the slack jawed yokel stare at him and a wicker man is hastily assembled. “We’re a family business” points out BBQ Bloke, “it’s not a hard selling show”. Katie diplomatically suggests that he needs to tone down the intensity, but Daniel’s clearly not listening (“That’s what I thought, yeah”).

Katie takes more of a lead with the next product “high-end” hot tubs, talking about how they can “grasp the product” and relate it to people. “We want to make sure people leave with a smile” chips in Daniel (yeah of relief to escape from you mate).

James comes to the same stall and is very impressed that Anthony the hot tub man has sold 7 of these £4000 hot tubs so far today. So impressed in fact that he keeps calling the bloke “Derek” for some reason (being a nob probably). He therefore makes another executive decision on behalf of the team (“Fuck it! Hot tubs!”).

It’s all about the Hot Tubs, and Anthony gets to flirt with both teams over the phone, before plumping with Tenacity as “Katie seemed very intelligent” and he liked her “passion” (not Dan’s passion note). He lets James down none too gently by admitting that being called the wrong name twice made the blustering Northern hobbit look like he was “winging it”. James does a sad, but belligerant face (“Sod him! If what really matters to him was a name!”. He’s broody in the car back and declares that rather than demotivate the team by telling them he ballsed up big time he wants to not tell them at all. In many ways James is like Christ. Roisin doesn’t want to lie, but James does his big toddler pout (“That might be your advice, but what do I want to do”) before informing the rest of the team, to their extreme confusion, that he’s made a last minute “business decision to go with the lawnmowers”. Bianca clearly knows she’s in the presence of a Maverick (“James strikes again!”).

Katie proves she’s much too nice by including Daniel as one of the reasons they won the hot tub deal. Meanwhile Mark gets to work on Felipe (“I’d be far better at selling the hot tub than Daniel”), and whilst he’s undoubtedly correct, I can’t fully believe his statement “I’m not here for Mark Wright today, I’m here for the team”, unless he’s talking about the guy from Towie on Strictly who looks like Quagmire out of Family Guy.

The teams set out their stalls for the new products and Felipe decides funnily enough that Mark should go out with Katie to flog hot tubs. Daniel is more outraged than the whole of Twitter and starts harping on at poor Felipe (“That doesn’t make sense! How can a salesman be happy selling lower end products” – that’s ok Daniel we know you’re not a salesman) but Katie looks sneakily relieved. Mark admits he was “sneaky” getting onto the hot tub gig, but insists he hasn’t seen Daniel sell at all and “you don’t leave your prize pony in the stable” (unless you have a whole field full of ponies).

Meanwhile Solomon awkwardly enquires why James didn’t go for the hot tubs, and James looks shifty (“it doesn’t matter now, get it out of your head”) before leaving them to try to sell thin soled wellies to a bunch of countryside alliance types wearing wellies with soles made out of tank tyres. Sanjay whines as usual about how they left the family and dog products when they’re surrounded by familes and dogs, but James “don’t want to hear about the products” and moans to Roisin about the stall team being negative and bringing up “the past”. “You’re being negative to them”, she points out reasonably and he stomps his foot and yells “Not! Not! Not!”. “I’ll just shut my mouth”, Roisin sighs. “You’re patronising me” sulks the Northern Spoilt Bastard. Whilst Solomon and Bianca manage to sell Sanjay particularly struggles with John McCrirrick’s posh twin sister (“Is it something I could interest you in today?” “No”, Sanjay “It’s a difficult crowd”).

Mark and Katie both manage to flog a hot tub which makes Daniel even more depressed, but Karren hints ominously about having to do finance checks on large items. Meanwhile poor Felipe is much too laid back and sweet to sell, and spends his time being provoked into slightly camp bickering with Not Bitter Much Daniel (“I secured that hot tub deal – he got into your brain. Stop bringing me down mate”). Daniel even tries to nick Katie’s last appointment so he can get a sale, but she points out they are coming back to see her specifically cos they think she’s Sarah Millican, and he’s off on one (“You can deal with my flat cap comeback. What’s the difference?” Over £3000?), declaring himself “royally stitched up”. Felipe finally cracks and admits he didn’t choose Daniel to sell hot tubs as he’s “quite arrogant” and goes “for the kill”. “You talk too much mate!” snaps Daniel. It’s like they’re married.

Nick Hewer notes James and Roisin’s very distinct selling times (i.e. her bothering to learn about the product and the price and him not giving a monkeys) and to nobody’s amazement Roisin sells one first, which unleashes James’ enraged outer child (“Every time I try to talk, you’re all over me! You undermine me, you patronise me”). It’s embarrassing, and as Roisin points out “borderline unacceptable” (more than fricking borderline if you ask me. This footage should be used to help managers pinpoint totally unacceptable behaviour.)

Solomon does well, first of all channelling the Harry and Paul Drs sketch whilst haggling (“45”, “46”,”45″,”46″, “45”, “50!” over the price of wellies and then flogging one of the almost useless hanging chairs to a wimpy, hen-pecked bloke who has to send his wife a photo of the kids dangling in one in order to get permission to make his own fecking decision (“Kids what do you think?” kids “Yay!!! Sucker!”).

Sadly James sells a lawnmower to the Marquis of Bath or someone.

At Mark’s final appointment the customer appears to be driving a hard bargain, until he then reveals he owns a caravan park and would want to buy seven! Even Mark does a Beaker face of gormless disbelief.

Back in the boardroom, with James doing his usual Alpha male impression by swaggering in first (always ruined by the fact he walks like he’s soiled himself).

Sugar mocks Felipe for taking negotiation advice from Katie (“So you phoned mum”) before having a go at Mark and Felipe for not asking the right questions of suppliers (Mark “we never thought of that”, Sugar “we?”, Mark “I never thought of that).
Dan’s described as a “bull in a China shop” and he claims he “did pick up on that”, but Katie reveals she actually spotted it “and had a little chat” (Sugar: “So mummy calmed you down a little bit?” – I wish he’d stop saying that Katie’s their mummy, imagine having to breastfeed them!). Felipe reveals he thought Daniel was too “aggressive” to sell, and Daniel admits he was panicked by individual sales being monitered and regrets not being calmer. Too little too late Dan (Sugar “If I put you in a team of one, you’d have an argument with yourself”). It all descends into willy waving again until mum, sorry Katie steps in (“Do you know how silly this sounds”).

Felipe is happy he stuck by his decisions, but Mark is all for undermining him by claiming the process at this stage is too tough for “nice guys”. Aww bless Felipe, he’s “not going to change being a nice man” (Lord Sugar (resisting a laugh) “Please don’t”, Felipe (earnestly) “I would never change”).

Over on team Armpit, James’s team mutiny and grass him up for being an ignorant shitclown and not listening to their product consultation. Sanjay’s particularly galled over not getting that pet tracker). “What did you fancy?” Sugar asks and James insists that “For me it was the lawnmower” until Roisin begs him to “please tell the truth or it will make the baby Jesus cry”. “Oh no no Ok” begins the explanation of a man caught in a sizeable pork pie, with James insisting “sometimes businessmen make mistakes” but he didn’t want it to affect the rest of the team and was going to tell them eventually, honest, before finally confessing “I called the guy Derek twice instead of Anthony”, at which Felipe pisses himself laughing. Sugar points out he’s more Trigger (“Alright Dave”) than Del Boy, which he claims is his nickname (I suppose like Del Boy, he stopped being amusing ages ago).

Anyhow the sales figures are in:-
Summit sold two lawnmowers and got over a grand on the new products, making £4757.50
However Tenacity, whilst only making £500 on products, manage to shift 10 hot tubs with all the credit checks coming in OK, making a total of £30,115.25 (Solomon looks mightily impressed by Mark selling 7 hot tubs to one bloke who wanted to advertise his caravan park on telly). Whilst Daniel felt “sick” to not be sent to sell hot tubs, Sugar hints he’s lucky his team won and they’re all sent to do a boxing masterclass with Anthony (“Don’t call me Derek”) Ogogo where Mark can fantasise about punching Daniel, but Daniel and his inner rage end up “winning” according to Ogogo and Dan then engages in some homoerotic Women in Love style wrestling with Mark. Guys, get a room.

James’s bottom lip sticks out and Roisin insists that Lord Sugar will “hear a lot more” from her, as she gives her erstwhile PM some ice queen death rays. In Cafe Doom, Sanjay admits he sold the least, which surely means he must go?

Back in the boardroom, Roisin unleashes her tactical nuclear strike on James and it’s fucking magnificent (“He comes across as a cheeky chappy but is demeaning and difficult to work with and hasn’t listened through the entire process… when things don’t go your way you have a tantrum. You leave a trail of destruction behind you.”). Sugar almost looks prepared to justify James’s fibs by claiming he’s kept errors internally quiet for “motivational reasons” (he probably told his people that email phones were brilliant and would be a doddle to sell), but he wants to know why James didn’t fess up at the end of the day as he’d planned to.

However Sanjay gets more stick for “standing around like Wurzel Gummage” and only selling three pairs of wellies, with Nick going all Gandalf to chip in that Sanjay “doesn’t stand out” and is in fact “nameless” (eh?), “NAMELESS!!!”).

James brings Sanjay back for being shit at selling and surprise surprise Roisin but not for pulling him up, oh of course not. Back in the boardroom he elaborates patronisingly “Roisin has shown some good strengths but I question her decision making”.

Roisin tries to say something nice (“I admire your passion and enthusiasm and want to be directed in the right way”) but James doesn’t take it in the presumably intended spirit (“Oh so it’s all about me now is it?”).

Sugar slips into rhyming slang (“Sanjay, you’ve been a banker all your life”), and Sanjay as good as commits process suicide by declaring “I never claimed to be the most amazing sales person”.

Sugar’s concerned he hasn’t seen Roisin enough in the process (that’s because she’s been winning or too good to bring back in the boardroom you walnut-foreheaded fool), but Roisin admits that she’s formal and professional (“I am an accountant”) whilst bigging up her creative side (creating a less crap board game than “The Relationship Guru” – which was clearly a big ask).

Sugar reveals that James’s CV states that he “can get over-excited and on people’s nerves” so at least that part isn’t bullshit. Whilst the world’s tiniest violin plays tragic airs, James delivers a tear jerking speech about never having “had an education” and how he’s in “this big wide world on my own”, and “it’s not about the money money money”, he just wants Lord Sugar to be his daddy or something. Sugar still sees a “spark” in James, although he has “got a lot to learn” , but before it becomes a Darth Vader moment, he asks James to “culture that bit of good stuff about you, and you will go somewhere” before firing him “with regret” (I missed James thanking everyone in the room due to my other half whooping in celebration), but in the Taxi to Job Centre Plus James insists he’s “probably better off on my own in the big wide world, I’m a survivor. One day I’ll achieve what I want to” like he’s reading the synopsis of a 1980s soft rock ballad.

Sanjay with his rubbish selling and general whinginess has dodged a bullet here and Sugar reminds him that it’s “a very loud warning that I want to see something”.

In the house Solomon is mightily impressed by Roisin finding her voice at last “fair play to her” and looks on respectfully as she returns and insists she couldn’t let James get away with lying. Bianca’s amazed that Lord Sugar has sacked his son for this series.

Next week it’s the scavenger hunt where the teams are sent to find weird, wonderful and occasionally even ethnic items. I’m expecting more ignorant cross cultural japes – now James has gone – Daniel I’m looking at you.

Favourites
Katie
Bianca
Solomon

Liking
Felipe
Roisin

Moaning Minny
Sanjay

One’s angry and delusional, one’s good at selling (but doesn’t he like letting everyone know?) and hugely passive aggressive, but which is the biggest tit – you decide!
Mark
Daniel

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren, James

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Katie, Solomon and bloody Mark.

It’s the seventh week of the process of condensing the world of corporate wankery into a steaming bowl of twat soup, and our candidates are summoned to the US Embassy to watch a video of Lord “can’t even be arsed to turn up” Sugar (“I can’t be here as I have urgent business elsewhere” – presumably passing off his honorary degree as proof of his scientific knowledge on Twitter) tasking them with one part of each team creating a soft drink brand back in blighty and the other half launching it in New York by pitching to industry experts with a website advert and digital billboard – all within 4 fun filled days. The winner ultimately will be decided by Lord Sugar’s fickle whim, and he urges them to “work as a team, no matter what time zone you’re in”.

Mark’s already assuming he’s in charge of Tenacity (“We need to put people where they’re best suited”) , but Lauren thinks her “local knowledge” of New York makes her the perfect team leader (“I can’t put myself forward strongly enough”). Mark wants to put his “firm pole in the ground” however: “I do advertising for my job every day. I manage a team of advertising specialists”. Nick Hewer’s nose twitches as his bullshit-dar goes into overdrive (“That’s not quite right is it? He’s a sales manager at a digital marketing firm and not in the least creative”), but Felipe and Katie back Mark (Daniel of course says nothing) and Lauren’s bid for leadership is ultimately gazumped.

Next Mark raises “the elephant in the room” that everyone wants to go to New York, and Lauren again thinks she is the “obvious choice” to go as she’s been there before (it’s not another tour guide task Lauren love). Mark wants to pitch, so of course he’s going. Poor Katie highlights her experience of making advertising videos, but Mark chooses Felipe over her – leaving her stuck with Daniel creating the product (Daniel’s still insisting that he’s a “great salesman” – I reckon a giant rabbit tells him this every night). I’m bracing myself for some Daniel style sexist drink names (“Binta”, “MANgo”?), but this week he merely opts for stupid (“Love Water”, anyone? Daniel’s promised he’ll work his “nuts off” to show he can deliver it!). Lauren and Mark are keen on a health conscious water based drink because that will appeal to the land of the 35% obesity rate.

Bianca leads Summit and elects Roisin to stay at home doing the creative job, with Sanjay who has a perma-flounce for the next 4 days about the injustice of it all. Sanjay suggests a caffeine based energy drink and Bianca agrees. She takes James and Solomon to what James originally calls “Noi Yoik” in the worst US accent since (at which point Bianca starts realising she’s going to have to spend 4 days with this tosser) . James suggests the name “Big Dawg” which seems to stick.
Meanwhile in pissing down Luton, Katie concocts a witches brew of pineapple lychee and raspberry (Daniel: “Three of my favourite fruits”) and stirs in some vitamin B. “This tastes like a soft drink for the mass market” Katie declares proudly. It looks like a urine sample.

Roisin and Sanjay are all about the “funky fruits” (dragonfruit apparently), and whilst Karen watches in horror they stir in enough caffeine and sugar to get the population of Luton tripping their collective nuts off. Roisin thinks “it tastes better than other energy drinks” (translation: It doesn’t taste like a pissoir in Barcelona smells).
The drinks reach the US teams at 8am. Felipe’s not impressed by the subtle concoction of fruits (“The colour is pineapple, the colour is pineapple the smell is pineapple, the taste is pineapple – it’s just pineapple!”), but Mark phones Katie to tell her he likes the taste (“there’s obviously a pineapple theme”). She suggests the name Aqua Fusion, and Daniel envisages an “explosion of water and pineapple” – with Mark happy to leave the branding to him. Felipe, Mark and Lauren test out the product on a load of septics sunbathing in the park (I like how Felipe pronounces “lychee” as “leash”) and they’re all mildly polite (“It’s kinda subtle”), which Nick reminds us is not a good sign in the US of freaking A.

James thinks Sanjay and Roisin’s offering tastes too sour (“I ran a bar and it doesn’t taste like passionfruit to me”), setting Sanjay off on another hissy fit (“Maybe you should have made the drink then”) until Bianca tells him to stop being so negative and he starts making whining sounds down the phone at her.

Daniel gets in touch with his creative side by getting Katie to draw a splash of water turning into a pineapple, which looks like an amoeba. He then describes this down the phone to Lauren – who in turn says she’s had a great idea of a twist around the bottle with the fruit coming out of the water and making a splash. “That’s like what Daniel described” Katie points out helpfully, but Lauren doesn’t think so and Daniel gets all huffy.

Summit test out Big Dawg in Brooklyn (James: “It contains passionfruit, guava and erm dragon fly!”) and the name and taste is pretty popular. They might be in the big apple, but lucky old Roisin and Sanjay get to hang around the advertising agency with a really cute cat (who presumably, like Roisin and Sanjay would hate the name “Big Dawg”) waiting for instructions from Bianca, who seems happy to just say the product is “aspirational” and leave the rest to them.
Felipe is put in charge of directing the video and auditions surviving members of the Golden Girls (just realised that only Betty White remains – it’s the curse of the Golden Girls!) cast for the role of Lauren’s mother, who needs to be able to emote and throw a bottle to the actor playing her basketball playing son. Felipe believes he is “super creative” but has to prove himself as “sometimes lawyers are perceived as boring”.

Meanwhile James and Solomon stare at the models at their auditions and try to fold their tongues back into their mouths (“She looked at me” , “no she looked at me!”, Bianca: “Guys just stop – you’re not casting for your next girlfriend”). “Is that a dragon on your chest?” asks a spellbound Solomon. “No it’s a skull” reveals our model (where did they advertise these auditions? Craigslist?). “She has some big… tattoos” Solomon opines wistfully as she leaves.

Biaca’s happy with Sanjay and Roisin’s branded “Big Dawg” when it arrives as it contains all the information they wanted as well as the tagline “Its bark is as big as its bite”. However “Aqua Fusion” in contrast is bland and apparently contains no information, with Daniel having gone through a serious “yellow” phase when designing the lettering for the brand name and erm the background for the lettering. “You can’t even see the vitamins” Felipe says sadly, and Mark gets the opportunity to declare how “disappointed” he is.

Sanjay and Roisin next design the digital billboard “Big Dawg” with paw prints walking up the screen followed by the question “what dawg would you be?”. Bianca is all “eh?” (Roisin: “Are they snoopy, or rottweilers or chihuahas?”, Bianca: “This is not a dog!”), and Sanjay moans “we’ve had no feedback, we’ve produced a drink and a brand and all we hear is whinging” (which funnily enough stops when you close your mouth Sanjay). James does point out that perhaps Bianca should have been in the UK to actually um communicate with the subteam.

Felipe gets over-excited on the set for “Aqua Fusion” and Mark passive aggressively slaps him into shape (“I’ve put my neck on the line letting you do this. Don’t let me down”). Fortunately Mark declares the finished product “really good”. Lauren suggests adding an ident or something and Mark slaps her down by telling her he already thought of that when he was 4 and sending her over to sit with Felipe so he can bitch about her to camera (“I don’t know how she’s contributed… she would probably say she ran the whole thing”).

Meanwhile Bianca directs a series of talking heads (including Solomon) looking into camera (Bianca: “Solomon can you not squint so much”) and explaining why they drink “Big Dawg” (Solomon: “Because I like to play hard and work harder”). Karen Brady slips into a coma whilst watching production (“It doesn’t say energy to me”).

It’s pitch time and Big Dawg is up first. In Times Square, James almost has a Vanilla Sky style meltdown (“We can smash it! This world is as big as our oyster. As big as we want it to be!”). As Roisin and Sanjay watch a video link (adding an unimpressed running commentary not unlike Waldorf and Statler from The Muppets) Bianca gets Solomon and James to hand out samples until James starts getting over familiar with the soft drinks advertising execs (“Nice jacket”) and she has to call him to heel to start the pitch. James blethers about wanting to be a “global icon” and Bianca describes Big Dawg as “the lifestyle drink of choice within the energy drinks arena”. (what the actual fuck does that mean?). She sees “Its bark is as big as its bite” as a “metaphor for success and the American Dream” (and that? It’s like a Telly version of Pseuds corner).

Then the advert rolls, and I find it interesting that Bianca has gone all early Lars Van Trier by omitting a non-diegetic soundtrack (“Big Dogme”?), but sadly it does all fall a little flat, coming across more as a charity appeal ad than flogging a soft drink. James surfs the general wave of apathy as the ad finishes “Erm are we all feeling energised after the big dawg?” and Bianca explains that she left out music as she wanted an “emotional connection rather than those dull, predictable old “high octane adverts with fast cars”. Back at home Sanjay bitches “that was the most boring advert I’ve ever seen”. One bloke worries about the way the I in Big is represented. “That’s not a phallic symbol is it?” he asks. “Definitely not” James declares confidently. “It’s a bone”. He really doesn’t seem to be aware of what he’s just said. Ha!

Tenacity pitch “Aqua Fusion” next, with Mark patronisingly keen to point out how bloody diverse his team is in terms of background and then introducing not one but two lawyers. Lauren loses it a bit describing the “unique erm erm way those vitamins mixed together” and is reduced to reading the description off the bottle.

She is redeemed by her amazing performance in the TV advert, who gets given a bottle of Aqua Fusion from her caring apple pie mom (“This won’t let you down” “Thanks mom” – hang on, Felipe’s actually filmed a panty pad commercial!). They are criticised for not mentioning fruit in their “dialogue” and Lauren and Felipe go into damage limitation mode (Lauren: “We wanted to be careful of what health benefits we promoted”, Mark: “We have two lawyers here”).

Lord Sugar has a trans Atlantic conference call with the execs, who grass up Big Dawg for having a “borderline tragic” commericial, although they liked the branding and name. They claim Felipe’s advert had an “emotional connection” (?), but despaired of how safe the two lawyers in the team played.

Back in the boardroom and Daniel declares being left at home gave him the “chance to show other parts of my game . I can brand. I’m not just a salesman” (no you’re definitely not a salesman Dan), but unfortunately the branding is dismissed as bland by Lord Sugar, and the penny starts to drop for Mark that he screwed up by not using someone who could create a decent enough product to pitch in the first place.

Sugar applauds Bianca’s decision to take James to New York, given the stereotype of yanks as “loud and obnoxious” (“so James would have fitted in”) and he likes the brand name “Big Dawg”, which Solomon apparently described as “liquid viagra”. James blames Bianca for not giving the UK team “more direction” (Karen: “Or you James!”) and Sanjay just bleats on and on about how unfair it all was that he didn’t get to go on a stateside jolly. However Sugar hates the Big Dawgme advert (“and then you had Joan Baez sitting under a tree. Rubbish!”). Karen bigs up Bianca’s pitch as “very engaging”.
So decision time and whilst Summit’s advert was shit on toast, Tenacity’s was only slightly less shit on toast, whereas Big Dawg actually worked as a brand (“the brand is American, no question”) compared to Aqua Fusion (“Not for the US market”). So Summit win, and James can’t resist muttering something about the Big Dawg liking the Big Dawg, prompting a death ray glance from Sugar (“You cannot help yourself”). Mark goes all grey and pulls a “the horror the horror” face.
Summit get sent for a meal up Tower 42, where Bianca informs Sanjay that if he’d accompanied her to New York “It would’ve been a nightmare”. You tell him Bianca!

In Cafe Fail, Mark thinks it’s “clear where we went wrong, the brand was not strong enough”, looking hard at Daniel (Daniel: “It would be an easy option to take me back in” – erm yes, and?) , before then blaming Lauren for everything ever (“Lauren contributed nothing”).

Back in the Boardroom and Mark’s called out on his bullshit as it turns out he only helps with search engine optimisation and is only creative when it comes to his job description.

Sugar re-iterates that the “starting point of any campaign is the product itself” whereas Aqua Fusion “looks like what big dawg does up against a lamp post”. He goes on to describe Aqua Fusion as “the Piers Morgan of drinks” (does it taste of fanny?) . Mark goes with Plan A and tries to drop Daniel up Aqua Fusion creek (“he wanted to show he could brand”) and the fact you couldn’t even read the product name on the bottle is raised (Daniel: “In hindsight it should have been more prominant”). Felipe feels his advert was the only good point of the launch and Sugar suggests he’s catching Daniel’s delusion.

Mark switches to Plan B (eliminate Lauren) and does that classic thing of winding her up (“I couldn’t tell you one thing shes done in the whole task”) then not allowing her a word in edgeways to defend herself. It’s time to select the candidates to bring back in and Mark lies that it’s a “tough” decision, adding that “Lauren is certainly one” and lingering a second before “regrettably” choosing “Daniel as well”. Who the bladdy hell does Mark think he is with his “regrettably”s?

Back in the boardroom, Mark blames Daniel for the logo (“there’s no point lying about it”), so Daniel asks why Katie wasn’t brought in too (“Don’t avoid the question”). Mark says Katie chose good flavours (erm pineapple) and Daniel hits him with the grand reveal “I did the flavours” (so nerrr!). “Actually I should have brought you in without hesitation” Mark condescends, adding “If I had a pound for every time you talked rubbish I’d have the 250 grand by now”. “How long you been sitting on that one for?” Dan snaps back. Guys, guys put your todgers away.

Dan still insists he “showed creativity” (Sugar: “yellow on yellow on yellow doesn’t work with yellow”, Daniel “I 100% agree”, Sugar: “Stop 100% agreeing with me”).

Lauren is outraged to be there as she “contributed so much” to the “concept”, the “pitch” and the saying “Thanks mom” in a ropy accent. “What did you do” she turns on Mark, “except the website, and even then you wanted your hand holding”. Of course, criticising Mark makes Lauren a witch who must be burned, so he now blames her 100% (what?) for the task failure, as “even Dan did other stuff” (bit of a changeroo of mind there mate). “I did nothing wrong” Lauren insists and he slams her with “Yes nothing and that’s why you’re sat here”.

Sugar sums up that Mark cocked up by not working out his team members skills, and then bringing two lawyers to pitch. Daniel is warned he hasn’t proved anything other than the fact he can’t sell, present or create (how soon we forget the genius that was The Relationship Guru). However on “instinct and gut feeling” he fires Lauren for being a lawyer. In the taxi of sorrow she darkly warns that Dan and Mark’s “day will come” (when they finally just get naked together).

Back in the house and James is annoying everyone as usual by taking credit for all of Summit’s success by coming up with the name “Big Dawg” much to Sanjay’s chagrine.

Like a turd that never quite flushes Daniel returns to the house (“They call me the cat – but I’m really running out of lives”) and Mark pulls a hacky troubled face, despite the fact that both of them dodged a bullet this episode and Lauren can be justifiably miffed by being fired ahead of them.

Next week the teams go to the Royal Bath and West Show for some godforesaken reason. Let the construction of the Wicker Businessman begin!

Favourites

Bianca
Solomon

Liking
Katie
Felipe
Roisin

Of course he’s rubbish but I like the way he winds Mark up
Delusional Daniel

Whining Git
Sanjay

Both of them Utter Arsehats in different ways
Passive Aggressive Mark
Over-Eager James

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela, Lauren

Tips for the Final:
Roisin, Bianca, Solomon and bloody Mark.

It’s Week 6 and the remaining candidates board HMS Belfast so that able seaman Lord Sugar can present them with the series most tenuous link to a task yet (“Vessels like this inspired the boardgame Battleship.. you have 48 to design a boardgame and sell it to trade; the team with the most sales wins”).

Over on Tenacity, Mark’s being a smug prick already (“Daniel, I don’t suppose you want to put yourself forward again?”, Daniel: “As long as I can lead us to victory again.”, Pamela *winces*), but he counts himself out of leading as he “doesn’t have a family” and has “never played a boardgame” (is he an alien?). Likewise, Lauren would be “happy to lead”, but doesn’t think it fits her skill set. Mark plays God and decides matters (“I’d like to give Pamela a go”, Pamela: “er super”). Felipe and Katie cleverly say nothing for most of the episode.

Lauren suggests a simple shadow puppetry game with a sheet and a lamp for maximum fire risk fun, but Dan doesn’t know what people could do with their hands “apart from a bunny rabbit” (I’ll give you a clue Daniel, try cupping your hand and saluting with it really quickly). Mark suggests a dating based relationship game, which Katie suggests should be a “battle of the sexes” and Pam’s all for it – despite not checking whether the retailers will be mainly aiming at children (Da Dah DURR!).

Meanwhile James leads Summit and aims for a family game. Solomon describes a game where children act out negative emotions, which sounds in danger of becoming Waddingtons “Family Shootout”. Roisin suggests a game in which people have to guess country names by acting them out, drawing clues, and then they get to conquer those countries on the board (so that’s “Charades Pictionary Risk”?) and everyone goes with it.

James and Bianca pitch to a bunch of cute kids in their focus group – and they all like the idea. He dispatches Roisin (“You’re quite sensible aren’t you?”, Roisin: “Yes I am.”) to help produce the product.

Pamela chooses to create the game as she feels the relationship concept “should be handled tastefully and erm funly”, so Lauren leads the pitch to what appears to be a cross between an obese version of The Big Bang Theory and a pub quiz team. The bloke who looks like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons says “I like Sci Fi” – no shit Sherlock. Lauren reports back to Pamela that none of them like the idea “of anything to do with relationships” (because they’ve never had one), and Mark qualifies this by saying the group “are not our target market.. and thought the idea was sleazy”. Pamela takes the executive decision to go with the Relationship game anyway despite it not being family oriented or appealing to boardgamers. Why not just brand “Pin the Cock on the Balls” and be done with it? She gets Dan to write “funny, quirky (sexist) questions” like “Which is the most annoying to men? A visit to the Mother in Law, their partner snoring, being anally probed” whilst Karen Brady cringes almost audibly. Rather than being a “fun” game for couples the game morphs into “The Relationship Guru” with the answers to the questions telling players that they are stupid virgins if they make the “wrong” choice out of a series of random options. Dan’s on a roll with these quirky questions though. “What do women like?” he asks a table full of women. Katie starts to speak, but he doesn’t need to hear it, “Eating chocolate!” he declares triumphantly. Yes Daniel, all us girls love scoffing twixes, and whinging, having periods and rubbing ourselves all over with shoes and handbags like fucking mad bitches.

Bianca is charged to photograph a wacky family of pirate fantasists (dad with parrot on shoulder) playing the game on the world’s blandest Argos furniture. Except James barks and fusses at her constantly when she’s trying to get the job done, and sulks when she patiently explains that she knows what she’s doing (“This is my task, I’m PM!”). “I’ll put her in her place, no problem” broods James worryingly before cornering her in the kitchen (“I’m PM. You’ve been difficult”) and being forced to stare moodily at his cornflakes when she asks for examples and refuses to back down. “A wise man speaks cos he has something to say; a fool speaks cos he has to say somethings” says Bianca sagely. “I chose you on my team so I could see what you are about” James harrumphs, in an attempt to look like an Alpha Male mastermind that succeeds in making him look even more dickish.

Felipe helps Mark create a camp montage of hearts, lips and muscles for “The Relationship Guru” which Pam and Dan hate at first sight. Mark gets all prissy (“We did the best we could with the description you gave”) and goes into now traditional early damage-limitation (“We’ve done a very good job today with no direction”). This is why I hate him.

The games arrive and the teams test them out. Geoknow may be dull (unless you’re James who doesn’t seem to understand how it works, and manages to act out the USA by gurning and drawling “huhhh I’m from erm America”), but at least it’s playable (and the schoolkids actually love the finished game). However Tenacity’s test group of hipsters all declare the game sexist (“If someone got this out at a party I’d probably leave”) and Daniel gets all sweaty and intense before stalking out clutching his game (maybe they could just rebrand it Misogyny? It’d probably sell at the moment), before epically distancing himself from it with some creative reminiscences (“Did I like the idea? No. Did Pamela? Yes”).

Roisin looks so much like Gwynneth Paltrow trying to imitate Gina Gershon as she does the pitch for Toys R Us, and James leaps in with the hard sell, asking them to take a million units. They suggest 25 units and Roisin starts asking if they could go half way, but James, in another demonstration of his general shitmuppetry, as good as bitchslaps her in front of the bemused Toys R Ussies, and manages to sell 30 units at £10. Meanwhile Sanjay gets a pitch appointment by talking like a camp robot in the car and manages to sell 15 games at £17 each, and when James hears the news he claims “we’ve been screwed a little bit at the toy retailer” (nope you screwed yourself James – which probably explains why he walks like he’s trying to hold in a poo).

Poor Daniel is out of his depth with the classy lady at Westminster Waterstones, who doesn’t like the sexist stereotypes and doesn’t agree that it will “cause laugh out loud moments” (well it did in our house), so leaves with NO SALES, which Mark thinks is “absolutely horrific” (no Mark, horrific is famine or disease or being born with a weird rectangular head). Pamela does mock shock (“What with Daniel being a brilliant sales person?”) and just as I’m happily despising the pair of them, Mark annoyingly manages to sell the adult oriented game to Toys R Us (“as gentlemen”) as something the missus can take home for the weekend as a bit of fun (that is what wine is for). “I would buy this at your store” Mark lies and they buy 60 at £8 each. From then on, Pamela lets Mark do all the talking, and he does very well at bamboozling humble shopkeepers with Antipodean Gibberish (“You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to play this game”). Poor Dan lucks out at Forbidden Planet, and I’m shouting at the telly “Just go to Ann Summers!”. Selling ends and there’s stock left (Mark: “There’s no excuses for that”) and Daniel misses out on a pity sale. Pamela is disappointed: “Something’s gone wrong and my hunch is… it’s Lauren!”. Eh? Clearly no sisterly love lost there.

James manages to sell 15 games at £20 each to a posh shop in Hampstead on condition they have exclusivity within the NW3 postcode area. Poor Bianca is so impressed by this idea that she offers exclusivity for the whole of Westminster in exchange for 6 sales to some smug beardy types. Oops. James goes fucking mental (“who gave you authority!!”), as he had two pitches lined up in W1 which are now useless. Also Bianca and Solomon are headed next to Westminster Waterstones, where the lady loves their concept, but aren’t impressed by not being able to sell it in their flagship store. Solomon manages to sell 29 units at the lower rate of £11, but he reckons “Bianca’s mistake cost us hugely”. James bullishly shifts the last of the stock and Summit have won this by miles, no?

Back in the boardroom and Bianca is castigated for her exclusivity disaster (“It’s like you sold Mayfair and Park Lane for a fiver”), but she takes it on the chin, then describes James’s leadership as more of a dictatorship.

Sugar picks up on Mark selecting Pamela as PM to see her leadership skills (“How about your leadership skills? I ain’t seen them either.”) and Lauren is told off for playing it safe. Lauren feels there was a problem with the relationship idea, but Pamela shoots her down icily (“Well there wasn’t too much on the table”). Miaow!

More of Dan’s questions are mocked: “Men think women should: iron, smile more, always be happy?” – actually that’s quite deep, recognising that smiling a lot doesn’t necessarily indicate happiness. Sugar seems to agree (“This is inspired”) oh no, he’s taking the piss.

Mark decides to speak for everyone like he’s in charge rather than someone who’s never played a boardgame, and Daniel can’t resist getting back in on the cockfight (“Every week you come in here, making your assessments”).

Anyhow here’s the scores:

Tenacity sold 128 units and made £1,101
Summit sold all their units and made £2080 – which means James is going to be utterly unbearable for at least another week, although Sugar does a soft card marking (“You still got an incredible amount to learn”).

Summit are sent to kick penalties against a drugged David Seaman (from HMS Belfast to chanting “Seaman” – loving the production team’s work here).

In Recrimination Cafe, Pamela claims people sat on the fence, and really has it in for Lauren. Dan interjects and she plays the “Why are you so aggressive?” card. Back in the Boardroom she claims Daniel and Lauren were “really quiet” (which kind of ruins her argument about their input being wrong), and when Lauren disagrees, Pamela whines “I can’t get a word in edgeways. This is what I have to work with” (oh make your mind up you mad cow – are they quiet or talking all the time?).
Mark claims not volunteering to lead the team was “an oversight” (erm) and sucks massively up to Sugar, winding Daniel up enough to have another crazy non- sequitur of a pop at him (“You like your football analogies. Here’s another one. A good number two doesn’t always make a good number one”) and Mark along with the viewing audience pull WTF? faces.

Daniel is accused of being delusional by Sugar after another sales-free performance (“I’m not accusing you of being a liar, I’m accusing you of being a fantasist”). Daniel promises to “learn and get better”.

To absolutely no-one’s surprise, Pamela brings Daniel and Lauren back into room, but Sugar declares the jury is still out on Mark. The PM claims Daniel was “obstructive and destructive” (eh? He was crap, but not in a deliberate way) and blames Lauren for erm doing market research when she should have been doing market research and not coming up with other ideas based on the market research when really that was, well Pamela’s job. Lauren attempts to interject but Pamela starts up a low hissing drone of Irish bile over everything she says. “You’re talking round in circles and not making a definitive point” Pamela repeats endlessly and pointlessly.

Lord Sugar focuses on Crazy Daniel’s CV which says things like “there are no tactics needed when you’re complete in the world of business” (Daniel “I’m not retracting that statement”) and claims that he has “learned from every mistake he ever made” (Sugar: “You must be a bleedin genius by now”). Sugar offers him a lifeline by pointing out that Daniel disagrees with everything our favourite Merkin faced peer says to him (“That can’t be right… I can’t deal with someone who cannot admit to their own weaknesses”) and Crazy Daniel isn’t quite so daft as to resist this lifeline (“Yes Lord Sugar. I will take on board every single word and you will see a complete change in me”). Inexplicably I find myself warming to Daniel, despite him being a mahoosive sexist deluded tool. With all his crazy godbothering gesticulation and vague air of mild threat, everything about him screams “loser” yet he also feels like the tragic anti-hero of the series (pseud’s corner here I come!). He reminds me a little of Nic Cage in one of his bad acting roles, perhaps the remake of the Wicker Man, and I thoroughly expect Daniel to don a bear suit and start punching women next week.

Pamela gets stick for only having been in commerce for a year (although she tries to claim her paper round when she was 13 counted), but Lauren thinks she should be fired (“I don’t think I should be in here”, Pamela: “you didn’t do anything”). Sugar sums up by stating he’s “struggling how to describe Daniel” (6 letters, starts with M, sounds a bit like ‘gentle’?), and starts teasing us all by saying how “bitterly disappointed” he is with Lauren’s lack of “entrepreneurial spirit” (“Even Daniel, somewhere in his lifetime, sold a bit of stuff” – hmm think you will find Lauren’s done that more recently), but fortunately he sees sense and fires a tearful Pamela for failing to exercise quality control over the product. She flounces off like an evil Kate Bush to slag off Lauren some more in the Bitter Taxi of Shattered Dreams.

Daniel hasn’t even finished thanking God and Sugar raises the spectre of a double or triple firing to “remove deadwood”, but fortunately he doesn’t see Lauren as “deadwood” (she reels off an incomprehensible string of grovelling gratitude) and gives Daniel a “very last chance”, enabling him to walk in on Mark leading an anti-Daniel bitchfest back at the house (“He’s started having personal gos at me. I can’t work with the bloke”) so the thwarted Aussie’s square jaw pleasingly scrapes the floorboards . “Sorry guys” Daniel smiles, “but this process isn’t decided by how well you write questions”. Now that was actually quite cool.

Next week the teams find out where the treat budget has been spent as they get to design an advert for Times Square – the one in New York. Wow!

Liking

Solomon
Katie
Bianca
Lauren
Felipe

Warming to
Roisin

Not warming to
Sanjay

Strange creeping wrongmo crush of extreme shame forming on
Crazy Daniel

Both of them Utter Arsehats in different ways
Smug Mark
Over-Eager James

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma, Pamela

My tips for the final:
Roisin, Mark, Lauren, Solomon

After last week’s cull, you’d think Week 5 would be much easier to blog, but unfortunately Lord Sugar seems to have retained some of the least memorable candidates, so it’s still as simple to follow as spotting a twat on a tube train. However as some ancient prophecy probably foretold, if you get rid of three massive arseholes in one fell swoop, another arsehole, even vaster and more repellent will come to fill their place. And lo it comes to pass.
Our favourite haunted bollock faced peer of the realm greets the candidates at “South Mimms” wherever the sod that is. (Daniel correctly it’s a service station on the M25, although Mark is unconvinced until the car actually pulls up at South Mims Service Station). They have to create their own coach tours, selling tickets to hapless London tourists wanting a day trip out of the capital. Most profit wins. He balances the teams by saddling poor Tenacity (Daniel, Felipe, Lauren, Katie and Pamela) with humour vacuum Mark.
Sanjay leads Summit (Silent Jemma, Roisin, Bianca and Eager James) and fancies a history based tour with a really good story about Henry VIII and the Canterbury tales (only a few hundred years difference there, why not chuck in a few dinosaurs to really add value?).

Daniel “organising events is what I do” promises to “drive Tenacity to victory” and despite a coup attempt by Mark (who actually says he’s worked as a tour guide), Daniel shouts him down and promises to outclass everyone else. He suggests a price of £80-£85, but Mark says it should be at least 100 quid, and after a brief dick measuring contest, Daniel huffily agrees they can go to £99.50 and Mark, Pamela and Lauren are sent to laugh at him behind his back whilst researching Blenheim Palace. Mark smoothly argues the Blenheim palace lady from £14 per person to £9.50 if they bring in more than 20 punters.

Sanjay does some of his special bank manager magic maths by working out they only have 25 seats and plucking the magic figure of £60 as a ticket price to include the coach trip, a visit to two attractions and a packed lunch. He sends James and Jemma to Hever Castle, where James is put in charge of negotiating a discount and promptly demands 80% off, laying into Jemma when she suggests it could be a bit embarrassing for the Hever Castle representative (James “Oh you read minds now do you!” Jemma – cringes as far away from him as is humanly possible). Hever Castle lady starts off by laughing in James’s big oiky face when he asks for an entry price of £3.10 when their normal group rate is £12.25, but she ends up looking at him like he’s a turd in a sink as he continues aggressively haggling for hours, eventually getting a tiny discount (and probably doing an internal fistpump). Meanwhile Solomon manages to charm a load of laydeez to join Summit Tours.
At St Paul’s, Daniel helps Katie out by scaring bemused tourists away from her sales queue, but she struggles with the high price (“They thought I said 19 not 90”, Daniel “Keep going, that’s fine”, Katie (sighs) “Next”), although eventually she manages to flog about five seats to the chronically confused and Nick is impressed that they’re keeping the price high.
Pamela, Lauren and Mark are horrified and have an enjoyable bitch about how shit Daniel is on the way to their next attraction which is erm a boat (maybe some of these tourists come from deserts?) where Mark also annoyingly negotiates a decent discount. Desperate Dan ends up flogging tickets to a company (“Do you know Churchill was actually born on the toilets in Blenheim Palace”) and they get 9 more passengers but he drops the price right down to £65.

Poor Jemma ends up following a shouty James as he runs off to find the Canterbury Tales attraction where she politely asks what the recommended discount would be? Much too polite for James’ liking and he pushes in to hammer the Canterbury Tales lady into submission whilst poor Jemma stares at her shores. “I don’t know why Jemma’s still here” James rants “I had to step in. In business you’ve got to be hard. You get pushed over if you’re not”. Well, he’s jumped over that line between eager and thick to proper prize bellend and no mistake.

Bianca entices a group of students to take the historical tours by admitting there’s only 9 tickets left and they are the last group she’s seeing. One smart arse takes the open goal “So are we your final chance?” and they all laugh at her neediness, but still she sells all the seats at £45 each, which Sanjay is well chuffed to hear of, although James goes into a permasulk.

Lauren, Mark and Pamela create the merchandise, with the latter well peeved with spending her night “ironing a fecking image onto a bag”, so Daniel gets short shrift when he calls (“You sound extremely negative, I don’t know why.”) and suggests she might be on a “power trip” (at least he didn’t suggest PMT).

6.30am the next day and Tenacity turn up at Victoria Coach Station in their yellow waistcoats and ties (Felipe: “We look like the crew of a really expensive airline” – erm no you look like someone’s stolen UKIP’s coats). Mark shoves the passengers onto the coach (customer:”I’m excited!”, Mark: “You should be!”) whilst somewhere in an Aldi Katie manages to buy all the cheapest packed lunch items (“Mr Kipling’s Bramley Apple Pie, that’s very English”) to feed the multitude at £2.10 a head. Classy! Not so impressive when it turns out to be half a shit sandwich (Mark “that would kill a brown dog” – erm?) and £1.50 extra for some water when it finally arrives.

Sanjay’s Summit Tours are slightly tardier, but eventually they’re off, and some dick has put James in charge of in flight entertainment (“put your hand up if you think I’m good looking!” one bloke and one Japanese lady raise their hands slowly), pointing out all the sites (“There’s cafe Nero on the left”) and embarking on a Footy Fan ‘sings’ the songs of the nursery medley all the way to Hever Castle whilst the passengers contemplate using the little fire hammer to break the windows and throw themselves gladly into the path of oncoming traffic (passenger: “This is Torture” James: “You hum it love I’ll sing it!” etc).

Lauren does an impressive job as a tour guide at Blenheim Palace and even Nick Hewer’s impressed (“She’s mastered the fact”). Meanwhile Summit arrive at Hever Castle and, oh christ on a bike, what dick gave James a loudspeaker? James flaps round in a cape leading the poor passengers on a topiary based death march through the gardens (“Erm that’s a bird.. and that’s a shape”: truly he is the Bush Master) before handing over to Jemma’s faltering history masterclass (“There is a photo of Henry VIII over there I think”). A tourist asks her what the artifact on top of the fireplace is, but Jemma reckons it’s just some old shit as it’s not even in the guidebook. In Anne Boleyn’s bedroom, Jenna tells the tragic tale of how the queen was “actually imprisoned before she was executed” as opposed to just sneaking up on her and executing her in the street as a surprise. Then it’s back to the gardens for James to flog them pictures and keyrings like an insane market barker (if only he’d promised not to sing on the way home, he’d have made a fortune!). Then it’s off to Canterbury with James sensitively announcing he’d give the coach toilet 10 minutes if I was you to his poor victims before Sanjay bores them to sleep with his fun Kentish factoids.

Oxford graduate Felipe has changed into his UKIP striped jacket and a straw boater to entertain the punters on the boat trip with a lecture about Oxford (the most fun fact is “there are more pigs in Oxfordshire than people” it goes downhill from there) going through the entire University prospectus and application form (“if anyone has any question or any facts you would like me to go through again”) as the customers fondly dream of an iceberg looming ahead of them.

Summit do a Spinal Tap in Canterbury and spend hours trying to find the Canterbury Tales place, so the tourists fortunately have less of James in a cowl honking on at them (“WELCOME to the fourteenth century”) before Sanjay apologetically drags everyone back to the coach (James: “Let’s have another sing song on the way home”. Passengers claw at glass screaming). As Tenacity arrive back home on time, Summit are still 45 minutes away having a fire auction on unsold crisps and lemonade. James is obsessed by his knackers (“we’ve absolutely worked our balls off tonight”) but Solomon’s worked out “If the other team sell high, we’re absolutely screwed”.

So it’s Boardroom time and Sanjay gets stick for his stupid low price, whereas Karen points out that James shocked Hever Castle lady with his attitude and James throws a massive toddler strop yelping on about how he sold nearly “EVERYTHING” and even shouting over Karen when she points out his approach is “different” by yelling “If I hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have all this money! You guys tell Lord Sugar what YOU sold” as if he’s some sort of massive imbecilic tool who didn’t get breastfed enough.

Daniel’s under fire from the rest of Tenacity who all diss his lack of sales ability until he’s left gulping on about being an “events manager” and takes credit for selling to the business . Even Felipe disagrees and declares it a “group effort” and Nick backs the rest of the team up, rubbing salt into the wounds by disclosing that the business would have paid more than the £65 Daniel offered. Mark declares “the manager lost the dressing room” and bigs himself up for getting a 60% discount at Blenheim Palace and you just know James wants to punch him or compare testicles.

It’s numbers time and Summit sold all their tickets making £1395, but spent £582, so their profit was £813. James looks well smug.

Tenacity only made 20 sales but sold high to make £1531 – and spent only £492 – making a profit of about £1038. James looks like he might cry or wee himself. Poor Dan gets no credit (not even a hug on leaving the boardroom) and everyone pats Mark on the head, which the smug Aussie fool just loves. They get sent to absail down the Orbit sculpture and you hope the team aren’t holding Dan’s rope. Mark offers some inspirational (patronising) advice (“We were hard on you but it’s better to learn now”), but Dan fucks him right off (“I’d rather win ugly than lose being liked”) leaving Mark with a face like a smacked arse and me liking Daniel for a millisecond.

In Cafe Doom, Sanjay holds Bianca responsible for the fail because of underselling to the students. Roisin thinks James was too aggressive so he rants at her to prove her wrong (“I was selling, you were talking and holding a clipboard!”). They go back in and Sanjay admits James’ nursery song soundtrack was “in hindsight… a poor decision”. Having established that James didn’t even stop when the passenger complained it was “torture”, Sugar sighs “When are you going to stop?” and James is wound up and off claiming he WILL prove himself (“I got a pair of bal… I’m prepared to do that”). It’s established Sanjay ddn’t work out the pricing properly even though as a bank manager it’s the first thing he’d ask a client starting a similar business. Bianca gets stick for “the opening gambit ‘Hello you are my last chance'” and looks terrified (“I didn’t use those words” Solomon, panto stylee: “Oh yes you did”). Jemma gets stick for knowing fuck all history compared to swotty Lauren (“I believe I swotted up also”) and the mortifying fact that she says in her CV “I’m always the girl that NEARLY wins” (is she 15? she may as well just type “I want a pony” in 72 point font), which she ‘explains’ away claiming “Generally I lose out.. I’m not claiming to be perfect.. I know I’m on a learning curve”. Someone give her first prize for digging a hole. Anyhow Sanjay brings back her and Bianca, and Roisin pulls a “What the actual fuck” face.

However James’ card is well and truly marked by Lord Sugar (“You are this close to a firing.. for the last bladdy time clean up your act and stop being a clown”). He strolls back in his massive shoes to a car, but when he gets in all the sides fall off. Hilarious!

Back in the boardroom and Sugar thinks none of them have brains when it comes to pricing. Sanjay starts getting all snippy with Bianca (“You didn’t communicate any concept to us”) and then with Jemma when she says he should be fired (“You said Bianca earlier, you’ve changed your mind.. it doesn’t show much of a backbone!”, Jemma “I listen”, Sanjay “You don’t do much” ooh miaow!). Sugar thinks it’s hard to blame anyone other than Sanjay for the pricing, but he doesn’t know what Jemma’s been doing for the last 5 weeks. However Bianca’s “got some potential” so she’s ok, except he randomly now decides that dropping prices is a “fireable offence” (not as bad as a half empty bus surely?) and teases us all by doing that “It is regretful” intro before letting a distinctly relieved Sanjay off the hook and firing poor Jemma who in the taxi of eternal what if she still believes that one day she’ll win something. If I knew where she lived I’d send the poor cow a scratchcard with “Don’t stop dreaming!” written on the back.

Back in the house Roisin starts winding up the James again (“You got away with murder”) and in case we weren’t convinced he was an obnoxious, defensive little shit he snaps back “What did I do wrong? Singing on the bus!” before letting them all know how they’re all crap and he is great and skill and his balls are much bigger than Roisins so there!
Daniel tries to glean a small ounce of credit for his PM skills (“On the day we did quite well”) but Mark’s there to slap him down like some horrible fundamental Christian schoolteacher (“You learned a cheap lesson today. You’re a liar. You claim other people’s work.. it’s just so tiring”) and Dan goes to sulk in the corner (“I don’t like being called a liar when I’m not”).
Next week the teams have to come up with a board game. Hopefully one which involves strategy, luck and beating James and Mark round the face with a giant mace covered in acid.
Liking:
Felipe
Lauren
Solomon
Bianca
Katie

Think she’ll win, but still not warming to:
Roisin

Disliking:
Pamela
Daniel
Sanjay

Big Swinging Dickheads:
Mark
James

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade, Jemma

Week 4, and we learn that Solomon likes to have Felipe tie his tie on for him before he’s bothered to don a shirt (not that I’m complaining, but did he use to be in The Chippendales or something?).

The candidates assemble at a relic of the East Ends fading Victorian glory, who incidentally is in Wilton’s Music Hall. Ella hopes it’s to do with entertainment as her “passion is in film and producing documentaries” and everyone looks bored. Sarah looks faintly worried that she’ll catch something unsavoury from the ageing building.

Lord Sugar points out that whilst Wilton’s in it’s heyday was where everyone went, “now all you need is one of these” (he pulls out a worryingly sweat smeared smart phone) “to access online entertainment” and instructs the line to create a Youtube video channel to go live for 48 hours, with the most views winning (as that translates into advertisers being annoying bastards and ruining the start of the videos).

There’s more jiggery pokery as Silent Jemma is moved onto Summit, with “Internet man” Solomon chosen by Sugar as Project Manager, and the remainder of the team consisting of Roisin, Bianca, James, Sanjay and Mark.
Ella Jade (who’s business idea involves online films) is told to lead Tenacity (with Steven, Daniel , Felipe ,Katie, Lauren, Stepford Sarah, Pamela).

Pamela’s very keen to point out her previous experience in making online adverts (“We did great one in work for hand cream with rugby players” – Oo-bladdy-err!) but Ella Jade is determined to impose her creative will (“My strategy is to be me. I am who I am. I am Ella Jade”) no matter how bollocks it may be.

Tenacity work on devising a catchy concept, and Ella Jade confesses she has no social media experience (oops). However Katie has experience of being in front of the camera for videos advertising her fitness business, so everyone immediately latches onto the idea of fitness videos being a stunningly great idea that will really attract the sort of people who stay up late popping pringles and yawning down gallons of wine to watch Youtube vids.

The ideas come staggering in, with everyone rolling eyes as Steven over-earnestly suggests “”secrets of keeping fit” and “pumping iron” as concept names. Felipe suggests “Daddy Fit in a Week” (a guide for kids to unleashing their parents epilectic potential?) and everyone settles on “Fat Daddy’s Fitness Hell” (which Lauren pulls a disgusted face at). Ella chooses Katie and Felipe to star on account of their Hollywood-esque charisma (“Katie, you have banter”) but insists that she directs, despite Pamela shooting her evils. She says she sees Sarah as “organised” (transl. A mad bitch) so asks her to ensure her subteam, led by Lauren keep to deadlines.

Technological entrepreneur Solomon looks onto a winner on Summit with his obvious experience of social media and suggests a “Blindfolded food challenge (with no knives obviously)”, adding that he wants “To bring Lord Sugar into the future by connecting him with the kids of today”, even though that sort of thing only really happened in the 1970s. Jemma comes up with “Dare To Dine” as the name for a light hearted foodie channel and Roisin is chosen to “as she’s a girl to be in the video” calmly ignoring Solomon’s accidential theSexism, to his relief by saying she thinks she’d do well. James is chosen to be the dickhead in the video (“Roisin’s like the mother figure, I’m like the funny, childish one”). Solomon points out that James needs to actually make people laugh (“No pressure”). It doesn’t start well as he tits around with an Apron over his bare torso ranting on about how he can eat a chicken in “two seconds” to Roisin, who looks like his carer, whilst Nick Hewer observes with a full on “who farted?” facial expression.

Over on Tenacity Katie puts Felipe (“I am a fat daddy”) through his paces with sparring and star jumps, whilst Ella Jade busies herself with preventing Pamela from making any helpful directorial contributions (Pamela: “I am extremely concerned”). Back at headquarters, Lauren’s sub team try to design the look of the channel and opt for a graphic of poor Felipe going from fat to thin (because Katie was all about “the journey” and not the one from pub to kebab shop). Dan worries it might offend people (“I wouldn’t watch a video if it said ‘fat'”), but rather than express those concerns to Ella Jade, Lauren slams him down (“That’s a problem you have with the concept, but we’ve already come up with that name”).

Summit film another video where James muppets around covered in flour like a Bromide version of The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Ella Jade shoots the second Tenacity video whilst Joe Wicks, fitness coach, a cross between a flopsy haired hipster and a complete bastard, yells motivational abuse at Felipe (“Come on fat Daddy, burn that fat! Let’s turn that gut into a set of abs. What do you mean you’ve only done 6 sit-ups? That’s why you’re Fat Daddy!”). Lauren’s subteam Skype with Youtube stars, fitness twat duo “Lean Machine”, who agree to appear in Tenacity’s final video and do virtual highfives, making me want them to be maimed in a hideous rowing machine disaster.

Mark, for Summit, takes the choosing of an “online partner” much more seriously (as though he’s on Thaibrides.com or something) and is keen on Barry Lewis (who looks like someone who’s been chucked out by his mum at the age of 40 and now lives on ready meals in a bedsit), who has had an amaayzing 3000 views since posting his last video online yesterday. Mark is impressed or maybe it is just pity.

Next up is 19 year old annoyant and food blogger Ollie who boasts that 90% of his audience are girls and that he’s had up to 12.5 million views per video posted. Bizarrely Mark thinks Ollie might be too young (for t’internet) and angsts about the split of women in his audience rather than the number of views. Even Bianca, who admits Barry only has 75,000 subscribers, thinks the older man is “more credible”. Fortunately Solomon sees sense and insists that they “100% need to go for the views”. Mark gets all passive aggressive (“It falls on his head now”) and admits he “didn’t want to make that decision” because he is clearly an idiot. He gets on with putting the description text together for the channel which all sounds a bit Peter Kay “garlic? bread?” (“Have you ever eaten grass that tastes of lemons?”).

Daniel reminds Sarah that she needs to manage timekeeping, as Tenacity’s subteam are now hopelessy behind. Sarah gets all hissy (“Don’t blame me. I’m not Project Manager!”) and Lauren basically forgets to put a name, description or trailer on the channel, much to Ella Jade’s chagrine. Lauren bites the bullet and apologises for her omission. Sarah says “Don’t blame me” a few times more. Ouch though. It’s going to look like some sort of specialist “feeder porn” with people tuning in only to find out who really is the Fat Daddy.

Submit view the first video and the food based intro for “Dare to Dine” looks reasonably professional, although Nick Hewer is disappointed by the “frankly young” sense of humour, which will never work on the internet obviously. “Millions have got to find it funny not just the odd nutcase”. Oh Nick!

“Fat Daddy’s Fitness Hell” is viewed in silence. “I actually don’t think that’s too bad” pipes up Katie consolingly, whilst Pamela resists punching her and settles for condemning the video as “Middle of the Road” which clearly upsets Ella Jade’s artist sensibilities (“It’s very easy for everyone to put the blame on you as soon as something goes wrong”). Pam’s griping does get her the job of filming the last video whilst Steve gets the job of pitching to Buzzfeed. Sarah looks down sadly. “What would you like me to do? I just feel I’m not being included in a lot here”. Yup there’s a reason for that love. Sarah doesn’t know if Ella Jade “feels threatened by me” but she’s “taking it quite personally” and declares herself in charge of answering questions at the pitch.

Jenna gets the responsibility of ensuring that 19 year old food-embryo Ollie endorses the Summit “Dare to Dine” brand at the end of the final video, and she does ask, but it’s not clear whether he does this on camera or whether he’s just going to tweet it (an attempt perhaps to make the result look less clear cut, but if he’s got 12.5 million subscribers, he should have a reasonable following on thatTwitter too).

Solomon and his subteam pitch to Buzzfeed and Mark tells them how they’re “bringing fun into the kitchen” before playing a video which the lady and smug speccy twat of Buzzfeed fail to laugh at completely. Bianca claims the videos are pitched at the “18-30 age demographic” whilst on the video James gurns and squeals like a toddler who’s found a forbidden stash of Sunny Delight. Buzzfeed tell them it looks great, but think the audience would be younger (“about 8 to 10 years”). Hmm have students really matured so much since the wonderful “Get Stuffed” or are drugs simply not as good anymore (probably the latter). Mind you I thought “Big Chef Little Chef” was comedy genius when I was in my 30s, but I still don’t think James was funny. After a brisk “we’ll let you know” Summit leave with speccy twat finally cracking a chuckle as they’re on their way out. Bianca confides that she managed to read speccy’s writing and he’d written “KILL JAMES” (I really hope he’d written it over and over again like Jack Nicholson in The Shining).

Pamela directs “Lean Machine” greeting “Fat daddy, my old friend!” with lots of pratfalls, culminating in a desperate Fat Daddy running away from Lean Machine and being left panting on the grass as though they’ve debagged him. Katie’s impressed by how much better than Ella Jade Pamela is as a director.

Daniel has a wonderful “Just kill me now please” face on as Steven “perfects” his pitch to the right level of psychobollocks in the car on the way to Buzzfeed (“We have to make sure they ..er… learn and laugh along the way”). How could his blend of scary intensity and complete bullshit (“the most important step is the first step” – no it’s not you nob, it’s the missing step!) fail? Well, Steven’s not as good a presenter as he thinks and has no connection to an audience so ums and erms his way through hoping “we are going to have all the viewers rolling on the floor laughing”.

The best laugh goes to poor Felipe in the video (“I’m 34 and I’m really fat” – bless) from the Buzzfeed woman, but she admits that she doesn’t like the feeling that they’re laughing at him. Sarah muffs it by explaining the joke is only on Felipe personally, not on the viewer, so that’s ok. Buzzfeed woman insists she doesn’t think she’d “share this on an overweight friend’s page” (I know plenty of blokes who would deliberately share this on their friends pages, for all sorts of wrong reasons). Stepford Sarah tries to bring her Jedi hypno trick into play, repeating “It’s all about exercising and having fun” in such a scary voice that if I worked for Buzzfeed I would have thrown a glass of water in her face to see if she short circuited. “Anything else?” “Erm I think that covers everything I have as a note” grins Speccy (emphasising the singular).

It turns out neither team get on Buzzfeed, so James takes to whining on about it all being Solomon’s fault, but Solomon thinks he’s followed his vision through and done everything he can. Ella Jade also feels confident, but she doesn’t go on about having a vision, as clearly she never had one.

In the Boardroom, Lord Sugar’s unimpressed by Dare to Dine (“I suppose that’s supposed to be funny”), describing James as a “Grade A Pillock”. James insists he just “took one for the team” (“Yeah yeah”).

Solomon’s pretty clear about following the numbers and getting social media shares, but admits he misjudged the age range for Buzzfeed, but he still gets the backing of his team.

The producers attempt to fool us into expecting another shock result by showing Lean Machine at the end of Tenacity’s video insisting that people “get this video viral by sharing it”, but there’s still Steven describing his pitch (“I said you know the hardest part of a 100 mile journey is the first step” – no you dick it’s the 256,998th step, don’t you even know that?) and the complete lack of backing Ella Jade has from her team (especially Pamela) to ensure we’ll never fall for that narrative arc.

Time for the view counts:

Summit got 3,532
surprisingly for me
Tenacity got 3,314

That’s pretty close isn’t it? Come on they must have been clicking on their i-phones all night.
Anyhow Summit get to swill down champers and bathe in volcanic waters (and James’s wee wee) at the Blue Lagoon near Rjek, near Reyk, near Rjeyk, in Iceland.

In the Cafe of Blame, Pam pulls hacky faces and Ella complains that Stepford Sarah and Steven didn’t contribute. Oh Oh. Steven’s off “I DID CONTRIBUTE” he jiggles maniacally, before declaring “I’m going to highlight every fault she has actually made and she’s going to look like a fool” (these are the sort of skills you learn in Social Care obviously).

Back in the Boardroom, Ella’s excuse for failing is that despite being some sort of media node film-maker type she’s “never actually uploaded videos before”. Well she can fuck off and learn how to. She also puts the boot into Felipe for having the Fat Daddy Fitness Hell idea in the first place.

Sugar points out that if the video was a mixture of Funny and Informative, it should have started off “in a comedic manner” to give the audience an idea of what was going down. I like that The Apprentice sort of becomes a discussion of the nature of comedy at this point. Ella Jade argues that she wanted to combine Felipe’s “wittiness” and Katie’s expertise and work on their relationship, but Katie recalls no such thing. “I was pushing entertainment” Ella Jade insists desperately. “You couldn’t push a swing” (or something) Katie retorts.

It turns out that the other team scored most views via their collaboration, and got twice as many as Tenacity’s 819 views on that video (which also suggests the scores were so close because Tenacity were refreshing all night long).
Steven’s just caught up on that nature of comedy discussion way back and points out that he said it “would be funny if he did some of the exercises in the wrong way. I said that didn’t I?” Yes Steve, and it could be dangerous, which I would probably find funny, but I guess many wouldn’t. Karen starts analysing Steven at this point, because lets face it, he’s not of this world (“Did you feel ignored?”).

Felipe points out that Sarah was meant to be timekeeping but instead she was practising robotic smiles whilst testing a series of scented vaginal douches under the table. “Why am I always to blame?” Sarah retorts again “I’m not the sub team leader, Lauren is.”

Sugar brings up Sarah’s experience in helping people lose weight through hypnoflirting (“You should have been able to help”) as well as “quit smoking” and deal with “erectile dysfunction (“Don’t look her in the eyes Nick”) before asking “Why don’t people listen to you”.

Week 1 comes back to haunt Sarah as Katie spills the beans about her “sales strategy being to put on lipstick and wear short skirts”. SLAM!

Ella Jade brings Sarah and Steven back in, and Steven’s already rolling his eyes and ranting. Sugar comes straight out and asks the “highly educated” Ella Jade if she’s ever done an honest days graft in her life (as though that matters). She apparently helped out in the “family business during summers and weekends and was president of societies at Uni” but Sugar’s not interested in all that “do-gooding” mallarkey (that’s it students, just get pissed, all the SU prestige in the world isn’t going to cut it with a Cockney Nooky Bear) and says “I’d have more respect if you’d cleaned plates in a caff”.

Ella Jade tried to shift the blame onto Sarah’s poor timekeeping skills, but Sarah goes all evil girly, lying that she was intimidated by Ella Jade who always wanted to “be in the limelight”. Ella raises short skirt gate (ooer) again, but Sarah’s on a role (“You don’t even look me in the eye”) and Ella Jade backs down in the face of the Stepford ones revisionism of events (“I thought you were good when you were PM” Sarah (shouting): “I WAS good, because I won it”).

Buoyed, Sarah says her expertise of online dating websites should have been listened to. Sugar’s interested, but it turns out when Sarah says she “trialled several sites” it just means that she created a series of profiles (“Attractive blonde. Definitely not a replicant”).

Ella shifts tack to Steven’s failings and he brings it ON (“You need to fire Ella Jade, she wants to set up a production company with our money and she couldn’t even make a 3 minute video. I would be very concerned”). Ella tells Sugar that “every person says you cannot work with Steven” and accuses his pitch of being “rambling and theatrical”, but as Steven kicks off, you can tell he’s doomed (Sugar: “Here you are shouting and screaming your bloody head off and you say you want to run a nice care home”, Steven: “I am misunderstood in the way I come across. I have reined in my passion). Steven swears he will lead the next task and demonstrate his skills, but it ain’t going to happen as Lord Sugar fires him mid-flow and he’s almost too stunned to slip out a creeping “thank you”.

Sugar turns to Sarah stating that if nobody else has confidence in her, there’s no reason for him to, and fires her too.

“Let’s get rid of the no-hopers. No chance, don’t waste my time” mutters Sugar, looking pointedly at Ella Jade who blinks in the headlights and shivers. “I have the hunger to improve” she squeaks, desperately searching for lines from “Business Beginners Big Book of Bullshit”. “Yeah yeah,” Sugar sneers, adding “I’m afraid to say you do not have the acumen”.

It’s looking like Sugar is trying to impart another secret of comedy with his demonstration of The Rule of Three, but I worry he’s cocked it up by not saving the funniest bit (Steven) until last. Ella Jade saves the day by comedically begging (“Please please please Lord Sugar I promise you”) as though Mummy and Daddy have told her she won’t get a pony if she doesn’t get to Week 5, all the way through his firing her and her reaching the Taxi of Retribution.

I worry about the other candidates waiting up, but kindly Lord Sugar phones them up to put the shits up them by letting them know all three are fired and he’s “not putting up with deadwood in the process”. Cue awestruck faces, apart from Katie who forgets that she’s not really supposed to be doing a massive grin.

Next week the group create their own coach tours. And oh yes there will be singing in a round. Sleep well.

Liking:
Felipe
Lauren
Solomon
Bianca

Warming to:
Katie
Sanjay
Jemma

Just about tolerating:
Roisin (still think she will win)
Eager James (only bloody just though!)

Disliking:
Pamela
Daniel

Big Swinging Dickhead:
Mark

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun, Steven, Stepford Sarah, Ella Jade

Replicants Identified So far:-
Roisin (Paltrow Pleasure Model), Sarah (Darryl Hannah/ Grayson Perry Mash-up Model), Possibly Lauren

Week 3 and the candidates are summoned at sunrise to the Royal Exchange, and although the boys aren’t really sure what it is (silly! It’s clearly where the Royal family buy replacement organs and blood to keep them alive ), they power blow dry their armpit hairs to steel themselves for victory. Mark dreads the idea of being mixed up with the girls, lest their inherent moistness clog up his special selling pants.

Lord Sugar pretends to have used the underground by doing that comedy bent knees straightening walk to meet the candidates at what was once the commercial heart of the city and now is a posho shopping mall, home to the biggest names in “laxury” bollocks, and sets them the task to create a designer home fragrance, complete with labelling and packaging and flog it to the public and trade. It’s all a game of margins and the biggest profit wins. Mark’s pants wilt as Sugar decides to mix the team, so Steven, Daniel and Felipe are sent to Tenacity (creating an apparent cast of thousands with Katie, Lauren, Stepford Sarah, Pamela, Ella Jade and Jemma), whilst Roisin, Nurun, Bianca and Lindsay go to Summit (with James, Sanjay, Solomon and Mark; so that’s 8 people. Hmm ) . Sanjay is delighted to have lost the “three weakest links” from the boys team.

Felipe’s immediately in organising mode and asks “Does anyone have experience in this market?” and Northern Katie steps forward as Project Manager on the basis that only idiots buy these products and she IS that idiot, and sounding curiously like Sarah Millican as she describes herself as “Someone obsessive about the smell of me home.. I buy them all; candles, reed diffuses, plug-ins” (fnar!).

Sarah thinks people relate to food smells “Vanilla, chocolate…” (curry, lager), but Katie shoots her down “If you went to a hotel you wouldn’t want to smell food in the room”, making out that us Northerners have never heard of room service.

Over on Summit, Scarily Efficient Gwynneth Paltrow Clone Roisin elects herself uber fuhrer on the strength of knowing about numbers. Roisin is like that bloke out of Perfume who has no smell, so therefore favours incredibly bland scents like “fresh laundry and the beach” and has a “simple, crisp, chic vision” (and unlike me, doesn’t stop to think “Mmmm crisps” half way through that statement). Lindsay who has been banging on about stepping up to the mark, steps back claiming she’s “not best at numbers”. Nurun claims she’s “OK with scent”. “We can all smell” Roisin snaps back before declaring that there should be “no passengers, covering arses or any of that rubbish” on this task.

It’s Market Research time and Lauren and Steven find out that you should never colour wax and you should definitely use soy candles and not paraffin for some bizarre reason. Unfortunately Katie seems to have forgotten she’s sent them out on this fact finding mission and decides to go for paraffin as it’s cheaper and easier to add a colour to, which pisses the Market Research team off no end when they find out.

So at the mad scientists perfumed ponces laboratory in Sussex, Katie is in crazy candle lady heaven as she incites her fellow fragranciers to sniff smelly things (oh for a beaker of pure ammonia like we had at school). “Has anyone smell the grass one?!” she squeals, the only problem being that it gives you the overwhelming urge to smell the biscuit one next. Anyhow she decides arbitrarily on a green tea base with lemon grass and aloe vera. And she wants it to be yellow. All they need is a name. Pamela thinks they need to “denote meaning to the candle”. Nobody suggests Wanky Piss. Lauren likes “Evoke”, Sarah goes for “Lemon Eyes” (because it’s a semicircle away from “Demon Eyes” and she is Satan’s handmaiden), Someone says “Yellow Submarine” and Dan suggests “British Breeze” because “We’re proud of being British” (even though, as it won’t contain soot or corrosive chemicals it has nothing in common with the sort of breeze Smoggie Katie is used to). Bizarrely they all go with Dan’s idea of a UKIP Candle, even though Nick Hewer points out, every ingredient of the scent is 100% foreign. They’ve created a candle full of immigrant scents!

Over on Summit, they’re brainstorming suggestions for their beached linen scent. Mark likes “Smells from the Surf” and even Karen winces at the image of petrol coated turds that evokes. Bianca chooses “Beach Dreams” and they stick it on some baby blue striped packaging and it actually looks kind of classy; if you are a complete mental who puts cushions with buttons on top of a bed for some unholy reason you would buy this.

Roisin carefully works out pricing strategy and suggests offering the product for £15 (which seems low seeing how pricy Yankee fuckin Candles are – sorry I have actually made and sold scented candles so have a vague idea about how much they cost to make) and reducing to £12 if the order is for 40-45 units.

Katie being a home fragger understands that nutters will pay big money for these products and suggests £35 per candle and £25 per diffuser. Ironically she has a better idea than the Irish accountant about margins on this task.
Nurun and Lauren sit back and watch the boys do hard sums about how to mix and make the candles and then watch Sanjay run the production line. Meanwhile James leads a sub sales team to meet Peter Griffin from Family Guy who is managing a posho hotel and manages, despite his “lovable oikiness”, to get him to commit to 25 each of the Beach Dreams candles and reed diffusers.

Daniel meets the boss of the “Home House Member’s Club” with a (urine) sample of “British Breeze” and offers a reduction on “bulk sale”. “What does bulk mean?” asks the beardy boss man, and Daniel suggest it’s up to 50 units. “We only have 21 bedrooms” beardy man reasons, but Daniel’s not budging too much and eventually offers a deal on 30. It’s a classical Mexican candle stand off until Steven politely coughs and offers 25 and Daniel, ironically given the product, looks fucking incensed! He tries to reclaim Alpha Male by then re-offering the bulk deal for 25 items, which is happily accepted, then beasts Steven when they get out. Steven’s adamant that Daniel “intimidated them” (he’s right) and “I saved the pitch” (who knows? Who cares, Steven is, as the yoot say, “jokes”), and Daniel whinges (“You’re deluded mate”).

Next morning the finished products arrived and Roisin’s smug about “Beach Dreams” which comes in tasteful little boxes. Katie’s ecstatic about “British Breeze” despite it turning up without boxes (they turn up later and are suitably None More Black) looking like something you might find in a pub toilet. Lauren’s disappointed by the colour (“I thought it would be creamier”), but Katie reckons “I would buy that” and Pamela pins down the price at maximum of £40 and not below £25.. lowest is £20″. Well that’s er clear.

Roisin wants someone confident with pricing and therefore makes James sub team sales leader. Unfortunately she gives our puppyish Northern entrepreneur massively mixed messages by suggesting she’s happy to go much lower than the agreed price and down to £10 if necessary, without outlining a strategy for when prices should be dropped. “I’ll use my initiative and play it by ear” says James. An unfortunately analogy from a man who doesn’t seem to enjoy listening.

Lauren leads Tenacity’s sub team selling in the city and immediately clashes with Stepford Sarah over the need to put the information stickers onto the candles but not to have a scary fembot do it right in front of potential customers (Sarah “I think customers like seeing people making things” Yes but not you. It might be a trap!). “Please listen” Lauren begs, but Sarah won’t let up whining “I am listening.. you’re so bossy!” Stepford Sarah struggles to sell and blames the prices (although the rest of her sales team seem to manage), but maybe approaching potential customers like a wonky replicant demanding that they “Smell my candle you mutha!” isn’t the best technique.

Karen does a mini card marking on Eager James who has put up a poster declaring RRP £45 at Greenwich Market, when they haven’t actually retailed the products before “So it is misleading”. The thing is I can see how this is just another mixed message to James who promptly goes all geezer barrow boy and starts selling 8 for a quid or something.

Katie’s team deliver their candles to the Home House Members Wankers who immediately start grizzling about the label not being on straight (haven’t these arseholes heard of “rustic”). Ella flails “Sorry, but maybe when you look at it in a room from a distance it’s not necessarily…” she withers under the beardy man’s glare. Fortunately Felipe is on the case and wheezes into the room with a replacement (Felipe says “The customer is always right”) and they close the sale for £500.

Roisin revises her pricing strategy (again) and tells her sales boys they can go as “low as £8” before selling half of her candles and ALL of the reed diffusers (oops) in a nice little gift shop for £8.50 each. Crazy lady. “Now we need smaller amounts sold for higher margins” declares sales drunk Roisin, before adding “I hope the girls get out and push it” (cue shot of poor Nurun trying her best to approach potential customers with a candle and them all scuttling away).

Eager James tries to chivvy poor Lindsay into stopping looking for more labels to stick on things and trying to do some selling, but you can tell she’s given up; “I have tried” she bleats. Let’s face it, James is hardly restricting pricing at his end (“A sale’s a sale; there’s no such thing as a bad profit”) and Karen Brady even clocks some of the team charging only a fiver a candle. I’m starting to suspect that Lindsay is a communist infiltrator bless her.

At an “exclusive” nightclub in Mayfair, Felipe is so impressed that they have candles that he manages to get an order for 50, whilst Ella Jade chips in and flogs a load of diffusers too for a total of £900.

Peter Griffin waits at the “Luxury Hotel” and whilst being surprised that candles can be in square glasses, still agrees to buy them and gets a further reduction for buying more. However he is disappointed at the lack of promised reed diffusers (all sold cheap to the gift shop by Roisin), which he would have probably paid decent money for and Bianca admits “that was an error on our part”.

Roisin needs stock for her next potential sale and discovers James only has 53 candles left and 2 diffusers, so orders him to “Pack up and come to Kensington” which he does, hilariously still flogging smellies on his way out of the market “Two for a tenner!”(“and take my pants with them”) etc. As Bianca’s about to close a deal on two diffusers at a nice shop in Kensington, Roisin interrupts it all to take a call from James who instructs her to “Leave it, we’ll sell more on the street”. And she does. The silly cow.

Lauren has over 100 candles left from the city market so they all up sticks and descend on a pub where Katie tries to persuade the barman that it would smell nice around the bar (Retort: “We like the smell of our beer”) and somehow manages to sell 5.

Eager James is like a mad half man half terrier possessed (think Steven Baldwin in the Usual Suspects, but more of a liability) as he tries to rush another bar man into buying all his motherfucking candles, as though they’re fire damaged or something. Despite this he somehow gets the sale and displays his professionalism by leaping out of the establishment with his “GET IN” fist pumpy madness action in full flow.

Back in the Boardroom, Lord Sugar points out this should have been a simple task and whilst he thinks Summit’s product looked “neat and quality” he’s disappointed by accountant Roisin’s inability to maintain control of the numbers.

He reckons “British Breeze” looks like a glass full of custard though and despairs at Katie’s ignorance towards the market research. Stepford Sarah gets stick for her inabilty to sell at the high end price (“Never mind Aloe Vera, sounds like Goodbye Sarah”).

James starts doing some weirdo swivelling exercises. “What are you doing?” growls Lord Sugar. “Sorry Lord Sugar!” James mumbles.

Anyhow the scores are:

Summit (“Beach Dreams”) Sales £2,177, spend £607 – profit £1569.32
Tenacity (“British Breeze”) Sales £2217, spend £633.26 – profit £1584.09

So Katie’s Tenacity won by £14.77 (and as Sugar points out, with spare stock to sell).

Whilst James stops doing his crazy “I’m fulling of selling energy me” type exercises, Tenacity are sent to a “laxury spa” to strip off and smear things on each other.

Summit hold a erm summit in the Sad Cafe. Roisin looks almost vampirically drains as she blames James for not sticking to margins, Lindsay for only selling one unit and Nurun for not doing much as a “market expert”.
Back in the Boardroom, Sugar reveals that the average selling price for Tenacity was £16, but was only £9 for Summit, suggesting panic selling. James wants to know how much of that was down to trade sales, but Sugar snaps “When I want to talk to you I’ll let you know” which of course means that James could well be this years “Sugar Surrogate Son”.

“You should have been on the money” Sugar berates accountant Roisin, and when Karen grasses up how cheap the diffusers were sold for in the gift shop he declares “it’s like selling caviar in a fish and chip shop”.
James tries to big up his sales prowess, but Sugar’s being a typical unimpressed dad “Any bladdy salesman can sell at half price!”, although Karen does grass Roisin up for saying “you can discount when you want”.

James isn’t helping himself by suggesting Lord Sugar would have done the same (“Young man, please don’t tell me what I would’ve done”, but he does point out Roisin’s inconsistency on the diffusers promised to the hotel for shit loads that she sold for eight quid a pop to the gift shop.

Nurun’s under scrutiny as Roisin’s chosen “Market Expert”. “Hang on a minute” she retorts “I don’t trade in Greenwich. I’m not a market expert in London. I’m from Peterborough here. ” Oh bless her. Doomed.

Lindsay tries to brazen out her role “I helped to create and to sell” but as soon as Mark attacks her as being “just an empty seat” she melts “I know I didn’t do very well… I’m best at sticking to what I know” (oh bless her) and cruelly, but rightly, she is fired for taking up someone else’s space. It’s almost like she threw herself on a sword to get away from some of the wankers amongst the candidates though.

Roisin chooses to bring back Nurun and James, who attempts to endear himself with Lord Sugar (dad!) by stating “What can I say? I’ve worked my absolute balls off” (well you can not say that for a start) and then when Lord Sugar starts trying to help his boy out (“You’re a young man, I admire your enthusiasm, but you need a lot of polishing”) and give him some guidance on Professional Ethics (“It’s not where Southend or Colchester is!”) chooses to play A) THE AGE CARD and B) I’M JUST A BARROW BOY ME CARD (“I was like you when I was my age”; Sugar: “Stop with the like me son, you’re not like me!”)

Lord Sugar tells Nurun that if she had lost last week she would have been gone, and she launches into an insaniac defensive speech “I am not your type A, Over Organised. I am your Type C” (I give up, are you Hepatitis?) “Relentlessly ambitious and erm 100% determined to erm be your business partner erm given the opportunity”. It goes on for a while and makes me sad because I like Nurun and she shouldn’t be reduced to effectively begging for a job in public like this.

James interrupts. “Just shut up!” barks Sugar. “Definitely Lord Sugar”, “You can’t even shut up NOW!” “Sorry”. The more James gets bollocked by Sugar. the squeakier he gets, but predictably, mid-James bollocking, Nurun is fired for just not being up to it, and James is told to just “LISTEN and pick up the bladdy phone” (typical Jewish dad). “Point taken” James whimpers.

In the taxi of eternal regrets, Nurun is only “a bit sad”, which speaks volumes, although she does think “James got lucky”. Oh his time will come.

Back at the house most of the boys are surprised to see James appear and declare “We live to meet again!” (eh!), but he’s a new man now (“Reality check – bit more of this” (points to brain)”bit less of this” (points to mouth) “and I think I’ll be alright”. “We’ve been saying that all along” sigh the boys collectively.

Next week the teams have to create their own online video channel. Which should be the best episode so far. Creativity and egos and idiots. What fun!

Liking:
Felipe
Lauren
Solomon
Bianca

Girlfriend don’t even go there:
Steven

Tolerating:
Katie
Roisin (still think she will win)
Ella
Eager James (just about)

Zzzzzz
Pamela
Sanjay
Jemma (has she actually done anything yet? Maybe she will win by stealth)

Bit of a Dick:
Mark

Twathoosive arseholes:-
Stepford Sarah
Daniel

Bye Bye:-
Chiles, Robert, Scott, Lindsay, Nurun

Replicants Identified So far:-
Roisin (Paltrow Pleasure Model), Sarah (Darryl Hannah/ Grayson Perry Mash-up Model)