Archives for category: Series 11 2015

And after all my “hard work” I somehow managed to miss last night’s final. Maybe something to do with the BBC hiding the fecking thing on a Sunday night!

So I’ve been trying to catch up on the completely unsurprising news that Spivvy faced school of hard knocks salt of the earth Joseph Valente and his outsourcing of tradesmen to come round to people’s gaffes and do backwards whistles whilst working out how to charge people shed loads of money on MASSIVE CALCULATORS has somehow beat New York Street Smart Daughter of Architects but never mentions it eyeliner addict Vana and her dating service for desperate socially inadequate nerds (who had about as much chance of beating Joe as Tyson Fury had of becoming a new presenter on Strictly Come Dancing).

The candidates are summoned to a big building in the city where rather than the usual convoluted link crow barred in to a spurious task – they both have to make their business plans happen, and present branding and ads to a roomful of corporate twots. The winner gets half a million of Sugar’s hard earned readies (and their future career and credibility completely screwed).  But first they have to pick a team, based on who is the least loathsome and incompetent from their previous colleagues. Joseph chooses poorly with Corporate Gary, Enthusiastic but dim Mergim, useless Elle and TA Brett amongst his team pretty quickly rather than being last to be picked along with the chubby spotty kids.  Vana wisely gets Tricky Dicky and Charleine on board (horrid as they are they do have some skills) as well as brilliant Ruth of the power clown suits. Nobody gives a monkeys what the teamnames are now I presume? (Like we ever did).

Anyhow Vana comes up with “Play Date” as a brand name for her game driven dating product, despite it sounding like a condom name or some sort of sex cream. (“Game for a Date”?) and Charleine puts together a photoshoot that appears to be advertising Saga sex workers (“A lonely old man… and a lonely girl… have a lovely moment together”). She also comes up with glow in the dark jugglers for her advert (maybe florescent willy “hoopla” would be more appropriate for an app that allows people to play games whilst they decide if they want to shag?). “It represents them passing data” she explains (rather than bodily fluids – boring!). Joseph comes up with Prime Time Plumbers (they turn up during the World Cup Final or when you’ve just started eating your tea) and creates a porn flick advert featuring Brett in his plumbers overall coming to the aid of a housewife (it’s all a bit “Schtop! This plumbing porno is not ready yet”).

Vana’s told the £250k wouldn’t be enough for start-up for a dating app despite her promising high returns, but she delivers a slick presentation complete with academic research via Oxford Uni’s “Doctor of Desire” (who sounds like someone who needs her app).  Joseph’s crapping himself but manages to talk falteringly about plumbing for a bit – so does what his rather dull branding says on the tin.

Back in the Boardroom and “Prime Time Plumbers” and the retro logo that took Joe and Brett hours to come up with are slated, but Joseph points out the name and logo doesn’t matter, it’s about knowing the business (OK let’s call it Flange Plumbers then Joe).  It transpires that Joe used the presentation as an opportunity to network with the industry bigwigs and picked up 6 or 7 business cards and possibly an STD, and his chutzpah impresses Sugar. Whilst Sugar thinks Vana is a very “clever lady” I’m not sure that’s a compliment from him (and he’s certainly not impressed by her repeated references to “venture capital”) and sure enough he picks honest to goodness Joe and his hard luck story (“Since the day I was expelled from school I knew I was going to do something big with my life.”) to be his new Apprentice.

So goodbye and see you all next  year. Merry Christmas and sleep tight by remembering, in The Apprentice, cor blimey honest to goodness jellied eel barrer boy values will always triumph over slick US glamour.

 

Winner: Joseph Valente

 

 

 

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Week 11 sees the candidates desperately putting their business plans together for the interview round.

Corporate Gary” is confident that his global events business will win. Whilst 25 year old Joseph (the youngest remaining candidate aww bless) is struggling to get his ideas down he still thinks he’s a “long way from that 14 yr old that got expelled” and I should hope so too! Vana is confident that she’s got enough knowledge of online dating to sell her rival to Tinder. Charleine’s started to realise she s..stutters under pressure (I actually never noticed. Maybe because she shouts so much). Finally Richard thinks his performances as PM (the first was the best advertising Lord Sugar had seen in a long time and the second time I sold millions worth of real estate) and the fact he has a twenty six foot nob (honest) will see him winning through.

So at 6am on the way to the Leadenhall Building, Richard’s still feeling “massively confident” and chanting “I’m going to win”. Charleine just thinks he’s massively twatty.

Four of Lord Sugar’s “most trusted confidantes” are given the business plans in advance of the extreme grilling. So it’s the return of Scottish weirdo Mike Souter and media millionaire hair flicker Claudine Collins, whilst we have a newbie in the form of international internal designer and walking botox warning Linda Plant. Finally Claude resumes his best role as Sugar’s recruitment rottweiler.

Linda Plant firmly establishes her mean credentials by calling Charleine a bit of a cry baby for getting emotional in the boardroom. She’s unimpressed by Charleine’s aim to “top Tony and Guy”. “Have you done any international shows” sneers Linda. “I’ve been down in the South West.” (um, just because you can buy a Cornish passport doesn’t mean they’re international). Linda’s still unimpressed “I know you got an award from a local newspaper…,but you haven’t got a brand… who’s gonna know your name?” Charleine (“I would sacrifice EVERYTHING”) is a tad crestfallen. Claude points out that “having 1 salon is quite different to having a franchise” and he fails to see her “training academy” making money, but she remains tight lipped, clippy heels and highly strung and insists that she will work her socks off, which nobody doubts.

Mike’s not convinced by Gary’s claims of being “responsible for a property spend of £1 billion” at the Tescos (“Your references say you actually didn’t oversee budgets”, Gary: “You could say the CEO oversaw it, but the day to day was my responsibility”, Everyone else: “Hmmmm!”). Likewise Gary’s claim of managing a multitude (“600 people danced to my tune”) comes under scrutiny (“Your reference said you were only responsible for 3 people”, Gary: “ I chose to lead smaller teams at the end”, Everyone else: “Hmm now what is that beefy pooey smell?”). Gary’s supposedly global idea is called “Celebration Bisco” because Gary currently runs a Mobile disco and he has no imagination. He claims he will run 2000 events a year (Linda:“How you gonna do that!”), but his only USPs are using the latest technology, including lighting (Linda: “Nothing special, everyone has lighting”). Gary’s Business Plan describes the product as “innovative and multi channel” but it transpires that he wants to use something that sounds very like Skype to enable people in different countries to be at the same party. Nobody swoons at the innovation. Gary’s business makes me think, strangely, of  “Dazzling Darren” the DJ from Dear John “Dazzling Darren” the DJ from Dear John.

A disconcertingly youthful looking clean-shaven Joseph is quizzed by Mike on Lord Sugar’s autobiography (Mike: “Your claim you read it and didn’t sleep for weeks is either a sincere tribute or a blatant attempt to butter him up”) and even more worryingly gets all the questions right. Joe mate you need to get out more! Joe’s sums don’t add up however, and Mike works out Joe’s potential franchisees would make a £5k pa loss based on his numbers. Joseph’s eager to look at making changes if needed, but Mike describes his business plan as “sinking on the numbers”. Claudine Collins asks “Why does Lord Sugar call you Valentino?” (does he? I must have missed that episode), but Joe quickly responds “It’s because my surname’s Valente and I am a bit of a romancer”. “ARE YOU?” asks Claudine angrily. “I like to think so” Joe rejoins, because he is young and a bit of a div. “I just want the world and everything in it” he insists, adding on leaving “Just tell Lord Sugar I’m the right person”. You can tell he’s totally charmed her (Claudine “I might… and I might not) and he probably sells her a stopcock after the show.

Claudine doesn’t like Vana’s idea of a dating app (“Playdate”) which slowly reveals the picture profile of a potential datee the more you play online games and quizzes with them (despite the fact this sounds like the best business plan from all of the remaining candidates). “I would get fed up and leave” she bitches. Mike’s also concerned. “Have you used online dating before?” Vana asks (Mike “I have not”)and with the most New York Jewish slant on The Apprentice ever she insists the secret is getting “good quality men” (“That will attract the women”). Mike worries Vana is “burning 32k per month” and will run out of investment money in 6 months plus it took Tinder 2 years to start making money, but she insists it’s not a “completely ludicrous” idea.

It looks like everyone’s got Richard’s number. His claim of being voted “Surrey’s number one business man” turns out to have come from an ego stroking exercise in his “business breakfast group”. Richard wipes vast quantities of charlie from his nose and apologises for being sloppy, but Mike thinks it’s “more than a sloppy mistake, it’s misleading”. Richard’s “Project X” is merely an outsourced marketing agency but comes with added business bollocks (“The concept of climbing up a mountain shows why we are different”). Unfortunately it transpires there’s nothing that original about Richard’s business plan, as Mike’s web stalking has revealed that Richard has posted the same idea on social media and even the business plan branding echoes that of the marketing company that Richard is already running on a 50 50 basis with his brother. “They call you Tricky Dicky” Mike points out. “I find that a very strange name to call me” Richard objects. (cut to the waiting room where Vana wonders how “Tricky Dicky is getting on”).

Claude bravely reads from Richard’s “Project X” manifesto stroke business plan. It’s chock full of corporate crap. “We will follow a 4 step process to strategise with you” Claude reads, and to his credit he doesn’t get an instant nosebleed. “I’m none the wiser” winces Claude. “It’s like bad 1980s marketing book full of mumbo jumbo. Lord Sugar will hate it”. Claude adds that whilst he thinks Richard has some ability that he doesn’t go about things in a straight way “it’s aways like you have a little agenda.. You come across as slippery and political”.

Richard keeps coming back to the waiting area looking more and more destroyed by his interviews (“I’m a winner!” Charleine apes him bitchily).

Joseph finally meets Claude who describes him as “a very small player”. Joseph insists “If I hadn’t run before I could walk I wouldn’t be here right now”. Claude points out that “Big business is much harder”. “Yeaaaah” Joseph takes on board the feedback but insists he can tweak the product and that he can make Lord Sugar a profit. And Joe is a plumber so he should know about profits.

Poor Linda has had to read Richard’s business plan though snippets such as “base camp “ and “unlock the goldmine”. “What is a trailblazer?” she asks apparently innocently, before adding “you haven’t done anything first have you Richard… ever?” She points out that last year his existing made £17K whereas he promises to make £3million by year 3 in his business plan. “I mean is it bullshit?” Linda grimaces through the botox “I think it’s bullshit”. Richard tries to brazen it at first (“I could scale up”) but he suddenly has an existential crisis (based on being called on his bollocks). “I don’t believe it”, he splutters, “I produced a business plan, which to be honest with you has a lot of waffle in it”. Linda attempts to lay into him some more, but he stops her, beaten, “I think I’m agreeing with you”).

In the lift, Richard can’t “believe the crap that comes out my mouth sometimes”. Joseph sees his face in the waiting room and laughs (“He got beaten!”). “I was torn apart” Richard admits, “quite right as well. There’s nothing more to be said.. maybe ask her out to dinner that’s all I’ve got” he collapses onto an unyielding business sofa, “I want my mum”.

By the time Richard sees Claudine, he’s apparently had a bullshitter’s epiphany (Honesty is surely the real last refuge of a scoundrel)/ “ I was the leading candidate and I’ve thrown it away” he moans. Claudine seems to take pity “Do you believe in your concept?” “I think if the wind blew away leaves what’s left is a really good simple idea that I have overcomplicated and I wouldn’t blame Lord Sugar for not investing in me”…

Charleine starts thinking she’s on X Factor (“I lost a child and was in a very bad place so I want my children to know they can be anything!”)

The interviews are done and only Gary seems to think he was great. Even Richard admits he’s finally scared of the Boardroom. Whilst the candidates stew, the interviewers grass them up.

Gary gets the most stick, with Sugar describing his tragic £300 events as a meet of “The Piers Morgan fan club” (of course). Karren puts the boot in (“Party planners are normally FUN”). Joseph gets the predictable attempts to seem conflicted whilst viewing him as a diamond in the rough. Claude thinks Vana is “incredibly clever .. and the market is booming, but her problem is on spend..” although everyone realises Tinder’s 50m + users are not to be sniffed at (unless the app is invented). Mike, like me, sees Vana’s idea as having enormous potential if she gets it right. Richard gets the most mixed feedback with Claude befuddled by the cockwomble language of Richard’s Business Plan. Claudine however feels she’s seen the real Richard after he was beasted into submission by everyone else, and reckons his idea isn’t that bad. Karren mentions how good Richard was on the advertising task. However Mike outs Richard’s idea as being not quite as new or innovative as our favourite follicled fool would have people believe.

It’s Boardroom time and Sugar asks who wants to volunteer to speak first and to her credit it’s Vana, who is passionate about “making dating fun” (apart from the living hell it is.. actually she has a point) with brain puzzles and games that “scientifically” match people. The problem for Sugar is the cost, but she hopes to make enough to cover costs within the first year. Sugar reiterates that Tinder took 2 years to make a profit but she passionately (and I think rightly) says “this is a trend that is here to stay”.

Sugar clearly hates Gary and his spurious budget and people management claims don’t help, but Sugar’s determined to hate Mr Corporate whatever and refuses to get the idea of a “Global Virtual Party” (Karren that’s Skype innit? Gary Nah it’s better, Everyone else Hmmm what’s that smell?).

Richard admits he’s submitted a piece of gobbledegook as his business plan which is actually managing marketing budgets for small businesses. Which sounds the same as the business he is running with his brother. Whoops!

To Charleine – Sugar says “respectfully” that she would have to be “big” to start a franchise. She insists she would leave Plymouth, where her current salon is, and move to London to make it big. Sugar points out she can’t just start up on a high street in London if nobody knows her, and Claude wisely advises that she just carry on in Plymouth. Eventually Lord Sugar “with regret” fires her as her plan just isn’t as exciting as giant email phones.

You can tell Sugar has the barrow boy love for Joseph when he notices the tache has gone (“You’ve gone from looking like Boycie to a rather credible young man. Good”). Sensibly Joe has realised that Sugar isn’t going for a plumbing (or any) franchise and airs his contingency plan of expanding his business using contacts in nationwide property companies which he hasn’t currently been able to do due to only having 3 engineers. “Show me a path” Sugar insists and I’m not sure Joe does but he certainly sells himself as having made £60k profit in his 2nd year with no help (“ I made a hell of a lot of mistakes; wasted money on some crappy vans…”).

Gary is next to get fired (“You take great pride in being a corporate fellow” – and here’s me thinking it was Sugar who took pride in calling Gary that) and he “genuinely” wishes “everyone well in their future ventures”. Nice but boring.

Sugar consults with Claude and Karen before the last 3 come back in. Claude insists that Richard had the opportunity to be straight about his company but just fudged it. Everyone loves Joe who gets a free pass to the final when they reconvene and looks like a happy, spivvy puppy (“I won’t let you down I’m gonna make you a lot of money!”)

Richard has to admit that his brother is a fixed stake shareholder in his existing company. Sugar rightly worries he will give 50% to his brother, and then pretends to vacillate over the decision to include friends and family.

Seeing Joe get to the final, Richard tries one last crooked throw of the dice. “Can I alleviate one concern. I want to go 100% and get rid of all shareholdings”, but it’s all a bit last minute dot com and Sugar fires him, under the flimsy pretext he would rather take a gamble on Vana.

Vana and Joe are all sweet and huggy. “This has been the greatest day of my life” Joe gasps, “now let’s fight it out to the death”. Meanwhile Richard is driven to the nearest home for the criminally deluded in the Taxi of Doom, insisting he “could have ironed out the problems in his business plan”.

Next week the finalists have to launch their businesses. Maybe they will combine so you can date a plumber and play games on your phone whilst they keep nipping off to B&Q and demanding money from you.

Liking:
Joseph

Still Warming to and will probably win

Vana

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina, Brett, Charleine, Gary, Richard

It’s Week 10 and apparently it’s an episode full of “twists and surprises” well how utterly unsurprising.

After last week when Selina proved herself to be the shittest of a shit bunch we need a new way to weed out the chuff from the chaff so at 5.30am the remaining candidates are summoned to the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre where the not so tenuous link is to do with fitness and healthy food. Apparently the UK spend £90billion a year on snacks (most of that is me buying Gingsters Steak Slices), so Sugar (oh the irony) tasks the teams with developing and branding alternative healthy snacks and pitching them to 3 major retailers. Most orders win and (hint) he wants to see everyone contributing.

Versatile (I’m so thankful this is the last week I have to remember the team names, type them out and work out who was on the fecking team) consists of Charleine, Gary and Joseph. It turns out Gary’s former employer (TESCO if you don’t know) is one of the retailers they’ll be pitching to, which you would think would make him a good PM as he could wow them with his knowledge of corporate values, but Charleine eats snack bars so it’s agreed that she PMs and Gary pitches. They all want to go for bars. Yay! Not those sort of bars. Boo! They’re vaguely tempted by the idea of crisps, but Gary rejects it (“If I was being healthy I would avoid crisps”).

Over on Connexus, “gym enthusiast” Brett is elected as PM as he is “conscious of food”. Vana is happy to support. Richard points out that he runs “a digital marketing agency” so suggests he does all the branding. Vana suggests they go for vegetable crisps and Brett is well up for that as he likes cauliflower cheese. Richard visualises a massive V on the pack (because he is a space lizard) with a colour scheme for each represented vegetable.

Joseph suggests healthy bar names (“I’m thinking life”, Charleine “Can you spell it out to me?” Joseph “L.I.F.E”) and they go with his “Rejuvenate” bar because it’s not that much to ask that a plastic wrapped piece of crap brings you back to life.

Charleine blows her mind at a raw food restaurant where a fembot introduces her to baobab, acai berries and maca (known as “Britain’s Viagra” apparently. FFS!).

Whilst she’s immersing herself in (and struggling to pronounce) the world of health wank, Joseph and Gary are sent to do the marketing, meaning they divide up the heady work of taking notes and doing branding whilst she runs around like a blue arsed fly. Which is probably a viable ingredient for her fucking health bars.

Next the teams have to cook up 3 different flavours of their healthy option and poor Charleine is cluelessly mixing up ingredients (“just a touch more berries”) ,cos weighing is for wankers, and barking the estimated ingredients back to her slightly less overworked branding team. Karren points out that there’s no way of defining health benefits if the ingredients going in weren’t measured. Charleine tries to keep Gary and Joseph informed of what should go on the packaging (“Maca.. that’s great for contraception… no not for that for the other one”, Superfood expert: “sexual function?” , Charleine: “That’s the one!!”).

Connexus have cleverly decided to create their crisps by dehydrating vegetables (hence allowing them to call their uncooked product “raw”, as it’s one rule for vegetables and another for magic mushrooms). Unfortunately Vana immediately starts thinking of making these crisps salty (which I am sure is unhealthy). However the flavours they come up with sound ok (Courgette,oregano, tomato; Red onion Crunch (it was red onion and cheese until Vana pointed out it contained nutritional yeast rather than cheese) and red cabbage. Claude notes that PM Brett is well down in the team pecking order from King Richard of the branding and Princess Vana of the kitchen.

Joe and Gary work on the “Rejuvenate” branding but Gary worries that their silhouette of a woman “just targets ladies”. They therefore blokify the image by sticking one the the Es of Rejuvenate over her face. They try to get some nutritional info for the packaging from Charleine, but she’s massively stressed and is “STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF MAKING THE BARS!!!!”

Princess Vana’s secret weakness is olive oil and she adds over 100g more than the recipe suggests to the dehydrated crisps, despite Brett being in the kitchen with her and getting his SPECIFICATION head on. Richard calls to check nutritional claims and Vana insists he say “Gluten free, Vegan and Raw”.

With 5 minutes left before print deadline for branding, Charleine shouts out random ingredients for the last recipe as Gary tries to slow her down in vain. Gary decides to just go with “natural energy superfoods high in antioxidants” – so a lot of claims that are impossible to back up given Charleine’s less than Breaking Bad cooking skills.

So it’s pitch day and the packaging arrives. Richard finally realises that raw means uncooked, despite having been told by Vana, and admits that he took “Raw” off the packaging. They make yummy noises about the “crisps”. “That tastes so Meditteraniany… oh it’s slightly oily” Richard emotes (no shit! There’s dead guillemots floating in it!).

Charleine’s “Rejuvenate” bars arrive and she’s forced to admit they’re a bit “crumbly” (like little bags of sand). A dietician’s report also arrives stating they can’t say the bars are “high in antioxidants” so they’re forced to go over this claim on the packaging in black felt tip. Classy!

Bizarrely the candidates test their products on the great unwashed AFTER the creation & branding phase. Vana discovers that the public she encounters see V crisps as healthy looking but way too oily and not crispy enough. Joseph has a tougher time with “Rejuvenate” bars. “Do you think the name will stand out?” he ventures. The resounding response is “No”.

It’s pitch time and Charleine and Gary stand before the judgemental fuckers from Holland and Barrett who denounce the bars as “crumbly” (Charleine “the finished product will be a lot more firmer”). She mentions the bars contain “extra large portions of antioxidants”. “How many in a bar?” asks H&B man and Charleine plucks out the figure of 3 grammes, which apparently is the entire contents of the bar (Whoops!). They then have to admit that the black marker pen on the packaging is because they couldn’t back up the antioxidants claim.

Brett pitches on behalf of Connexus to Virgin active and if health was measured by garbled English he’d be onto a winner (“We are passionate about our product and our product is passionate”). Richard responds well to the criticism that the crisps are too oily (“we are aiming to reduce the olive oil”).

The penny drops to Charleine that they need to sell the health benefits of each ingredient she randomly lobbed into her bars. Therefore she puts pressure on Joseph to present on the market research he gathered. Which unfortunately is the same as the feedback she got in the first pitch in that the public Joseph met didn’t like the name, packaging or product. She insists that he up the non-existent positives and they head off to Asda (Charleine “Have you ladies heard about the superfoods?”) where Joseph is asked to share his consumer feedback (“Erm… so I went out this morning…and they said they didn’t like the name, but”) and ends up just making shit up (“..they said the product was AMAZING and they would buy it at a snap”). Problem is their packaging STILL doesn’t tell people what each superfood does.

Richard pitches to Asda and promises to reduce the olive oil content by 50% in order to take on the “kettle crisp market”, but Asda don’t see the difference from Kettle Crisps. Richard admits the dehydration process could be added to the back of the bag ( the one you knocked “raw” off of, you knob). Brett tries to rally (“The picture of the vegetable iconifies that it is raw”) but everyone pretends he hasn’t just talked a load of shit.

Tesco are the next retailer to pitch to and having recently banished unhealthy snacks from their checkout, they’re on the lookout for an appropriate product. Sadly they get little joy from Connexus. However Versatile unleash their secret weapon Gary, who, having worked for Tesco for years knows the way they speak (“I have experienced your passion for customers”).

Tescos woman throws them a bone “Sum up in one line the benefit of your product range”. Charleine burbles on about “The feelgood factor that it gives you.. etc etc.” whereas Gary (who maybe Charleine should have left it to) goes with “Energy, fun, vibrant”.

Brett thinks “it is sorrowful to think if we fail it’s down to too much oil and Vana’s mad scientist moment”.

And so back to the Board Room where we see clearly that Rejuvenate looks like a well woman product and Charleine cannot pronounce new words (“The Booba” Karren “The Baobab” etc). Sugar thinks the product “looks like soil from Chernobyl” and the packaging contains “as much information as a North Korean tour guide”. “Is it healthy?” he asks. “I’m not too sure” Charleine admits.

And onto Connexus, whereupon Sugar suggests Tesco have a statue of Gary outside. (Did Amstrad even bother doing that for Sugar?). He gets incredibly and unconvincingly angry about the V crisps oil content (“You went to retailers with this???!! Did you use Castrol GTX?”) and is unimpressed when Richard points out they suggested to the retailers that they would rectify the problem, because there is no fucking consistency in this show. (Sugar makes a standard attempt at a vegetable pun here, but there is not enough tumbleweed in the world to dignify “Elvis Parsley”.

Anyhow, excitement mounts as the scores come in and NO FUCKER GOT NO ORDERS FROM NOBODY (although Tesco apparently liked Versatile – I’m betting it was the Gary effect – but the zero orders probably was too in a “Serve you right for leaving” way).

So nobody gets a tiresome treat or a trip to the Sad Café as Sugar tells everyone to go away so he can come up with a “defined exit” (and he slags off Brett for talking bollocks). Instead Sugar tells both losing PMs to bring in one person each. Whilst Charleine is sent outside for a bit of a cry, Joseph has to fend off (valid) accusations of making outrageous claims (which by the way – EVERYTHING in Holland and fucking Barrett does), and he honestly admits they made “wild claims, but if we didn’t cling on to those claims then what could we do?”. At which point Charleine staggers back inside and insists she can’t take full responsibility, and Joseph points out “at no point have I said it was”. I like Joseph. Apart from the outrageous and uncomfortable lies he was forced into to support the pitch earlier he seems a pretty honest bloke.

Brett seems to have drawn his team critique on worrying clear lines. To him Vana is a “mad scientist” (she takes responsible for the olive oil débâcle), but Richard was “phenomenal”. Sugar points out that marketing expert Richard failed to sell the health benefits or use the word “Raw” and Richard has an excuse (“I didn’t find out about the process till the 2nd day”) which Vana insists is bullshit (even Brett is forced to admit Richard was told about it on day 1).

Charleine brings Gary back in claiming he failed at pitching (Gary is all “WTF!”) and Brett proves he’s not a COMPLETE idiot by bringing Richard back. Sugar has his usual “Mr Corporate” go at Gary (“I’ve come across a lot of Garys and Richards but not many Charleines” hmmm), before rightly firing Brett, whilst telling him “you leave here as an honourable man” to assuage Brett’s Gareth from the Office TA style issues.

Gary is devastated to lose his mate. Charleine is in bits to come so close to losing her dream. Catching the Taxi of Fail, Brett is slightly chirpier (“I done what I needed to do”).

Next week it’s interviews. Yes Richard will be interviewed. This will be fun!

Liking:
Joseph

Still Warming to
Vana

Totally Not convinced by
Gary

Scared by
Charleine

Yeah he’s a tosser
Richard

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina, Brett

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Vana, Charleine

Looking Foward to
Charleine going apeshit kill crazy when she doesn’t win.

Week 9 is Hi Viz heaven as the candidates are called to Southbank Tower, the centre of UK kitten squashing (or just a high-up windy building) where Lord Sugar tells them that as they are on a 70s building which is being turned into luxury apartments, that they have to sell the priciest product of all: GOLDEN LEAR JETS (well actually property worth millions and some mid range apartments – mid range in Apprentice language being £350,000). Whilst I start to vomit at the disgusting disparity of life, Sugs informs the candidates that the team with the most value of commissions win and sends Selina to Team Versatile (to team Connexus’s glee and Charleine’s general dismay).

Joseph puts himself forward to lead Versatile (Selina, Charleine, Gary) as he has done property rentals (but not property sales).

Richard announces that he worked as an estate agent to fund his studies at Uni (studies in being a GRASPING CUNT) and is thus elected as the leader of Connexus (Vana, Scott, Brett).

So it’s time to divide the team between the high end (over a million) and the “mid range” (that’ll be £350k FFS!). Scott really wants to work on high end but once Vana has revealed (not for the first time in tonight’s show) that her parents were architects in New York, Richard has to let a clearly humpy Scott down (“You’re the project manager – you make the decisions”). Scott’s miffed and pretends to be concerned that Richard will just boss Vana about (cut to Richard in the car treating Vana like she’s his PA). Over on Connexus Joseph decides that he and Selina should take the high end properties. Charleine immediately questions this decision and the ever-brewing Selina:Charleine bitch fight seems imminent, but Joseph insists there will be no negativity and everyone should just get on, so Charleine and Gary are consigned to “mid fricking range” and we are denied our guilty fun of watching two blonde psychos rip shreds out of each other.

First property is the Manhattan Roof Gardens in Stratford. Vana mentions architect parents (as she does all the way through this task so let’s just take it as a given and save my typing). She’s also all about feelings which works well with the crazy artist guy who’s trying to sell his development. Even Richard has to shut up and let her work it (“He really bought into US “ – it’s always US or WE when Richard hasn’t actually done the work).

Joseph and Selina go to the same complex, where Joseph brusquely demands information on pricing whilst the both of them stare at their notebooks and this makes the crazy man sad (“What is important is not price but your understanding of the product”). Crazy man also dislikes Joseph’s outfit, because it’s a bit random (even though Joseph later defends himself in the boardroom by pointing out he wore a “nice suit and a purple shirt!!!” – bloody architects know nothing about style).

Brett and Scott from Versatile arrive at their “Mid Fucking Range” converted printworks near Clapham with apartments featuring a cupboard that contains a washer drier and all for £320K. Meanwhile Charleine and Gary from Connexus head to a Lewisham former office block where they are flogging tiny apartments for £350K. And I drink some more wine in disgust.

Scott having only just learned the layout spots some potential apartment-buyers and decides to give them the great pitch. Nice move except he hasn’t got a clue where anything is. “This is the dining room” he announces in a room without a big table. Brett rescues him sort of (“It’s the lounge.”) but clearly thinks Scott has lost it (“It’s a train crash” (Brett either thinks car crash is too clichéd or he is a bit mad and apt to use the wrong words for a cliché, bless him).

Anyhow at “High End” Canary Wharf building site, David Gorman (not that one, how Google Whacky would that be) the high end property dealer gets proper pissed off by Joseph leaping in to demand a 4% commission rate (“You’re miles away”). Somehow Joseph comes away thinking this went well, and is very keen on getting Canary Wharf.

Richard and Vana debate about the best high end apartments to choose, but agree that Canary Wharf is a “brand name”. They shouldn’t worry as both development reps liked them, whereas Joseph is gutted to hear that his team wasn’t “suited” and “weren’t polished enough” (Selina: “That sounds like a personal thing”, Joseph “I don’t think it’s aimed at me in particular – I feel slightly offended”, Selina “I don’t think it’s aimed at me”).

Anyhow it’s 7pm and the teams have 2 hrs to book in buyers. Brett gets asked by a punter what his return would be and Scott does a “fuckedifIknow” noise.

Charleine meanwhile sells a 350k Lewisham flat and is ecstatic (“You could buy a street in Wales for that money! I might not have the most eloquent of accents bur I can really sell! Joseph did a big mistake not taking me on the high end!” Um yeah).

At 6am Richard tries to motivate his middle range sales team (“This is not that difficult”, Scott (pissed off):”Thanks very much, appreciate that”).

Selina manages to demotivate everyone by sharing David from Canary Wharf’s “Not polished enough” feedback, and it gets Charleine’s back right up, whereupon Selina points out that she has “sold to the Royal Family”. Charleine simmers (“Selina is cheeky. I find her judgemental and insulting and very unpolished for a business person”) and Joseph, sensing blondebusinesswomanageddon refuses to change the teams around.

Scott and Brett develop a slightly sexist bromance (Scott ”Ladies like chocolates”;Brett “milk tray”, Scott: “Yeah absolutely!”) and are a bit out of their depth (Scott: “Everybody’s enjoying the Clapham; Everything’s here from off-licenses to fish and chip shops”; Nice old Indian bloke “Are you going to give ANY discount?” (Scott offers 1.5% they bugger off to better chippies), Scott “It’s a tough old game”).

Richard and Vana go full out schmooze on their Canary Wharf Clients, but choose to ignore the show flat (which Karren sees as a balls up as they don’t have layouts or floorplans). Richard manages to screw up the developers name in one pitch, which Karren will never forget of course.

This is juxtaposed with Selina being utterly clueless in Stratford and blaming Joseph for not prepping her properly (the poor lamb!).

In Lewisham Gary advertises the highlights of an apartment (“Some people will like looking into the city; some people will like looking into erm Lewisham” – and here’s me thinking the bonus of living high up in a place was not having to look at it).Charleine sells a fifth floor flat in the same block like a woman demented, because she’s OBSESSED with Selina (“I BET Selina will say I sold cos I had easier properties to sell”.)

In Clapham Brett shows people round the wrong attic apartment style floor and only realises when Karren “helpfully” outs his mistake (“I did just say 4 windows, that is visually what your’e looking at though”, Clients leave, Brett facepalms).

Meanwhile Scott’s in full BS mode and sells a flat by offering a “free bottle of prosecco” to the woman buyer.

Joseph somehow manages to sell a luxury apartment with a 1% discount, although he reckons his “outstanding sales technique” did it. Selina sourly suggests “The customer clearly came in looking to buy”, but the rest of the team (especially Charleine once she’s figured out it wasn’t Selina who made the sale) are happy for him. Joseph feeds back to Selina the good news that Charleine has sold yet another flat, and Selina makes a noise like a cow having a stroke.

Even simple Joseph is starting to think Selina manipulates situations to make people think problems are not her fault.

Over in Canary Wharf and Vana and Richard play potential buyers by offering a discount on parking space and what do you know it works (I think Vana’s poor New York Architect parents story helped mind) and Richard comes in his pants!!!!

It all goes sell sell sell and we realise how stupidly rich some people are when a dippy woman blurts “My husbands going to kill me!” (Oh oh silly me I bought a 350K apartment – FFS!!!).

At Stratford Joseph welcomes the last potential buyer to Manhattan, but Selina keeps leaping in and they scare the punter off.

Selina’s concerned she didn’t sell (“It’s a real shame”), but somehow manages to blame Joseph (“He underestimated the complexity of the task”).

Charleine convinces Gary to kidnap a random person from the street and try to sell them a flat (Charleine:”We literally have a minute left”, Puzzled client: “It’s a very expensive minute”).

Anyhow at 7pm selling stops and the next the they’re back in the BoardRoom.

It turns out people who buy massively overpriced flats are massively overblown tosspots as Karren reveals both sets of clients wanted Richard and Vana to sell their flats. (Even Richard bigs up Vana’s client banter skills, which confuses me).

Scott gets shit for his Clapham meltdown (“You called the bidet the hot tub!”) and for saying the area was close to the chippy, but he insists he wanted to demonstrate what the area had (and we should be grateful he wasn’t bigging up stabbings).

Selina gets stick for not helping Joseph out (“You need to sit and listen even if you’re not bleeding interested”. Joseph’s still getting over Harry’s dislike of his braces (“I had a very nice suit on with a purple shirt!!!!”).

Scores are:

Versatile

Lewisham made £18.2K on commission

Stratford made 29k

Connexus

Clapham made £72.5k

Canary Wharf made £63k

So Connexus have won, and HOW FUCKING SMUG WILL THIS MAKE RICHARD??!

Karren and Sugar agree that Scott is lucky to stay, whereupon Scott doesn’t budge and hands in his notice in a SCOTT SCHOCK moment (“Thank you for the opportunity, but I would like to exit the process”). All the candidates are like “For Fuck sake! What?” but he just waltzes away with the arse on, confiding in the Taxi of Doom that he was brilliant and Lord Sugar should have seen it straight away rather than titting him about for 9 weeks. So Scott goes right up in my estimation.

Meanwhile Charleine and Selina finally have a catfight in Sad Café, and despite being incapable of deciphering their high pitched shrieks it’s obvious that Selina is a snotty person who cannot admit she’s wrong and Charleine is a psychopath.

Back in the boardroom and Joseph is forced to admit he was out of his depth and lacked sophistication on this task (“We wasn’t good enough”).

Selina insists none of it was her fault as she was “slightly sidelined” (ooh you lying cow) prompting Joseph to observe “It’s the first time in 9 weeks I worked with you…and I don’t want to again”. When both Sugar and Joseph observe that Selina is a tad negative she moans that “I just had to deal with Charleine screaming at me for 5min”. It transpires that Joseph split his teams to keep our favourite angry blondes apart and even Mr Nice Guy Gary observes that Selina accusing the whole team of not being polished enough based on the feedback from Canary Wharf David (about her and Joseph) “rubbed people up the wrong way”).

I’m not trying to win a personality contest” insists Selina, and Lord Sugar reassures her she wouldn’t have a chance, whereupon she says she’s being scapegoated.

Joseph unsurprisingly chooses Selina to bring back in, and, probably sensibly, deprives us of another bitchfest by also bringing Gary in due to his low sales figures.

Back in the room and Selina’s none existent sales are raised (“You couldn’t even flog property playing monopoly”) for which she blames Joseph again. “You’re talking nonsense” he declares, and she tells him not to shout (“I’m not shouting I’ve just got a loud voice).

Poor Joseph gets stick for not being a high end sophisticat like what Lord Sugar is, and for describing himself as “The Godfather of business” on his application ( I like to think he leaves horses heads in the toilets he plumbs), but he gives a good spiel about taking feedback on board and working hard (“I know what 20 hours a day looks like, I’m gonna break my back for you”).

Selina gets her spiel so horribly wrong talking about why she is more of a boss so struggles to work for people and she is more interested in big business than Lord Sugar’s shit and demeaning (million pound apartment) task.

Gary’s still got his Sugar card marked for being corporate, but ultimately the right decision is made and Selina is fired. In the taxi of reflection she is unrepentant (“I would be great in business with Lord Sugar but if it means having to work with people as unpleasant as Charleine, he needs to get someone else”) and has clearly NOT learned from “the process”.

Mind you back at the house Charleine admits “I am so happy to not see her, I’m not going to lie” (You’re fucking STOKED you lying cow!).

So there’s 6 left (at last) and next week the remainder get to twat around with “super foods”. In other news, Selina fails to show for the “You’re Fired” show, yet Scott does. I am now worrying about Selina.

Liking:

Joseph

Warming to

Vana

Not convinced by

Gary

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam, David, (Bullshit) Scott (fell on own sword), Selina

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Charleine, Richard

Looking Foward to

Richard coming apart in the interview round.

And Lo it was the Seventh week and a “Day of Rest” was declared by the Lord Sugar for the candidates.

And as always they never seem to have watched this show before, so of course when they’re wanking about in their Pjs and onsies, our favourite Nookie Bear faced Business Bollock pays them a “surprise” visit, jiggles about with the teams (Gary’s moved to Versatile) and sets them the task of starting Discount Stores with £500 capital. The big hint is they need to tempt punters in with cheap branded goods and get their margins with none branded goods – and as cash taken and stock are both counted as assets they need to replenish stocks.

They’re sent to Manchester as Sugar says they have an “excellent array of wholesalers” (and that’s where Sugar thinks all the poor people live).

Joseph’s so keen to run a Versatile comprising of Charleine, Gary, Richard and David (“I love selling so much”) but Gary has experience of working with a retailer and has never been PM. In the end Richard waves his magic willy wand and despite Joseph “really really” wanting to do it, Richard votes Gary to PM. “I’m known as the postman, because I always deliver” Gary boasts (and not because he puts shit through your letterbox).

Scott heads Connexus (Vana, Selina, Brett, Sam) and Vana’s keen on finding items which will sell at higher price higher margins (Selina gives her a hacky look). They end up going for “electronics” and Karren Brady gives a silent observing “WHYYYYY!”. Selina then moans that all the electronic items the team chooses are “male” and there’s no rampant rabbits, tasers or Jeremy Kyle approved Lie Detector Tests (surely there’s a Poundland market for these? You can have the idea Poundland).

Over on Versatile Charleine is OBSESSED by fricking scented candles and poopoos the electric fan Joseph fancies and David’s bubble blower whilst Gary is just befuddled by the constant stream of crap ideas coming from his team (and Joseph shakes his head like a silent Cassandra).

Everyone goes up North, ordering branded goods on the way, with Brett practising his most dated Manchestaaaar accent. Selina just naysays every suggestion, winding up even lovely Sam along the way in what must have been a very long 5 hour drive!

At 10am the teams head to those famed (?) Manchester wholesalers. Scott looks for tech items and Vana tries to help pricing “Let’s put a 180% mark up on those selfie sticks” (serve those vain twats right eh?) and Selina carries on whining. Sam, yet again, fails in maths and Scott ends up looking like a bit of a twat at the checkout and having to take two items off (we’ve all been there – but if you’ve been there over body butter and scented candles get help).

Versatile adapt a more random approach to wholesale buying (though obviously candles feature). Charleine and Joseph attempt to negotiate a BOGOF deal from the wholesaler where none existed and Claude winces (“asking for that is completely absurd”) but he’s wrong as it gets them 5% off and potentially 10% on future bulk purchases.

The teams set up their tables to test out their merchandise before buying up the best sellers.

Charleine continues her war against Richard using guerilla tactics (every time he’s in danger of selling she runs up to his punters and makes them sniff her candles, which they buy to make her go away). When he rightly complains, she blithely states “If you snooze you lose” whilst admitting to VT that the idea of Richard looking pained just makes her want to “smash him all the time”. It’s great, but awful, how utterly evil both Charleine and Selina are coming across in tonight’s show.

In Piccadilly Gardens, Brett and Vana (Vana:“I can’t believe made me sub team leader of a two person team”) attempt to tell people that the “mobile devices” they are selling have had their prices seriously dropped – which is kind of technically illegal so seeing as it’s on film Karren Brady pulls them up on their fibbing and makes them sort out their pricing.

Scott meanwhile is failing to sell or even engage people and sings “Everyone wants to ignore me….” (I think Mancunians can sense sales bullshit). Selina acknowledges he has been a good seller in the past, but “If he’s having a bad day tomorrow maybe I’d be less understanding”. Selina is all heart.

On Versatile’s stall Joseph is doing well (“If I wasn’t selling it I’d be buying it that’s how good it is” – oh you smooth talker!).

Both teams work out the hot sellers and restock with Connexus (Scott) going for more high margin tech goods) and Versatile back to the wholesalers for more value for money.

Next day in the Arndale the teams find their patches. Charleine rushes straight in like Han Solo and Chewbacca ducking under the opening security gate at the empty shop that’s erm right by the pound shop. Nice work there. She sets up straight away putting the impulse buys by the till. Chocolates next to mouth wash… well I can sort of see the logic. Versatile concentrate on pricing up stock rather than inviting people in with low prices.

Meantime Connexus set up the cheap crap near the front and try to keep prices low. Poor Sam doesn’t seem to understand how discount shops work (“You wouldn’t come in, grab something and THEN go shopping” – I beg to differ with the wordsmith here). The team all start barking confusingly divergent opinions again and Selina whinges some more and poor Scott tries to hold it all together by asking Brett and Vana to stay outside and get people into the store (which makes them paranoidly convinced they are being set up for a fail). Whereupon they both sulk dramatically (Sam “It’s a vital role”, Vana “Sam why don’t YOU do it?”)

Gary seems less bothered about getting passing trade in (by say offering lower fucking prices than the pound shop he’s almost next to)than by organising the “Customer Journey” (“Let’s form an orderly journey… this is our toilet world..”) although presumably he spots what Connexus are doing and sends Richard and Joseph out in “Discount Store” T-shirts to direct people into the store. He just ends up in “bants” with Vana and Brett who are sulking at being taken away from pumping up their sales stats and just stare over the balcony at what Versatile are up to.

As a result of watching Versatile’s progress, Brett panics and demands that Scott puts baskets of some of the cheap shit out the front of the shop for a quid. “I want that stuff in there” Scott insists (not totally unreasonably) but Brett’s not happy. “Speak to me like that again?” he barks threateningly and when Scott challenges this he insists Scott should have said “I’d like that stuff like that”. Brett is a bit fricking mad isn’t he? Anyhow to try and control escalatingly mental team dynamics, Scott sends Selina and Sam out and brings Brett and Vana back into the store. And Selina promptly throws an almighty strop. And another one when Scott asks her to help restock in the middle of the day. I’m sensing that Selina is definitely not a team player or a people person. Vana moans that all Selina does is complain. And somewhere a pot is moaning about a kettle. Brett and Vana go on to do really well in the shop, with Vana somehow managing to be charming and sell in Japanese, which really impresses me despite how annoying she is. Funny how much she’s cheered up now she thinks she can attribute sales to herself though. Almost as though it’s not about the team.

Joseph plans to do a bulk buy offer and goes for one on “mouthwash toothpaste a can of drink and biscuits”. Which, whilst I can see the internal logic, doesn’t necessarily work.

Karren Brady totally has it in for Sam, who is currently shouting at a beeping till (“Oh shut up!”), but as Karren Brady hates poor people enough to vote to cut tax credits whilst raking in millions, I don’t give a flying squirrels tit what she thinks.

Whilst Scott has already restocked in plenty of time for Connexus, Gary from Versatile’s gone into hiding to work out what stock he needs whilst everyone’s snowed under with customers (oops) and he leaves it till an hour to go to get in new supplies.

I think the main difference between the two in terms of ambition shines through when both teams have dropped prices and Gary is selling a candle or something “What? £2? OK quickly then..” whereas Scott manages to motivate his massively recalcitrant team the whole way.

Back in the Boardroom and Sugar re-iterates it was “nothing too complicated: buy, sell replenish” before an inevitable fucking barrow boy story ensues.

Claude seems to forget the whole “You don’t ask you don’t get” ethos by having a pop at Gary for not getting BOGOF but instead just getting lots of discounts from the wholesalers for just being a bit cheeky. However Sugar points out that Gary screwed up by not lowering the price on his branded products and putting them out front to get people in, especially being down from the pound shop.

Karren dobs Sam in for bad maths because she clearly fears people with an intellect, and accuses him “crawling around on floor with his calculator”. She also gets Brett and Vana more correctly in trouble for dodgy price claims (Sugar “It has to be on sale for 28 days before you can say that the prices has been dropped from).

Scott is dismayed at how the team dynamics changed to individual selling rather than actual team work, but Brett points out there are stats raised on performance in this show (Brett: “Everyone’s gotta self preservate” um yeah). Sugar insists it is about teamwork (“If the manager hadn’t sold, it wouldn’t matter to me one little bit” and everyone smells BULLSHIT.

Anyhow scores time:

Connexus had cash in the till of £592 and stock to the value of £369, and end up with total assets of £962

Versatile had till cash of only £497.65, but stock of £1013.52, proving that the whole point about the task is the first replenishing (although I can’t work out how stock worth is calculated if the team is either price dropping or brought low). Anyhow Charleine looks smugger than the Cheshire Cat on cocaine holding a winning Euromillions ticket and versatile are sent up the top of the Shard to drink champagnes whilst watching businessmen pooing in the lower floors.

In Sad Café Scott is annoyed by everyone trying to cover their arse rather than working together. Cue an argument (Sam: “I don’t want to be part of all this arguing!”)

Back in the Board Room and Selina looks so fricking angry, mussy haired and flushed that she may well pull a gun and take out whoever wronged her.

Vana insists that Selina is a bitch, but Scott points out they both didn’t listen…and neither (before they can get smug) did Brett and Sam.

Sam’s grassed on by evil Karren for screwing up calculations again, but he insists his attitude was “positive”. However Scott scents blood and asks “where were you when your team needed you?” Sam rightly blames Selina for poor team spirit, but she’s not “gonna make personal comments”, but thinks “there are selfish people I shouldn’t be so sensitive about”. Sugar’s rightly unconvinced about Selina’s recurring sensitivity.

However Scott appears to miss this completely and chooses to bring back Sam and Brett, letting Selina off Scott free. He justifies this by claiming Brett is bullish and aggressive (true) and said he would smash Scott’s face in (UNTRUE and even Sam points this out, justifying my earlier prefix of “Bullshit” for Scott).

Whilst poor Sam fundamentally believes in his business plan, you can tell he’s doomed (although he makes a good point when Scott admits he didn’t trust his team (GASP! How very DARE you!), that this made their failure a self-fulfilling prophecy).

Whilst Sugar isn’t sure he can deal with someone blunt and straightforward that alienates people like Brett (because that’s Sugar’s job) he predictably fires Sam, who, in the taxi of regret insists that “integrity is the key” and finds Scott’s boardroom backlash “deplorable” before zooming off to become Morrissey’s ghost writer.

Back at the house Selina stirs shit against Vana (“Scott said you were difficult to work with”, Vana: “No YOU said that!”, Selina “No Scott did!”).

Next week the teams have to plan children’s parties and Selina sets up a back street abortionist instead or something.

Liking:


David
Joseph

Warming to

(Bullshit) Scott

Not convinced by

Gary

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine
Vana
Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April, Sam

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Charleine, Scott

It’s Week 6 and the Twat Phone demands the candidates convene in Balham in Hi Viz jackets and steel toe capped boots which they have all miraculously packed for the occasion.

Brett’s well excited “It’s either making something or constructioning” and David points out that “Elle is in construction and hasn’t won a task yet.”. Mergim’s high on his faint praise from last week and wants to be PM, but Joseph isn’t convinced.

4 white vans await the candidates but rather than a kicking from disenfranchised Sun readers, they are given vans full of tools to run a handyman (SEXIST KLAXON!) business for two days – and the most profit wins. Elle’s put in charge of Versatile (Mergim, Joseph, Richard, April, Charleine, David) and Brett leads Connexus (Vana, Scott, Gary, Selina, Sam). On hand to follow their antics are Bulldog Claude and Karren Brady, keen to nick any tax credits they might earn.

Elle’s quite confident she can do anything, but (apparently) wisely asks her team what they are capable of. David admits he can “just about put together a flatpack” (I think he means flapjack) and Mergim proudly states he’s never held a screwdriver in his life but boy is he keen. He shares that he used to make a “fortune” (£20 a day) windowcleaning and he is dying to “take up the sponge” again. Plus Mergim shares the tearjerking tale of coming to the UK as a refugee with his family on the back of a lorry from Albania. Unfortunately Elle spends so much time consulting with her team that she misses the deadline for producing flyers (“OK my fault, sorry guys!”). Big D’oh! April whinges about it being a huge setback, but Mergim, bless him, decides the only other option is to handwrite flyers, but April gives him an “I just saw a poo” look and suggests that customers will see this as unprofessional. “But it’s the only way we can do it” Mergim points out, quite rightly.

Brett’s talks a load of bollocks about always going with customer satisfaction and Connexus get their flyers out on time, before going on to a pre-set lead at an East End Theatre, where Brett goes a bit Harry Enfield Four by two by builders , whilst poor fragile poet Sam attempts to keep up and fails slightly in front of the unconvinced theatric client. Brett stresses his “years of expertise.. I’m like an expert within my field” before knocking Sam’s estimate of £777 up to £887, whilst the potential client swoons erm theatrically..

Versatile head to a Sarf London footy club where David (“I’ve worked at grounds like this”) gets to run the pitch and attempts to prove his inner blokiness by asking the Footy Ground chap “How did you get on this season?” and disproves his inner blokiness by commiserating sadly when the Footy guy says the team finished forth. David quotes £500 and Footy bloke drily agrees to get back to him.

Connexus arrive at the footy club next and Brett gets all blokey measuring up, and between himself, Sam and Selina (who Brett can’t hear because she is a woman) they work out a proper costing that sounds like a GCSE maths question (3 people for 5-6 hours at 20 quid per hour per person). Somehow they come out with the figure of £480.70 after all this malarkey. Selina’s pissed off )”That was a great conversation”, and the cheeky footy ground guy still just promises to get back to them.

Mergim is loving the window cleaning jobs he got with the makeshift flyers that April sneers at. April decides that “personal diy” would be more profitable, so at their next job, she offers a shop lady £10 per hour to fix shelves. Unfortunately that works out to £3.33 per person and well below the legal minimum wage. So the shop lady snaps it up and April is possibly facing a plum job in Conservative central office. Fortunately April’s drastic underestimate proves appropriate as Mergim’s shit DIY skills become more apparent. (April “What are you doing?, Mergim:”Screwing a nail., April: “I don’t think you screw a nail”. So despite the cheap price, they only end up getting paid for cleaning the windows and run away before the windows start falling out.

On the other subteam, Joseph is most unimpressed (“Putting up a shelf is one of the most basic DIY jobs there is “, other than wanking I reckon).

Connexus’s sub-team of Scott, Gary (who spends the episode looking insanely bored) and Vana drives around Dulwich distributing flyers with Vana deciding she needs to do some market research instead of getting jobs and making a profit, because Vana is insane.

Versatile head to the theatre and Joseph essentially goes into trade mode (he has plumber skills) and takes over (“We need screws, hack saws…””). His decisiveness seems to finally screw over Elle’s confidence and she lets him take over, even with the costings. Having worked it all out Joseph offers a quote of £560 and the naughty theatre man moans that this is “considerably high” (despite it being nearly £200 lower than the other team’s quote.) but agrees to get back to them.

Connexus’s subteam check out a garden that looks almost Buddhist in comparison to mine, but the fussy woman wants a new retaining wall. Scott goes into his trademark bullshit mode (“I can build you the hanging gardens of Babylon and a peace pagoda! I can imagine it looking amazing!”) and despite Vana’s concerns he insists “It can be done”).

Anyhow at 6pm Connexus get the footy club deal, whereas Versatile get a call from the theatre asking for a mahoosive price drop. Elle goes a bit more rubbish (“I have no experience in negotiation”) and Richard takes over, but is beaten down from £525 to £375 (“If your hand was here I’d shake it”) by the canny representative of the arts. Joseph’s already calculated how much money per hour that represents and insists “It has to be precision, no toilet breaks. Solid yeah!” I start falling for Joseph a little bit at this point.

Anyhow next morning Elle attempts to check how her subteam are going to operate. Mergim’s confident “I’m not gonna let a screwdriver defeat me mate,you must be mad!”, but April’s pulling pained hacky faces.

Brett gets his team to work on the footy stands (Sam: “This is so gross! Oh bloody hell there’s so much crap”) and, priding himself on “quality”, insists that Selina chisel all the chewing gum off the stands, despite this not being part of the requested work (Brett: “You’ve got a fully sharp chisel, get your back into it!”). Sam gets to do the power-washing and despite his wordsmith ways it clearly (like anybody of any gender handed a power tool) makes him feel LIKE A MAN! GRRRR!

Elle basically hands over her PM hat to Joseph at the theatre and he doesn’t just take control, he brilliant manages everyone including his erm manager (“Richard you’re going to have to help her”), whilst doing all the practical stuff with a “piece of piss” practical person’s glint in his eye. “What else can I do in the meantime?” Elle asks him, and you know she’s doomed. Joseph, I must admit is amazing, and even if he gets fired in future shows he can use this episode as an advertisement for his plumbing business. He susses out that David has been cutting pipes to the wrong measurements (“Sorry Joseph, I thought I got it right”)

The subteam aren’t faring as well, but bless Mergim, he’s eager (“I might not be able to use a screwdriver but I can definitely sand!”). He still manages to screw up a clients windows and she takes £30 off the price. April gets a dig in (“As usual Mergim does what he does best and costs us money”) which is rich from less than half minimum wage woman.

Back at Scott’s Garden of Delights, Vana manages expectations (“We probably couldn’t do all the promised work in one day.. I know I am the bad cop, but what are your priorities”) and she somehow manages to renegotiate from Scott’s offer of building the hanging gardens of Balham to just tidying up a bit for a tiny discount, and the Garden Woman is hugely sated. Even bulldog Claude is impressed. They manage to get another job although Vana struggles with the weeds (“Too much weed!”) and Scott needs a hand with the bush (“Too much bush!”).

Brett’s still at the footy ground and realises he can’t paint the stairs as they’re wet, but whilst Selina’s keen on just doing the job and fucking the standards, he “would rather be up front and honest with the client “. It transpires that the Footy Ground bloke didn’t even expect Selina to be chiseling gum and he offers them £420 for their hard work, which Selina manages to argue up to £440 (bargain!). Brett still thinks he’s “shown leadership and a high standard of work” and insists he “would quite happily” put his “head on the block”

Theatre job completed, Elle’s clueless as to what to do not and Joseph has to urge her to “make a decision “. Do you want to regroup with subteam to see if they need help?” he suggests. As it turns out they do and eventually Elle decides “we need to help them out”. Joseph arrives at the latest job (where April agreed to clean and repaint some massive windows) and figures out that the subteam had seriously underestimated the task (Joseph, looking perturbed “WHO SPOKE TO THE LADY??!” ) and somehow he manages to organise the rest of the team to help out, although it still all looks a bit messy.

Anyhow, back in the Boardroom and Sugar explains that this task came about because he wouldn’t ask anyone to do something he can’t do. Apart from sell shit email phones.

Elle bigs up how exceptional Joseph was, and Sugar ultimately tells Joe he’s safe. Only Charleine has anything positive to say about Elle as PM (“She kept the enthusiasm going”).

Mergim has to answer for his DIY woes and even blames a woman’s wall for his shit job.

Anyhow, here’s the scores:-

Versatile took £652 but spent £121.99 so made a profit of £530.01

Connexus took £ 170 but spend £119.92 so made a profit of £1050.08

So Brett’s slightly more realistic (and intransigent) pricing won him the task and his team get to travel to a Spa to watch him getting beaten with a bush.

There’s not even a sojourn to Sad Café and Elle seems to be ready to go (“I just ballsed it up”).

In the boardroom Sugar asks what Elle actually does, and it transpires that she is mainly office based, but gets to put a hardhat on and get patronised on site once a month. Sugar rips her apart for letting Joseph organise all the practical shit, and she massively cops out (“With all due respect, that’s a foreman’s duties”). Karen points out that Elle was equally poo at strategy and failed to get her flyers out and Elle practically falls on her sword (“I don’t stand here proud”) and is promptly fired, before even getting the opportunity to bring in fellow candidates. Bless her she even says he made the right decision in the taxi of Grrrrr!

“It don’t end here “ Sugar warns, whilst asking Mergim as “sub team leader” to decide which two remaining candidates to bring back to the final Board Room. Bless Mergim he actually asks Joseph who did what in the other half of the team, and Joseph can’t forgive David for fucking up his pipe lengths (missus) whereas he’s warmed to Richard for being less of an ignorant twot and working hard.

Mergim unsurprisingly brings in April and David ( Karren argues that David has no DIY skills, which makes “The Apprentice” sound more realistic, I guess).

Back in the boardroom again Mergim plays the (poignant and laudable) refugee card, but Sugar still fires him with “sincere regret” and promises to stay in touch. Bless him, he’s determined to crack on with his dream in the Taxi of Regrets, and he agrees that he has a lot to learn.

Just as April’s starting to look smug, having dismissed Mergim’s home-made flyers (which Sugar agrees was the only option the team had), she’s fired too for having done sod all since Week 1. In her taxi moment she proves she hasn’t learned anything (“I didn’t deserve to go”).

David does a little accident in his pants as Sugar reads his CV (“I am a diamond, a rare piece”) and David tries to justify it (“I believe I shine”). “I didn’t see any shining”, Karren retorts, and he’s sent back to the house smelling of fear and wee.

Next week the candidates have to open discount stores in Manchester and presumably everyone fails by charging London discount prices whilst Sam accidentally joins The Fall.

Liking:

Sam
David
Joseph

Warming to

(Bullshit) Scott

Not convinced by

Gary

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine
Vana
Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie, Elle, Mergim, April

My Tips for the Final

Joseph, Charleine,  Scott

Well I would like to write an entertaining and informative account of Week 5 of The Apprentice or #RuthWozRobbed as I now know it, but COUGH COUGH I’m so very poorly SPLUTTER

But anyway at 6am the contestants are dragged screaming (“Do you ever wake up and think it’s not worth it” – April) to the London Library on St James’ Square, where in the least convoluted task connection to date they are tasked with producing a childrens book for 3-5 year olds (including an audio book) and then selling it to pro-retailers.

Sam’s moved to Connexus and Sugar clearly has his card marked as a posho academic lyrical motherfucking wordsmith as he hints “this may be time for you to use your talents Sam”.

Fortunately Sam “would love to be PM” as he loves language and has a degree in literature. He is duly elected and embarks on a three hour journey in search of plot (“A story dies without a good plot”) whilst quoting Aristotle on tragedy. Team Connexus go a bit dead behind the eyes.

Meanwhile Charleine, as a mother of young kids, puts herself forward as leader for Versatile, as she doesn’t “have the best vocabulary or literature skills” but she has a working fucking womb. Charleine suggests kids would like a story called “party pooper wee wee” and is unanimously elected as leader. She wants an adventure helping kids to let go of their comfort blankets and Joseph suggests “Buzzy’s Quest For Honey” the story of a humble bumble bee who hasn’t realised that as a single drone his input into pollen production would not be welcomed. Bit like Richard this week then. Anyhow April has a degree in creative writing and suggests Joseph’s bee odyssey is the most adventurous, so Buzzy it is. Richard’s keen on getting the honey story right (April’s also concerned about lying to kids about the origin of honey), but Charleine’s determined to step on his ego whenever possible so makes him the marketing subteam leader to take him away from creative input and fair play the pompous plonker falls for it (Richard: “ I would have preferred to have been on the other side but … ok”). Unbeknownst to Richard, Charleine has a masterplan to use David to pass all information back so she never has to talk to her subteam leader again. Muwahahaha!

Sam’s still working on his epic about a mythical creature surrounded by other creatures and becoming accepted which through his warmly accepted team input becomes a tale of a sneezy dragon crossed with an elephant called Snufflegruffle no Snufflebum no Snifflebottom. It’s all getting a bit Black Books quite frankly. Finally, after several hours Elle forces him to accept Snottydink. “The moral is about acceptance; so a child who is good at rugby but rubbish at chess should not be outed from school” Sam speaks, clearly from slightly altered experience.

The teams divide at 11am with Richard still grumbling that he should have been kept in creative because he wears the reddest,most annoying braces, whilst David yawns unsubtly.

Poor Joseph, like most creatives, watches as his simple Bee tale is taken over by April and Charleine (“I’m thinking ‘swishing and swirling and tumbling and turning’”). Richard calls back from the kids (focus) playgroup he’s attended with David and Mergim to report that mums like rhymes… but Charleine’s having none of it (“Can I speak to David please?” David: “Erm mum’s like rhymes”, April: “Buzzy got lost, after being tossed”, Everyone: Silence).

Sam’s team are finally getting pissed off and realising they need to do some work (Scott: “We need to pinpoint this. It’s not hard I don’t think” Elle: They breathe fire, he breathes water. We just need a clincher”, Sam: “Yeah yeah, we’ll get there”).

Mergim, David and Richard work out a number of Buzzy related songs, the best of which is a Buzz Buzz Buzzy song which has them all falling about laughing like kids, which should be a good indicator, but no, Charleine calls (“Who am I speaking to?”, Richard: “Richard.. would you like me to pass you to David? We’re doing really well”, Charleine: “Can I speak to David please?”, Everyone, including David, “Oh For fucksake!”, Richard “I will just go grab a coffee, seeing as I’m not needed”) . David ends up going for the lame “Little busy, everything is honey” even though anybody with a brain is still singing the Buzz Buzz Buzzy Song. Charleine calls again and Richard requests she stop asking to speak to David. She hangs up.

Sam’s dithering is holding up Selina on the song team (“We can’t write a random song with no relation to the story”) and he rushes out his Opus Sammus, and it sounds quite nice, and a bit Dr Seuss, but Selina and Gary (who apparently struggles with the word ‘duck’ at one point due to being a Brummy – as though duck is a word that couldn’t be understood in any dialect) are converned by Sam’s use of big words like “moisture” and “rife” for 3-5 year olds (maybe this is Sam’s way of releasing a porn epic he wrote at the age of 14).

The teams oversee their designs and Sam has to go for a “mental” (April) looking Snottyding, whereas Charleine, having full control, declares herself happy with her book colours and hopes “we’re beating Shakespeare on the other side”. The products arrive and whilst “Buzzy’s First Adventure looks professional, Snottydink looks like the product of a drug addled bipolar mind which should surely appeal to most parents nowadays.

Vana tries to talk Charleine out of doing the pitch, and Richard offers his sales skills, but Charleine is determined to go it alone (“I wouldn’t say English is my strongest point but I’m not that bad of a speaker”). David advises Charleine to get the customers attention in the first 10 seconds, but rather than listen she bores the arse off the Waterstones reps, who find her fembot pitch and the clunky rhyming “cringy”. Meanwhile Mergim begs the owner of a kids cafe (where he and Richard have tested Buzzy on unimpressed kids and parents) to buy three books for a tenner and is unsuitably overjoyed (“That was a cheeky little deal”; Cafe owner “At last, some cheap artisan coasters”). Charleine’s pitching is so emotionally cold she manages to make the word “passion” sound like it’s being croaked from a deathbed into an empty void, but Richard of course is none too secretly loving her failure (“she should have listened to me”).

Sam wants Natalie to help him pitch, but she’s too busy faking a cold and doesn’t want to have to act out a coughing fit mid-pitch so he asks Brett and Scott instead. Natalie then goes to a playgroup (because she doesn’t fear infecting children with her IMAGINERY FUCKING COLD”) where parents tell them that moisture is too big a word for even them to cope with (a bit like contraception). Despite her terrible illness, Natalie goes on to fail to sell to shops with the subteam, and despite Brett rigidly going through pricing options with her she’s incapable of remembering the discount percentage for one completely uninterested storeholder, so collapses into her “oh I’m so very poorly” spiel again (Shopowner “I’m sorry, I don’t think this is for Hackney” – the best alternative way of saying FAIL I’ve heard for a while). Charleine fares somewhat better out in the field after her brain death pitches, as her natural falseness allows her to bully shopowners into buying all of her books.

Sam cleverly bats off Foyles concerns about big clever words in kids books at the first pitch by suggesting the book is a learning tool. They are impressed by the visuals and rhyme, so Selina, having failed to sell 150 copies to them goes straight down to 50, causing Gary and even Sam to audibly groan. Waterstones buy 50 Snottydinks and Sam finally focuses on trying to get the rest of the team to sell every copy. Unfortunately he sends them to the antiquarian book end of Charing Cross Road where shopowners haven’t even heard of the dark magic that is CDs. Selina manages to shift the lot for the grand total of £1.75 per copy (Sam “Selling your baby for £2, God what a heartless mother I am!”).

Back in the boardroom, Sam is lovely and unflinchingly positive about his team. He is pulled up on taking hours to decide on a story and apologises to his team whilst taking full responsibility. Natalie meanwhile is acting out the symptoms of Bubonic plague.

Charleine maintains “Richard works better when he is a subleader and wants to achieve more” because she is a proper patronising beeyatch. Sugar asks Richard why he alienates people and Richard plays a blinder by taking it on the chin (“You don’t always get on with everyone, that’s life”) and bigging up Merkim for selling to the focus group and making all of a tenner. It’s agreed that Charleine made a “bad management decision” by sidelining Richard (who thus goes into smug mode).

Anyhow scores are:-

Versatile sold 210 books making £609

Connexus sold only 205 (despite selling all their stock!) making only £587

Nobody hugs Charleine, who sold 125 in her last minute pitch, and despite the winners’ wonderful (appropriately crap) treat of watching a magician perform in a library, Richard maintains Charleine was just lucky.

Meanwhile in the Sad Café, Sam wants to talk about what went wrong. Six hours later all the other blokes blame Natalie. “But she was ILL” Sam insists over kindly.

Back in the boardroom Scott and Brett grass up Natalie for being shit, and she looks a bit aghast and does a croaky voice. She blames Brett for not managing the financial information, but he points out he gave her that info and accuses her point blank of being a liar. Selina gets stick for leaping from 150 to 50 in her sales pitch, but she turns it on Sam “If you’re so smart you don’t know how tonegotiate” adding that she “didn’t understand the pricing structures” (well guess whose fault that is love).

Sugar accuses Sam of having weak logistics and business acumen before asking Sam who he’s bringing back in, which inspires some epically risky sighing and dithering. Natalie is selected as the weakest seller (she gives a piteous sniff) and after much very noble struggling Sam clearly decides to be a gentleman and not risk looking a bit sexist (as he should have) bring in Selina so plumps for Brett (Sugar: “WHO??” Brett “Me.”).

Back in Sam justifies his second decision by blaming Brett as subteam leader for not sorting his logistics, but Brett points out his team sold in every shop where Natalie didn’t pitch (“I shit you not Karren was there and she fucked it”, Natalie: It’s a fair cop).

Sugar decides that Brett needs more time in the process to make a proper full blown entertaining arse of himself), and he sees Sam and Natalie as immature. Still it’s Nat who gets the chop and Sam looks proper sad (“I’m so sorry”). In the Taxi of Despair however Nat insists Brett should have been fired and DOESN’T SOUND BITTER AT ALL. Much.

Sam, like me, was convinced it was going to be a double firing, so sees it as a compliment that he’s stayed in, rather than a mere controlling of the narrative in order to keep the viewing figures up.

So 13 candidates left in the lazy 8 weeks where next week they are asked to set up their own handyman business. Cue professional indemnity claims rolling in from everyone they come into contact with.

Liking:

Sam

David

Warming to

Joseph

Merg(k)im

Scott

Not convinced by

Gary

Elle

April

Irritated By

Richard

Disliking

Brett

Charleine

Vana

Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth, Natalie

Looking Forward To

Selina and Charleine finally settling differences in a vat of lime green vodka jelly.

Week four sees the candidates summoned to Samuel Johnson’s (sadly not L Jackson’s) house. “He’s a poet” Sam the Wordsmith intones solemnly. I end up having to answer an urgent email for most of tonight’s show, so I miss quite a lot of the finer points, but I do enjoy Sam showing off his literary skillz.

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” Vana reads stiltingly from the plaque in Gough Square. In year’s to come there may well be a similar plaque replacing the words London and life with “Vana”.

Anyhow Lord Sugar manages another tenuous task link worthy of the Bat Computer by explaining that Samuel Johnson, famous for his dictionary, has a statue commemorating him which features his beloved cat, and thus the candidates have to pick pet pampering products from a selection of dangerous lunatics to sell at the London Pet Show. Most sales win.

To spice things up Charleine, April and Vana are moved to Team Versatile, whereas Scott, Brett and Gary move to Connexus.

Vana’s already all about the kitties (“A lot of single women have cats”). Brett however is more interested in the “rabbit sector”.

Ruth’s keen to lead Connexus as she wants to share her “techniques” (I’m presuming in sales”), but she’s gazumped by Scott as he has “a little dog” and also is ace and skill at everything and has been on the winning team three times in a row, as though that means anything.

David’s really passionate about everything and the only person daft enough to volunteer so gets to Project Manage team Versatile.

Next we have an assortment of animal loving weirdos including an ageing hipster selling Hi-Visability Chicken Jackets. David’s tactic is to be mega enthusiastic about every product (actually not a bad move) which means you can’t really tell if he genuinely is creaming his pants over those freaking close-up photo of hamster T-shirts, or if the nurse doesn’t need to be summoned to close the screens at this stage.

Next Charleine inspects “Cat Towers”, a Ballardian feline castle incorporating a pillow atop a scratch post. Whilst she ignores the suppliers pitch, when she hears Richard is taken with the high end Dog Sofas (what better way to discourage dogs from getting on your sofa by giving them their own model to practice on?), she’s all about the sales record for cat towers and gives David evils when he ignores her and goes for Richard’s choice.

Ruth still wants to go for the Rabbit Revenue, but Scott realises that she is a woman so decides he isn’t interested in the luxury hutch and instead trusts Gary on his choice of Cat Towers. Ruth’s typically unphased “I don’t know anything about cats, but I do know about selling”.

Scott puts Army Dreamer Brett in charge of arguing prices with the suppliers, which doesn’t go down well, especially with the animal balloon retailers, who prefer it when David rubs himself all over their legs and purring.

After much faffing, Scott decides that balloons might be a good cheap product to help attract customers (“It’s a call we’re all going to make”), but unfortunately by then the balloon people have gone for David, who has frotted so many balloons that his hair has gone all Gary Rhodes. So Scott’s forced to go for the “feline market” of Cat Towers, weird LED cat toys and erm something else, apparently “cat throws”, which sounds um fun.

David’s team end up with balloons and Hamster T-shirts (£25 a pop to look like a member of the Richard Gere fan club!) and those dog sofas that Richard thinks are a piece of piss to sell.

Several hours later at the Pet Show and Richard’s desperation is thinly veiled , “It’s always better in the afternoons” he comforts himself. “I’ve set myself a personal target of 4 because I want to overachieve”. Richard seems to be morphing into David Brent since his one victory as PM.

Whilst rabbits on leashes hop over fences; Ruth rues missing the bunny dollar and takes out her neediness on any nearby potential customers by talking to them to just about EVERYTHING (the price of fish, their sex lives, their inner leg measurements, whether a jaffa cake is a biscuit or not) EXCEPT selling fricking cat towers.

Selina’s doing no better and with a crowd of customers interested in buying a customised cat tower she does a blank when they ask her about price so goes to interrupt Scott (busy with another customer) to ask for help. Give him credit, he does, preventing her customers from wandering off bored, and she takes the sale. “It was my sale!” she insists loudly and I go right off Selina.

The crowds are going ape shit crazy for Versatile’s £5 animal balloons. Sadly David doesn’t think of actually selling them other products whilst they queue, so it just becomes chaotic, with most of the team inflating rubber giraffes rather than concentrating on the other products.

Ruth’s not sold a single Cat Towers at end of play, but she has got a few phone numbers, and insists that she at least “skilfully tried to make sales”.

Back in the boardroom and David’s typically enthused about being enthusiastic which was “one of the great ideas which I had which I thought was fantastic”. Even Scott has to say fair play to David over his poaching of the balloons though. Sugar seems to be less impressed (“You have to sell 140 balloons to get the same amount as one dog sofa”), but surely he’s missing the point, as David points out “T shirts and balloons are for everybody, not just dogs”. Yeah! David’s applied the same methodology to sales, and believes it makes his customers think he is “one of them” (ouch).

Anyhow Connexis sold £3028.49 worth of crap (£1800 on cat towers), whereas Versatile sold £4051.62 worth (£2462 on dog sofas).

Versatile get the treat of going for a run, some quorn and steroids with Mo Farah, whereas Connexus retire to the Café of Forgotten Dreams.

Natalie blames Brett for browbeating the balloon chaps on price, whereas Brett blames Ruth for not selling and just talking, and Ruth is just stressed.

In the boardroom, Sugar accuses Ruth of “taking the scenic route, with no end result” on sales, and mentions that Scott had to help Selina with her one sale. “He didn’t assist” Selina insists. Ooh you lying get! Fortunately Claude is on hand with a slam “Scott worked out his costings and didn’t need to go to Selina to help so there’s no reason she couldn’t have worked out the costings, she just didn’t” adding “you were on the periphery and not displaying enthusiasm as you should”. Selina’s well and truly nasally disjointed (“I’m disappointed you think that.. I always get my hands dirty”).

Everyone’s sad about losing the balloons and Sugar blames Brett for going in like a bull in a china shop over prices. However Ruth gets more stick for not chasing off “people who couldn’t pay” for Cat Towers and instead engaging them in Relate sessions and seances. “What do I say?” Ruth asks genuinely and lovably. “Sod off!” Sugar informs her.

Anyhow Scott, still smarting from his first loss (“it hurts!”) brings Selina and Ruth back to the Boardroom. Gary sold sweet fuck all too, but he has testicles so that will do for Scott.

Karen Brady worries about Ruth as a business prospect. This is Karen Brady who recently voted to cut tax credits, so ballcocks to her opinion. Fortunately Claude goes against his typecasting and sticks up for Ruth’s enthusiasm over Selina’s apathy.

Selina shouts that she’s “proven” herself in two different continents as though she’s Alexander The Great or Hugh Laurie, before realising it’s not cutting ice with Sugar and switching to attacking Ruth (“You didn’t sell anything and you are very un-concise and difficult to work with”), whilst Scott backs her up.

Poor Ruth sniffs “At least I put myself in a position to sell.. and did my absolute damnedest”.

Scott reckons Lord Sugar will realise how ace and skill he is once he sets his beady peepers on Scott’s business plan, but Sugar can’t give a monkeys. Sugar’s also sussed out Selina (“no smoke without fire”) as two faced, but ultimately he can’t forgive Ruth for running a business training people how to sell, so fires her (boo), and it looks (hopefully) like he might fire Selina too, but she’s spared with one marked card and sent back to the house.

In the Taxi of If Only, Ruth still can’t believe she’s gone on a sales task and magnanimously argues that although Selina is hard work, at least she made a sale. No she bloody didn’t Ruth, and the injustice of tonight’s show will never be forgotten, till at least next year.

Next week the candidates have to create a children’s book (cos there’s no skill in that) and lovely Sam gets to be a wordsmith (“I think language and communication is the key to existence”).

Liking:
Sam
David

Warming to

Joseph
Natalie

Not convinced by

Scott
Gary
Elle
April

Irritated By

Mergim
Richard

Disliking

Brett
Charleine
Vana
Selina

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny, Ruth

Looking Forward To

Sam threading forget me nots in everyones’ pubes whilst reciting Don Juan.

Week 3, and the boys answer the bright red twat phone, to be summoned to assemble in the wartime tunnels beneath Dover Castle. Elle’s not sure where Dover is (“maybe we’re going to Ireland”), whereas all the boys engage in a willy waving competition against the still impossibly smug Richard.

Anyhow Lord Sugar can’t be arsed turning up to Kent as he’s too busy throwing darts at a poster of Piers Morgan or something, so a video of him sets the candidates (still Connexus girls versus Versatile boys) the mission of negotiating and buying the following items at the best prices, with the twist being that half of them will be in Calais (and are urged pointedly not to miss the last ferry back) whilst the rest stay on the Kent coast:

10kg Mussels

100 Snails

3 metres of Leaving Lace (?)

A Luis Phillipe Mirror

7 crystal champagne flutes

A dinghy

A 4kg galvanised anchor

Some whole milk Maroilles cheese

A load of shit (OK 30 kilos of manure)

Any missed items incur a penalty of 50 quid plus the average retail price fine for that item.

Vana puts herself forward to lead Connexus as she speaks French. Elle also wants to be PM as she works in construction, so has to “make sure people are where they need to be” (eh?), but everybody votes for Vana, who tosses Elle the bone of being the Kent subteam leader. Vana immediately decides on the items she wants to buy in France (“I don’t plan on swapping”) and puts everybody noses out of joint. Vana gives a disconcertingly over-controlling pep talk “I need you to respect each other… the female team can’t get catty” – cue catty eye rolling all round.

Joseph takes charge of the boys, with Richard unhelpfully chipping in, now he’s won a task (Joseph: “We want to establish the top sellers” Richard “It’s negotiation” Joseph “Well er sellings like negotiation but flipped around”). “We need to find who speaks French” Richard insists. “Yeah I had that written down” Joseph retorts.

Sam is the boys French speaker and heads to Calais with Richard and Joseph, where he (cutely) struggles in a phone call about the mirror (“C’est erm Louis Phillipe… ok c’est bon”) and drags them off to a shop where a smilie but confused French lady fails to help them, and Claude (a fluent French speaker) cringes in a Gallic stylee).

Joseph worries that the girls secret weapon will be charming horny French men into getting good deals (“they’re all very pretty ladies”) and sure enough Vana zones in on a French glassware specialist staying in their hotel and argues him (“We’re four nice girls from the UK”) into dropping the price for the champagne flutes from 300 to 45 euros. “You’re gorgeous” he laughs and agrees the deal, presumably they edited out the bit where he dropped his pants and demanded “Now you blow me”.

Back in Kent, Jenny’s taken responsibility for “Leavers Lace” despite having sod all clue what it is and even phoning up Japanese schools and Universities (“we might get a discount!”, whilst the rest of the team leave her to it. Eventually she susses out it’s actually a speciality of Calais and calls Vana, who agrees to look for it as long as Jenny takes responsibility for the mussels (because she’s never fricking heard of moules marinere). Jenny wants to look for the mirror because her dad owns an antique shop, but Vana won’t budge and goes all Snow White wicked witch (“We’re not giving you the mirror”).

Brett’s subteam spot a pile of manure in a film and help themselves (Scott “It’s still warm!”) with the farmer’s blessing. Ruth also gets free manure by approaching a farmer who assures her “That’s genuine bullshit” and everyone gets crap on their shoes.

Vana insists her subteam drive 45minutes to Boulogne-sur-Mer to get the wrong cheese whilst Selina, April and Natalie make worried noises. They then fail to find 100 snails in a series of restaurants because they haven’t heard of markets or hypermarkets (and yes I have no idea why they can’t ask about mussels at the same time and just let the subteam know if they buy them), so Vana decides to ignore her team (especially Selina) and return to Calais to buy the mirror and lace. “So we came all this way just for cheese” Selina mutters darkly.

With Joseph still struggling to make a purchase, Richard demands space to try his strategy (“I want to be the charming, bubbling English guy”) to buy the cheese, whereupon the cheesemonger clearly thinks “Aha Boris Johnson Idiot Man!” and only offers Richard a 20 Euro discount, which David points out is already offered on the sign on the counter. They drag a deflating Richard away before he can get an extra 5p off (“Joseph “Stop causing friction, we’re trying to move on”) and an unimpressed Claude pisses off to check how the Kent subteam are doing.

Charleine looks for the cheapest price on the anchor and argues the woman down all the way from £13.50 to £12.50, reacting like she’s Gordon Fricking Gecko (“I just put in a little cheeky one” – Eh??). I mean Scott’s anchor is more expensive (£20) but at least he’s argued it down from £27.95 (Gary “I would have got it for £15”). The shop’s also selling an inflatable boat, but at £259 it’s too much for Elle to comprehend.

Joseph’s got a lead on an antiques store selling crystal flutes, but it being the feckless continent they’re closed for a long lunch, whereupon Versatile don’t exactly live up to their name and camp outside waiting for the shop to reopen hours later so they can buy the glasses for 100 euros. At least Joseph gets details of where he can buy the mirror for 30 euros. And Richard seems to have finally shut the feck up.

Jenny’s now looking for mussels and knows she will be fine as she’s “the best negotiator in the team. I’d be better off by myself actually”. “Do Chinese restaurants do mussels?” she wonders (only the really good ones, so in Kent the answer’s no apparently), before wondering into a fish restaurant and taking the waitresses word for it that they don’t have any mussels to sell, rather than say asking the chef or manager or going to a bloody market. Arggh!

In France, Selina worries about the cost of being penalised for not getting the mirror, but Vana slaps her down (“Yes we know that Selina!”) and Selina promises not to “bring up anything I have an opinion on”. Vana says pointedly that she thinks Natalie’s made more of an effort on the task. “What where you saying earlier about not being catty” Selina slams her gently. Vana phones Elle to throw her weight about, but Elle’s freaking out about the boat (which she’s now argued down to a still shopping £255) whilst the rest of the team stare about her. Vana insists “Buy the boat” and Elle has to shamefacedly admit to the gleeful boat shop lady that she’s desperate, and gets it for the sympathy price of £250.

Meanwhile Gary, not having watched Felipe being fired over cardboard skeleton gate last year, just strolls into a toy shop, sweet talks them into dropping their price from £12 at the absolute cheapest (“Let’s see if we can make history”) to £10 (“I think I’ve only got £9.50.. oh ok then”). Everyone high fives, but Claude points out it’s a bit “early to celebrate” (as the producers haven’t decided on the narrative yet).

Both sides are now hunting snails. Selina goes for X-Factor style sob stories in a restaurant (“mon pere est mort, mon mere est mort”) and gets the deal.

Joseph finds Leavers Lace and does his best Private Walker from Dad’s Army spiv smarm until they realise they’re out of mace and sell him it for 180 euros, whereas elsewhere April gets it for 70 euros. With only 30 minutes to go before the ferry leaves, Joseph has to beg Brett to try to find snails in Kent, but Brent has the hump and just makes a couple of phone calls before giving up.

Board Room time, and Sugar mocks the boys for waiting outside a closed shop for hours (“The French regularly go on strike; it’s called lunch”) and for their snail fail (Joseph “It wasn’t the right season”, Sugar “Where did they go? On holiday?”), and the girls all do horrified faces when Gary’s toy dinghy price is revealed. The awkward Alpha male struggle continues. “I just wish that Brett was PM” Richard opines. “Why?” Joseph sighs, “Because hindsight is a wonderful thing” (Joseph “Why don’t you just fucking marry Brett?”, OK I made that bit up).

Vana’s in smug mode about sexing the hotel man for cheap glasses (“I spotted a man, he had very open body language”), however it’s time for the results.

Connexus girls spent £398.44 but got fined for not bringing mussels or a mirror and for buying the wrong cheese (Selina does a told you so face) which leaves them at £725.90 including fines (how much are those mirrors!?).

Versatile spent only £336.83 but with their fine for the snails it was £409.21

So the boys of Versatile get the reward of tasting the finest wines known to humanity whilst listening to Richard act as though the win was all down to him, whereas the girls of Connexus get sent to Bridge Café to taste the milky coffee of defeat, whilst listening to Vana blame everybody else (“I take responsibility for anything wrong, but it looks like Jenny didn’t do anything and Elle couldn’t make decisions”).

It’s all kicking off against Selina, and I can’t help but think Charleine’s been partially responsible. Vana accuses Selina of “constantly trying to blame other people” and Charleine calls Selina a “moral vacuum” and starts shouting her down when Selina quietly queries this. Ooh! Handbags!

In the boardroom, Vana lays into Elle for buying the wrong boat (Elle: “I felt kind of forced”), Natalie for buying the wrong cheese (Natalie “I don’t think cheese was the failure of the task”) and Jenny for being “dead weight” (Jenny “I felt like I did a lot actually [giggle] I didn’t buy anything…oh it was awful [snort] I’m not sure what else I can say” – erm you’ve said enough love).

Selina mentions she thought they should have got the mirror and it all kicks off against her, with Charleine bitching about her faking dead parents to get a deal (Selina “It was a joke”) and accusing her, waspishly, of being “an irritating wasp at a picnic” (Selina “that’s your issue). Vana sniggers and Karen lays into her for a shambles of a task.

Anyhow Vana chooses to bring Elle back into the boardroom over her subteam leadership and Jenny “as dead weight”, and NOT Selina, because Vana knows she can’t win that bitch fight.

Poor Jenny thinks she was selfless letting people go for the easy items (“If I’d been given manure I wouldn’t be here”), but she gets given some manure courtesy of Vana (“You were distracted talking about your fathers antiques.. I knew we were looking for a French mirror”). Vana rips into Elle for not managing her team properly, despite Vana having done less for Anglo American relations than Toby Studebaker. Unfortunately despite Vana’a evident shitness, Lord Sugar fires Jenny for being a bit insipid, at which point she spiritedly pipes up (and he listens!) “I’m very disappointed to not show you what I’m capable of, because I’m a lot better than the other candidates”. Even in the cab of doom she insists she’d still have been there “if I’d taken the manure”, and “Lord Sugar will be knocking on my door in a few years time when he sees my Enormo Posh Bint Corps Business”. Or at least he might visit her at the Home for Terminally Deluded Debs.

Cards slightly marked, Elle and Vana go home and Selina makes a “someone shat in my cocoa pops” face when she sees our favourite panda eyed New Yorker return.

Vana’s just disappointed nobody stuck up for her in the boardroom (“I took the heat for you guys”), instead shunning her as though she was a crazy passive aggressive septic.

Next week jelly wrestling with electric fires! Or some sort of cute pets show.

Liking:

Ruth
Sam
Selina

Warming to

David
Joseph

Not convinced by

Scott
Gary
Elle
Natalie
April

Irritated By

Mergim
Gary
Richard

Disliking

Brett

Charleine
Vana

Bye Bye:

Dan, Aisha, Jenny

Looking Forward To

Selina strangling all the nasty girls with her bare thighs.

Week 2 dawns rather too suddenly from my perspective, as the candidates are summoned to the Barbican Conservatory at 5.30am. “ I’ve heard of the Barbican but I don’t know what it is” Jenny gawps. “Maybe we have to direct a play and sell tickets to it! How awesome would that be?” gushes Sam the wordsmith.

Anyhow at the centre of the Barbican, there is apparently a hidden oasis (like everything in this concrete maze it must be pretty fricking well hidden as I’ve never found it) containing 2000 species of exotic plants. Lord Sugar meets our remaining inadequates in the Cactus Room so he can make one of his bat computer style tenuous links to the task. “Cactuses survive in the desert as they hold in moisture and have long been used in beauty… that’s right you’re making and branding a shampoo!”

So the teams have two days to brand and advertise a moisture retaining shampoo made out of cactus seeds then pitch their ideas to top advertising execs. There’s another twist in that it’s back to boys versus girls (much to spivvy Joseph’s delight) so we can spend most of the episode wondering who the fuck is Connexus (it’s the girls). Selina’s just relieved that Brett isn’t on a hair care task with her as he’s “bald” (that’s how Selina pronounces “an arsehat”). Richard worries the girls have an advantage as Charleine runs a hairdressers, but then remembers that he thinks she is a “nightmare to work with”).

Charleine is all “Mememe! Pick me! I have a salon! I talk about hair continuously despite having slightly weird hair myself! This is MY TIME GODDAMIT!”, but Aisha checkmates her by mentioning that she’s actually launched a hair extensions product and done an advert and all so they all vote in Aisha as PM whilst Charleine mutters and rocks in the corner. Aisha promises to bring anybody who doesn’t contribute back to the boardroom. Everyone looks suitably unmotivated.

The teams head to award winning creative wankery “Arc” to borrow their flip charts and pretend they’re on Nathan Barley.

Richard goes for a collaborative leadership style with Versatile by letting everybody pitch ideas no matter how insane as long as they mention cactus and moisture. For Mergim this means “sexiness” (“I see a gentleman with a haircut similar to mine and all these women just looking at his face” – and then presumably their tears moisten his hair?). Scott suggests “Manly Moist”, making Sam the Wordsmith shudder in horror. Hitherto invisible David pipes up, jazz hands flapping in the breeze, with the suggestion of calling the product Western (“I came up with the name – it shows how strong I am!”) with the tagline “Desert defeating hair” and bizarrely (to me, a mere woman) they all go for this strange boys own adventure product branding.

Aisha’s keen on targeting the mass market just to please Lord Sugar, but Vana suggests that older women could be targeted as “the 50 plus generation is the fastest growing” and to keep the peace amidst a rising shrieking match Aisha agrees to “go for the grey pound”. Vana suggests calling the product “Cactess” to keep the product source and target market together, but Aisha’s not convinced (“I like the ‘tess, but I don’t like the cack”).

Claude does his Greek chorus of warning that although it’ a good target market, the team are in their 20s and “mustn’t fall into the trap of creating a product for themselves”.

Gary, Brett and Joseph are sent to create a short billboard advert, with Richard instructing them to follow his concept of a man flicking his hair in slow motion to repel sand. But Richard isn’t the only visionary in this one shampoo town. “What if the bloke had FOAM in his hair?” Joseph blurts, inspired, and buoyed by his blossoming creative genius he goes on to direct (“Don’t look into the camera you helmet!”) a beardy hipster model to kneel half naked in a bin whilst a watering can is emptied over his head and baldy Brett tutors him in the niceries of hair washing and keeping his trousers dry (“Do you mind coming in your pants then changing into your trousers afterwards?” – surely one of the finer chat up lines ever spawned by The Apprentice).

Aisha is all for “Secrets of the Desert” as her product name, despite the rest of the team hating it because it sounds like a Turkish Delight themed skin flick produced by Al Qaida. Elle wants it known that she thinks it sounds crap in a world weary negative way that suggests that Elle’s parents are enjoying a few weeks break without her. Aisha and April look through the model files for the face of Desert Secret, with April justifying going for younger models for a product aimed at middle aged women as “the product will make them feel ten years younger than they are so it will get the message across”. Charleine and Ruth are therefore unimpressed when a gaggle of semi-foetuses arrive for the billboard shoot looking more like they’re auditioning for a Netflix and Chill session. Concerned this totally misses the target market, Ruth gamely volunteers to be the model and Nat breaks out the polyfilla to do her make-up (“Don’t make me look old!” – oh hang on isn’t that the point?). Jenny directs (“I love it! It’s really creative and that’s what I’m really good at!”) and actually it isn’t that bad.

Meanwhile Aisha is making all the decisions about product design whilst Vana makes hacky faces and moans about it feeling dictatorial. Aisha’s convinced that cactuses are unappealing so chooses to depict a purple cactus flower despite it having sod all to do with the product and looking a bit like the nutty caramel from Quality Street. The girls product arrives in a bland green bottle which tells you nothing about the content and as Natalie says “looks like a handwash”. Meanwhile the boys take delivery of the manly black dildo that contains “Western” and there is much rejoicing.

Joseph’s really proud on the phone to Richard in that he’s “changed the game” by making his billboard look like the model’s in the shower (“He was standing in a bucket in his pants! We was proper buzzing!”). Richard’s a little perturbed that there was no sand, but Scott reassures him that “It can’t go that wrong”. Still he’s keen to ensure David stays on brand for the advert shoot.

It’s time for the girls to choose who to pitch. Charleine cries “MeMeMe! I talk about hair products to everyone! They all think I’m mental and cross the road to avoid me! I love shampoo me!” but for some reason Aisha passes her over and chooses Natalie who assures her that she has experience presenting to businesses. Charleine mutters darkly that unless the ad contains the line that cactus is “richer than argan oil and improves elasticity” then surely they are all doomed. “I feel like they’re intimidated by my knowledge” she whinges. Aisha’s chuffed with the final cheesy advert (“Who can argue with the mother daughter relationship? That’s universal” – guess this shampoo won’t appeal to Christina Crawford).

For David’s directorial debut he seems to have morphed into Roger De Bris from The Producers as he asks the models to channel their inner dry hair demons and leaps around happily proclaiming “I’m very flamboyant!”. Richard tries to micromanage him (“I can’t accept the cactus getting lost in this”) but eventually decides to give David space and presumably enough rope to hang him in the boardroom with.

Selina directs the girls ad in their bathroom, whilst Charleine goes full on bitchy hairdresser with the actresses to undermine the product (“Do you think we should have explained it better on the bottle? Yes? Well they knew I knew all about shampoo but did they ask me? You know what they SHOULD say? etc etc”) until Selina begs her to shut the fuck up (“There’s no point now talking about what we haven’t done on the bottle”). Charleine gets her last laugh as the actress sneaks in the catchy line “It’s far richer than argan oil!”, which she loves, until Selina states firmly “I’m not using that shot”.

The team’s billboards air at Waterloo station and Claude is impressed by Ruth’s performance (“It is resonating and grabbing attention”). Mergim gets less positive feedback for the boys watery offering (“Does it display a clear message?” “Not really, no”).

The boys film their advert with poor wordsmith Sam forced to ask feebly for his Voiceover “Does your hair feel like desert?” (Richard “More enthusiasm please Sam!”) whilst David wigs out happily to synth pop.

It’s pitch o clock and Natalie worries about her pitch in front of marketing wonks and Aussie haircare bods as the product is dog-shite, but she soldiers on after a poor start (“Good morning!” SILENCE), nervously spacing out her words like a bad William Shatner tribute act (“We’ve. Got. A. Secret. From. The. Desert.”). Mind you Vana doesn’t add much (“The green bottle was chosen because the cactus is green”) and the advert makes the much vaunted mother daughter relationship look just plain creepy (“Thanks so much for the massage mum, it’s exactly what I needed! Oh my god you have hair!” etc). Traditional Ad Man in wacky spectacles thinks they are “missing fun” from the concept. “Well we did put a contemporary soundtrack in there” Natalie insists. Wow she knows how to have fun! Another ad lady says they failed to mention it’s a new product launch, but Natalie reckons the target market of 45 year old women fear “the unknown”. It’s true, I saw one of those mocha kitkats the other day and nearly shat myself. Nat, Vana and Ruth come away patting themselves on the back until Elle (who’s been watching with the non participating team members on a monitor) tactfully informs them it was “really poor”. Vana takes her down “on behalf of all those girls who had the courage to go in” (and talk about fucking shampoo for christ sake), but Elle goes all council estate noddy head “Don’t disrespect me! I’m not gonna be the bitch who says you were excellent then turns round and says I didn’t like it”. Aisha’s still proud of the product and insists “It’s all my idea”.

Scott, Gary and Richard pitch for the boys, but Bullshit Scott is sure he knows “the ins and outs of everything” and he doesn’t need any steenking prompt cards (“I like to be free when presenting so I can go in and smash it”). He lasts about 30 seconds before his eyes roll back in his head like David Blunkett trying to remember if he left the gas on and he has a proper brain freeze, after which he manages to string some words together, just not necessarily in the right order, even though afterwards he claims he “rallied well” (erm). Richard runs the advert and despite the cactus being in shot the audience are confused. “Simple. Clean. On message” Richard says smugly as his watching team shout “He’s just like David Brent”at their monitor). Ad woman points out that you don’t see the after effects of the shampoo in the advert. “We are filming the act of defeating the desert” Richard explains, whilst Sam groans loudly “NO NO! It’s about cactus in a desert it all links the links are CLEAR! Why did they send a boy to do a lyrical fucking wordsmith’s job!!!” etc).

Back in his lair, Sugar asks the experts to grass up on the teams exploits and whilst they like Vana’s idea of targeting an ageing consumer they clearly think the product sucks balls. Likewise they like the boys simple advert and branding (and the use of the cactus) but are bemused by no end benefit being depicted.

Back in the Boardroom and Sugar reiterates the task is all about the benefits of cactus, in case we hadn’t realised. As though he thought cactus made anything other than calculators.

He’s therefore unimpressed by Aisha’s Cactus Flower design “It looks like someone has sneezed with a raspberry in their mouth”. Charleine points out that if she hadn’t been there then nobody would have said that cactus is “richer than argan oil”. Oh FFS get over it! He does however seem to enjoy Ruth “rotating like a kebab” on the billboard.

Over on Versatile, David is still so proud of coming up with the name “Western” but Sugar still thinks the billboard should have shown the end product of moistened hair. Richard claims that guys don’t enjoy seeing hair blowing in the wind – they’re more about the actual activity of washing hair.. it may sound like made up bullcrap and probably is, but I wonder if he’s accidentally onto something? Nah. Richard reckons he used all the skills in his team, but Karen hints it was only so he could avoid taking responsibility for the campaign.

Still the boys win as they kept a cactus on the bottle or something and they are given a “treat” of anti gravity yoga, which looks a lot like writhing around in an upside down hammock. Fun!

In Sad Café, Aisha thinks she should have stuck to the mass market idea. Charleine insists that the billboard team worked well together, implying none too subtly that the advert team led by the blonde podium dancer didn’t, and Selina tells her to get over herself. This looks like the start of a beautiful blonde bitchfest.

Back in the boardroom and Aisha still misses the point by blaming Vana for the target market idea and insisting “I was the only one who brought concepts to the table, of substance”, which means she also has to take the blame for the regurgitated raspberry cactus flower.

Elle insists she hated the cactus flower and that she didn’t think the word “secret” should have been used and she hates everybody and it’s so unfair, and gets a Claude slam as a result (“She didn’t once verbalise what she DID like, I didn’t once hear a positive comment”).

Karen has a fake pop at Natalie for insulting the over 45s (“I’m 46! You said people over 45 were scared of anything new!”) and Nat gets flack for her boring pitch.

Aisha decides to bring Natalie and Vana back into the boardroom, thus letting the people who didn’t really contribute much (Elle, April) off scot free.

Aisha still blames Vana for the “grey pound” idea, despite Sugar explaining carefully that it isn’t the reason the task failed. She then claims Vana didn’t contribute, prompting an Oh My God Face as Vana fights back (“I don’t think you can say that in good faith without telling a lie…you drowned out my opinion”). Aisha then slags Natalie for being incapable of delivering a five minute pitch, but Natalie moans that the product and advertising was horrible and makes an ill advised attempt to tap Aisha on the arm (“Don’t touch me!!”).

Sugar is appalled that Natalie gave up on the shit product and marks her card as he has a garage full of tut for this year’s winner to flog down Romford Market, but eventually (after rightly letting Vana off the hook) he fires Aisha for running a disaster of a task. In the Taxi of Despair, she’s still marvellously lacking in self awareness (“I was the only one who actually brought any ideas to the table”).

Back in the house, Elle sits around sulking in a panda onesie and goes WAY down in my estimations. The boys all say Charleine should have been PM which she laps up (“I’d actually put your product on my shelf”).

Next week the teams go to France on a mission to negotiate our way out of Europe or something.

Liking:

Mad Ruth
Sam the Poet
Selina

Warming to

Vana

They’re probably OK, but worryingly chirpy

Jenny
David

Not convinced by

Bullshit Scott
Wishy Washy Richard

Irritated By

April
Mergim
Gary
Joseph
Natalie
Elle

Disliking

Brett

Charleine

Bye Bye:

Accidental Partridge Dan, Aisha

Looking Forward To

Claude going ape kill crazy with a chainsaw.