Stella for star!
We join things in medias-apprenticar from last week as
Stella and Chris share a ride back to the Apprentice Bates Motel, and desperately try to make conversation. Wow! It’s so exciting! I can’t believe we’re in the final! ANOTHER TASK! EEP! NO PRESSURE! Erm… (*stares out of window*). I always love Final Twos in anything where I love both of them and they clearly can’t stand one another. If we can’t have a Michelle-Ruth Best Friends turned BITTER ENEMIES scenario, than this is always second-best. Chris maunders a little about his poor win-loss ratio (whatever, 4 to 6 isn’t THAT bad. It’s better than Claire Young for a start) but says that this is the task that REALLY matters.
Oh Chris, it’s the one task that REALLY doesn’t, but whatever you have to tell yourself to get through its pointlessness.
Next morning, and we approach Apprentice Bates Motel, in full-on
stalker-cam, oddly enough for the first time. Also for the first time? The phone is being answered by
Chris, meaning that Jamie Lester is the official winner of Phone Answering Wars. I choose to believe that Stella foreswore the title, as it has gone to the official runner-up every series I’ve been paying attention (ie, the last three). Cousin It tells Chris that Lordalan would like to meet them at the Langham Hotel, and the cars will be there in, wait for it…HALF AN HOUR! Best of all, Stella, who up until now has been ready, grim-faced and in full business gear every morning, by about 5:30 at the latest, is
leaning in a most languid fashion over the bannister in her casuals grinning “morning FINALIST!”.
She’s so screwing with him. Either that or whatever evil spirit that haunts the Apprentice Bates Motel has possessed her just in time to claim the win. Certainly that would explain…some things. She sunnily asks if he’s feeling happy this morning, and he replies, slightly weirded out, that he is.
He then interviews looking
as young as he’s ever looked, not just on this show, but possibly in his life, that this has always been about the job for him (such a liar…) and that it’s really crucial that he seals the deal now. Stella meanwhile, blithely does the ironing
and more or less announces that if she doesn’t win, she’ll kill herself. YAY! Stella’s been secretly insane all this time! I was getting a little bit bored of sane winners to be honest. She wedges herself into some
frankly murderous heels, and totters out the door, muttering “this must not happen, I must not lose”, whilst Chris just fluffs his suit up a little. And finally, at this late stage, even though there’s always a fleet of, like fifteen
they get their own separate Apprenticars. Hooray!
To the Langham they lazily wend, where the candidates are met with their own personal umbrella toting doorman, and then wander through the hotel until they find Kaen and Nick in the obvious place
the bar. Lordalan follows shortly after, fashionably late as always, as Chris swallows like someone with a bad PCP habit. Lordalan greets them, and congratulates them on making it, out of all the thousands of people who auditioned, down to the Final Two. And speaking of those losers…
IT’S TIME FOR THE TEAM PICK! No, not that poor Korean woman walking through shot for no reason (more’s the pity), it’s Christopher, Shibby, Melissa, Alex, Jamie, Paloma, Liz and Joanna! Woo!
grins and waves, and Chris rubs his hands together. Quite rightly so, too. This is always the best bit of the final. Nothing will ever top Paul Tulip getting picked last (LAST! OVER JO FLIPPING CAMERON!) but it’s always a reliable source of laughs (Spoiler : OopsPalomaLOL!). Lordalan tosses, Stella
calls it wrong, meaning, let’s face it, she’s got Melissa, so let’s see how she plays it. Chris to pick first then,
as Liz swivels around on her heels all “la la la, not saying I’m going to slice your balls off if you don’t pick me first or anything, la la la” so naturally Chris’ first pick is
Jamie. Oops. Liz stares daggers at him, like a class act. I must admit I was legitimately mildly shocked at that, because Chris and Liz seemed like such a unit for a good part of the mid series, but maybe Chris is just going for bros before hos/by Lordalan’s firing positions. Jamie wanders over, and immediately gets
slashy about things. What’s great is that Joanna looks at Liz immediately after the pick is made, all
“…oops” and then grins a tiny bit.. Stella naturally picks her next, as she is Stella’s only friend (*tear*) and happily she,
barges right through Melissa to get to Stella. She ain’t not just Joanna The Cleaner No More, she is now Joanna Who Was Picked Second For The Final Teams! So many of these people looked better on paper than her but LOOK AT HER NOW! STILL HERE DAMNIT! Liz is next for Chris, before she kills him, and Stella goes for Christopher, probably because of those fond memories of when they ganged up on Chris over breakfast about how he was losing all the tasks. Chris next plumps for
Alex, for Lord only knows what reason. Melissa is next for Stella as Shibby actually
pouts like a big dumb-ass over it. Seriously, she was stuck with Melissa anyway, might as well not grind her face in it, given how…well she deals with rejection. Also, apparently Stella told Paloma that she didn’t pick her because she never worked with her directly on any of the tasks. I am so sure. Anyway, Chris picks Shibby, Stella is landed with a
not at all pissed off Paloma, the best part of the episode is over, let’s just live with the rest.
The task? It’s last year’s chocolates based task, but with booze. Make a drink, pitch an advert, shoot a launch, thingy-wossname, hop to it!
Helpful Voiceover Man informs us, as the teams scurry off to their bunkers, that the alcoholic drinks industry is worth £40 billion per year in the UK. And only £39 billion of that is in Scotland (ARF ARF!) Teams are to create a new spirits based drink for the over-25s that retails at £20 per bottle, and they have three days to do it. So, GET ON WITH IT.
Teams do the whole Reservoir Dogs strut thing through London with Stella arriving back at her
bunker first. She says she’s so glad to be working with them all again (cept Paloma. And let’s face it, probably Melissa). Anything that’s happened in the past is over with (whatever that is. I am positively drooling at the thought of Stella feuds we haven’t even seen) and we’re moving forward now with a clean slate! Chris meanwhile is
working around a slightly weenier table, and giving more or less the same speech.
Back in the room with Stella now and
gosh Paloma is RIGHT IN THERE isn’t she? Also…yet another week following the winning team for Nick. 10/11. Not too shabby. Stella is announcing that they need to do a simple drink, that will appeal to everyone, that you can’t currently buy. You’re right Stella, that IS simple. Joanna squeaks that she really wants to take a chance and go for something with HERITAGE! Stella asks if this means whiskey? I’m guessing for Joanna it means “anything you don’t drink out of a paint-tin.” Melissa pipes up at this point, talking about all the many trendy bars she frequents
(can you imagine?) where bourbon is currently the hot trend. Stella wonders if women would drink whiskey or bourbon. Has Stella met 21st century women? They’ll drink bloody anything. Melissa pipes up to this effect, saying that, much like with all spirits, if you mix it with something, it doesn’t really matter what the base is. Stella looks
unconvinced, although that may just be the Melissa Effect.
Meanwhile on Team Chris, he is at his most dronetastic, asking if people ACTUALLY have any ACTUAL ideas. Alex proclaims the vodka market to be so over
(*fist-pump fist pump*) and that if you look at all the trendy bars, it’s the Brazilian and Latino cocktails that are “where it’s at”. Keen not to be out-cooled by Alex, Liz yips “mojitos! flavoured mojitos!”. Chris summarises this to mean that they’re going to be doing a rum based cocktail, targeted to young professionals. Maybe with some sort of fruit in it? Liz scrunches her face up and
suggests gooseberry, cause she had that in a pie once. And it was nice. She’s also heard of blinis. Alex says pomegranates, because that’s white-hot at the moment (is this a Nigella thing?) and Chris says that would definitely fill a gap in the market.
Notice that Jamie (not that I’m picking on him) is sitting back and letting Liz (from Birmingham) and Alex (from Manchester) sit there and dominate a discussion on what’s cool, when he knows full well that they come from a place where they WEAR SHOES IN CLUBS! Frankly, I think he lost this whole task for Chris right there.
Back with Stella now, who is currently wading through the middle of
Apocalypse Pen, and pronouncing that she has decided they’re going for a drink with a dark-spirit base, probably bourbon, that their target market wants, with a twist. She doesn’t know what that twist IS yet, but she’s gosh darn it going to do some market research and find out. TO THE APPRENTICARS! No wonder that brain-storm went poorly, they’re all still wearing their coats and jackets. Did Rory teach these people NOTHING? Incidentally on the fashion front :
Melissa’s dress is so Su Pollard I have to wonder if it’s not a little bit on purpose.
11:30am, and Stella, Joanna and Paloma are all in Waitro…”a high end supermarket”, where they’re looking to the shelves for inspiration. Joanna rummages through the curacao, and posits the idea of a heritage drink in a modern bottle. Paloma agrees and gets right in there to enthuse about
“mixing the old with the new”. Mmm, absolut raspberry. Excuse me. As the blessed sound of Waitrose check-outs ring, Nick
concerterviews that it’s all looking a bit macho and blokey flavours wise. They need to make a drink that appeals to women as well. More’s the pity. Bloody skirts, always ruining everything. I long for Apprentice : Mad Men edition. That’d sort the men from the homosexuals.
Meanwhile, Team Chris are on their way to their market research, and floating team names. Alex has been listing all the words that come to mind when he thinks of Britain. Bulldog, God Save The Queen, Crumpet.
That’s nice dear. Liz in return suggests either Crown or Crown Jewels (I’m so sure she came up with that as a serious suggestion incidentally. SO SURE.). Everyone has a good old snerk about Liz getting her mouth round their crown jewels hurr hurr
as though that was in any way as awesome a suggestion as when Helene grunted out “Girth” and then promptly fell asleep for the rest of the final. In the middle of all this, Chris and Liz have a very quick conversation about colours in which he tells her not to go for anything too cheap and gimmicky and bright.
In Team Stella Apprenticar A, Stella and Paloma are both giddy with excitement over a “Blue Bourbon” idea, with the drink, the bottle, and the label all being BLUE BLUE BLUE. Joanna looks
personally offended by this notion. She then perks up though, because blue means like happy and stuff. You’re happy when you’re blue! Well I can certainly think of a few times I’ve been bl…never mind. Stella and Paloma point out to her that this is rubbish
and that “blue” means sad. Paloma decides to throw in that “green means envy” like she’s on flipping Junior Eggheads or something. Joanna, derailed utterly, honks “BLUE IS GAY!”
Did those proudly and convincingly heterosexual WKD boys die in vain? What do you mean they’re not dead? (*rings up hitman*)
This…enlightening moment in LGBT history over with, Stella, Paloma and Joanna get busy with their focus group, which is representative of their target market
or at least the half of it with a penis. They push on them their Blue Bourbon idea and get the response that
nah, BLUE IS GAY! Joanna then asks what they could add to the drink to make it both male and female orientated, without tipping it over into making it gay. The twatty focus group respond that they could put spices in it, like cinnamon, because girls like cooking, but gays can’t handle curry or some reductive crap like that. Let’s move on
To Chris, Alex and Jamie all hanging around outside an off-licence in Soho in the rain. Chris says that he likes the idea of frosted glass on the bottle, because it’s “aspirational” (*drink*). Jamie says that if they can keep the colour of their drink clear (which is so, so very likely given the volume of crap that’s going in there) then they’re sorted. Chris ponders on the idea of calling the drink “cubed” or something to represent the three flavours in there. Alex chases a goose down the street shouting “QUACK QUACK QUACK!”. Or not. Having hung around for about quarter of an hour like they’re casing the joint, the three of them then
go in, and strike up a conversation with the manager. They ask him if he likes the idea of a drink named “Cube”. He says no.
5 minutes to go-time now, and Stella still hasn’t come up with a non-homo name for this drink.
Paloma says that, given that it’s going to have honey and spice in it, if they were REALLY DESPERATE, they could call it “Honey & Spice”. But, you know, REEEEALLLY DESPERATE. She tries it out on Stella, asking her to tell her how she’d feel if a guy came up to her and bought her a “Honey & Spice”. Stella replies “drunk, hopefully”
I think they might be halfway there already. If not further. Chris meanwhile is still
Steptoe’ing his face up, and coming up with names based around the idea of there being three ingredients. Trilogy? Trio? Jamie wonders what three is in Italian, and one gust of wind
rushes through all three of Team Chris’s heads in one go.
LOOK AT IT FLY!
Back with Stella again, and Paloma is wondering what else Honey & Spice goes into, other than baking. I think they might have been some Bond Villain’s sidekicks at one point? Maybe. Joanna suggests the name “Young Heritage”.
Christ, this is desperate. She then carries on babbling about Bourbon Mix and Urban Mix and Stella is all “BY JINGS! I’VE GOT IT! POINTLESS RHYMING!” Joanna and Paloma declare this to be the Idea of the Season. Urboun it is. The brain-drain isn’t over though, as this idea has come just as
she has arrived at Diaggio to sort out the design for the bottle. Why stop there with the rhyming Stella? Make the bottle in the shape of a turkey’s wattle! That’ll make it urban AND rural. Or what about the face of popular Game On actor, Matthew Cottle? You know. The ginger one? Was also in the sitcom based around the popular 90s girlband Cleopatra? No?
Stella actually decides she wants something very tall and very different, as Joanna keeps on trying to be helpful by just chattering away, bless her. This is admittedly better than “BLUE IS GAY!” Stella then worryterviews
that she’s fine with the brand (that she settled on all of five minutes ago, because it rhymed) but the bottle isn’t really clicking yet. She needs something different, and at the moment, everything they’ve come up with is dull.
Melissa and Christopher meanwhile, have arrived in Bishop Stortford, and the labs of Diage…”a leading liquid developer” (really? “liquid developer”?), to create their drink. Everything they’re coming up with is a mite too strong
and floral because of the honey, so the woman in charge suggests more of a malt or vanilla hint to it. Christopher plumps for vanilla. Melissa agrees. Woo.
At the same time, Liz and Shibby are beavering away next door to create their rum & pomegranate drink (with “aromatic bitters” as the third ingredient). It too is a
wee bit strong. Shibby sniggers “so you spit then, rather than swallow?” Yes dear. He then snorts that vanilla’s been done, and orange has been done, so let’s GO WITH THIS! Whatever this is.
Chris now, is designing his bottle, and huffing that there’s no point having a cube shaped bottle if they’re not going with “Cube” as a name so, why not do a pyramid-shaped bottle?
I love that the sum total of creativity on this task is “things that rhyme” and “different shapes of bottle”. He then decides that not only is a pyramid a bit like a prism, “Prism” would be a really good name for the drink, because it’s dead cool and high-end sounding. Jamie
could not care less. Alex says it sounds “premium” and “memorable”, and Kaen’s all
“I haven’t been in this episode for a bit! Hiya!” Chris says he’s really trying to sell the purity of the drink, with its three ingredients and clear colour, so the bottle should reflect that purity. Meanwhile at the labs, the drink has come out
nail-polish pink, at Liz’s insistence. Lab woman wonders
if this might not be a touch feminine. You know, for men. There then follows an amazing saga of ineptness, in which Liz stands in front of a mirror and says it looks fine to her, then Shibby points out that she is a girl and he will have to take the hit and push himself to his very gay limits to check just how homo it’s possible for this drink to make you look. STAND BACK!
No. It’s fine. He still looks straight. Liz ponders if it really matters to men what colour their drink is, before Shibby announces that he would drink a pink drink, as pink is the new blue. Yes Shibby, but BLUE IS GAY. So pink it is.
On their way back, Chris rings them up to ascertain that the drink is in fact clear. Liz says that it isn’t (although it is – I’m not sure who is getting “clear” confused with “colourless” here. Probably both of them), it’s a light red-pink colour. Chris says that that sounds a bit gay. Whoops. Liz starts yelling “IT’S NOT FEMINATE! IT’S NOT PINK! IT’S NOT GIRLY!” to the convincing of no-one.
Chris grumbleterviews that Liz has just RUINED his chances of getting this job with her stupid GAY DRINK. Like this matters. Never has a task ever existed so clearly with the purpose of getting all the contestants rat-arsed, and they seem tragically unkeen to bite. There then follows some dull scenes of people designing bottle labels, and none of, say, Stella vomiting into a waste paper bin whilst Paloma sings “Bad Romance” with Joanna whilst doing the dance. Worst cast ever.
Next up though, happily, is a visit to the Ministry Of Fun, which exists to monitor standards relating to the advertising of alcohol. This is the woman in charge
I love her. She reminds me of Lionel Shriver, but English, and even more humourless. Team Stella go first, and get a couple of suggestions (have one bottle, not two, and don’t drink it in the form of shots), but otherwise emerge unscathed. Chris on the other hand…
His advert sees a man out on a first date with a girl. He buys her a Prism with Coke, she gives him a blowie in the back of a Ford Fiesta.
Erm, if there’s any implication that his drink plays any part in his succesful relationship with the girl, sexual or otherwise, this would be a violation of code.
Bit of a dry-hump?
She could lick her nipple at him?
She could smile at him?
FINE! NO DATE FOOTAGE THEN!
Jamie suggests that we just see the drink going into the woman’s mouth, then we hear her moaning “errrr, oooohh, that’s niice” and he does it in a soft woman’s voice and it all gets a bit Dressed To Kill “you like that daddy, don’t you?” for my liking. Head Minister of Fun tells him to stop it, because it’s freaking her out. Kaen
huffterviews that it is now NINE O CLOCK, AND SHE IS MISSING PEEP SHOW, CAN THEY GET A MOVE ON PLEASE?
Rather brilliantly we close with Chris whining that he can’t even have a bit of tit out in the commercial, and Head Minister’s Right-Hand Man says that they need to clothe the participants in the ad to clearly show them as over-25. Chris snots “cardigan and pipe then?” and Right-Hand Man gleefully responds – “no. No smoking.” Amaze. Bereft of ideas that will pass industry standards, Chris hurries home and
draws cartoons. Yay!
Next morning now and
the bottles have arrived. Melissa declared the Urbon bottle to be “bad boy”, and Shibby declares Prism to be “sick”. Deary, deary me. I swear every time I see that Prism bottle for the rest of the episode, I feel like I’m in the pre-killing bit of an episode of Murder She Wrote. I wonder what the weapon’s going to be! Chris bragterviews that if Lordalan wants somebody really creative, and outside-the-box, and something that the market has never seen before, than he is that person. Yes, the jobs market is notably missing people currently with a lot of academic achievement but no practical experience. Who has the idea of TRIANGLES.
9am Day Two now, and it’s time to shoot the tv commercials. With his new script featuring a cameo from Spongebob Squarepants, Chris heads to a
basement bar in Central London to direct his masterwork. He decided that his advert will now feature three friends, all coming from three different scenarios –
“after-work, night out, and just getting wasted for no reason(/casual)”, are meeting up in this bar. I love that Chris is straining for variety, and yet all three scenarios, and indeed friends, are basically the same. I wonder who’s supposed to represent the bitters. I’m guessing blondie on the end there. Anyway, these people are all coming together to enjoy Prism, which as per the ad’s strapline “reflects every side of you”. Mostly the young, white, early 30s professional side. Chris sets up for his first show – a barman mixing a cocktail he’s invented called the “Prismo”. Said barman
sprays ice all over the bar. Meaning that the ad needs to be started again. Oh dear. There then follows endless, ENDLESS takes of the barman trying to create this cocktail, and failing spectacularly. Kaen complainterviews that Chris is behind schedule AGAIN.
is crowterviewing that her advert is dead simple – just people enjoying Urbon, the women order it, so it shows that women will drink the crap, bish-bash-bosh, job’s a good’un.
Cue, a very efficient advert shoot, of two men meeting two women, asking what they’re drinking, the women saying “Urbon”, the men
looking confused (/…a little bit repulsed) and then ordering. Nick glowterviews that Stella is leading Team Stella brilliantly, and nobody is showing off, or wasting time, or trying to undermine her. Meanwhile, if anybody was still worried about anything in these adverts looking even remotely gay.
Not a chance. Stella says “cut” and they’re all wrapped whilst
Chris’ advert rolls on and on and on. 3pm, and the opening shot is finally complete. Chris panicterviews
that he’s got 3 scenes left to shoot and only 35 minutes left to do it in. Oh dear. He’s just going to have to knuckle down and hope for the best. Stupid Prismo. Back in the room he
schools his cast on the fine art of “dance-walking”. They all laugh in his face, as well they might. Still, they have to replicate this nonsense, so the joke’s on them.
And very much so. Chris rattles through the rest of his ad-shoot at double-plus-good speed, and then retires for the evening
to work on his pitch for the next day.
Day Two was a bit dull then? Chris sleepterviews that he’s very tired, but still very much focused on getting this launch ready for the next day. Stella meanwhile says that this is all so much more draining than a normal task, even though all she’s done all day is stand there saying “action!” and “cut!”, and we get
entirely necessary close-up pics of her two children, and the Good Luck card that they’ve sent her. *heartstrings YANK* She retires to bed, whilst Chris works through the night.
Next morning now, and the teams decamp to set up their launch venue. A part of me at this point wonders if
there’s going to be a pull back and reveal at the end of the episode showing that Derren Brown was behind it all along. Spooky-doos. This is the launch venue incidentally
swit-swoo etc etc. It is the Hurlingham – one of the country’s most exclusive clubs. It’d have to be pretty good to get over the fact it’s got “Hurl” in its name I guess. The teams arrive looking like they’re about a film an episode of
The Villa. Dress up guys, it’s the HURLINGHAM. Christopher appears to be doing most of the heavy lifting for Team Stella, whilst Jamie attends to the
oh good, there’s dancers. That always ends well. And by “well”, I mean “with Nick pulling a face”. Whilst Team Chris have your usual dolly-bird dancers, Team Stella have got street-dancers, as befits their “Urbon” stylings. This AND the Drip-Drop rap within months of one another. This show is just getting too darned street for me.
Stella’s just getting a start on her pitch, not having stayed up til 3am like she’s Mad Men, and is working with the input of Paloma. Currently they’re arguing over whether to say “youthful” or “young”. How pointful. Nick worryterviews that Stella is leaving it awfully late in the day to start writing a speech. The pitch is supposed to last for 20 minutes, and as it is, she’s got enough written for about three. Poor Stella.
If it all goes wrong, she should just start singing “Knees Up Mother Brown”. Worked the last time.
Chris meanwhile, speech written, is doing a practice run for his team and making them all
want to die. Jamie giggleterviews that Nick called Chris “the Bomber” and the general feedback is that he’s very monotone in his delivery, so what he’s going to do is take him out round the back and give him a darn good
practice to loosen him up. You’d think Liz would be doing this as she was definitely the best pitcher all series, but I guess that just wouldn’t be homoerotic enough. They lark around a bit, and the Chris Blue-Steels to camera
that he’s going to make sure there’s plenty of emotion in there, but at the same time, he’s not going to be anything other than what he’s been trying to be lately. He’s going to be keeping it real man. 100% pure Chris Bates, but with added Real Emotion Flavour.
5pm now, and Stella’s just getting around to her first run-through. Her team look
about as excited as Chris’ were, let’s be honest. Once she’s done, Joanna says that she thinks Stella needs to go right in with her market research, to show why they’ve gone with an urban flavour fo
OH MY GOD WHAT YOU LOOKIN AT PALOMA FOR? You seein what she thinks Stella? Is she pulling a face Stella? At what I’m saying? Why you looking at Paloma? What you thinking Paloma? Why you pulling faces Paloma? Do you not agree with my point bout market research Paloma? All I’m saying Stella is that you need to talk about the market research Stella! Why’s that then Paloma? Stella Stella Stella Stella Paloma Paloma Paloma Paloma…
It doesn’t take MUCH does it? Anyway, it all descends into a minor bun-fight involving all four of the team, Stella tells them to stop it, they don’t, so she just rolls her eyes and let’s them blow themselves out whilst she has a good old bitchterview
to camera about them. Yay! Effective management by Stella! I do think she missed a trick by not running out crying and calling them all evil until someone had to talk her back into the room.
At this point we learn that tragically,
Chris is not in fact doing his presentation in a blue fleece unzipped to the nipple-area, but instead like he’s at the actual Oscars. He’s currently in the toilets rehearsing his speech, whilst Jamie presumably is cleaning himself off in a stall somewhere.
7pm now, and the
Booze Dignitaries arrive. Sadly no giant surfing horses. Boo. Presumably Stubaggs has still got them all locked up. Not even that man who does all the funny voices from the Drink-Drive advert. Oh and of course, no launch night would be complete without
Chris is up to the bat first, and his dancers take to the stage, and we all know why that is
there we go. The three girls, reflecting the three different sides of you that are all attractive white female pop-jazz dancers in their 20s bop around a bit, and then pomegranate almost goes arse-over-tit at the end, hooray. Jamie voice-overs Chris onto the stage, because it’s not as though he’s done anything else all episode to justify his being first pick. Bloody hell, SHIBBY’S had more input than him, even if it was gay-hand.
Chris starts off confidently, although he almost immediately falls into my least favourite speech trap : “in recent years”. Blech. He highlights the surging demand for rum-based cocktails, and says that this is where he comes in. With PRISM!
That advert is so 80s it actually offends me. I think it’s the font. It looks like a flipping Human League album cover if you Photoshop the Prismo out. Also, I don’t mean to be rude to Chris, but given the theme of the episode thus far, I do have to point out that his speech-style is a little bit, literally,
limp-wristed. His hand’s flapping about like he just fell asleep on it and needs to wake it up again. He says men will want to drink it because of its sweet’n’dry pomegranate base, but that doesn’t even matter, because the bottle’s so damned sophisticated, and edgy, and iconic (*DRINK*) that everyone’s going to want it anyway, be they man, woman, or morphodite. Also, the price is good and that.
The advert then airs. It’s basically what you’d expect given what we saw earlier – first some inept cocktail mixing, which has been edited to buggery and still can’t quite erase all traces of pomegranate seeds flying about all over the place followed by shots of the three people entering the bar
which haven’t had quite a full level of attention paid to them. Incidentally, for all Chris was saying that the pomegranate is a masculine element to the drink, the girl’s still the fruit. So to speak. Jamie’s doing the voiceover, naturally. I have to say, I didn’t really miss Stubaggs for any part of the final, just because I feel that we got enough out of him, and a little more might have ruined it and drawn away focus from the super-neato Final Two, but I would have LOVED him to have revisited his Manx FM Morning Crew voices just for that advert. “HI! I’M POMEGRANATE! *GIGGLE GIGGLE*”
Chris finishes by saying that he hopes his audience have fully recovered from the first hammer-blow of the magnificence of his entire marketing plan, and that they really think about how Prism reflects every side of them. Any questions?
Everyone applauds, and then a long lost Battersby
presumably representing Newton & Ridley, says that she thinks the bottle would look great in a bar, but is he concerned about it being in a “retail environment”, what with the potential for death-related mayhem? Chris says that he really put a lot of thought into the bottle shape, and making sure it towered over its rivals, and he believes it should be placed on a really high shelf so children can’t get at it, but then again, what would children be doing in the booze section of a supermarket anyway?
I love that his answer to safety concerns is “Put it on a really, really high shelf”. So you have to really reach up to grab it. And so you can’t really see what you’re doing, if you’re a midget short-arse like what I am. There’s no NECK ON IT MAN. I wouldn’t go near it drunk. And also I think the shape makes it looks like it contains less alcohol than it actually does. Those are my issues with it anyway. This glamorous
executive QUEEN is next, acting like she’s on Newsnight Review or something, waxing philosophical about whether a brand can truly be all things to all people. Chris kind sputters out his response saying that his bottle is so damned ICONIC (*drink*) that both men AND women will buy it. People will be DESPERATE to find out what deserves to be encased in this ICONIC bottle. So desperate that it would cause the price of pomegranates to drop significantly. Oh Chris. Maybe should have spun that Wheel Of Degrees until it landed on Economics. Everybody laughs at/with him at this point. Presentation done, everybody wanders backstage where Liz ruthlessly snuffles out the camera to yell
“WHERE ARE THE PRISMOS?” Chris then demands TEN PRISMOS! NOW!
Stella next, trailing her band of merry urchin street warrior dancers, wearing
shoes I’m guessing she’s borrowed from Melissa. She proclaims
that she has seen a gap in the market – a dark-based spirit drink, with contemporary appeal, for the discerning cocktail drinker. Tonight, she, Stella English, is going to introduce you to the new way of drinking bourbon. You pull down your trousers, squat down and…no? Oh, ok. It’s just got a bit of honey, orange, cinnamon and nutmeg in it. Frankly it sounds a bit like one of those gross novelty Christmas spirits you get. She proclaims her bottle to be slim and chic, but sadly not iconic. What can you do? I hope to God
that Kaen doesn’t work out how to open that bottle soon, otherwise Stella won’t be the only one presenting, if you catch my drift.
Stella’s advert airs next, and she’s doing the voice-over her own damned self. It’s also the expected mix of
patronising eye-rolling blow-job “what the hell is this over-prices muck?” faces, which I can’t really see as being something you want to particularly associate with your brand but ok. At least nobody’s “dance-walking” a foot out of the centre of shot.
Once it’s over, Stella claims to have “re-invented” bourbon, by sticking cinnamon in it until it’s undrinkable! Hooray! It’s been made fashionable! Trendy! Exciting! Any questions?
Indeed there are, the BBC
Young Musician Of The Year 1993 here thinks the packaging is giving her mixed messages. It’s feminine AND masculine at the same time. What’s giving me mixed messages is how she’s scratching her bits under the table the whole time she’s talking. You’re on tv dear. Stella replies that it was always her intention to market to both men AND women (BUT NO RUDDY GAYS!) so thanks for confirming to her that her approach paid off. With the mixed messages and all. Next
Lady Lydia von Ffington III complains that the “Urban/Urbon” branding leaves out the substantial countryside market for alcohol buying. Stella says that “urban” just means cool and trendy these days, words have changed, for instance where gay used to mean “happy” now it means “blue”. You don’t have to drink in the city to drink Urbon, in fact she’s planning to move out to the country if this drink takes off, hurr hurr. She’ll be in her country pad, sipping Urbon, gazing on the trophies she’s made of all her fallen enemies. Except Joanna. She may live.
All having gone relatively well, Stella decides to close by
shaking her first at the audience and demanding they support her. Because, in case you hadn’t noticed, Stella’s got a touch of the cray-cray this episode.
Backstage she scurries, where everyone cheers her, Melissa crows about this being the “WINNING TEAM!” and then Joanna proposes an “Urbon night”. WOO! Urbon Girls have more liver transplants!
Lordalan meanwhile is still outside, chatting with his table. Re : Urbon, one guy says that it’s a better brand identity and there’s far more to work with moving forward, but unfortunately it tastes like baby ear-medicine. Prism on the other hand, has its striking bottle and its general theme of three-ness going for it, but it’s blatantly a girl’s drink, no matter how much Chris might like to claim that pomegranate is a super hetty-fruit. Lordalan
ponders which of these things he’s going to pretend is important before hiring Stella anyway.
Next morning now, and the candidates are winging their way to the Boardroom. Chris interviews
to the effect that he’s basically the Saira/Ruth/Claire – crappy record in terms of wins and Boardroom appearances, but still here anyway, And you’ll notice how many of those people actually won. Stella meanwhile is
HERE TO WIN, AND WILL WIN, AND THAT IS ALL THERE IS TO IT. THERE IS NO COMEPTITION! SHE IS THE WINNER! She became insane so quickly, you barely even noticed the transition did you?
The Apprenticars arrive at Lordalan HQ, and the teams line-up
gang-fights style. Except that Christopher is in completely the wrong place. Sadly it does not devolve into a Sharks vs Jets dance-off a la West Side Story before Cousin It ushers everybody in, although you can tell Melissa is kind of hoping that it’s going to. Lordalan finishes getting rat-faced on Urbon, and enters
Thankfully he does not ask who wuzz the Team Leader this time, instead just focusing on thanking all the losers for summoning up the courage to show their faces in public again. Well done them. Their lack of shame is a credit to them.
We open the Real Business by asking Stella how things went. She says that their brain-storm on the first day went crap, because they kept “debating” (/flinging poo around like zoo-monkeys I’ll bet) and didn’t come to any conclusions, except that they wanted to do a dark-based spirit, because those are the ones that sell best, and also they wanted to twist it so that it would appeal to both pee-pees and ginas.
Stella then carries on, with a weird giggly slightly manic catch to her voice, saying that they then went off to the Bottle Manufacturers, still not really knowing what they were doing. But then two minutes before they had to make a decision, they came up with an idea. RHYMING!
Lordalan says that he is happy with the brand name, and he can really imagine somebody asking for an Urbon. As opposed to a Prismo, which sounds like a rejected Pokemon.
On the other hand, he was told by someone on his table that it tasted like car exhaust fumes mixed with Calpol. Stella agrees, and says it tastes vile, but hey ho, that was all Melissa and Christopher’s fault, and nothing to do with her. Lordalan asks her if it wasn’t a mistake having other people mix the drink without her signing off on the final product, and Stella replies that Melissa and Christopher are both complete alkies
and she only occasionally has a sherry at Christmas, so it seemed best for them to do it. She doesn’t have their…refined palate. For booze.
Lordalan then says that it’s “only fair” to bother to talk to Chris now, even though he’s really only here because Stubaggs, Joanna and Jamie all collapsed in a mass of twitching limbs at interviews, and Stella’s getting hired whatever. He’s asked who mixed his drink, and he fingers Liz and Shibby. Lordalan huffs that the drink is wew gay and pink and stuff, and men won’t buy it.
Why did Chris make the same mistake as Stella and not oversee the making of his drink himself? Chris says that he gave very clear instructions to Liz and Shibby to make a clear drink, and they ignored them, because they thought the natural colouring of the pomegranate would make the drink stand out in a bar situation. The Shibby Truism Express then rolls into the station as he very earnestly chimes in with “the first taste of a drink is with the eye”.
I’m surprised he didn’t tack on a “Confucius Say” on the front of that. Of course this is entirely true, but I think the point is that the first taste most straight men would get off that drink is one of cock. Lordalan then has a good laugh at Shibby’s expense all “ho ho, aren’t you supposed to be a doctor?” and everyone
laughs sycophantically and horribly, forever.
We then move on to Chris’ pitching style and Nick announces that he was better, albeit still no Richard Burton. Shibby at this point decides that he hasn’t got enough face-time yet, and rattles off that Chris is concise, a great leader, makes decisive decisions, and is a delight to work with. Liz then hops in to praise his risk-taking and his willingness to try something new. Joanna then revs up her engines and runs for Stella, saying that’s she really adapted well to whoever she’s worked with, presumably by
smiling at them in a super-patronising way. She’s defo the girl for the job! Christopher then calls her a “cool cookie”, which of course is high praise indeed coming from a Marine. Alex decides to finish off this round of eulogies by saying that he’d take both of them. I’m sure you would Alex. I’m sure you would.
Lordalan thanks all the losers for their time, and tells them to hop it.
Losers having hopped it, Lordalan then moves on to some more general feedback related to the products – Chris’ advert was crap, but the notion of “three” WAS quite good and he likes the bottle. Stella’s bottle looks like a vinegar bottle,
but the branding and naming is very clever. CAUSE IT RHYMES. So as you can see, both sides have their pros and their cons, making it a difficult decision, ho hum, let’s forget this whole task ever happened, as usual. He’s now going to ponder on the bigger picture so…
Candidates go out, Nick praises Stella for her people skills (!), Kaen praises Chris for his complete lack of experience, candidates come back in again.
Lordalan tells them that they’ve both done very well, and should be happy with what they’ve achieved no matter what the outcome, and they’ve both impressed him at the highest possible level but…get to begging please.
Stella starts, saying that she’s been very consistent in everything that’s she done, but her one failing in the process is that she’s so used to people knowing her, and therefore automatically deferring to her awesomeness, she failed to stand up for herself enough. She can do SO MUCH MORE than what she’s done on the show. Unicycling, juggling chainsaws, beer pong, YOU NAME IT. She’s very pro-active at work, and DEFINITELY NOT AN ACCOUNTANT OR CORPORATE OR WOODEN. She doesn’t need constant monitoring, she’s super-creative, she’s got the best record in the whole process FOR A REASON.
Chris follows, starting off on a total Joanna-foot, saying that he might not look as good on paper as some of the other candidates, with all their actual experience and stuff, but he’s still here and where are they? Hmm? He’s been a top-seller, he’s pitched to retailers, he’s sold a
£300 dress knitted out of ties and a dubet. He’s single-handedly won tasks! Everyone was always coming him for a pitch, or a sale, or an idea, or a hug. To Chris! Chris then plays the “I’m just like you!” Lordalan card, which is an odd choice given that he…really, really isn’t. But any port in a storm I guess. He can’t guarantee that he’ll make Lordalan a billion (*cough*STUBAGGS*cough*) but he’ll definitely add value. He closes by calling himself a “diamond in the rough” which just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.
Lordalan ponders the eternal question of experience vs raw ability, more specifically whether he can be arsed to train Chris up from scratch. Stella then decides to elbow in, saying that she’s taking a big risk here, jacking in her old job with a family to support, so GIVE HER THE JOB OR SHE’LL CUT CHOO! She wants the job, not to win the competition. Chris might be a clever guy, but he doesn’t have her PASSION (/suddenly obvious psychosis). Chris bridles at this and
tells her not to talk about his passion. She doesn’t even know nothing baht him, you disrespectin him, you disrespectin his familay etc etc Stella then snots “thanks very much for that Chris…ANYTHING I WANT, I ALWAYS GET! I WILL NOT LET GO!”
What a freaking nutterbutter. Love it.
Hiring time, and after that mentallism…
how could he not? She tears up instantly, and whimpers out a “thank you Lordalan” as Chris looks like he’s about to vomit.
In her Apprenticar of Victory, she coos that nobody would have thought little Stella from Thamesmead could grow up the The Apprentice, but she never doubted it for a second, because did you hear? She’s mental now. IT WAS ALL WORTH IT! NOW TO BECOME QUEEN!