I’m going to try my level best not to just make this entry a series of pictures of cute kittens. Let’s see how I do…
6am and Glenn is just
hanging out, rocking a towel, not doing anything, then VERY QUICKLY grabs the next point in Phone-Answering Wars. On the upstairs balcony,
Natasha curses her barely-missed opportunity to take an early lead. It’s really her fault for getting distracted by that toga party though. The Work Experience Girl at the other end chirps that Lordalan wants to meet everyone at a “creative agency” in Fitzrovia. Sadly, Susan Ma’s response – “isn’t that where midgets come from?” – was not caught on film. After the CARNAGE of last week, we’re back to the cars being there in a solid 30 minutes. Phew. Don’t want to drive these people into the actual ground. Edna
scuttles off to inform the upstairs people, like the lurking Gollum-esque shade in the corner she has become, as Glenn just wanders around bellowing. See? COMMANDING respect already.
In the boys quarters, as Leon singularly fails to notice that he’s
got his hair on back-to-front, Tom ponders aloud what one might wear to a creative agency? A suit? Casuals? I don’t know Tom, why not just turn up as you are
I’m sure you’ll be fine. Although maybe change your pants so you’re not wearing the same ones as last task. In the girls room Ellie,
currently holding the straighteners in her hair, which is like the speaking conch from Lord Of The Flies so far as women go (OR SO I AM TOLD) mutters about having to step up and really work hard following last week, when she was in the Boardroom. SPOILERS : This does not happen.
Everyone tramps out to the Apprenticars, fully prepared (I like to think that Tom came as the kid from Where The Wild Things Are and someone had to tell him “no”), and once they hit the road, Glenn
brags in Venture Apprenticar A that he is a designer as part of his day job. He’s just given a spec, and he designs to it. This happens on a DAY TO DAY BASIS. I have no clue what it means, but Susan makes a noise like the three-eyed aliens from Toy Story in response, so who am I to doubt her judgement? Meanwhile in Logic Apprenticar A,
which is apparently doubling as extra closet-space for Vinnie, the girls josh him that maybe this time he’ll win. Except they don’t actually sing it to him like Liza Minelli in Cabaret, as they did in my head. More’s the pity. Natasha awesomely teases “you know what they say? Fifth time lucky!”. SPOILERS : I am warming to Natasha.
Day breaks over Central London,
and the advertising agency “TBWA”, which long-time Apprentice recap reads will remember I photoshopped to read “TWAT” at one point. Because I’m mature like that. Already there are Nick and Kaen
who wants us all to know that her vagina is closed today. Probably because she already knows that Vinnie Disney is about to be PM and she doesn’t want him getting any unpleasant ideas vis a vis “droit de seigneur”. He is continental after all. Anyway, Lordalan is not here this week, so as per usual we’re getting his
giant disembodied head telling the teams what’s what. What’s what is that teams are in the lobby of TBWA/TWAT, the world’s greatest advertising agency. So duh, it’s the advertising task. At the mention of marketing, the world’s most evil industry after Simon Cowell’s Britain Got Talent Gay Farm, Jim pricks his ears up
thusly.It’s like you can SEE the dark rising in him. That or wind. Or Ellie Reed’s special breakfast burritos. Natasha Scribbins aims for the same deal but
just winds up looking like Girl-Zoolander.
Anyway, teams are here because TWAT look after several pet-food company accounts, and that’s this week’s task. Create a pet-food brand, then an advertising campaign, and pitch both to TWAT plus some industry insiders in two days time. Edna looks like the only pet-food she understands as a concept
is when she recreates that scene from A Fish Called Wanda for her friends. Meanwhile, Glenn, Zoe and Susan all grin at one another like idjits, because they know this is the advertising task, and some hilarity is about to happen. The team who do the best campaign will lose, the team that do the worst campaign will win, someone on some team will get fired, and then so will somebody else, probably in the wrong order all told, but hey ho. Once Lordalan’s Giant Disembodied Head is turned off, Nick tells the teams that he and Kaen “discussed” with “Lordalan” who the PMs would be, and “he decided” on Vinnie Disney and Glenn. I wish they’d “discussed” with me. I would have team-shuffled until Team Logic was just Edna on her own with a crocodile hand-puppet dressed as Prince and let the tv magic happen.
Vincent’s face as he is identified as PM?
Yeah, he’s THRILLED.
Off the teams go to brainstorm and I warn you now,
I’m very much a cat person. Helpful Voiceover Man waffles on about 7 million cat-owners on bicycles in Beijing spending trillions of lira on…something…per…WOOK AT WIDDLE KITTEH FACES!
IT’S SCRATCHING, BECAUSE IT’S ITCHY!
(NB : dogs can fuck off)
As the teams sit down to brainstorm we learn that TWAT have fallen on hard times since we saw them last. Where before it was all blue-sky thinking rooms and all staff riding around on scooters and human sized iPads and giant paintings of Liberace on the ceiling beaming down on the teams as they wrote in pens that did rainbow colours on lemon-scented edible notepads, now teams just get
a big bowl of sweets. GET WACKY! Vinnie Disney asks his merry crew if any of them have dogs. Ellie responds that she does, and Tom says that his parents have a dog, but he doesn’t. It’s called Astro, and they also have a robot maid called Rosie.
Ellie is asked what valuable insight she can offer as a dog owner, and she suggests a brand called “Gnashers” focusing around dental hygiene. That’s not a pun Ellie, you’re banned. Natasha gets more into the spirit of things by suggesting “Pet-Eats/Petites” around the theme of healthy snacks for dogs. That’s almost a good name Natasha, well done. Jim looks
furious for no good reason. To be fair, that is most of the episode. I still like Jim, but he needs to lighten up. Have some fun. Maybe wear a silly hat or some t-shirts with wacky slogans on. Anyway, Vinnie Disney shoots Natasha down on the grounds that their food has to be wet, and ergo can’t be a treat/snack food. Who would have thought that Vinnie Disney was averse to a quick snack on a we…(THAT’S QUITE ENOUGH OF THAT THANK YOU).
He then brgaterviews that he finds that his
unique blend of Charisma and Confidence might overpower the other candidates, but I think he might be talking about the two varieties of Lynx he’s currently sporting. Back in the room Vinnie Disney’s unique blend is coming up with a campaign where an old-school labrador and an “It Boy” pug fight one another, but then bond over dog-food. I hope’s imagining himself as the It-Boy pug and Ellie as the labrador. FILM IT NOW!
Anyway, Vinnie Disney’s ideas is to be called “Pals”, but Ellie and Tom, as the designated DOG EXPERTS, point out that “Pals” already exists as a concept, and we’re back to square one, with Tom looking on the verge of
beaning himself with his notepad in despair. How no-one suggested an advert based on Dogtanian & The Muskahounds with Vinnie Disney as Cardinal Richlieu is beyond me. It’s better than Jim’s next suggestion which is “Fur Play” which sounds like furries, frankly, and I don’t want that action on my Google hits, so let’s move on. Tom asks who their target market is – Vinnie Disney says “everyone with a dog”. Nice and specific there.
Over on Venture meanwhile,
Glenn is telling his troops to just come out with any idea, no matter how stupid. Which would be more of an encouragement in a situation not being filmed and broadcast to 7 million+ people I think. Glenn suggests a love story, and Leon puts forth an idea of a cat driving around in a “Purrari”. Well it IS a pun, so that’s a start. Edna wonders if they could find a cat with really long fur and put rollers in it.
I don’t think she’s saying this for the task – I just think she wants to. Zoe suggests an idea where cats are “taking over the world” and attending balls and weddings and meetings of the Illuminati feat. Lady Gaga and getting mortgages and loans and so on. It’s like the Cravendale advert without any of the joy. So, very Zoe then.
Glenn crowterviews at this point
that he is better than everyone else in this process, and looks like he means it about as much as I would, whilst back in the room Edna (OF ALL PEOPLE) tries to drag the conversation away from what sort of ISA people think a cat might have. Glenn rounds off this discussion by telling the team “no guts, no glory!”. Well I think that’s a campaign slogan we guarantee is a winner.
At this point, Venture splits, with Glenn, Susan and Edna going to manufacture the food, and Zoe, Leon and Helen sent off to do pointless bu…consult with a focus group and stuff. The split on Logic meanwhile, is Melody, Ellie and Tom being sent off to make the dog food, whilst Vinnie Jim and Natasha cover the brand-building. Natasha suggests “Total Dog” (*snort*), whilst Jim has come up with the idea of “EveryDog”, inspired by Vinnie’s insistence on marketing to everyone. Vincent loves it.
This chap here
does not, but sadly, nobody listens. In fact Vinnie tells him quite patronisingly to “chill out”, and then moves away, which is really Vinnie Disney’s management style all over isn’t it. Poor Ted. Maybe he and Ellie can have a discussion. This
is the rest of Vinnie’s Focus Group by the way. They are all Dog People. One of them a vet. Vinnie Disney asks if he recommends feeding all dogs the same type of food, and he says no, because certain types of dog are different from others, and they require different things from their food. Vinnie Disney doesn’t care a jot. Meanwhile Mr
Notebook Hyphen Frowny-Face looks on, wondering why they ever even bother having focus groups.
Vincent wanders outside and gives the following exchange on the phone with Melody, truly exposing his wonderful management style :
Melody : Hi, it’s Melody
Vinnie : Hi Melody. Speak.
Melody : OK Vincent, so, we’ve come up with a few ide…
Vinnie : HOLD ON! I’ve got a really good one for you!
So smooth. He outlines “EveryDog” to them, which he credits to Jim, enthusiastically saying it could be expanded out to other areas, like EveryCat or EveryFish. One day maybe just EveryThing? We can all eat the same brown slurry from the same tins. POSTAPOCALYPTY! Tom at this point outlines his “deep concern”, as his eyes flicker around like Action Man : Egon Spengler,
that in marketing to everyone they’re really marketing to no-one, as Melody groans her agreement in the background. Vinnie and Jim
don’t give a shit.
Branding for Logic meanwhile are Zoe, Helen and Leon who, lest we forget, is very very concerned about looking
in any way effeminate. He’s come up with Lucky Fish
and just in case you were worried that no play on words was involved, thereby making the idea unviable, the slogan will be “catch of the day”. Phew. He declares himself the Apprentice on the spot. Don’t stop believin’ Leon.
They arrive at their focus group, and Helen outlines Leon’s idea for an advert where a happy fish counts its lucky stars that its owner has bought LuckyFish for the house cat, to stave off the fish’s brutal death for one more da…
AW EVERYONE THERE HAS CATS AND THEY ARE CUTE AND ONE CLIMBS ON LEONE AND ONE IS JUMPING AROUND AND ONE CHEWS A PENCIL!
Erm, this idea is quite popular with a man there.
Back in Venture Apprenticar A now, and Glenn is free-associating ideas. He’s seen cat’s eyes! They’re like cat’s…eyes! They’re doing a product based around cats. He rambles on to Edna and Susan about how he can feel his creative juices welling up inside him, as they both look
catatonic. Like…cat, atonic. Do you see? Anyway, this flight of fancy ends up coming in to land on this
Cat-Size. Or Cat-Sizt. Probably the former. Oh, and then
this. Which just about makes sense if you squint your brain hard enough. It’s like the Magic Eye of puns. Fortunately this stream of nonsense has also led him to the idea of a healthy weight-loss diet product for cats, which is actually an idea beyond a dumb pun or a clever name, so well done Glenn. Although Susan still sounds confused and Edna
doesn’t have a clue what’s going on, so why not explain the tortured puns to them 50 more times Glenn? It’ll be practice for everyone else.
Back on Logic, branding done and dusted, Vinnie Disney is sorting out animal actors for his advert. They’re dogs so I don’t care, and doubly so when it becomes clear that Vinnie Disney is basically applying the same casting couch vibe to animals that Chris Farrell did to human women. I can’t work out if this makes it worse or better. One dog gets rejected for being a fug, another for not being fit enough, and we end up with a Golden Retriever and some terrier that’s done a Midsommer Murders.
So it’s a white dog naturally. Can’t have any brown dogs ruining that perfect English village atmosphere. Personally I was hoping for some bitter showbiz survivors from Over The Rainbow with shocking stories to tell about how Andrew Lloyd Webber made them pretend to be as effeminate as possible and cry fake tears. Vinnie Disney’s Socks Of The Week ?
Peacock Blue. Along with the plum ones and the mustard yellow ones from earlier in the series and the green ones he was sporting on BBC Breakfast, I like to think they’re Cluedo themed.
Meanwhile, the Logic B-Team are creating their own dog-food, with special guest chef
Yasmina Siadatan. She had some stuff left over from the catering task in Series 5. Now all it needs is MOAR BASIL! Tom and Ellie plug the food full of fish-oils and Omega-3s and so on and so on and Melody, as officially Not A Dog Expert, says that she has no idea what dog food is supposed to look like, but it’s certainly…colourful. That’ll be all the basil. I mean
how much green have you ever seen in a dog food?
Seven hours after explaining his puns to Susan and Edna, then explaining them again, then drawing a diagram, then putting on a play about Cat’s Eyes with little finger puppets, Glenn is finally ready to try to move to outlining them to the other sub-te…
Ahem. Anyway, he rings them up, and they jump the gun by outlining “Lucky Fish” to him first. He scrunches up his face and says that he doesn’t understand why a cat-food product would have the word “fish” in the brand. He prefers…”CAT-SIZE”. Spelled C-A-T-S-I-Z-E, not C-A-T-S-E-Y-E-S, like you might expect, because you see, it’s a pun, based around the idea of there being a thing called “Cat’s Eyes”, that most people will be familiar with, alongside the idea that cats the domesticated animal have a “size”, which is proportionately linked to how much food they eat. And as they are currently advertising a food product for said domesticated animals, there the family friendly and inoffensive humour arises, as well as a serious message about endemic obesity in the cat population. He asks for their opinion. Their opinion is
Zoe whines about how they want to a focus group and they liked LuckyFish and why not go with that? Glenn then does what the PM always does, which is go with their own idea, and Zoe stomps off in a huff grumbling about having wasted her morning. This continues in whineterview
as Glenn gets on with the important manual work of
creating Cat-Size. Like all diet products, it relies on being so revolting you can’t actually stomach eating it. I’m guessing the design of it to look like something you’d find splattered all over a bypass is to go with the “Cats Eyes” theme? Next up is the design of the packaging, which Helpful Voiceover Man refers to as “Glenn’s Favourite Job”. I really don’t need Helpful Voiceover Man getting sarccy on me. LAST thing I need is another Nick on this show. Anywho, here is
Oooh, ahh, etc
Back with the Logic A-Team, and they’re doing a photoshoot
with their chosen dogs, helmed by Jim, with Vincent chipping in doing his best efforts to make it sound as much like a porno shoot for dogs as possible. “Can you have the dog on all fours?” “I really like that one” “Can you come at it from a different angle Jim?”, “he’s got a really big smile, do you know WHY he’s got a really big smile Jim?” And so on. Really I think he’s about to get one of the dogs to dress up as an octypus and give him a lap-dance. Anyway, as Jim is possessed by evil this week, the dog winds up looking suitably
Nickterviews that he is INTRIGUED by the team dynamic of Jim and Vinnie Disney being totes gay for one another, and Vinnie leaning on Jim as a crutch and ignoring everyone else. Apparently this makes them like Batman & Robin. Natasha is Batgirl (ie irrelevant), Tom the Riddler, Melody is Catwoman and Ellie is the new Batman Villain – Crowbar Girl. She has a Crowbar. She twats people in the face with it. That’s how we do Supervillainy in the NORF.
Back on the Venture B-Team, it’s their turn to cast an advert. And whilst I love cats
this is pushing it. What is that, some sort of snake? Helen simpers that this cat might not be mainstream enough for their advert, and Leon then pretty much flat-out tells the owner that it’s the most hideous abomination against God he’s ever seen.
Everyone laughs at how FRESH and IN YOUR FACE Leon is, as the cat’s poor owner sulks off looking depressed. Into the middle of this cavalcade of smuggery, Glenn calls up to explain his second killer pun. See their light! Like…see! They’re light! As in less heavy, because this a diet range. And also light is a thing given off by Cat’s Eyes which, as we’ve already discussed, sounds a bit like “Cat Size”, so you can see their light. The light of the Cat-Size…I mean the light of the cat’s eyes. In the road. Which people will have heard of.
Of course this time the team are even less receptive, and Helen hoots right down the phone at Glenn about how dumb it is, but they’re STUCK with it now, hoot hoot hoot OH WELL hoot hoot hoot. I think it’s Zoe that’s doing this to her. I know she’s Head PA for Greggs, and therefore feels an affinity for gristly sub-par meat product, but still… As soon as Glenn’s off the phone all three of this delightful sub-team
cackle amongst themselves about how dumb Glenn is. Meanwhile Glenn
woobieterviews that he doesn’t understand why everyone’s laughing at him when he’s trying so hard. He deserves respect! In fact he’s going to demand respect from his sub-team right now, by phoning them up and telling them to BE NICE!
Yeah, that’s going to work. Glenn cringes down the phone that he really doesn’t appreciate being laughed at like that, because it’s like really mean and disrespectful and stuff? Zoe comes right back by saying that he doesn’t deserve her respect because he turned down Leon’s “Lucky Fish” idea flat, meaning they’d wasted their entire morning, which in turn which means they are all perfectly entitled to laugh in his face about what an idiot he is *hangs up*.
I’d feel more sorry for him if he didn’t, within a week or so of this, decide that he wants to be her boyfriend.
8am next morning now, and there’s a knock at the door. Vinnie Disney answers, and collects the candidates’
supply of coke for the rest of the series. What? They’re 20th century businessmen and women (no, that’s not a typo), they can’t function otherwise! Buried within the mounds are the teams sample products.
As Melody unveils their tin, she drones “is everyone ready for our masterpiece that is dog food?!”
I don’t think I am. Vincent lectures everyone that, as it is marketing day, they are focus on the four Ps – product, place, promotion and penis. Oops, did he say that, how unfortunate, he means pudenda. *waggles eyebrows* Melody is identified as the pitcher, apparently “obviously”, and she and Jim and have a tete a tete about PASSION and how important it is to be PASSIONATE about what you’re pitching. Erm, that’s not one of the four Ps guys, so no it isn’t.
Meanwhile over on Venture, Helen is super-impressed with the professional job that Glenn and co have done on the packaging. Maybe everything in Greggs could come in pouches now? Still wrapped in pastry obviously. Glenn gives a mini-speech to his team about everyone really pulling together and enjoying themselves, so Leon naturally
grumps like a toddler and snots “So shall we get going then, or do we have to wait here?”. Detecting this mood of joie de vivre and willingness to perform, Glenn decides that Leon is going to lead the pitch, because apparently “pissiness” is one of Venture’s Four Ps. Leon says that he’ll do it, but he’s not doing it for TWENTY MINUTES of baffling on, so Glenn says that’s fine – he can just split in down into sections, so he’s not taxed with ever really doing anything really. (Oh, no, wait, he stroked a bunch of women’s faces with his pinky finger last week, MAKE HIM APPRENTICE!)
The teams depart the Apprentice Mansion, and head to the scenes of their ad shoots. Glenn arrives
at an upmarket kitchen in Kew, and lays out the plot of his advert to the lead actress. The cat up there, called Ruby, is going to run around her legs for a bit, and then eat some cat-food, and the actress woman is going to generally make a fuss of her. First take, and naturally, Ruby’s not interested in going anywhere near the food or her marks or doing anything properly at all. Zoe mumbles genially about “children and animals” and plonks Ruby back on her starting point again. Shortly afterwards though,
everything is fine. Hooray! Glenn actually does an Ali G finger-snap when Ruby eats the cat-food. I feel like this is the lamest deployment of an Ali-G finger-snap ever. Bless.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Edna, Susan and Leon are writing their pitch for CatSize, literally their only job of the day. Well
except they’re not. They’re doodling pictures of cats. Leon rings up Glenn, to ask if there’s anything else that Leon could be doing other than writing this pitch, even though it is obviously going FINE and everything. Glenn replies that he really wants the advert to be done by one team, and the pitch by the other, and Helen chimes in on the phone to say that they can use these 5 hours to make sure the pitch is REALLY GOOD. Or they can draw the Adventures of Professor Whiskers. Whichever.
Phone-call over, Leon starts whining to Edna and Susan about how this is probably a strategy to have Leon be head pitcher, in some way, maybe. Edna and Susan
both tell him to can it. Susan implores him to have faith – Glenn probably chose him because he thought he was the best. Glenn’s HIGH LEVELS of man-management skills and personnel acumen does rather suggest this might be the case.
Over on Logic A-Team now, Tom is
letting his nipples do the talking. For some reason the team need a heartbeat for their advert, so Tom is the one providing it. He decides it’s insufficiently fast, so drops and does some press-ups, and the heart-beat gets faster. We close with Vincent laying down the voiceover, and giving some quality dog noises. Marvellous.
Meanwhile, his B-Team are shooting their advert. Natasha is in charge, and very much so,
geeing up her talent and sprinting around the set – a detached in Ealing. The story is…dogs doing things. I don’t really get it. I think maybe the labrador is screwing over the terrier for control of the EveryDog, then the terrier tries to get some down off a high shelf? Maybe? Anyway, it involves dogs, I don’t care. Ellie is periodically chipping in small ideas, but Natasha shoots her down yeah? In a very positive way, yeah? Where she’s really, yeah?, really respecting Ellie’s input yeah? and yeah? taking it no board yeah? But ultimately yeah? she just needs to focus on her own vision yeah? Ellie
grumpterviews that there’s a lot of strong character and big personalities on this show, and that’s really annoying. I love that NATASHA is being complained about as a big personality. Nice editing guys, because that’s REALLY come across over the 5 episodes so far. Next there’ll be an interview with Susan complaining how nobody can get a word in edgewise around Helen’s CHARISMATIC VERBOSITY. Jim meanwhile, is completely silent.
Venture A-Team meanwhile, are having their vocal track laid down by Incidental Boyfriend Of The Week,
Professional Voiceover Artist Robert. What? I like a man who can do voices. Glenn explains that he wants him to do a sultry female voice for the cat, and then demonstrates what sort of town he believes a sultry sexy female should have. Robert looks mildly appalled and simulatnaeously amused. Kaen just looks
appalled. Probably because they could have asked her ACTUAL sultry sexy female to give Robert the demo. She’s sat RIGHT THERE. Anyway, Robert games that he’s not getting the voice quite down, so Glenn should carry on making a tit of himself for a while longer (Robert should be a producer on this show), Helen constantly directs Robert to pitch his voice a little higher, Robert smilingly grumbles that he spent 3 years in drama school for this, Helen does some more mild bitching about how awful “see their light” is, and a good time is had by all.
Back on Logic now, and the A-Team and B-Team are re-uniting. There’s a glorious moment when you can see the professional editor take one look at PM Vinnie Disney and, without knowing anything about that half of the team, or their opposition, and realise that he’s
editing the losing effort. Vincent completely ignores everyone who did the actual work and glad-hands and blokes with Jim about how he hopes this team have been busy busy busy. Jim and Vincent then plonk themselves at the front of the viewing room to admire one another and watch their reactions to the advert, whilst Ellie grumpily huffs that maybe Melody and Tom might want a look. Fat chance Ellie. Welcome to a two-man team. Jim announces to the room that he believes that everything is finally coming together. Woo!
Day 3 now (I like the tasks that go on for three days. It makes “Week 5” up there feel like less of a lie), and the teams are getting ready to give their pitches. In Venture Apprenticar A,
Glenn is repeatedly telling Leon to be upbeat and cheerful and positive, and Leon is as non-committal about it as ever. Meanwhile over Logic, Melody is dismissing the pitch as only 20 minutes of her life, s’not that important, but really just she just hopes they pull together and win. You know
for Vincent. Seeing as he hasn’t won yet. *pat pat*. What a bitch. I love her.
Teams pull up to TWAT Headquarters, where they face the panel
Oooh, scary. I think those last two are either married or related. Either that or there are a lot of Blounts in marketing and advertising. Given that that seems to be James Blount’s natural destination once his music career ends (if it hasn’t already), it could just a natural home for them.
Melody checks her watch and begins, and gives a very Melody-ish speech : quite droning and heavy-handed, but she gets her emphasises in all the right places to sound human and confident. The content seems to mostly be that they know it’s a big punt trying to advertise one product to every consumer, because they’re pushing it to 8 million dogs (and their pets), but they are just that confident.
The ad then airs, and everyone gets a lot of laughs at the terrier jumping up and down, and then it’s time for questions. Baldy there asks the team if, given that Dog People are insufferable idiots who view their dogs as a very special and unique entity, isn’t pointing out that you can feed all dogs the same old shit probably going to put their backs up. Logic look
confused, and then Jim singularly fails to answer the question even remotely, waffling on about how the one-size-fits-all approach makes it easier for consumers to make an informed decision in a crowded market. Is dog food really that complicated as is? Do dog owners really need something to come out and unconfuse them? I don’t know because, as you may have noticed, I hate dogs.
The team gambol out, and Jim calls Melody “darling” and Vinnie Disney “Chanzo” (?!) and says that he’s so glad that their passion for the brand came through in the presentation. Vinnie Disney then makes them all stand in a circle making dog noises. Well, it’s A management style I guess.
Logic’s turn next, and
Leon is coasting on charm from the off. His style is very loose and low-key and informal, which might work to an advertising agency a bit better than Melody’s very motivational and clipped style, but even after 5 hours he doesn’t have his script down, so after a while it just devolves into awkward grins and rambling about “keeping on the right side of healthy and underweight…no…erm…overweight” and about how their food is going to make your cat glow and give it “Brain Aids”. The ad agency workers
look on, bemused, and prepare to strike.
The advert then airs, with Ruby mincing round her kitchen, shrilling about VITS and MINS for DIVAS and about how fabulous she is and how she’s watching her WEIGHT you know, before Ruby’s Owner’s face lurches in booming
“LOOKING GOOD TODAY RUBY! (*now put away your dirty pillows*)”. I bet Ruby gets bullied A LOT. Cats can be so cruel. Never mind Ruby, just tell them you were born this way.
Once the advert is finished, the Head of TWAT asks Glenn to explain his complex network of puns.
Pitch over, and Venture re-convene outside for a round of mutual back-slapping. Leon half-jokingly, half-seriously complains that nobody’s told him how amazing his pitch is yet. So did they they like it? Glenn says it was really good, presumably in pursuit of this “EVERYONE BE HAPPY!” management style he’s got going, and then Helen, like his mum, congratulates him for remembering all his key points. And presumably for not wetting himself then running out the room like last time. Personally I wish Edna’s bits of the pitch had aired, but I guess even post-watershed you can’t show a woman stripping down to her bra and panties and rolling around on the floor smearing herself with cat-food, meowing, and wobbling her neck around shouting “I’M GETTING THINNER! I’M GETTING THINNER!”
As this festival of love is going on, the TWAT board
is convening to discuss what just happened, and then feed back to Lordalan in the usual confusing teasy-weasy “we’re not going to tell you who we’re talking about” way. One team was a little patronising, but the other tried to engage them on a human level. One team didn’t make best of the imagery they had to hand. One team is just not an enticing proposition. One team had someone proposition Mrs Blount in the toilets afterwards yeah? But BOTH teams fell into the same trap of going with the usual tropes of the genre of pet advertising
Yes baldy, they totally should have had a dog with spoons for hands that couldn’t remember how to put its pants on the right way.
RESULTS TIME YEAH?
It appears that the Work Experience Girl is actually
slowly turning into both Giant Lady and Cousin It. That’s just what happens when you man the desk for Lordalan. You become a giant Hairball. She ushers the candidates in to the Boardroom, where Lordalan is already waiting, sat with the blasted remnants of the team’s two marketing campaigns. And he begins, as Jim pulls his best
Stewie Griffin evil-face, by making sure that everyone knows that he thinks advertising is a big waste of time and he hates it and considers it beneath him and it’s a load of BLAHDDY RAHBBISH but given as they make him do this task every year they might as well get on with it.
Logic get to play “good team leader?” first, and everyone nods along happily in the affirmative, with Natasha being particularly effusive. Vincent then explains their campaign – they were looking for something new and exciting, and not niche to a particular dog. They created the “Every” brand, which will obviously in future be expanded out to all animals in the world, like EveryCat, EveryLemur and the EveryQuagga (for all your extinct giant zebra needs) but for now they focussed on dogs. Lordalan
makes a lame joke about how with VINNIE DISNEY’S track-record, they could hardly call it WINALOT could they HA HA HA? Vinnie gets so uncomfortable with this that tongue starts flying around outside of his mouth like a rapidly deflating balloon.
It’s no good appealing to Kaen now Vinnie.
Anyway, Vincent continually goes on about expanding the “Every” brand out into other areas (which kind of serves to weaken his point, because it makes it looks like he’s come up with not so much a brand of pet food as a brand of prefix) until Lordalan points out that he’s basically Stellios, and moves on to airing the advert.
Lordalan says he likes the bit where the funny little dog jumped up and down. I’m surprised they didn’t win the task there and then to be honest. He asks Vinnie if he starved the dogs to make them jump around like that, and Ellie giggles as Vincent says very solemnly that the dogs enjoyed themselves and liked the food and were definitely not starved and no animals were harmed in the making of this advert, except emotionally, by Natasha.
Vinnie is then asked who came up with the name “EveryDog” and Vinnie talks up the brainstorming process he initiated, but Jim sticks his hand up quickly to take the credit for the name. Vinnie agrees that he came up with the name, Jim agrees that Jim came up with the name, Lordalan just wants to make clear, for the tape, that everyone agrees that Jim came up with the name, have you definitely got that footage, everyone agrees, ok let’s move on.
To Venture, where Glenn is asked how he came up with CatSize. Glenn
clasps his hands and talks about USPs and markets
and how they identified that 50% of all UK cats are overweight and obese, so why not aim for that? Lordalan says no, not the idea, please explain your complex network of puns. Glenn fails.
The advert airs, with the cat shrieking about having the AMMUNITION FOR NUTRITION and
frankly Edna looks like she wants to personally start bullying that cat now. Once it’s done, Lordalan points out that, what with the cacophany of unholy annoying voices and elevator music backing, that was really more like a radio advert than a tv spot. There wasn’t much to look at. Maybe Ruby should have been riding on the back of a motorcycle gang and betraying a cat representing Jesus or something?
RESULTS TIME! (I’m so sorry that we never got a “good team leader?” for Glenn. No episode can feature enough of Zoe whining for me)
Venture’s team had a well thought-through USP and a well-designed product line, but their advert was visually dull
Logic had a funny advert, but their marketing was flawed, and their product name insinuates something it can’t back up, and it’s somehow insulting to dog owners. So they’ve lost.
ANOTHER GLORIOUS VENTURE VICTORY!
As a treat, they’re all off to meet Pat Cash (Zoe to Helen : who’s that?), who is going to give them tennis lessons. I only hope this is as EXCITING as the dance lesson last week was. Out they troop and Glenn fires
more positivity at them gabbling “a little faith guys, just a little faith, I TOLD YOU I COULD GET YOU THROUGH THIS!”. Oh dear.
Back in the room, Lordalan tells Logic that their flaw is in their marketing, and specifically the idea that you could make one food for all dogs. He’s going to find out who is responsible for driving that idea through. Jim’s already all
“no you aren’t” *waves hands*
That’s Pat Cash, Zoe. He takes the team through their tennis paces, as Helen looks very
much like a PA who has organised a charity tournament for the senior partners and who is now participating as a joke/bit of skirt whilst everyone laughs at her. Pat Cash then gets his revenge on Zoe for not knowing who he is by
trick-shotting a ball up her Val Gina, and Edna
tries very very hard bless her, before flapping around shrieking whenever a ball comes to her. Once everyone’s done messing around, Pat Cash tells them all they’ve done very well, although he doesn’t expect to see any of them at Wimbledon any time soon. Helen chirrups “maybe as a spectator!” I wish Ellie and Vinnie Disney had won and got to play a singles match. That would have been epic.
To Prison Cafe now
where it appears to be dawning on Ellie now that her biggest enemy was PM, and she just spent an entire task doing nothing, following a Boardroom where she was told off for not doing anything. OOPS. Everyone sits in silence, so Tom sneaks outside to lieterview
that he’s never hated being right so much. Oh whatever Tom, you’re REVELLING in it. Back in the room he tells everyone off for going in the face of everything the market told them, and Vinnie Disney shuts him down, telling him that the only thing you can criticise is calling it EveryDog. Jim is
already looking forward to counter-claiming that argument. Outside Vinnie Disney desperateriews that he’s done a very good job as Project Manager, and you can tell that, because everyone just said it then to Lordalan. Maybe discuss that one with Felicity Vinnie? You’ll be seeing her very soon. Try not to look at her tits the whole time you’re doing it. Natasha meanwhile is interviewing that the Arrow Of Blame is clearly pointing at Jim, but Vinnie will probably choose to shield his mate and get himself fired as a result.
She is…occasionally oddly perspicacious for one so also so dunder-headed (yeah?)
I find myself really wanting to know what Melody’s husband is like. Quite badly.
In the candidates go, where Lordalan greets them all by telling them that he had a dream that he walked into this Boardroom, and didn’t see the same old faces staring back at him, and sadly it’s not come true. Fortunately for us all, he was also naked in that dream.
Forget Team Logic, they should be called TEAM TRAGIC. It’s not Logic’s fault Lordalam any more than it was Kaen’s last year. Probably. Lordalan carries on, annoyed at Vinnie and Tom in particular for having lost every single task. And there have been quite a few now. What went wrong here? This time? On top of all the other times.
Vinnie Disney response says that he can’t stress enough how important it is that
everyone sat there and said he was a great Project Manager. Yes Vinnie, but probably only because they checked the Samaritans Guidelines for people who’ve lost five tasks in a row on The Apprentice. Lordalan points out they might have changed their minds now although he doesn’t, you know, ASK them or anything. Vinnie then outlines his strategy – hit every single person in the market for maximum profit.
Lordalan replies that this was in direct contradiction to what the focus group, and the vet in particular, told them. Tom is
outraged and upset at this turn of events, because he brought this up, and was told the focus group disagreed with him. The whole while Nick squawks away like Professor Yaffle saying it was the clearest lead HE’S EVER HEARD. Ellie then bulldozes in to back Tom up – Vinnie Disney never told the other sub-team any of this. Vinnie, clearly already defeated, just kicks his feet and shuffles and says they were just trying to be clever and create a product that could be expanded outwards to other animals. Kaen huffs that
THIS IS A GRIEVOUS INSULT AGAINST DOG OWNERS! YOU MIGHT AS WELL HAVE CALLED IT “ANY OLD DOG!”. Yeah, ok Kaen.
Tom continues to complain, saying that their advertising campaign and their billboard campaign were great, but they were in service to a poor idea AND HE SAID THIS ALL ALONG. Lordalan asks how loudly he expressed himself, and Tom says “very”. He put his neck completely on the line, and then everyone just wandered off and he was left with a sore neck.
Natasha’s advert is touched on next,
and she makes up a load of old rubbish about how she desperately tried to steer away from the boring and non-inspirational “EveryDog” idea in her commercial, like it was some sort of subversive counter-cultural protest against the team rather than just a bunch of dogs sprinting around and bouncing up and down. Instead she focused on their “USP” yeah? which was apparently “heart and joints”. Jim at this point
barrels in to say that she’s talking a load of old tut, and she signed her name to “EveryDog” just as hard as everyone else did.
Lordalan, now that Jim is talking, then brings up how Jim LEPT out of his chair and did an
Al Jolson Mammy Dance when asked who came up with the name. Jim says that “with the greatest of respect” that’s an exaggeration (ON THIS SHOW?) and he did come up with the name, but not in connection with the brand. It was just a name that happened. Lordalan then points out their name IS the entirety of their brand, because Vinnie Disney’s a bit of an idiot. You can’t have one without the other. It’s not like “CatSize” where it could have been any old shitty pun about weight loss. Jim then starts blustering again that everyone agreed with it anyway, like every bad idea that loses a task on The Apprentice isn’t a bad idea that ultimately gets signed off on by enough people to happen.
Then again this is the argument that meant Sandhurst Ben didn’t get fired for the Death-Trap Box, so…
Kaen then chimes in saying “but you did come up with the name?” and then Jim has an ALMIGHTY huff at Kaen about how she obviously wants him to just sit mute in every meeting the team has and not do anything. WELL HE’S NOT GOING TO KAEN! SO THERE!
Lordalan then moves back in to point out that he doesn’t have to stay mute, but when you come up with an idea, you have to stick by it, and it seems like he’s trying to weasel out of any culpability in the implications given by the “EveryDog” name. Jim sighs “yeeeeeeeeeees”, but then goes on to say he’s not going to take responsibility for the whole marketing strategy of EveryDog (I’m at a loss as to when he was asked to?) and when asked who is responsible, he says “everyone signed off on it”. Again. (You know, apart from Tom and to a lesser extent Ellie). Jim closes by saying “if I give a dog a bone, they don’t have to eat it”.
I think that’s written over the door of the new Playboy Club isn’t it? Or at least Rule 1.
Lordalan says that there used to be rumours about what went into dog food, and he’s starting to wonder the same about Jim. Is he made of brains or bollocks? Would you want either of those in your dog food? Really? Anyway, Jim says brains, and blah blah everyone done it blah blah again for the fiftieth time. Vinnie Disney chimes in to say that he agrees, and Lordalan says that all Vinnie Disney seems to do these days is agree with Jim. Does he in fact think Jim is better than him?
Vinnie replies lamely that he doesn’t at all think Jim is better than him. Just better than some of the other people still here (*looks directly at Ellie*), but definitely not him, but he is stronger than some people but DEFINITELY NOT VINCENT NOT SAYING THAT! Vincent then decides to put the bullet in his brain his own damn self by pondering OUT LOUD if he should try and be tactical and bring in two weak people who did well this task, or strong people who messed up on this task. Lordalan then of course shuts him down and tells him to do what the rules say and not to try to do his job for him.
Oh Vinnie Disney. You don’t point out that this is a big dumb structurally flawed gameshow, and you CERTAINLY don’t points out that that’s more true the more Lordalan is in the room. He don’t LAHK it.
Jim is then asked by Lordalan if he thinks Vinnie was responsible, and Jim returns to the well AGAIN of how EVERYONE agreed to this so you can’t blame Vinnie Disney alone, and Tom points out that he didn’t agree, and Ellie points out that they were lied to about the contents of the focus group, and Melody points out that it wouldn’t have been productive to spend 3 days whining about something, and Lordalan lays out that he gets the impression that Jim is trying to suck up to the PM to keep himself out of the boardroom by diffusing the blame such that anyone could be fired.
Vinnie is asked who is coming back, and he selects Ellie, who looks grumpy
and Natasha whose face reads “yeah, knew it”.
Candidates go out, everyone carries on talking about Jim, candidates come back in again.
As soon as Vinnie’s bum hits the stool, he’s asked why on Earth these two people have come back. As he can’t go with the actual answer (“I like them the least”), he says that Ellie is there because she didn’t bring the insight to the table that he was expecting she would as a dog owner. Ellie says that she DID, and that she thought the advertising task might be her downfall, because they don’t have adverts in the NORF, but she’s surprised with how many ideas she came up with, and how helpful she was on the ad shoot. She looks to Natasha for support on this point. None is forthcoming.
Lordalan then opens his mouth to say that he can’t really think of anything that Ellie contributed over the last few weeks. She should have brought up the loo roll – it’s a great example of her being a good negotiator and businesswoman, as well as how she was never going to flourish under Vinnie’s management as a PM, because he doesn’t respect her, as evidenced by when he STOLE HER PHONE. Instead she decides to go down the “my voice isn’t heard as much as others” road, which is never a good idea. Unless you’re Zoe, and it’s easy to understand why people would block out your voice.
Natasha is then asked why she thinks she’s here. Natasha replies that she has no clue – everyone said her advert was the best! Vinnie decides to explain himself – Natasha didn’t ask any questions about the direction of the team, and she didn’t bring any ideas to the table either. At the word “idea”, Lordalan decides to take this as his cue to talk about Jim again, and how he has screwed Vinnie Disney over good and proper. Which Lordalan admires in a way, because this is a “dog eat dog” process. Gameshow strategy of course, now being a good thing.
Natasha decides to honk her horn at this point
saying that it’s a great tragedy that poor Tom was ignored throughout, because Vinnie was so far up Jim’s behind nobody else got a look in. In fact Vinnie was so far up Jim’s behind that he couldn’t see the wood. For the trees. Wow. That’s…quite an image.
Vinnie Disney deems this to be factually inaccurate. He was not in fact up Jim’s arse. Glad we’ve got that cleared up (*scraps slash-fic*). The thing with Jim, apparently, is that he participates, which neither Ellie nor Natasha do. Ellie and Natasha both disagree. Naturally. They so DID participate, but Vinnie Disney kept on doing the metaphorical equivalent of when they were Vinnie’s Angels. Snatching up their phones and giving them to Jim.
Lordalan points out that Natasha did the advert properly, so what’s Vinnie’s problem? Vinnie replies that the advert wasn’t the problem – the problem is that Natasha’s very good at sitting back doing nothing until she feels the need to pipe up three days later that she thought there was a problem.
Firing Time now, and the designated fire-tease this week is
Ellie actually getting fired. Well, that’s one way of doing it I guess. Apparently he can’t see himself going into business with her, which is probably therefore this series’ equivalent of “I just can’t see where you slot into my organisation”. She goes out with a very Northern “ok”.
I wonder if they told her at this point if the reason Natasha and Vinnie weren’t coming out to hug her was because they were doing a double firing? I wonder why we couldn’t at least have been shown her face when she was told? I bet it was like When Michelle Bass and Emma Greenwood were told they were going into a secret bedsit in Big Brother 5. Actually wouldn’t an “Apprentice Bedsit” be a great idea? Just have Vinnie Disney and Ellie sat on sofas commentating secretly on everyone remaining, then reappearing for Task 9 with their heads under cloches as part of a reward? Sigh. I’m going to miss them both, because yes, that was a fire-teasing.
Vinnie Disney’s still getting fired. I miss the good old days when Task 5 marked when a pompous tit got fired (Mani, Matthew, Natalie Wood). Now it’s become the point when my early comedy favo (Princess Lindi, Kimberlypuff, MegaBitch Paloma, These Two) gets culled and I’m left with nothing but a sea of Zoes and Leons.
As Natasha follows Vinnie out, she looks almost like she’s going to blank him, a la last week, but then she decides she’s better than that and gives him a great big double-handed handshake and wishes him all the best for the future. Hooray.
In her Apprenticab,
Ellie makes out that she’s glad she’s going because Lordalan obviously wants a forceful braggart, and that’s not her. In his
Vincent says it’s a shame that he was fired, because he was only in his infancy in terms of the show (IN WEEK 5) and he should have brought Jim in, because if he had, he wouldn’t be in this Apprenticar now. (Oh yes you would Vinnie.) In my Apprenticab, I wonder why they weren’t made to share one.
Back at the house,
Jim tells his passive flock that it was really difficult to establish where the blame for the task as EVERYONE signed off on everything (zzz). At this point
Natasha walks back in, and Melody gasps “!!!!!! WHAT HAPPENED?”. Everyone’s clearly expecting this to be a joke and for someone else to follow her through the door 5 seconds later. It’s not. They don’t. (*sniff*).
Natasha decides to lay some knowledge yeah? on Jim, saying that Vinnie only got fired because he sacrificed himself for Jim, and she has no idea how Jim managed to avoid that boardroom. Jim response very forcefully that he thinks he and Natasha made an equal contribution to the task, so neither of them was better than the other. I originally took that as an attempt by him to try to team up with Natasha by saying that neither of them deserved to be in the Final Boardroom. Now I think he’s just being bullish to no particular end other than to shut her up. Ah well.
Next time :
Poor Ellie. She would have loved this.