The Apprentice 7 – Week 11 Summary

So, what to do to fill the void created by the temporal shift of interviews to the final week, probably because Margaret is stuck on a particular trick of papyrus/Parappa The Rapper and can’t tear herself away? Let’s just rip off another BBC reality show, preferably a failed one. That’ll tide things over. Yeah.

Sadly this task was filmed too long ago to rip off “So You Think You Can Dance” but too recently for anyone to remember Only Fools On Horses (imagine Susan on horseback…) so…let’s go with The Restaurant. Teams have to start their own fast-food restaurant. That’ll do. After a heart-breaking scene where Natasha tries to make herself the new Debrabarr by making everyone a pre-Interviews Redemption Arc Breakfast-In-Bed, for a round of interviews that never ultimately happen, teams are told of the task, and also that they will be judged entirely on subjective criteria. The subjective criteria being “no, really, it was quite funny that Natasha Scribbins has made it this far, like Michael Sophocles, but we’re not having her in the final”. No team shuffle, which means that Tom has now been Logic 4 Life. How ironic.

Jim is PM for Venture, despite Natasha having a degree in International Hospitality. To be fair, I always assumed “International Hospitality” was a euphemism for something far more exciting and sexual than “restaurants and hotels and stuff”. He comes up with a Mexican theme, because this is Susan’s favourite food type, and this means he has TWO people he can arbitrarily blame everything on. Their restaurant is a complete mess – unappealing decor, cold, rancid looking food, no business plan, crazy waitresses, signage that’s an explosion in an apostrophe farm, and an angry Spicy Latina running the kitchen who hates Jim. To be fair, the last thing is actually amazing and would actually make me visit, but it probably doesn’t speak well of him to have such a fractious relationship with his kitchen staff.

Meanwhile Helen is PM for Logic, which in my opinion should get Tom fired right there on the spot, but apparently we don’t do things like that. Even though we should. In contrast to Team Venture, their restaurant works a treat. They go for pies as their product, and Helen makes sure that quality is at a premium, as well as vaguely rude sounding catchphrases about people munching on her beefy pie. The decor of their restaurant is horribly Union-Jacked, like a cross between a BNP leaflet and a British Airways, but service is efficient and the food tastes nice and some fluffy giggling from Helen and awkward flummery about cold pies from Tom aside, their pitch goes fine.

(Sidebar : I’m a bit of a quiz buff, and usually early to pub dates, which has resulted in a lot of quiz machine experience in my life. One time I got a machine that was wired wrong, and constantly told me I was wrong when I wasn’t. Fenella Fielding was in Carry On Henry, Marc Almond was in Bronski Beat, the capital of Michigan was Detroit. It was INCREDIBLY frustrating, and for a five minute burst of this episode I relived the experience in intense Nam Flashback detail. The General Knowledge of these people is POOR yo)

Anyway, for once, the editing isn’t a fake-out (except for how it’s a long game fake-out for when Susan wins the final), and Logic win, and get a treat of getting to be in the final. Susan, Natasha and Jim get to exorcise all their demons, like how Susan and Natasha randomly hate one-another, and how Natasha believes she is the only one who can see through Natasha, and how Susan looks down on everyone else for not owning their own business like what she does. So exorcised, Natasha is sent on her merry way.

But who will cook the finallists their pre-interviews breakfast now? *sniff* *yeah?*

Come on Lord Sugar, LET’S GO!

So, Monkies voting then. As tradition, they go up after episode 11, and you have two weeks to vote. Sadly, thanks to SCHEDULING MADNESS, the poll for Incidental Character Boyfriend is delayed until after the final Task Recap goes up this weekend. Try and hold your match-making fingers til then.

As usual, options will be slowly cut away as time goes on.

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22 thoughts on “The Apprentice 7 – Week 11 Summary

  1. Tim

    Well, that was the longest firing ever, as Sugar bins Natasha for being hopeless on last week’s task (and just plain invisible on this one).

    Loved the way Susan thinks she is full of original ideas … like sombreros. I know Sugar and Nick have a soft spot for her and she’s a good seller, but God bless her she is so naive and ignorant of the world in general. (“What does El mean?”)

    It’s still Tom all the way for me. Anyone who can turn his dyslexia into an advantage and come up with something as wacky (and really quite good) as MyPy is alright by me.

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/07/14/the-apprentice-fast-food-as-easy-as-pie-or-chilli-con-carnage/

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      Surely the five weeks leading up to Edna going were the longest firing in the show’s history?

      Reply
  2. kate h

    Ladies and gentlemen… in the blue corner: Captain Calculator and Ms. Margins! In the red corner: faux-Mexicans who “don’ need no steenkin’ business plan!” What could possiblie go wrong?

    Did anyone else think that Jim in a hat looked like he’d mutated into a weird half-grasshopper creature? The Apprentice does Kafka!

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      There was some very suspect restyling going on with both male contestants this episode I thought. Maybe they raided Melody’s make-up bag (/wardrobe) after she got fired.

      Reply
  3. Neio

    Is it me, or was this episode liberally scattered with Incidental Character Boyfriend candidates? There were Tom and Helen’s two hot helpers, Tom and Helen’s design guy, and, if you’re into that kind of thing, even those two rough, builder-looking guys who were enjoying Helen’s meaty pie.

    I also kind of loved Jim’s psycho lady chef. I was a little disappointed she didn’t chase anyone out of the kitchen holding a meat cleaver. Preferably Natasha.

    Jim can dish it out in the boardroom, but he certainly can’t take it can he? Nice one Susan!

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I loved how they had that really VICIOUS cab snit, but still had time to put together the comedy “JIM’S FIRED ohwaitNOHEISNT!” skit for Helen and Tom.

      Reply
      1. Ferny

        I liked that bit too, they are most strange. I bet it was Jim’s idea though, what a larf.

  4. Neio

    You’re right, there was a definite The Restaurant feel to things this episode (they even had Sarah whatshername on You’re Fired again). As bad as Caraca’s was though, it still wasn’t as bad as the “winkers” who won the last series of The Restaurant. I still can’t believe that happened.

    Reply
  5. Lollykitty

    I’ve been dying to expound my ‘Tom not being PM enough theory’ so here goes!

    I think he was waiting the ‘design a product’ task that never materialised, as instead of product we had biscuits. It would have been really interesting to see what he could have done on that task; what, if any product he’d’ve come up with on the hop, how he would have managed the taking it to market section, managing others etc. He did come up with a good idea with the ‘biscuit within a biscuit’ schtick, but failed to grasp the luxury concept which seemed to be the key failing. (That, and the role play of doom/joy.) I got the feeling he was just biding his time with PM’ing so that he didn’t volunteer the week before this task came up.

    On this final task, it was clear Helen had the most relevant experience, and as there was only two of them they’d be doing more or less equal amounts anyway, so it possibly made no difference. Given how much criticism Natasha got for not using her degree in First Aid (or whatever) on the task, I think he did make the right call.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I think gambling on a “product design” task that specific would be dicey though, especially as Series 6 hadn’t aired when they were filming this one. In the first 5 series a really specific “design any product you like to fill this medium-sized niche” only really came up twice – the Pet Product one from 3, and the Fitness one from 5. And really my problem is 50% “never PM” and 50% “never takes responsibility or has any specific role that can be pinned to him”.

      I did get a good laugh from an interview I read with Caveman McQueen where he slagged Tom for waiting til Task 8 to PM. Because obviously waiting til Task 7 is SO MUCH BETTER.

      Reply
  6. FuTeffla

    I’m quite upset that none of them put their now-expert understanding of the French to good use. What about a French restaurant with pictures of smiling French children on the walls, little booster seat/rucksacks to sit on, and a mini-Metro carrying all the dishes around like the conveyor belt in a sushi bar? Call me, Lord Sugar, I have many excellent business ideas to share.

    Reply
  7. Blackcanary

    Natasha got fired and Tom wore a selection of flattering casual wear. I’m not sure I can ask for anything more from an episode.

    I’ve tried to like Helen, I really have, but she is one cold fish. Snide too.

    And the history buff in me was so very appalled by Christopher Columbus the adopted Brit I spilled wine all over the rug and my flatmate. OH TOM. OH HELEN FOR NOT KNOWING EITHER!

    I genuinely have no idea who’s going to win – think anyone apart from Jim is in with a chance.

    Reply
    1. kate h

      At least Tom and Helen managed to keep their geographical/historical errors confined to THE RIGHT EFFING CONTINENT, which is more than can be said for “Caraca’s”.

      Reply
      1. Blackcanary

        OH GOD AT THAT ERRONEOUS PUNCTUATION! WHO THE HELL IS CARACA?! Yeah, you’re right, that was even worse.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I think I’m currently at :

      1) Susan
      2) Tom
      3) Helen
      4) Tom & Helen somehow
      5) Jim

      in order of likeliness. I do think Tom and Susan are the obvious Final Two, as Lordalan has I think been obviously keeping them apart for a while now to compare them, which is what he normally does with his Final Two when he’s worked out who they are. We shall see.

      Reply
      1. Blackcanary

        Huh, I hadn’t thought of it like that (separating Tom and Suzie). You could be spot on. I’m going to go for…Tom and Helen as final two though. Watch me be completely wrong!

        Susan seems like the happy medium to me – pretty good task record AND own business. But then again, she is bloody annoying…and as LAS pointed out her inability to get along with people, I feel that her card may be marked.

      2. monkseal Post author

        To be fair, didn’t everyone hate Stella by the end of last series? I’m also joyously reminded of the post S3 Your’e Hired when all the ex-candidates sat up in the rafters, pretty much spitting right down onto Simon as he walked out (Jadine’s Sunglasses Of Truth <3)

  8. min

    Loved Lordalan’s death stare to Jim after the ‘quip’ about not paying for his vomit-in-a-box.

    You just know that both of them were serious and if Jim’s chances weren’t scuppered already, that’s were it happened. 🙂

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I was really hoping for Natasha to go “no Jim, he HAS paid, what are you on about, sorry Lordalan yeah?”

      Reply

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