Baby, baby, baby, oooh. Like, baby, baby, baby nooooo. It’s like poetry.
6:30am, and the mornings are getting earlier at Junior Apprentice Mansions and Pottery Barn. Hayley is the one answering the phone this week, and she is dressed, but has not yet started twisting her hair into whichever form it will take this week. I am guessing Angel Falls or a dinosaur. The cars will be arriving in 20 minutes to ferry the kids to Madame Tussauds, now that Louis Tussauds has closed down forever. So sad. I guess this show is to The Apprentice what waxworks are to actual celebrities, so it makes more sense than packing off to Wembley to talk about deodorant.
Hayley rushes off to tell everyone that they’re going to Madame Tussauds in 20 minutes! What a shame that Lewis isn’t still here, he would have been amazed at the witchcraft and asked the master Waxeteers to make a wax vessel for his soul so that he may inhabit it after he dies. They still have these superstitions where he was from – eg NotLondon. Instead we just get James’ hair poking up truculently out of his duvet and Harry 1 stumbling around in his dressing gown moaning “ARGH BLARGH!”. Boys told, Hayley attends to the next most important item of business, as she solemnly informs the girls that “hair straighteners are on”. Thank CHRIST for that. (When you have 18 minutes or so from bed to door to get ready, do you really have time to use hair straighteners? Is this how girls prioritise, above hygiene and nourishment and finding socks that match? Oh women, I will never understand you, and thank God I don’t have to)
Anyway, everyone has something to prove, says Helpful Voiceover Man, particularly Harry 1, who has not yet won a task. Hayley applies moisturizer about worries about Mr Maxwell and how he really has to make sure he aces this task otherwise he’ll be going home, and Haya grizzles into her polo shirt that she’s never seen someone survive week after week like Harry 1 has. Indeed, if Harry 1 (SPOILERS) survives this week he will surpass the all-time Apprentice record for consecutive losses, which is currently held by Tom Pellereau and Katie Hopkins. What exalted company. Harry 1 meanwhile, ears burning, just stands staring at himself in the mirror in his dressing gown with the lights off. Which is kind of scary.
The kids decamp to the Apprenticars, and Zara’s not going to be thanking any of the camera-people for the angled shot of her arse they get as she enters. I’m guessing someone made disparaging comments about the quality of cinematography on the show during the advert task… In Generic Apprenticar A, Harry 1 reveals that he’s breaking out the big guns – HIS LUCKY TIE. It’s mustard coloured. Quite. Lizzie tells him no matter what he does he’s just a bad-luck charm. Remember when Melody tried to make out the Logic name was cursed by voodoo or something, rather than pointing out the obvious fact that none of the men cast for Series 7 could tie their own shoes? Ah, happy days.
The teams arrive, and wander in past Geoffrey Rush and Justin Timberlake. And what a version of The King’s Speech that would have been. The king would have announced the onset of World War 2 and conquered his stutter by making full use of a beatbox break. The teams stalk past Nicole Kidman, Robbie Williams, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson, before coming to rest near my old English teacher Mr Appleby. I think it’s supposed to be Pavarotti. Lordalan, of course, makes his entrance via such company as Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin and the Midget King of France. Not that he’s suggesting anything of course. He’s definitely not going to run for election on a ticket of Kaen Brady as his Vice-Secretary of PARTYING DOWN.
He welcomes the teams and tells them that they;er in Madame Tussauds, famous for being an over-priced tourist tra…I mean for its waxwork models. He tells them they’ve remained succesful by keeping up to date. This is illustrated with a shot of David Cameron looking, if anything, less waxy and more life-like than the real thing. Every last detail has to be exact, which is why they use naff props. And the task this week? Help them find those naff props. THAT’S RIGHT KIDS, YOU’RE DOING THE TORTUOUS PENALTIES TASK! WOO! Otherwise known as “10 Items”. Each item will correspond to a different Tussauds celebrity. They’ve got 10 hours, and remember, your props have got to look the part, but not cost the earth, as they’re not going to be used by actual people, except when the dummies come to life every midnight and have a dance party to the Ghostbusters theme tune. BOB MARLEY AINT FRAID OF NO GHOST!
Whoever spends the least wins, and oh, guess what, we’re team shuffling again. Lizzie is no longer Generic, as she and Harry 1 are moving over to the Sugababes, and Harry 2 and Haya are becoming Generic, and leaving their Sugababes/Atomic Kitten days behind them. Why they didn’t just move James, Hayley and Zara I don’t know. I bet Lordalan’s crap at Peg Solitaire. Teams are now James, Haya and Harry 2 vs Hayley, Zara, Lizzie and Harry 1. Just in case you’d lost track there.
First items of business? Pick a Project Manager, in a Madame Tussauds backroom. Lizzie and Harry 1 ascertain that nobody else wants to do it, even though it is totally Hayley’s turn, a fact which she dodges by sitting there twisting her mouth up to Harry 1 proportions, so they “put themselves forward” to a vote of the other two, and we all know how that has to end right? Would anyone ever vote themselves into a position to bed led by Harry 1?
Meanwhile, next to a tiny waxwork model of lots of hands and fingers clasping at one another that FREAKS ME THE EFF OUT, Harry 2 and Haya are having the following conversation :
Harry 2 : I want to give the impression of being willing to be Project Manager, without ACTUALLY having to do it. Are you both on board with that?
Haya : I really wanted to do it! But you sound really keen so…
Harry 2 : Were you not listening? Can we just agree that I would be the best Project Manager, because I am generally the best, but that have you do it because you’re from London and I haven’t been to London since…the incident…
Haya : Wait, I’m confused, what’s a Project Manager again?
James : I’m confused also, but holding off on spending PRECIOUS MONEY for as long as possible suits me fine, so you two carry on.
Harry 2 : Jesus Christ, but I am working with amateurs here…
Haya : Do you actually want to be Project Manager or not? I don’t understand the subtleties of human interaction at all you see….
Harry 2 : NO! NOW PLEASE CAN WE GET ON WITH THIS TASK, YOU ARE WASTING TIME.
Haya : OK…erm…I’ll do it then? You down James?
James : Sure, whatever. By my count we now have five minutes left to do the task. Anyone want Dominos?
Not getting bogged down in mind-games meanwhile are the Sugababes, who are ringing round looking for deals. Hayley is sourcing a mint-condition left-handed guitar (for Jimi Hendrix, although this is not specified), and Harry 1 is ringing round looking for a three-piece suit for Justin Bieber. That he just asks for a suit, and doesn’t specifically say, nay shout, “I NEED A THREE-PIECE SUIT FOR JUSTIN BIEBER AND I NEED IT NOW!” means that I automatically want him to lose again. How can you not? It’s like passing up the opportunity to say “FOLLOW THAT TAXI!”.
Anyway, Harry 1 ascertains that Justin Bieber’s dimensions are that of a child, not an adult, but ploughs on regardless. Lizzie suggests that he might want to look at children’s tailors, but he just twitches at her in disapproval. Having tried, Lizzie passes over researching a vanity case (for who, I can’t make out) and starts ringing round looking for 100 helium filled balloons (I’m guessing for Nena, with one spare in case of emergencies).
Back with Generic now, and Haya is reeling off a long list of all the places in London that she knows about, and she’s plotting out her days shopping on a map. That the map refers to “Kensigton (sic) and Chelsea” does not fill me with hope. That statue that looks like the top of an abortion clinic fetus bin is still there, so I’m finding it hard to concentrate. No wonder they got out so quickly, is what I’m saying. She’s decided that she’s getting the vanity case, the moustache comb (for Poirot?), and…oooh, maybe the guitar? Maybe she could go to Camden. That is a place in London that she knows. James suggests that maybe they could go to the cheapest places rather than just where Haya’s mates live, but the sentence isn’t even out before Haya snaps “JAMES! YOU WANT, YOU WANT, YOU WANT BUT YOU’RE NOT SUGGESTING ANYTHING!”
Yeah, her PM skills are as stirling as they were last time aren’t they?
Every Generic piles out of Madame Tussauds, as keen as they possibly can be for Haya to stop with the talking already. They’ve decided they’re going to walk around and hope they just happen to bump into a three-piece suit for Justin Bieber. Good luck with that! The teams are split with James being stuck with Haya, whilst Harry 2 goes off on his own. In Generic Apprentice A, Haya and James both just sit staring out the windows like trapped labradors hoping they strike it lucky. This is…not the best plan in the history of this task is it? From his Apprenticar, Harry 2 wants to ask Haya if, as a Londoner (not that he’s harping on this point in case they lose or anything) if she knows where he might find a cheap suit? She suggests Shepherd’s Bush.
Meanwhile, the Sugababes are still trying to source items, specifically a “dashiki”. Harry 1 wants to know if anybody knows what one is, and everyone else says that they don’t. Hayley thinks it sounds a bit Indian, and Harry 1 suggests that they ring up Harrods. Oh Harry 1, that’s your answer to everything. He does so, his voice cracking the whole time, aware that he is in the presence of his God. They don’t have a clue.
11am, and Haya and James are hitting up Portabello Market. Haya has decided that they are going to find their vanity case and moustache comb here, as well as a pocket-watch (for,I dunno,somebody Victorian or something.) and size 10 shoes…for a lady (Dame Edna? I’d google “women with size 10 feet” but I’m a bit scared about the world I’d uncover doing so). They have limited success, and Kaen points out that Haya’s strategy of walking around randomly is doomed to failure. “There’s no structure, there’s no strategy, it’s absolutely crazy!”. Thanks Kaen. You can go back to sleep now for the next three episodes.
Harry 2 meanwhile is having better look. Whilst driving along he’s spotted a furniture shop. And one of their items is a stool! (For Westlife?). He rings up Haya to ask if he should look in there (/smug all over her that he’s found an item and she hasn’t) and gets the nod. He goes in and, after some sharp negotiation including one of my favourite bits of negotiation ever (“It’s going in Madame Tussauds! This stool will be giving thousands of people entertainment every day!”), he gets his £50 stool for £23. He interviews that he’s very pleased, because he knows he’s not a natural charmer (I’m so sure) but he can definitely haggle. He thinks.
The Sugababes meanwhile, are still ringing round, this time looking for the pocket-watch. Harry 1 suggests a jewellers, and Lizzie suggests a pawnshop. Hayley agrees with the latter, and Zara locates a shop in Croydon that claims to have plenty. Lizzie is clearly quite keen to wrap up and get moving at this point, so starts to divvy up the items for collection. Harry 1 on the other hand wants to try one more fruitless phone-call to an adult tailor for a child’s suit, and just talks right over the top of her. She chides him once he’s finished for being rude. Harry 1 accepts this telling-off, awkwardly, as ever.
Helpful Voiceover tells that this two hours of ringing round has sourced the location of four of the items. That’s not…great is it? Anyway, Zara and Hayley are off to Croydon (by way of Brighton by the sounds of their map-reading), and Harry 1 and Lizzie are off to locate any pre-teen girl Belieber they can to nick a suit from their shrine to him. Probably hand-sewn. Out of their own hair.
James & Haya meanwhile are rolling up to Tin Pan Alley, following a lead they’ve got on a left-handed guitar. Haya holds a brief negotiating conference outside the shop, telling James that they need to start low and follow a structure and agree with one another and also say they’re on a tight budget and maybe make up a story about why they need the guitar and also James needs to stand up straight and sort his hair out and why haven’t you got a girlfriend James I think a girlfriend would be really good for you actually sort you out and that and make you a bit more focussed unless you’re gay obviously you don’t seem gay but you never know and there’s nothing wrong with that and in which case a boyfriend would also probably do you quite well?
In the shop Haya leads negotiations for a left-handed “electrical guitar” which is for her brother’s birthday party. I think someone is drawing inspiration from the AMAZING 10 Items task force that was Bates & Baggs – Master Bullshitters. James sniffs out the cheapest left-handed guitar in the shop (£99) and Haya mithers at him some nonsense about not being able to get the balloons if they spend £99 on a guitar, and the guy in charge of the shop drawls at them in a thick American accent that they won’t NEED balloons when they’ve got their left-handed guitar DUDE. He scares me a little. James and Haya run away.
To another shop, where the owner suggests taking a right handed-guitar, flipping it backwards, and re-stringing it. God, what kind of lame-wad would do that? Haya protests that they CAN’T HAVE THAT now, can they James? The owner protests that that’s what Hendrix did, and Haya asks “who?”. The shop owner swallows so hard that he almost chokes on his own epiglotis. Finally they meet more success in their third source, mostly thanks to James, and get a guitar offered for £99 for a knock-down price of £88. Kaen coos outside that Haya and particularly James did really well negotiating for the guitar, with James knocking individual pounds of at the end there. Which is all for the best, because we all know that this task can come down to a matter of pounds. Or in the case of Series 3, pence.
Although (SPOILERS) not this time Kaen…
James : Where are we going next?
Haya : Pocket-watch!
James : Have you tracked down a store that sells it?
Haya : No.
Says it all really doesn’t it?
12:30pm and Lizzie is picking up her 100 balloons from a party shop in West London for £60, a £10 discount off the original price, which Lizzie gets for pointing out that she’s buying in bulk and muttering vaguely and darkly about how she’s got other quotes. Helpful Voiceover Man gushes about how Lizzie got this negotiation with 10 seconds negotiation whilst Harry 1 goons about with the balloons. What a shame that 10 seconds negotiation appears to be about her limit before she starts to get tired. Nick smiles in interview that this is a great start for Lizzie, and all those hours of preparation she indulged in are really paying off. Yeah, woo, 5 hours left and they’ve got one item, probably the easiest to source, and half the team are currently driving for 2 hours to get one of the next easiest.
1pm now, and Haya is DETERMINED to find out what a Dushku is. She played Faith in Buffy Haya. There. Now get back to the task. James points out to her that she’s prounouncing it incorrectly and she splutters that she’s TRYING. I get not knowing what a dashiki is, but…it’s not that hard to pronounce is it? Anyway, Haya has, just like Hayley, decided that it’s got to be something Indian. James thinks it might be African. As usual these days, James is right, but ignored, as Haya rings up a place offering Indian Head Massages. I appreciate Haya’s UTTER ABANDON in her willingness to ask literally every possible source, but a bit of intelligence behind the hunt wouldn’t go amiss. She carries on pronouncing “dashiki” incorrectly in every possible fashion, and oddly enough gets no results.
Lizzie and Harry 1 meanwhile, have arrived at an industrial warehouse and buying our final identified item – 40 metres of red carpet (for Lordalan himself obviously. SUCH A STAR). Harry 1 gets quoted an initial price of £576, but Harry 1 mugs that it’s for a FAMILY EVENT! And he’s got a really rich family who’d definitely come and refurbish their entire mansion using stock off-cuts from this industrial warehouse HONEST. This, and Lizzie going “oh, go on!” gets the price down to £480. I find it kind of depressing that Harry 1 has found another sales niche and it is in fact “my family have a really big house”. Outside Lizzie sincerely congratulates Harry 1 on a job well done. Firm and willing to offer praise where it’s due, I think Lizzie is probably the first person to manage Harry 1 properly. So far. I’m not at all saying this because she’s been my winner pick from Week 1 and I am NOT LETTING MY TEETH OUT OF THAT PREDICTION no matter how hard she’s tanking this task.
Harry 2? In Shepherd’s Bush Market, managing himself quite successfully, and picking up the balloons. James tells him down the phone they got a quote of £95 but DON’T GO FOR THAT. Haya yells to aim for £70. Harry 2 meanwhile is trying but has come up against a very hard-nosed shop-owner who only gives him a £5 discount despite some really forceful negotiation on his part. He rings Haya back and tells her his sad story, and she is mildly outraged. Harry 2 protests that it’s the best that he could do, as James drones “that’s too much!” down the phone. Maybe you should have got a better quote then?
2pm now, and Hayley and Zara are still inching their way slowly towards Croydon. At least they’re not wasting time, as they too are pondering the mystery of the dashiki. Zara wants to make a wild guess that it’s “some kind of Oriental accessory or clothingwear”. Mmm, clothingwear. My favourite kind. So practical. (I love that Zara and Harry 1 are simultaneously the most skilled with language and the most haphazard). Zara rings around some places, with no success. In desperation she rings Lizzie for suggestions, and Harry 1 suggests that she ring a big library, and see if they could search their catalogues for one. Zara does so, and comes up with no results. She then twigs and just asks if they can look in a dictionary already. They do so, and tell her that a dashiki is a West African shirt.
I think between them Harry 1 and Zara just broke the 10 items task forever. Or at least the part where it involves looking up an obscure exotic item (/cloche). I bet next series to circumvent this Lordalan decides the teams aren’t allowed to use phones. It’s a perfectly valid business task! Nobody said it would be easy! Also they have to wear cut-out Margaret Mountford tasks throughout and transport themselves via Penny-Farthing.
Generic meanwhile are having less success, with Harry 2 being tasked with trying to find out what a dashiki is, probably inspired by his experience spend that entire week running up to Christmas trying to work out what a Gigapal was. For Jessica. *sniff* He gets a bum lead that it’s an Arabic dress from a market-stall holder, and rings Haya back excitedly to let her know. Haya protests that this cannot be true, because she is Arabic, and she has never heard of it. Harry says that’s cool and all but…he’s off to do something else now BYEEEEEEE! James makes fun of Haya for not knowing her own culture, like he’s WELL-UP on all the Irish fashions.
3pm, and Zara and Hayley have FINALLY arrived at their specialist gold shop(!!) in Croydon, and are poreing over a selection of valuable looking watches. One price offered to them is £1400 pounds. It seems…unlikely that Lordalan would let adults loose to spend that amount of his BLAHDDY MAHNNY, let alone kids. Zara rings Lizzie back to let her know that the prices are awfully high – up to £1000. Lizzie asks them if they tried pawnbrokers instead, like she suggested, and Zara says no, this is the only place in London that sells pocket-watches, this one shop, 2 hours away from where they started. Lizzie huffs that them that she thinks they should have found a cheaper shop, and Hayley protests that the pocket-watch is REAL GOLD! Lizzie points out that this was not, in fact, at any point, a specification that was given to them. Have they got any other items? Zara, four hours into the task, says no, they have not. BUT THEY DEFINITELY WILL LATER, HONEST! Lizzie just tells them to get a sodding watch, any sodding watch, and get a move on.
Zara goes back in, picks the tattiest pocket-watch she can see, points out that it’s really tatty and asks if she can get a discount due to its crappy quality? She can, and she gets the 9-carat-gold £169 pocket-watch for £145.
Off the phone, Lizzie asks Harry 1 what the suit situation is. Harry 1 merely offers up a grandiloquent shrug. He can’t find anywhere that offers a suit with those dimensions. Lizzie suggests that they go to a market and pick one up there, and Harry 1 protests that he’s not going into a market, not without a face-mask, and besides can you even get a suit at a market? Couldn’t they just go to Jermyn Street instead? Please? They could get a suit for only £200! Lizzie points out that for a person that’d be fine, but they’re buying for Justin Bieber! And a waxwork at that! Who puts a £200 suit on a dummy (apart from Louis Walsh’s stylist that is A HA HA HA HA!)? They should definitely go to a marker.
Harry 1 : I’ve never been to a market where you could get a suit!
Lizzie : Have you ever been to a market?
Harry 1 : *silence*
Sadly at this point Lizzie’s grip on Harry 1 slackens, and she agrees to go to Jermyn Street, as they’re heading vaguely in that direction anyway. Oh Lizzie…
They arrive in Jermyn Street, and Harry 1 is told for the BILLIONTH time that they’re not going to get a Bieber sized suit in a regular men’s shop. They NEED TO GO TO A CHILD’S TAILOR. Of course, now it’s posh people saying it, it finally sinks in. Still after three goes by three separate tailors, and the last one has to hammer it in like he’s murdering Dracula, but we finally get there. Lizzie interviews that she told Harry 1 to look for children’s tailors, and she’s now been vindicated, and it’s just a sign of how rubbish Harry 1 is at listening to other human beings. Don’t worry Lizzie, it hasn’t taken 6 weeks for the rest of us to work that out.
Speaking of which, Haya has located an antiques shop, and she and James are in the process of buying their pocket-watch (£40) and vanity-case (£30). James grabs the pocket-watch via a process of charm and gouging, and Haya gay-flirts her way into the very camp owners heart by saying that she just LOVES his necklace and that he’s such a special person, and doesn’t he think she and James are very special as well *giggle giggle*. It’s impressive work, both in terms of finding exactly the right sort of shop to buy from, the exact right sort of camera-loving semi-narcissist to point a film crew at, hard negotiating, and SHAMELESS buttering up. If you’d told me in Week 1 that the combination that was going to OWN the “10 Items” task was going to be Haya and James I would frankly have boggled at you in disbelief.
Outside Haya giggles about what a totally fake ham she was in there. She did NOT like that man’s necklace she can ASSURE you of that. But you know, not as amazingly.
Still in Croydon, Zara is having a meltdown, with three hours left to find four items, and no idea where to get them. She asks Hayley where their best guitar source is, and Hayley replies that it’s miles away. You’re in CROYDON, everything’s miles away. Zara wonders where they could go in Croydon to get the guitar. Hayley suggests Argos and Zara very quickly shakes her head and darkly says “we can’t go in Argos”. I’m not sure if she’s being a snob, or if she’s discerned that it’s probably not a good idea to be hunting for specialist musical equipment in an Argos, or she is genuinely BANNED FROM ARGOS FOR LIFE. Maybe she got drunk and did a stripper dance on the product conveyer belt one time, pretending she was in Sin City and getting her mates to all film her. WE’LL MAKE IT BLACK AND WHITE AND ARTY LATER! The SHAME when she woke up. Sin City?! Amateurish modernistic garbage…
Fortunately, this discussion is…taking place directly outside a guitar shop. As Hayley points out by going “oh my god Zara! GUITAR SHOP!” They enter, and Hayley asks if they have a left-handed electric guitar and the owner tells them they do. Hayley full on GASPS and practically starts squealing. Yeah, don’t look too desperate or anything Hayley. She and Zara frantically mutter about prices, and Hayley winds up buying a £130 guitar for £110. The owner tells her she can even keep the plectrum. After ringing up 5 bookshops, 4 South American menswear shops, 3 massage parlours, and Zara’s mum, they work out what a “plectrum” is, and accept the deal.
Harry 2 meanwhile, is still desperately trying to find a dashiki in Church Street Arabic market. Nobody has one. He talks with a woman from Sudan, who tells him that whatever a dashiki is, it’s not what Harry 2’s been told it is. Harry 2 rings Haya with this news, and she says that she KNEW IT, because did she mention that SHE’S Arabic and she’s never heard of one either. Harry 2 says that he KNOWS THAT HAYA IS ARABIC. All through this James is stood there apparently doing tic-tac. Lord knows why. Haya tells Harry 2 to forget the dashiki, and to try looking for the suit and shoes instead. Harry 2 asks Haya if she has the moustache comb and James honks that they haven’t. Could Harry 2 maybe look for that as well?
Just to point out, that leaves Haya and James just looking for the red carpet. Harry 2 protests at this totally unfair division of labour, and the team just descends into chaos, with everyone looking for everything. Sorry…”descends”/”remains, as they have been all day”. Haya wanders round, clasping her balloons, yelling “DO YOU DO SUITS? DO YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO DOES SUITS? SUITS SUITS SUITS SUITS! JAMES!”. Eventually her half of team find a child’s suit in a market, and pay £50 for it. James asks Haya if they shouldn’t ring Harry 2 and let him know they’ve found it. Haya says…no? For some reason. James does it anyway.
6pm and Harry 1 & Lizzie at this point are speeding through London, looking for the shoes, which it turns out are for Elle McPherson. Harry 1 spies a shoe shop, and Lizzie goes in and pitches a half-hearted attempt to knock £50 off in one go. The woman isn’t budging, and eventually Lizzie buys the shoes at the list price of £130. Harry 1 points out to her that they can’t do this, because they get a fine if they buy at the initial price offered (in yet another one of this tasks’ awful, pointless, hardly ever revealed rules designed to make the teams look stupid) and Lizzie protests that this is a shop and the woman has a set price and isn’t budging. Harry 1 points out that she’ll at least knock £1 off surely (ask Lucinda) but Lizzie wants to close the sale as quickly as possible and they leave. Nick interviews that THIS WILL SURELY BE A PENALTY, although what penalty that is will be at Lordalan’s discretion.
Well that just makes the rule even fairer!
6:30pm and both teams are on their way back to Madame Tussauds, mindful of the fine for lateness. Lizzie and Harry 1 make a last minute dash down ACTUAL SAVILLE ROW looking for boys tailors but everything’s shut (…probably luckily for them, price wise), Hayley and Zara buy a dashiki for an undisclosed sum (which later maths suggests is about £40), someone sources the red carpet off-camera by the looks of it, Haya is rooting around a newsagents for a dashiki (oddly enough, they don’t stock them), Lizzie slowly decompresses, Haya worries about having missed 3 items, panic, panic, panic.
All the candidates file into the atrium, and Harry 1 fiddles with his lucky tie. Oh Harry 1… Lizzie fiddles with her nail-polish, and Harry glares at James for some reason and this screws James down even further into his perch on the sofa. Sadly there’s no Gbemi any more to jam herself tightly into a corner and scowl at the floor. Cousin It? Ushers everyone in.
They sit, and Lordalan enters. Zara is fair gulping down water from the off.
We start with Lordalan finally, after 8 iterations of this task, admitting that the Internet is banned during it. As is “Google Earth”. Oh Lordalan. Teams had to make their way using a Yellow Pages apparently, which I think I saw Zara doing. Once. Otherwise it was up to their PURE INSTINCTS.
We start with Generic. Haya is identified as Project Manager and Lordalan asks if she put herself forward. She replies that she did, as did Harry 2. James breaks in to say that Harry 2 really only put himself forward for the sake of putting himself forward, and never actually intended to be Project Manager. HA! So true. So true that Harry 2 pulls his best “HOW DARE YOU!” face and scowls at James even harder. He definitely only withdrew because Haya knows London better than him Lordalan. No tactics involved at all! Kaen says that she doesn’t really think either of them wanted to do it, comparing it a game of Pass The Parcel that Haya lost, and James missed because he was too busy stuffing his face with Haribo and trying to negotiate with the party clown to become his agent.
Next up we cover Haya’s planning, in so much as none actually existed. Haya says that she gave everyone a rough idea of where they could find most stuff, using her amazing London knowledge. Lordalan asks if they sat down and made their phone-calls, sourced the items, then divided up the items equally been two sub-teams and plotted out on their map the best route to take based on these parameters? James says “no”, simply, pooching up his face like a cat who just ate a VERY tasty pigeon. He says they just ran around like headless chickens. Kaen points out that they’d planned out two vague areas to look for items and that was it, so far as planning went, and one of those areas was scouted out because it’s where Haya’s bomb-diggity cool grand-mother lives.
Oh, and they didn’t even know what some of the items were when they left. Haya grins sheepishly and says she still doesn’t know what a dashiki is, although frankly I think it’s triumph enough that she’s no longer pronouncing it “Dookiekushi”. Lordalan grins that it wasn’t supposed to be EASY! They weren’t just supposed to nip into Tesco Metro, pick up the 10 items then spent the next 6 hours playing Just Dance 3. He for instance, doesn’t know who Justin Bieber is (LIES!) but he would have found out. Haya protests that she asked loads of people but nobody knew. She’s going to guess it’s something to do with Indian culture.
Zara smirks her face off.
Lordalan tells them that the other team managed it, as if they didn’t just feel that smirk wash over them like a tidal wave of pink lumpy custard, and Harry 2 gives good “well done, you magnificent bastards!” face. Zara nods. And smirks.
Negotiation styles are covered next, and Haya says that she is very complimentary and charming, and James is very persistent and dogged. James honks in that he sure was, he got a big discount on the electric guitar, thank you. Harry 2’s fortuitous encounter with a stool and the 33% discount is also covered.
Finally we get round to “good team leader?” and even with the cushion of the entire preceding discussion James is struck dumb as a traumatised ‘Nam vet. It’s left up to Harry 2 to say that she was a crap sandwich and didn’t know what she was doing. Haya protests that Harry 2 and James were really difficult and spoke over one another, and James says that he thinks he ended up making most of the decisions for the team. That would explain how they won admittedly. Worst of all we cover how Haya told Harry 2 to buy a suit, then bought the suit herself, then DIDN’T WANT TO TELL HIM THAT SHE’D DONE IT. That goes beyond bad to pathological surely? Lordalan chides Haya for her general…crapness, really.
Lizzie is identified as being the Project Mutya for Sugababes next, and she outlines her process. She split her team into herself and Harry 1 (because he needed keeping an eye on) and another team of Hayley and Zara who could be trusted to be left on their own to drive for 2 hours for one item and spend almost four times as much as the opposing team. And she knows that Zara and Hayley really get on and would work well together. You can tell she was on the other team for the last task can’t you?
Zara praises Lizzie for her management, and says that they all took responsibility for sourcing one item each at the start of the day. Lizzie the balloons, herself the pocket watch, Harry 2 the suit, and Hayley the guitar. This took TWO WHOLE HOURS and resulted in one good lead, one over-priced lead on another planet, one lead that was subsequently abandoned, and God knows what Harry came up with. Great sourcing work there.
The dashiki is covered next, and Lizzie admits that their team also had problems initially working out what the damned thing was. Zara says that she rang round lots of shops and got no answer, so she hit upon the strategy of trying bookstores and asking them to look it up in a dictionary. Lordalan breaks in to ask Zara if she’s taking credit for finding it then, because Nick apparently told him it was down to Harry 1. Harry 1 recounts that he tried to ring Harrods and failed, and later in the day he suggested to Zara that she ring the library. Zara agrees with him that he did, and he told her to check the database, which she did, and it didn’t work, so she asked them to check their dictionary. Lordalan asks if that worked and she says it did, although she says that they’d tried a few dictionaries at that point. Lordalan says it was Harry’s idea then? Zara replies that it was his idea to try the library database…which didn’t work?
I don’t think Zara’s lying incidentally. I think she did ring bookshops asking them to check their dictionaries before Harry 1 suggested the library, because I’m fairly sure Hayley would be happy to call her out if she didn’t. On the other hand I think if she’d been a bit more generous in sharing the credit for a plan that was really a joint effort between her and Harry 1, the show wouldn’t be trying to make it look like she was.
Lordalan asks Zara to break the news to Generic regarding what a dashiki is, and she does so, not a little smugly.
Next up we cover the left-handed electric guitar, and Hayley recounts her heroic efforts to find one in Croydon, and the great discount she got, and Zara’s adventures in finding a pocket watch. Zara waffles on about how her source “wasn’t terribly high end” but they were offering pocket watches for up to £1700. It’s now Harry 2’s turn to return the smirk. So to speak. Zara brags that she eventually got one for £145, marked down from £169 and Haya tries her damndest not to burst out laughing there and then. Lordaln breaks the news to Zara that Haya and James got one for £40. OOPS.
Generic sourced 7 items, spent £721, and received £248 in fines, for a total spend of £969
Sugababes sourced 6 items, spent £963 and received a scadding great £518 in fines, for a total spend of £1481
a) Someone on Kinetic paid almost £100 less for the carpet than Harry 1 did
b) The list prices for the moustache comb, ladies shoes, and dashiki COMBINED were less than Lizzie spent on the shoes alone.
c) It’s kind of terrifying just how badly every single member of the Sugababes messed this task up
Generic are told their reward is to go and find a dashiki! LOL, NOT REALLY! Their prize is to dress up like they’re going to a cheap murder-mystery weekend and then get photographed. LOL, NOT REALLY! Oh, no, wait. Really. They depart and hug, disbelievingly that they just managed to win a task by a massive margin on a strategy of “*shrug*”. Back in the room Lordalan points out to the Sugababes that they just lost by over £500, which, you know…is just sad. They should go away and think about what they’ve done here today.
Reward time now, Chris Brown starts up on the soundtrack, and Harry 2, James, and Haya are promised they are about to enter a world of positively HOLLYWOOD glamour. They all get nuclear quantities of make-up applied, are poured into juvenile suits and made to pose like an M & S campaign. It’s a positive boon for Harry 2, as it actually make him look fully like the 16 year old he’s pretending to be. He should dress like this more often. Toc lose they do a group show like the Apprentice promo pics featuring Lordalan, Nick and Kaen. I would quite happily take these three as the next generation of the show. Harry’s obviously the Lordalan, James would be a fair more palatable misery-guts than Nick and well…it’s not as though Haya would be replacing much at this point is it?
Loser Cafe? Silence. Lizzie is drinking something the colour of urine, and I’ve no idea where that stands in the grand scheme of pre-Boardroom cursed drinks. She grins “we lost!” in an effort to get someone, anyone else to speak. She says that everyone has made a mistake today (oh Lizzie, at LEAST one) as Hayley sups lemonade and Zara settles for water (/vodka, neat). Harry 1 interviews outside that both Zara and Hayley messed up, as they bought two products that were WAY too expensive. The pocket watch I’ll give him, but given the MASSIVE margin of defeat, I don’t think the £22 they lost on the guitar was much beer at all.
Back in the room Zara says that if she knew that she could have got a pocket watch cheaper than OF COURSE she would have done. You’re the one who spent two whole hours sourcing the thing dear. She interviews that Lizzie was responsible because she was the Project Manager. Well that’s a creative line. Back in the room Lizzie protests that she done the only good leads, so it’s not her fault, and besides everyone else screwed up horribly as well. It wasn’t just her! Honest!
Outside Zara is probably starting to regret her boardroom outfit choice, although not as much as Hayley should probably regret the twee yellow heart necklace thing she wears everywhere. The only excuse frankly is if it is for a charity, and even then…not much. Harry twitches like he’s in Total Recall and has, sensibly, abandoned the lucky tie in favour of one…slightly less hideous. Lordalan summons them, and Cousin It ushers them back in to meet their fates.
We start with what went wrong with the task. That being that they only bought 6 items, Lizzie forgot to negotiate for the shoes (netting them their biggest fine), and they spent too much on the items they did buy. That just about covers it if you throw in the almost utterly wasted two hours they spent “sourcing”. Nick pipes up to defend Harry 1, saying that he voiced concerns about the shoes, and was ignored. Lizzie admits that she was in a complete panic at that point as it was almost the end of the day and they only had 4 items as far as she knew. Kaen snarks “it wasn’t a treasure hunt was it Lizzie? It was a negotiation task”. Oooooooooooooh *handbags*
Next we cover the watch debacle. Again. Zara has it driven home to her that she spent over £100 more than the other team and took a 2 hour trip to do so, when they didn’t even bother having to ring round for theirs. Zara says that she just did the best she could with the information available to her. Lizzie asks Zara if she looked around pawnshops like Lizzie suggested about 50 times, and Zara protests that she couldn’t find any. Lordalan asks where they were that she couldn’t find a pawnshop, and Zara replies “Croydon”. Lordalan asks what she was BLAHDDY doing in Croydon anyway? It’s MILES away. Zara claims it was the only place in London to stock a pocket-watch to the specifications requested that she could find. Lordalan points out that the specifications were “open-faced” and “mechanical”, and there’s a watch shop in every shopping parade in London, so, you know, she’s full of it. Zara then changes tack and says she only wanted to go to Croydon because she thought it would be cheaper. Nick calls this out as being utterly post-hoc, which it clearly is.
Guitar next, and again, why they’re quibbling over £22 out of a losing margin of £522 is beyond me, but they have justify firing Hayley for reasons beyond “who are you?”. Basically this guitar is Hayley’s “Vanity can”. Oh and it allowed Kaen to simper “did you find negotiating hard Hayley?” at her in a terrifyingly patronising manner so…hooray? Hayley says she loved negotiating actually, so there.
Next up, the suit. Harry 1 blusters that he phoned as many tailors as possible, and none of them had the dimensions specified. Lizzie cracks and snaps that she was telling him from THE VERY FIRST SECOND to ring up children’s tailors and he just didn’t bother. It wasn’t until Jermyn Street’s finest told him that the thought even entered his head. Harry 1, bless him, is very proud of himself for knowing where suits are sold in London, and Lordalan has to deflate his bubble a little and point out that…there are cheaper places you know. Like everywhere. Lizzie says that she wanted to go to a market, but Harry 1, being Project Manager, wouldn’t let her, and also sat on the phone to prevent her phoning a child’s tailors herself. Lordalan then points out that the other team got their suit from a market, and a SUPER tatty one at that.
Harry 1 protests that he didn’t think you could get a suit at a market, and Hayley smiles that she thinks Harry 1 was just thinking of all the places he’d go to get something. OOOH BURN. Not as good as Gbemi’s, but it’ll do.
Lordalan pulls out an “I’m confused” here (he’s not), because he doesn’t understand how the team were able to find a dashiki which is like a furrin word and everything, and then messed everything else up so horribly. A SUIT? HOW CAN THEY MESS UP A SUIT?! Lordalan asks Lizzie if she thinks she organised her troops properly, and Lizzie huffs that she thought she had at the time. (I don’t). Lordalan asks her who was responsible then and she that she thinks everyone is responsible, but if she had to bring back two people, it would be Hayley and Zara. At this, Hayley huffs that she thinks it’s “quite worrying” that Harry 1 has lost every single task, and Harry 1 huffs back that he has been a major contributor on every losing team he’s been on so there. Lizzie finishes by saying that Harry 1 has the odd good idea, but he’s mostly negative and uncontributive.
So there. Anyway, Harry 1 leaves back to the house, and we’re up for our first all-female boardroom. CAT-FIGHT AHOY, EH FELLAS?!
Candidates go out, Kaen says that Hayley’s a nice polite girl so she has to be fired, candidates come back in again.
We start with Lizzie being asked just who she thinks is most responsible for losing the task. Lizzie responds that if it’s about being a near-silent doormat who couldn’t negotiate then it’s Hayley, but if it’s about being an overbearing screw-up who got nearly everything wrong, then it’s Zara. It’s just so hard to choose!
Lordalan asks Zara if she has anything to say in her own defence, and she says that the big mistake that she made was going to completely the wrong place to get the watch, and she would just like to big herself up for having the humility to admit to that mistake. Everyone just drink in Zara’s nobility here. It’s so zesty! But! But! She did find the dashiki, and worked incredibly hard to do so, and that clawed back…ooh about £50 over the other team in the end, and that was ALL HER. Hayley points out that it was Harry’s idea to ring the library, and Zara is a big ideas-pinching credit-hog in general as well. SO THERE. Lizzie backs her up on this. Zara looks OUTRAGED. OUTRAGED.
Lordalan then asks Zara if Lizzie has any ideas ever, and Zara says that she was fine at the beginning of the day, and had a plan in place, it all fell apart by mid-afternoon and it turned into a great big scramble and she and Hayley had to take their own initiative. Lizzie asks her how it was a mess, and Zara cites how they were all the way out in Croydon and they still found two more items. Lizzie then says it was their idea to go all the way out there in the first place, which Hayley agrees with, and admits was a major mistake *cough* thatZaramade *cough*
Zara waffles some more about the lack of structure, and Lizzie pipes up that she was worried when he heard that Zara was so far out of range, but she was told over the phone that Zara had leads for all of her other items, so everything was fine. And then they came back with only 3 items. To be fair Lizzie, so did you. Zara further points out that, as Project Manager, Lizzie should have objected to them going that far out in the first place. Lizzie huffs that she had hoped that Zara had enough common sense to work out for herself not to go traipsing off into a different county but HEY HO.
Begging time now, and Hayley goes first. She says that she is a good negotiator, and she’s real and herself all the time and doesn’t have a SPLIT PERSONALITY, unlike Zara over there. She’s a big old snake who is nice on the task and really rude and aggressive in the boardroom. Zara then launches into a big ol speech about how the tasks are different from the boardroom and in the boardroom you play as an individual, and she hopes the other two realise is and are respectful enough of themselves to fight their corner. In the biopic she films of her life, this is going to be a MAJOR SCENE I can tell you with MUCH STRINGS on the soundtrack. Lordalan asks who should be fired – she says it should be Hayley, cause she’s a limp dishrag who’s done too little.
Hayley protests that she does not do too little, and Zara tells her that, well, that’s what everyone else thinks. Lizzie points out that the reason Hayley does so little is because she’s permanently stuck to overbearing blowhards like Zara (and Harry 1, let’s face it) and they stifle her. Zara protests that she is not responsible for what Hayley does. Only Hayley is responsible for what Hayley does. Which is true enough.
Lizzie asks who should be fired and she says Zara. Hayley agrees.
Lizzie gets the fire-teasing, because this whole task was SUCH a giant black hole of suck on the behalf of the entire team that she was managing, but at the end of the day it’s Hayley getting fired, for being a simp who hangs around in the background being polite and not really doing much. Hayley grins and says that she thanks Lordalan for this fantastic opportunity, and it’s terrifyingly insincere, as I find a lot of her politeness, which is why I’ve never quite got on board. Oh well. At least she handles the atrium business better than Gbemi did, getting giant hugs from Lizzie and Zara both, grinning throughout.
In her Taxi Of Shame she says that she thinks Lordalan made a mistake in firing her, but it’s her fault for not being aggressive enough in the boardroom, but really that’s not who she is, unlike that giant bitch Zara so hey ho *smiles politely*. BYE HAYLEY!
Back at the house and everyone’s convened on the patio for some reason. One of the art-pieces probably went mouldy or something. Harry 1 is giving out large to everyone about how Zara tried to take credit for the dashiki and Hayley was all like *puts on silly voice* “OH Lizzie that’s so unfair, Harry has lost every single task blah blah blah”. Harry 2 breaks in to say that he would have brought Harry 1 back, because he’s the weakest person out of that entire team. Harry 1 pulls a face indicating he has in fact just eaten a bee.
Lizzie and Zara return, and James makes sure to grind in to Zara extra hard that she paid £100 more than he did for a pocket-watch. Zara protests that she knows nothing about pocket-watches and anyone they ALL MADE MISTAKES and LET’S MOVE ON! Haya grants her wish and starts waffling about it being three girls vs three boys.
Next week : QUADRUPLE FIRING!