The Apprentice 8 – Episode 1

Byelyana!

And so it begins, as it always does, with 16 people strutting past the camera with their little rolly-suitcases, singing “Born This Way” in their heads and trying to look FIERCE. Oh, and making self-aggrandizing statements. Can’t be going without those.

DUANE!

This one (Duane) thinks that to be the best, you have to beat the best. That, or have a magic nail-file.

GABRIELLE!

This one (Gabrielle) says that when it comes to business, she is like an ANIMAL. Like, a gopher or something. Maybe one of the larger shrews. A bush baby? She intends to “literally roar” her way to the top. I hope she does actually mean that.

BILYANA!

This one (Bilyana) is apparently so mental that she has emptied out a carriage on the Circle Line by her very presence. Also she’s one of those people who leave magazines in the carriages when they finish with them, which frankly is an AUTOMATIC FIRING in my book already.

AZHAR!

This one (Azhar) claims that his friends call him “The Master Puppeteer”, because apparently his friends aren’t any less douchebags than he is. Blah blah I can manipulate people with my Derren Brown mind-powers blah blah.

KATIE!

This one (Katie) would call herself “The Blonde Assassin” because a) she doesn’t have any friends to do it for her and b) because she enjoys letting people under-estimate her and then DESTROYING THEM with her ASSASSIN POWERS. Which we’ll get to later in the episode because trust me, they’re TERRIFYING and they definitely exist.

BA-WOO!

This one (Maria) is a werewolf.

RICKY MARTIN!

This one (Ricky Martin) says that in business, he is “like a great white shark – right at the top of the food chain”. Unlike…you know…a human. He then, as a wrestler, unleashes the wrestling catchphrase that he’s borrowed from either Superstar Billy Graham, or Mark Jindrak depending on your vintage, and calls himself “The Reflection Of Perfection”, and then launches the eyebrow raise he’s

EYEBROW!

lifted from The Rock. I love how wrestlers steal from one another. I bet his Finishing Move is called the Freezing Cold Stunner or the Nuclear Legdrop or The Schmeeple’s Pelbow. (Oh yeah, wrestling jokes, I’ve got ’em)

JANE!

This one (Jane) claims to have a product that she and Lordalan can take international. Also her hair is full of secrets.

TOM!

This one (Tom) is probably the Fit One yes?

Also,

SUICIDE! DON'T DO IT!

he’s clearly considering it. DON’T DO IT TOM! DESPITE WHAT YOU MIGHT BE THINKING, YOU CAN ACTUALLY GET LOWER THAN THIS!

Everybody ready to strut?

WERK!

WERK!

And as for Lordalan? Well rest assured he still enjoys swearing, still is very much

So hirsute!

not going bald, and also still pissing all over London from a great height by the looks of it.

Week One begins with

LONDON!

ah London. The nation’s capital, soon-to-be Olympic Host and now officially home to more buildings that look like giant butt-plugs than ever before. Makes you proud doesn’t it? It’s 8am, and our intrepid band of entrepreneurs prepare for their first visit to the Boardroom.

JUMP!

Jane already looks like something that would suddenly appear in the back of shot in a mirror in a horror film, whilst Stephen for his part does a passable impersonation of something

Yeth mathter!

lugging back a sack of torsos back up to his master’s lair for him to perform unspeakable experiments on. Which I guess, in a way, he is. Gabrielle nervously drums her fingers, Michael (spiky hair, designed by Aardman) puffs up his throat repeatedly like a very hungry frog, and then it’s time for them to face the music/invariably awful opening speech. USHER THEM IN, WHOEVER’S MANNING THE DESK THESE DAYS!

Everyone enters, sits, and Maria demands that it be recognised that

Ba'woo!

as a werewolf, she is beyond gender (and apparently conventional make-up techniques) and she will sit where she bloody well likes.

Lordalan opens by hooting that lots of people ask him (they don’t) what he would be doing if he was the age of the Apprentice candidates. Apparently the answer is that he would be on their side of the table. I would imagine trying to look up their skirts, but now old age and BLAHDDY Sexual Arsement In The BLAHDDY Workplace legislation prevents it. Also he pretends that he’d be competing, like they are, to win this amazing opportunity. It’s not about a job anymore (was it ever?), this is about finding a PARTNER!

Kissy kissy!

Wait, have I accidentally stumbled into the second series of The Bachelor? Is Lordalan about to take them all on a bunch of exciting and romantic dates zip-lining and making pasta in order to determine which of them is his ultimate bisexual love-m…oh no, wait, he means business partner. He wants a Marks to his Spencer, a Kate to his William, a Leopold to his Loeb, a Lennon to his Mark Chapman, a Testicle to his Scrotum, a Pigeon to his Conservatory Window. Ricky Martin meanwhile, looks like he’s

MMMMM

still very much stuck on that first option for what this show even means anymore, and isn’t too sad about it. Give him your rose, Lordalan!

Lordalan reiterates his resolve to give one of these people £250,000 in order to start a business, for them to be all entrepreneurial with and stuff. He then informs them all that they’re all very lucky that he’s not in fact that side of the table, because if he was a contestant on The Apprentice, he’d definitely win(/get disqualified in Week Four for getting in a fist-fight with Nick Hewer for looking at him funny). We then get my own personal favourite part of the opening speech this year, which is Lordalan telling them all that he’s looked at all their business plans and they all are great and he definitely would have thrown out any shit ones before now definitely.

NOT LIKE LAST SERIES THEN, EH?

Neva 4get

He finishes by telling everyone that they need to stand up and show Lordalan what they’re made of. There’s definitely no room for passengers this year, oh no. So what shall we do to shake things up? How about a street sales task, boys vs girls. YEAH, THAT’S THE CAT WELL AND TRULY RIPPING THE THROATS OUT THOSE BLAHDDY PIGEONS ISN’T IT? The items being sold this year are “blank things with stuff printed on them, like I don’t know, mouse-mats and shit”. The whole thing is so exciting that both

LOOK AT THEM GO!

Nick and Kaen are too busy looking through the window watching two dogs having sex in the car-park to bother listening. Although that might just be Kaen being in her usual semi-comatose state. In a vain attempt to keep her awake, she will be following the men around, whilst Nick is stuck with the Week One Women, which is always fun and never at all like trying to pick out the individual voices of Vanilla from the screeching “Muh Na Muh Na” of it all. Winners will win, losers will lose, and someone…

ASSASSIN!

WILL GET ASSASSININGED!

Oh and one more thing, if you lurk in the background on this task and your team lose, you will VERY DEFINITELY BE FIRED. WE’RE NOT PLAYING WHERE’S WALLY? HERE! More’s the pity. I can envision big fights over who gets stuck looking for Woof. Oh and one more one more thing

lolsweaty

LOL MICHAEL, YOU ARE SWEATING LIKE A PAEDO AT A ONE DIRECTION CONCERT LOL. Or words to that effect. God bless Lordalan, some people take that bully-role to their graves with them.

Everyone decamps to the Apprenticars, and Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that today will be spent buying raw materials and making the products, whilst tomorrow will be spent selling them/wandering around the zoo bitching. And because it’s Episode 1, we all know what else will be happening first thing.

So
awkward

Awkward handshakes! Duane’s already chatting merrily away about how terrifying the boardroom was and what an amazing experience this all is. Bless him, he’ll learn. Laura (Scottish, ice-dancer) tells Jane, Katie and Maria the Werewolf that she owns a bridal boutique, and everyone oos and coos cause they is girls innit. Meanwhile Tom tells Adam (looks like all of The History Boys melted down into one person), Duane and Azhar, that he runs a fine wine investment company. Adam thinks

*licks lips*

“a VERY fine wine investment company I’ll bet”.

Bilyana meanwhile is telling the other girls that she is a risk analyst, and Jenna (none more Northern) hoots “YOU CAN BE FIGURES GIRL THEN!”. Frankly this just makes me miss Ellie, but there we are. She probably would have said “alright then, what’s t’risk of me punching you in’t face?”. And then done it. Bilyana meanwhile bragterviews that she

IN BULGARIA, LORDALAN FIRE YOU! Oh wait...

got herself from Communist block of flats in Bulgaria to top of capitalist skyscraper in London, and she is ready to finally climb summit of Mount Capitalism. Rebuild the Berlin Wall people, the experiment failed. Back in Boys Apprenticar A, Nick is saying that

THE GIRL ON THE PLATFORM SMILED

he likes old movies, like the Godfather…THREE, and also stalking women on train station platforms. OK, not really, but I’m sure there’s a match.com advert just waiting for his shaggy haired charms coming soon. He owns some technology company or something. Frankly I am unimpressed, as we learnt not two series ago that anyone can do that, even Kaen. Stephen bulges his eyes out and jitters that sales is what he does, as though everyone couldn’t tell that from the constant lip-licking coke-flop he’s got going on.

SALES!

SALES SALES SALES, IN THE FUTURE NOBODY WILL HAVE FACIAL FEATURES, JUST LIKE ME! He twitches that he believes that enthusiasm is caught, and not taught (you know, like AIDS) and also that “business is very simple, and made complicated by idiots”.

If Jeopardy were still a programme that aired on UK tv, I’d be whacking my buzzer and yelling “What is the concept of The Apprentice?” as my answer.

Maria meanwhile tells all the girls that she owns her own restaurant, and has since the age of 15, but I’m guessing by werewolf law that she just means she peed on a Nandos once to mark her territory.

Ba-Woo

Seriously, that thick, lustrous mane of hair. Those wild eyes. That hint of danger. Total werewolf. She clichterviews that she’s like Marmite, and I will either love her or hate her. At the moment I am very definitely on the side of love, at least until I can find some silver bullets. WEREWOLF! To round things off, Nick asks Ricky Martin what he does, and he replies “I bang! I bang!”.

He BANGS

OK, not really, he does recruitment. BUT BY NIGHT HE IS TOTALLY A WRESTLER AND EVERYTHING. WATCH HIM! LOVE HIM! CALL HIM A VILLAIN AND TALK ABUOT HIM BY YOUR WATER COOLERS! *eyebrow eyebrow effing eyebrow forever* (I do love that in all interviews they’ve sliced off the top of his head. I choose to believe he was wearing a pornographic hat).

Are you ready for our first view of Apprentice Mansions this year?

Arriba!

Very South American chic. I’m hoping that Jane full-on sings “Don’t Cry For Me Kaen Brady” over that balcony after she gets fired. Interior features include

Sploosh!

a pool

TO NOWHERE!

a stairway to nowhere

EVERYBODY HAND-JIVE!

and an aborted Blockbusters Gold Run. Ricky Martin makes a weak crack about it being just about big enough to fit all their egos into. I badly need him to slow down.

Everyone awkwardly shakes hands with everyone they’ve not awkwardly shook hands with yet, everyone coos at the pool (but sadly nobody jumps up and down on the beds/sofas/kitchen worktops, what’s the bloody point?) and then it’s time to get on with the worst part of the series – the team name selections.

The boys discussion is over relatively quickly, as Stephen suggests “Phoenix” on the grounds that the team may have to rise from the ashes at some point, whilst Tom quietly

Grrr

hates him. Personally the Phoenix is my least favourite of all mythological animals, because basically its whole thing is “I noisily and publically self-harm solely for attention” which leaves me to believe that if it were alive today it would listen to You Me At Six and write Sherlock slash-fic. Everyone thinks Phoenix is a great name, because why not? Nick and Duane are particularly eager to be seen as helpful and eager. As I said, they’ll learn.

Meanwhile over on the Girls Team, Jenna has something to say.

Great

She had a dream last night and it were well random and that and in it her friend told her to call her Apprentice Team Sterling. Is your friend dead Jenna? If not, this is reality tv, and she does not count. Also, if we’re naming teams after random things you’ve seen in dreams, then my team would be called “Madeley-Penis”. And I don’t necessarily mean Richard. Jane announces that she thinks Sterling is a STRONG WORD, and everyone agrees because Jane is scary. Sterling it is.

Back with the boys now, and it’s time to determine who is going to be Project Manager. Duane immediately dodges the post by being the one to ask who wants to be Project Manager (clever boy) and then everyone else dodges it by trying to eat their own fingertips off and staring at the floor, as usual. Adam declares that he can’t do it, because he’s needed selling rather than…erm…thinking. Fair enough Adam. Stephen offers an “we’re going in to win! I think we can win!…does anyone else want to be Project Manager?”. Duane guffaws about how awful and awkward this is, as you would.

In the end, Nick says he’ll do it, even though he doesn’t really want to. Everyone else is all “LOL, OK THEN!” and all thrust their hands at him in unison for the fiftieth handshake of the episode. Kaen meanwhile

*hump hump hump*

is now a little bit in love with Nick and dry-humping a kitchen worktop. She loves a man who takes command! Eventually. Even though he kind of doesn’t want to. Nick meanwhile tragicterviews that, as a technologyologist he’s very logical and

WANK IT LIKE AN EXCEL SPREADSHEET

“ranks everything in my life like an Excel spreadsheet” (complete with posh-boy r/w confusion). I bet “authentic band t-shirts” are number 1. I say this only because I’m trying to distance myself from Nick, because after that Excel spreadsheet comment, I’m scared that he and I are similar in every way apart from that he is succesful and I am writing a blog. Just admitting this to you now. I feel, 8 series in, I’m ready to share (LUCKY YOU!).

Meanwhile, over on Madeley-Dick, Gabrielle is officially making this a battle of “people who were House Prefect” by

FLING

actually throwing her metaphorical hat into the ring and volunteering to PM this ship. She offers up her credentials to the team – she’s an architect and has just opened up a print and design store, so she thinks she’s ideal to Project Manage this task. Yeah, don’t think that’s going to stop you from getting an

ASSASSINING

ASSASSINING Gabrielle. Look at the stone-cold murder in those eyes. Terrifying. Laura asks if anyone can compete with Gabrielle’s credentials, and everyone is happy to let her lead them to the inevitable loss that actual real-world credentials always do.

Gabrielle announceterviews that she’s not like your typical Apprentice Candidate because she is really

WACKY WACKY WACKY!

QUIRKY! Oh go present T4 dear and save us all some time. She loves to look at things differently! As do I, although I doubt she means “from underneath the table after 7 pints of Rekorderlig, singing the Pina Colada song”.

Time now for the teams to decide what blank-slate products they want to project their designs (/psychological problems) onto. Jade (ill-advised pearls wearer of the series, voice that almost makes me long for Zoe Beresford)

AND WERK

werks her catalogue like she’s on Wheel Of Fortune, as the girls reject phone-covers and fridge-magnets in favour of t-shirts (pushed most solidly by Jane). Meanwhile over on Phoenix, Tom and Stephen combine their brains and push bags to carry their team’s designs, and Michael and Nick together decide they want teddy-bears. Nick in particular is pushing for “big bears”, whilst Azhar wants “small bears”. Fortunately, as we all know Azhar has INTENSE POWERS OF MENTAL MANIPULATION ON HIS SIDE, so he clenches his brain and forces “SMALL BEARS” into Nick’s head with every last scintilla of his measureless IQ.

MIND POWERS!

Big bears it is. Nick then decides he wants to work out “margins”. Whatever they are. Stephen protests that they need to think about what designs are going on their products, and Nick says that he’d rather think about margins and money and costs and stuff.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle is gesticulating all over the place on the other team and saying that the design and creativity and aesthetic beauty are of paramount importance. Which is the point where, if you’ve ever watched this show before, you know that Sterling have lost, if Gabrielle being an “expert” hadn’t already clued you in. Jane jabs at a little folder saying “MARGINS, MARGINS, HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?” whilst Gabrielle is still all about the pretty and the ZANY and the avant-garde. So doomed, you know, in the long term.

Midday, and it’s time for teams to decamp back into the Apprenticars, and get about their business. Out of each team, half are heading off to warehouses to buy stock, and the other half are going to the design studios to get their logos sorted. Once there, they meet with

PHWIT PHWOO

Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week, David The Designer, who sits and listens diligently as Gabrielle (accompanied by Jade, Bilyana, and Laura) tells him about her brand-story of a monkey, a lion, and a penguin. Because the team are targeting families you see, and want to appeal to children. And also Lions are really ZANY. Bilyana points out also that penguins are really easy to draw. Thanks Bilyana. Jade gets to work drawing the animals for the design, and is really pleased with herself, because she only works in sales, and look at the

So creative!

creative triumph she came up with! The monkey appears to have morphed into a tiger (I guess they aren’t as easy to draw as penguins, eh Bilyana?) and the lion looks like its wearing ill-advised bell-bottoms, but I have to admit, as creativity goes on this show, it’s not bad. Gabrielle grins that her team’s work really looks like it’s been done by an actual child! When is that ever not true on this show?

Meanwhile, at the warehouse, half of the boys team (Ricky Martin, Azhar, Tom, Duane) are hunting for blank articles on a limited budget. Just like the producers of this show (HI-OH!). Nick pushes on them very hard over the phone that they need to spend as little as possible, which prompts Azhar to try more

MIND-TRICKERY!

MIND-TRICKERY! It doesn’t seem to have much effect. Kaen screws her face up like

INVESTIGATIVE!

Bonnie Green – Girl Journalist such is her disapproval. THEY’RE DUMPING THE CHEMICALS INTO THE RIVER, GEORGIE! THIS IS GOING ON THE FRONT PAGE, NO MATTER WHAT THE HEADMASTER SAYS! The girls offcuts drive up next, but Gabrielle’s decision to place precedence on design over the Holy Margins has left them with no real instructions to go on, so Jenna and Maria just…say numbers for a bit, before Jane decides she’s going to take come control, and force Gabrielle to give some direction over the phone, She’s supposed to be the Project Manager after all. So they ring Gabrielle, whose response to “how many t-shirts and bibs shall we buy?” is basically

PENGIN!

“I’M DRAWRIN A PENGUIN, CALL ME BACK LATER!”. Jane gives notice that this means she’s just going to pick a number and Gabrielle says “I agree with it, whatever it is!”

APPALLED!

Jane is appalled. This girl rolls over even easier than Bates does, CURSE HIM AND THAT BLOODY MAID. In the end they spend £280, on Jane’s say-so. In the Apprenticar Jane spits and glowers and says that the task is OUT OF CONTROL, and Gabrielle isn’t making the important decisions, and is instead just brushing them under the ZANY carpet with her WACKY CREATIVE BROOM, that’s probably in the shape of a flamingo smoking a spliff or something. Maria honks derisively about Gabrielle that “SHE CAN DRAW BILDINS AND THAT’S IT!”

Great...

I know Jane, even your allies aren’t exactly choice…

4pm at the boys design studio, and instead of deciding what shade of blue would be best for a penguins wings (MIDNIGHT! GO FOR MIDNIGHT!) Nick and his merry band are still gathered around their calculators and spreadsheets worshipping at the altar of the Holy Margins. It is left up to Ricky Martin to ring them up and try to jostle them into actually coming up with a design to put on their blank product. I think it’s safe to say that the actual design is completely irrelevant and it’s all about which basic product you’re going to try and sell right? Right? Because the show’s not really thought this through at all? Anyway, after a lot of prodding and cajoling, Team Nick (Nick, Adam, Stephen, Michael) bodge together a design in half an hour, mostly via Stephen going “I dunno, a bus or a taxi or some shit?”. If you want a visual illustration of how much thought has gone into this

BUS!

there you go. They basically just went to the first page on a Google Image Search.

Michael at least tries to put a different spin on their “This Is A…” (This Is A Bus, This Is A Taxi, This Is A Pigeon, This Is A Drunk Badgering You For Bus Fare Outside St Pancras) brand by suggesting “Is This A…?” (ooh, how existential!) or even just removing the text entirely. Everyone else nods along politely and then goes back to getting their Design Monkey to try to stick a picture of The Queen’s head onto Keira Knightly’s body. THIS IS A THING THAT SHOULD NOT BE! Kaen splits her wig in whineterview about how the boys are showing no imagination AT ALL this week.

You know, unlike the show as a whole.

Team Ricky Martin returns with their blank product slates, and Adam informs them all that they’ve opted for a Union-Jack t-shirt for the Large Bears, and a London bus for the bags. Duane sarcs “we’ve really thought outside the box then yeah?”. I think I like Duane.

Time now for the teams to get to the business of actually printing their slogans onto their products. Someone irons the bus slogan onto a bag, whilst snotting

*iron iron*

“this is real mans work isn’t it?” because IRONING is for GIRLS and I hate that it’s so early in the series that I can’t tell voices apart well enough to direct my Tedious Feminist Outrage at the right target. I guess we can safely say it’s not Duane or Azhar and probably not Nick and that’s about it. I’m going to pretend I know it’s Stephen, because as of now he creeps me out most. Meanwhile, over on the girls team

BA-WOO!

Maria performs felonious assault on an ink-press. You wait until it’s a full moon… The girls get on with printing their very tasteful Children’s Charity design onto a range of bibs, shirts, bags and jigsaws (really? jigsaws?). Nick lemonterviews that now that they’re in the studio actually doing printing, Gabrielle’s printing experience is really starting to come to the fore (THANKS NICK!). He is however very disappointed by Katie, who appears to be just standing there doing nothing.

tum ti tum

Oh Nick, shows what you know. She’s not doing nothing…she’s biding her time. Waiting for her moment. You better watch she doesn’t just decide to ASSASSINATERATE YOU! Werewolf Maria takes her life into her own hands and suggests that Katie might actually want to do some work. In response Katie flusters slightly, protests that she is definitely doing something other than judging what angle to best throw a Ninja Star into Jenna’s forehead and prods aimlessly at a printer. We’ve all been there.

Jane takes this as an opportune moment to try and get Gabrielle cornered, to confront her with the reality of the fact that there’s absolutely no business plan here. She bltherterviews that the Holy Margins are God, and if they lose by a margin of £10

Nothing to do with me!

then she fully intends to make everyone aware that it is Gabrielle’s fault. SPOILERS : don’t worry Jane, it won’t come to that. We close on Jane laying down to Gabrielle that they’re going to have to decide how much to charge people, and Gabrielle staring off into space, practically mooing “BUT THEY’RE SO PRETTY, MAYBE WE SHOULD GIVE THEM AWAY TO INCREASE THE LEVELS OF JOY IN THE WORLD! I’M SURE THAT’S A METRIC LORDALAN MIGHT DECIDE HE WANTS TO JUDGE THIS ON! BEAUTY AND JOY!”

Back with the boys

MIND POWERS!

Azhar wafts a teddy in Nick’s face and mind-fucks him with brain-waves saying “YOU LIKE THIS, BUT WANT IT TO BE SMALLER!”. Nick just grins and says “lovely”. MENTAL PUPPET-MASTER! Sadly, the printing of the bags is going

schmeeeeeer

slightly less well. This Is A Placenta? This Is A Sanitary Towel? This Is A Fist Wrapped In Meat? Stephen snorts that they should just off-load it to gullible tourists and tell them that it’s Princess Margaret’s Face, whilst Tom

SO HARD

sighs that Printing Is Hard. Bless him. I feel like

accident?

maybe the boys team started with 9 members and one of them maybe fell in the machines, and they’ve edited him out out of respect for the family. Of course we all know what happened to the missing 9th member of the girls team…

ASSASSINED!

ASSASSINING!

Anyway, the sum total of this section is that all of the boys bags come out looking like crap, because, as anyone who has potato printed at a professional level like I have will tell you, they’ve overcomplicated their design and not just kept it as bold simple iconic outlines. Everyone mills around wondering how they’re going to sell this tat. SPOILERS : there’s always a way.

PRINTING ENDS! In Boys Apprenticar B, Duane and Ricky Martin both agree that the design sucks, and they would have done a much better job. Which would be great if this task was about drawing the prettiest picture but…

Day 2 now

So London

and ooh ahh, another glamorous London morning. Did you know that, wherever you stand in London, you can see the Gherkin? Thank God we will never ever get bored of it. We find Phoenix in the middle of setting up on this show’s perennial favourite London location – the South Bank. They’re having to construct their stall their own selves, right near the famous

pfffft

Graffiti Tree. I think that’s a Banksy Original right there. Once everything’s constructed, it’s time for Nick to give everyone a lovely pep talk about how they should try and sell around £375 worth each (*face*) and really push the big bears at £15 for the best profit margin. Of course this isn’t enough for Sales-Whizz Steve, who sets out to give his own inspirational pep-talk, which I will transcribe here in all its wisdom-filled glory : “Guys, just before we move on, this is purely from my experience, obviously I’m based heavily in sales myself. If I asked twenty of my friends right now, RIGHT NOW, would they buy a bear for £15 I’m struggling to think of any of them that would in that situation, I’M SAYING RIGHT NOW, I as a group would come to a lower price than that right now!”

*sneer*

What? He then decides to announce to everybody that this outburst means that they’ve now all agreed to sell the bear at £12. Well if your imaginary friends say so Stephen…Everyone looks at him like he’s out of his tree and Nick re-iterates to everyone to sell the bears for £15. Duane nonplusterviews to the effect of “Stephen is deeply off-putting as a human being and a businessman”. Truth Duane, truth.

Meanwhile, Sterling are setting up shop in Greenwich Market. Since last night, they’ve hit up on a totally worthwhile and not-at-all waste of time idea – the option of personalising your t-shirts by having either your child’s name or a personalised message printed on them. Half of the team are going to stay in Greenwich Market, and the other half are going to a zoo, because when you want to sell things to kids on this show, what better place than a zoo? I guess they’re probably not actually allowed to hang around school playgrounds, passing the things through the railings. This idea’s genesis appears to be with Laura and Jane, as they flank Gabrielle telling her that before Team Jane (Jane, Bilyana, Katie, Jenna) head to the zoo, they should definitely waste lots of time writing “I loved my day out at the zoo” on all the t-shirts, with each letter being a different colour and also a different font and some of them should have glitter on them. Bilyana on the other hand

So far away!

does not approve, and gripes that the zoo is far away so they need to get a move on. Jane’s all “eh – I’m just going to mill around here for hours printing t-shirts if you don’t mind”. Finally Maria snaps and goes up a level into WERELEOPARD and tells Jane that she needs to take her subteam and piss off and actually start selling things rather than playing Girls World – My First Printing Press and sitting there making her own customised badges with all four members of Duran Duran on or whatever the frick she thinks she’s playing at. Katie whines at Maria that Project Manager Gabrielle is the one who gave them permission to do this, and Gabrielle bobbles around like a malfunctioning Roomba until finally she decides that now, at 11am, Jane’s subteam should probably be making a move towards maybe starting to drive to where they might consider selling things.

Brilliantly, in Girls Apprenticar B on the way to the zoo, Bilyana decides to passive-aggressively bitch that SOME PEOPLE wanted to waste time doing customised t-shirts when she wanted to get on and sell, apparently completely forgetting that those people are…sat right in the car there with her. SPOILERS : she doesn’t get any better at reading a room, ever. Jane snits at her that she is WRONG and that she only spent 20 minutes customising t-shirts and it was all in the name of the Holy Margins anyway, so THERE.

Meanwhile, the boys, not having wasted time printing Bort t-shirts, are already selling their little hearts out at St Pancras station.

Learn to hear percussion

Yeah, I did that once. Anyway, despite the best sales efforts of the Boys B-Team (Stephen, Azhar, Michael, Tom) the bears aren’t shifting, which Stephen puts down to the pricing, and not all down to his terrifying

SALES-FACE!

sales-face. He tells everyone that he’s going to call Nick, to get an executive decision on dropping the price of the bears to £12, like he wanted to in the first place. To be fair, he’s probably right that £15 IS too expensive, but I haven’t seen a more off-putting way of putting across a fundamentally correct point since Jo Cameron in Series 2 dropped her knickers and yelled “I ‘ATE CATS, I INT DOING A FUCKING CAT CALENDAR!”. He phones Nick, who takes the position literally that Stephen probably believes he’s putting him in

PHWOAR

metaphorically, and says that it’s fine for Stephen lower the price as long as he’s happy to accept responsibility for the consequences. Stephen then amazingly says “let’s not worry about responsibility!” when…that’s the whole reason he called Nick in the first place. Oh well. The price is dropped and the bears start selling and Stephen bristles that Nick is trying to cover his own arse, but he doesn’t CARE about that, he only CARES about winning this task, SO DEEPLY.

I’m sure.

It’s lunchtime in Greenwich Market, and the girls are busy selling their t-shirts to

Awwwwww

ADORABLE BABIES! HOORAY! Nice to see babies on the show outside the context of them being boiled alive or gouged out of their pocket money by teenage girls. Gabrielle’s sales technique is very loud and effusive and posh and sweeping, Jane’s is as fearsome and warrior-like as everything else she does, and Maria’s is shoving a card reader in someone’s face and snarling “CAN I AVE YOUR PIN PLEASE?”, God bless her. Nick interviews some more about how amazing Jade’s design is, complete with

POLLY SHOULDN'T BE!

Spider-Bumbletiger there. He reassures that it’s not him alone that likes the designs, the mums like them too. Why?

Eh?

Because they’re buying them! Re-map that sentence Nick, and get back to me. (I can talk…) In further “trying to kid us the girls win” news, we’re let in on the fact that they’re charging £5 extra for a t-shirt customised with an individual customer’s names on it. Jade grins in some child’s face beaming “I HOPE YOU ENJOY THAT RORY!” Rory doesn’t give a shit.

Girls Sub-Team?

Behhhhhhhhhhh

Still in the car, with Jenna all but kicking the drivers the seat and moaning “ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET?”. Gabrielle rings them up to see if they’ve started selling yet. They haven’t. Gabrielle asks the same question about 7 different ways, such is her disbelief, and every time she gets the same answer, until Jenna hoots “WE’RE STILL DRAHVIN, WE’RE STILL IN THUH CARRRRRRRR!”. This is just about enough for Gabrielle to go “mmmm…ok….”. Such decisive and efficient time-management on this team.

Finally, the girls arrive at London Zoo, where

WAAAAAACK

the real, non-suicidal, penguins live. Along with

Video gaaaaaames

this sassy bitch. Can we swap her in for Laura? The girls load up their trays, and start wandering around the zoo looking for people to sell to. Or in the case of Bilyana, to meow “I’ll hahhhhndle this one” around, like Eartha Kitt as Catwoman, and then spring at a stranger smiling “hello how is your day going can I interest you in some product? We made our own design and we’re selling them today!”. Anyway, once she does, like, two sales Jane just starts snapping and sneering “EVERYONE NEEDS TO TAKE TURNS, SHE NEEDS TO COP ON TO HERSELF!”, Jenna whines like a creaky door-hinge and Katie starts flipping her hair around and pouting. In lameterview she cracks that Bilyana is acting like an

LOL, KATIE MADE A FUNNY!

ANIMAL! IN A ZOO! Seriously, Bilyana better watch out, or she is going to get SUCH an assassining. And you, sassy bitch llama, don’t think she hasn’t noticed! The upshot of this is that everyone else just starts shouting over Bilyana’s sales pitches as she gives them, which is the height of professionalism. Jenna in particular seems put out, and ends up kicking her heels around after everyone else mumbling “I feel so stressed, shall we go in’t penguin beach?”. Clearly my quote of the series so far. Penguin Beach makes everything better!

Back on the South Bank with the Boys A-Team now, and Nick has taken Stephen’s lead and has slashed prices by up to a third. Lord knows what Gabrielle’s strategy would be if sales were low. Throw more glitter at it? As a result, sales rocket there, with Duane and Nick appearing particularly competent. Things are going so well that Nick phones Stephen up specifically to tell him they’re probably going to sell out within the next hour. Contrast this with half the girls team, who can’t sell two items before jabbing pens at one another and talking in Irish patois. This fact apparently panics Stephen into a customary

SALES DASH!

LAST MINUTE APPRENTICE STREET-ROAMING SALES-DASH, even though there’s about 7 minutes of task-time left. This is definitely because he CARES about the task, and not at all because Nick is stealing his thunder.

The tactic is to sell in bulk to shops, and in particular for Azhar to use his

powers!

MASTER-MANIPULATOR POWERS on poor isolated shopgirls. It appears that, in this poor lady, Azhar has finally found a mark weak enough for his wannabe-Svengali finger-waggling ways, as she takes the entirety of the rest of the team’s bag stock from him for £3.50 a pop.

Back on the girls sub-team Jane is stomping around yelling “THERE IS A DADDY WITH A LITTLE BABY OVER THERE THAT I WANT TO ATTACK!”. It’s not revealed if this attack is successful, but Helpful Voiceover Man implies that it is not. Look

AWK

here’s a pelican. It’s a much less depressing sight than this sub-team. Bilyana shoves a giraffe-print bag at someone, telling her that it really matches her dress, and the poor woman kind of wriggles out of her grasp and sprints away. Oof. Bilyana interviews that things are going badly, and the levels of stress are such that even she can tell that the rest of her sub-team hates her guts at this point. She starts lecturing Katie and Jane on how they both need to stop being angry hellions because they’re selling baby products so they need to be natural and up-beat and smiley like what she is. Katie and Jane both tell her to jog on. God knows what Jenna’s doing at this point. Hugging a baby deer and crying probably.

It is at this point that Bilyana has the bright idea that probably ultimately gets her fired : “let’s wander around aimlessly outside the zoo!”. She assures the other girls that she knows all the hot shopping districts in the zoo-area, and leads them all off into the wilderness like a demented Bulgarian Captain Scott.

HUSTLE AND BUSTLE

IT’S LIKE OXFORD CIRCUS UP IN HERE! Both Jane and Katie are very firm in very loudly voicing their objections to this as loudly and as firmly as possible, clearly solely for later use. In a flap, Bilyana decides to…just start running for no reason. Where’s Margaret to roll her eyes and say “fuck this?” and demand they walk at a speed her orthopaedic shoes can handle, that’s what I want to know.

Back in Greenwich Market, with 30 minutes to go, it’s time for Team Gabrielle to launch their own

WHEEE!

LAST MINUTE APPRENTICE STREET-ROAMING SALES-DASH, sadly not soundtracked by the Benny Hill Theme Tune. Gabrielle manages to unload every item of their stock to one baby shop for £3.20, for a neat total of £163.20. The LAST-MINUTE SALES-DASH is very much in effect on the Boys Sub-Team as well, whilst Team Bilyana…

tum ti tum

yeah, still in London’s shopping Mecca here. Eventually they find a shop where they reach their nadir as a team by cornering this poor lady

Boo hoo

and all start yelling at her to BUY THEIR STOCK in jumbled unison (apart from Jane, who just STARES at her) until the girl snaps and tell them that they’re STRESSING her and PRESSURING her and all but bursts into tears, before Jenna stomps off snotting “we’re wasting our team here!”. Then, in an amazing scene, she gets her

Daaaaaad

dad to come and tell them all off whilst she has a Slush Puppy. Jane mummies up and says “can I offer you my sincere apologies” with the sort of emphasis on “sincere” that implies that most of her apologies…aren’t. She then throws the box of t-shirts in his face and rides away on her bike yelling “SUCKER!”.

Well, she doesn’t, but I wouldn’t have been surprised.

SELLING ENDS!

APOLOGISING AND REFUNDING BEGINS!

Mostly because that woman that Azhar CONQUERED MENTALLY has broken out of her trance and realised that half the stock that was given to her was shit. Look at her smug face here, getting to tell Apprentice contestants that their products are crap and she’d like a refund please.

HEE HEE

Truly, she is living the dream. It’s all she can do not to burst out laughing. Anyway, Azhar is stuck refunding her to the tune of 10 bags worth and Kaen smugs everywhere that the boys managed to sell product fit only for the bin, and they should be ASHAMED of themselves. Well they’ve won then.

RESULTS TIME!

The candidates all drive their merry way to Lordalan HQ (I struggle to remember what his business is even called these days? Does he even have one?) and finally, after 8 series we get to see what’s happening on the receptionist’s computer screen.

Tap tap tap

Hands up who WASN’T expecting hardcore pornography? Yeah, didn’t think so. In a fit of chivalry, most of the boys are left standing in the pre-boardroom, as most of the sofas have been sold to keep Kaen in non-drowsy medication. Although to be fair it appears that Nick is so

I'd make him rigid, hurr hurr

rigid with fear that he probably couldn’t sit down even if he wanted to. That is some Faces Of Death stuff right there. Oh and I’m going to Episode One say, blindly, with my lack of real-world knowledge that Laura is

FIT

The Fit One : Lady Edition right?

Candidates are ushered in, they sit, Nick reads his book, Kaen tries to finish a real easy Sudoku, Lordalan stops printing a picture of his face onto his actual face

Enters

and enters. Tom’s Dr Evil impersonation

ONE THOUSAND POUNDS!

goes slightly wrong, and we begin, as ever with Lordalan telling everyone what he’s just now decided that this task was about all along. Apparently it was “adding value” (by making the product look like some with severe anal bleeding had sat on it, in the case of the boys) and then selling for a profit.

Interrogations start with Phoenix, with Stephen explaining their name. It’s to represent his ability to walk away from adversity/warehouse fires started for the insurance money with his head held high and dignity intact ready to start a fresh new day smelling faintly of petrol. Lordalan says it’s “not a bad name”. Well, glad we got that sorted then. Nick is identified as Team Leader, and tells Lordalan that nobody else put themselves forward and it was frankly embarrassing.

Erp

Who would have thought people on this show capable of embarrassment, quite frankly? Lordalan takes Azhar to task in particular for this, saying that on his CV (wot, no RAY-SOO-MAY?) he promised that he’d Project Manage every task. Azhar’s face is all

Wooooo

“no I didn’t, this is not the mental magician you’re looking for”. Stephen apparently said much the same thing, although he at least has the good grace

Did I?

to look surprised at himself.

“Goodteamleader” gets an effusive response from Duane in particular, although nobody looks particularly negative, and we move on to gawping at the team’s products. Lordalan pulls out their teddy-bear (“JACK, HE’S CALLED JACK!” blusters Stephen, to no particular end) and bag and utters the question you always want to hear “is that it?”. Nick affirms that that is indeed it, and Kaen calls him out for spending all his time examining the Holy Margins and hardly any on producing a quality product. Well done! Nick briefly outlines his business plan for the task, to some spluttering from Lordalan over how he tried to off-load a cheap teddy bear for £15 (only because he didn’t come up with it first I’ll guess) and also the whole issue of the refunds for Azhar’s Temporary Victim. We close on a brief shot of the back of Jack The London Bear (which I’m now saying in Kate Moss’ voice, as she stumbles towards me like a skeleton falling out of a cupboard)

MWAH

which I’m sure is supposed to be a shocking indictment of their quality-control, but I’m guessing is more of a sign that Kaen got a bit lonely and started pretending it was her boyfriend, kissy-kissy, if you know what I mean.

Over to the girls team, where we cover how they got their name, with Jenna

I SAW IT IN T'DREAM!

looking far too pleased with herself over the fact that she named their team in the manner of Sally Morgan : Star Psychic. Lordalan sarcs “oh very professional then!”. Start as you mean to go on I guess. Gabrielle identifies herself as Team Leader and gives an amazing

*grin*

kids tv presenter smile as she does so. Already you can feel the slow build towards her going Utterly Kimberlypuff in the Boardroom in about 15 minutes time. She giggles that she’s going to open a printing studio after this series is over (unless she wins, in which case she will be heavily involved in drawing cute penguins on the boxes of magic nail-files) so this was the perfect task (for her to fail horribly at). Lordalan asks if anyone else didn’t offer to have a go, and Jade shakes her head wanly, before Laura announces that given Gabrielle’s expertise in almost sort of thinking about setting up a print business, it would have been silly for anyone else to lead. Lordalan agrees. Yeah, who can forget past successes like Rocky’s Catering Company, Rachel Groves’ Magical Mood-Board and Kimerblypuff’s…well everything.

“Goodteamleader?” gets a “no” from Jade, who thinks that Gabrielle was a bit flustered to have so many “strong women” (/”teeth-baring leash-straining hell-hounds”) underneath her, but she doesn’t blame her, because anybody would, EVEN ONE OF THE GUYS. Stephen pulls a face to indicate that he’d be quite happy to have lots of strong women underneath him

I'd manage...

Lordalan meanwhile pulls a face indicating that

Oh, women

he knows only too well the problems of strong women, THANKS A LOT SUE-ZIE LETIGIOUS AND PREGNANT MCGEE!

Next up we cover the design, which Lordalan coos over like it was a new-born baby, and the selling, which…yields a less positive response. Gabrielle IMMEDIATELY shifts all the blame for the catastrophuck that was the sub-team onto Jane, saying she gave Jane responsibility to be in charge of it and report back to her and stuff. Said reports being “we just got on Euston Road but had to stop for 10 minutes because the BLONDE ASSASSIN here needed to throw up in a carrier bag because of the motion sickness” and similar. Jane of course immediately

*FLIPS*

flips her wig, because she is nothing if not devoted to coming into the process harder than any contestant since Phillip Pantsman, saying that Gabrielle DIDN’T delegate to her, she took control of the team HERSELF because it was such a MESS, ACTUALLY.

NUMBERS TIME!

Sterling spent £476 and sold £691 for a total profit of £215
Phoenix spent £399 and sold £1016 for a total profit of £617

yay!
Oh...

PHOENIX RIS…oh no, wait they’ve not lost yet. Never mind.

Lordalan congratulates Phoenix on their landslide victory, and tells them that their reward is an “art-inspired reception” back at the house. Given Lordalan’s…opinions on art, I’m going to guess it’s the Mona Lisa made out of spaghetti shapes. The boys walk out and then

Wooo!

ruin all my goodwill towards them by doing an obnoxious team high-five. Whatever. You’re going to have go a long way until I love you as much as Vinnie Disney, Jedi Jim, Useless Leon, Inventor Tom, Trainwreck Gavin and Edward The Self-Loathing Accountant. Back in the Boardroom, the girls are told that they all suck and at least one of them is going to get fired/ASSASSINATESSED!

Back at the house, and it’s time to see what this art-inspired reception actually is.

*splatter*

Oh, a Kaen Brady original. She fell asleep into a bunch of paint-tins and knocked them all over. Anyway, the theme is edible and drinkable

*slurp*

artworks. Bless Nick, I don’t think his tolerance levels are very high. They all lick canapes off ceramic tiles,

licky licky

so dignified, leading Adam to joke that their first reward is truly “A NIGHT ON THE TILES!!!!”. Oh, that Adam… Duane jokes that they’ve got a great bromance (ick) going on, and then they all

*CHINK*

CHINK TO CONTINUED SUCCESS! Given that the women appear to be, collectively, the weakest bunch since Series 1, I’m guessing it just might be.

Prison Cafe for the girls, who are also going to have to lick food off surfaces for sustenance, but not in an arty way, and OF COURSE Gabrielle starts by very earnestly apologising to them all for putting them in this horrible position, whilst Katie plans to put the

*BASH*

way of the Five-Fold Fist right into her face, DON’T MAKE HER DO IT. Similarly unimpressed is Bilyana who starts whining(/shouting) away about how Gabrielle didn’t make any decisions and the whole team was awful and she SAID that they should have started out for London Zoo HOURS before they actually left, WHY DID NO-ONE LISTEN TO HER? Both Jade and Maria claim (/shout) that Bilyana never said this, when…she did, she just said it to Jane, and I can imagine offering opinions to Jane is basically slinging them down a black hole, never to return. Bilyana meanwhile whineterviews that Gabrielle was elected based on her expertise and she didn’t show any expertise and also she should be fired

*woosh*

all whilst her hair billows around like an 80s video. Jane meanwhile promiseterviews that if SHE is brought back into the Boardroom she will FIGHT because she is not responsible for the failure of this task. It was nothing at all to do with her idea of standing still printing t-shirts that never got sold for an hour. Gabrielle meanwhile just plaintively

So sad

interviews about how sorry she is and how she really believes that everyone tried their hardest and how she hopes to find out who is responsible for the loss in the boardroom, because as it stands she just can’t see who did anything wrong.

NEWSFLASH : Gabrielle lives in a Gumdrop House on Lollipop Lane.

BOARDROOM TIME!

Boys boys boys

I was briefly considering that maybe Bilyana would have been The Fit One, but then I was also considering that she kind of looks like Marilyn so…erm, anyway, into the Boardroom they go.

Lordalan opens by saying that he trusts that all the women have had a chat(/shout) amongst themselves as to whose fault this all was so…go right ahead. Jane starts, as you’d expect, by saying that she thinks it came to how Phoenix rubbed the Holy Margins and had a very clear plan on what they were going to buy, and how much they were going to sell it for, and they didn’t do that. Kaen needlessly snots “that’s called strategy, Jane”. Jane then wins points for me by just

Wha?

pulling this face and saying “no, I know that, Kaen, and I’m saying we didn’t do that”, rather than cold-cocking her right there. Lordalan replies that it was a free-for-all then? Jane responds by sulking “no, it was left, and I did it”. Yeah, way to highlight that you did it wrong Jane. Jade then starts

Wow.

pulling this face and repeating what Jane just said. What a bunch of winners these women are.

Gabrielle then admits that the first few hours “were mental for her”, but she thinks the main problem was sales, and also “mark up”, two words she says as though they’re Lithuanian. Lordalan then lays some numbers down on her – at the end of the day they had 37% of their stock left – 93 out of the 250 items they started with. (By my count they would have had to have sold them at an average of £4.32 to have won, if we’re talking about “mark-ups” and “pricings” and so on). This is too much. He gets Maria to aver that she would never have 37% of the stock of her restaurant left at the end of the day. Yeah, only because Maria would eat it all to satisfy her insane werewolf hunger. Jane also says that she would never have 37% of her stock left over

NEVER

NEVER.

We then get a further numbers breakdown – Team Gabrielle sold £440 worth and Team Jane (BUT ONLY BECAUSE SHE HAD TO) sold £225 worth. Give or take. Gabrielle mush-mouthes that there “appeared to be a period of non-selling”, because the team dawdled around printing t-shirts for ages then went on an epic quest to London Zoo. Nick recalls how that one girl got her dad to come and duff Team Jane up, and then Katie starts in on Bilyana saying that she TOLD Bilyana that there were no shops anywhere near London Zoo.

SHE WAS TOLD!

TOLD HER SO MANY TIMES. Gabrielle snivels that the only reason she sent the sub-team to London Zoo was that Bilyana told her that she knew the area, *pout*. Bilyana then hilariously breaks in with “right, I think it is my time to say something now”.

She protests that she DOES know the area around London Zoo well, and she took them to the nearest available shop, which just happened to be a corner-shop in Eccles. Lordalan tells her that the nearest shops to London Zoo are in Camden Market, not wherever she went. Bilyana protests that they aren’t, Lordalan points out that he IS LONDON, HE DRIVES PAST LONDON ZOO EVERY BLAHDDY DAY, DON’T GET STARTED ON HIM BAHT LAHNDAHN YOU PINKO TART! Bilyana’s response? “Yes, exactly, anyway,”

Oof

Quite. Bilyana then goes on to blame Gabrielle’s crappy management for everything. She says that the critical point of the task was the 20 minutes that Gabrielle and Jane wasted customising t-shirts before they left Greenwich Market, because it meant they missed crucial lunchtime traffic. Jane snots back that it was about as critical as the 20 minutes she spent dragging them across a park ACTUALLY, SO THERE!

Bilyana’s CV is combed over next, and Lordalan points out that her background is in figures, so why didn’t she spot that the Holy Margins were key to victory here? Bilyana protests that she so did see this, but she decided to not get involved, because Laura, Maria and Jane all own their own businesses, so they should have done it. At this, Maria starts flapping around and saying that if her background were in figures she would have been

RIGHT IN THERE

RIGHT IN THERE! Jenna meanwhile snides that if Bilyana were good at risk management, she would have realised it was a risk to go to London Zoo, but she never, so THERE. I think that maybe, mentally, Jenna never left Penguin Beach once she’d arrived there.

Next, it’s time for Jade to be asked her opinions. She bigs up what an important member of the team she was, because she drew the penguin, and when asked who didn’t pull their weight, half-heartedly sort of says that she couldn’t single anyone out, but she was never with Katie at any point on the task, so she doesn’t really know what she did. This is apparently enough for Katie to be singled out as useless. She’s asked what she did, and she replies that she was fantastic, and did sales and got her hands REALLY DIRTY. Nick pipes up that he thought that Katie was Missing In Action, but Katie defends herself by saying that she prizes her professionalism too much to speak up ever. She’s not prepared to speak up over people to get her voice heard.

AND HUMBLE!

So noble.

Gabrielle is asked who she wants to bring back with her. The answer? Bilyana and Katie.

Candidates go out, Kaen announces that she thinks that maybe Bilyana is not here to make friends maybe possibly, candidates come back in again.

We start off with Gabrielle being asked why she brought back Bilyana and Katie. Erm, because you all but just demanded that she bring Katie back in, and Bilyana is…Bilyana. Gabrielle’s answer? “Katie, because, maybe you did pull your weight, but I myself did not see that, so I’m just going on what everyone else has said”. So basically “I thought you were fine, but Nick told me to”. Gabrielle may actually be the most wishy-washy person this show has ever seen, and I eagerly anticipate her further journies into madness. Oh “Bilyana made everyone waste a lot of time”. Can’t forget that.

Next up, it’s time for Lordalan to wax philosophical

Such a philosopher-poet.

about how he has seen many Boardrooms now where people just gang up on people for the sake of their own safety, rather than because of anything they’ve said or done, but Bilyana seems like she might genuinely just be That. Annoying. so…erm…is she? Bilyana confirms that she is by whining that she was sidelined all day for totally the wrong reasons. As opposed to all the correct reasons for sidelining her, of which there are MANY. She says that she approached this task like the risk-management expert she is – she saw the risks, identified them, and then articulated them to the team, but EVERYONE IGNORED HER!

Eh?
Wha?

Lordalan says to her that she’s talking in very high-falutin’ manner about risk management, when in fact this task was really simple and easy. Bilyana then starts hooting that she AGREES! IT WAS A TOTAL NO-BRAINER! GABRIELLE IS A NO-BRAIN, SHE FAILED TO MAKE TIME-CRITICAL DECISIONS! This attack prompts the first cracks to appear in Gabrielle’s sunny “Up With People” demeanour as she…well, here’s a mini-Kimberlypuff Memorial Meltdown Wall to mark the occasion.

MELTDOWN!

Beautiful. Gabrielle’s Psychotic Break includes such vintage lines as “I WAS VERY MUCH IN CONTROL! *twitch*”, “THEY WORKED UNTIL THERE WAS BLOOD! *twitch*” “THAT’S GREAT, THAT’S FANTASTIC, I’M GLAD! *twitch*”, “EVERYBODY RESPECTED ME! *twitch*”, “WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE FOR EVERYTHING THAT YOU DID? *twitch*”. Once she’s finished, Bilyana starts jabbering away about “yeah, but time-critical this, TIME-CRITICAL THAT” until Lordalan has to tell her to shut up. He in fact says “stop” ten times in a row. I counted.

Let’s move on to Katie, with Lordalan saying “I haven’t heard much from you”. I’m feeling Bilyana and Gabrielle’s respective…messes are in fact the perfect argument for Katie to point to when arguing that she couldn’t get a word in. Who’d throw their nouns and verbs into that bear-pit? Instead she just blethers “I WAS NOT HIDING!”. Great.

Begging time now, and Katie is first, with the same old “give me another chance, give me another opportunity” blather that happens in this situation 9 times out of 10. I’m surprised she didn’t demand a chance to be Project Manager, which I guess is…a potential sign of self-awareness? Maybe? She says that she’s a great negotiator, and has so much experience bringing products to market. She’s then asked who she would hold responsible for the failure of this task. Are you ready? Are you ready for THE BLONDE ASSASSIN to unleash her Boardroom Prowess?

BOOM!

“I did find that Gabrielle took some time to make decisions, but I also have to say, Bilyana, I have found it very difficult to work with you”

GAME OVER!

ASSASSINED!

Bilyana is asked to beg next, which is hardly fair – asking her to recover from that FULL-FRONTAL ASSAULT immediately – and she lives down to expectations by blethering about how she is a self-starter (ding!) who has achieved so much from her humble beginnings (ding!), particularly being made Head Girl of a very prestigious school at the age of 17 (FAILFAILFAILFAILEVACUATEABORTABORT!).

Ooof

She thinks Gabrielle should be fired because she was a bad Project Manager (and also insane). She also says “time-critical” about fifty more times. This causes Gabrielle to jump in yelling “I WILL BE PROJECT MANAGER TWO, THREE, FOUR MORE TIMES BY THE END OF THIS PROCESS AND EVERY TIME I WILL BE BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND BETTER AND FLIBBLE PURPLE MONKEY DISHWASHER!”

FIRING TIME! Fire-tease is Katie, for not doing anything, but then Bilyana WON’T SHUT UP EVER, so she gets fired instead.

DONE
BAM!

ASSASSINED!

Some people (including Lordalan, but… like I trust his arse) have said that Katie was actually going to be fired but…Bilyana’s argument included the phrase “I was Head Girl”, let’s be real here, they’re pretending that because it’s going to make for better tv, which tells me that Katie isn’t going ANYWHERE any time soon. Bilyana’s response? “That’s a shame”.

I don’t want to go back and check, but I do think every single sentence she said this episode would have pissed off somebody in the room as she was saying it. At least she’s going out batting 1.00. Lordalan tells Katie that it really was a toss-up between her and Bilyana as to which would be going home, but he’s giving her another chance. Off she goes back to the house.

Awkward hate-hug between two people who just spent the last 15 minutes yelling at one another?

HUG

Aw yeah. I’ve missed this show.

Back at the house now, and it’s time to speculate.

Hmmm

Possibly about how much Jane really does love New York. Stephen asks them all who they want to come back, and the basic answer is “not Bilyana thx”. Fortunately for them…it’s not Bilyana, as Gabrielle bounds through the door, thumbs aloft

YAY!

“NEXT UP, IT’S FRIENDS!”

yay!

YAY, MARIA LOVES FRIENDS! THUMBS UP! She sees herself as a Joey. Everyone waits to make sure that the other person coming back is in fact NotBilyana…

YAY!

AND IT’S NOT! Now the party can truly begin. With Katie saying that was one of the MOST STRESSFUL experiences of her life. You didn’t even do anything Katie! Your assassining was basically sitting there until one of them died of natural causes and then taking the credit. In which case I am DEFINITELY going to assassinate David Cameron. (Dear The Police : I AM DEFINITELY NOT, ALSO I LOVE ROBIN HOOD AIRPORT, IT’S AMAZING!).

Next week :

watchin you masterbate

Azhar tries to use his MENTAL MIND-POWERS on Ceiling-Cat.


1 down, 14 to go

26 thoughts on “The Apprentice 8 – Episode 1

  1. durnovarian

    Oooh, it’s back! After McFly handing Arleona a win (I’ll never forgive them) and the other borefest that has been this year’s DoI a bit of ritual humiliation is just what I need.

    But what did East Kent ever do to deserve it’s first two candidates being Vinnie Disney and a werewolf?! }:(

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      *goes on and on about the representation of Coventry/Leamington/Nuneaton by people on reality tv forever, again*

      Reply
  2. durnovarian

    ETA And you’re back too so all’s right in my world. This is not the place to go into details but life hasn’t been much fun lately and your recaps make it sooo much better. Thank you. x

    Reply
  3. Ferny

    Katie is a bit like Claire from Steps…and lol at her ‘assassinating’. She’s totally ruthless that one.

    I’m marking Duane and Nick down as having potential, and Stephen for being the annoying one (in the style of ‘let’s take our jackets off’ Rory)

    I still hear Zoe Beresford in my nightmares.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I have to be fair – Jade did express joy in this episode, which is more than Zoe ever seemed capable of.

      Reply
  4. Scott

    I was hoping that we’d get a cameo from Young Apprentice Zoe at Greenwich Market. She could have dashed over, give them a weird handshake and then use her extensive artistic knowledge to critique their penguins.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      And also Zara Brownless and Kristina Grimes and hey, why not, even Lohit with his rainbow-finger sparkle-lollies.

      Reply
  5. sulaclarice

    Obviously I’m not in with the yummy mummy crowd – but I didn’t think much of the girls’ designs; I’m probaby missing something, but they looked pretty awful to me!

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      They looked alright from a branding perspective for some sort of charity, but I’m just not sure about actually wearing them. Maybe if it were just the penguin…

      Reply
  6. Shrinking Man

    The photos are back! Hooray! They’re worth 1,000 words each, you know.

    But…only 2% of people think Katie is the fit one? People are insane.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I can’t imagine people would want these recaps to count as that much longer than they already are.

      Reply
  7. Jenny Simpson

    Katie is Bridget Jones as played by Kim Wilde.

    They’re all numpties (so, yeay! business as usual), I live in the NORTH and know how long it takes to get to West London from Greenwich, tsk. (They should have taken the water taxi).

    If I was in a room with Stephen I would be scanning the immediate area for exits.

    Reply
  8. min

    Slush-puppy dad has to be in line for epic incidental character of the series even this early, surely? If only he had thought to bring a broom with him, it would have been a done deal.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I think he was kind of up-staged by the fact the woman was stood behind him throughout slurping away resentfully.

      Reply
  9. fused

    I like Gabrielle most at the moment. Perhaps it’s just because she seems so nice, although her boardroom meltdown is another reason, it was pretty spectacular.

    I was kind of expecting the girls to lose because of the way they all squabbled at the zoo and harrased that poor woman in the shop. I think they were kind of making Bilyana a scapegoat for that whole thing, but she shot herself in the foot in the boardroom. That said, I would have quite liked to have seen how she would have been as a project manager.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I would have liked to see her be the anit-Stella. Make her Project Manager of the Men’s Team just to see if she could turn them round against all the odds, ie make them lose. The girls I think would have just sandbagged her, not that that would have made much difference.

      Reply
  10. Tingman

    The trip to a desolate London Zoo and its surrounding streets put me in mind of the time when some team from a few years ago decided that they would play ‘child face painting company’ and decided to approach some dingy looking play area (on a pretty dismal day), introducing themselves to the 2-3 mothers as a company of travelling face painters. Can’t remember whether they actually got to paint anything :s

    Reply

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