As usual, Jennifer Anniston expresses my sentiments for me.
and just think on that. 5:30am in the morning, ante the meridian. I guess, it’s nice that they’ve realised early they’ve got a dull cast this year, but turning the “sleep-deprivation” thumbscrews on this early is positively Big Brother-y. They might as well have done with it, lace everyone’s food with MDMA, and broadcast all their private interviews on a giant plasma screen in the living-room. Why not have Bilyana and Maria spend the next three tasks watching everything in their pyjamas from a bed-sit and then return back them into the game as a SURPRISE reward to do a Dance of Disrespect in everyone’s face? And then be racist at Duane and throw a tray at him or something?
Anyway, it’s far too early, and scoring the first pin-fall in Phone Answering Wars is
Ricky Martin! Sporting one of those awful tribal tattoos that are mandatory if you want to be a wrestler these days. It never used to be like that. You’d never get Andre The Giant scribbling half the Chinese alphabet down the inside of his thighs. As Whoever It Is tells him that Lordalan would like to meet them at the Victoria & Albert museum, and that the cars will be there in 30 minutes, we learn Maria’s secret handy eye make-up tips.
To be honest I was expecting her to be applying it with a paintbrush. You know, the ones they use to repaint the Forth Bridge every 25 years. Maybe this is just a base coat? Meanwhile Katie
prepares to spring, with her deadliest weapon yet – a pair of STEAMING HOT hair-straighteners. You might say that it’s not many ninja-assassins that dress is bright canary yellow. I say that just makes her all the more UNEXPECTED when she does attack.
Girls sat applying their war-paint, Ricky Martin rushes to tell the boys first, awakening Stephen in a haze of spluttering and
Breathe-Rite strips. I’m not surprised he’s a snorer. I AM surprised that he’s considerate enough to wear a Breathe-Rite strip, and not just claim his nocturnal hack is a secret means of PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE against the other contestants. What sort of Potential Apprentice IS HE? Also for your information, Nick is the top
and Tom is the bottom.
You know, in terms of bunk beds.
(I do love that they have bunk beds. I hope next year they go full-throttle, and the Project Manager gets to sleep in a bed the shape of a racing car).
As Jade interviews that Sterling really need to put a hurting on Phoenix this week (SPOILERS : OOPS!), as the boys have been acting really arrogant and like they’re at school, we get our first official
“What? Me? Shirtless in my pants? Grabbing my dick? On television? Do you know, I’d forgotten the cameras already! *POSE POSE ZOOLANDER POSE*” of the series. The shade of it all.
To the Apprenticars now, and are you ready for Michael to speak? You sure? He says he thinks that Phoenix are much better than the girls, because they’re much more knitted as a team.
WELL STEPHEN SURE IS, A HA HA HA HA HA!
But no, seriously, Michael is wrong, because they’re about to utterly unravel and spend the whole episode cat-fighting and sulking and forming cliques and they’re still going to smash the girls by a substantial margin. Oh well. Meanwhile in Girls Apprenticar B, Laura huffs that the
guys think they’re all over them, and that should just not be happening. Well…it should Laura, because they’re much better than you. So…erm…yeah. Anyway, as far as Laura is concerned, it’s GAME ON. Sadly, that game is still not Hungry Hungry Hippos (which they would lose after Gabrielle got a marble wedged up her nose and Katie tried to ASSASSINATE an enemy hippo by flicking frozen peas at it. ROCK-HARD FROZEN PEAS!)
look at the V & A. You just know Queen Victoria would have loved this
explosion of balloons, novelty tube-lights and condom wrappers. Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that the V & A is a showcase for the best of British design, but I don’t see any Cadburys Star Bars or Raisin & Biscuit Yorkies anywhere – just a bunch of chairs and kettles and shit. What sort of exhaustive design museum is this? Anyway, the candidates file through the halls and glass cases, to their standpoint for the week, where they learn that this is the week that
Lordalan stands above them all to give out the task so they know that he is definitely Better Than Them. Ironically of course this means that he has to look down at them, squishing his face down into a double chin, whilst all the candidates stare upwards into their best light. I mean, even Michael looks
almost handsome, and thanks to the show’s usual lighting he often resembles something you’d skim off the surface of something else. Well, all the candidates
apart from Jane, who just glares upwards like she’s going to hurl herself up onto the balcony and claw at his throat like one of those things in The Descent.
Lordalan tells everyone that this museum was set up over 150 years ago to showcase British design, and now it’s the launching point for the annual Apprentice “design-some-shit” task. How exciting for it. The teams are going to design a product for the house (how specific). It could be for the kitchen, the bathroom, the garden, the conservatory, the ballroom, the billiard room, the helipad, the secret murder-pit where you bury your enemies and hopefully one day Piers Morgan, or the lounge. You know, any room Lordalan might have in his house. Personally I’m hoping one team designs a gadget for the bedroom.
And you know Lordalan secretly does as well. He informs the team that the real nub of the task is the product design, because if it’s no good, then there’s no point doing all of the rest of the task. Unless of course the other team’s product is even worse. Which, let’s face it, it will be. Especially if it’s Sterling. Anyway, Lordalan has sat on two major retailers for them to pitch to. (Wot, only two? These truly are Troubled Double Dip Pasty Tax Times). The team that wins wins, the team that doesn’t doesn’t, and is also called Sterling…
GET THE BLAHDDY HELL ON WITH IT. Nirrck (which is officially the new name for Nick Hewer, to save on confusion with Contestant Nick. Thank you Comments Section!) will be following the men, Kaen will be following the women.
Speaking of which, I think it’s symbolic that
Phoenix are lined up all neatly regimented like a superhero battalion about to blast off into space, and Sterling are kind of just a smear. Laura looks like she’s about to wander off, Jenna looks like she’s about starting to do a stripper dance with inspiration from The Monkey, and Jane looks like she’s about to elbow her in the face. Such a shambles.
Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that the teams have two days to think up, design, and pitch a useful new household gadget. Get it right, and they will become a household name like
Studly Spudly or The Bodyrocka. Get it wrong and…they’ll be fine just as long as they can stay awake to be honest with you.
BUT FIRST, it’s time to pick Project Managers, because we’re not yet at the stage of the series where Lordalan gets bored and does it himself. For Sterling, putting herself forward is Jane, on the grounds that she has extensive experience both in taking a product to marker and pitching to retailers, and also
she is a dungeon-dimension dwelling demon from the dingiest darkest corner of the multiverse who will eat your soul if you don’t let her, whilst her baby son laughs in your face as she pecks out your liver. Also volunteering is Katie, on the grounds that this task is right up her alley.
WERD! She tries to give a speech about how she does exactly what Jane does, but nobody is interested, and she just kind of tails off at the end.
Everybody of course votes for Jane, which is eminently sensible, because at this point Jane’s situation on Project Managing is a bit like a 3 year old running round ASDA badly in need of a poo. She may be a whiny, demanding tyrant and it may not be your favourite way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but you’re going to need to let her get it out SOMEWHERE, otherwise everything’s going to get very messy and very smelly for everybody concerned.
Jane interviews that she genuinely likes to think she is a team-player (she is genuinely wrong), she does see herself as a leader rather than a follower. Like anybody on this show is saying otherwise. “Oooh, whilst I do like leading, I’m never happier than being an inert lump of muscle and sinew doing whatever I’m told a la The Sorcerer’s Apprentice/S Club 7”. Well except Caveman Lee McQueen obviously.
“LEE MCQUEEN LOVE TO FOLLOW! THAT WHAT ME TALKING ABOUT!”
Anyway she goes on to admit that her son calls her a “bossy-boots” and then we see the glorious sight of her leading a brain-storm by bellowing “SHUSH SHUSH SHUSH CAN WE ACTUALLY JUST GO ROUND IN ORDER!”. I know this doesn’t even make sense, except with benefit of a time machine or being a paedo (SPOILERS : NEITHER OF THOSE THINGS ARE TRUE) but I feel like I’ve dated Jane’s son.
Meanwhile over on Phoenix, Azhar is
using his MENTAL MIND POWERS to sway the boys into letting him lead, because they’re going to win anyway, even if somehow Melissa Cohen was managing them, so why not? As Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that Azhar is a refrigeration magnate, there is some sort of vote for being Project Manager, which he wins, but I’ve no idea against who. It’s either Stephen, Nick or Ricky Martin. Take your pick.
Oh, except Azhar isn’t using his mental mind-powers this week. He is using his KILLER WHALE POWERS. Because his friends all call him the “Killer Whale Of The Sea” because on the one hand he is intelligent, polite and “quite nice” (*eye-roll*) but on the other he’s
A GREAT BIG FACHKIN WHALE! MOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
Azhar makes no bloody sense, let’s vote him off. He holds a brief brain-storming session as to which room of the house to design for, and both Ricky Martin and Tom (who both seem like power-brokers of sorts at the moment, along with Stephen) push for kitchen, so kitchen it is. Everyone agrees and moves on, but of course Azhar has to shout “AS PROJECT MANAGER, I’M SAYING KITCHEN!” like that makes it official or whatever.
Back with Sterling, and they’ve decided they’re going for a bathroom gadget. Or, as Jane puts it “what problem are we going to solve in the bathroom”? Maybe a sudoku? A dot-to-dot? Why Sayeeda Warsi is? Anyway, nobody has any thoughts, apart from Kaen
who wishes she was part of Team Sterling so they could finally solve the problem of how she keeps nearly drowning in the bath. Just…can’t…stay…awake….not even…for Mr Matey…. Laura announces that they’re obviously struggling for ideas, because saying it always makes things better.
Back on Team Phoenix, and Duane has an idea, based on “what is popular now”. Apparently this is recycling, and not Moshi Monsters or All Time Low or The Hunger Games or whatever. Given that Duane is apparently Simon Webb’s brother, I wish he’d just said “what’s really popular now is Blue, all the kids are listening to them after their 11th place Eurovision triumph”. It’s all about the cross-marketing. He’s decided his idea is for a small bin that could fit inside a cupboard and compress your waste into paste for you. Azhar basically says “that’s a good idea” then repeats it back to him like he came up with it himself. Duane’s face says
“yeah, I heard myself thanks, oh Mighty Bald Eagle of the skies”. Outside he interviews that his idea is great, because it’s about reducing waste, which he just loves doing, but which is so hard. Bless him, I think he almost actually believes in this stuff. Although where has this ended before? “Happy Earth Day!” cards, that’s where.
Idea decided, it’s officially MARKET RESEARCH TIME. The Boys A-Team (Azhar, Duane, Stephen, Michael) head off into a shop and check out bins.
SO MANY BINS. Duane confirms that none of these bins are like what his bin would be like. Some lady who is in charge of bins says she thinks that Duane’s bin would be a good bin. Meanwhile Adam, Tom and Ricky Martin have decided they don’t like Duane’s bin. They think it is “too industrial” and it would be too difficult to use, and also they didn’t personally think of it, so hey, why not rubbed gloves with scourers on the fingers, yeah, that’d be great, well done Adam, thanks Ricky Martin, loving the tattoos! Meanwhile Nick is
also there. Tom rings Azhar and gives him notice that the Phoenix B-Team is going to pitch this idea to the focus group they’re about see, even though Azhar clearly doesn’t give one shit and is never going to go with it. Adam makes some unfunny jokes about how useless Duane’s bin is and
Ricky Martin and Tom both crack up a lot. Because there idea is so much better. Why stop at scourers though? Why not attach a miniature squeezy fairy liquid bottle and one of those dish-whisks as well? Why not cut one of the fingers of the gloves off because we all know we’ll be digging the worst of it off with our fingernails eventually anyway? IT’LL BE A WHOLE WASHING UP SET.
still got nothing. Maybe they should force-feed Jenna the same sleeping pills Kaen and Maria are clearly on and see if anything comes to her in her dreams? Out of desperation, Laura decides to recount how her son (called Rhys. Rhys Hogg. *appropriate silence for consideration of this name*) splashes a lot at bath-time. Katie’s all
“ugh, lazy parenting, why not just assassinate him?”. Laura ponders the possibility of a splash-guard for the bath to stop the water getting all over the floor. Also…like, pens and stuff? Maybe a little hat? Pizza dispenser? *shrug* Jane’s all
“OOH, AN OPPORUNITY TO BE ONE OF THOSE AWFUL “AS A MOTHER” WOMEN! ME LIKEY!”. Katie at this point decides to sail directly into the wind and announce her idea of a bath cushion…BUT FOR YOUR FEET! TO GO OVER THE TAPS!
I mean, Jade actually likes that idea and look at her face. She says it could be like a “tap cosy”. Fundamentally misunderstanding the point of a cosy, but hey, whatever, it sounds cute. Laura jumps off her own idea briefly and hitches herself to Katie’s, but Jenna has decided she doesn’t like it. And by “has decided she doesn’t like it” I mean “is honking merrily away about how it won’t work/is shit in that delightful voice she has”.
Two ideas conceptualised, it’s time for the women to head to market-research. The Girls B-Team (Jade, Katie and Laura) (aka “The Ones Who Don’t TOTALLY Suck, Yet”) head to do a mother & toddlers group.
It’s like they knew they were coming.
Laura’s splash-guard gets a mixed response, as some mother worry it’ll make bathtime safety awkward, and this woman
actually likes being splashed by her toddler. It’s bath-time fun! It’s interactive! Woo! I bet there’s so much organic stuff in her house you can barely move. Gwyneth Paltrow would balk. Anyway, on the other hand, Katie’s Tap-Pillow gets universally positive feedback. Meanwhile Maria is also doing market-research on the street for the A-Team. She honks to Jane that they need to design a product that people want to buy (thanks Maria!) then starts accosting passers-by for their ideas with regards to the merits of the bath-pillow. I wish Melody was doing this market research. She’d be asking “DO PEOPLE HAVE BATHS IN LONDON?” and idly nibbling a Bixmix. Anyway Maria interviews that
people tend to under-estimate her, but she WILL HAVE five restaurants and a platinum selling-album by the time she’s 25. Maria believes people under-estimate because she’s only 20. I think it might be because she thinks a Sharpie counts as make-up.
Anyway, both teams take to their phones to describe their respective market-research experiences. Well Jane, Jenna, Katie, Laura and Jade do. Gabrielle and Maria
stare at a corpse in an episode of Silent Witness. Odd choice, but a valid one. Jade says of her focus-group experience “IT WAS AMAZING! REALLY REALLY GOOD!”.
Sometimes I forget how tragic this show can be.
Anyway, both teams agree that the Tap Cosy is the best idea and Maria
does a little Werewolf Dance, as you do. Katie’s Tap Cosy is GO! In their car, Laura is super-cute and brain-storms lots of ideas about how the Tap-Cosy is such a cute name and should look like an actual cosy and oh my God I can’t wait for this team to snatch defeat out of the jaws of slightly less embarrassing defeat.
2pm now, and the Phoenix B-Team are arriving at a catering college to do their market research. The first idea presented is Duane’s Bin, which goes down well with the focus group, particularly this guy
who lives in a flat, so doesn’t have a compost heap. Eh, the last flat I lived in I had a compost heap. It was in the corner of my bedroom. Then I got a boyfriend, and things changed. Adam’s scour-gloves are next which he dons
in as sinister a manner as possible. Three of the focus-group love the idea, but one guy says “I’d rather buy a sponge to be honest.”
INCIDENTAL CHARACTER BOYFRIEND OF THE WEEEEEEEEK. I’ll call him Werner The Sponge Lover. That fashion sense IS very Germanic. Also, that joins “it looks like a child did it!” on my list of “statements that will be true every week this series. Once they’re done, Adam lies to himself and the world that the support for his gloves was “unanimous” and gets the entire sub-team to agree. Which I’m guessing everyone bar Nick did, making it unanimous. He then interviews that
no, really it was unanimous, stop looking at him like that. Also he describes his product as “handheld” which…ok.
3pm now, and both Sterling Apprenticars are on the way to the design company where the Design Elves live, in order to finalise their design before it gets made overnight. Suddenly Jenna decides that she wants to start honking away about how rubbish Katie’s Kosy is. How are you going to attach it to the bath? What, as opposed to a SPLASH-GUARD? Gabrielle starts to agree that it’s too complicated (IT’S A CUSHION) and Maria
…is apparently off to join Kaen in the Land of Nod. And this is happening whilst Jenna is honking “I HAVE TO SPEAK FROM ME HEARRRRRT”, so you know she’s really tired. I guess being up all night murdering sheep takes it out of a girl. Jane starts to agree with Jenna, for no real logic reason, and then everyone notices that Maria is having a kip, so Jane very gently asks her if she has any ideas and Maria blurts out of her sleep all “NO, NOT THE SILV…oh, erm, I’m thinking, I’m thinking, give me a minute, just resting my eyes sir.”
Back on Phoenix, and the men are similarly on the way to Design HQ. Lion of the Jungle, Azhar is busy conceptualising saying “the minute you open it up
WOOF, the smell’s going to hit you of vegetables that have been sat in there for four or five days”. But that’s enough about Kaen, what about Duane’s Bin? (MIOSGYNY LOLS!) On the B-Team, Adam and Tom are merrily plotting away at Adam’s “Magic Hands” idea (yeah, sure, make it more creepy why don’t you?) but Ricky Martin has identified that the big problem is getting Azhar to opt for them over Duane’s Bin because he…erm…isn’t going to? This turns out to be correct. Adam rings Azhar and lies that all 8 of their focus-group said they would buy it. Azhar lies right back that they…erm…checked and erm…there’s already a company that does them. Suffice it to say that Adam is a better liar than Azhar. Stephen breaks in to try and diffuse the situation by…admitting that Azhar was lying (*smooth*) and then
everyone on the B-Team pulls faces. Ricky Martin snarks “so basically, we’ve invented the bin!”. As opposed to…inventing the glove?
Both Sterling and Phoenix arrive at their Design Palaces next, and there’s lots of boring scenes of product design. Quick Nirrck, pad things out by pulling some stupid Lemon Faces for absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Good old reliable Nirrck.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S BEEN A CHANGE OF PLAN! JANE HAS DECIDED TO GO WITH THE SPLASH GUARD
FOR HER DEMONIC TURNIP-HEADED CHILD. (Like I said, dated him) I guess this is what happens when you don’t have Jade to do your drawrins. I really have no idea why they’re going with this when even the person whose idea it was realises it stinks. Oh wait, yes I do.
Why was she not fired again? Anyway, Jane rings the B-Team, who are off talking in another part of the Design Complex with a Kelly Hoppen, whatever one of those is, and let’s them know that, yeah
their idea isn’t happening any more. Hilariously, Katie actually asks how the design of the tap cosy is going on and Jane pulls this face
apparently having convinced herself that that was never a thing that the team all agreed was definitely going to happen about an hour ago. Jane tells Katie that her Tap Cosy is too hard, so they’re going with the splash-guard, end of, now would she like it to be called Kid-Splash or Splish-Splash? And this is where Jane lost me forever (/until her DebraBarr Redemption Arc, should she ever shut up long enough for there to be time for it to kick in) because
Laura and Katie both honk “KID SPLASH!” and Jane actually says “ok Splish Splash it is then”. So baffling. Anyway Katie interviews that Jane is wrong and is also about to be
ASSPASSINATERATED! She whines that a lot of the work that she led today has, in fact, been ignored. Oh noes.
9pm now, and Duane is rather endearingly trying to get Tom, Ricky Martin and Adam to sign up to Duane’s Bin by explaining to them really earnestly about how great it is. I kind of don’t ever want to see Duane in a boardroom, because I think it would crush him. Ricky Martin decides to whine at length to Azhar about how he is “insensitive to his needs” and also needs to “empathise with his feelings”. Also to stop stealing his wind, and let him carry his lightning into being the strong powerful woman that he should be. Or something. Ricky Martin is so full of contradictions. The men bicker through the night, until…
8am next morning now, and the men do their best to prove that untrue homily about how the difference between men and women is that men can put their petty arguments behind them and work as a team whilst women can’t. Look! Ricky Martin is
eating his cereal and talking about “smashing it”. What argument? It never happened! He’s definitely not going to, in three weeks’ time, bring Azhar into the Boardroom on the grounds that NOTHING PERSONAL, but laminating that poster a bit bobbly was definitely why they lost. Anyway, it’s time for the Product Elves, exhausted, bleary, with limbs falling off, to deliver the prototypes.
Here they are. The boys love their product, and even have to grudgingly admit that it sort of looks alright, whilst the girls do their best to look happy, but the thing won’t even affix to the house bath properly. Gabrielle notices that the splash guard is so crap that even women just flicking their nails around in it have managed to
get water all over the floor. Either that or the men’s toilet habits leave something to be desired. Hey, maybe THAT would have been a better kind of splash guard to invent. She then interviews that their product is
AAAHHHMAYYYYYZINNNGGGGG. Feel the sincerity. Jade honks “WE’RE GONNA WIN THIS!” and Laura definitely agrees. The self-delusions are so mass here that I’m half-expecting Jane to actually break out the Kool-Aid. “WE’RE DEFINITELY GOING TO HEAVEN! AAAHHHMAYYYYZZINNGGGG! *glug glug glug*”.
Helpful Voiceover Man informs us that the teams will today be pitching to two retail giants : Amazon and Lakelands. First pitch for the women is Amazon, and Jenna and Gabrielle are tasked with working out the team’s numbers, scribbled rapidly in the back of a car. They produce a whole range of prices per unit, dependent on how many ordered, right up to what they’d charge for an order of a million units (£7.48 per unit, on the basis of a sale price of…£17.95?! WTF?). Well it’s nice that they’re thorough, but it’s kind of a waste of time producing figures for an offer you’re never going to m….
oh, no, wait they actually are. Never mind. At least when Jim suggested 1,000,000 units of his Special Stars it was of a consumable product. Also they had the entire casts of Harry Potter, Mean Girls, and Twiglets : The Vampire Movie (AND NATASHA SCRIBBLES!) on hand to do promotion. What does Jane have? She couldn’t even scrape together an extra from “Percy Jackson : Lightning Thief”. It’s a shame, because she’s quite an assured, confident, likable pitcher. It’s just that she’s talking utter mince (are two weeks in a row of Paloma Vivanco comparisons too much? NO, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK ABOUT PALOMA VIVANCO TOO MUCH!). Anyway, not only is Jane making a stupid offer, all their numbers for all their other offers are wrong. Jane quickly, and embarrassingly, throws over to her “Financial Team” who are sat there waiting patiently and professionally to answer any questions.
Oh no, wait Gabrielle is frantically eating her pen and Jenna is staring off into space. Needless to say, they don’t have a clue, and the whole meeting collapses like the viewing figures for Show Me The Funny.
Once the whole shambles is over Katie decides to take Jenna and Gabrielle to task for their figures and how they contributed to that shambolic display that just happened there. Jenna and Gabrielle hoot and shuffle and ask “WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE FIGURES?!”. Erm…everything? Katie points out that their dumb offer of 1,000,000 units was dumb and (here’s a capper for you) “I don’t want to be laughed at!”
Well somebody came on the wrong show. Wearing a scarf soaked in the blood of her victims.
Phoenix’s turn now, and apparently Cheese Of The Fridge Azhar has decided he doesn’t really want to be Project Manager any more, because everyone’s being MEAN to him, so Nick has decided that Stephen and Azhar are pitching, and also nobody else is allowed to speak. For reasons of professionalism. Duane gets him to clarify that he’s banning him from speaking about his own product – Duane’s Bin and Nick says he isn’t saying that but…yeah, could you not?
Stephen’s pitch is…not great. I mean it’s not noticeably poorly delivered, but the content is mostly waffle (including a Nargis Fun Fact : 72% of the public cook at home. 28% apparently cook out by their bins). It’s mostly poor because he doesn’t really have any connection with the product and sort of…doesn’t really know what it is? And what it’s for? Which doesn’t help. Also
This all culminates in him being asked a fairly simple question about the USP of the product which he waffles on not answering, whilst Duane actually sits up in his seat at the back, bobbing up and down all “OOOOH! OOOH! ASK ME! ASK ME! I KNOW!”.
Finally he BREAKS THE FATWA and actually speaks passionately and knowledgably about the product.
recaps for us what just happened, as though we didn’t see it for ourselves. I’m starting to think it’s time to get rid of Nirrck and Kaen entirely to be honest. I feel like I’m being baby-sat by two people who’ve got in the gin cabinet.
Meanwhile, Sterling are on their way to their next pitch, and Jenna is SCREAMING down the phone
“FORGET ALL THE FIGURES! THIS IS WHAT WE WORKED OOOOOOOOUT! FROM 0 TO 20,000 UNITS, IT’S NINE POUND AND A PENNEH!” (But what about if they order a billion units? What if they order infinity units Jenna, WHAT THEN?) This goes on until Katie points out that all these figures are wrong as well, to which Jenna replies “THE NUMBERS WEREN’T WRONG, WE’RE JUST GIVING THEM TO YOU IN A MORE SIMPLE FORM!”. Then Maria starts yelling back “ALL WE NEED TO DO IS MAKE THEM ORDERS AND IMPRESS THEM!”. All this shouting is
hurting the hangover that Laura didn’t even know that she had. Faced with her own wrongness, Jenna all but hurls the phone into the back-seat and huffs “THEY CAN DO THE FIGURES THEN! TELL THEM TO DO THE FIGURES!” I feel like someone needs a return trip to Penguin Beach.
7pm now, and it’s time for Laura to pitch her invention that she doesn’t even really like. Her opening line “ok, I’m going to bring it over so you can have a good little touch of it”. Fortunately she means her Splish-Splash and not…erm…her Splish-Splash. She’s probably the least natural pitcher of the lot – slightly stilted and looking at her feet occasionally, but her content isn’t bad. Although she does call it “a toy” (*eyes to Jane*). I guess she’s not helped by feeling
these two eyes boreing into the back of her neck throughout. Laura successfully gets the retail price out, but when asked about the cost price,
Jenna just starts babbling away about doublings and stuff until Katie saves her ass and actually gives the range of cost-prices.
Mr Lakelands has a question! “What’s going to stop my child taking those crayons and drawing on my bath?” Erm…you? Is this a trick question? Is he suggesting that the screen should have some sort of security system which gives the child a mild electric shock?
The boys pitch last, to Lakelands again. This time they’re letting Duane participate.
This is the right decision. Stephen also appears to have sharpened up his skills, highlighting how sleek and chic the design is and how it would fit well into any fashionable kitchen, the likes of which he knows all Lakeland customers have licky licky brown nose.
PITCHING ENDS! With Duane saying “did someone say ‘nailed it’?”. Quite.
The men of course, are still gentlemen, and still letting all the women sit down. I’m thinking the atrium needs a bit of brightening up. Maybe a plant? A few copies of Bella magazine for that table? Flintstones Fun Phone in the corner? Whoever-It-Is barks “you can go through to the boardroom NOW”. I swear Cousin It was never this surly. Or the Giantess. Frances maybe…
Everyone enters, Kaen wonders if maybe
she shouldn’t have done something for Cleavage Friday, maybe then the boys would like her, Stephen sees the poster for Phoenix’s product and clearly thinks
oh yeah, we’ve won then, Lordalan shoves all his waste down and squeezes the juice out and
We start with Sterling, Jane is identified as Project Manager, and “goodteamleader?” gets a resounding positive response. Well apart from Katie, who nods her head the absolute minimal amount required for it to count as a nod (as measured by NASA) and then gets right back to
pulling this face. Maybe she’s tonguing the poison dart into place, ready to spit it into Jane’s neck?
Lordalan asks about their idea, and Jane says that “Laura, because she’s a mother AND SO AM I (Objection! Relevance.), invented a splash-guard for the bath”. I hope for Laura to pipe up and say “actually I really invented it because my husband’s a great big fatty and displaces a lot of water, oops”. She doesn’t. Lordalan decides he wants a look, picks it up and
probably reminisces about the last time he was in a Poundland. His first observation (other than “it’s crap”) is that it looks like a toy. Jane
bridles and snarls “it’s a portable product”. As…no toys are? Jenna burrs “IT’S MULTI-PURRUSSS!”. I can’t even think of one. Lordalan then pokes the bee-hive and asks if they all agreed on this product as a team. Katie’s all
LOL NO, everyone, including industry professionals by the way, loved my idea which was a Tap-Cosy but tum-ti-tum, what can you do, Jane’s a BITCH.
Lordalan laffs it up about this being another example in Apprentice History of ignored market-research until Jane snaps out the very real fact that “TAPS ARE DIFFERENT!”. You’re sticking a cushion over them Jane, it’s not rocket scientist. Lordalan reiterates that the point of market research is to research the market and then do what it tells you. Jane basically rolls her eyes at him.
Pitching is covered next, and Lordalan asks the team if they were all there for Jane’s pitch. No Lordalan, Maria was off getting a kebab and Laura was having a piss. What? He asks them how she did, and Laura avers that Jane did a very good job of pitching. Lordalan whams the bee-hive with a sledge-hammer and asks “what about the quantities?”. Jane says that it depended on the retailer. Of which there were two. Lordalan asks Jane specifically what she offered Amazon, and Jane
amazingly says that she showed them prices for “one hundred thousand, five hundred thousand andamillionunits and…” Lordalan breaks in to giggle at the idea of offering a million units and Jane bats back “if you don’t ask, you won’t get”. That’s true. If I don’t ask attractive strangers on the street and asks for a quick hand-shandy, I won’t get arrested. I realise this line of argument makes me a hypocrite given that I was all for Jedi Jim doing more or less the same thing but…LOOK AT THE THING SHE’S TRYING TO SELL, COME ON. They’re already going to think you’re on day-release trying to sell it, don’t make things worse.
Lordalan grumps that he doesn’t think that there’s a product in history where somebody took an initial order of 1,000,000 units and Jane then gets all
flirty “aren’t I cheeky?” eyes about it and…can we talk to Phoenix already? No really, Jane just said “I believe in the product…because I’m a mother”. (Half a word out).
Phew. Phoenix now and who was the Project Manager again?
Oh right, it was the Bread of the Bread-Bin here. “Goodteamleader?” gets a unanimous “LOLNO” from his team (ie everyone except Stephen), particularly Duane (who says that he didn’t make decisions) and Adam (who implies he was cliquey and divisive). Maria is
SHOCKED by this turn of events. It’s going to turn out that Maria is fairly easily shocked. Prepare yourselves.
Anyway Azhar whines that being cliquey and shunting people off and ignoring them is the whole point of having a sub-team (truth, especially on this task, where they never needed to be split, as both teams were always doing the same thing at the same time. Apart from maybe designing their posters or whatever), what is Adam TALKING about?
Anyway, it’s time for Lordalan to survey their product, whilst Nirrck
momentarily panics that this might in fact be an unexploded World War II bomb. He gets Azhar to explain to him what it is (“it’s a com-POSSTER”) and Lordalan jokes that it looks like something you put nuclear waste in! Also it’s really small! Is it for vegetarian dwarves! Azhar tries to do Joke-Face
really shouldn’t. Lordalan asks everyone if they signed on to this bin in the end, and Adam gives notice that he did, but he’d also like to say that he thinks it sucked and had a much better idea that was unanimously supported by a focus group. Just in case they’ve lost.
We cover Adam’s idea, and Ricky Martin, Adam and Tom all whine some more about how they were ignored and marginalised. Nirrck calls them “the country cousins who hadn’t been invited to the party”, and rather than realise this is a statement designed to make them sound petty and infantile, Tom and Ricky Martin are all “YES, WE WANTED TO GO TO THE PARTY, WE BOUGHT FROCKS AND EVERYTHING”. Lordalan points out that this team is a cliquey mess who hate one another, and that cliquey messes who hate one another tend to lose on this show. Well, yes, normally…
NUMBERS TIME! Katie actually steeples her fingers all
“MY BODY IS READY! FOR AN ASSASSINATION!”
Sterling sold 7,500 units to Amazon and 0 units to Lakeland for a total of 7,500 orders
Phoenix sold 3,000 units to Amazon and 10,000 units to Lakeland for a total of 13,000
PHOENIX RISE FROM THE…oh no wait, they just win again.
A big shout-out to Katie incidentally, who just did the least subtle job of acting out “I hope my team lose for daring to ignore me!” ever. Here’s her reaction the great big order from Amazon.
Here’s her reaction to the 0 order from Lakeland.
Anyway, the boys are told that, as their product was for the kitchen, their treat is not going to be in the kitchen (SWERVE!) but in fact in a private room at The Ivy. Everybody cheers
except Azhar, who is very sad that everybody hates him. Never mind, oh Tapeworm of the Intestinal Tract, nobody really likes killer whales anyway, not after that David Attenborough documentary. You are noble lone predator, and all that.
It is pointed out to the women that this is their second loss in two weeks, officially stamping them as the worst women since Series One, and he sends them off to think who amongst them might be their Saira Khan, if there is a possibility of one existing amongst them.
TO THE IVY!
FOR SOME INDIFFERENT LOOKING CHICKEN! LIVING THE DREAM! Everyone tucks in, and Ricky Martin at least has the good grace to say they won because of the product, and the product was Duane’s idea so…well done him. Azhar on the other hand decides to eschew social rules and decides to announce that they won because
he put the right people in the right places. It just so happened the right place for Ricky Martin, Tom, Adam and Nick was the moon. It’s not his fault that Ricky Martin is the Killer Whale of the Sea Of Tranquility, rather than the Sea Of Earth, like what he is.
Everyone laughs in Azhar’s face (no, really, they do) and then Ricky Martin interviews that
“the guy is slick, he looks cool, he’s got all the gear, but no idea”. I might start to think Ricky Martin is a strong candidate (I mean…not to win, but, well…actual merit and that) if he stopped reusing all his wrestling promos to talk about real people/nearly-real people.
Back in the room, everyone toasts to their success, and Adam announces “maybe they should book the table for next time as well HO HO!” whilst Kaen
asks the bouncers “no, really, don’t you know who I am? I’M KAEN BRADY, BITCH!”
Loser Cafe now, where Maria hurls sugar into her coffee like she’s burying a body underneath it and yells that she’s “GUTTED!”, as Katie lies that there was no way they deserved to lose that and Jenna
sails off back to Penguin Beach.
In INTENTterview, Maria flicks back her werewolf mane, and growls that she’s not going to take this lying down. She intends to take charge of this group of women and MAKE THEM WIN. Back in the room, Katie lies that they all did a good job, but one of has to go. Jane EVILterviews that Katie made several HUGE mistakes, like standing around BITCHING and GIVING OUT ABOUT OTHERS so she HAS TO BE FIRED. Katie of course is not at all proving her point by currently
wearing this face in Loser Cafe. So glam. She continues to hedge and say that obviously they changed their product at the last minute AGAINST THE MARKET RESEARCH but they’ll never know for sure if that lost them the task (but it totally did) and obviously Jenna and Gabrielle are morons who couldn’t do basic maths, but we’ll also never know if that cost them the task tum-ti-tum. Everyone else is
totally snowed by this display of passive-aggressive positivity and “reasonableness”. Definitely.
What a shower.
They’re all sent in by Whoever-It-Is (so surly!) and take their places. Jane’s face also takes its place, in the
huffy-nostriled, pursed-lips, angry-eyebrows formation that she seems to think works for her in the boardroom. And she’s still here so…maybe it does?
We start with Lordalan sighing that he told the girls that product would end up defining the task, and so it did. And it did, because their product SUCKED. Why was that? Laura says they were all batting around ideas about problems they have in the bathroom, and this is where the idea came from. Her problem getting her child to behave in the bath. Unfortunately, she makes the mistake of saying that the product was a toy, leading Jane to snap
“it wasn’t necessarily a toy, it was an entertainment centre and storage.” Lordalan asks who championed the idea, which leads Laura to whine that “this is probably going to come in my direction”. Which, fair enough, she dropped the idea as soon as she decided that Katie’s was better, but…she could stand to be less of a martyr over it. It was her idea. Laura is very very firm that she didn’t ram the idea down anybody’s throat, and nobody ever said it was bad. Which is true.
Kaen breaks in, and throws her eyebrows around and says “let’s be honest, it was about lack of ideas”. She points out that there were only two – the tap cosy and the Splish Splash. Katie, just casually, drops in again how the market research showed that her tap cosy was a much better idea, but Jane snits that there were too many practical problems with the cosy, so they were forced to abandon it. I’d be intrigued to see if this is true, or if it’s just Jane’s…Janeness. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A UNIVERSAL TEA COSY!
The amazon pitch is covered next, more specifically the role of these two
in turning it into the equivalent of a badly botched Countdown numbers round (ask Nirrck). Jenna hoots that she wants it noted that she and Gabrielle not only fucked up the figures, but they also helped fuck up the product design and marketing and ideas stage. They’re not ones to shy away from fucking things up LIKE KATIE AND MARIA ARE. Also she’d like it on record in her favour that she’s crap at Maths. Also she’d like to say that she would have expected the other team-member to be mature after she’d made them all look like stuttering mumbling halfwits and just say “oh well guys, let’s move on to the next pitch” rather than what actually happened, which is that she was ATTACKED.
Jane jumps in to agree that Jenna was BRUTALLY ASSAULTED by both Katie and Maria upon leaving the first pitch. Maria
IS SHOCKED again, and protests, saying that she did not attack Jenna. Jane reiterates that she did, or at least she’s going to pretend that she did, because the Katie-Maria glob is what she’s bringing into the Boardroom, tough tits. Instead of arguing back, Maria just says “don’t drag me into this, I said nothing” over and over again, in a style that’s very Big Brother indeed.
The next amazon fail covered is the whole “million units” thing, which Lordalan thinks is just RIDICULOUS. He doesn’t even know why they gave them an order. He is
DUMBFOUNDED! It must have been out of PITY! If they’d ordered 14,000 units or whatever, he definitely would have cancelled the reward because it wouldn’t be a real win LAH LAH LAH HE CAN’T HEAR YOU.
Next we cover the Lakeland pitch, where they didn’t even get a pity vote. Laura’s all
“oh well, I tried, oops”. At this Lordalan decides to tell her “where he’s at”. He’s decided that it’s a bad product, with a bad financial model. So whose fault is all that? Jane has decided that it is Maria’s. Maria
IS SHOCKED. Oh, also, she fell asleep in the car. Maria
IS SHOCKED some more. I mean…I’m never overly fond of accusing women of faking emotions in order to get themselves out of trouble but COME ON. You’ll have to do better than that. Jane tells Maria to give over, she was asleep. She was snoring up a storm and dribbling out of the corner of her mouth and everything.
When asked who else, Jane huffs “Katie tried but…”
See Maria? That’s a much better shocked face. Watch and learn. She blethers about how she did exactly what she was told – market research (which, by the way, said that her tea cosy idea was amazing, did she mention that?). Jenna decides to break in and whine that she hates that the fingers are pointing at the people who did the WERRRRRRRK and not the people who sat back and refused to participate. Maria protests that she would have done the figures if asked and Jane, her voice ringing with awful triumph glowers
“oh actually Maria we did, we said “please Maria will you do the figures?” AND YOU SAID NO!”
MARIA IS SHOCKED! I love that in Jane-World, throwing the phone down and going “OK, YOU DO THE FIGURES THEN, IF YOU’RE SO AMAZING, CAROL VORDERMAN OF THE SEA!” translates to “please Maria will you do the figures?”. Makes sense though. Maria breathes “you are ridiculous!”
Too true. Wait until she sells the story of how Katie shagged a Turkish Diplomat to death to The Times.
It’s time for Jane to decide who is coming back to Final Boardroom with her now, and Lordalan lays down to her that it has to be a RASSHUNULL decision, not one based on EEMOSHUNS.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Best laugh I’ve had all episode.
Jane decides on Maria and Jenna. Lordalan tells them that this state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. What he has heard here is diabolical! DIABOLICAL! He has a wide berth (Too Much Information), and he is NOT AFRAID TO USE IT. HE WILL FIRE TWO OR EVEN THREE PEOPLE IF HE HAS TO! THIS IS DEFINITELY A THING THAT COULD HAPPEN!
Candidates go out, Nirrck prepares the silver bullets, candidates come back in again.
We start with Jane. More specifically, why she chose to bring these two people back to the boardroom. Yeah, I was totally expecting Jade and Laura. That definitely seemed to be the way that was going! This is such a shock! Jane replies that Lordalan basically forced her hand to bring back a member of the “Finance Team”, so she had to “take emotion out of it” and bring Jenna back to the boardroom. Imagine having emotion that argued IN FAVOUR of keeping Jenna. So mystifying.
Anyway, Jenna honks that she
WORKED VEREH HARD and she thinks there are people here who think they can coast through this process by shying away and she doesn’t think that’s right. That Maria. So shy. Oh and also Katie. She should be here instead of Jenna. She thinks she’s SO AMAZING but she didn’t get involved in the pitching, or the figures, or the poster. SHE DONE NOTHING. Jane nods away all
“hmm, yes Jenna, good point, Katie does suck”. She tells Lordalan that if it was a four person boardroom, she definitely would have brought Katie in as well, but Lordalan said it was the finance that was at fault, so here we are. Don’t look at her, it’s your fault Lordalan!
Oh and Maria’s here because, if Jane had to line them all up, Maria would be the one she’d shoot firs…I mean Maria is the one she’d identify as being at the end of the line that contributed least.
We next cover how Maria fell asleep in the back of the Apprenticars. Maria puts her hands up and says she fell asleep for literally two seconds. Jane says that she turned around in the car to speak to Maria, and she was trying to eat the head-rest because she thought it was a giant marshmallow. Maria protests that she remembers the conversation, and she said “I’m thinking, I’m just…I’m thinking”. Jane deadpans
“you were asleep”, in such a way that I’m reminded why, whilst she terrifies me, I’m sometimes glad that Jane is here.
We move on to Jenna next who moans that her business is
“hair, beauty and clothing, all under one roof”. So it’s a hairdressers with a big pile of coats in the corner? Lordalan seems disbelieving that Jenna could run a business and not be able to do basic buying and selling figures. Jenna replies that it’s not her “special point”. Heaven knows what that actually is. I half expect her to start claiming to be psychic a la Daphne Moon-Crane. Anyway she’d just like to say that nobody else on the team put themselves forward to do it. She on the other hand is not afraid to shy away from anything, including fights outside a Wetherspoons at 2 in the afternoon. Lordalan asks if it would be fair for her to be fired over this task and Jenna yells “DEFINITELY NOT, NO!”. I, personally, would not include that comma.
Jane then interjects to say that the only reason she’s here is that she put herself forward to be Project Manager, which is something that awful people like Maria and…erm…Katie would never ever do. Oh, and she thinks that nobody could possibly say that she was a bad Project Manager. Maria mumbles that whatever team Jane is part of, there always seems to be aggression emanating from it. Jane snaps “REALLY, Maria?!?!?!” then stabs her in the face.
Well, apart from the stabbing. Jenna mumbles in the background that Jane is not aggressive at all, so she doesn’t get the hose again.
Jane reiterates that nobody could say she was a bad Project Manager, and then Maria says that she agrees but she still should be fired for…something, even though she was a good Project Manager, and it’s just tragic so I’m going to skip it. Maria was never on the debate team, let’s put it that way. Lordalan closes up with her by asking why, if she runs a restaurant successfully, she didn’t get involved with the figures more, or at least tried to correct them after the first disastrous pitch. Maria replies that she was going to, but it would have caused a fight, and she is Just. Too. Professional. to allow that to happen.
Jane openly scoffs and tells her once again that she did so ATTACK Jenna, so let’s not even go there.
Jane next to blow
hot and cold, as she says that she started her own business, which is in the process of going international. Lordalan then huffs that if that’s the case, then why wasn’t she personally sacrificing goats to the Holy Margins, which is the most basical Business Principle of them all? Why leave it to Jenna, who could barely hold a sacrificial knife without cutting herself, and Gabrielle, who’d be more interested in tying pretty feathers to it and wondering if it could be the centrepiece in a dreamcatcher? How can she tout her Big Business as a plus point when she can’t even run a Tiny One?
Jane then loses her marbles and grits her teeth and says she is
really determined. She got more upset TODAY than when she spoke to her crying son over the phone. Yeah, alright Lady MacBeth. (Also…yes, I’ve DEFINITELY dated him…) Why not promise to curse your womb to be barren for all eternity whilst you’re at it? Actually…Lordalan would probably go for that wouldn’t he? Oh and Maria?
IS SHOCKED. Lordalan tells her to knock it off with the kiddy-sob-story crap, and Maria quickly switches tack and says yes, she made mistakes, but she couldn’t do everything as Project Manager. SHE’S ONLY ONE WOMAN! Lordalan asks her who should be fired, and she says Maria, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Jenna also identifies Maria as her personal choice, on the grounds that she didn’t contribute.
Finally Maria is offered the chance to do a Mini-Beg, and she says that she’ll be Project Manager and that, and if she doesn’t win, she’ll like quit and stuff. SO THERE.
It’s a confusing one this week. Basically the firing of Maria for not doing anything on a Product-Design task
(bye Maria) is the fire-teasing, for a firing of Jane that never actually happens. I say it’s confusing because at no point does Jenna look to be in danger of getting the boot, even though she’s got about as much chance as being hired at the end as Piers Morgan. Jane apparently saves herself via a last-minute end-run where she admittedly makes a strong argument that she messed up by delegating the finances, and she shouldn’t have done it. She WILL NOT make that mistake again. She is going to be a TEAM OF ONE every week, never delegating ANYTHING to anybody else because they ALL SUCK.
I cannot wait.
Anyway, Jane and Jenna return to the house and
don’t give Maria a hug on the way. Feel free to make drama-hay of that if you wish. In CAB OF SHAME ride home, Maria promises that she will continue to expand her restaurant, regardless of the fact that she didn’t win this show.
Now if you’ll excuse her, that looks like a full moon. SHE’S GOT LAMBS TO SLAUGHTER! BA-WOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Back at the house, Katie is telling everyone that
Jane will get fired, because whilst she’s stronger than Maria and Jenna, she tried to be tactical in the boardroom, and Lordalan HATES that. Yeah, he’s never been a fan of people
with social tactics pursuant to an external agenda rather than the reality of the situation. Anyway, Jenna then follows Jane into the house and
LAURA’S MIND IS BLOWN! As well as whoever is yelling “NO WAY!” in the background. I think it’s Duane. I hope so. Jane recounts how she got Maria fired by pointing out that she doesn’t do anything, and then shudders that that just took two years off her life.
Fun Maria Age Fact : she is 28. I refer the court to the last recorded statement made by my learned friend Duane. Who she is younger than. Definitely.
NEXT WEEK :