Tarted-up junk for smartificial pseuds.
We open on
what’s this? DAYLIGHT? The show is losing its touch. I’m guessing that, doomed to never be as beloved as Frances, NotFrances, Cousin It, Giant Girl, and Giant Cousin It, Whoever-It-Is has decided she can’t even be bothered to press “play and record” button on the Amstrad Tape Recorder & Trouser Press. As such, the show is horrifically stalled, as Nirrck, Kaen and Lordalan all flap around wondering what to do next. Azhar, Nick, Adam and Ricky Martin are left playing a game of
circular table-tennis for three months until a back-up plan is formed. In the mean-time, Stephen’s bored out of his skull,
Gabrielle has taken up reading (BLOODY HELL, AN APPRENTICE CANDIDATE READING A BOOK FOR PLEASURE, THIS HAS TO BE A FIRST!), Tom has attached “of Finland” to his name, and Laura has gone feral.
WHAT YOU LOOKING AT, YAH LITTLE RICH BOY?
Finally, their fugue state is lifted, as the phone goes. Racing towards it, and our third points scorer in this year’s Phone Answering Wars is
Azhar! Adam snorfles “maybe Lordalan fancies a game of ping pong!!!!”. I know what he can use as the balls. OVERHAND SMASH! Anyway, it turns out the back-up plan was getting Stella English to speak down the phone through a hankie, telling the candidates to meet Lordalan in the old cinema in Chiswick, and the cars will be with them in 30 minutes. No wonder she’s suing. That’s really more of a Lee McQueen sort of job.
Even though they’re all out of bed, dressed, and hopefully showered, everyone still clatters around the house like they’re doing a nuclear fallout drill from the 1960s. Jade checks her hair and honks out potential task ideas to Laura, who is powdering her face. MAYBE THEY’LL HAVE TO FILM AN ADVERT! I hope it involves Jane standing on the spot and effing YELLING the Pearl & Dean theme before punching the cameraman out. That’d be my advert. Duane shines his shoes, Ricky takes a quick shower and Azhar…
I’ll let you know when I stop laughing. I’m guessing this week’s gimmick is “Gym-Goer Of The Gym”. That head does NOT GO with that body. It’s like one of those old flip-books where you’d give an alien the head of a pirate and the legs of a cat. Still, I notice that, for a man who makes (some of) his living running around wearing nothing but spandex over his crotch and bum area, Ricky Martin is suddenly
rather shy about showing off his boy-boobs. I feel this is the only time in the entire “Process” that Azhar is going to intimidate anybody. How much better would his reign as PM have been if he just ran around yelling “AZHAR SMASH!”? I hope when he finally gets fired they play this over his walk to the Taxi Of Shame.
OK, that’s enough now.
The apprenticars pull up outside, and there’s just time to savour the last time all episode that Jane is dressed like Jane, and not some Hipster Nightmare.
In Phoenix Apprenticar A, Ricky Martin and Katie are mumbling conspiratorially amongst themselves about how Duane and Nick need bringing back down to earth. It would make me so glad if this was a new Evil Alliance. A Ninja Assassin, a Meat-Head Wrestler and
Bertie Wooster’s Arch-Nemesis, Roderick Spode. Positively Saturday Morning Kids TV. Meanwhile, over in Sterling Apprenticar B, Duane is showing the first chinks in his edit by spooling off pompously that
all the people who weren’t really trying are now gone (nice to see that everyone’s forgotten that they’ve thought that about Katie for the last month, just because Nirrck said so), but there’s still some people remaining who he thinks need to be exposed for the lack-talents they are.
*GREAT BIG HONKING SHOT OF JANE RIGHT IN HER FACE, SO SUBTLE*
Thus ends the Duane vs Jane feud. What a dramatically satisfying ending that was.
Apprenticars now have arrived at their destination.
Oh, it’s actually called “The Old Cinema”. I thought Stella-Through-A-Hankie was just being delightfully informal. Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that The Old Cinema is not in fact a cinema at all. It has been converted into an authentic retro vintage nostalgia shop full of old tut that nobody wanted then, but some people are prepared to pretend that they want now. Also, probably a wine bar. Also, in “subtle editing” news, it’s not a huge gap between Helpful Voiceover Man saying “high-end second-hand goods” and
(After his little nostalgia fit last week, I bet this whole task was HVM’s idea. THANKS A LOT, HELPFUL VOICEOVER MAN. In future just stick to reading out lies of numbers about how the British umbrella industry is worth £17 billion per week)
Lordalan arrives, and tells them that there’s a famous saying. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Quite often I was that man. And/or the other one. He reels off a noble history of British recycling as commerce. Rag & Bone Men. Charity Shops. Car Boot Sales. Noel Edmonds Multi-Colour Swap Shop. All of these people make money by taking things that others discard and
dragging them up to their mathter’s castle to construct scientific abominations against nature wi…oh wait, got distracted by Stephen’s face again. Anyway, all these people made a living and preserved the environment by selling on unwanted items to people who wanted them. And now, following in that noble pioneering tradition – hipster arseholes who scribble “Keep Calm And Fuck Agyness Dean” on novelty tea-towels and sell them for £30. And now they get to be those hipsters! They’re going to sell hand-sourced, souped-up, retro tat on Brick Lane!
Gabrielle’s face looks like it wants to ERUPT in about 50 different directions at once, Jane looks like she wants to die, whichever Numskull is operating Ricky Martin’s eyebrow falls asleep on their button AGAIN,
and Lordalan looks positively
vomitorious that THIS is what has become of his beloved East End.
Wanting me to suffer his pain, Lordalan destroys my new Super-Villain Team-Up and my new Scooby Gang both in one fell swoop, and sends Jade and Ricky Martin over to (*scrunches up face hard in thought*) Phoenix and Sterling, respectively. I think. He calls this a “team mix-up”. I don’t think it really counts. I hate when he picks at the edges of “Girls vs Boys” like this, like Jane’s son used to do with his dinner before she TAUGHT HIM PROPER MANNERS – I want a TOTAL RESHUFFLE.
Whoever does profit bestest will win, and in the losing team, someone will be fired based on being the only person whose name you can consistently remember. HOORAY. Meanwhile, in Nirrck’s breast
there sprouts an odd tingling feeling. Almost as though a New Nirrck is stirring within him. It’s about time, let’s face it.
Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that Britain’s Used Goods industry is worth £2 billion pounds per year. And that’s just Celebrity Big Brother. He also births into the world the word “upcycling”, and I am never going to stop judging it for it. Apparently this means “to add value to an old thing by scribbling on it”. Like a mid-life crisis tattoo.
This is a cue for everyone to rummage around amidst the retro tat, Jade and Stephen get far too excited over some American Number-Plates (“WHAT DO PEOPLE DO WITH THESE?”, “I THINK THEY JUST PUT THEM ON THEIR WALLS!” “I’M SO EXCITED!” “ME TOO! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO SCARED!”); Jane yells “SIX-HUNDRED-QUID!” with a silent “FOR A FECKING WARDROBE THAT SMELLS OF ROT!” on the end, reminding me that I do still sometimes love Jane and also that I have somehow dated her son ; Jenna starts hooting about “FUNKING UP A BIN AND MAKING IT A FUNKY BIN!” in a way that almost makes me sometimes love her too.
Nick and Gabrielle, not so much.
It’s time now to pick a Project Manager, but not before Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that they’ve got £1000 worth of seed money each to spend on tat to “upcycle”. (SPOILERS : neither team will end up spending even close to that much. In Series 7 this would be a bad thing. In series 5 a good thing. So confusing this show)
Putting himself forwards on Sterling it’s…
oh, it’s Duane. Again. Two weeks in a row. On the grounds that it’s “buying and selling”. I mean, I’m glad that someone’s trying to mix things up in this dull series, but this just feels wrong. I don’t think it’s arrogant, I don’t think it’s unfair, it just…doesn’t sit right. In my soul. I was confused as to why, but then I looked down and reminded myself with the help of my “WWMCND?” (What Would Melissa Cohen Not Do?) bracelet, and it all made sense. I feel I should send one to Duane. For, like £100 in the spirit of this show. I’ll try and draw something that looks a bit like something Thom Yorke might draw on it, and call it “upcycling”.
Anyway, Sterling are all “LOL NO”, and Laura decides to be the one who palliates this awkwardness by saying she wouldn’t mind being PM, because she’s opened up a retail unit before. It’s called a shop, dear. Unless she’s talking about something el…let’s move on. Duane calls a vote, everybody votes for Laura (Ricky Martin feeling the need to announce “I’m voting for Laura because she’s set up a retail unit” in a way I find incredibly funny but can’t quite articulate why) nobody votes for Duane, Gabrielle votes for
PENS, MMM, INKY GOODNESS, then Duane laughs at his First Fail, a little too hard.
Laura then decides to give an interview about how being an attractive businesswoman has its ups and downs as karma
smacks her in the face by making her look the least attractive she’s ever looked whilst saying it. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR BEING AWARE THAT YOU’RE PRETTY LAURA, NICE GIRLS DON’T DO THAT!
Meanwhile, over on Phoenix, Tom is apparently already leader, and telling his team that they have to pander to the “trendy and judgmental”. Sounds like fun to me! In interview he brags about how he’s only 23 and already amazing and so well-rounded and Wotherspoon Wotherspoon blah blah blah, but I’d like to compare the Tom of this interview to the Tom that’s currently PM’ing this task.
A whole lifetime of…stuff appears to have happened to him. That ping-pong fourway man…(*shakes head*). He tells us that his leadership style is very laid-back unlike…you know, the way he is the rest of the time. Back in the room Adam starts jabbering and robot’ing around and asking everyone other than Tom whether they’re going for a “less is more?” or a “pile it high and sell it cheap” approach. Tom tells him softly but firmly that they’re going for quality over quantity and that he wants to spend as little of the seed money as possible. Adam’s response?
Saying “Tom’s strategy is a bit wrong really”. Nothing like starting a debate you’re not really interested in eh Adam? He tells Tom that his shop is going to look stupid, and that he thinks they should cram the room full of as much tat as possible. (*glances down at WWMCND? bracelet again, is pacified*) (*except she would have said “fillerifify if with as much stockerables as you potentiotiously can” or summit*).
Meanwhile, back on Sterling, Ricky Martin’s big idea is pretty much Adam’s, except he at least is adding an “add value to it before you flog it on” qualifier. And calling it all crap. Who would have thought that there’d be an obvious one sentence parallel between Gerald Ratner and Ricky Martin? Laura and Duane are both keen on this whole “crap” thing, but Jane wants to know how they’re going to add value.
Oh this is going to be good. It turns out that this whole task is what Gabrielle enjoys doing AS A HOBBY. Can you get more serendipitous? This hasn’t happened since Katie Hopkins got that “lure children into the team’s gingerbread house” task. Anyway, Gabrielle brags about how she has sold battered old chairs for upwards of £250 just by “tarting them up”. Say, by…painting a Union Jack on them, and calling them “limited edition!”. Jenna grins that Union Jacks are very cool at the moment. As cool as Funky Bins?
Back to the house now, as all that faf has taken up the whole of the first day of the task. Such fun. I guess this way the candidates are given a prime opportunity to dress as Awful Hipsters at the first opportunity tomorrow.
DING DING DING DING DING. I mean, she’s landed on “Lisa Stansfield”, but at least she’s trying. It’s 6:30am, and the Project Managers are divvying up funds. Tom tells his team that he’s thinking they’re going to sell about 50 items all told on the next day, so they should take the seed money, but spend as little as possible. He gives his sub-team (Adam, Katie, Stephen) £200 out of the £1000 and basically tells them to bring it all back later, and to try not to cut themselves on it. Laura’s strategy meanwhile?
Out to the Apprenticars they all traipse, off to buy stock for their shop. I may gloss over…this entire day, at speed, because I think it was probably the most boring stretch of 7 minutes I’ve ever seen on this show. Ahem. In Phoenix Apprenticar B, Katie has donned her
blood-red scarf of ASSASSINATING, as she slags off Tom to Adam, clearly lining up her target already, the DIABOLICAL MASTERMIND (Spoilers : If they’d lost this task, this would have changed from Tom, to Adam, to Azhar, to Jane, to Jane, to Jane, to Jane, over and over JANE WHY WILL YOU NOT JUST DIE, then back to Tom, then to Stephen again 5 seconds before he got fired when Lordalan declared that he’d never known a man without lips to be successful in business). They go to a
creepy-ass auction house, and buy 3 items. Nirrck
pulls a face and whines. Adam then whines, again, that they’re not spending enough money, and them rummages through some bins like one of those awful fregans who live off out of date Pickled Onion Monster Munch and use old Muller Corner pots as, like, bras or something. Nirrck pulls a face and
whines some more. Possibly about how pimpin’ aint easy. Katie bitches about how Tom wants to lose the task, apparently. I guess she’s the expert, so she can spot all the signs. Adam bitches about how they need to spend more money, AGAIN, SHUT UP ADAM, AND STOP DRAGGING KATIE DOWN WITH YOU.
Ricky Martin, Laura, and Duane enter a shop owned by
Dominic Littlewood, and buy a lot of stuff. Laura and Ricky Martin both repeat that they’ve bought a lot of stuff.
Tom, Jade and Azhar go to a car-boot sale. Jade seems to want to buy a lot, but Tom reins her in. Nick magically teleports over from the other subteam to
whine and pull faces. Tom finally finds some things he sort of likes,
breaks them, wanders off. Jade honks “SORRY BAHT SMASHIN’IT!”. Yeah, nice one Macavity.
Gabrielle, Nick and Jane arrive at their team’s shop space, in Brick Lane, and Jane is
still dressed like this. Laura carts in all the booty she snagged from Dominic Littlewood in after her, and tells the three of them to set about making it “shabby chic”. Nick tells her that he has no bloody clue what “shabby chic” is supposed to mean. Gabrielle
eats pen. Laura says “upcycle” about 50 more times.
OK, right, fine, here’s a scene I can finally get behind. Gabrielle’s about to
go a bit mental and start performing the role of Creative Director. This might not be tedious. She tells Jenna, Nick and Jane that she really wants to put HER STAMP on the chairs and tables that Laura has bought back for them. I’m hoping this means a crude painting of Gabrielle on roller-skates, eating an ice-cream and crying. I’d buy it. What a shame Jade has been teleported away so she can’t do a crude doodle of a half-lion, half-pig, half-duck, half-rhinocerous on everything. She tops even this by speechifying “WE NEED CUSHIONS! WE NEED FABRIC! WE NEED CANDLES!”. GIVE HER THROW-RUGS OR GIVE HER DEATH!
Jenna gets on the phone to try to procure everything Gabrielle needs to fulfil her Grand Design, but Gabrielle keeps on pitching in to the call, telling Jenna to DOUBLE the amount of cotton, TRIPLE the amount of duck-down, and ONLY THE FINEST ARABIAN DOORKNOBS PLEASE.
Such a drama-queen. I think Gabrielle may be my favourite awful wet-liberal Creative Female candidate of all time.
Kaen interviews that Sterling seem to think they have to upcycle everything, and by Sterling, she means Gabrielle. Meanwhile back in the room, whilst Gabrielle is flustering “4 of these, 12 of these, AND I SIMPLY MUST HAVE 1,000 BLUE M & MS IN A BACK-LIGHT VASE OR I AM RETIRING TO MY DIVAN!”. Jenna points out that this is all getting quite expensive and Gabrielle flounces “WE’VE GOT LOADS OF MONEY!”.
is regretting letting Lordalan make her a curry, because she’s getting an unpleasant stinging sensation somewhere not very nice. Speaking of which
WOO, BRICK LANE HIPSTERS! At the other end of the street, Tom, Jade and Azhar are eyeing up their own “retail space”. It’s a little less erm…
involved than Gabrielle’s vision. So far.
OK, back to the slog scenes. Adam, Stephen and Katie all walk into a junk shop. They gully together a load of old crap. Stephen pulls amazing
“OH NO, WE HAVE LEFT THE HOUSE WITHOUT THE AMOUNT THAT YOU JUST TOLD US THAT THIS ALL COSTS, OH NO, NOW YOU WILL HAVE TO SELL IT TO US FOR LESS THAN THAT SORRY!” face. The shopkeeper cuts him some slack, then, after they’ve left, yucks it up about how they just bought all the worst tat in the shop HA HA. In their Apprenticar, Stephen’s all
OOOH DID YOU SEE THE DEAL I JUST GOT, I AM AMAZING. I COULD RUN THAT MAN’S SHOP BETTER THAN HE CAN! SALES SALES, NEVER STOP MOVING STEPHEN, SALES SALES, OTHERWISE YOU’LL DIE SWEAT SWEAT SALES BUG EYES.
Laura, Duane and Ricky Martin walk into a house where someone just died, where they meet my Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week
Alex The Corpse Remover. Hey, it’s a living. They strip the house of some poor dead old man’s memories, lob them in a van, then doodle a LOLCAT on them and sell them to some twat with a ring studded through his cornea, a tattoo on his pancreas, lemon coloured hair and a t-shirt of Goofy smoking a doobie.. Duane says that he wouldn’t buy most of this stuff personally, but hey, it was all free and you know what they say.
“Never look a gift horse in the eye, or you may find his junk becomes your treasure”.
(What IS a Drinks Distribution Entrepreneur anyway? Is he just calling himself that because he sprayed everyone with champagne last week?)
All this stuff back in the Apprenticar, Laura merrily twitters that she hopes that Gabrielle has done something truly exciting and creative with their space. In fact, it turns out what Gabrielle has done with their space is poorly painted chairs and
the Luggage from Discworld, over and over again. Gabrielle is basically Sid from Toy Story, but instead of gruesome mish-mashes of different toys, she’s just bolting different (and wrong) bits of furniture together. Hey, it’s a hobby. I do kind of want them to all rise up and kick her ass though (gently obviously, she’s a delicate flower of a woman). Nick interviews that he’s not sure about this whole “upcycling” thing, but Gabrielle (who he accidentally calls “Gabi”, then corrects himself, awwww (Jade is going to be PISSED when she gets back on this team)) seems to have it all well in hand, and things are going well. His hair says otherwise.
7pm now, and it’s time for Phoenix to take a step back and drink in Tom’s vision.
Turns out to be barely more exciting than he is. Everyone tries to shuffle stuff around to make it look like their retail space is more packed than it actually is. We’ve all been there, right guys? Adam
whines that they haven’t bought enough stuff. He may have mentioned this before.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle is STILL marshalling everyone around on Sterling, long into the night whilst Nick is
full on staring at his hand like it’s been possessed by some sort of Creativity Devil. Yeah, try making an Excel spreadsheet for THIS mess. Ricky Martin and Duane retreat to a corner to be Those Guys On This Task Who Say They Don’t Understand Art But They Know What They Don’t Like And
This Looks Like Turd. There’s always at least two aren’t there? Gabrielle hoots at them that she’s trying to get a similar LANGUAGE between all of their PRODUCTS. Is it Martian? Ricky Martin groans in interview that a Union Jack is not really very creative. Have we stepped back into Task 1 all of a sudden? If it was good enough for Jack The London Bear then…
Thank you Gabrielle, for carrying that entire day’s worth of task on your own *salute* Night draws in as, possibly, so does Maria.
Tom is giving his hair the full Wella Shockwaves Hipster Treatment. To sell to them, you must act like one of them. When in Rome, do as hipster tossers do. Laura similarly
BACKCOMBS AS THOUGH HER VERY LIFE DEPENDED ON IT. Azhar’s style-choices meanwhile are very much
Art Malik as Elvis Nick?
La Roux and Alex Parks had a baby. Stephen’s?
“Arty”. Well…Stephen’s version of arty. He’s wearing a grey cardigan and undone a button. I can’t WAIT to see what Jane’s done to herself.
In Sterling Apprenticar A, Laura worries to Jenna and Gabrielle about whether people are going to like what her team have done with the space. IE, obliterated it under a mountain of treasure chests with hoover nozzles attached as “legs”. Gabrielle meanwhile has faith that the items she made will sell best of all, because they have been kissed by her artistic vision, unlike that dead old man’s cathater they’re selling as hip “medi-COOL” neckwear. She also persists with “the Union Jack is really cool”, even though she got that from flipping JENNA. Who, probably to fill the void soon to be left by the departing Mrs Bates, has come as the Fourth Downton sister :
Prunella (Very) Crawley.
9am, and Team Laura are arriving at their shop space. Nick jokes “did it get messed up overnight or did we leave it like this?”. Gabrielle and Jenna both laugh. Laura grunts “we left it like this”, through gritted teeth. Sometimes it’s hard out there for humourless businesswomen, don’t judge. We are informed, via Helpful Voiceover Man, that Laura’s bombsite is called “Vintage Gold”. It’s like gold…BUT REALLY OLD. And it’s an utter state. Which Jenna and Laura get to cleaning up whilst the other two…I don’t know, go off and call one another “Gabi” and “Badger-Face” behind a curtain or something.
Meanwhile, Phoenix : Team Tom (Tom, Katie, and Azhar) are performing tiny last minute tweaks,
mostly adding price-tags and stuff, to their shop, named “Retro Action”. “Retro” meaning “Backwards”. Katie lures in passing men by
USING HER SEXY POWERS OF A WOMAN’S SEX. And you thought that CV talk was just for show. The shop fills quickly, the stock moves well, I wonder how many times I can play “male or female” with the hipsters in this episode until I cave, do a picture, then feel a bit mean about it. I think I can hold it out for a while yet, but IT’S A STRAIN. This woman
gives their first testimonial. She liked the shop – there wasn’t much in there, but she thinks that every single item there was pretty special.
Yeah, you can tell. (Also, yes, that vinyl clock from the early 80s in the shape of a heart was TRULY SPECIAL).
At this point, the Shop Team on Sterling are still trying to implement Gabrielle’s grand vision. By which I mean
Nick is throwing dead leaves about everywhere, whilst Gabrielle squeaks “MAKE A PATH!”. In charge of pricing? Also Gabrielle, who runs around draping tastefully scrawled price-tags on everything whilst everyone else says things like “are you sure?” and “I don’t buy this shit so…”. Once Gabrielle is finally done, which she marks by, I don’t know, spitting in the middle of the floor to christen the shop, Nick goes outside and tries to pull in the shop’s first customer.
I so enjoy it when I can say that somebody laughed in somebody’s face on this show, and mean it literally.
Over at “Retro Station”, Katie and Azhar are selling the items that Tom selected well. So well that they’ve pretty much run out of stock already. Although to be fair, their stock to begin with was “three chairs and an antique hole-punch and how we laughed when that one guy in the ironic Anthrax t-shirt said he wanted to buy Nirrck, but could they upcycle him by blowing platinum glitter in his face HO HO”. Nirrck himself?
Whining and pulling faces. And saying things like “there’s a difference between minimalism and emptiness”. Oh go write a Nemi cartoon Nirrck. Interstingly, it appears that New Nirrck
is already betraying his sour-faced predecessor, without his knowledge. This is like Ben and Glory all over again. Katie prods Tom in the arm all “buy more stock, buy more stock” and Tom…ponders. In a very Tom like way. By which I mean I almost fell into a coma the third time he steepled his fingers and jabbed them into his upper lip and pulled a thinky face.
this meeting of minds is enough to wake me up. ITV sitcom to replace Benidorm right there. Call it “Jenna & The Bandit”. She gets approached by two other men, who look a bit like The Pet Shop Boys, who laugh at the chairs and say “WHERE DID YOU FIND THESE? THEY’RE JUST LIKE THE 80S!” to which Jenna replies brightly “WAH? DO YOU LIKE THUM?”. The men then laugh in her face and walk off. She looks crushed. I can’t improve this scene with a picture, or a joke or anything. IT JUST IS, AND IS AMAZING BEING SO. Meanwhile Duane’s sales technique?
“This one’s big and this one’s small *brrrs his lips like a horse (a gift horse if you will) (ie one that you would not look in the nose)*” Yeah, it’s not his BEST week so far. Gabrielle’s
basically stalking people and daring them not to love her Manic Pixie Dream Girl vision. SHE REALLY TRYING TO CHANNEL HAROLD & MAUDE WITH THIS WARDROBE! HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE SHINS, THEY’LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! (I’m sure Stephen is familiar with “Kissing The Lipless” A HA HA HA HA) But all this is irrelevant as I’m sure the question on everyone’s lips is “no, really, where is Jane, and what is she dressed as?”
(Aside from, why is the entiriry of Sterling buzzing round their store, and yet there’s only three people selling for Phoenix? ; is Tom going to win despite having half of his (already smaller) salesforce spend the entire day in a van? ; how much will I laugh when this is the case?)
Anyway, if you said
“out the front, yelling at people, dressed as Party Time Jane”, then correct, you are right! Look, she’s trying to tilt her leg all coquettishly. Never has a bad episode of this show picked up quite so dramatically in the space of one AWFUL TATTY PRETENTIOUS SHOP. SHe interviews that all of the items are really hideous and it’s impossible to sell any of them. Meanwhile these two gays are all
“no dear, it’s just you…well it is PARTLY the ugly tat you’re selling but…” with their faces. We get a short montage of Jane walking up to people and jabbering
“COME LOOK AT OUR POP-UP VINTAGE SHOP” at them. No, really, WHAT IS that dress for? This montage is briefly enlivened by a shot of Ricky Martin
thinking he’s the Urban Cowboy. (Yes, Jane did walk that distance with that lady, saying “IT’S FUNKY STUFF! COME ON!” the whole time). Kaen interviews that there are a lot of…”different” sales techniques on the team, but Jane’s is the worst.
Midday at Retro Station, and they’ve almost sold out after two hours of selling time. Stephen, Adam and Jade ring up from their Apprenticar, which is apparently just driving around and around and around in circles for no reason, and ask if maybe they should buy some more items for the shop? Tom just shrugs and goes “yeah, alright, then”.
I don’t know about you, but I would follow this man TO THE DEATH. Such charisma.
Anyway, Jade, Adam and Stephen go to Battersea and buy some stuff and did I express clearly enough that I found this part of the task really boring last it happened adequately enough? I DID? COOL! I mean, it even ends with the line
“you can have it for a pound, as long as you promise you’ll GO! AWAY!” and I still don’t care.
Back at “Vintage Gold”, the stock is still plentiful, so Laura has devised a plan to get things moving.
LEAFLETS! Which she gives to Duane, Ricky Martin and Jane to hand out as pointless busy work, as they’re the three worst salespeople on the team and making the place look untidy. Oh Laura, you should have just locked them in a van, like Tom did. Anyway, the plan works, in that Jane, Duane and Ricky Martin all go away. I doubt it drives up sales any. I mean, Helpful Voiceover Man tries to act like there’s a connection between the 4pm rush and the flyers being handed out but
that’s just when people like this get out of bed.
Laura gushes in interview that “people are literally walking it, grabbing stuff, paying for it, then walking out”. Yes…that’s how a shop works. I thought you said you’d done one before? She then says that she thinks the team will be pleasantly surprised when they start tallying up the profit they’ve made. Yeah, that always bodes well. “IT’S NOT GOING TO BE AS SHIT AS WE THINK IT’S GOING TO BE!”
Back at Retro Station, Jade, Adam and Stephen all unload their van, Katie prods Tom to start selling it as fast as possible, Stephen tries to sell to a pretty girl – drops the product on the floor and yells “SHIT!” whilst doing so (Stephen <3), Adam bonds with some other people just as awful as him about how much they hate everything, yadda yadda yadda, let’s get to the money-shot.
“THEY’RE DOING WELL! I may well have sneered a little bit yesterday, and I apologise. I thought their product selection was poor, but what do I know?”
YAY! NEW NIRRCK!
5pm and so…LAST MINUTE SALES RUSH! Guess what’s left over stock for Sterling?
That’s right! The FUNKY Union Jacks. Maybe if they’d painted them onto a Funky Bin? Ricky Martin thinks he’ll manage to sell them, but he’s not sure for what price. Yeah, it doesn’t help if you sell them for negative pounds, Ricky Martin. This woman
declares the chairs “NOT VINTAGE”. Well that’s them told. Laura actually starts yelling “PLEASE COME AND TAKE THIS FURNITURE OFF OF ME!” out the door; Tom wheels all his stock out into the street, Jenna makes
another new Brick Lane friend; Adam and Stephen run through the streets of London, carrying a table, with neither of them knowing where they’re going or why; everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is overlaid with the sound of Laura SCREAMING IN THE STREET like Scarlett O’Hara in a hurricane all
“COME AND TAKE IT! IT’S A POUND! I’M LITERALLY GIVING IT TO YOU! FOR A POUND! AS GOD IS MY WITNESS, YOU SHALL NEVER GO TABLE-LESS AGAIN!” and …
SELLING ENDS! (lol “BBC Business Documentary”, who do they think they’re fooling?)
Sad News : with the inevitable blurring of the lines that comes with team shuffles,
Team Chivalry is no more. Either that or they’ve realised this particular set of women don’t really deserve chivalry. Something, somewhere wheezes “you can go into the Boardroom now” so…everyone does. Once inside, they learn that
New Nirrck is one stone heavier than Old Nirrck, and it’s making his clothes sit uneasily on his frame. Oh well, it’s a worthwhile trade-off for being less of a sneery tit. Lordalan finishes listening to his Vivian Girls EPs, and enters.
He starts off by telling them all that he would have found this to be a very interesting task. So would I, if it had been at all engaging viewing beyond Gabrielle’s epic episode long freak-out. Anyway, Lordalan says he would have liked it because it was so vague and unspecific.
AND WHAT GREAT TV THAT MAKES!
We start with Sterling, and Laura is identified as the Project Manager. She’s asked how this has happened, given that all she’s done so far is invent Dick-Splash then run away from it 5 seconds later to hide behind The Katiesassin. Laura protests that she put herself forward strongly and decided it was her time to shine. Hey, remember when Zoe talked like that last series? (*shudders*)
Motion : I am allowed to counter the growing and tragic “Zoe was a good candidate” movement by just shouting “BOLLOCKS!” and running away
Anyway, Lordalan says that Laura is in the bridalwear business, so she must be used to dressing stuff up to make it look better.
EVERYONE DO APPRENTICE JOKE FACE…NOW!
Lordalan asks Laura to lay out the task for him, and Laura says that it was foreign territory for most of them, apart from their SOOPER-SEKRIT HIPSTER WEAPON, GABRIELLE! Poor Jenna. She knew both that Union Jacks are cool, and of the power of a Funky Bin, and she gets snubbed. So misguided, so rude. Laura then explains the idea of “shabby chic” to Lordalan.
I choose to believe he’s pulling that face because the last person to say “shabby chic” in earnest was Linda Barker on an episode of Changing Rooms in 2002.
Nick, Gabrielle, Jenna and Jane are identified as the creative, refurbishment team (well, Jenna hilariously says “the girls and Nick”, probably because Laura is so attractive she transcends gender), and Nick explains to Lordalan how they “reupholstered” the furniture that Laura, Duane and Ricky Martin brought to them. He leaves out the part where Gabrielle repeatedly scalded him with a glue-gun (kinky) and accidentally stapled him to a chair through his scrotum (even kinkier).
Kaen breaks in to say that Gabrielle’s creative direction was more “Reception Red’s Craft Hour” than creative powerhouse. How wrong she is. So last century. Although actually that would be retro, and so good so…Kaen is so NEXT century. Anyway, Lordalan asks Laura what the theme of their shop was, and she admits that is was more retro than vintage, like that’s a thing that means anything. Lordalan asks her how the dead leaves everywhere fitted in with the theme, and Jenna hoots that the customers thought it looked quite arty when they came in. Tragic, that inability to hear “f”s at the start of words.
Laura is then asked who on her team was the best and worst at selling, and she’s not telling, but the
GREAT BIG UNSUBTLE SHOT OF JANE’S FACE is. Laura bats her eyelashes and demures, but when Lordalan presses her on who really impressed her she says…that she did. Adam’s all
“back off love, that’s my schitck. Get your own. Preferably in the kitchen”.
Oh yeah “goodteamleader?”. It gets a solid response from Ricky Martin of all people, but the camera resolutely refuses to show anybody else and nobody else speaks. Nick might have been flicking the Vs or something, we shall never know.
Over on Phoenix, Tom identifies himself as Project Manager, and says he was really excited about the task, sounding about as excited as I used to be when Buffy got cancelled because some snooker had over-run. Lordalan asks if he had a strategy, and Tom replies that he did.
Mind-numbing, bean-counting caution. He also lies that he thinks everyone was happy with the strategy he chose for the team. Either that or he’s flat-out Katie “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY WE LOSE THAT TASK” delusional. Lordalan asks him why he split the teams as he did, and Tom replies that he wanted Jade to be with him because she’s a girl and knows about design and shit, and he didn’t really care what anyone else did, so he gave them all £3 to go and buy a copy of the Beano and a Maoam Bar each, and told them they were the bestest negotiators so they got to have their own fun team that did nothing.
Well, Jade looks pleased at least. Stephen starts gabbling away about profit being key and how he personally implemented Tom’s strategy on the ground perfectly and Lordalan
could not give less of a shit. I hope Stephen is this series patented “Paul Callaghan” Low Visiblity Until He Is PM And Then OH MY GOD THE CARNAGE candidate, I really do.
We re-iterate that Tom was a right tight-wad, because there’s not really a lot else to talk about, as often in the case with winning teams. Adam decides to say that he thought they didn’t buy enough stock. As I said, he may have mentioned this before. Lordalan tells him that was probably just Tom aiming for minimalist arty-farty types, like what he and Adam are not, being good solid salt-of-the-down-to-earth types. For no reason Jade YELLS, at Alex Epstein “DO YOU LIKE THIS DRESS?” levels
“IT HAD BEEN SET OUT IN A GOOD WAY THOUGH!”. Everyone jostles like a gun just went off and wonder what the hell that noise was. I’m glad she’s finding her voice anyway. And it is now in love with Tom. A good Tom-Jade-Nick-Gabrielle Love Square could really revive this series.
“Goodteamleader?” elicits universal praise, particularly from Stephen. Lordalan asks Tom if everyone was co-operative, and he says that they were. In fact he has not a word of complaint about any of them over the past two days. Lordalan pretends this is a brave statement, because now he’ll be stymied if they lose, but let’s face it, they could all hear Laura’s howls of desperation from the other end of Brick Lane, if not the other end of London, if not the other end of the UK, if not the other end of SPACE AND TIME ITSELF, so they have to know the score here, yes?
Phoenix spent £360 and sold £1424 worth of junk, for a profit of £1064
Sterling spent £660 and sold £1444 worth of junk, for a profit of £784
PHOENIX RISE FROM THE ASHES! FOR REALSIES THIS TIME!
Stephen in particular is so very excited. And kudos also to Katie for serving
Mr Burns Realness. Lordalan tells them all they’ve done very well thanks to just how tight Tom is, and they can all go off and have a lovely time learning how to swing dance at a 40s Vintage Party.
I can’t work out if Tom hates this and is trying very hard to look upbeat and happy or if…that is Tom upbeat and happy. Adam blusters “FANTASTIC FANTASTIC!” to remind me that it could always be worse. Then he and Katie have a very over-excited
hug. Stop ruining her Adam, I swear to God. This can only be resolved by her immediately ASSASSINING him, without prejudice, next week. Also hugging?
Back in the Boardroom, Sterling are told that they’ve lost because, whilst they sold more than Phoenix, the margin by which they outsold them was outstripped by the margin by which they (by which I mean “Gabrielle”) outspent them, and so the day was lost. Thanks Lordalan! Some of these women could do with a Maths lesson.
Everybody to the fancy-dress box!
Got to love Stephen being given an expensive silk scarf to wear, and still sporting it in the manner of Big Ron Atkinson. Everyone toasts to Phoenix’s third glorious victory, and Duane/Nick’s first loss, meaning no Helen-Entity business this year. Probably. Stephen is particularly earnest in doing so, looking Tom directly in the eyes and saying “very good job Tom, very good“. Such a crawler. This necessary business over with…
IT’S TIME TO SWING DANCE!
Katie’s body is ready, Tom’s face is…still wearing that smile, and Adam is still very much the Colonel Mustard of this reward that should have been a murder-mystery party but wasn’t. (SPOILERS : Katiedunnit). Yes, this is Simon and Nicky, swing-dance coaches extraordinaire. They’re experts, so they dance like this
These guys are middle-managers, so they dance like this
AMAZING. Katie finds a spare moment to retreat to some sort of props cupboard to
crowterview about how this is her first win, and she thinks she deserved it. And also well done to Tom for being a strong PM. Although don’t go thinking she thinks he was a good PM – he just took a risk that paid off. She’s still totally going to SASSPANINATE him with a vintage bed-pan in the toilets, having lured him there with a sexy manipulative lady-dance (UNSEEN FOOTAGE OF KATIE’S SEXY MANIPULATIVE LADY DANCE)
Sadly there is no dancing in
Loser Cafe, only the sad, sad stench of defeat. Nick has decided he has identified where they went wrong. They needed to have spent less, and sold more. Thanks Nick. Ricky Martin meanwhile takes his negativity outside, and
eyebrowterviews that they bought the wrong items in the first place, then made them worse by having Gabrielle scrawl KOOL BRITTANIA on them in poster paints. Laura and Gabrielle then have a mini spat over the table all “I think the worst thing was how SOMEONE spent a third of our money on rhinestones and silly putty” and “I think the worst thing was how SOMEONE bought items that were too expensive in the first place”
THIS MEANS WAR! Laura
ANGRYTERVIEWS, her hair billowing like Poltergeist, that there was nothing she could do about the purchasing of items in the first place, because it was always just going to be guesswork (?!) but the purchasing of gewgaw TAT to glue-gun to everything was all on Gabrielle and she will SUFFER FOR IT. Or words to that effect.
It’s just so nice seeing Jane look like Jane again. Somebody ushers the candidates in, possibly it’s Kaen whispering through the vents.
Lordalan starts by saying that he’d be interested in hearing their analysis as to why they lost to Phoenix. Yes…that is what this segment is for. Apart from poking Gabrielle into another meltdown obviously. Laura’s all “oooh, I’ll do it – it was Gabrielle’s fault. She spent 1/3 of our budget on “upcycling”.” Lordalan clarifies that the amount of money that Gabrielle spent on materials was £232, which…actually is about a third! OMG, one of the women did maths right! *applause applause*
Gabrielle herself breaks in to say that this is true, but she definitely allowed other people a say in their creative direction so it’s not just her. Kaen’s all
LOL, whatever Gabrielle, you were out of control, let’s not pretend anybody else got a word in around you stapling bits of bookcase to bits of coffee table, then trying to paint a Welsh Dragon on it that ended up looking the results of a pap smear. Gabrielle replies that she was given products by Laura and then TOLD to upcycle them. She did her best given the amazing creative brain that God gave her. The problem was that Laura just gave her too much stuff to augment. Laura snorts that she didn’t even use all the materials she bought and Gabrielle protests
THAT SHE SO DID USE the majority OF IT. Laura asks how much of the materials that Gabrielle bought were really necessary and Gabrielle blusters back that ALL OF IT WAS TOTALLY NECESSARY FOR BRINGING HER VISION TO LIFE. ALL OF IT! Even half the stuff she stuffed into her handbag to take and decorate her flat with. And besides, Laura gave her NO STRATEGY! THERE WAS NO PLAN! THEY WERE JUST TOLD TO MAKE PRETTY STUFF AND THE BUDGET WOULD TAKE CARE OF ITSELF!
Doesn’t at all sound like Gabrielle’s Week One reign of terror does it? Laura protests that Gabrielle was in charge of her sub-team, so should have come up with her own damned strategy.
At this point, Jenna decides she has something to say.
She were never given a budget on what to spend – Laura just doled out £300 to them at the start of the day and told them to get on with it. Laura then YELLS, at a frankly indecent volume, after spending Jenna’s entire last paragraph nodding and obnoxiously going “yes, yup, ok, yes” “WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SPEND £200 WORTH OF MATERIALS?”
Jenna says that they in fact only spent £178 initially, but then Laura came back and told them to spend even more because she needed them to gussy up all this stuff that she’d found under some dead guy’s bed. Laura then SHOUTS at Jenna to tell her what the specific orders were, and how much each cost, and why each one was necessary. (What a fun boardroom that would be. “Gabrielle ordered 15 brass doorknobs because she found them redolent of Renaiisance-Era Turin. Gabrielle ordered 11 oriental rugs because they reminded her of an ex-boyfriend and then she cried for half an hour”) Jenna then SHOUTS BACK that she’s about it, and then Laura SHOUTS at Jenna to STOP SHOUTING. She then pulls a face to indicate that she is
Kaen levels of ashamed of all these other women in business, like she didn’t start all the shouting, 24 hours earlier, in the street screaming “IT’S ONLY A A POUND! BUY IT FOR A POUND! TARA IS BURNING, BUY IT FOR A POUND!”
Lordalan then decides to bring this round to the fact that most of the stuff they bought was unsellable even before Gabrielle got her hands on it, so let’s talk about that. Lordalan asks Laura who bought the stuff that they then upcycles, and Laura says it was herself, Ricky Martin and Duane. He tells them that they had 200 items, compared to Tom’s 50. Ricky Martin pipes up to say “it’s a big difference” and Lordalan’s all
“yes, that was my point, well done Captain Obvious, have a biscuit”. Ricky Martin then decides to scramble up on an actual point, and says that Gabrielle misled them all by saying that she knew the area and the clientele, and then painting everything with a Union Jack, which went down like a lead fart. Gabrielle’s all “I WAS JUST TRYING TO MAKE IT LOOK PRETTY! WHY IS EVERYONE PICKING ON ME?!” as Laura lies that she was definitely very concerned about the Union Jack stuff, definitely she was. Gabrielle then turns to Laura and asks her, given that Gabrielle was apparently responsible for all the upcycling, buying of materials, and shop-design then
WHAT THE FUCK DID SHE DO AS PROJECT MANAGER?
Oh, nice play. *golf clap*
Lordalan decides to stop Laura before she can answer, because he wants to talk about sales. More specifically the fact that Gabrielle sold £414 worth of stuff, and was the team’s top salesperson.
Gabrielle looks more shocked than when she will when she finds out what Nick and Jade were up to last week. Next was Jenna (?!?!?!), with £407 worth of sales and oh by the way Jane
you sold £10. HAHAHA. Her whole edit has been mostly pointless, but that was an all-time great villain smackdown, it has to be said. Before Jane even opens her mouth, Kaen swoops in to call her
“desperate and aggressive”, with a great big smug, patronising look on her face. So amazing.
Jane replies that possibly she was a bit “over-enthusiastic” but she was just trying her damndest to get as many people as possible into the shop! Lordalan then capriciously announces that he is bored (not just him), and can’t work out where the responsibility lies. So he’s going to ask the men of the team what they think. (MISOGYNY <3)
Ricky Martin says that it’s Gabrielle’s fault, for her whole creative direction thing that didn’t sell, and Lordalan hoots that she sold more than he did. Ricky Martin concedes that this is true. Duane doesn’t say anything, which is probably for the best given the week he’s had. Laura is asked who she’s bringing back – she says Gabrielle, for her creative meltdown, and Jane, for only selling £10 worth.
Candidates go out, Kaen calls Jane a dumb cooze, New Nirrck says that he loves them all, because it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there like this, candidates come back in again.
Lordalan opens up by telling Laura that Gabrielle made a very good point in the first half of this boardroom – Laura didn’t actually appear to do any managing.
So what say she to that? Laura’s reply is that was a great motivator and she erm…managed well, erm…she was a good manager she erm…she made some flyers and shit. Also she DID give a clear direction, GABRIELLE. Lordalan breaks in before the pin can come out Gabrielle’s Boardroom Insanity Balloon and tells Laura that nobody else thought she gave clear direction – why didn’t she give Gabrielle a budget for materials? Laura bats back, pinch faced, that
she thought that Gabrielle would have common sense.
Has she met Gabrielle?
Anyway, this is it,
Gabrielle is off to the races, yelling about how there was NO BUDGET AND NO DIRECTION, AND SHE TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING SHE DID, AND SHE DID SO MUCH, AND WHAT DID LAURA DO? GIVE A SPEECH! WELL WELL DONE FOR THAT!
preps her best bitch-face, and congratulates Gabrielle on the great speech that SHE just gave, that’s so commendable and thank you for that. Yes, she knows that Gabrielle put masking-tape on a window, well done for that, FABULOUS work-ethic there.
What a cow. I love that the Universe has sensed that a bitch-vacuum is about to be produced, and is already readying for it to be filled. Gabrielle mumbles that she also did signage and labelled everything, and Laura decides that it’s time to BREAK THIS DOWN. Gabrielle was
OUT OF CONTROL to a level that nobody should be expected to deal with. Laura was at the centre of everything – the eye of calm at the centre of Gabrielle’s Bullshit Hurricane. Lordalan asks Jane if this is so and Jane sneers
that it clearly isn’t, like she can’t even believe she’s in the Boardroom in the first place and Lordalan must have lied about her sales figures just to inveigle her in here so he could rely on her fabulous insights.
Gabrielle returns to asking Laura what she actually did as manager, beyond splitting the teams up, and Laura says that she was in charge of both purchasing and selling, and in terms of selling, she was so great and motivational that everyone had no problem selling everything. Well…apart from Jane, apparently, LOL.
Jane bristles at this and says that Laura TOLD HER to stand in the street (Laura protests that she didn’t), and Laura also TOLD HER to do flyering (Laura admits that she did), so where was she supposed to find time to sell? Laura replies that that was basically what Nick did with his day, and he still managed to sell more than £10 worth of stock soooo….
Lordalan next turns to Jane, and tells her that he’s very impressed by her CV and the fact that she and her husband have a very successful business. (I love that up til now it’s been Jane’s Business, but now she’s on her way out the door, suddenly we’re implying that any success it’s had is down to her husband.) He thinks that this means that everyone else must view her as a great businesswoman and a threat, BUT HE DUN’T CARE. IT’S BEGGING TIME, BITCH.
Jane says that she worked GIN EWE WINE ly hard at this task, despite not being a market trader. She is, however, more comfortable in a “business to business” environment.
It’s Laura’s turn to beg next, and she says that she has been successful in everything that she has ever done (except three out of the last four tasks, oops). She says that Gabrielle should be fired, Gabrielle chooses Laura, as does Jane.
FIRING TIME! Gabrielle gets a patented “don’t even worry about getting fired love, you’re safe”, because of her enthusiasm, which leaves us with a fire-teasing of Laura, but it’s a fire-teasing so obvious that Jane is wearing this face
for about 40 seconds before her actual firing, such is her disbelief. And mine.
She says “thank you anyway” and stalks out. Katie is going to be SO PISSED OFF that she didn’t get to pull the trigger. Literally. Ah well, there’s always the reunion. Lordalan tells Gabrielle that as well as being so enthusiastic, she’s also staying because he thinks the other girls unfairly picked on her. Oh, go write it on Digital Spy. He sends them both out to Jane so she can
pass the Bitch Baton on. Kaen tells him that he shouldn’t fret about his decision, or worry about what Jane might do in the future. I think he should. That woman has “maudlin revenge shit in a tupperware box” written all over her.
In fact she might even be doing one now.
In her exit cap interview she cries a lot, and it’s kind of uncomfortable. Oh well. Let’s ask her son how he feels about this.
Cut to Jade
gleefully holding court back at the house, waving her hands around saying that on paper Laura should go, but she’s just got a feeling that it’s going to be Jane. I wonder why she’s feeling so energised and enthusiastic all of a sudden.
Oh, Nick is lounging round in his pants, that explains everything. Katie says she thinks Jane is going to go, Nick says it should be Laura, and then both Gabrielle and Laura return to cheers and hugs. Laura decides to tell everyone that he ripped them both to shreds in the boardroom but you can tell Gabrielle’s thinking
“whatever, he said I was passionate and unfairly picked upon. HE CAN SEE THAT I, LIKE VAN GOGH, AM JUST UNAPPRECIATED IN MY TIME! I’M GOING TO BE MORE UNBEARABLE NOW THAN EVER!”. Jenna hoots “BUT WHAT HAPPUND TER JANE?”, clearly sad for her Best Friend, and both Gabrielle and Laura shake their heads and say “it wasn’t pleasant”, like the direwolves got her or something.
Whatever girls, it was mostly hilarious.
Next week :