Next week : Nick & Tom go in a double-firing and I give up.
6:15am at the Apprentice Hacienda and
all the lights are on, except in the Creepy Attic. Who knows what lurks up there? Actually, it’s probably Stella’s office, which she’s padlocked into, wondering why nobody’s sent her up any work in the last 3 months and when these baked beans are going to run out. The phone goes off and, scoring her second point in Phone Answering Wars it’s…
GABRIELLE. That means as things stand it’s : Gabrielle – 2 points, Azhar – 1 point, Ricky Martin – 1 point, Jenna
0 points, and 2 eyes pointing in opposite directions. She stands looking like that or the entire duration of the call. It’s effing creepy. Anyway, candidates are to go to York Hall and the cars will be there to pick them up in 30 minutes. Gabrielle naturally sprints right into the boys bedroom and
finds a less exciting sight than she was probably hoping for. She tells the men that they’re going to York Hall, Ricky Martin asks Tom what he thinks a “York Hall” is, and Tom says that he thinks it might be a call-centre called “Your Call” (best idea for a task EVER), and then Ricky Martin says it’s probably a hall in Yorkshire and Tom’s all “OH YEAH, YORK HALL!” and
turns into Ian Beale, thereby robbing him of his status as The Fit One : Boy Edition, FOREVER.
Everyone tumbles out of bed and stumbles into the Apprenticars, yawn and stretch and try to come to life.
And fail. Katie mewls “us girls are disappearing like…”, then can’t finish the simile. Probably too busy clinging between her legs for dear life, like Lordalan is about to come for her vag personally. Might I suggest “like people in the country who can tolerate Adam’s presence on the show”? Speaking of which, he just moans “just shove some more in” and you can tell he’s thinking of, like, strippers or something. Personally I am all in favour of them shoving more women in, and it being Saira Khan, Joanna The Cleaner From Leicester and the Bitch-Midget. Heck, I’d even take Naomi from Series 3 at this point. At least she gave us “Well I should fucking well hope so, because it’s a shoe”. What’s Jenna done?
In Sterling Apprenticar A, Ricky Martin says that they are going to SMASH THIS like a female linesman and send home someone from Team Phoenix.
The Grinch approves this message.
It turns out that York Hall is not, in fact, in the NORF, but instead in East London. What a surprise. It’s in Bethnal Green to be exact. Here it is :
Apparently it has been “keeping Cockneys fit for 100 years”. And I thought those muscles were built up just from years spent wrangling jellied eels (I’ll be honest, that’s where most of my muscles come from). Lordalan enters and tells them that week they’re not ‘aving a task, instead he’s going to do Celebrity Boxing against Piers Morgan and they’re all gunna cheer ‘im on, and Nick and Kaen are gunna be the ring-gurls, and the firing will be drawn out of a tombola, with second prize being one of Margaret’s famous pineapple upside-down cakes.
Well it would have made more sense than this task anyway.
Scarf Wars this week is cancelled because let’s face it,
Nick’s got it on lockdown. So Tom Baker-chic. Azhar meanwhile
has decided his scarf is not good enough to compete. If only he were so discerning with his fashion choices later in the episode.
The ACTUAL task is to come up with a new fitness programme, and then do it, preferably in idiotic costumes. Whoever look like the biggest pillocks win, the team that maintain their dignity lose, then Duane gets fired. Stephen’s face tells us that
having experience in every aspect of that, he has got this one in the bag.
(APPRENTICE INSIDER INFO SIDEBAR : this task was originally going to be “Create Your Own 90s Pop Song Dance Routine” but it was cancelled last minute in recognition of the fact that now that Jane was fired, and therefore couldn’t bellow “OI FOIGHT LOIKE ME DA AS WELL!” whilst dressed in double denim, there was just no point)
Jade also looks pleased, Nick looks perturbed, Tom’s face is utterly devoid of all life as per usual, and Ricky Martin’s eyebrow is, as ever, his own personal
ECG machine. When he dies, it’s going to flatline and also somehow go “boooooooooooooooooooop”. The actual metric for this task is apparently “whoever makes the most money by selling the licence for their idiotic flailing to gyms wins, and you can totally give them shit-tons of free stuff and it won’t be knocked off your total, you could give every gym owner a FREE PONY (/FIELD OF PONIES) for signing up to your deal, and you’d still win for having made the most money, because you can just claim a pony would cost 1p and that’s it and lah lah lah can’t hear you”.
More or less.
It’s left to Helpful Voiceover Man to take us through the world of idiotic fitness crazes. This
is zumba, which I already knew thanks to adverts for computer games. This
is apparently “spinning”, which I had heard of, but had no idea it was…this. It looks like a bike orgy. I’ve never been more proud never to have entered a gym in my life. Oh and this is
Time to choose Project Managers, and right out the gate for Phoenix is
Stephen, because apparently he does this task every single day of his life. Is this as some sort of Sisyphean punishment? Who does THIS TASK every single day of their lives? Nobody, that’s who. He tells everyone that it’s an utter no-brainer for him to be Project Manager (wouldn’t it be every week?), because he’s worked in Health And Fitness for several years now, so let’s just get on with it. You can just see Stephen hanging around outside tube stations wearing one of those white sweatbands trying to push a Virgin Active membership on you can’t you? Maybe he lost those lips in a tragic rowing machine accident, who can say?
Anyway, over on Sterling, Ricky Martin is throwing his hat into the ring, sadly not literally, as he thinks this task is perfectly suited for him, and he knows that the team’s wide-ranging hobbies in different fields of sport will bring them the victory. That’s right, Gabrielle loves lacrosse, Laura’s an ex-figure skater, Jenna’s honk is used to signal blood on the rink in ice-hockey, Duane’s probably one of those contestants who had a trial for Middlesborough in 2004 or something, Nick loves…erm…go-karts? Ultimate Frisbee? Live Pac-Man Role Play? And of course Ricky Martin is himself, in case it hasn’t been mentioned, a wrestling biochemist called Ricky Martin. Jenna protests that she should be Project Manager on the grounds that she loves horses, best of all the animals, she loves horses
THEY’RE HER FRIENDS. That’s pretty much her entire logic. Well done Jenna.
Nick calls a vote (ZOMG, IN YOUR FACES ALL THOSE HATAHS CLAIMING MY NICK DID NOTHING IN THIS EPISODE P’TUH!) and it appears that Ricky Martin is either elected unanimously, or elected unanimously except for Gabrielle. Which, lest we forget is, per Adam, a unanimous vote as well. In response his eyebrow is
TUMESCENT as he starts promo’ing about how outside of work (and occasionally in work, until his Line Manager told him to stop it) he is a WRESTLER who has been recognised as the HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF CLEETHORPS! I mean he says “the world” but…come off it. Anyway, apparently his wrestling name is “The Fitness” and you “always witness the fitness with Ricky Martin (Except When Azhar Makes Him Feel Ashamed And Inadequate)”.
Can you imagine the shit-eating grin if he’s actually pulled off a catchphrase that made sense?
The edit then hilarious tries to pump up an epic head-to-head of “HEALTH AND FITNESS INSIDER STEPHEN
VS RECRUITMENT MANAGER AND LORD OF THE RING (F’NAR) RICKY!”
with epic strings and swooshing visuals. It’s Stephen vs Ricky Martin people, let’s not go mental. It’s hardly Yasmina vs Debrabarr over who can turn Margate gayest.
Anyway, Ricky Martin starts for Sterling by suggesting that the team follow the trends whilst also giving people something new.
New Nirrck’s not pulling a face, he’s just trying to get used to these new dentures. He’s still with us, HONEST. Anyway, Ricky Martin has identified martial-arts, zumba, and the military as his trends for the week. I half expect him to somehow work a Union Jack element in there. That’s very big right now. Well, Jenna says so anyway. Laura says that she’s heard that street-dance is very much in nowadays, and Ricky Martin agrees. LET’S COMBINE MARTIAL-ARTS AND DANCE AND CREATE A NEW FITNESS SENSATION! He’s got hitting things covered, now they just need a dancer.
Laura takes her life into her own hands by saying that she used to be a dancer. Partly because bigging up your dance skills is almost as fate-tempting as saying you’re attractive, and partly because sticking your finger out in that close proximity to a pen risks having Gabrielle bite the thing clean off. She’ll do it. Anything for a pen. Nom. Gone.
Over on Phoenix, Stephen tells everyone that they need to come up with something “completely unique” for their concept. Adam’s idea?
FitSkip. It’s where you paint a lady’s face on a skip and hump it, because all the real women tend to run away after you tell those jokes about why Helen Keller can’t drive and why women are like bowling balls (HINT HINT : IT INVOLVES THEIR HOLES, AND WHAT YOU DO WITH THEM).
Alright, actually it’s a class based around skipping. Adam believes this to be “totally unique”. Adam is very wrong.
Katie also has an idea…SPEED DATING, WITH A FITNESS TWIST! I can’t imagine how that’d work as a routine, but it would probably involve Azhar’s shorts being even tinier, so let’s not dwell. Jade protests
that she’d hate the thought of being all hot and sweaty and sticky (possibly due to eating hot chutney) and wearing tight lycra and talking to Nic…I mean anyone at all, HOW EMBARRASSING. Stephen asks Katie if she has any other ideas and she basically says “yeah, retro and stuff, that’s in, I think, based on how we collectively as candidates sold over £2000 worth of old shit to morons last week. Also, LOTS OF FUN PROPS!!!!”. Never say people don’t learn from this process, because they totally do, like that time Natasha learnt you could make top-dollar yeah wodge from selling old copper cylinders and subsequently made it the focus of “Blow Your Load” Magazine.
Anyway, everyone agrees that 80s retro is totally the totally unique and different path they should be heading down and do their best to ignore the
TERRIFYING MANMEL TOE SITUATION ADAM IS CREATING. MY EYES.
Oddly, Phoenix immediately find three 80s retro dancers to put them through their paces, how CONVENIENT.
It’s going to be one of those episodes isn’t it? Anyway, this 80s dance troupe all dance around
with their pants shoved up their bums and the men of Phoenix’s A-Team (Stephen, Adam, Azhar) try not to look like the pervs lining the stage at a Spearmint Rhinos.
And fail. Stephen tells the ladies of “Groovy Wonderland” that he’s looking for a bit of inspiration today (I’ll bet he is) and wonders if these ladies can help him. He wonders if they can think of ways of incorporating the 80s into a gym routine. Then everyone plays with space-hoppers
(“in gyms they have balls very similar to this, particularly after they get snagged in that DAMNED ROWING MACHINE”) and
does the Thriller dance and it’s really really stupid. Thoughts Kaen?
Me too. I can’t believe they dragged you out of bed for this. Stephen drags all the 80s tat he’s somehow accrued (the space hopper, hula hoops, yo-yos, Members Only jackets and probably a Rainbow Brite doll) back into his Apprenticar and
oh God, he can’t even point the goofy space-hopper face at the camera properly to do a full “Comedy Shot”. THIS CAST SUCK AT EVERYTHING. He tells Adam that he thinks that, as a team, they’ve really found something. Is it “a low”?
Meanwhile, over on Sterling, Ricky Martin, Laura and Jenna have gone to the gym to take inspiration from some kick-boxers, and by “take inspiration from” I mean
show off to like a 9 year old doing dives for their mum. I’m surprised he didn’t yell “NIRRCK! NIRRCK! ARE YOU WATCHING? ARE YOU WATCHING? I’M GOING TO DO A PUNCH! NIRRCK! NIRRCK! YOU’RE NOT WATCHING PROPERLY! NIRRRCK! I’M GOING TO DO IT NOW!” before he launched into it. Anyway, the kick-boxers show them all some unique kick-boxing moves that will mean the routine won’t just look like boxercise (SPOILERS : yes it will), and Ricky Martin enthuses that they’ve just got to get the dance element sorted next, and they’ll be done.
The job of which is falling to
the other half of his team who are meeting up with THE STREET. I’m surprised that Simon Ambrose isn’t sat there lording it all over them with a Pimp Cup. Sadly this meeting does not devolve into a RUN DMC style street battle, instead Nick just engages everyone into a discussion about what street dance is. If you were teaching your granny how to street-dance, which moves would you start with. Apparently the answer is “New Jack Swing”. Like this?
No, apparently it is this.
On this basis, I would rather Fleetwood Mac. I guess if Nick doesn’t win, he can always dye his hair blonde and make a functional living as a Boris Johnson impersonator. He interviews that the girls showed him a lot of moves and he’s not entirely sure about this
“Swing Jack thing” himself, but he thinks it will probably fit in well with their dance routine. He and Gabrielle ask some sensible questions about what areas of the body Jack Daniels Swing exercises, and try to figure out how this loose creative style could mesh with the rigid discipline of martial arts. Little do they know that the rigid discipline of martial art is currently being read as “Ricky Martin knees the air and throws repeatedly whilst going “STOOSH!” ”
Sterling reconvene, merge their ideas, and come up with a name. Said name is “BeatBattle”, as suggested by Gabrielle. Then Ricky Martin
does some more showing off. He’s a wrestler you know. WITNESS THE SHITNESS, WITH RICKY MARTIN! Once he’s finished warming up, it’s time for the real action to start, as “Fitness Expert Lindsay” arrives to make sure their routine isn’t going to cause the people doing it permanant physical damage. Oddly enough, now that it’s time to demo the routine to someone who knows something…
Laura seems to be doing most of it, in a nude top, in a terrifyingly sexual manner, wining her waist and popping her pussy. Really, either Ricky Martin is wussing out, or they’re relying on terrible stereotypes about women in the fitness industry and using Laura’s terrifying ATTRACTIVE BUSINESSWOMAN POWERS to try and lezz Fitness Lindsay off.
Terrible stereotypes that may in this instance be true.
Fitness Lindsay interviews that the team have a lot of ideas going on, but she really likes the concept behind it all. I bet she does. Once Fitness Lindsay is safely out the building, Ricky Martin lets Jenna have a go.
Yeah. She insists that they don’t make the routine too dancey or too girly. Yeah, little danger of that there.
Back at York Hall, Phoenix are now putting their routine together. Jade wonders if she should tell the group what she and Tom did whilst Katie was off sharpening her ninja stars, on this sub-team that spent the last half-day with nothing to do.
And demures. They just WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND. SHE JUST MISSES NICK SO MUCH. Also, Stephen is saying “unique and different” about 50 times a second, so there’s little chance for her to get a word in anyway. Stephen also says that the team’s music is going to take everyone on a journey. Is it a journey to Daytime On Heart? At a pause, Jade tells everyone that they need to take each retro prop, and work out which parts of the body it’s going to be working, so none of them are superfluous, and everything’s getting worked. Tom suggests that maybe they shouldn’t be trying to off-load giant heaps of 80s tat onto gyms that probably don’t want them, and just use the items gyms already have for the work-out, and then Katie shuts him down by
staring daggers at him and saying the only way they’ll win is to TAKE A RISK – THE RISK OF PROPS. This is the sort of logic used on Strictly Come Dancing, and it rarely works there either. Also she needs that hula-hoop for a garotting she’s doing later, BACK OFF.
Kaen interviews that
Tom is right, and the only one thinking in terms of a business plan, and everyone else is MEAN and stuff. I’m guessing Chris Bates stopped returning her calls then. Back in the room, Stephen says that IT IS SETTLED, and they are going with a retro theme, and because it incorporates both the team’s theme and the word train, they are going to call it “Groove Train”. Is there any reason they had to incorporate the word train? Does Stephen just like them? Is this one of those imaginary secret rules the show must have that people make up to explain why their favourites sucked at a task? Anyway, Adam’s all “yes, yes, ride the groove train”, which is a thing I never needed to hear ever, but on the other hand
at least he’s got that manmel toe under control.
Subsequently their expert arrives
Fitness Stuart, passing Jade, Tom and Adam all leaving off in the opposite direction to do advert casting. Stephen tells Fitness Stuart that their routine needs to be fun, “intense number two” (no problem there) and retro and also just a bit of a laugh. Stephen then bounces up and down on the space hoppers AGAIN and Fitness Stuart says the following amazing line
“tell me what you’re hoping to achieve with this”. HA. There are prettier boys in the episode for sure, but for that Fitness Stuart is definitely my incidental character boyfriend. Once Fitness Stuart leaves, we cut to Stephen yelling
“WHAT IS THIS CALLED? LET’S HAVE A NAME FOR IT!
THE SWINGALING!” Nobody needs to be thinking the thoughts I am currently thinking.
Quick let’s cut to Adam. And there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. He’s currently objecting to Jade telling him that he should take the auditionees for their through the routine, because he’s the one who knows it all. I’m guessing because he was the only one “taking inspiration” from Groovy Wonderland. (Inspiration he’ll be having some alone time with in the Apprentice Hacienda later). First to audition
it’s Jedward. Adam starts by showing him his funky lunge. Jedward then joins in, but Adam tells him he’s DOING IT WRONG and that he’s NOT DOING IT LIKE THE GIRLS IN THE CLUB, THEY WEREN’T PUNCHING IT, THEY WERE JUST JIGGLING IT UP AND DOWN. Then
we get more of the Thriller dance. Oh and more whining about how Jade was really rude to him by telling him that he could do the routine if he knew all of it, but it’s not ABOUT THAT, it’s about the fact that they ALL SHOULD KNOW IT ALL, but they don’t it’s only HIM THAT DOES. Adam in a nut-shell there.
9pm and apparently both routines are in the bag, and nothing hilarious happened at advert casting with Nick, Gabrielle and Duane. Oh well. Sucks to be competent sometimes. Means people think you did nothing.
Next day now, and time for a morning meeting. Ricky Martin has decided that Nick, Duane and Laura are going to shoot the advert for BeatBattle, whilst he, Gabrielle and Jenna cobble a pitch together. Duane says that he needs to have complete authority as leader of his sub-team because he has “done something like this before”. Well that’s nice and vague. Ricky Martin says that Duane can be sub-team leader and Nick
doesn’t quite find the right camera to pull “Tim From The Office” face at in time. Oh well. Meanwhile for the other team, we learn that it’s Adam, Jade and Azhar off doing the video shoot, whilst Tom, Katie and Stephen write their pitch.
We cut straight to Nick, Duane and Laura arriving in their space, and Duane is very enthusiastic about getting this advert on the road. So keen that he
jumps right to an obligatory “MY FINGERS ARE THE FRAME!” shot. Hold off Duane, we don’t normally get there til half way through the task. Save a BIT of unbearability back. Oh and he’s decided that they need to completely change their routine to make it easier to film. Anybody have any objections? Nick says that they should probably ring Ricky Martin and ask him first, before entirely changing their product (and also
has clearly been spending too long around “Gabi”) but Duane says that he has ULTIMATE AUTHORITY so he’s doing it anyway.
The team’s dancers arrive, and Laura takes them through the routine, prodding Duane to make sure that the dance elements of the routine are highlighted in the video. Nick worryterviews that between the two of them, Laura and Duane are ignoring the martial-arts elements of the routine, and just making it another dance routine. Whatever Nick, I’ve never
SEEN ANYTHING MORE RUGGED AND COMBATIVE. HIII-YA! *jazz hands* They’re mixing the rough-neck style of Hong Kong Phooey with the grace and flava of Elaine Benes.
Now it’s time to see how filming is getting on on the other team, helmed by Jade. Hey everybody, Jade is managing a sub-team finally (*applause*)! Sadly it is marred by Adam being weird and congratulating all their performers on “making the cut” for the advert, like he on his own was just Series 3 of So You Think You Can Dance UK. I guess Jade already sounds like Arlene Phillips and Azhar is as useless as Louise Redknapp so…fair enough. The dancers already look like they think that
even hip-hop with Kate Prince would be preferable to this video shoot.
They needn’t worry though as
nobody’s going to be looking at them. I know we were told this series wasn’t going to be “Where’s Wally?” but it seems to have turned into “Where’s Azhar’s Penis?” which is, if anything, more challenging and less fun. That is some tuck he’s got going on there. Anyway, Jade directs in her usual Under-The-Radar Creative ‘N’ Competent way. Mostly I am just depressed and yet unsurprised that one of their moves is called
“Adam Abs”. Kaen asks Adam what exactly it is he’s doing on the shoot, and he beams “I’M THE CHOREOGRAPHER!”. Yeah, you can tell.
Azhar takes a break from trying to locate his testicles (I think they’re squashed up somewhere around your lungs Azhar, if that helps) and says that
this isn’t the sort of thing he’d normally do in the gym. It does seem a bit low impact for Azhar. He seems more the sort to stand in the corner just pounding the weights and YELLING. AZHAR SMASH! KILLER WHALE OF THE GYM! He also speaks some nonsense about how the product is a niche, but one that could be financially rewarding. He then goes up to Jade and he starts suggesting ideas to her about how the final edit should look, and Jade tells him calmly that she’ll get lots of shots and they can sort all this out in the editing suite. Adam spots a conversation he is not HOOTING SHITE all over, and starts demanding to be included. Azhar then
SHOVES Jade’s clipboard at Adam and deadpans “this is the conversation”. HA! AZHAROWNAGE. Adam starts blustering everywhere about nothing and Azhar gets back to doing a dance in his pants. I’m so excited that a feud just spanned more than one episode, even if it is Adam vs Azhar.
Jade interviews that it must be hard for Adam not having a defined role but
he is being incredibly annoying, telling everyone to smile and randomly singing “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” at them.
Back with Sterling now, and Laura and Nick and Duane are all in a very low-key tense almost-bitchy “discussion” about whether Laura should face the camera whilst delivering the routine. Nick says she should, but Duane says it should look like a real class (with lots of shots of Laura’s jiggling arse, entirely coincidentally). New Nirrck interviews that in his experience, any task that involves tv cameras always ends in a squabble.
Erm…isn’t that all of them?
Laura interviews that Duane is being unbearable and rigid and won’t listen to the feedback she and Nick are giving him, so she’s just decided to give up and do the video dance and stay mute. Duane then gets into some awful low-key whining to Nick about how he needs to stop questioning Duane, because it means they’re not working as a team.
The shoot then ends, and Duane hoots “I believe that’s a wrap”, and gets everyone to applaud him. Those three weeks of seeming likable and competent seem so very far away.
Over on the Sterling A-Team meanwhile, Gabrielle is taking control of branding of BeatBattle, at a design studio in North London. Look, she’s
DRAWN A PICTURE! What of, I don’t know. Possibly a chipstick. She wants an edgy, graffiti sort of vibe to the whole thing. You know
like this. Everyone coos over Gabrielle’s Edgy Urban design, with jiggly letters and Laura twisting round like she needs a pee, and then get on with the
HOLY MARGINS and rehearsing the pitch. Ricky Martin opens his pitch with “Hi, I’m Ricky Martin”. Some people have wondered why he wouldn’t either use a different version of his whole name, or just his first name, or not even mention his name and say “Hi, I’m representing Sterling Fitness” or whatever bumf they usually say. Because those people apparently haven’t noticed that Ricky Martin doesn’t view ridicule as something to be scared of. He pimpterviews that
he’s very excited to be role-playing it with both the girls, and both his eyebrows are flaring at once, so you know that’s true. Gabrielle and Jenna both mostly seem to be role-playing the part of “sitting there saying nothing”. Anyway, Ricky Martin brags that he’s a great Project Manager, because his entire team is really motivated, and happy, and there’s no fallings out or petty squabbles.
Cut to Duane in Sterling Apprenticar B wibbling on about his feelings and about how Laura and Nick made that whole process very difficult for him by, like, disagreeing with him and stuff, and it makes him feel really sad.
Nick agrees that that whole video-shoot was a car-crash and Laura huffs that it’s not as though Duane made it easy for either herself or Nick either. Duane then HUFFS mightily that if she wanted to direct the video so much she should have put herself forward to do it. Laura and Duane quack back and forth at one another about how Duane didn’t let Laura have any IDEAS and how Laura made Duane feel STUPID and how Duane needs to TOUGHEN UP and how Laura is DISRUPTIVE.
Nick meanwhile just stares out the window and
tries not to crack up. Laura finishes the row by snapping that she has taken Duane’s point on board now so that’s it, conversation over, move on. Nick then hilariously breaks in to say “let’s be friends” like they are actually 8 years old (<3). He suggests a communal handshake which Duane rebuffs by saying “let’s not force it”
causing Nick’s wibbly almost-laugh face to finally loose itself from its moorings into a full blown chuckle. There follows an awkward silence, which Nick decides to fill with “what shall we talk about?” before bursting into laughter again.
Oh God, the show’s accidentally cast someone who’s self-aware. CANCEL IT NOW, IT’S OVER.
Back to Phoenix now, and the editing suite, wherein Jade is trying to spin gold out of Azhar’s pulsating crotch. Nothing much happens other than
Adam whining and pouting whilst Jade and Azhar try to get on with the job like grown-ups. Adam whines particularly about the lack of “proper panning out” in their video, then does an interview where he opines that, because Jade is refusing to listen to his nit-picking and whining backed up no salient points, this means she is either thick or deaf.
Meanwhile, the edit suite for Sterling is getting similarly antsy. Really this entire team is at the end of their tether. Duane asks Nick and Laura if they disagree with something he did ; Nick says that they do, but Duane knows that already and isn’t going to change his mind ; Duane concurs, then interviews that he felt like binning the rest of his team off entirely and doing the whole thing by himself. So he…did
by just pretending very hard that they weren’t there.
Day 3 now, and it’s officially Pitching Day. The teams will visit three different fitness chains and try to persuade them to throw coin at their regimes. Stephen practices by pacing back and forth speaking aloud to himself, and Tom practices by just zooshing his hair up, knowing his designated role of “point out one wrong thing, win the whole show as a result” has been fulfilled.
On their way to the first pitch, Gabrielle gushes that she thinks they’ve got a really good idea and they could really sell it well if they really tried, whilst Ricky Martin accurately points out that the video could be “make or break” for the team. Jenna just kind of…
gawps. That’s really been her thing this episode. Gotta have a gimmick I guess. First stop for Pretty Ricky?
Virgin Active. That woman does a really good job of acting unfazed at “Hi, my name is Ricky Martin”. Better than I would have done. He cues up their video, which is basically this :
a great big long shot of Laura talking, whilst “Moves Like Jagger” whistles past obnoxiously in the background. Laura says “core stabality” (I would think that’s more Katie’s area) then drones “and most importantly…it’s fun”. And then 5 seconds of aerobics happens.
Ricky Martin tries to save this magnolia eye-wash by pitching very slickly, albeit slightly insincerely. He leaves the pricing til last because “for him it’s all about the fitness”. Fortunately for us, we’ve seen the rest of the episode, and know that “The Fitness” in fact means “Ricky Martin”. Anyway, the licencing fee is £45 per month per branch, and if they order a full year’s worth of classes, they’d get two months free. But what if they ordered a MILLION months Ricky Martin? What then? So unambitious.
The Virgin Active people then point out that this idea isn’t very original, and that that idea isn’t helped by the utterly generic video of the routine they just showed them. So there.
Once outside, Ricky Martin tells his team that they really have to learn and adapt their pitch according to the feedback they got there, particularly the fact that their routine seemed really generic and boring. Laura suggests that they just do the routine in the room, rather than relying on Duane’s lame video. Duane looks…mildly put out.
Meanwhile, in Phoenix Apprenticar A, Stephen is panicking slightly at the thought of going head-to-head with Ricky Martin in terms of pitching. Because Ricky Martin is such a showman and loves his wrestling and is very
“HEY GUYS!” whereas you know, Stephen is very low-key and laid-back about things. But at the end of the day, Stephen is convinced that their superior product will prevail. Tom yawns like a particularly sleepy cat. They’re pitching first to Britain’s largest and most evil gym chain
Fitness First. It’s nice that they’ve even done up their boardroom like a Bond Villain lair. I’m half expecting a shark to leap out that pool and gnash its teeth against the screen (maybe it is too scared of the KILLER-WHALE OF THE SEA to engage?) And those two are totally the boy-girl clone Henchpeople of the Big Boss there.
Stephen’s pitching is, as ever not too bad, but a bit sweaty and clammy-palmed. He flops his Groove Train out almost immediately, after promising that he’s about to put the “fun” back into “fitness”. That’s right, get ready for Stephen’s FIFUNTNESS!
Or more specifically, get ready for
Azhar’s face scrunching up really ugly about 50 times. Least natural camera presence since Kate Walsh UNLEASHIN’ HER INNER ROCK GODDESS, look for him to have a Channel 5 presenting career very soon. My favourite part of the video is how they’re showing how pointless all their tat is, given that only two of their five dancers can have a Hula Hoop and even fit on a stage together at the same time. Other than that they have at least embraced the shitty embarrassing tacky vibe whole-heartedly. Well done Jade.
Blofirst says that she can see they clearly had a lot of fun making it. Now piss off out of her sight before she sets Muscles And Bambi on them. But before they do, would they like to talk about the package? What package? (Poor Azhar) Tom tells her that they’re charging £35 per licence per club, and they’ll charge them only £13,500 to roll out the routine nationwide and he really hopes they’ll invest. Hmm, yeah, that seems likely. Blofirst asks how many people can fit in each class, given that there has to also be space for space-hoops, hula hoops, skipping ropes and also a full-scale replica of the set of Miami Vice. Stephen lies that they’d only lose 8 people over a normal sized class. Bambi then asks where they’re supposed to keep all the retro tat and Stephen is…silent.
D’oof. Once outside Stephen boggles that the lady on the right frightened the life out of him (<3) and their main problem seemed to be about all the 80s prop tat. So…I’m guessing that’s Katie and Jade in the boardroom if they’d lost then.
Next up for Ricky Martin,
Pure Gyms. Our official “Irrelevant Small Retailers Of The Week”. Laura does the routine and we make sure to make the audience aware of her
ATTRACTIVE BUSINESSWOMAN POWERS as she does so. She and Ricky Martin make a decent fist of making the routine seem attractive and stand-out, before Duane swoops in to
mess up a “SUPERPUNCH!”. I think a fireball was supposed to fly out of his fists. Ah well, we can’t all be Sagat. Ricky Martin tells Duane to “keep it tight, keep it strength”. So inspiring. The Pure Gym Perverts seem very interested in the routine, which would be great if they weren’t irrelevant.
On their way to Pitch 2, Stephen rolls his eyes at all the questions everyone keeps on asking him about STOCK, like it’s so important. Tom point out to him that STOCK is in fact 2000 Space Hoppers, and therefore not exactly negligable.
Whatever, it is but a mere bagatelle compared to the ENTICEMENT of Azhar in his swimmies. We don’t see much of their Pure Gym pitch, apart from one of the Pure Perverts asking Stephen how much all this tat will cost per person, and Stephen replies that it will cost £3.50. Kaen’s face makes fairly clear that he is just
making this shit up.
We rattle fairly quickly through Sterling’s last pitch with Ricky Martin being praised by Muscles for his skillful deployment of percentages and knowledge of the market, as well as verbally distinguishing the class successfully from both stand-alone martial arts and stand-alone dance classes. Meanwhile, in Phoenix Apprenticar A, Katie has shown that she has learnt her lesson from the first two pitches by saying that she doesn’t think they’ve focused enough on the props yet. LET’S USE THEM MORE!
That would be Tom staring at Katie in disbelief, if his face could do things. Stephen suggests to Katie that maybe everybody not pitching could be sat on the space hoppers bouncing up and down whilst he talked. Katie rejoinders “let’s not go too far”.
Too late Katie, far too late.
Well attuned to the time-period, Stephen suggests maybe throwing in some “Saturday Night Fever” moves if they feel like it. Yes, no more 80s film than that. Maybe throw in some of the moves from Easter Parade as well? Stephen tells Virgin Active that they can have all these props FREE, and also they thing that the routine should be targeted towards the “female market”. Which is why of course their video had a 3-2 male split. Unless they were thinking that Azhar would be gender-ambiguous given his lower regions. He gets asked if this whole concept isn’t really “just a kids class dressed up as an adult class”.
Is he talking about this routine, or the whole show?
Stephen grins that the class is for all ages, and Katie beams that SPACE HOPPERS ARE FUN.
Everyone plonks themselves down in their pre-Boardroom seats, and looks nervous. Stephen in particular seems in danger of
chewing his own mouth off. You know, more than he already has. Whoever-it-is ushers them into the boardroom where they are met, shock horrors by
Kaen smiling. Sort of. This New Nirrckness must be spreading. Lordalan finishes bouncing up and down on his space-hopper, cackling like a loon, and enters. He tells the teams that the point of this task was to show that there’s a lot of money to be made in licencing fitness routines to gyms. Oh whatever Lordalan, the point was to get them all dressed up in spandex looking like morons, don’t lie. He follows up by saying that the whole crux of the task was to identify a new trend and sell it to the market, never mind a “successful business model”, whatever one of those is, tum-ti-tum, he definitely doesn’t know who wins or anything.
For analysis we start off with Sterling, and Ricky Martin is identified as Project Manager. He says that their big idea was to mix two existing trends together to make one SUPER TREND.
NUTS AND GUM, TOGETHER AT LAST. The two trends in question are “Mixed Martial Arts” and “Street Dance”. Both of which trends of course are embodied in Laura. Lordalan asks them if they wound up with a “punch-up in a disco”? Everyone do “Lordalan Made A Funny” Laugh…NOW
YOU LOSE LAURA, YOU LOSE. (Jenna full on picking her nose <3)
Duane is identified as being responsible for the video, and Duane explains that he put himself forward because he made a promotional video last year for something. Was it this?
Laura is asked how the video ended up, and whether she felt she had any input into the artistic direction in it, and she strains with every fibre of her being not to hurl Duane under the bus.
Look at the tension in that face. Unperturbed Nirrck calls the whole video shoot out as a complete mess, and asks Laura point blank if she thinks that Duane lost his way. Laura says “errrrrrrrrrrrm” for about 30 seconds and just reiterates that Duane was in charge. I think the pain of that might just have cracked a rib. Anyway, they watch the video again, all of it, even though we saw it earlier, not that they thought they’d get more comedy mileage out of this episode than they did, and are now scrambling for filler.
Lordalan, needless to say, enjoys Laura in it very much. Katie is
not so impressed. Nobody even died or anything.
Pitching is covered next, and “goodteampitcher?” gets a universal round of applause for Ricky Martin. Boy done pitched good. When asked himself how it went, Ricky Martin says that he thinks they got some really good “buying signals” (<3) from both Fitness First and Pure Gyms.
Don’t pull that face Lordalan, it’s TRUE.
Phoenix are next, and Stephen is identified as the Project Manager. Lordalan then says that, if he remembers rightly, that Stephen is “in this business”. In that he runs Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre, yes. Lordalan then says that he’s often said that if someone does something for their day job, they should be PM, so he can point and laugh and wreck their lives and professional reputations even harder when they fail miserable. Stephen pipes up that his team did “retro”, because he felt there was already enough dance and retro stuff out there already and he wanted to get a totally alternative view.
I’m guessing those were the three options in the Task Rules this week then. That and Jelly-Wrestling probably.
Lordalan asks who the “choreographer of it all” was, and Adam very swiftly takes the credit, and then gets very red-faced and apologetic when Stephen points out
that Lordalan was speaking about actually coming up with the routine, not standing at the sound yelling “I DON’T SEE JAZZ HANDS!” at weary professional dancers. Azhar and Stephen say they came up with the routine together, and Jade is identified as the director of the video shoot. Kaen the pipes up to say that Adam certainly did stomp all over all those roles trying to put his “unique spin” on them all though. Jade’s face
agrees, and licks its wounds.
We see the video again. Azhar
looks like he’d rather not. (I do notice from watching it that Adam was in fact doing the moves incorrectly at the auditions, so yeah, they should clearly have ALL KNOWN IT ALL).
Lordalan asks disbelievingly if that load of shit is in fact “what is in”. Stephen replies it is, indeed, very much in. (*insert joke about how Stephen’s wife has heard that many times).
Pitching is covered next, and Stephen is identified as the one who did them. Lordalan says that he heard from Kaen that the main bone of contention was all their stupid props, and how they took up lots of space, and wrecked their business model, and had prices based on absolutely nothing and nobody really wanted them and if God was fair they would mean that Phoenix had lost this task.
Stephen just lies that there is a viable business model buried underneath here somewhere, honest.
Sterling sold £5000 worth to Fitness First, £2970 worth to Pure Gyms, and £0 worth to Virgin Active, for a total of £7970
Phoenix sold £0 worth to Fitness First, £0 worth to Pure Gyms, and £12800 worth to Virgin Active, for a total of £12800
PHOENIX RISE FROM TH…WIN AGAIN!
Just some points to unpack :
a) Fitness First didn’t actually buy BeatBattle, they were basically offering £5000 as an incentive to let them come in and make it workable and interesting, probably with some Evil Fitness First clause buried in there that would actually make it a consultancy fee and minus £5000 somehow
b) Virgin Active didn’t actually buy Groove Train, they bought the idea of a Kids Club themed around jumping around on space hoppers.
c) The arbiters didn’t take anything off in response to Phoenix’s “HERE! HAVE FREE STUFF!” offer, making the whole task bloody stupid
d) Kudos to Kaen for pulling out some vintage In Living Color “HATED IT!” action throughout.
Lordalan tells Phoenix that they were lucky to have a Project Manager who is “in the business” and also gives notice to Adam that, in case he didn’t already know, he’s totally fired as soon as he hits his first Boardroom for being an arse. So good luck with that. Their treat is to go to a London spa to get massages and “various treatments”. I can only imagine.
Phoenix men all have a group hug. Where dem girls at?
Back in the room, Sterling are sent off to their rooms, and told to decide whether they want to be the new Renaissance as at 1-4, task wise, they’re getting there.
There’s no costumes, so it’s not as awesome as last week. I think the most exciting and surprising thing is
Adam getting through this situation without making an awful comment. He does crow about how he’s in a health spa and Sterling are in the Boardroom but…what can you do? He’ll never be perfect. Stephen says it feels really good to lead his team to victory in something that’s his own field, but if you don’t mind
he’s going to have a little sleep now. Bless.
To Loser Cafe, where Gabrielle is resting her vocal cords, lest they be called upon for another patented Gabrielle Boardroom Amazing Screaming Fit. And Laura’s not saying either, devoting all her energy to pulling Intense Sad Face.
Ricky Martin on the other hand has no problem speaking, and says he is shocked. SHOCKED I TELL YOU. But the team need to face the fact that the product wasn’t good enough. Nick agrees, and says the feedback they got indicated that some parts of the presentation (*cough*DUANE’SVIDEOANDWHENHEMESSEDUPTHESUPERPUNCH*cough*) weren’t professional enough. Outside Laura continues
to be sad, and says that she’ll be even MORE sad if Ricky Martin’s fired, because he managed the team really well and she was very impressed with what she saw of him. Hold up Laura, I’m finding it hard enough to track this year’s candidates (imaginary) love lives as it is.
Jenna says she’s refusing to offer an opinion until Lordalan tells her what it should be, and Gabrielle can’t hold off any longer and starts in with
the ranting again. SHE’S GUTTED! SO SO GUTTED! Duane mutters that they’ve been cheated (RIGHT ON, DUANE) and outside obliviousterviews that the Boardroom is going to be so hard, because normally there’s a person who’s out-and-out to blame for the failure of the task (and normally they don’t get fired in favour of someone clearly generally useless) but this time there isn’t one. I mean, sure his video was a bit muffed but that
definitely wasn’t why they lost. His video was GREAT and he’s going to stand by that. Back in the room, he says that he continues to stand by the fact that nothing went wrong, and Nick continues to be awesome by saying “it did though, we DID lose”.
Candidates are ushered in very quickly, because we’re already running out of time this episode. We’re a clear 4 minutes behind last week – at this point then it was being revealed that Jenna was an amazing saleswoman (LOL AT THE MEMORY).
Once inside, Lordalan tells him he’s going to give them the headline for this week
“Simon Cowell shags Our Kate and P-Middy in sexy Royal Threeway”. It’s just so believable! Anyway, as it pertains to this task, the Big Idea is that all of the retailers liked Ricky Martin’s basic idea, but it was so watered down that they lost interest. Ricky Martin, Jenna and Laura are identified as having developed the routine, so why didn’t he push for more martial arts and less Sexy Laura Dancing? Ricky Martin protests that it was all there in the routine, but for some reason none of those shots were in the video.
Ricky Martin then goes on to say that he blames Laura for this, because she clearly was more invested in weaving her hypnotic fembot spell with her whirling boobies than doing Real Martial Arts like what he does (DUSH! DUSH! RICKY MARTIN DOES THE GO 2 SLEEP AND WINS THE WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE AND THE CROWD BOOS LIKE MAD! YEAHHH!). Duane breaks in to say that’s not fair – the video was supposed to be a mixture of dance and martial arts. Ricky Martin then points that it wasn’t – it was a mix of Laura dancing and Laura talking whilst trying to kick herself in the back of the head.
Jenna decides she needs to talk now.
Lordalan decides he’d rather she didn’t. Can someone get fired for having a piercing accent? Probably not on the MULTICULTURAL BBC. PC GONE MAD IT IS. Anyway, Jenna says that she thinks Laura did a fantastic job and then Laura starts talking over her all “la la la you’re about to say I suck this is so unfair lah lah” until Ricky Martin tells her to let Jenna have her say. Jenna’s say is “AH SED YOU SHOULD HAVE THRORN MORE KICKS AND STUFF IN BUT LAURA FELT THURR SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE DANCE MOVES AND STUFF”
I love how she’s increasingly correct (she was right the ENTIRE junk shop task, right down to telling Gabrielle she was spending too much money, which I missed in my recap for some reason), but nobody cares because she’s just that annoying. She’s only the candidate that everyone’s saying Maria was going to be! Laura bristles and says she’s wrong and not fair and ZOMG LEAVE HER ALONE.
Lordalan then breaks it down to Ricky Martin that it was the video that was the problem, not the design of the routine, and Duane was responsible for the video, so can we get to the ripping off the plaster that is Duane’s firing already? He asks Duane if he took the lead on the video and Duane perks up and says that yes he takes full responsibility for the video that Lordalan says just lost them the task.
God, Duane really is bad at this whole Boardroom thing isn’t he? Nick and Duane both say that the video included all the “key moves” in equal measure, but Ricky Martin tells them that it was missing a combat element in favour of Laura whipping her hair back and forth.
Kaen breaks in to say that, compared to Phoenix’s video, theirs was a bit dull. Ricky Martin points out that Phoenix’s video was also really cheesy and Lordalan grumbles that’s probably why they BLAHDDY WON. Laura doesn’t seem
to understand this. Laura was an ice dancer. With Torvill & Dean. Think on.
Next we cover pricing and how, according to the gyms, Sterling were charging too much money for their product. Ricky Martin says he takes full responsibility for the pricing, as he was heading up the team that was doing it. Lordalan then runs his finger along the entire row, and asks if Ricky Martin knows what “some of these other people were doing” and Ricky Martin decides he wants to ask Nick what he did. Nick replies that he did a lot of the editing, and also healed the rifts within the group quite well. Well…he tried anyway.
That’s so not a thing Nick. Cite how you learnt to New Coke Swing!
Lordalan asks Ricky Martin who he wants to bring back to the Boardroom, and he selects Duane for his video-direction, and Laura for “dilution of the combat”. I think that’s my favourite reason for bringing someone back ever. SHE DILUTED THE COMBAT LORDALAN!
Doesn’t look like that’ll be a problem moving forwards.
Candidates go out, Gabrielle touches them all on the shoulder as she leaves like she’s giving them a benediction, candidates come back in again.
We start with Lordalan having a hufty that Ricky Martin has brought back the candidates who contributed the most and let people who slacked off go free. Because almost halfway through the tasks we’re still apparently doing “makes good tv” boots. Ricky Martin’s reply?
“The observation is correct, but I have to consider if the job was done correctly”. Amazing. “The observation is correct”. Anyway, Ricky Martin is asked why he brought Laura back into the Boardroom and Ricky Martin replies that it is because she pushed through her dance element at the expense of the combat element, and that’s why they lost. Laura simply replies that she just did what Duane told her to.
Duane then decides to break in to say “this is risky, but Laura shouldn’t be here”.
Nothing like doing a stupid move, then highlighting that you know it’s a move by saying “this is risky”. Oh Duane. Anyway Ricky Martin says that it was Laura’s responsibility to translate his message to Duane having learnt the routine fully, and Laura denies this, saying it was Ricky Martin’s responsibility. Duane says that if Ricky Martin didn’t like the moves that were in the video, he shouldn’t have put there in the first place. Ricky Martin bats back that the moves were named incorrectly, displayed inadequately and edited poorly. Duane says it was still Ricky Martin’s message, and he should have conveyed it to him more clearly.
Lordalan asks, whilst picking at his earwax
(SO CLASSY <3) who Duane thinks should leave then, if not Laura, probably expecting him to identify himself given how poorly he’s playing this Boardroom. Duane says it should be Ricky Martin, and Lordalan asks him if he doesn’t think his crappy video had something to do with it. Duane just says that he takes full responsibility for the video, and the editing of the video. Oh dear.
Lordalan gets Duane to beg, and Duane says in his favour that he knows he’s rough, but he has so much potential. He’s launched products before and he really wants to build on Lordalan’s experience and be the best, and the next big thing. Lordalan asks again who should be fired, and Duane says Ricky Martin because he messed up as Project Manager, did nothing for the first few weeks of the show, and is now trying to dodge blame for the video and the costings.
You know, the video that Duane claims full responsibility for, and the costings that Ricky Martin says he claims full responsibility for. Ricky Martin then descends into the pit and tells Duane he’s getting too emotionally involved and is ignoring the facts. Meow.
Laura then not unreasonably points out that if Ricky Martin had discerned that the video was important, he should have been there over-seeing it. I guess it’s a bit like Katie and the sauce factory, although at least Ricky Martin was off doing something worthwhile, not spending all day designing a sticky label. Lordalan asks Ricky Martin to beg, and he says he shouldn’t be fired because he looked at everyone’s skill sets and delegated well (by putting Gabrielle and Jenna on maths again) – it’s just that Duane and Laura didn’t deliver. He finishes by saying that Duane should be fired. Duane is asked (FOR THE THIRD BLOODY TIME, EDITORS, COP ON) who should be fired, and he says Ricky Martin.
Laura gets a patented “you shouldn’t even be here”, and Ricky gets a fire-teasing for even daring to bring her back (*baffled face*) but in the end, it’s Duane going
for being responsible for the failure of this task. Well there’s a novelty. Could you done with a “with regret” to be honest.
Lordalan tells Ricky Martin that he’s got Nick and Kaen to thank for being spared, and then yells “LAURA, MY EYES ARE STILL ON YOU!” for absolutely no reason. She and Ricky Martin both leave
to a hearty hug from Duane. Well at least he’s not bitter, and the process didn’t destroy him utterly like I was worried it would. In His Cab Of Shame he says that
Lordalan knows what he wants, and it’s not him, oh well, it’s not going to deter him from moving forwards in business. Happily (because I always love these little bits) we get our first “Victors Apprenticab” ride of the series, where Ricky Martin and Laura both agree that Duane was the right person to go, and Laura shrugs that she was never worried.
Ricky Martin’s response? “Good”
Back at the Apprentice Hacienda, Nick is chilled out, maxin, relaxin all cool, saying that it could have been anybody in that boardroom, and that he thinks that Ricky Martin did too good a job as the PM to get fired. And
he wasn’t. Hooray! Everyone cheers and hugs and Ricky Martin recounts to everyone that Lordalan knows him now, so everyone else better beware because they’ll need to stamp their authority in the Boardroom to beat him. Also there’s a totally gratuitous shot of Nick’s arse-crack, but I am very much above pictures of things like that, thank you very much, this is a classy blog for classy people.
Next week :