Turns out Scotland is too cold for assassins. Maybe Katie should have deep-fried a grenade?
the sun prepares to set over the Apprentice hacienda. Inside, it’s time for
BOOGIE BEEBIES! Not really, that’s far too complicated a narrative for Adam to follow, actually the Boys and Girls of the Apprentice are having a KinectSports tournament. Adam and Ricky Martin are currently running, and Laura, Stephen, Azhar, Jade and Katie are watching. Who knows what Tom, Gabrielle and Nick are off doing (*insert your own lurid fantasies here*) (*she’s probably reading a book or something NERDY and CREATIVE like that*). I would imagine Jenna’s worshipping at that Jane shrine she’s built (it’s a tealight and an out-of-focus Polaroid from the motor-racing reward).
Anyway, back to the scene, and you will be surprised to hear Adam shouting “MINE’S NOT WORKING!” as an excuse for the fact that Ricky Martin is kicking his arse at pretend-running and then just starts trying to shove him over. I’m guessing
Katie’s already lost, and now thinks the whole thing is STOOPID. That’s totally not a realistic representation of what it means to fire a bow and arrow and frankly she should have got bonus points for burying her shaft into Jade’s skull. Also Adam should have been disqualified for what he said after that happened. Of course these happy fun times can’t last forever as the EVIL VIOLIN STRINGS strike up their bass note of terror as
OH NO, IT’S THE APPRENTICARS, OUT FOR REVENGE!
Not really, it’s just Lordalan deciding he’s going to turn up at the Hacienda this week to set the task in person, because Whoever-It-Is has wandered off again and when he tried to call Stella out of the Viglen dungeon to do the phone call again she stabbed him in the eye with a pencil and made a break for freedom. Tragically, in the pursuit of a patented Lordalan
“NOT GOING BALD” shot, he makes himself look rather hilariously wee. Anyway, picking up the patented “Door-Answering Bonus Point” in Phone-Answering Wars is…
AZHAR, as Laura either breaks the X-Box or is so high that she’s started to find her own hand, like, really fascinating, because have you ever really THOUGHT about how fingers WORK? (Laura – Most Aggro Stoner In The History Of The World, although it would explain why she disappears every other task). This leaves our scores at :
Azhar : 2
Gabrielle : 2
Ricky Martin : 1
It’s shaping up to be a fascinating series. You know…of this imaginary thing I invented. Nothing else.
Anyway, Lordalan walks in and everyone is SHOCKED
apart from Katie who sits in the corner biting her fist like a bored teenager. If you’re wondering why she got fired. If you needed any further reason, he asks “is everyone alright?” and she honks “FINE, THANK YOU!” like Dad just walked down in the middle of a sleepover and Katie’s desperately shoving the half-empty bottle of Baileys and semi-naked picture of Ryan Gosling back under her sleeping bag.
Not that that was how sleepovers at my house went. Ryan Gosling was well after my time.
(YES, I HAD SLEEPOVERS, I CAN’T BE TRANSCENDING THE GAY STEREOTYPE EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE, THANK YOU).
Lordalan gets everyone to gather around the giant Y-Shaped table, so everyone can marvel at the
fine fine work the show’s hairdressers have done on Stephen, Nick and Gabrielle. It’s like they just stepped out of the salon! Also, now we can be reassured that Nick didn’t lose his ears in a horrible, horrible accident. (Also hooray for Jenna depositing an entire nose’s worth of snot directly onto her hand as the herald for a food preparation task.)
Oh yeah, also apparently there’s a task. Lordalan lies that he’s sorry to disturb them on their day of rest (and the Lord giveth over the Sabbath to throwing an X Box Controller out the window because Jade’s better at imaginary-ping-pong than you and running upstairs crying), but they’re going to be off on a bit of a journey.
Is Stephen going to learn to unleash the elegant lady under his tough tomboy exterior by learning how to foxtrot? Oh, wait, wrong journey, wrong show.
He then goes on a segue, saying that if someone said the words “street food” to him, he would have thought “MAHNNY! LOVELY BLAHDDY MAHNEY!” just like he always does. That and a hot-dog stall or a “fish and chips stall” (?!). But apparently there’s been a revolution in terms of street-food. The cheeseburger got assassinated by a burrito junta and now there’s a power vacuum that can only be filled by the Apprentice contestants. With HIGH QUALITY FOOD!
Hahahahahahahahahha. Yeah, that’s going to happen.
Lordalan wants them to create an experience that’s “halfway between a high-quality takeaway and an upmarket restaurant”. If halfway between those two there’s an alleyway with a dead cat in it YOU’RE IN LUCK! They will be setting up this dining emporium, not in London, but in the CULINARY CAPITAL OF SCOTLAND.
What, they’re operating out of a Wimpy car park?
Not really, it’s Edinburgh. Laura, at the news that she’s returning to her homeland managing to grin a grin that’s
yeah…remember when all we knew about her was that she had a son who loved to splash? That whole month of the show was a happier time. Yes, Edinburgh is the culinary (and actual) capital of Scotland, but apparently, says Lordalan, street food is still “in its infancy” there. Way to undermine yourself.
The most important part of this task is that Lordalan definitely wants only the best high-quality food to be produced , and he definitely won’t settle for sub-standard product, and that’s why he’s forcing Adam and Jenna to be Project Managers. Makes sense to me.
Team that gives the fewest people e.coli wins, team that brings a bad name to the noble tradition of burger vans loses, and then yet another one of the few people you actually cared about is chipped away, until the series becomes a race to say the least on-camera to the extent that the entire final episode is done via mime. GERRONWIVVIT.
As Lordalan drives off towards Piers Morgan’s house with an open tupperware box and an…odd look on his face, Helpful Voiceover Man announces “cheap to start up, with low running costs, reality shows can turn a tasty profit”. Except he says “gourmet street food”, but we all know which would make the more entertaining task. Anyway, in case you’re still not sure of the business model for this task, here’s the show’s handy guide.
IT’S ALL CLEAR TO ME NOW.
The teams settle in to brainstorm some ideas with regards to which type of food they want to cook and
LOOK WHO IT IS, ROLLING UP LATE. This never would have happened with Margaret. She would have slept in that house to make sure she was in on time. She even would have missed Silent Witness, which she LOVES. It’s alright though, New Nirrck is ready to concentrate VERY HARD on what’s happening.
Edit out the pen, and it’s like a cat fascinated by a dancing finger isn’t it?
He’s watching Phoenix, and discovering that Adam’s strategy is “win this task!”. That’s the most sense he’s come out with all series. As if to balance this out, the next words out of his gob are “Scottish people generally eat Deep Fried Mars Bars, you know, deep fried foods,
haggis…” Also, their own children. Or so I hear. His next bold move? To dismiss Japanese food out of hand.
TOM IS NOT AMUSED. He tells Adam that sushi and bento are both massively popular. You can tell from Adam’s face that he thinks those are the Japanese equivalent of Ant & Dec. Adam declares that he knows that the Japanese eat raw fish which certainly nobody in this country ever would do, ever, end of.
Adam announces that his favourite street-food would be a burger, and he thinks that most people are like him, so they should just do something simple, not a Bender Box, or whatever it was Tom was talking about with his gelled up hair and his poofy city ways.
I mean obviously in a way (the way of being Adam) he’s wrong, but he’s also right – can you IMAGINE these people trying to construct a Bento Box? Tom’s the most culinarily adept of them all, and he couldn’t get sauce into a bottle without it accidentally getting lodged up a passing pigeon’s anus.
Anywho, Katie is here to save the day, with her usual trick of just remembering something they did in a previous task and doing it again. After “Hey, remember how we did that retro shop? Let’s do a retro fitness routine” it’s time for “hey, remember how we did an Italian sauce? Let’s do…erm…more Italian…stuff…MEATBALLS AND PASTA!”.
She thinks it’d be really easy to mass-produce on the cheap and just bang out. Jade and Stephen both protest that it’s supposed to be gourmet and pasta’s just a bit boring. Adam’s response? “Just dress it up with a bit of spinach”. Right out of the Cordon Bleu handbook ladies and gentlemen. Katie says they could make it organic, Jade desperately flaps around for more ideas, Azhar deadpans “I’d just have a chicken wrap”.
Claggy, clammy dough and a couple of minced up pigs testicles it is!
Meanwhile, Jenna’s first words as Captain Sterling
“I CAN’T COOK!”. But she has apparently “worked in the restaurant trade”, so that’s a plus.
She interviews that there’s a lot of pressure on her, as so far Sterling – the team created by herself, out of a dream, Martin Luther King style, have only won once so far. I would love it if in fact Sterling were all created out of Jenna’s dream, and the last episode will be her waking up and Ricky Martin stepping out of the shower (with tactfully placed towel to cover his boy-boobs) to reveal that it’s ALL BEEN A DREAM.
Gabrielle, her hair already coming unglued after about 30 seconds of work
comes up with the potentially canny idea to try to appeal to tourists in Edinburgh, on top of residents, with a Scottish theme, and Jenna thinks they should do some Scottish Pies. Laura replies that she thinks that’s not gourmet enough – in fact you could just get that at any old football game in Edinburgh. She likes the idea of a casserole with a Scottish Twist. Pour a pint of Buckfast into it? Deep fry it? Stick a ginger wig on it?
Sadly Laura is actually Scottish, and so just says to put good-quality cuts of Aberdeen Angus meat into it. I bet the show are regretting not firing Laura over Duane even MORE now, because without her keeping everyone tethered to the real world of actual Scottish people, the team probably would have been off rampaging around the Royal Mile dressed as Fat Bastard yelling “GET IN MAH BELLEH!” and serving people out of their sporrans. Ricky Martin tells everyone they should keep their costs low with cheap meat, but Nick believes they need to go for high-quality, high-price product. I can’t believe a team PM’d by Jenna is having a serious business discussion. I would have predicted they’d all be naked in the car-park throwing their own poo around within 5 minutes of her leadership. Maybe I should re-evaluate… nah.
Meanwhile, back on Phoenix, Adam is delegating, and being really sinister whilst doing so. He gets Tom to affirm that he is a “foodie”
with a tone indicating that Adam considers being a “foodie” to be similar to being into some really niche porn. Brilliantly, when asked if he’s a foodie, Tom just says “yes”. No false modesty here. He is culinary and proud. Katie is put on the branding and research team with Stephen, because it’s her day-job and that’s what she wants to do. I’m not suggesting her powers of SEXY FEMBOT MANIPULATION got her the post within the team she wanted but
those boobies are putting in more effort than Azhar has in a month. Also on that team is Jade, because she’s The Creative One (ie the only one who can get the lid off the felt-tips without having to bite them and getting it all round her mouth).
9am next morning now, and it’s OFF TO SCOTLAND! A stirring reel plays on the fiddle, as the team disembark into the Apprenticars, and set off, WATERLOO ROAD STYLE. Sadly they don’t stop mid-way for a proposal and a rampaging mini-van interlude, instead they just have a brief stop at a gourmet food market to look at some food. Maybe to remind them what it is? If you need reminding.
Job’s a good’un.
Stephen and his research team ask some people why their food wins awards. They say it’s because it’s good. Stephen rings up Adam and tells him their research indicates that they should make the food good. This segment was a bit of a waste of time, but at least I saw some Nik-Naks almost go up Nick’s nose.
9:30am now and the teams board their train to Edinburgh.
Yeah, I buy that timeline, totally. As women in the background whipser furtively
“omg they’re on The Apprentice, blates, let’s put spoilers on twitter!”, Adam announces that he wants to bulk their pasta out with corn beef.
He then talks about how all this talk of food (Oh Adam, corned beef is not “food”) is making him hungry. Where’s that trolley-dolley with his nibbles?
I think the trolley-dolley might be adding some extras to your burger Adam. Let’s just say the special sauce is going to be extra special. And have poo in it as well.
Meanwhile, further down the train,
love continues to blossom amongst the nerds. So cute. Nick and Gabrielle have taken the tactic of ringing up a top Edinburgh hotel, reading off a list of all the places in the city they’ve been given as possibilities to pitch their stall at, and seeing which they think is the best bet. They get positive notes for Parliament Square and Princes Street, but told to probably stay away from the football stadium because despite heavy footfall, nobody’s going to want their food because they’ll have already bought what they want on the way to the match, for cheap.
Hey, guess where Katie thinks Phoenix should base themselves?
LOL OOPS. Her argument is that there will be lots of footfall, and they need heavy traffic for their mass-produced shit. Stephen objects, on the grounds that on a cold day in the open air, football fans (LIKE WHAT HE IS, MANLY MAN GRRR) are going to want a warming, filling, burger and a beer, rather than dry pasta and a barbequed bollock on the side. In the end, Jade and Katie win him round by talking about the sheer VOLUME OF PEOPLE at the match (which is apparently Hearts vs Rangers) and Katie says that she’ll take responsibility on her head if she’s wrong about the football match. Jade says that that’s wrong – they all decided on it so they’ll all share the blame. This magnanimity will…erm…not stick.
2:30pm now, and the teams arrive in Edinburgh and disembark the Apprentitrains. Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that half the teams are now off to work on their team’s branding and marketing, whilst the other half, helmed by the PM, are off to some kitchens to learn how to cook/track urban foxes and mince them up into a meaty paste. In Sterling Apprenticar A, Jenna asks Laura if the Scottish have their own language which they speak, and if someone comes up to their stall and speaks Scottish at her, can Laura translate it?
Want to know who Lordalan has sat on until they agreed to do cooking for the show?
This one’s name is Matteo. He has apparently won awards. Probably for cooking. Adam tells him that his team are going for pasta & meatballs, and Matteo agrees to take them through a basic recipe. Within the FIRST INGREDIENT (freshly chopped rosemary), Adam is asking if they can’t just use dried rosemary/some pot pourri/some dead flowers he’s pulled out of the bins round the back. Tom objects, and they get into a very dry argument about it. New Nirrck Nirrckterviews that
he loves Tom, and Tom is right about everything, and such a good cook, and maybe one day Tom can cook New Nirrck something, oh wouldn’t that be fabulous? He’d wear his best shirt and press his trousers especially. Maybe put on some Marvin Gaye. New Nirrck loves when people are good at things.
Back in the kitchen, Adam asks Matteo is they can call their product “Matteo’s Meatballs”, on the grounds that that’s his name, and it’s better than “Mamma Mia Meatballs” or “Uncle Mama” (?!). Personally I think Mamma Mia Meatballs is the best name of the lot, albeit probably for a drag-queen. Matteo assents, because they’ve only just started cooking and he doesn’t realise he’s going to be endorsing the fact that his balls are full of rat brains.
Meanwhile, over on Sterling, Jenna is told she might as well go home now if the meat for her team isn’t well-hung. Ricky Martin briefly regrets not packing another Towel Of Awkwardness, but he needn’t worry, because their chef is speaking in terms of their beef. For the casserole. Ahem. Also, it helps if you don’t
drop an eyelash in it, Madame Medusa. Is she hoping to strain out lumps with those? Anyway, their chef tells them they can produce a good-quality portion of stew for £2.00. Jenna rings up Gabrielle and Nick (The Branding Team), and tells them the news, which causes Gabrielle to puff her cheeks out in worry. Once Jenna hangs up, she frets to Nick that you can go to restaurants and not get meals that cost that much to put together. Nick replies that
he’ll choose the location for their first date. Gabrielle says that’s ok, but he has to let her keep buying Happy Meals til she gets the toy she wants.
Meanwhile, an altogether less romantic air pervades the Phoenix Branding Apprenticar :
Stephen asking his girls if they can think of a word that represents high-end Italian. Haven’t we been here before? Might I suggest “Magniffico”? “Exchelente”? “Beller Lasanya”? “Pavarotilicious”? Jade fortunately short-circuits Stephen’s mediterranean longings before they start, and suggests “Utterly Delicious”.
Katie approves. This is presumably because she’s wired a sub-dermal bomb into Jade’s scalp whilst she was sleeping that’s wired to explode when Lordalan says “RAYZOOMAY” like he always does in the Final Three Boardroom. And she’s running out of options for assassinings fast. SURE JADE, THAT’S A GREAT IDEA! LET’S CALL IT “UTTERLY DELICIOUS BALLS!”
They ring Adam up to discuss branding, and Adam says he’s secured the rights to Matteo’s name, and they’re thinking of calling the product “Matteo’s Meatballs”. Matteo in response does an amazing
“THAT’S-A-MEEEEE!” look to camera like he’s actually posing for the packaging. Stephen then throws shade at Adam by saying
“In terms of a name we’ve gone for something that’s very slick Adam, so it’s very different to what you just said”. HA! What a bitch. Matteo goes off to cry into his Rosemary, Stephen tells Adam that their brand name is in fact “Utterly Delicious”, Adam asks if they can’t add the word “meatballs” in there, and Jade shrugs and gravels back “Utterly Delicious Meatballs”. Azhar and Tom think it stinks, but their jobs are being good at tasting stuff and…whatever Azhar’s doing, so their opinion doesn’t count, NERK.
Next up in Branding Adventures, it’s time for the teams to design their vans and flyers.
I can’t decide if the thought of “haggis mash” makes me salivate or nauseous.
Nick and Gabrielle debate over whether to put tartan on their van, and Jade points to a drawing and hoots “OUR BRAND IS UTTERLY DELICIOUS”.
I’m only including this picture because the handwriting kind of makes it look like they’re advertising the fact that their meatballs are “Italian sphincter with oodles of taste”. Truth in advertising on this show for once. Katie interviews that she, Stephen and Jade have put loads of effort into their branding to ensure that this is a high-quality product.
Also, if you put lipstick on a pig, it makes it really pretty! You’d think it was Angelina Jolie! MARKETING ROOLZ!
10pm now, and in an industrial kitchen, it’s time for Sterling to actually take what they’ve learnt from their chefs into practice, and make their own batches of food to sell tomorrow. Laura slices some onions, Jenna dices a carrot, and Ricky Martin ponders aloud to his Project Manager if she thinks he’s not got a little bit too much meat in proportion to his veg. Trust me Ricky Martin, no woman ever complained about that.
Sadly this culinary delight can’t last forever, it’s time for the obligatory worshipping at the Holy Margins
with Ricky Martin putting in some particularly sterling work, managing to divide £269 by 175 portions in his head, to two decimal places, for their cost price per portion – £1.54. Jenna hoots “GOSH RICKY MARTIN, YOUR CALCULATIONS ARE FANTASTIC!” then
rounds up Laura to see if they can’t burn him as a witch. MATHEMATICS IS THE DARKEST OF ALL THE DARK ARTS! Jenna firmly believes if you write down too many brackets it actually summons Satan.
Also working away, at a cookery school, are Phoenix. Adam broadly boasts that he’s got the cost price down to minus figures, by agreeing to take away rotting produce so rancid and voluminous that the local meat market paid them to take it off their hands. But then production objected on ELF AND SAFETY PC GONE MENTAL grounds, so they’ll have to settle for a cost-price per portion of 47p. Katie gazes in awe and asks Adam how they got the food so cheaply.
There’s your answer. Tom glares at the nasty cheap food like he
HATES IT HE DOES. Or maybe he just, as a foodie, knows that all this is for nothing without basil, basil and MOAR BASIL. Adam whips everybody into a production line, producing his tiny balls and crowing maniacally about how he’s going to sell all this for £6 per portion and make an absolutely MASSIVE PROFIT and SMASH IT. Azhar and Katie and Stephen all object to the tiny size of the portions but Adam
ties them all down and gives them all pre-frontal lobotomies, and then they obey. Mmmm, grey matter.
Next day now, 9:00am, and some lovely
Edinburgh Porn to ease us gently into the day. The teams take to their Apprenticars, and drive to their pitches. Phoenix roll up to Tynecastle Stadium. See, I thought it was Newcastle City who played here. I’m so behind. Are they still managed by Kelvin Keegan or is that Rovers? Their van looks not bad, in a “white writing on black background = CLASSY” kind of way, and Adam gets to dividing up the teams for selling purposes. Guess who he puts in charge of the sub-team :
THAT’S RIGHT! I can’t remember a worse bromance since Simon and Tre spent an entire episode sniggering about how Jadine was on the blob. He also tells Stephen that his job is to “shove these things down people’s throats”. Do you mind Adam, I’m just getting over the Swing-A-Ling? Oh and also Katie is to dress up as a pizza and Azhar can be Julius Caesar. Just because.
Katie can’t believe she’s dressed as a pizza, wielding lethal cut-price meatballs AGAIN. She’d rather not relive the memory of her failure to assassinate Berlusconi, undercover at a bunga-bunga party. You should have seen what happened to the poor assassin who snuk in disguised as a giant tiramisu. There wasn’t just a light dusting of cocoa on his sponge fingers at the end of that job…
Meanwhile, Sterling are selling their stew in Parliament Square, which is a tourist hot-spot. Forgotten what a tourist looks like?
Well here’s Helpful Voiceover Man, with a quick reminder! (Psst, might help if you look at the side with the map on). Gabrielle is discovering that most of the people approaching their van have just come off the end of having breakfast. She’s also discovering that
tam o’ shanters are a really good look for her. Accessorise with a tartan pen, and we’re set. She grins “Sunday…late breakfast again” at Nick in a way that I hope is really really filthy. I have, sadly, got that sort of mind. Meanwhile
Ricky Martin sucks pipe. Just thought you should know. He and Laura are Sterling’s Mobile Team, and have been tasked with creating excitement and drumming up trade for the van. Ricky Martin has been inspired by this gentleman, this week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend
Hamish The Bagpiper. I like a man with lung-power. Ricky Martin tells Hamish that if he’ll come over and give him a blow by his stall, there’s a free meal in it for him.
Amazing scenes. There’s not many Kaen interviews this week. I get the impression this might be because 95% of them were “I FUCKING HATE BAGPIPES!!!!”. This publicity drive seems to work, and quite a few people come up and sample the team’s “ScotPot” (a pun I just now got, much to my shame)
Over on Phoenix, 17,000 football fans are descending. Sadly most of them
already seem to be sorted for food. Or just not interested in taking pasta to a football match. It doesn’t seem the most natural fit. Tom decides that he hasn’t been correct about everything in at least…ooh, the last 2 minutes, so Tomterviews that he thinks the price point of £6 is wrong and that Adam hasn’t really considered the market they’re selling to. THANKS TOM.
Jesus Wept, this is a depressing show. Azhar’s come out of a Nativity play, Stephen’s wearing a big green cape, and Katie hasn’t come as a pizza so much as an abstractist bed-spread. She’s also complaining that their price-point is too low, and in fact should be £8. She does at least make the Yasmina-point that this is a task, not actual business, and she would never normally wantonly overcharge like this. People are only going to be able to buy these meatballs once (and only going to be able to eat them even fewer times) so why not overcharge the Dickens out of them then run away laughing?
Because nobody would pay £8 for this :
That’s why. Maybe if Chris Bates was selling it to them and gave them a saucy wink and a going over with his gravelly tones. Maybe then. But Adam is no Chris Bates. If only. Stephen rings Adam up with Katie’s suggestion, and Adam dismisses it out of hand. Katie tries to look as magnanimous as she can do with
giant pepperonis on her nipples.
Katie’s plan rejected, Stephen devises his own idea. GET ON A BUS! Yeah, this’ll end well. The plan is to hitch themselves to a line of tour buses, which depart every 15 minutes, and do “a big energising marketing piece” on each one, pushing the tourists on board to their stall, which must relocate now to the Grassmarket.
Azhar could not be questioning his life-choices harder at this point. Stephen declares this scheme of his a “Task Winner” (SPOILERS : it isn’t).
Meanwhile over on Sterling, sales are slow. Helpful Voiceover Man says sales are slow. Ricky Martin says sales are slow. Jenna says she feels physically sick because sales are slow. Kaen interviews that sales are slow. I’m guessing…sales are slow?
Jenna tells Laura and Ricky Martin to make sales a bit less slow. Laura starts gabbing about how she is a saleswoman and knows what she’s doing and she can’t physically drag people over, would Jenna like them to start physically dragging people over and Nick looks more like a
disgruntled badger than ever. Laura wanders off, whinging.
Midday, and Adam is holding off moving to the Grassmarket in order to squeeze the last 30 minutes out of his pitch before the big game starts. (A game that Hearts will go on to lose, 2-0). Stephen gets on the phone to him to re-iterate what his big amazing plan for later is – HE’S GOING TO GET ON A BUS! IT’S GOING TO BE MEGA! Adam tells him to stop bugging him, because he’s desperately trying to make some sales, ANY SALES. Stephen asks him how many sales he’s made so far. Adam says it’s been about 12.
Azhar and Katie mutter about how Adam needs to stay calm and not start panic-selling. Personally, I say he’s selling what looks like
threadworm. The time for panic-selling was before he even started. Adam promptly drops the price to £4, and sales start to pick up, oddly enough. He then ruins this by selling “TWO POUND A PORTION!” at people as they enter the actual stadium. Yeah, I know I’d turn around. He gets some sales, at £1 per portion, and then the match begins. And that giant foot from Brick Lane that likes to stomp on things
RETURNS! Consider it a bonus Incidental Character Boyfriend. It has appeared in two episodes now, it cannot be denied. Let’s call it Colin The Foot That Likes To Stamp On Things.
Adam tells everyone to pack up…THEY’RE MOVING TO GRASSMARKET! Adam blares on in the car about how there was less footfall than he hoped (yeah, it was totally the lack of footfall as 17,000 people stomped past you) and Tom
never looks more attractive and less like Ian Beale to me than these moments when he wants to clock Adam in the face with a rolling pin.
Back on Sterling and
SALES ARE FAST AGAIN! HOORAY! It’s almost as though people like to eat food at traditional mealtimes, like lunchtime, or something. Jenna tells some little old lady to “have both types of mash – push the boat out”, which is frankly my favourite Jenna quote since the invention of Penguin Beach. She then gazzumps this immediately with
“EXCUSE ME SIR! WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY MY CASSEROLE? I CAN SEE YOU LOOKING, WHY DON’T YOU COME AND HAVE A SMELL?”. Amazing. Meanwhile, Hamish The Bagpipe Player reaps his reward for
jiggling his chanters whilst Ricky Martin watched. The only thing marring my jollity is that the team have noticed their earlier tragic misspelling of “thyme” on their Holy Margins ledger-book (OH YES, I NOTICED!) but now have taken to misspelling
1:30pm now, and Adam is setting up in the Grassmarket, and Katie and Stephen are explaining their AMAZING BUS-PLAN again to everybody, just in case they didn’t get it the first two times. They’re getting on a bus! This cannot fail! This is a TASK-WINNING IDEA! This is in no way going to come back and bite them on the arse!
So this is how it goes :
“Hi, my name’s Katie! What food do you think I’m selling?”
Then a 10 minute run back to the bus-stop, meaning that they can only do this every half-hour.
Stephen rings Adam, Adam tells Stephen never to do anything that awful ever again, and calls him, Julie Caesar and the Human Pizza back to the stall. He then hangs up, and whines to Tom that Stephen has “literally missed the bus on this”. What a way with words.
Guess what the situation is on Sterling now that lunchtime has passed?
SALES ARE SLOW! Ricky Martin and Laura pound the pavements, trying to make sales less slow. They chance upon a potential new location for the stall, with lots of foot-fall but it turns out that there’s already a stall there selling Aberdeen Angus burgers. Jesus Christ, are there not any other cows in Scotland? Anyway, Ricky Martin rings Jenna, summarises the situation, and leaves the decision up to her. She decides to MOVE MOVE MOVE.
They arrive at their new pitch at 3pm, with two hours left to go. Jenna lowers her prices, and prepares to PANIC SELL! And guess what? Phoenix are PANIC SELLING AS WELL! IT’S OFFICIALLY A LAST-MINUTE PANIC-SELLING MONTAGE! SELL SELL SELL! JENNA LOWERING PRICES! TOM YELLING “ADAM CORBALLY’S MEATBALL MANIA!”! AZHAR CHASING A SQUIRREL! RICKY MARTIN SELLING FOOD TO WOMEN IN A WAY THAT COULD POTENTIALLY DOUBLE AS A SEXUAL PROPOSTION! LAURA TELLING PEOPLE THAT SHE NEEDS TO GET RID! ADAM…
POINTING! NICK SPEAKS SENSE! GABRIELLE…SOMEWHERE…EXISTING…PROBABLY…IN A TAM’O SHANTAR! A SMALL KOREAN CHILD EATS SOME STEW!
SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL!
Loving how “American Gothic” Gabrielle & Nick are right here. Gabrielle saucily crossing her legs gives it a modern twist, as an Apprentice candidate might say. Seriously, just imagine how amazing a series this would be if they flipped from being an adorably flappy and nerdy background Beta-Couple to an
OMINOUS ALL-PERVADING FORCE OF MALEVOLENT EVIL. Let’s try and make it happen before interviews, editors. Whoever-It-Is stops dicking this show around for 5 minutes, and ushers the candidates in.
Lordalan finishes brushing his meatballs with breadcrumbs and enters. At his approach, Jenna is clearly
absolutely bricking it, bless her. I can’t believe how much I want Jenna to win this task. JENNA! Oh wait, the other PM is Adam, never mind, that explains it all.
QUICK! BEFORE LORDALAN STARTS SPEAKING, LET’S PLAY “PHOTOSHOP STEPHEN’S MOUTH ONTO SOMEBODY ELSE’S FACE!”
Beautiful. I could do that all day.
We start with Phoenix, and Lordalan announces that he made Adam the Project Manager.
Adam could not look more smug if Lordalan had actually done that because he thought he was good. Adam tells Lordalan that he was pleased that Lordalan granted him the responsibility as, you know, otherwise he would have had to have fought JADE for it. What a titanic struggle that would have been. He informs Lordalan that they decided on Italian cuisine, more specifically pasta.
Is he protesting because it doesn’t exactly sound gourmet? It’s never explained, but if he is, then Adam only compounds matters by quacking on about how he used really cheap, shitty, fatty pork to make it. But don’t get him wrong, it was still a QUALITY MEATBALL at the end of the day.
Lordalan asks how much the team spent in total, and Adam replies that they ended up spending about £90 overall. Lordalan asks if they were trying to keep costs down then, and Adam says of course they were, BUT DEFINITELY NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF QUALITY.
Lordalan asks how the crap this was supposed to be gourmet, LIKE HE ASKED, and Adam says he’d have to taste their balls to realise, but oh, what a shame, he hasn’t got any to offer up. He then asks Tom to aver that their balls were spectacular, and Tom readily agrees. The words are convincing anyway, the tone is very “I heartily endorse this event or product”. But that might just be Tom.
We then cover their initial football ground selling plan, and when hearing of their price, Lordalan snorts that Hearts don’t even pay £5.99 for a striker, let alone pasta and balls. As that’s an actual funny joke, none of the candidates laugh.
Only Kaen. Lordalan asks if going to a football stadium was a good idea, Adam says it wasn’t
KATIE PREPARES TO ASSASSINATE!
We next cover the team’s marketing and branding, and Adam brags that at first their name was “Utterly Delicious” (BOO!) but then he saved things by changing it to “Utterly Delicious Meatballs” (YAY!).
Lordalan says that that doesn’t sound very Italian (IT’S PASTA! How Italian do you have to make it sound? I know this show has to demonstrate what a tourist and food and money is to people visually, every five minutes, in case they forgot, but you’d think it was covered). Adam brings up Matteo and how he wanted to call the product “Matteo’s Meatballs”. Lordalan says that that’s what they should have done, because everyone wants a piece of a famous name, and they could have sold it for a really high price.
Would people not just assume that Matteo was somebody they’d made up? I would. Does Lordalan think Ronald McDonald was an actual chef? Or that creeper the Burger King? Or Harry Ramsden? Pfft.
“Goodteamleader?” gets an immediate positive from Tom, vague ascent from everyone else, and FURIOUS STONEY SILENCE FROM KATIE. Adam is asked if his team were co-operative, and he says that they were.
KATIE WANTS HIM TO DIEEEEEE.
Over to Sterling now, where we start off with “goodteamleader?” as Jenna vibrates at a speed somewhere above that of a hummingbird’s wings. Gabrielle and Laura are both minorly positive, and all the boys just kind of nod and bob around a bit. Jenna honks into the aftermath that the team chose Scottish food, but she wants to just say “I’M A NORTHERNER! LANCARSHIRE!” and also she firmly believes that the further Norf you gore the more taditional you gore.
Number of Apprentice Winners the NORF has produced : 1
Number of Apprentice Winners the NORF will have produced after this series : 1
Jenna hypes up that she produced a true gourmet meal and chose the best quality ingredients, and called it Gourmet ScotPot, so everyone knew they were getting a quality product. By the word “gourmet”. It’s practically a guarantee. We then cover their initial decision as to where to pitch their stall, and then the decision to move later in the day.
Next the team are asked how much they spent. Ricky Martin replies that they spent about £268.82.
You know, about. He says that they definitely spent more than the other team did, but they were really dedicated to their gourmet product (you know, the supposed point of the entire task)
JADE PULLS A FACE TIME!
Phoenix spent £90 and took £388, for a total profit of £298
Sterling spent £269 and took £589, for a total profit of £320
STERLING WIN! BY A DEPRESSINGLY SMALL MARGIN!
(Yes, unlike Ricky Martin, I am a rounder-upper).
Lordalan congratulates Jenna, and she chokes out a “thank you”, half on the verge of tears. Lordalan praises her for taking a risk, praises the team generally for their sales ability, and sends them off to their reward. Which is a break in a 5 Star Country Club. And he means break literally, as they’re all going to be fracturing their legs falling off Segways! Have fun!
They look as non-plussed as I feel. Adam shakes Jenna’s hand as she leaves. HEY, LET’S GET THE CHIVALRY BRIGADE BACK TOGETHER!
EVERYBODY GROUP HUG!
Back in the Boardroom, Lordalan tells Phoenix that there’s one thing they can’t cook. Is it “food”? Actually apparently it’s “the books”, as the numbers said that they lost, so they lost. How can a team make cheap disgusting dangerous crap on this show and lose? HOW BAD DO YOU HAVE TO BE? They are sent off to Loser Cafe, where their own food will be served up to them as punishment.
Also some of this :
but mostly Nick trying to show off on his Segway in a vain attempt to beat Ricky Martin, and then falling arse over tit, sending the Segway spinning dangerously out of control and almost killing all the women on the team. If that had been Katie it would at least have taken out Laura.
To Loser Cafe now and
Jesus, in the absence of any interesting long-running feuds or storylines, the editors have taken to trying to be all arty. God help us all. The piano gets all plinky and wistful, and the show reaches vainly for Edward Hopper melancholy. Not really going to work with
this mug in the middle of it all. His losing PM tactic by the way is “oh well, you win some, you lose some (unless you’re Helen, in which case you NEVER LOSE, OH MY GOD MELODY, I CAN’T BLIEVE YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE ME LOSE, STOP BEING PROJECT MANAGER AND LET ME DO IT THIS INSTANT *hyper-ventilates into paper bag*) (We’re getting that task again next week by the way, which makes sense, because this is the first episode of this series I’ve really enjoyed, so OF COURSE we’re getting the incoherent task next week, OF COURSE.)” Katie’s tactic meanwhile
is pretty intense. Maybe she can tell that her time is at hand. You can only keep on being a merciless killing machine for so long before it all starts to catch up to you. (*plinky wistful piano music*).
Adam goes outside and OFCOURSEHEDOESNterviews that he doesn’t take any of the blame for the failure of this task – it’s all the girls faults, it all went wrong the minute they were allowed out of the kitchen. Azhar and Adam both rehash that Katie was wrong about the football thing, whilst the woman herself
interviews that Adam should go because he didn’t manage the team properly and there was no strategy beyond “make it cheap” but you can tell her heart’s not really in the slaughter any more. COME ON KATIE! ONE MORE KILL! FOR ME! COME ON, IT’S ADAM! IF YOU CAN DO DUANE, YOU CAN DO ADAM!
Back in the cafe, Tom points out that Stephen’s bus-strategy both sucked in and as of itself, and also dragged the entire team to a completely irrelevant pitch they wouldn’t normally have gone to just to facilitate it, because Tom is always right and Stephen should clearly be fired if Adam isn’t fired just for being Adam. Sadly, Stephen is invoking his “Team Dad” clause and has decided that Katie and Azhar are going into the Boardroom and just you try to stop him making it happen.
Not under his roof, young man.
Every time I see a shot like this I’m expecting the manmel toe to return, rearing up like the Loch Ness Monster. Every time. I live in constant fear now. Whoever-it-is ushers everyone in, probably.
Lordalan starts by saying that he sees two problems with the team’s performance.
Just the two? I’m guessing we’re not going to run the gamut up to “allowing Azhar to run around like the cheapest gay-porn Roman epic yet, Spartacums(/The Ten-Cum-Man-Dance/GladIAteHim/CleoSpafftra)” then. Pity. Anyway, Lordalan has decided that the two problems were “lack of sales” and “made the wrong sort of food”. Adam re-iterates that his food really WAS gourmet Lordalan, and Lordalan tells him point-blank that he’s seen a picture of Adam’s balls and frankly
not even Katie Hopkins would touch them. He’s just gone “cheap cheap cheap” and expected to make a load of money. I’m so so sad that the footage of Adam doing this Chicken Dance was lost. Stoopid editors.
Katie decides to interject at this point, and says that she feels like a lot of the market research her sub-team gave to Adam ended up being ignored, WOULDN’T YOU AGREE STEPHEN AND JADE?! Stephen and Jade remain resolutely silent. Adam snorts that he seems to remember some of Katie’s market research being “go to a football ground”.
We then move on to this football stadium thing, and Katie says she takes responsibility for that decision. Lordalan asks her on what basis she made it, and Katie replies “foot-fall : I go to football games, and it’s £6 a burger”. Lordalan snorts “where do you go, Chelsea?”. (Apparently Katie is a Fulham fan, and quite right too. COME ON YOU COTTAGES!). He tells her that if they’d charged £2.50 they’d have had a chance, but £6? No way. Adam then decides to bring up that his “research team” kept on at him to raise the price to £9, but before he can get the words half out, Stephen has leapt at him asking how many football games he’s been to in his life and surely EVERYBODY knows that your average man in the street like what Stephen is isn’t going to pay more than £4 for a burger
So menacing. Adam hand-waves that this is the first time Stephen has mentioned his issues with his pricing, and tries to hand-waft him off, but Stephen is having none of it. ADAM SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!
Sadly this is Adam, and his strategy is “Jade and Katie” so he’s got no interest in trying to stick anything on Stephen, so he decides to tell him that his real failure was not controlling Jade and Katie properly. That’s right Stephen, control your women! He’d also like to say that what else was wrong with Katie’s strategy was that they had to spend 90 minutes at 12:30pm changing location as the match had started, losing the lunchtime trade entirely. Jade decides to break in and ask why he didn’t consider that as Project Manager given that that’s the sort of thing that Project Managers are supposed to decide and Adam huffs that he CAN’T DO EVERYFIN JADE. Jade then looks to cameras if to say
she’s remembered why she doesn’t normally talk.
Next we move on to the team’s second disastrous pitch, and Katie says they went to Grassmarket because of the great deal that Stephen struck up with a tour bus operator. Stephen then breaks in to say that yes, he did strike up a great deal, with a gentleman called Kenny who is a “lovely guy”
The insincerity it’s just…out of control. Anyway, Stephen “struck up a partnership” wherein Kenny let Katie dance around the top deck of his tour bus dressed as a pizza, selling meatballs. God only knows what Kenny got out of this deal. A laugh? Jade mutters that they were expecting Stephen to get on a bus every 15 minutes but this somehow didn’t happen. Stephen then lies horribly and says that he realised the bus was a no-go after one try, and then lept RIGHT TO THE FRONT LINE off his own intuition and sold his heart out.
How is nobody calling him on this? Adam’s not doing it because he’s going after the women, Katie’s not doing it because she’s going after Adam, Azhar’s not doing it because he’s not talking at all, Jade’s not doing it because nobody’s listening to her and Tom’s not doing it because Tom is
so bored of this shit.
Speaking of Azhar not saying anything, Lordalan asks him exactly what he thinks. Is it anything? Does he want to claim to be The Gnome King of something, controlling everyone from underground? Something funny like that? Azhar just replies that he was selling
which seems to be news for everyone else. He also thinks that they lost because of sub-standard product. Stephen then decides to tell Adam that it’s not fair that he’s directing all his fire at people who contributed in a BIG BIG WAY to this task (by which he means himself) and not Azhar, because Azhar DID NOTHING.
Azhar tells Stephen that he’s confused (<3) but then Adam remembers that he kind of hates Azhar from way back, so why not? He tells Azhar that he spent the entire task mute, doing nothing, and Azhar replies that he did voice numerous concerns, and all Adam was interested in hearing was “cheap as chips”. I’m kind of sad that Adam vs Azhar is the closest thing we have to a long-running feud this series. What else is there?
Tom at this point decides he needs to contribute, and specifically calls out the poor selection of the second pitch, and how it was a result of Stephen’s stupid bus plan that didn’t even work. Stephen interjects by saying that he’s going to “bring a little bit of sanity to the situation” and suggests that “all the steam in the mobile unit got to Tom’s head”. That’s the first objection he’s heard from Tom about anything. Tom and Jade say this is untrue, and then Tom starts mumbling “why are you lying so much at this table stephen why do you have to lie”.
Tom badly needs a “dewoodening” experience (*pardon*). I’m just sad he missed out on the prime chance this week to dance around on top of a bus singing KNEES UP MUVVAH BRAHN.
Jade is asked to give her opinion as to why the team failed – she highlights the farrago of the pitches as being the prime fault, and that means it’s definitely Stephen, Katie and Azhar’s fault. What suggestion to share the blame for the football pitch evenly, what, I don’t remember anything like that? I guess that the Grassmarket transfer was arguably a bigger fail, but still…
Stephen is asked who was responsible, and he replies that the food wasn’t high quality enough to sell as gourmet, so Adam, the football pitch idea was a waste of time, so Katie, and Azhar is a big poo, so Azhar. Azhar perks up and says that Stephen is being very clever (Stephen : “it’s not about being clever Lordalan asked me a simple question I answered it in a simple way you’ve had your opportunity would I be “clever” if I’d not singled you out in my summary probably not) and deflecting blame away from himself. Would he admit that the second pitch was his responsibility? (Stephen : “based around the clever idea I came to that logical decision, let me put it in blunt terms I was responsible for the Grassmarket decision but unfortunately to defend Adam here your contribution was ZERO! MY WORD”)
Shifty, aggro, gabbling, mile-a-minute, incredibly rude, Boardroom Stephen LOVE. I’m also very much enjoying that, for a MASTER-PUPPETTEER, Azhar’s one demonstrable skill thus far this series has been pissing people off by telling them the truth in a needlessly blunt manner.
Adam is asked who is coming back into the boardroom, and he gives notice that he was going to pick Katie and Jade
but Stephen is so powerful he’s not only avoiding a boardroom he should have been in, but also he gets to choose who goes in instead, so it’s going to be Katie and Azhar.
Candidates go out, New Nirrck says that actually the meatballs weren’t really that bad if you scraped the worst of the burnt bits off and pulled the eyelashes and teeth out, which really is a testament to what an amazing chef Tom is, candidates go back in again.
We start off with Adam, and Lordalan tells him that he’s now read his application form, and he’s impressed by the fact that Adam’s such a hard-worker and runs his own market-stall. Adam replies that it’s a really big operation, and it’s wholesale and retail, and its been running 13 years, and he’s got more business experience than any other candidate in the competition, and his wife is prettier than Stephen’s wife and
Lordalan tells him to cut out the self-promotion. His wider point is that he thinks that Adam showed his market trader “pile it high, sell it cheap” approach in this task. Adam disagrees, on the grounds that he would never sell tat like this in his day job – it was just to win the task. Also he’s the best salesman in the process and the best negotiator and also he has real MAN STRENGTH, not just gym strength like Azhar and also he’s not a GIRL like what Katie is and also…
Mercifully Azhar cuts this off, and tells Adam that he didn’t deliver on this task, and he should take responsibility for the decisions that other people were allowed to make. Adam disagrees, and Lordalan asks Adam if he’s out of his depth in “The Process”. Adam protests that he isn’t.
Katie’s face says otherwise. Azhar says that Adam is definitely out of his depth. Adam snorts that he’s got 5 times more business experience than Azhar, and Azhar snorts back that he could have 100 times more and it wouldn’t make him any less out of his depth (<3). Adam says he’s Lordalan’s Number 1 candidate, which seems to
amuse Lordalan, in a “I’m keeping you in because “I see something in you”, and that something is “good television” “sort of way. Lordalan asks Adam why this might be, and Adam replies that it’s because he knows what he’s doing. Lordlan then yells back that he DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’S DOING HE’S COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL.
Azhar then says that “in Adam’s defence, he did heavily rely on Stephen to make all his decisions for him”. Ha ha ha ha. Katie knows a good burn when she hears it, and nods her agreement. Azhar goes on to say that if Adam and Stephen were to be separated, Adam wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t even think that’s entirely fair and I’m nodding away. Lordalan asks Adam if he relies on Stephen to do his thinking for him, and he says no, although he does think Stephen has some admirable qualities. Is one of them “a penis”?
Lordalan asks Adam next who should be fired, and he selects Katie on the grounds that her research was wrong and also she didn’t sell or drive business in on the day like Stephen or Azhar (who 5 seconds ago Adam said had a contribution of literally zero) . Katie says that this is a LIE over and over and over again and tells Adam that he said he was going to do this honourably and he ISN’T, HE’S JUST LYING. THIS IS A VIOLATION OF THE ASSASSIN’S CODE! He only listened to who he wanted to listen to, and she couldn’t communicate with him. She had to make Stephen relay all her decision to him, because every time she spoke Adam went “oooh, I hear a high pitched whining noise, but not any actual words, MUST BE A WOMAN TORKIN HA HA HA”.
Or something like that.
Lordalan asks Katie what it was she was actually trying to communicate, because most of it seems to have been rubbish.
She was wrong about the football, she was wrong about the buses, and she was wrong about the brand name. Katie protests that the brand name was supposed to be simple, and Lordalan snorts “you’re not getting it are you?”. Adam breaks in to say “THAT WOULD EXPLAIN IT, HURR, HURR, HURR, SHE NEEDS A GOOD SEEING TO LORDALAN!”. Well…he does in my head, and that’s the main thing.
It’s begging time for Azhar now, and he says it’s because he’s committed, driven and hard-working and also A GREAT BIG FAHCKIN KILLER WHALE SPLOOOOOSH. He started a small business with a redundancy package, and grew it into a successful firm. He works 365 days a year, except when he takes two months off to hover in the background on a game-show. He’s got 100% commitment AND A SKILL SET.
Adam’s turn to beg next, and he says he’d be a perfect business partner for Lordalan because he’s hard-working. Lordalan stops him and tells him to give him something of actual substance and Adam just clicks and says “keep me in the process, I’ll show you what I’ve got”.
Lordalan protests that he’s been here for 6 tasks now, that should be enough. Also, we all saw the manmel toe Adam, we all know exactly what you’ve got. Adam says he thanks Lordalan for making him Project Manager (Lordalan : “thanks for that”) but he’s still got more to show.
Katie rounds off the begging by saying that she’s been a scapegoat for everyone ever since she was brought back into the Boardroom in Week 1, but she’s contributed in a big way to every task since, and she always comes up with good ideas.
Well, you always come up with ideas Katie, let’s not go crazy. She finishes by saying she’s all about research and development in her career, and she’s really intelligent and she’s got really good people skills and also she once killed a man using only a USB stick.
Adam is the fire-teasing, for messing up this task and “letting other people drag you down” but Lordalan says that he sees something in him, and hopes he learns to assert his authority (I CAN’T WAIT)
and the actual firing is
Once she leaves the room, she jams the door shut with a hair-grip and a swarm of angry African Killer Bees flies in through the air-vents. She flips a remote switch hidden in her pocket, and the ignition goes off on the gas ring she’d left running in the Apprentice Hacienda when they all left for Edinburgh.
KABOOM! EVERYONE IS KATIESASSINATED AND SHE WINS!
Alright, this doesn’t happen, she just goes and sits on the sofas and looks a bit miserable.
In her Taxi Of Shame, Katie says that she feels absolutely robbed. Adam should have been fired for making a mess of this task but oh well
new opportunities, new blondesassinations. She’s upbeat.
Back at the house, Tom is telling everyone how he really really tried on the first day to rein Adam in and to stop him using human spit as a binding agent for his balls, but he just wasn’t having it. Azhar and Adam return, and everyone seems surprised, at least by Adam. Azhar tells them all that Adam was
this far away from getting fired, but Adam huffs that Azhar got a “stern talking to” as well. Azhar replies that Lordalan told him that he needed to speak up more, and Adam replies that that was all he himself was saying to Azhar to be fair. You know, when he yelled that his CONTRIBUTION WAS ZERO!
Stephen then breaks in to say that he’s really glad that Adam has come back and he’s really glad because he thought that awful Katie was coming back, let’s all just move on and agree that he and Adam are still best buddies ok.
Next week :
Sometimes, words aren’t needed.