Pure Evil turns out to be an East End hipster. Also, water is wet, the sky is up, and Sharon Osbourne is UNBEARABLE.
6am and it’s back to early-morning starts at the Apprentice Hacienda.
The phone rings, and Jade takes her first step towards this year’s “Phone Answering Wars” Winner Trophy,
if not the one for “Best Posture”. And no, I’m not introducing that as a trophy, I’ve got enough to keep track of in these episodes as it is, thanks. Scores are currently :
Gabrielle : 2
(Azhar : 2)
Ricky Martin : 1
Stephen : 1
Jade : 1
With four rounds to go, you have to fancy Gabrielle’s chances of at least making the run-off don’t you? Look, she was in second place this week
Girl’s on form.
Anyway, this week Lordalan would really like to meet them at Waterloo Station. (Which of course is why he binned it off and sent a DVD instead). The cars will be there to pick them up in 15 minutes. Which WOULD be a dauntingly short space of time if half the cast weren’t
tits-out ready for their camera-time already. I swear the levels of male vs female fan-service in this series have reached parodic levels of mismatch at this point. The closest any hetero male/lesbanim gets to satisfaction in this episode is a shot of Jenna straightening her hair. And not even in a sexy way, more in a
“if Sadako had been from Lancashire” way. Oh for the days of Yasmina in a thong or Liz Locke with her boobs hanging out of a bikini. For my blog hits if nothing else.
From somewhere, Ricky Martin pipes up wondering where a train from Waterloo might take them. Somewhere exotic no doubt! If only Ricky Martin, if only. I’ve got a sinking feeling that Scotland really was it for this series.
After their 15 minutes have elapsed, the candidates head off to Waterloo to start their shift at Paperchase. But I’m getting ahead of myself, and that’s a different type of 15 minutes, which is yet to elapse. After their 15 minutes of dressing time is up, the team pile into their Apprenticars and drive off into the early morning. In Phoenix Apprenticar A, Jade grumbles that Phoenix really need to make sure they win and Adam agrees – no way is he losing three times on the bounce. He can’t be doing with it. Meanwhile Tom, looking more
corpse-like with every passing second, spends the journey in mute satisfaction, knowing that his continued survival has nothing to do with things like wins and losses, and everything to do with those compromising pictures he has of Kaen, New Nirrck, and Dannii Minogue.
Meanwhile, in Sterling Apprenticar A, Stephen is affecting a quite titanic smugness because Sterling has won
“two tasks in a row”. Of course he’s only won “one in a row”, but he IS Sterling now, and they are in his blood, so the shine totally counts for him too. He’d also like to congratulate Nick on having won 5 out of 7 tasks…
JUST LIKE HE HAS. Oh boo for you Gabrielle, only having won 3.
NEVER MIND! Seriously, with that keen mastery of statistics, Stephen should go into politics. (Have I mentioned how one of my favourite things this series is imagining just how different the show appearing now on television is to the one appearing in Stephen’s head?)
Fortunately, the teams arrive at Waterloo Station before Stephen can congratulate Nick on being one of only two candidates never to have been in the Boardroom this series. Oh wait, who’s the other one? IT’S TOTALLY HIM! HE DIDN’T EVEN REALISE! As they get out of their cars, Helpful Voiceover Man reminds us that Waterloo is named after one of ABBA’s most famous victories. Thanks Helpful Voiceover Man. Sadly for the teams, they aren’t meeting Lordalan in the station’s glamorous concourse, they’re
being sent to some grimy underground chamber, covered in graffiti. And as if this wasn’t sordid enough,
if that camera had been 6 inches lower, we would have seen that Ladysugar is ALSO very definitely not going bald. If you catch my meaning. This is the worst task reveal EVER. Lordalan tells them that he sadly can’t be with them today, as he’s got some urgent business to attend to. He’s going to spend the day watching tapes of Series 5 on a loop and wondering what went wrong. For the canidates though, the day brings much less wonderful pleasures than giggling your way through “four-hundred-and-fift…shit” again. They are to look all around them in the tunnel, as that’s where they will see what they’ll be selling this week. The jump-cut to a piece of graffitti that looks an awful lot like the word
“tat”, I’m sure is just a coincidence.
That’s right, it’s the Art Gallery task. But instead of painters; or photographers with giant lips and Daddy Issues; or women who break into peoples houses, dress up in their clothes and take pictures of themselves fondling their household pets
this series the teams will be representing graffiti artists. The teams are to organise a show of graffiti art in one of London’s cutting-edge art galleries. Adam and Jenna remain admirably stone-faced throughout this death sentence. Stephen on the other hand
looks like he just saw his own sticky end, and it wasn’t exactly peacefully in his sleep, let’s put it that way. Gabrielle on the other hand
is like a pig in proverbial.
Team that makes the most commissions (it’s like money, but for agents, so intrinsically lesser) wins, teams that doesn’t doesn’t win, then the candidate who stopped existing about three weeks ago except as a blurry pair of boobs in the background gets fired. EVERYONE HAVE FUN!
The music at this point gets terrifyingly “funky”, as Helpful Voiceover Man is forced to wearily talk about edgy urban art as some truly controversial and boundary-pushing pieces are paraded before us.
IT’S AN EVIL CLOWN GOING “SHUSH!”.
IT’S A VOLCANO, WITH LIKE, TEETH AND EYES AND EVERYTHING, SAYING A THING!
IT’S A GIANT ADVERT FOR THE NEW CHER LLOYD ALBUM! SMASH DA FUGGIN SYSTUUUUUUUUUUUUM!
In between sighing audibly at what passes for art these days, Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that each team must choose two artists to represent from a selection of 5 and in a new and exciting twist, the gallery launches will be attended by a “corporate client”, who wants to buy in. In execution this is kind of awkward, and throws up questions of fairness. But it DOES offer another opportunity for Stephen to look like a prize pranny, so why not? Speaking of which…
for some reason he’s trying to get between Gabrielle and the Project Managership of this task. This being an act of actual, tangible insanity. I don’t think you could stop Gabrielle from Project Managing this task if you actually blasted her in the face with a shotgun. She’d just reform and carry on like some sort of art T-1000.
Seriously, Stephen’s pitch is “I really want to”, Gabrielle’s is “I’ve worked with a couple of artists before and have experienced art-gallery launch culture (hint hint : everyone gets twatted)”, everyone votes for Gabrielle
I don’t know why he even tried. Ricky Martin says he voted for Gabrielle because she is “creative”. I think we all know it’s really because if he hadn’t, they would have found his corpse in a ditch the next morning with a Union Jack scrivened into his face IN BLOOD.
Meanwhile over on Phoenix, there’s no dispute, just everyone sitting in awe as Tom reels off a fascinating and inspirational tale of his love of graffiti art with genuine enthusiasm, elan, and captivating passion.
Oh no, wait, it’s Tom. So he’s just droning “I’ve got a good interest in this kind of market i know a lot well i know a little bit about graffiti i understand obviously the art and the technicalities of how a graffiti is produced so i can tell the difference between what a good quality graffiti piece is and what a bad quality graffiti piece is you guys might not be able to read it whereas i’ve got a good knowledge of how to read it, the words what they’ve written”.
I’ve never heard someone sound so bored about something they’re in the process of claiming as a hobby. It’s like if I kept on saying “you should watch The Apprentice, it really sucks this year and I don’t care!”
Anyway, the team buy into Tom’s love of graffiti, and Adam wants to know more.
These graffitis he’s seen – they just seem to be words, but he bets to be really good graffitis they have to have pictures with them as well right? God, it’s like Newsnight Review up in here this week. Thus begins Adam’s “Inspirational Journey Into Art”. Tom is more than happy to play Sister Wendy, telling Adam that to be valuable, urban art has to have story and a bit of history behind it, and that one of the reasons why Banksy is so popular “that you guys might not be aware of” is because nobody knows his identity.
a) “that you guys might not be aware of” actually made me sick up a bit, I’m not kidding, how pompous
b) Jade tagging herself on to the end of that sentence in a minor jabber and adding “…KNOWS WHO HE IS!” milliseconds on afterwards to show that she understands the mystery of Banksy is the third most adorable thing about the segment
c) Laura constantly shushing her whilst she’s doing it is the second
d) Adam’s face
is the first.
Project Managers chosen, it’s time for the teams to split up and go meet some artists. Gabrielle tells her team to greet everyone with enthusiasm, a cheery smile, and respect and empathy for their validity as human beings, no matter how bizarre the team might think their behaviour or their perspective is.
Kaen’s all “…whassat?”.
Off the teams go no, with half of each group staying in London (Gabrielle, Stephen, and Jenna vs Tom and Laura), and half heading off to Bristol (Nick and Ricky Martin vs Jade and Adam).
On their way to Bristol, Ricky Martin observes to Nick that he thinks the pair of them look quite “corporate”. If by “corporate” he means
“groom and groom at a gay wedding in Nottingham” than yes Ricky Martin, yes you do look corporate. Obviously Ricky Martin doesn’t mind looking corporate, because they’re performing the role of agents, but he also wants to suggest they’re offering a personable service. Nick suggests they both strip off their ties. Ricky Martin says they should ask Gabrielle’s permission first.
Well that was the most awkwardly homoerotic sequence I’ve seen on this show in a good long while.
Over on Phoenix, Adam is still gob-smacked by Banksy. He tells Jade (even though she was sat right there at the time) that Tom told him that nobody knows who Banksy is. He says this in EXACTLY the same tone as a 7 year old saying something like “Tom told me that babies come out of girls lady-willies, which are like boy-willies but in their bums and they WEE THE BABIES OUT”. Jade reassures him that this is true, and also that she
knew that before Tom even told her, she did. Because she is The Creative One. Finally Adam resolves Banksy down into a thing that can exist in his brain by saying that means he’s “just like The Stig”.
Both sub-teams now arrive in Bristol, “Birthplace of Banksy” per Helpful Voiceover Man. I’ve just gone back and deleted the “Banksy Count” I started at the beginning of the episode, 5 minutes ago, because I can already tell that numbers as invented by humans are not going to go high enough. First up for Jade & Adam is SPQR
(Sidebar : I’m sure many of these artists spell their names with @ signs and Slavic accents and that symbol that Prince briefly was. I am not going to be doing any of that, thank you very much). Apparently SPQR is deeply anti-establishment (unlike all those other pro-coalition graffiti artists. I saw a particularly exciting one the other day illustrating how in fact the Liberal Democrats influence had helped produce a more genuinely liberal government than if the Tories had been left to their own devices. It had a picture of a happy train being driven by a bee in it).
LOOK, IT’S SOME CLOWNS AND THEY’RE IN A TANK! TAKE THAT MAGGIE!
Adam tells outside that he knows nothing about art, so his strategy with the artists is just to present them with his own 100% real genuine salt-of-the-earth
babblings of the first things that come into his head. One painting is about “like, the media and that” and one is about “how we don’t let kids be kids for long enough these days”. Amazing. I mean, they aren’t about that, but I can’t imagine what they are about is anything much better.
Back in London, Tom is meeting with their designated corporate clients : Renault.
This one is called Julian. The comments for the Episode Summary were correct – he is the Incidental Character Boyfriend of The Week. Or, to be more French : petit ami caractère accessoire de la semaine. Or summit. Tom tells the Renault Execs that he knows they focus as a brand on “cool joie de vivre” and that makes them a great match for the sort of urban art he’s promoting. Laura just mumbles something about being “bang on trend” into her chin. Yeah Laura, you can’t behave like this on a team of only two people. It kind of…shows.
Julian says “bluh bluh bluh bluh sexy french bluh”. Or something to that effect. Something about a car and their art needing to be a bit French. “It’s about the suxiness”.
Oh those Continentals. Tom asks them what their budget is, and the Lady Renault who is not Julian and therefore is irrelevant, says that she was thinking of spending £5000. Or thereabouts. I bet he totally scared her off by asking about her budget. If he’d not asked, her budget would have totally been £10,000, eh Gabrielle?
New Nirrck gives an interview
noshing Tom off. You know how those go at this point right? It almost makes me miss Old Nirrck. Except not really.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle and her minions are also arriving at their corporate clients in the Beefeater Gin distillery
I’ll have the one on the far left please. (Not really, gin makes me headachy). The Head Beefeater, who is as English
as Julian was French, says he wants a fantastic piece of art for their distillery that really encapsulates the Beefeater Gin brand and also London. A mixture of contemporary values and heritage.
I know right, Stephen? The anger rises in me too. Gabrielle’s all “yeah, erm, that’s totally what we’re trying to do with our artists we haven’t even chosen yet. The whole “new old” thing. Totally Steampunk ReteroSEXtive and stuff”. Stephen then starts waffling about the Beefeater Gin people getting on a train with the artists. I think he’s speaking metaphorically, but after the Edinburgh task and his whole…Stephenness this week, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Kaen certainly wouldn’t. That’s probably the most vigorous face I’ve ever seen her pull. She really comes to life around gin. (*FACE OF UTTER SURPRISE*). She Kaenterviews that the team neglected such key questions as the size of the art piece the company wants, the location of it, and also…how much they’re willing to spend. Other than that, they did GREAT. You can already tell this Beefeater Bitch kind of
already hates them.
Fresh from this meeting, Gabrielle goes to meet her first artist of the day : Nathan Bowen. Stephen, Jenna and Gabrielle arrive at his very on-trend terrace house, where Stephen asks Nathan as to his inspiration. Nathan reveals that he used to be a builder, and he takes his inspiration as an artist from the people who he used to see around him.
I bet they love him now. Nathan says he’s adapted his work from just being builders to being “the Queen’s Guards”. Stephen says “you mean like Beefeaters?”. (*GREAT BIG CLANGING BELL OF CONVENIENCE*). Jenna asks how much he’d usually charge for a piece, and Nathan says he’d normally charge £500 per picture. Gabrielle createrviews that she thinks Nathan would be a really good fit for the gin company because his art really speaks to London, and there’s lots of Union Jacks in there.
AND ALSO IT’S OF BEEFEATERS? And the brand is Beefeaters Gin? I’m going to presume she mentioned that and it was just edited out, because Jeez… Unless Union Jacks do in fact render her temporarily blind to everything else around her.
Meanwhile in Bristol,
Nick and Ricky Martin ponder graffiti. It’s all very exciting, but you wouldn’t have it on your bedroom wall would you? They saunter on, to find
some of Nathan’s original work (unbeknownst to them). It’s a builder pissing on the face of another builder. Or, as Ricky Martin puts it “some crazy workman alien peeing on another crazy workman alien’s head”. Nick says that he does not like it, and he would not pay for it. The whole “awkward homoeroticism” vibe that permeates this entire Bristol trip has me wondering if he means the art or being pissed on. I feel a bit like I’m watching Old Joy again. Their first work appointment is with Copyright, and they’re not wearing ties. Notice we didn’t see the scene where they took them off JUSS SAYIN’. I think the awkward sexual tension might have BROKEN THE CAMERA LENS. (If you’re thinking of drawing a diagram of the Tom-Jade-Nick-Gabrielle-and-now-Ricky Martin love-tangle nonsense I have made to distract myself during this series, please feel free to send one in. The best of them will be displayed in The Gallery)
Copyright’s art is
full o boobs. Which Ricky Martin is very much a fan of. He asks Copyright how much he normally charges per painting, and he says that they go between £150 and £2750. Nick asks Copyright about how his last exhibition in London went, and Copyright says that he sold 50 paintings in the space of one evening. Well that’s good. Copyright is kind of
super-squirrely about this though. Or maybe that’s just his artsiness. Outside Nick and Ricky Martin talk about how they very much enjoyed all the pictures of the boobs and the texture and the shape of all the boobs and how boobs are lovely, NOTHING GOING ON HERE, JUST MEN APPRECIATING SOME BOOBS.
Next up for Tom and (Sort Of) Laura, it’s “the artist known as Pure Evil”.
Props to Helpful Voiceover Man for giving it the full “e-vil” pronunciation (as opposed to e-vul) but it’s no The Sucklord. He does things like
this. Tom asks him how much his pieces go for, and Pure Evil picks one out (one of the cheaper looking ones) and says he’d sell it for £200. Tom then drones on about he loves street art and he even has some in his house and he really likes invader and banksy and shephard fairey and who does pure evil like?
Pure Evil looks *so bored*. I think Tom’s addiction to being right is completely out of control at this point, to the degree that he doesn’t even care if anybody else is interested. New Nirrck interviews that Tom knows SOOOOOO much about art and is super-hot OH MY GOD, AT LAST SOME HOT GUY-CANDY WINS THE APPRENTICE AM I RIGHT LADIES? Laura flips her hair.
In the car pulling away, Tom tells Laura that he thinks that Pure Evil really liked how Tom knew a bunch of stuff, and Laura says that she bets he did. Tom says he’s considering making Pure Evil his number one choice. On this show, that can never be a wrong manoeuvre.
Next up to meet Pure Evil are Gabrielle’s sub-team, led in by Stephen. To Pure Evil’s “hi, I’m the artist known as Pure Evil”, Stephen laughs in his face and says “Hi, I’m…Stephen!”. They are SO LUCKY that he did not do more talking in this meet-and-greet. Gabrielle takes the reins and
just talks Pure Art at Pure Evil, until he submits to her benign waffling about his work really gets to the truth of how nothing is as it seems, and draws you into the myriad stories lurking beneath the surface of the mundanity of BLAH BLAH BLAH. Kaen interviews that Gabrielle is really good at these tasks where you have to talk enthusiastic artsy bullshit, and she really seems to be talking to the artists on their level. Seriously, look at Pure Evil’s
widdle face. That is a man who has had his tummy quite comprehensively tickled.
Next up, Jade and Adam meet Copyright, and Jade is totally in love with everything she sees right from the off, gushing and showing genuine enthusiasm. Adam declares that he’s seen so many artists today, and he’s connected with quite a lot of their pieces on a personal level, but this stuff is the best yet! I think it’s the boobs. He says that he could look at each painting for hours, and get several different “meanings” out of each one. Yeah alright Adam, TMI.
Back in London now, and Gabrielle are meeting with James Jessop in his studio of
GIANT CATHEDRAL SIZE PAINTINGS. He’s trying to ply them with booze from the off, which should probably have been a sign. Gabrielle is making a really, really poor fist of not looking like she utterly hates it all, whilst Stephen asks James what message he would like Stephen to convey to a potential buyer before sealing the deal. James Jessop replies that Stephen should convey just how obsessed James is with his work…and also get the buyer really drunk. I’m starting to think James Jessop might have a problem. He then drops in the interesting tid-bit that he sold two pieces to a buyer in LA recent for £15,000.
Oddly enough, this has left Stephen…more interested, and in Sterling Apprenticar A he gushes to Gabrielle that James Jessop is what art is ALL ABOUT! He’s just like Van Gogh! Stephen says that all artists should be nutcases who chop their ears off and know how to draw stuff. Thanks Stephen.
Last up, it’s Tom and Laura’s turn to meet James Jessop. He gets very enthusiastic about his giant “HORROR” print of Maria clawing her way through the canvas, and then shows Laura this piece
and says it shows what would happen if he could go back to 1982 in his TARDIS and spray-paint a whole train. Laura just…giggles? And says “that’s nice”. (PSST! LAURA! DO SOMETHING!). To be fair, she does at least get out of James that he sold his most bankable piece for £10,000. However, James doesn’t mention it’s for a painting the size of Brentwood Civic Centre.
Outside Laura mutters to Tom that she thinks the paintings might be an acquired taste, and Tom huffs that he doesn’t think James’ art suits his personal taste to the degree that he wants to curate it. He better hope that Lordalan NEVER sees this clip, otherwise he’ll have that prize-money taken off him with a quickness. PERSONAL TASTE INDEED!
7pm, and it’s time now for the teams to decide which artists they want to go for, in order to prepare to sell their stuff in the galleries tomorrow. Gabrielle rings up Nick and Ricky Martin, and tells them that she’s picking Pure Evil for sure, and she’ll leave the rest up to them. However, when Ricky Martin says that he wants to go with Copyright on the grounds that it would fit the corporate client, Stephen pitches a fit and says they CAN’T KNOW what the corporate client would want, and he pushes Gabrielle into plumping for Pure Evil and Nathan Bowen. So that was a day wasted for Nick and Ricky Martin then…(*ahem*). Tom meanwhile accepts Copyright as Jade and Adam’s suggestion, along with Pure Evil as his own.
OOOOH! A CLASH! That means it’s time for Pure Evil to decide. Will he go with Gabrielle’s puppyish enthusiasm, or Tom’s well-informed drone?
D’oof! Laura’s voice sighs that this is very disappointing whilst her face
looks kind of amused. To be fair, I’d find Tom’s mini-breakdown kind of funny as well in person.
Lord knows I’m chortling at it from here as it is. Gabrielle hangs up giggling “”THANKS PURE EVIL!”, whilst Tom rings Jade up to get her subteam’s professional opinion on SPQR, because he has absolutely no back-up plan.
Oh for fuc…never mind. Jade and Adam think SPQR might be a bit too controversial, but they don’t really have a strong opinion either way. Bereft of meaningful feedback, Tom decides to throw caution to the wind, and try to sell one James Jessop piece for £10,000 even though he hates the stuff. Whatever. He doesn’t even care anymore. He retreats to Phoenix Apprenticar A to have a massive sulk about how Pure Evil is a nob.
It contains the line “obviously having expertise, having knowledge, having a rapport with people COUNTS FOR NOTHING”. It’s not quite Saira’s Epic Meltdown in Series 1 over how MIRIAM RIDES A HORSE, THE SNOOTY BITCH, but it’s something.
Day Two dawns in
Brick Lane. Again. Today’s the day when teams have to set up their galleries out of
unprepossessing spaces like these, and then flog their art to hipsters. Whilst niftly avoiding those are out for blood after Gabrielle’s Union Jack paint-job on those chairs permanently stained the seats of their skinny jeans. It’s a delicate balance. Gabrielle shows Nick the art that she’s hand-picked for their gallery for the first time.
It’s going to be a JOY when they move in together and have to decorate isn’t it? Now there’s a man who’ll be demanding his own study. Without pictures of mimes with howitzers, nuns lezzing up with Emeline Pankhurst, or a squirrel masturbating into the Queen’s handbag all over the walls. Gabrielle explains to him how Nathan Bowen has taken the traditional idea of a beefeater, or a Queen’s Guard, and then put a modern twist on it, by having it be pissing on somebody’s face.
Don’t try to explain, Gabrielle, you’re only hurting him more. Ricky quickly runs outside, lest there be debris from Nick’s head exploding like Scanners, and interviews that it turns out they went for the artist that he and Nick spent most of yesterday slagging off. OOPS.
Also suffering in the name of (other people’s taste in) art is
Adam, who is concerned by the size of James Jessop’s pieces. He doesn’t understand how anybody coming tonight is going to be able to afford any of the pieces, or be able to fit them in their “front room”. How Non-U.
Back over on Sterling, Nathan Bowen himself has turned up
with a flower in his hat especially for the occasion. Gabrielle has managed to negotiate with him that he will stood in the middle of the art-gallery during the exhibition, painting live. If you’re wondering what Jenna was doing for the rest of the task, she was being his life-model. The scenes were too obscene to air on television. First though, Stephen has a great idea, that he just HAS to ring up Gabrielle to let her know.
“To create this illusion of edginess, of criminality, of something that nobody sees LIKE BANKSY (see Tom? See? Even Stephen knows about Banksy), maybe Nathan does his live art out the back? NOBODY ACTUALLY SEES NATHAN!!!!”
Nick says that that sounds rubbish, Ricky Martin backs him up, Stephen waffles that his idea is WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX, GUYS, then Gabrielle lets Stephen down gently by saying that it’s a great idea, but she’s going to stick with the status quo. Stephen huffs sarcastically “OK Gabrielle, erm, thank you very much for loving the idea, but not enough to actually take it on board“. Gabrielle doesn’t give a Pollock and tells him to take care. This turns out to only be the second-least sincere “take care” of the entire episode. Who knew? Meanwhile, this damp old brick-work is playing havoc with Kaen’s
bad back. Which she got from all those times she slumped asleep in the middle of a task. NOW WHERE’S THAT FUCKING GIN?
Stephen grumbles to Jenna that Gabrielle should be more straight-forward and blunt(SPOILERS : THIS IS NEVER GOING HAPPEN), whilst Jenna retreats to that
spaced-out netherworld that exists in Jenna between tasks that she’s good at and tasks she’s really bad at.
Mid-afternoon, and Tom is stood around with Copyright and James Jessop negotiating prices. The scene is about as interesting as that sounds.
5pm, and it’s time to get this show on the road. Tom has just about got over his sulk to survey his gallery, and he
likes what he sees. Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that the teams will earn 40% commission on every piece they sell, and whoever makes the most will win. Both doors swing open, and Adam introduces women to the Phoenix Gallery with his usual warm touch, whilst Tom gets right with trying to sell a Jessop in order to maximise sales. Some guy tells him that he really identifies with
the piece where the giant green scaly monster is about to rape the comatose blonde. To Tom’s credit, he does not start inching away. The guy tells Tom that he can think of a really great place for it in his office, but then Tom seems to sidetrack him into looking at Jessop’s smaller pieces. He interviews that £10,000 is a lot to ask for a piece of art, so he doesn’t think there’s an awful lot he can do sales-wise.
Yeah, it shows.
Next up on Sterling, my favourite exchange of the week :
Stephen : “Anything you like in particular?”
Random Guy : “Not really”
Stephen : “No? Nothing?”
Random Guy : “Nah”
Stephen is indeed generally blazing a trail of sales disasters, receiving a veritable panoply of “I’ll see”s, “I’ll think about it”s and “I’ll get back to you later”s. Jade on the other hand is faring far better with her pet project Copyright.
Look at her little face! She made a sale! At the same time, Adam is waffling away to some women about how he thinks that the artists really appreciated his unbiased naivety and ignorance. He giggles away to her about how hilarious his wrong interpretations are until she agrees to buy from a Copyright print from him. It appears that Adam’s giggly naive charms are actually going down rather well, and he’s selling the most for his team out of everyone. Outside he interviews that before today
he thought that an artistic medium was a fancy bird what could contact the other side. But now he knows it’s the one between an artistic large and an artistic small (£50 extra if you want that framed madam).
Laura on the other hand is crashing and burning, and mithering to herself that this is very different to how she normally sells. I love the You’re Fired revelation that up until this task, Laura was always one of her team’s top sellers. The fact that we never got a *whiff* of this on the show only serves to prove that the show always cared about her about as much it cares about the starving kids in Africa. Laura tells us that she’s trying to sidle up to people and start a casual conversation, as much as you can have a casual conversation with
someone dressed like Lady Gaga and Toyah had a baby, but when she leaves them to have a moment’s thought, Adam leaps all over them yelling “I THORT THIS ONE WURR ABOUT HOW LIKE YOU CAN’T SAY WHAT YOU MEAN ANYMORE COZ OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD ANN THAT BUT IT TURNS OUT IT’S JUSS THUH FIRE EXIT SIGN! WHAT AM I LIKE, ME?”.
I feel what she needs is Jane to follow Adam around tutting that he needs to COP ON AND TAKE HIS TURN. I miss Jane most at moments like these.
New Nirrck GUSHTERVIEWS
that Copyright are selling really really really well and it’s only take one sale of a Jessop to put his Tom over the edge and win. Oh he DOES hope he can manage it. *fingers crossed*
Speaking of which, one particular couple seem very keen on buying the picture of the giant rapey green monster. Tom seems to be doing his best to put them off. Maybe he’s trying to lose the task so New Nirrck will stop sending him those…letters.
Back on Sterling, Nathan’s live art show is in full swing. Sadly,
Mark Chapman here does not approve. Watch yourself Nathan. The rest of the gallery’s audience seem to agree, and Nathan’s work is refusing to shift. Pure Evil on the other hand, is moving well, with Ricky Martin off-loading three to this
bow-tie, for £3100, the biggest deal of the night so far.
8:30pm now, and over on Phoenix, Tom is still trying to sell that Jolly Green Giant Rape Monster. And failing. Personally I don’t get why you wouldn’t just get a giant print of a genuine 50s horror B-movie poster, but that’s just me. Maybe there’s a message behind it that’s lost on me. Fortunately for him, Julian and the other Renault executives are arriving, and Julian is
on Jade like butter on toast. So French. Mindful that Julian was looking for something French and suxy, Tom directs the Renault execs to the
most puffy-lipped and be-titted of Copyright’s pictures. So Bardot. So Sagnier. So French. He gives a decent pitch, and treats the executives with genuine warmth (well…almost, it IS Tom).
On Sterling meanwhile, the Beefeater Gin executives are getting the Full Stephen.
By which I mean he wanders up to them, doesn’t offer them a drink, says “hope you like it”, and wanders off again. Kaen has a shit-fit in the corner, as well she might. WHEN IS SHE GOING TO GET THAT GIN? IF STEPHEN HAS RUINED HER ONE CHANCE AT BOOZE THIS SERIES, SHE IS GOING TO HAMMER HIM TO DEATH WITH HER SHOE!
30 minutes to go, which means it’s time for a LAST MINUTE PANIC SELLING MONTAGE! JENNA SELLS SOME STUFF! TOM DOESN’T SELL ANY STUFF! LAURA SOMEHOW SELLS EVEN LESS!
GABRIELLE SCREAMING EVERYWHERE LIKE SHE’S IN A CATTLE MARKET!
I feel that this week, whilst technically good for his chances of survival, was very poor for Ricky Martin in terms of eyebrow action. It’s almost like he’s stopped being a Komedy Kharacter without anybody noticing. Maybe he even WINS (LOL, not really)
Whoever-it-is ushers the candidates in, where they discover Kaen
having last minute doubts about the whoopie cushion she placed on Lordalan’s chair. She lost her head briefly due to that heady combination of anti-establishment art and titanic quantities of gin (oh yeah, she got the gin. She cornered the executives in the gallery car-park after the show has ended. It was not a pretty sight). Don’t worry Kaen, they edited the fart noise out.
Lordalan enters, sits, and tells the team that the irony of this graffiti task is that the writing will be on the wall for one of THEM after he reads the results out HO HO. Sorry Lordalan, I can’t make that scan with the Alanis Morisette song, therefore it can’t be ironic. Them’s the rules.
Lordalan tells them he’s going to start with Phoenix, and identifies Tom as the
not at all smug Project Manager. He says that as soon as he heard what the task was, he let everyone else in his team know what good knowledge he had about the subject. This was a process that took about three hours, with a lengthy 30 minute discursion on how graffiti is so much more vibrant and real and auffentic than that Jack Vettriano shit, he doesn’t even know why people buy it, it makes him wanna throw up.
“Goodteamleader?” gets an affirmative from everyone, especially Jade, who praises Tom for his “good knowledge”, although obviously she knew most of it already. Lordalan asks Tom if he was happy with his team, and Tom replies that he was.
We then have a lengthy digression on the topic of ADAM, selling ART, can you IMAGINE? Less TURNER Prize, more TURNIP PRIZE, AM I RITE?
Adam blushes beetroot red, and says the first he’d heard of “urban art” was when he arrived at Waterloo Station but he really tried to get into it. Lordalan declares him to be “what this task is all about” because he threw himself into a totally new area with enthusiasm. Which seems a little harsh on those people who didn’t spend the last two months stumbling around announcing that they don’t use hair-gel because it leaks into yer brain and makes yer a poof, but I’m a sucker for a good Redemption Arc.
Next we run over how Tom picked his artists, with Tom looking mildly aggrieved as he recounts how he missed out on the chance to sell Pure Evil. Never mind Tom, there’s plenty of time for that yet. Lordalan asks Tom why he thinks he missed out, and Tom from the Final Boardroom FACING A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION, NICE WORK EDITORS, THUMBS UP, says that it’s because he went in with the wrong tack. I would imagine this was edited because Tom said that Pure Evil was a nob, or something. Lordalan turn to New Nirrck who says that Pure Evil just doesn’t GET Tom like New Nirrck does – he was put off by Tom’s lack of enthusiasm. New Nirrck will NEVER be put off by Tom’s lack of enthusiasm for his…letters.
Lordalan breaks it down for Tom that he was too busy trying to show off his own knowledge of art to even bother to look interested in Pure Evil’s amazing and innovative prints of iconic 60s women with ink splotches on their eyes so they look a bit like pandas. In response, Tom just
starts touching his mouth again. I still don’t know what that IS, but it’s starting to feel positively Satanic. Lordalan asks what his back-up plan was, and Tom indicates that it was James Jessop. Lordalan deems this to be a “bit of a risk”.
With the 20-20 hindsight of a man that knows that Phoenix didn’t sell a single piece of his work all night.
Sterling next, and Gabrielle is identified as the Project Manager. At this recognition, she rolls up her sleeves and
ACTUALLY POPS HER COLLAR. So amazing. She just toally Fonz’d him. “Goodteamleader” gets a fulsome response from both Nick (duh) and Jenna (different kind of duh), whilst Stephen and Ricky Martin remain silent, and Ricky Martin bobs his neck around like a pigeon.
Lordalan asks Gabrielle how she split her team up, and she replies that she sent Nick and Ricky Martin to Bristol, whilst she reserved the delightful company of Jenna and Stephen for herself, in London. Lordalan asks what Gabrielle what her team’s strategy for talking to the artists was, and Jenna and Stephen both say they were very enthusiastic and receptive and friendly to the artists. Kaen breaks in to say that
LOL, yeah, all that and they were totally licking their bums. (*hic*) Gabrielle giggles delightfully at
what an utter brown-noser she is. Lordalan snorts that she sure got that right, whilst Tom angrily pulls a face indicated that he finds this disrespecting of true artists really disrespectful. HE IS APPALLED AT THIS DISPLAY!
We next cover what happened when Gabrielle, Stephen and Jenna went to “the al-co-HOL company”, as Lordalan pronounces it for some reason, like maybe Kaen’s now so drunk on gin that she’s started rubbing his leg under the table. Jenna is
still in her happy place, so Gabrielle and Stephen cover the specifics of the visit, partly how they tied them to Nathan Bowen, but more particularly the fact that Gabrielle didn’t ask what their budget was. At everyone’s mocking faces, Gabrielle protests that she didn’t ask on purpose “and I will explain why!”
Can’t wait to hear this one, Poirot. She says that if they obtained a piece of art that really suited them, they would have been willing to pay any price. Lordalan replies that yes, that’s true, so long as “any price” WAS UNDER TEN THOUSAND POUNDS, NOT THAT YOU ASKED. Ricky Martin does his best to hop in and say how sad it was that “The London Team” didn’t bother to ask what the budget was, and makes a damned sight better of appearing nonchalant than Stephen does, who pipes up with “well that’s news to me”.
Yes…it’s news to you because you DIDN’T ASK THE QUESTION, ya dingus.
Phoenix sold £5000 to the corporate client and £5980 to normal punters for a total of £10980
Sterling sold £0 to the corporate client and £11630 to normal punters for a total of £11630
PHOENIX BURN SO HARD THEY’RE JUST A BIRDY LOOKING SKELETON AT THIS POINT!
(You can work out the figures after commission if you like. I see absolutely no point other than for “realism”s sake, and we all know what a fan I am of that. Also, hey, if Phoenix had magically got the client with a £10,000 budget for no reason, they almost certainly would have won the task easily, HEY HO)
Lordalan huffs about the tiny margin of victory, as Tom starts to slide into a pit of despair
that I hope results in him being reborn as an Utter Psycho, like with the Helen-Entity. In accordance with said tiny margin of victory, the prize is going to be crap this week. It’s going to be “Action Painting” on a giant canvas. Want to know what that looks like?
It looks like
THIS. So America’s Next Top Model photoshoot gone wrong. You know that Gotye video, where he tells the story of his unravelling relationship via the visual metaphor of him becoming increasingly covered in paint as his old paramour gradually becomes divested of hers? Well
Nick has Gabrielle pinned up against the wall and is ramming his roller up her back whilst she screams “PAINT ME! PAINT MEEEEE!”. You figure it out. Everyone throws paint all over the walls, and one another and we close on probably the greatest Team Hug in the history of The Apprentice.
Beautiful. Sterling really do have everything at the moment. Likable and competent (Nick), likable and…less competent (Gabrielle), background LOLs (Jenna), an over-the-top Scribbensy villain (Stephen) and a complicated Grey Hat (Ricky Martin). AND A ROMANCE I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO MAKE UP. Really it’s just Phoenix letting the side down. Maybe if they’d named themselves after something that Jenna saw in a dream, but then I’m not sure if they’d let “Sean Bean In His Pants Covered In Gravy” would make it as a team name on this show. Too long for a start.
(“Gemma, you move over to Charisma, and Liam, you go over and join Sean Bean In His Pants Covered In Gravy”. No, doesn’t work does it?)
To Loser Cafe now, where
things are a little bit less frenetic. Adam is playing peek-a-boo and Jade is just
sulking. She CAN’T BELIEVE THE TEAM LOST AGAIN. It’s apparently getting ridiculous now. This indeed marks Jade’s third loss in a row. Never mind Jade, you’ve still got a way to go before you reach the Apprentice Record For Most Losses In A Row (currently 5, held jointly by Katie Hopkins, Tom Pellereau, and Vinnie Disney. And what a team they’d make). Tom grunts that they didn’t get Pure Evil and that was his fault, so he takes responsibility.
Oh boo, he seems to be taking this well. I wanted him to LASH OUT. Meanwhile Adam says that he blames Tom entirely for the loss of the task, due to his love of Jessops, and picking painting with a canvas big enough to fit a boxing ring. He then tries a patented Jade Look To Camera.
Yeah alright Adam. I’m not THAT swayed by your Redemption Arc that you can start stealing other people’s schtick.
Whoever-It-Is sends the candidates in, and we start with Lordalan telling Tom that he lost by only £130 (post-commission), so where does he think the task was lost? Laura chips in to say that, with hindsight, they now realise that James Jessop was too big of a risk to take, and Adam expands on this by saying that his work cost too much.
Adam gets all his art (eg pictures of semi-naked women molesting motorcycles and/or Gonzo from The Muppets) from Clintons for £5.99. He wouldn’t pay £10,000 for anything you nail into the wall, cept maybe the wife HURR HURR. No really, she does love her shoes, does the wife.
Lordalan asks Tom if he think he led his team well, and he says he thinks he did, but he now thinks that he could have approached some of the artists a bit better. He put all his eggs into Pure Evil who he knew, from his knowledge of the scene, would be the best choice out there. Lordalan asks him why he didn’t have a contingency plan.
He got nothing. Lordalan says “to add insult to injury”, the other team who got Pure Evil sold over £10,000 worth of his stuff. Fortunately, Tom does have a response to his line of attack.
NUCLEAR POWERED WOOBIE FACE!
Lordalan next asked what, once he was stuck without Pure Evil, Tom did to find out who else they should be representing other than Copyright. He says that he asked Adam & Jade for their considered opinion on the other artists that they saw in Bristol. By which he means he asked Jade because LOL ADAM.
This whole next segment is awkwardly edited, I’m guessing because there were more than 5 artists, and the show is pretending there weren’t for simplicity purposes (BBC LIES!), but the upthrust is that Jade admits she fed back that SPQR was “too controversial”, but at the end of the day it was Tom’s decision to make. Tom agrees, and says that he took a gamble on the grounds that if they sold just one of James Jessop’s pieces, they would have won.
Lordalan says that’s great, because he’s taken a gamble loads of times, and he’s amazing, but why didn’t this particular gamble work? Jade gushes that it was because the pieces were just TOO BIG. People were coming in and saying that the pieces were really great, but they just wouldn’t fit in their house.
Tom groans that as the Project Manager and the “person with the most knowledge” (WHATEVER TOM, JADE KNEW ABOUT BANKSY TOO!) that it was a decision he had to make, and he took a risk which he stands by. But he does still think that they could have have won despite that if certain people had been better at selling, given that they only lost by £130. Lordalan decides to break down some figures for them.
If you discount the corporate sale, the team sold £5900 of art, broken down as follows :
Adam : £2480
Jade : £1500
Tom : £1200
Laura : £750
Lordalan’s diligent approach to maths on show there as ever. Might want to get Ricky Martin in to check your working. Lordalan asks Laura to defend her dismal sales figures, given that she runs her own bridal shop. Laura says that she can’t really pin-point what she did wrong, and Lordalan suggests that it might just be that she’s not a good salesperson and not a good business-person.
FEEL THE RAGE! She says that that is the WRONG JUDGMENT! SHE DOES NOT QUESTION HER SALES ABILITY! She doesn’t want to take anything away from Adam, but she’d just like him to admit that all his sales were down to luck and blagging and he didn’t really deserve them?
Adam declines to do so. Laura protests that she was out of her comfort zone. Lordalan snorts that she thinks SHE was out of her comfort zone? ADAM IS FROM THE NORF! HE’S A GREENGROCER! Lordalan sighs that Adam may have started off as a bit of a nutter, but he’s shown he can adapt to any task, and is really becoming a contender now.
What a thought.
Lordalan asks Laura who was responsible for the failure of the task, Laura’s all
“hmm, yes, I’m sure there’s every chance someone else is getting fired. Maybe the guy who sold more than any other two team-members combined. Maybe the girl who chose the highest-selling artist of the ENTIRE TASK. Maybe Golden Boy Tom. MAYBE THIS IS A THING THAT COULD HAPPEN, I AM SO SURE” before saying that the reason they lost was because Tom chose James Jessop. Jade asks her
why she didn’t notice that James Jessop was a bad lead given that his paintings were THE SIZE OF A HOUSE. Laura replies that serious art lovers don’t CARE ABOUT THE SIZE, or at least that’s what Tom told her (f’nar f’nar) and Jade points out that the pretentious hipsters at their show certainly seemed to.
Tom is asked who he’s going to bring back to the Boardroom, and he opts for Jade and Laura. Lordalan tells him that this is the correct decision. Thanks Lordalan!
Candidates go out, New Nirrck says that if Lordalan fires Tom he will thcweam and thcweam and thcweam until he makes himself thick!, candidates come back in again.
The first thing Lordalan says is that he has to find out who is responsible for “the lack of success in this task”. Between this and threatening to terminate Jade’s face off last week, I think someone needs to tell Lordalan that he doesn’t need to keep on…experimenting with language, in this way. In this, he pulls out Laura’s “application form” (SAY RAY-ZOO-MAY! SAY IT!) and scoffs that on it, it says that she believes her greatest skill is in sales. Laura reiterates that she
DOES NOT QUESTION HER SALES-ABILITY. She was top salesperson in the UK for one direct sales company she worked for, and she led her team to be in the TOP TEN IN EUROPE!
Where they were beaten by Jennifer Maguire on penalties. Last night was just an off-night. DO NOT QUESTION HER SALES ABILITY! Lordalan says that all that matters here is that she was the worst salesperson on the day.
Tom says that he’s only worked with Laura twice, but she doesn’t appear to…do anything? Ever? Obviously he was the expert, but even if he was on a task with someone who knew more than him about something (not that that’s likely to happen), he’d still try to have his own input. Also on sales, even though they didn’t sell any of James Jessop’s work, there was still plenty of Copyright’s stock left to shift – if Laura had sold £300 more of that, they would have won. Jade pipes in to point out that this would have been “one more print”.
(What is with the Bad Maths in this boardroom? She would have needed to have sold £650 worth to force a tie. Which, incidentally, would have taken her over Tom’s sales figures for the day. So what he’s really saying is “to win, you should have sold better than I did?”.)
Laura says it’s time for her to be honest now.
OH, HERE IT GOES! She thinks it’s unfair for Tom to say that she deliberately took a back seat. She was just following Lordalan’s advice – let your team’s expert lead the way. Well Tom was the expert and he led them RIGHT OFF A BLAHDDY CLIFF.
Tom is asked why he brought Jade back into the boardroom, and he says it’s because he doesn’t think she provided an objective opinion on SPQR. Jade says that she didn’t push SPQR as hard as she maybe could have, and Tom says that he didn’t want her to push him, just be objective. (He wanted her to push him). Lordalan asks Jade if she is in fact a bit mimsy and indecisive, and brings up how she took forever to make a decision last week about who to bring back into the boardroom. Jade
POUNDS HER FIST and says that she did make a decision this week – she decided on Copyright, and she really pushed it, because she knew it would work, and it did.
Tom also plays up his decisiveness, saying that he’s a leader who makes decisions and sticks by them, rather than doing mimsy things like taking a vote from his team or listening to their opinions or stuff like that. Lordalan says that he hopes that Tom then accepts that this can be deadly. Tom says
“I thought Katie had been fired? OH GOD, IS SHE UNDER THE TABLE?!”. Not really, he says that’s fine. Lordalan asks if this means he’s impulsive, and Tom replies that of course he isn’t – he’s not that interesting. He pays due diligence to the Holy Margins in everything he does. He’s only been out of University for two years, and he already runs a company with a multi-million pound turnover. Having sudden queasy flashbacks to Michelle Dewberry and Yasmina Siadatan, Lordalan asks Tom if he’s in this for the right reasons. Yeah, alright, The Bachelor. Lordalan waffles on about how he hopes Tom isn’t treating this like a game, and that he is in fact here to enter into a 50-50 partnership with Lordalan where he will be quite happy to get screwed over on the contract and not think he’s BETTER THAN LORDALAN OR ANYFING. Everyone nods solemnly.
Lordalan asks Tom who should be fired, and he suggests Laura, on the grounds that she sold the least. Laura protests, but Tom just DRONES over the top of her, blotting her out, in a suffocating fog of numbers and “Laura sold a third of what Adam did”s. Oh and also Jade let him down as sub-team leader, so if you want to fire her as well, go for it. That double firing should be happening about now, right?
Tom says that if Jade and Laura hadn’t been on the team, he and Adam would have done just as well. Jade protests that SHE CHOSE COPYRIGHT who Adam didn’t want, and Copyright was the artist responsible for literally ALL OF THEIR REVENUE, SO SUCK IT TOM.
Also she well sold more than him, so he can shut up. Tom’s all “fine, just Laura then”, to which Jade agrees, and Laura squeaks “no!”. She has performed consistently at sales throughout this process, DO NOT QUESTION HER SALES ABILITY! The reason why they really lost because the team chose the wrong artist. Jade points out that LAURA WAS PART OF THE TEAM THAT CHOSE THE ARTISTS
OH MY GOD! Laura then spoils this badinage by just collapsing into waffle about how she has the drive and the determination to win this process, blah blah blah. Lordalan says that if there is a prize for talking, then Laura can have it. Previous winners include Syed Ahmed, Katie Hopkins, and Michael Sophocles. What honourable company. She’s asked who should be fired, and she says Tom, because if they’d had Pure Evil, they would have won.
Tom is the pointless fire-teasing, for having made significant errors in his artist-selection, but actually getting fired is
Laura, ba’duh, because Lordalan doesn’t think she can hack it in The Process much longer. Laura smiles weakly and says “take care”, in a…kind of threatening way. Tom is told that he is only there because Lordalan liked how he took a risk, and Jade is sent off
to give Laura a hug, unlike that mean old Azhar.
Laura walks out to her Cab Of Shame, where she just repeats that she
DOES NOT QUESTION HER SALES ABILITY. Well this task touched a nerve. BYE LAURA!
Back at the Apprentice Hacienda, Adam as Sole Survivor of the pre-boardroom is telling everyone that really, any of the three people there could go home. Jenna looks less than convinced
/at all interested. On their way back in, Jade decides to affect that there’s been a double firing. Nobody really…cares? Maybe they just know that there’s less chance of Tom going anywhere any time soon than there is of Mooleen winning The Voice.
Next week :
Nick and Tom on the same team. A wine task. Jenna’s on the other team directing an advert. With Stephen. I think we all know how this ends.