The Apprentice 8 – Episode 9

Less biz, more debacle.



and the producers are going for broke this week. Sleep deprivation followed by huge quantities of alcohol. The show could not get more Big Brother if the teams had had to complete this week’s task whilst encased in giant cardboard boxes, with pictures of them gurning a funny face on the front. If they can’t get something ridiculous out of them this week, they might as well give up. The phone rings, and snuffling to the phone like a wild boar desperately, blindly groping around for truffles it’s


Stephen. The message shown on television says that Lordalan will meet the candidates at the Champagne Bar at St Pancras Station, and the cars will be there to pick them up in 45 minutes. Given the extravagant faces Stephen is pulling


I’m guessing the actual message, which they’ve dubbed over for probity’s sake, is “I shagged your mum, she opened up her legs and said hop on, LIFE IS DEMANDING, SHAGGING ON THE LANDING!”. Or any other prank-phone call Ace of Base favourite you might know. Stephen might be hoping these faces win him bonus points for Phone Answering Wars. They won’t. Scores are currently :

Gabrielle : 2
Stephen : 2
(Azhar : 2)
Ricky Martin : 1
Jade : 1

Message delivered, Stephen runs off upstairs to tell everyone else that they’re off to the champagne bar at St Pancras International. Sadly the “International” part of this is a red herring. WHEN, OH WHEN WILL THIS SERIES GO TO SWEDEN, LIKE IT SO BADLY NEEDS TO? Upstairs we discover that in this run of the show, where the gender-balance is more tilted in the men’s favour than any since the BBC 2 days, the boys bedroom has collapsed under the sheer weight of testosterone into that of an all-male University flat-share.


Clothes on the floor, a full bottle of Pepsi on the nightstand (for that fresh morning-coke feeling!), and open masturbation. Or whatever Tom’s doing under there.


MATT, CLOSE THE DOOR, I’M BUSY! (That picture has made me realise that, as animal stereotypes go, Tom is a cat and Nick is a dog, and yet somehow I like Nick more. Odd series.)

Having said that, the comparative overall absence of estrogen hasn’t prevented the girls bedroom bearing the hallmarks of an all-female University flat-share.



Out to the Apprenticars everyone troops and, just as he promised he would last week, Adam is whining about now having lost “three tasks on the bounce”. Well, at least he’s consistent. Meanwhile in the Sterling Apprenticar, Ricky Martin is bouncing up and down on fate’s forehead and poking it in the eyeball, saying that he really feels it’s unfair for Phoenix to be up against an amazing team like Sterling, who just smash them out the park every week. Yes Ricky Martin, that 3% margin of victory last task was truly a HIDING the likes of which have not been seen since Macro Cheese.

The teams march up to St Pancras International, and head towards the Champagne Bar. It’s Europe’s longest!


Sadly only 4 inches wide though. EVERYBODY BREATHE IN. Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar is home to some of the world’s finest “French fizz”. Or it used to be,


before Kaen arrived. NOW SHE CAN SEE THROUGH TIME! Really it was a mistake to have the champagne and gin tasks so close together.

New Nirrck


eyes her suspiciously, prepared to jump back at a moment’s notice. Margaret threw up on him once, he’s not keen to repeat the experience. (She just hated Michael Sophocles THAT MUCH). Lordalan swans up to the bar, and those of us on NORF WATCH will be greatly heartened to learn that


everyone other than Adam is wearing a great big coat, the soft southern bastards. (Oh Jenna, how you have let the side down). Lordalan tells them all that “we” imported 35 million bottles of French champagne. And you know what that does? IT HELPS THE FRENCH ECONOMY! THE FRENCH ARE OUR NATURAL ENEMIES! We are, collectively, worse than Lord Haw Haw. To rectify this situation, the candidates are going to tell the world how amazing English Sparkling Wine is, via the process of “raising awareness”. It has won MANY awards (so has Catherine Zeta Jones) and is superior to MANY brands of French champagne (so is sambuca, but you don’t see that being the basis of a task on The Apprentice).


(It is)

(Sod off)

As the teams are so unbalanced (and not just in the usual way) it’s time for another team shuffle. Except Lordalan can’t be bothered to do it himself. So Phoenix, who do you want from Sterling? Jade whispers urgently “Nick! Nick!” and Adam’s face goes the full Wallace & Gromit


hooting for Nick like he’s Wensleydale Cheese. And so he goes over, leaving Sterling


somewhat crest-fallen. I’ve never seen a team lose their self-confidence and enthusiasm so quickly. Just think back to the gleeful paint-orgy. Now look up at that picture again. They’re so bereft. Nick is clearly powerful magic. Adam hoots “WELCOME BACK MATE!”, as Lordalan twists the knife even further by announcing to teams that they will primarily be “raising awareness” via means of a website. Which is Nick’s area of expertise. Ricky Martin looks sick, Gabrielle’s lip curls up into her nose, Jenna frantically tries to remember where you’re supposed to turn a computer on, and Stephen already starts plotting just how awful he’s going to be in the Boardroom. These things take planning.

Teams will pitch their campaigns to experts, the best campaign will lose because it’s accompanied by the WORLD’S WORST ADVERT EVER, the worst campaign will win, and in the losing team, one of them will be FIRED.

I’m so glad they thought of something better than that


“throw beanbags through the Olympic Rings” task they were planning. This episode was kind of fun in the end.

First order of business – decide on Project Managers. Over on Sterling, Jenna wants to be Project Manager. Ricky Martin also wants to be Project Manager. Gabrielle announces that she too, wants to be Project Manager, even though she “has just been” (to the toilet?) on the grounds that she has “done a website”. Stephen


is a force of pure evil, barely contained. And also would like to be Project Manager. He’s so motivated to lead this! Come on guys, get on the bus with Swing-A-Ling Stephen!


Nobody’s very keen. Nor are they very keen on Jenna doing the job, a fact the edit plays up by suffixing her sentence of “anybody want me to be Project Manager?” with great big honking BASSOONS OF INCOMPETENCE. Fortunately Gabby throws her a pity vote, and Jenna votes for Ricky Martin. Stephen says he votes for himself, and Jenna STARES HIM DOWN until he caves and votes for Ricky Martin. Thus it doesn’t really matter who Ricky Martin votes for ; he’s Project Manager.


Good God that was unnecessarily torturous. It’s nearly time for the pitch to the experts. Quick Jenna, strip down, cover your nubblies with a grape each, then go “BOOP OOP EE DOOP!” in your delightful accent, and squirt lemonade out your nethers. That’ll raise awareness.

Meanwhile, over on Phoenix, Tom is going to be Project Manager, because he runs his own wine company.

Hey guys

Hey guys, I don’t know if you know this, but “sparkling wine” is like “wine”, but with lots of bubbles in it. This is the secret to its success. You drink it through your mouth, via a process known as “swallowing”. Also he knows Banksy, so DON’T MESS. Tom then reveals that he is one of those awful traitors importing French wine (*spit*). He’s lucky he wasn’t lynched on the spot. EUROZONE SCUM! Nick says he’d like to do all the website stuff, but he thinks Tom is obviously the right man to PM this. The two people who’ve only PMd once, and lost, and are staring possibly the most obvious win of the series in the face, remain silent, so Tom it is.

Back on Sterling, Ricky Martin is slapping the table and telling his troops to


FORGET that Tom knows about wine, FORGET that Nick knows about websites, FORGET that Jade knows about advertising and FORGET…erm…just forget Adam, generally. Sterling are just BETTER than them, so they’re going to WIN. Gabrielle doesn’t look convinced. In fact, she looks like the way she’d like to forget about Adam, Jade, Tom and Nick is by

*glug glug glug*

grabbing one of those champagne bottles and necking the whole thing. It won’t work Gabrielle. You’ll never forget Nick. You’ll just wind up singing “Poison” by Alice Cooper into your Singstar with your foot wedged in a half eaten packet of Flumps whilst Jenna mumbles “ah dorn’t norr this one Gabrielle, it’s quaht rockeh” then passes out.

As the teams march out of St Pancras, the editors just


stop pretending that anyone other than Tom or Nick even exist on this team any more. Hey! Let’s pretend this is leaked casting for another Sherlock knock-off and REALLY piss Steven Moffatt off. I’d watch.

Once they’ve made their way to Phoenix Apprenticar B, and Jade has peeled herself off the ceiling celebrating the re-uniting of only


THE BEST TWO THIRDS OF THE BEST SUB-TEAM EVER (don’t get her wrong, Gabrielle is totally cool as well), Nick decides to ponder to himself what English Sparkling Wine is, who buys it, and why they buy it. See, this “raise awareness” stuff goes over my head, and even I can tell he’s missed the point of the task already. The point isn’t to preach to the choir Nick, it’s to SCREW OVER THE BLAHDDY FROGS.

He is, at least, ahead of the other Phoenix Apprenticar, where Tom is explaining to Adam that Sparkling Wine and Champagne are kind of the same thing. In fact, and Adam may not know this, Champagne IS Sparkling Wine, but it’s named after the region Champagne. Which is in France.


France being a country in Europe, just across the English Channel. They eat food there, JUST LIKE WE DO. Food goes in here! *points to mouth* Adam’s real world epiphany is that Champagne is a BRAND NAME for Sparkling Wine, just like Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner, and Razzle is a brand of literature. Tom nods his head and says that yes, it’s just like how Vaseline is a brand-name for petroleum jelly.

Well done on picking literally the most SHOW-OFFY example you could have found Tom.

Over on Sterling, Stephen has decided that he needs to call up Ricky Martin to explain the point of branding to him. Moet, Cava, Prosecco, those are all NAMES that signify a DRINK. They need to come up with a NAME to signify their drink. He’s thought of Cert! And Grandeur!

Chew chew chew chew

Yeah, that pen is going to be getting a FULL work-out this week. Oh, wait, wait, Stephen has a REALLY GOOD ONE now. Chink!


Chink Wine! Gabrielle openly laughs in Stephen’s face until he realises that it sounds kind of racist. Seriously, that sounds like something my grand-dad would call sake. (Yes, I know).

If you were wondering where the teams are actually going

Pastoral Scenes

it’s here! The English countryside! (Or at least, it is for the PMs sub-teams). The soundtrack ladles some proper yokel music on to let us all know that we are officially a whole 25 whole miles outside of London. I think there’s a banjo, a cow-bell, and possibly someone repeatedly bashing themselves on the head with a tin tray in there. Watch out for those natives!


They’re dangerous folk. Ricky Martin and Jenna are meeting with them to discuss grape-growing. Ricky Martin asks the terrifying in-bred deformed non-London hillbillies what buzz words they can throw in to hype up English Sparkling Wine, and the lady hick says “heritage” and “quality”. What, no “traditional values”? Ricky Martin interviews that he hates wine whilst his eyebrow


is already sloshed. Basically I’m beginning to suspect that Ricky Martin’s eyebrow is the world’s smallest Siamese Twin. Ricky Martin continues to interview that he thinks Tom is going to be too busy talking about how much he knows about wine to manage the task properly. SO WRONG!


He’s going to be too busy getting pissed to manage the task properly. The bubbles have also


gone right into Adam’s head as well. This will not end well. Adam starts slurring that the wines remind him of Granny Smiths and Christmas Cake, whilst Tom waffles that he’s getting creamy vanilla notes throughout, which may just be the French Oak that the wine has obviously matured in BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. God I once really fancied a guy who was into real ale and it was exactly like this. JUST DRINK THE STUFF. I would imagine all this drinking is being done notionally in the name of research. Notionally. The barman chides Adam and tells him to hold his glass by the stem and the foot, not by the bowl, then smacks his hand with a wooden ruler and sends him back off to the workhouse, where he belongs. Tom on the other hand


has got this “wine” lark down pat.

Outside Adam NORFterviews that he is definitely

So outside his comfort zone

out of his comfort zone this week.

Kaen status?


Still wasted.

Back in London, things are less glamorous for the subteams that don’t contain the PMs. Instead of being comically chased into a hedge by a cow wearing the vicar’s wife’s hat, they’re

Potter potter

trawling around Tescos. Or at least Gabrielle and Stephen are. Can you IMAGINE a worse person to go shopping with? Everything you put in your basket he’d pull that “hmm, Cool Original Doritos? Not what I’d choose, but ok, fine” face that was so aptly skewered by Sara Cox in those bits of this week’s You’re Fired I could pick out from around Andy Parsons. They both find the wine aisle, and whilst Gabrielle gets to work dissecting the labels for clues about packaging, Stephen decides he needs expert instruction, so heads off to find a “sales advisor”. Thus begins a lengthy hunt around the store,


assaulting every poor sap in a Tesco uniform in sight, in the hope that one of them is the store’s in-house sommelier. (SPOILERS : none of them are). I think at one point he even climbs into the ice-cream locker, just in case Jilly Goolden got lost on her way to the Phish Food Haagen Dazs. All the while Gabrielle just gets on with examining the bottles before Gabbiterviewing that

Ugh Stephen

Stephen was wandering around jittering at people and winding himself up rather than actually doing any work. He just wound up making himself angry, a point aptly proved by this face


followed by him

*snit snit snit*

bickering at Gabrielle all the way back to the Apprenticar, about nothing.

2pm now, and Jade & Nick are arriving at Billington Cartmel, which is apparently a leading marketing agency, and not a cad from a Jilly Cooper novel. You live and learn. There, they meet their design assistant for the week who, I’m sorry, is clearly


Jane in disguise. God knows why she did it, she doesn’t garotte Jade for daring to outlast her or anything. Maybe she just wanted to be close to the show again. Nick and Jade talk her through their branding idea which involves a lot of grapes and the logo “ESW”, which stands for “English Sparkling Wines”. Not “Eddie Stobart Widnes”, or “Earn Some Wonga”, or “Eat Sugar’s Whelks” or “Ew! Stephen Wins?” or “EEP! Stella’s Walked!” or anything you might be thinking of. Anyway, the idea is that this logo can be put on any bottle of English Sparkling Wine, to signify that it is English, and has the Team Phoenix Hallmark of Quality, like Jack The London Bear or Adam Corbally’s Spaghetti Alla Bollock.

Gabrielle and Stephen meanwhile are

right click save

getting particularly clip-arty with their branding. Gabrielle has come up with the idea of a wine glass that sort of looks a bit like a rose, and Stephen has come up with the slogan “less fizz, more sparkle”. Apparently in this equation “fizz” means “Champagne” and “sparkle” means “English Sparkling Wines”, or more specifically, the wine that Stephen has made up, called “Grandeur Wine”.

This gets New Nirrck very flustered, and he wants us all to know that


HE KNOWS FRENCH, AND GRANDEUR IS A FRENCH WORD, NOT AN ENGLISH WORD, STEPHEN IS MISTAKEN. Bless him. He’s learnt so much as host of “Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres”. Now do a numbers game! (To be fair, this might ordinary seem picky, even for Nirrck, but given that the whole point of the task is apparently “LET’S FUCK OVER THE FRENCH!” it does seem odd to be picking a word of French derivation for your imaginary brand).

Stephen starts spouting his usual Stephen nonsense about how he fully believes in the team’s logo and is 100% behind it.


Really? This? Of course we all know he’s only saying this because there’s no conceivable chance he could get Ricky Martin to take it into the third Final Boardroom chair instead of him. If there were it would be the worst piece of crap logo he’d ever seen.

Back to vineyards now, where Ricky Martin and Jenna are plotting out the video section of their website. Ricky Martin has decided that their video story will revolve around a wedding reception where the bridal party decide that they will drink English Sparkling Wine as a viable alternative to the traditional champagne, thus promoting an aspirational, good-quality, family image of English Sparkling Wine. Jenna has decided


SHE WANTS A FRAWN FOR ERRR WEDDIN! And, by extension, for the advert that Ricky Martin has decided in his wisdom that she is going to direct. He worries that having a great big gold tacky throne might work for the Beckhams, but for everyone else it just looks a bit tacky and gaudy, and he doesn’t want that vibe for their website. Jenna refutes this with the following impeccable logic : “the more eye-catching it is, the more people are going to look at it”. Thanks Jenna.

Adam & Tom meanwhile are…

Oooh look, a zebra!

on some sort of wine safari? I dunno. Nick rings them up to ask if they can maybe handle the props and storyboarding for their website video, because as it stands, he and Jade are doing literally everything. Tom replies that


he’s got a WINE-TASTING at 4:00pm (*hic*) so he can’t be expected to do any of this WORK shit (*hic*). Nick tells him not to worry about it – he and Jade will just do everything, and then talks their design consultant (Jane apparently having been dragged off back to the tower where she keeps her son) through the creation of their website, page by page. Jade complainterviews that


even in the weeks on this show where she did nothing (and there were a few of them) she still managed to do more than Tom’s doing on this task. And at least she wasn’t Project Manager in any of those weeks. And she wasn’t drunk! Most of the time. Ah well, at least she gets to chill with this week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend

Hi Mike

Mike The Website Designer. His hair is like a little baby version of Nick’s. Maybe he’s the Pokemon Evolution Stage before.

So…that wine-tasting then…


yes, that’s what Tom is choosing to do as Project Manager. Just drink booze. Tom drinks booze. Adam drinks booze. Tom drinks more booze. Adam’s description of the wine has devolved from “Granny Smiths” to “green…fruit…?”, Tom drinks more booze, Kaen’s all


“where’s me keys? where’s me phone? where’s me keys? where’s me phone?”, Adam’s hit


the wall, Tom’s


about to hit the floor…did any of this make any sense to you at all?

8:30pm now, and it’s time for the teams to reconvene back at the Hacienda to plot out tomorrow’s work. We enter on Sterling plotting out their website video. Ricky Martin says that the message he’s been getting all day is that English Sparkling Wines are exactly the same quality as, if not better, than champagne. He really wants to get that message across in their video. Jenna hoots that she wants to get as many shots of the product as possible in the advert, to really “raise awareness”. Hey, Gabrielle has a bright idea as well!

Thanks Gabrielle!

Why not make it funny?! Thanks Gabrielle. In a very real way what follows next is your fault. And then it’s partially Ricky Martin’s for splitting the teams so that Jenna and Stephen are going to be the ones in charge of doing the video, whilst he and Gabrielle work on the website.

He does tell them not to make the video TOO funny, which I guess is a bit like telling Stephen not to be TOO shifty. He hubristerviews that he’s feeling really good about the task as a whole, and given the direction he’s given Jenna and Stephen, he fully anticipates them coming back with a classy video.


We don’t see what’s going on with Phoenix, probably because it’s “Adam and Tom are stood in the back garden, seeing who can pee the highest”.

Dawn breaks, and Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that the teams now have 24 hours before they pitch their campaigns to industry experts. Just long enough for Tom and Adam to clear out the other side of their hangovers. In Sterling Apprenticar A, Ricky Martin tells Gabrielle that yesterday was a day for planning, but today is a day for ACTION. Make the website, shoot the video, do a pitch, win the task, get an amazing reward. Oh dear.

We are briefly shown a meeting they have with their web designers, where Ricky presses home very firmly that he really wants the key message to come out of their whole campaign to be “quality”.


It was never going to happen was it? This is Jenna and Stephen at Kenwood House, unloading all the giant tacky props for their stupid gaudy promotional video. It is during this process that we learn an even bigger problem with “Grandeur Wines” as a name, other than it sounding a bit French. Jenna can’t pronounce it. Or at least not without sprinkling additional “r”s over it like a cluster-bombing campaign. I do have to say though, that even as a life-long republican, I am


very much behind this idea. JENNA FOR QUEEN! QUEEN OF THE NORTH! I’d secede. Jenna pretend drinks to her pretend kingdom on her pretend throne, whilst Stephen potters around with bubble-wrap.


I guess, in a way, she really did go out on a high.

Meanwhile, over on Phoenix, Adam and Jade are in charge of the video, which is being filmed in an “East London gastropub”. The theme apparently is an informal dinner-party gathering, where English Sparkling Wine is being consumed. Adam farts around adjusting things for no reason, calling himself the choreographer, giving everyone make-up tips and telling everyone to

True English Gentleman

HOLD IT BY THE STEM AND THE BASE, NOT THE BOWL. Only common people do that! *rubs back of hand sadly*. Everybody else in the room spends the entire shoot laughing at Adam behind his back


in some cases literally. I’m sure I’d take umbrage at this if well…it wasn’t Adam. Jade interviews that once again she is stuck on a video shoot with Adam, and once again he is being a massive pain in the arse, but whatever, she’s just going to get this video in the can as soon as possible, whilst making it as professional as she can. Indeed, the shoot seems to go swiftly, and smoothly, everyone in the video’s cast chinks


(not in a racist way), the shoot is wrapped up  and Jade and Adam depart, leaving only Kaen to wonder


if it’d be TOTALLY disgusting if she licked up some of the English Sparkling Wine that got spilled on the floor. KAEN NEEDS MOAR BOOZE. As Jade and Adam descend the stairs, Jade asks Adam if he knows what “choreography” means, and Adam replies that it means “making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time”. As Jade giggles “no it doesn’t! no it doesn’t!” over the top. Bless.

Back At Kenwood House,


some imposter has usurped Jenna from her rightful place on the throne. Jenna directs this phony queen to throw a massive strop and declare “THIS IS NOT THE ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE I ORDERED!” before spitting it out and whining at her new husband to get it changed. Nothing like setting up your video to have a sympathetic protagonist. I know I want to emulate this woman


in everything she does. Jenna then directs this poor schmuck


to act “like Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers”. This is going to be amazing. Can Jenna be Manuel?

In the midst of this trainwreck waiting to be born, Ricky Martin rings up to tell them not to make the advert too cheesy and tacky. This is a bit like trying to stop Waco with a drinking straw. Once he’s very sure they’ve got the message he hangs up and says to camera that he’s sure that Jenna & Stephen have got the message and there’s absolutely NO WAY they can mess this up given what he’s given them in the way of props and a setting.

Oh dear


Back on Phoenix now and


less exciting scenes, as Nick and Tom work together to finish their website. Tom talks a lot about putting sales links up and making the website commercially driven, which causes Kaen to complainterview peevishly that Tom is missing the point of the brief,


which is “raising awareness”. How is encouraging people to buy something not “raising awareness” of it? I swear, this task is so drowning in marketing guff, and it’s choking me. Does she mean Tom’s not dumbed down enough? Do they need to explain to people what wine is? I guess at least I should be glad that at least one of New Nirrck and Kaen are so over Tom. Maybe a mean side comes out when he’s drunk. I’m just impressed they edited out the duvet over his head in most of the scenes.

7:00pm and Jenna and Stephen are putting the finishing touches to the edit of their promotional video. As they click the last button, Jenna cheers and high-fives everyone and celebrates having produced her “first advert”. And, I’m guessing, her last. Ricky and Gabrielle arrive to have a look.


A horrified look. As well they might, because it’s terrifying. Remember when the Big Brother producers tried to make Nikki Grahame a star outside the show? Well the advert resembles what would have happened if ITV2 had done a Nikki Grahame Wedding Special. She screams, she spits, she tantrums, she demands her “ENGLISH SPARKLING WIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!”. Every other performance in the advert is obliterated by her high-pitched whining, but despite all that, the worst shot of the advert is still


this. That is some proper Acorn Antiques work right there. As the ugly guitar-plucking of “Patience” by Take That fades away on the video’s soundtrack (So.Classy), Ricky Martin interviews that the video is far more cheesy than he was anticipating. Ricky Martin’s Eyebrow’s Interview


can’t be transcribed it’s that offensive, not even on this blog, where I swear and do sex jokes and everything. It is FURIOUS. Ricky Martin blusters that he rang Stephen and Jenna SEVERAL TIMES to make sure the ad wouldn’t be cheesy, and every time they assured him it would be a super classy affair.

Meanwhile, over on Phoenix they’re having the opposite problem, as Jade and Adam have produced an advert that’s super classy and tasteful and also


kind of dull. Everyone claps and coos that it really matches with their website, which is also kind of dull. As “Regret” by New Order fades out (So.Exciting) everyone high-fives Jade for a professional job. Nobody high-fives Adam. Oh sure, everybody forgets the choreographer. On the way back to the Apprentice Hacienda for the evening, Tom and Nick fret that their advert might be a bit boring. They do so in


quite a boring fashion.

Day 3 of the task now (I’m wondering if they worked in an extra day to factor in the likely hangover time), and it’s time for the teams to head to their pitches to the Wine Experts, at Bibendum.


Look at them! This one


is the Chairman of the English Wine Producers! This one


is a girl! This one is


kind of mean looking! In their respective Apprenticars, Ricky Martin and Tom both run through their speeches and their plans for the pitch. We learn that Ricky Martin is going to say “Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Ricky Martin” again, which never gets old.

And indeed, he is first up to the plate. I think this whole section is probably my favourite piece of editing in the entire series so far. Ricky Martin and Gabrielle are allowed to talk, uninterrupted for a good two minutes, which is about four times as long as they normally show pitches for on this show. They both speak clearly and passionately and convincingly about their campaign, highlighting Gabrielle’s rose-logo, and a general focus on the quality of English wine. They also manage to work in social networking sites, the building up of a “National Wine-Drinkers Database” and introducing a forum to their website, to encourage discussion and communication, thus raising awareness. There are a few naff bits (a “Quiz Of The Week”, Stephen being allowed to speak at all – fielding a question about his “less fizz, more sparkle” motto) but overall it’s a fairly intelligent professional piece of work, that really pleases the English Wine representatives


and therefore which only exists to lurch into the showing of their


ABSOLUTELY AWFUL VIDEO. Amazing. We also learn the following additional terrible things about the video :

  • The voiceover begins with the horrific tagline “what she really needs is English Sparkling Wine”, said in much the same tone as “what she needs is a good seeing to”
  • The voiceover ends with the horrific tagline “oozing luxury with every pour/pore” which is either a pun of “see their light”proportions or just an unhappy accident, and as an added benefit, contains the word “oozing”.
  • Stephen pronounces it “lugzyury”
  • The video is one of those ones that automatically starts as soon as you load up the website. THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT.

The video is met with a stony silence, until the Chairman throws a very dignified and portly hissy-fit about how it is FLIPPANT and you’d never see the Dom Perignons do a video like that. MURIEL, fetch him his copy of the FT, this pitch is OVER.

In contrast to Ricky Martin’s EPIC PITCH, we’re shown Tom speaking for about 40 seconds, mostly about the ESW logo that Jade created, before cueing up their video. Even in these 40 seconds, the Fearsome One


is struggling to stay awake. After the video is finished, one of the Wine Experts says that he thinks their video is very generic : just a bunch of people sat around drinking wine at a non-specific gathering. What about that made it English? They EASILY could have been French! (*spit*). Adam gets to field this question, mostly by saying “English” over and over again. The people were English! The pub was English! The wine was English! It was a very English occasion! English English English!



We close with Nick pitching the website he was instrumental in creating, and, as an official Nick Fan it pains me to say it, but he’s probably the worst person at pitching in the cast based on this showing. He TALKS, like THIS, with unnecessary, COMMAS and weird EMPHASIS and


mostly with his hands. Hopefully this is the start of an amazing pitching story-arc, like “Chris Bates moves up an octave” or “Lee McQueen learns to read”. There’s a little bit at the end about how difficult it might be to keep the “stockists” page of the website up-to-date, which I guess is a suitably drab point to end Phoenix’s rather drab presentation on.


As this is a marketing task, before we get to the results section, it’s time for the obligatory segment where Lordalan rings up the Experts and asks for their opinion.


Normally this segment is kept a little ambiguous, so you’re not sure who they’re talking about. But in this case the comments are :

“the website was too salescentric, so they missed the brief, but they had a really good end-to-end process (*meow*) with plenty of finesse, so the campaign has a great chance of sticking”

“they fit the brief better, but OH MY GOD THEIR ADVERT MADE US WANT TO DIE! The chairman still can’t think about it without his heart-problems flaring up again”.

so, you know, draw your own conclusions.


The candidates all ride up to the Boardroom, where we finally get to see a nice clear shot of


Whoever-It-Is. TAKE THE SHAME! I demand the return of Cousin It immediately. Everybody takes their seats and we learn that in a very real and important way


Gabrielle is the Last Woman Standing.

Lordalan calls up, as usual, and candidates are ushered in.

Once the candidates are in and sat down, we learn that Kaen is suffering one of the most common side-effects of a week on the razz.


Having to rummage right down in the bottom of her wardrobe to find clean clothes to put on for this Boardroom. This one is from the time she went as Purple Rain Era Prince to a fancy-dress party in 1990. It’s still got the drambuie stain on the left lapel. Lordalan? Downs his French Champagne with a SHAMEFUL look on his face, and enters.


Such a guilty man.

He tells them all that this was a very interesting task – to create a marketing campaign to raise awareness of English Sparkling Wine. Normally I’d question why he’s re-iterating the task in such basic terms, but given that Ricky Martin is apparently the only one who fully understood (including me), I can see why.

Discussion start with Team Phoenix, and Lordalan tells Tom that he hears that he became Project Manager again because of his “association with wine” (aka alcoholism). Lordalan praises him for his bravery being Project Manager two weeks in a row. Eh, he’s no Ben Leary. (Last I heard, Ben Leary was running his own company out in China, and is still totally dreamy *sigh*). “Goodteamleader?” gets a strong report back from everybody, particularly Nick who says that it was great working for someone with such a clear strategy.

Yeah sure, strategy, whatever

The only strategy I saw was “don’t mix the grape with the grain”, and I’m not sure he stuck to that.

First item of business in how the teams were split on the first day, with Tom revealing that he took it upon himself to hand-guide Adam slowly into the world of wine by getting sloshed in a winery, whilst Nick and Jade met with the website designer and got that up and running. After Lordalan gets Adam to aver that English Sparkling Wine is better than THAT FRENCH MUCK for the 50th time this episode, Lordalan briefly ponders whether Tom was just “swanning around” a winery, letting Nick and Jade do all the work. Tom protests, saying that he gave Nick and Jade a clear brief on what to produce, and he was involved at all points. Honest. Nick and Jade nod away in agreement.

We next move on to this week’s Blankety Blank question. If Tom is a wine expert, Nick is an online expert, and Jade is a marketing expert, then Adam’s role on the team was BLANK.


Tom settles for “creative director”. It’s an interesting choice. One that makes Adam burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. Heck, it even makes Tom laugh


in that “haunted farmhouse” way that he has.

Lordalan asks what the team’s theme was, and Tom replies that it was to be “outside of the box”. Is that a euphemism for “blind-drunk”? Because if so…mission accomplished. Meanwhile, over on the other team, Stephen watches on.


By this point of the series, he’s even drinking water in a shifty fashion. Tom drones on that he wanted to produce a slogan and logo that represented Englishness, and quality, which would translate well to any bottle of wine. I don’t really understand how that’s “outside of the box” but I guess I don’t know what the box even is in this instance. I don’t drink wine. I haven’t since I was 17 and a night that we will ALL PASS RIGHT OVER RIGHT NOW THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Next up we cover the team’s website,


with Lordalan getting sidetracked into randomly slagging off the fact that their background is of a field, for some reason. Fields are nice Lordalan, calm down. We then play their website video, and everyone slides into a 50 year coma. Jenna in particular


is confused as to why the advert didn’t feature someone throwing their drink in someone’s face, a table getting up-ended a la Real Housewives Of New Jersey, or at the very least a final chase around the table accompanied by the Benny Hill music. IT’S DEAD BORIN. Once it’s over Lordalan declares it to be “”.


Yeah, alright Alexandra Burke. Lordalan follows by saying that what he’s gleaned so far is that they’ve missed the brief. Their campaign is just a sales pitch, and not raising awareness by telling people why they should buy this over French champagne.

So…he hates it because it’s a sales pitch, instead of doing what it should be doing, which is telling people why they should be buying it. Right. Got it.

Let’s move over to Sterling before my head explodes. We start with a nice easy discussion about who was Project Manager (Ricky Martin) and why (because Ricky Martin wanted to try to claim a major scalp by beating a team that was much better qualified on paper than his). Ricky Martin concludes that the task was a classic case of David vs Goliath, and David ALWAYS WINS. Of course, Ricky Martin comes from the world of Professional Wrestling where things like this


are considered feasible match-ups. (SPOILERS : the small one lost)

We next move on to “how the team went about things”, and Ricky Martin explains that he split the teams on the first day such that he and Jenna went to the vineyard whilst “Gabi & Stevie” put some basic structure down in terms of branding for the next day. Lordalan interrupts to say that he’s heard that Ricky Martin doesn’t even like wine, so not only was he David vs Goliath, he was a David who didn’t like slingshots and would much prefer to be using a crossbow or a sword or, like, a gun or something yes? Ricky Martin says that yes, the rumours are true, he doesn’t like wine, and this only made the obstacles against him, and therefore the kudos for eventually surmounting them, even greater.

Sure, whatever

Ricky Martin then goes on to explain that on the second day he brought all the knowledge he got from dodging pitchforks and burning torches in the English backwaters into the website design with Gabrielle, whilst Stephen was despatched to finish off the advert with Jenna.

Next we cover the team’s branding for their campaign, which was summed up in the creation of “Grandeur Wines”


a name which Lordalan also dismisses as being “French”. Ricky Martin admits that grandeur “has French connotations”. New Nirrck guffaws that it doesn’t just have French connotations…it’s a FRENCH WORD. Well quite. And clearly they should have thrown Gabrielle off the team as well, cause that name sounds a bit CONTINENTAL to me as well. Bet she was passing our English Sparkling Wine secrets back to the bleedin frogs throughout.

Lordalan says it’s time to start up the website, so of course that dreadful video auto-plays.


Quite. It’s so off-putting it might as well be playing loud pornographic grunting in the background rather than Take That. Once it’s finished, Lordalan huffs “well Spielberg can rest easy, that’s for sure”. I dunno Lordalan, it was still better than War Horse. He carries on, grumbling that English Sparkling Wine is a quality product, and that advert has no quality in it whatsoever. Jenna giggles that she was just taking a risk and trying something different.

“Two Girls, One Cup” was risky and “something different” Jenna, you wouldn’t advertise anything with it. Except maybe extra-strong mints or something. Lordalan asks Ricky Martin whether he was on the video shoot, and he says that he wasn’t. He carries on to say that, whilst the video may be “more comedic than he expected” it will at least get people talking. Like Nick Griffin on Question Time.

We finish up by talking about the logo, which Lordalan liked. Gabrielle valiently tries to look like she’s basking in the credit, but I think we’re still too close to the fact that her team produced that video for any of them to succesfully look proud of anything. “Goodteamleader?” gets a strong, back-handed positive from Stephen, saying it was really great that Ricky Martin was so motivational and passionate, because it really helped paper over the fact that the team didn’t have a clue what they were doing. He does hope that the industry experts “enjoyed their passion”.


I don’t think I can do better than transcribing verbatim Lordalan’s incredibly articulate summary of events.


“Sterling started off reasonably ok in as much as it looked like they were on track a bit. Phoenix put a bit boring type of website there. More sales-orientated than rather awareness. They concluded and I concluded in the end, the Phoenix campaign, it didn’t do what I asked it to do. But I think it’s more of what Sterling has messed up that makes you the losing team I’m afraid.”



Sometimes I think this show would be better off if all the results were just given via numbers. Just have the Experts score the campaigns out of 10 or something. Watching Lordalan’s brain try to deal with anything else is distressing, like watching a primary school kid try to force their wheezing 15 year old yorkshire terrier to do doggy-dancing cause they saw it on Britain’s Got Talent. The winning team are told that their reward is a ROOFTOP JACUZZI!


IN NOVEMBER! Sounds fun. They head off to change into their swimming cozzies, whilst Lordalan tells Sterling to go away and have a chat amongst themselves about what went wrong, and then they’ll come back and discuss it once the production team have explained it to him.



Yes, they’re all getting drunk in their rooftop jacuzzi. Jade squawks that the water is BOILING, then coos that she can see the London Eye from here. Has Tom just bent over? Ahem. No, he hasn’t, he’s busy interviewing that


this (*hic*) was an amazing win for him, especially as he just lost last week. Maybe he should do every task pished? Maybe everyone should do every task pished. I’d watch. It’d be like Win, Lose Or Draw Late Night : With Liza Tarbuck. ALL BETS ARE OFF! To close


everyone cackles drunkenly as Tom sneers “less fizz, more sparkle, N’YA HA HA HA HA!”. Sadly the edit cuts off the part where they chink their glasses together and toast “Gentlemen? TO EVIL!”

*cut to Gabrielle watching all of this from The Apprentice Bedsit, wrapped in a duvet, snapping “NO! MORE! ROOFTOP! JACUZZI! NESS!” to Her Beloved Nick whilst Jenna is…I dunno, bouncing up and down on the bed with her boobs flopping out. Whatever Emma did in the Big Brother Bedsit. Be a bit racist? I can’t really remember*

Fortunately for the denizens of Loser Cafe, everyone there has kept their clothes firmly on. Although Stephen has

Calm yoursen ladies

stripped to his waistcoat. Maybe he’s feeling FRISKY. The prospect of blame does seem to get him going rather. He scratches his head and ponders whose fault this all was this time.


Here’s a clue Stephen/Iain Lee, there’s four on your team and three of them are going to the Final Boardroom. How about…everyone other than you! That should work. Ricky Martin breaches the silence by saying that he’s really sorry that they’ve lost, but their campaign really fell apart, and now they’re going to have to analyse why. Especially as they lost to such a boring campaign from the other team. As Ricky Martin says “boring” his


eyebrows flail ever more out of control. Because if there’s one thing Ricky Martin – the eye-brow raising wrestling biochemist with elite maths skills and a nascent talent for the bagpipes – is not, it’s boring. Outside he mournterviews that this was not the result he was hoping for, and he really feels that the guys in his team have let him down.

Back in the room, Jenna points out that nobody had a problem with the idea of comedy at the briefing the night before, and Gabrielle nods her head and agrees. Although she was thinking more of a “Community” or “Parks & Recreation” type of comedy, rather than one of the less intellectual episodes of Celebrity Juice. Stephen nobly volunteers that he’s as much to blame for the video as anybody else. What a upright man. He’s taking blame, just like people should on this show. What do you mean “Ricky Martin & Gabrielle weren’t even on the video shoot, so how is Stephen ‘as much’ to blame as they are”? HE’S TAKING BLAME, THAT IS ENOUGH.

Outside he franticterviews that


this is only his third loss, and also he’s won as Project Manager, and also he’s never been brought back into the final boardroom and also he hasn’t lost as Project Manager, and also he’s led sub-teams and also he’s well the tallest in the cast, probably, don’t look into that too closely. Anyway, he’s clearly the best candidate overall in his team, this was just a bad day at the office, no way he’s getting fired. No way!

As he says all this, he darts his eyes back and forth VIGOROUSLY. If Willow Smith is looking for a follow-up single, she could do worse than look here for inspiration.



I wonder if, post series, Jenna won’t look back and consider that really her biggest mistake was committing to those tights as her Boardroom Fashion Statement every week.

Candidates go in, and we start with Lordalan chiding Ricky Martin for his defeatist attitude going into the task, in calling the other team Goliath and them David, and then saying that David always wins. WELL DAVID DIDN’T WIN THIS TIME!


No, I’m not sure Lordalan knows what “defeatist” means either.

First order of business is the team’s process on the first day, more specifically how Ricky Martin and Jenna storyboarded their dreadful video right there in the vineyard. Ricky Martin replies that he wanted to focus on a “celebration” theme for their video, although I’m guessing he was thinking more of an elegant and historic Olympic Opening Ceremony sort of celebration, not a St Paddys day where someone vomits up green icing all over the curtains. Lordalan says that he must have been very disappointed that the storyboard he so lovingly created came to life evil. Ricky Martin say that yes, he was very annoyed that the video that he had conceptualised with Jenna as being a classy affair came back from the actual shoot, helmed by Jenna & Stephen, cheesy and desperate.


I wonder why.

Ricky Martin goes on to say that he did tell his team to make the video humorous, but to do so in a more classy manner. Lordalan expresses his


disbelief that they thought comedy would be a good road to go down in the first place. He knows that they’re trying to impress him, and that he reminds people of Sid James, but he didn’t want them to go and make CARRY ON BOOZING! He half expected Kenneth Williams to burst in going


“OOOOH MAITRE D’! Where’s me grandeur gone? Someone’s nicked me grandeur!”. Amazing. Lordalan’s Kenneth Williams impersonation is both uncanny and also quintessentially Lordalan. I was worried we were struggling for Boardroom Madness Moments this series, but I think we just found a winner.

Lordalan asks them all who will take responsibility for their piece of rubbish video, and Ricky Martin says that final responsibility falls with Stephen and Jenna. He’s not taking any responsibility himself, because he told them not to make it cheesy, and Jenna utterly ignored him and produced Carry On Up Me Grandeur whilst lying to him the whole time that she was making something classy. Jenna honks

Oh sure, blame me

that she can see that the blame for the advert she did is coming right towards her, so she’ll throw her hands up and take responsibility for “taking a risk” that didn’t pay off. Odd how that “make a crap advert” risk never really seems to pay off on this programme (except in the case of Octyclean – A Feminist Parable, whose message transcended the limitations of its form). It is left up to New Nirrck – friend of female candidates everywhere – to point out on Jenna’s behalf that Stephen was there as well, and has to take some responsibility.

Stephen’s response?


YES…ERM…WELL…ERM…GABRIELLA DOESN’T EVEN DO NUFFING EVER, LORDALAN. SHE’S RUBBISH! Ricky Martin points out that the most highly praised element of their campaign was their website, which Gabrielle produced by sticking faithfully to the brief he gave her of “quality and heritage”, rather than say…I don’t know…adding an unavoidable pop-up wine-cork popping game and some smillies that screamed “WHEN AH GET MARRIED, AH WANT A FRAWN!” at you. Lordalan asks Gabrielle if she wants to speak for herself, and Gabrielle says she does. After which Stephen says “please do” like a TOTAL CHARMER. Gabrielle then says “thank you” to him, quite sweetly.



Anyway, what Gabrielle has to say is that on the first day there was complete and utter confusion from Stephen, to the extent that it was fairly obvious that he had no idea what the task was about or what they were supposed to be doing or what the team’s direction was. Stephen snots “specifics?” whilst blatantly trying to


intimidate her by staring her out and Gabrielle replies that she’ll get to them. She then brings up how Stephen spent a good 15 minutes running around Tesco trying to find a sales assistant to tell them about the English Sparkling Wines that weren’t actually in the shop.


Gabrielle says that she understood that they wouldn’t find a wine expert working the 2pm shift in a Tesco Metro, and just got on with getting some ideas for a visual identity they could give to their brand. Stephen just screwed up all over the place. For some reason Stephen snots “specifics Gabrielle, please?” again and Gabrielle’s all “THAT WAS A SPECIFIC YOU NIMROD! HOW ABOUT CHINK WINE? IS THAT SPECIFIC ENOUGH FOR YOU?”. Gabrielle + Boardroom = GODDESS.

Lordalan brings up Gabrielle’s logo next

That's nice

and Stephen jumps all over it, being very “yes Gabrielle did the logo and it’s very good, well done Gabrielle, credit to you for that, look I’m giving her praise for something, I am totally an unbiased source who will give credit where it’s due honest” about it, in an hilariously transparent fashion. But you know, overall, he still thinks she did nothing. If he’d just sat back and been support on this task, the whole thing would have fallen apart, because he did SO MUCH.


I would have given a large % of my annual income for Gabrielle to have snotted “specifics?” at this point.

Lordalan asks Stephen where he thinks the task failed, and Stephen says it’s because the advert was poor, whilst NODDING so aggressively at Jenna whilst he says this that he appears to be trying to nutt an invisible football into the open goal that is her mouth. Jenna is asked the same, and agrees that it was because of the video. On these grounds Ricky Martin is asked which two people he’s going to bring back, like it isn’t entirely obvious, and after some waffling about putting his friendship with Stephen aside, of course he selects Jenna and…Stephen.


Seriously, who told these candidates they could mug to camera this series? IT’S AN EPIDEMIC!

Candidates go out, New Nirrck calls Jenna a “good sport who tries terribly hard”, the world stops spinning on its axis momentarily to ponder whether he could possibly get MORE patronising, candidates come back in again.

With nothing else to talk about, with the whole Universe slowly reversing itself in on this dreadful video like The Big Crunch (we’ve got about 5 years before the totality of existence is that woman’s mouth screaming “THIS ISN’T THE ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE I ASKED FOR!!!!” and Stephen saying “lugzhury” kids, enjoy them), Lordalan is left with no option other than to talk about it. Again. WHY WAS IT ALLOWED RICKY MARTIN? WHAT DID YOU THINK JENNA AND STEPHEN WERE GOING TO DO WHEN SENT OFF WITH THE BRIEF “BE FUNNY”?! The second series of 30 Rock? The movie Heathers? A Confederacy Of Dunces?

Ricky Martin says that the joke in the advert was supposed to be that the bride was going to be offered a glass of champagne, and she’d say “I’d rather have an English Sparkling Wine”.


To be fair, that is pretty bloody funny.

Ricky Martin goes on to say that he gave his team a clear brief not to make the advert gimmicky or cheesy and they failed it, a fact which New Nirrck backs up from his notes. Jenna protests that obviously the advert was going to be either “love it or hate it”, and it was a risk she took, because she’s a risk-taker in business. Obviously in hindsight it was a mistake to produce a loud, unfunny piece of poorly scripted over-acted nonsense that was stuck on autoplay as a preface to a website that it completely jarred with, tonally speaking, but hey


nobody told her “no”. Ricky Martin points out that he told her over the phone, repeatedly, not to do it. And she told him she wasn’t. And then she did. He also tells off Stephen for either not listening to Ricky Martin, or just letting Jenna run riot, trying to recreate the entire works of John Cleese with two monkeys at one typewriter. Stephen huffs something about not wanting to over-ride the Project Manager. Yeah sure, that’s always such a problem for him.

Lordalan next asks Ricky Martin why he didn’t go and over-see production of the video, given how important it was, and Ricky Martin protests that the website was equally important, especially given the emphasis in the brief on it being a multi-media campaign.


Good answer.

Absent there being anything else to talk about on this task other than the Satanic Video, we move on to peoples general performance in the competition. More specifically the fact that Jenna has been on the losing team five times now


and in this era of The Apprentice, that’s not nearly enough times to guarantee her the win. So it’s begging time. Jenna says that she shouldn’t be fired because she doesn’t shy away from responsibility (/has yet to be Project Manager without being forced to be), and that she hopes to learn from the silly mistake she made this week. Lordalan asks who she would fire in his position, and she says she would fire Stephen. She doesn’t say why, but to be fair, would you have to?

Stephen’s turn to beg next, and he says that he should stay because he’s won 6 out of 8 tasks (what amazing counting ability), he won as Project Manager (accidentally), and he guarantees that next time he’s Project Manager he will win again


(*fingers crossed*) Lordalan asks who should be fired, and Stephen suggests Ricky Martin, because of the lack of direction they got on the task.

Ricky Martin is last to beg, with extra prodding from Lordalan as this is his second loss as PM, and not many people survive that. Ricky Martin protests that both of those losses were against Project Managers with expertise in the field where he is but a novice. The fact that he’s a professional athlete (DON’T LAUGH!) not at all helping with the Fitness task then. Anyway, Ricky Martin says that this shows he is unafraid to take on anybody, and also to step outside of his comfort zone. Whatever that is. Wrestling biochemistry. He tells Stephen that the only reason he hasn’t been in the Boardroom more often is his skill in deflecting blame away from himself. Stephen huffs “just to stick to your own strengths Ricky Martin”, and Ricky Martin says it’s HIS TURN TO TALK, SO HE’LL SAY WHAT HE LIKES.


Sassy bitch. Anyway, Ricky Martin says he has learnt so much on this journey (as demonstrated by this task where he made all the same mistakes he made last time he was Project Manager and lost) and has a really great business plan (which he presumably created before this journey that made him a better person). Makes sense.


Fire-teasing is Ricky Martin, for not going to the video-shoot (again), but being fired is


Jenna, because she mucked up the video. She gets a “with regret”, which…

and leaves, as Ricky Martin passes on nobly into the 0-2 Project Managers club with Saira Khan, James McQuillan and Jedi Jim. Such exalted company. As Jenna leaves, having thanked Lordalan for the opportunity, Lordalan tells Stephen he has a tiny


hope of continuing successfully in this process, but Lordalan kept him because of his promise to win as Project Manager in the future. “The future” being next week, when Lordalan is FORCING HIM TO PROJECT MANAGE! GAME ON! I am so excited I can barely sit down.

In her Taxi of Shame, Jenna


says that Lordalan has definitely missed out in not picking her, but the whole experience has made her even more determined to succeed in her business plan on her own. She’s running a bar on Penguin Beach! It’s called “Jenna’s Place”! Come along and enjoy the PARTEH!

Back at the house, Tom says that he thinks that Ricky Martin will go because he’s lost twice as Project Manager, and Nick

Fluff fluff

thoughtfully fluffs up his hair and says that he wouldn’t be surprised if Stephen and/or Jenna left as well. TRIPLE FIRING! Gabrielle says that she thinks Stephen will go, because he has officially


“run his course”. Oh Gabrielle, they’re going to try to squeeze one week more of LOLs out of him at least. When she finds out that Stephen has survived, she claps like a toy that’s almost wound down and pulls this face.


He’d better hope that she’s too professional to sandbag him next week. Personally, I hope she isn’t.

Next week :



9 down, 6 to go


25 thoughts on “The Apprentice 8 – Episode 9

  1. Shrinking Man

    Rey Mysterio wrestled the Great Khali? I *have* to watch that. Okay, Khali can’t wrestle for peanuts, but Mysterio can wrestle well enough for both of them, and novelty matches based around wrestlers’ sizes are always fun.

  2. FuTeffla

    I feel like I should be crosser at Tom for dropping the ball so spectacularly as PM but the fact that he shirked all of his responsibilities to get totally and utterly wellied is weirdly charming. I haven’t seen such a display of insouciance since Leon skipped actual work to draw teapot-pictures. I think I like it whenever anyone fails to treat this show like the AMAZING DRAMATIC LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE Lord Sugar keeps insisting it is.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Especially given how lame the treats are this series. I remember once they got to got to Rome. Now they spray one another in the face with poster paints.

  3. constantmotion

    Brilliant recap! Although I get the impression that Gabrielle Gently is probably already a thing. If that’s not what she does between architecting sessions I’ll be stunned.

    I did have to go back and watch the ep, though, cos I noticed that you hadn’t picked up on my favourite bit of the show. The bit where, when Stephen calls her “Gabriella,” she very calmly just butts in and says “Gabrielle.” This, I discovered, is because it didn’t exist, and she mumbled something different. But god, I wish she did.

    Loved Jenna a bit. Will miss her. Then again, I like most of them, really. Stephen can go home, but the rest of them? Good people. Not the most dynamic cast, but I like them all. They can stay.

    That said, think this might be the least predictable final five of any series. There’s not THAT much in it. Nick and Tom – sure. But, honestly, dealer’s choice. Hoping Ricky gets there.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I did double check to make sure she didn’t correct him, because I thought the same thing at first. Then again everyone’s being so liberal with Gabrielle’s name I’m actively waiting for the first “Gabi”.

  4. tabithakitten

    If LordSugar doesn’t recognise the merging of Gabrielle and Nick into one Supercandidate of Apprenticeawesomeness and double the prize money I shall doubt his credibility forevermore.

    1. monkseal Post author

      But if he does that then they’ll all be at the fauxmances next series. It’ll be like Big Brother 7.

  5. Doktorb

    “You’ll never forget Nick. You’ll just wind up singing “Poison” by Alice Cooper into your Singstar with your foot wedged in a half eaten packet of Flumps whilst Jenna mumbles “ah dorn’t norr this one Gabrielle, it’s quaht rockeh” then passes out.”

    I have just woken the neighbours laughing at this bit 🙂

    1. Llwynog

      Me too, although not quite as much as I laughed at this bit …

      *cut to Gabrielle watching all of this from The Apprentice Bedsit, wrapped in a duvet, snapping “NO! MORE! ROOFTOP! JACUZZI! NESS!” to Her Beloved Nick whilst Jenna is…I dunno, bouncing up and down on the bed with her boobs flopping out. Whatever Emma did in the Big Brother Bedsit. Be a bit racist? I can’t really remember*

      1. constantmotion

        For me the edge went to, “Quick Jenna, strip down, cover your nubblies with a grape each, then go “BOOP OOP EE DOOP!” in your delightful accent, and squirt lemonade out your nethers. That’ll raise awareness.”

  6. sevenstories

    I don’t want to burst your amazing sub-team bubble and I’m also aware that Jade crops up on your Twitter and therefore probably reads these but I heard from a reliable source that Jade and Nick did not get on well at all. Reliable source being a candidate as my cousin went to uni with one of them and watched an episode with them last week.

    1. monkseal Post author

      NOOOO! It’s like finding out Father Christmas isn’t real. Next you’ll be telling me there wasn’t REALLY weird homoerotic tension between Nick and Ricky Martin in Bristol.

  7. Kerry McCormack (@KerryMc1978)

    I’d like to see all of your detective series’ commissioned.

    I managed to read Gabrielles description in your last poll as ‘Mistress of the art of Lego’ & wondered for a minute what task I’d missed. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past the producers to do a lego task this series… they’re clearly struggling for ideas.

  8. durnovarian

    I’ve only read the tag-line on your homepage and I’m already chortling! I haven’t time to read the whole post now (boo!), but the thought of the pleasure to come will sustain me through another long day at the chalkface (yay!). 😀

  9. fused

    I loved the Gabrielle and Jenna BFF video on You’re Fired, and like other readers I loved the bits in this blog about Gabrielle and Jenna doing SingStar and Gabrielle and Jenna as Michelle and Emma in the BB5 Bedsit. I was sorry to see Jenna go, I really liked her, although she kind of went out on a high I suppose. I like that her eliminated contestant picture on this blog is a ‘Penguin Beach’ one as well.

    Stephen is very smarmy, but I think the most offputting thing about him is he comes across as insincere. Well, there’s that and how much of a prick he can be, like in the boardroom when he kept having a go at Gabrielle and interupting her.

    Tom was a bit pompous again in this episode, but I kind of liked his audacity at being the project manager and just using it as an excuse to go and get pissed rather than do any work, and on a shallow note, he has very nice eyes.

    I thought that Gabrielle’s rose/wine glass idea and the design of the Pheonix English Sparkling Wines website were both very good.


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