Fun Fact : “Wetsuit Kimono” are also Bolton’s hottest new guitar band.
Yes, it’s that time of year again. When we all gather in front of our tvs to cheer at nascent ingenuity, shake our heads at youthful arrogance, and collectively cringe as we are shown yet again that women mature much faster than men. Is there a man out there who watches this show and does not think “wow, I thought I was ready for sex at 17! I was so wrong…”? Really? Let’s all get ready to hate some children – it’s time for THE JUNIOR APPRENTICE/YOUNG APPRENTICE/APPRENTIBABIES/WHATEVER!
We begin, as ever, with a bleary shot of London’s skyline, with the Shard towering over the Gherkin, whilst the Gherkin mutters to itself “yeah, whatever, it’s all about girth anyway”. The Apprentibabies are packing their suitcases and getting ready to abandon their homes for 8 weeks of backstabbing, one-upmanship, and rewards that were pulled out of the remainders bin at Red Letter Days. Patrick (The Gay One) neatly folds a crisp classic white men’s shirt with black detailing and low cutaway collar into his deluxe portable awayday carry-all. Steven (The Gawky One) throws a big ball of pants and socks in a gym bag and tries to remember how to tie a tie again before climbing into his junior geezermobile, complete with fluffy dice. Alice (The Rural Posh One) gently folds an orange blouse away, and then immediately gets gazzumped by Lucy Beauvallet (The Suburban Posh One) who HAS A CAPE. All Alice’s got is a 12 handicap at the local gold club and chickens that cluck around her awkwardly as she leaves her parents farm. I hope they LOATHE one another.
Travelling in from furthest afield is Maria (The Irish One) who stomps through an airport, telling us all that she may look like a 5ft 1 blonde angel, but she has the heart of a lioness ready to take out her opposition. Unfortunately she also has the bladder of a fieldmouse, DO EXCUSE HER. David (The Black One) meanwhile is just hopping on the bus, telling us all that men are like dogs, and you just have to show them who’s boss, and they’ll follow you around. No, I know, he’s NOT The Gay One. He just sounds like it. Ashleigh (The Northern One) is embarking at Barnsley Interchange and tells us that her drive and determination comes from the fact that her parents were determined not to see another generation LOST DOWN T’PIT t’BLACK CONSUMPTION AND COLLIER’S LUNG like what they wurr. Or whatever happens in the NORF.
Navdeep (The Asian One) descends an almighty staircase ; Alice removes herself from a taxi, a rogue Derbyshire Redcap tumbling out of her handbag.
Max (The Tory One) stomps away across a bridge, and tells us all that his greatest achievement in life so far has been his GCSE results. He got 11 A*s, which I think means that technically Lordalan actually fired him in Week Minus Five, if you add things up properly. Sean (The One Who Is More Hair Than Boy) gets his ticket checked and says that he’s run his own business since the age of 9. A Panini sticker album and a business are not the same thing Sean, get with it. He says that for him, waking up in the morning and owning a business are the same thing. Hey, they are for me too – lots of stumbling around naked, swearing, repeatedly smacking the furniture trying to make all the noises stop.
As everyone finally converges on London, Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that all these young’uns will be competing for the ULTIMATE KICKSTART TO A CAREER IN BUSINESS! £25,000 to buy a laptop, and 8 weeks of video evidence of what a precocious brat you once were, some of it dressed as a pirate. I hear that’s how Phillip Green got started as well. Navdeep ascends an escalator, David emerges from Victoria Station, and we get our first glimpses of our final two Apprentibabies : Andrew (The Normal One) and Amy (THAT One).
IT’S A CAST!
And who will they be fighting to impress? That’s right, Lordalan. His opening Talking Head? “I know everything, I’ve seen everything, I’ve done everything”. So charming as ever. Helpful Voiceover Man reminds us all that Lordalan left school at 16 and done good and climbed up the greasy ladder of the school of hard knocks and the University Of Life and he never got nothing handed to him on a plate and it never did him no harm. The intro shows him still looking out on London, but not from the top floor this time. He’s probably lost his keys. Have you tried the glove compartment Lordalan? That’s where they were last time.
10am now and we’re at our customary first Boardroom of the series. This is the one where Lordalan yells at them all that he hates exactly the soort of people who end up winning the show, and loves exactly the sort of people who end up getting fired in Week 7 for not knowing what a Dabakan is during the 10 Items Task. They only went out and bought Lordalan a Kendang instead! SHAMEFUL. It’s prepare them for the insanity, logic gaps, and intense self-contradiction that is to follow, courtesy of THE BOSS. It’s also a chance for all our candidates to artfully tilt their Rolexs at the camera as they sit waiting, at which this group are no less obliging than any other. Max is wearing corduroy trousers, which is really where you should have called his firing, if all the A* hadn’t been a clue.
Everyone is shooed in, to find Lordalan there waiting for them. He congratulates them all for getting there, and being the chosen twelve out of the “thousands and thousands” of people who applied. And only one of those thousands was Harry 1 re-applying again and again and again, under a variety of fake names. He goes on to say that he feels privileged today to have them in front of him, because “none of you have walked in with your smartphones”.
b) pockets exist
He informs them that for the next eight weeks, the only way they’ll be using their phones is for business/ringing home crying/cyberbullying Amy. They won’t have time for playing Angry Birds. I don’t know, Haya gave it a good go last year… He tells them that if he DOES catch them playing mobile phone games, or Hungry Hungry Hippos or LAUGHING or HAVING FUN IN ANY WAY, they’ll make him angry, and they won’t like him when he’s angry. Is Lordalan insinuating he is in fact The Incredible Hulk? YOU PISS HULK’S MONEY UP WALL! HULK SMASH!
(It’s like Lee McQueen’s back isn’t it?)
Now it’s time for our mandatory “the economy’s farked, and this show is somehow going to save it via the medium of CAPITALIST THEMED INSPIRATION!” speech, as Lordalan tells the kids that it’s never been harder for people like them to get themselves a job. I don’t know, with David Cameron as PM, I think Max has probably got it made. Lordalan continues to wax apocalyptic – businesses are collapsing, countries are going bankrupt, Kaen’s almost out of Immac – and tells the Apprentibabies that it’s up to them to save the UK with their entrepreneurial spirit and youthful go-getting.
LOOK OUT GREECE, HERE WE COME! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Lordalan doesn’t like teacher’s pets, he doesn’t like school bullies, he doesn’t like his scriptwriters and they don’t like him, and the kids will not be sitting any exams (except in the Week 5 Task : Sit An Exam). In fact, the only grade they’ll be given is an “F” for “FAHCCK ORF”. Lordalan closes this rambling nonsensical meander through child-appropriate metaphors and similes by saying the he might remind the children of their granddad, but there’s one crucial difference. He still treats their grandma right. *wink*
That and he can afford to give them more money.
Now it’s time for a new element to the series pre-amble. Let’s tear the CVs apart before we even start. Max is dispatched just via Lordalan reading out his name : “Maximilian Joseph Anthony Gideon Semasco de Lacy Pfeffel Whiff Waff Flyte Grodecki III”. Lordalan asks him what he does (other than shoot grouse and hate the poor) and Max says he has a “mini enterprise” which encompasses vintage clothing and collectables. Basically he’s Lauren Harries with better life choices. David is next, and is removed from contention by Lordalan pointing that he’s the “chair” of numerous pointless piffly bodies that no doubt “raise awareness” and “advocate” at things. But is he Muslim Businesswoman of the year 2008 Lordalan? His footprints could barely dream of booting Daily Lama up the moon.
Patrick is picked on next, with Lordalan identifying his “interest in fashion” and telling him that maybe he could design him a suit one day. Patrick is wearing a suit that looks like he’s piped Christmas decoration all over the lapel. It seems an unlikely match, style-wise. Maria is hung by just allowing her to talk – she says that she’s not an entrepreneur yet, because she’s only 17 but she has a work ethic and sees things and does them and stuff like that. Lordalan takes a huff, and snarls at her that he started his first business at 17 (NO! WHY DOESN’T HE MENTION THIS MORE OFTEN?) so he would expect her to be running Sainsbury’s now, or at least nicking things off the back of a van and flogging them in the playground.
KIDS TODAY, DON’T KNOW THEY’RE BORN.
Time for the candidates to find out their first task. It’s THRILLING! Lordalan’s got them a ton each of discarded soiled clothing, mostly from people who died. The candidates have to identify what clothes are reusable (after being decontaminated) and then sell them on for a profit. That’s right, it’s the usual Week One “sell this” task, with the now mandatory Week One “upcycle it or customise it or set it on fire and call it an experience or sumfin” angle. The team that makes the most profit wins, the team that doesn’t loses and then someone’s getting FIRED. Kaen will be following the boys team, Nick will be following the girls team, someone from The Met will be following everyone as part of Operation BBC Paedos, LET’S GO!
Before we get to the heavy lifting though, it’s time for the Apprentibabies to go through the usual pre-task Week One ritual. Gawp at the mansion, pick team names, pick who to ostracise first. In Girls Apprenticar B, are sat Alice, Amy and Maria. Amy sagely tells the other two girls that you really can’t learn business from a textbook. Apparently you CAN learn it from a gameshow though. Alice nods along merrily, having learnt her trade on the mean streets of the hen house, whilst Maria grins that Business Studies teachers across England will be HORRIFIED. As well Apprentice Babies Icon James McCullagh, I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THAT. Maria interviews gamely that she is a firework, a comparison that you will remember that even Queen Of The Apprentice Mentals Melissa Cohen baulked at. And she called herself a pitbull with mange.
In Boys Apprenticar B meanwhile, David is telling Sean and Steven that power just gravitates towards him. That and fluff. He interviews that he is academic, social, economical and philosophical. Everything I can think of – he is that. He’s a haemophiliac! He’s Lisa Scott Lee! He’s the world’s oldest dwarf! He is, he is Superman, and he knows what’s happening. He is LATVIA’S! NEXT! TOP! MODEL!
The Apprenticars are now winding their way into Hampstead, with all the Apprentibabies gasping in incoherent bliss at the grandeur of all the houses they pass. Except Lucy Beauvallet who is already adamant that she is getting the largest room. The second largest room will be used for her capes and ballet pumps. The children may sleep in the larder *claps hands*.
The house they eventually settle on looks like something out of Neighbours but, you know, a bit grander. The decor’s very floral and wood-finished. A classic mix between elegant grandeur and 80s youth club. Once they’re through the door, Alice squeals and grabs Patrick, clearly having identified him as the nearest gay. THEY’RE GOING TO BE SUCH FRIENDS! The girls all immediately set about claiming beds, whilst the men play table football. The roles, they are established already. Amy gushes in interview that she finds this house really inspiring, because if she tries hard enough, she could one day own something like this, and lease it out to tacky reality tv gameshows. Beauty & The Geek 7, meet your new landlady!
At this point the camera lingers a little too long on a…lion shaped mirrorball? Who decorated this place, Joey Tribbiani?
Squealing over with, it’s time for the teams to pick stupid names. The boys around the breakfast table, the girls around a ping pong table. What I wouldn’t give for the boys to just randomly start playing whilst the girls spend an hour hashing out what name really fits their consensus values of feminine friendship and girl power enterprise. Maria is the first to suggest a name for the girls, opting for “Platinum”, which Alice dismisses as being “too cliched” and too much of an Apprentice staple. What about really breaking the Apprentice mould, by coming up with some vaguely Latin sounding bollocks? Nobody’s ever done that before! She’s decided on “Ex Nihilo”, which means “Something From Nothing”. All the girls ponder on the wisdom of calling themselves “nothing” and then Lucy Beauvallet nods her head firmly and says “Platinum then?” and everyone agrees. Alice fumes and contemplates stabbing Lucy “In Oculo” with a biro.
The boys meanwhile are sat listening to David talk (I would imagine this will happen a lot this series) as he tells them that they should be called “Odyssey”, because it means “a journey with great adventures”. In which all but one person dies, and he gets to shag many beautiful women/godesses/sexy witches who turn all his friends into pigs and try to steal his penis. I wonder which role David sees himself playing in this story… Steven dismisses this name as having “no wow factor” and good LORD, can “wow factor” not infest this show like mange as well please? David challenges him to come up with anything better, he can’t, and the ball of hair called Sean in the corner says he’s backing “Odyssey”. Steven sulks and asks David if he can spell Odyssey, and David admits he can’t. At this point Max pipes up with his one useful contribution of the series and tells everyone. He then comes out with this JOY of an interview, which I will transcribe verbatim.
“I have some minor academic interest in philosophy. I particularly enjoy the pre-Socratics, early classical philosophers. Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus etc…”
Bloody hell. What show did he think he was auditioning for?
Odyssey then go on to elect Patrick as their Project Manager, as the task is about fashion and stuff. Max mutters that he does have lots of experience with vintage clothes, but not with selling face-to-face. More…face-to-floor. And not “selling”, so much as “having my takings stolen from me by the rowdy oiks in 5B whilst they call me Piggy Grodecki and say unutterable things about my mother”. As a result of this, Patrick puts him in charge of the sub-team, as the second most fashion-forward man on the team other than himself. The one wearing corduroy and a mustard coloured day suit.
Over on Platinum, Lucy Beauvallet asks if anyone has “any background knowledge into clothing”. Only one of them does – Ashleigh, who works part time as an assistant in a bridal shop, and is also a trainee accountant. What a combination. She is elected leader unanimously, and tells the girls that they all need to put in 100% each, making 600%! She then laughs, I think making this our first meta joke by an Apprentice candidate about the show’s…approach to percentages. This girl will go far.
Next morning now, and everyone’s getting ready for the day ahead. Maria applies foundation, David straightens his tie, and Andrew spends a good minute or so clucking around Max making sure everything’s tucked in and folded properly and that his shirt collar’s not stuck in the back of his socks. With this FASHION COLOSSUS in charge of the sub-team, how can they lose?
Helpful Voiceover Man explains that today is for setting up. Half the team will go to a market to do research (/waste time) whilst the other half will head to a recycling depot to sort through a dead woman’s nylons. Heading up the Odyssey salvage team is PM Patrick, and he’s brought David and Steven along with him. He worries that he’s onto a loser from the off because this is a feminine task, and he’s leading the boys team. David reassures him by telling him that cooking is “the other feminine thing” (you know, that and menstruation) and all the best chefs in the world are men. David takes from this, not the correct lessons of “grrr! the patriarchy!” or “gender stereotyping is for chumps” but “MEN ARE JUST BETTER AT EVERYTHING!”.
Their Apprenticar arrives at the recycling depot, and Patrick assays a giant pile of bin-bags, dressed in a powder blue ensemble, complete with matching cream handkerchief and genuine leather business case. They never do come dressed for things like this do they? Everyone dons yellow fluorescent hazard jackets and hazmat suits and begins sifting through the dirty undies. Patrick outlines his plan – collect two bags of workable stuff, one of which will be high-end clothing, the other all the leather slacks and boob-tubes and scarlet thongs and that. David finds a diamanique encrusted corset, and wonders if it would sell. Steven finds a blouse the colour of damp and calls it “vintagey”. David holds up a giant pair of polyester trousers with a CROTCH FLAP and asks Patrick if they’re viable. Patrick rams his head repeatedly into a brick wall at having to deal with these BREEDERS. Kaen interviews sympathetically, saying that straight guys really are a PAIN. Nick had to ask her what culottes were once after someone said it on Countdown. She doesn’t know how Margaret COPED sometimes.
Over on Platinum, Ashleigh is also heading up the rummage, alongside Maria, and Lucy Beauvallet. They also overdose on use of the word “vintagey”. Lucy Beauvallet and Ashleigh spend a good long time debating whether something is a cape or bed-linen (can’t it be both?) whilst Maria hangs around the sidelines rummaging through bags and grumbling. She’s decided that Ashleigh is going too slowly, and too busy trying to be matey with Lucy Beauvallet rather than providing leadership. She appears to be doing…no more work appreciably than anybody else. Eventually, amidst much WASTEFUL bonding, they get a van full of clothes together.
The boys meanwhile are still digging, as David and Steven are clearly considering every single piece of clothing in their ton, even the ones with iron-marks and rat-droppings all over them. Steven finds a wetsuit, which for some reason causes Patrick to perk up no end. He demands that Steven put it on his “Special Pile”. Apparently this “Special Pile” isn’t stuff that Patrick is going to nick for his own, as you might expect, but items he’s going to customise and combine to produce special exciting quirky designs, that will draw people’s attention. Because apparently Patrick is on Project Catwalk now. Steven and David continue to discuss whether Zoot Suits are still in.
Meanwhile, the Boys Subteam of Andrew, Max and Sean are arriving in the West End, at a vintage shop, to do research. Sean leads the questioning, asking the woman in charge of the shop (when she stops waffling on about Dior, like there’s going to be any of that in the clothes Lordalan knicked from his Auntie Val’s wake) if she customises any of the clothes she gets in her shop. She replies that she doesn’t , because it’s not commercially or artisitically viable. Sometimes she’ll lift a hemline to show off a bit more thigh, but really that’s it. Cut out a boob hole maybe? The boys feedback the research to Patrick via Apprentiphone. Well…Sean does, Max futzes about muttering that they could maybe do one or two alterations. Ah, the classic Apprentice compromise. A team wants to do something, an expert tells them it’s not possible, the team decides they’ll just do it anyway, but really half-heartedly! That’ll work!
Patrick of course, is undeterred, and is already practically in the middle of sewing half the wetsuit onto a scarlet kimono. DR FRANKENDRESS WILL HAVE HIS CREATION! David interviews that the gay’s gone a bit fashion mental and it’s scaring him. He’d never buy any of the stuff that he’s hacking together, and he thinks only one in 66 million people would. I keep expecting it to turn out that Patrick invented that tie-dress that Chris Bates sold. WETSUIT KIMONO! TIE DRESS! JUMPER MADE ENTIRELY OUT OF KNEESOCKS! GLOVE SHOES! YASHMAK JUMPSUIT!
2pm now and Platinum are reconvening in a launderette. Who knows what wacky Market Research adventures Alice, Amy and Navdeep got up to? Maybe they killed a man, and will be bonded by the fear of being caught forever. We’ll never know. Maria is unloading their used clothes from the van and getting very excited about adding studs and extra collars and laser-cannons and stuff. Amy looks on in horror at Maria’s excitement, but not in as much horror as Ashleigh who is, lest we forget, a trainee accountant and tight-fisted Northerner. She makes a decision, “for t’team” that she’s putting her foot down. There will be no Beadazzling or vajazzaling of clothes on her watch. Alice looks crestfallen, and Maria is incredulous. Ashleigh interviews, looking even more like Mrs Tiggywinkle reinvented for the 21st century as a newspaper agony aunt, that she hopes her team respect her for making the difficult decisions required to turn a profit. Pfft. Fat chance. You can tell Maria’s going to be affixing little sparkly dolphin stickers to everything whilst her back’s turned.
Back with Odyssey, and Patrick has gone to a tailors in order to realise his insane fashion zombies, stitched together from the organs of a thousand dead dresses. We get to witness the birth of WETSUIT KIMONO in far too much detail, with Kaen and David both twitching away awkwardly at the sides wondering if the world is really ready. David nervously asks if it’s really worth putting this much effort into creating something this niche which probably won’t even sell, but Patrick is not to be deterred. HIS CREATION MUST LIVE! He interviews that, as Project Manager and that he’s finding it difficult to BREATHE with these philistines CHOKING him. He never expected 17 year old boys on a business-related gameshow to know so little about fashion! IT’S INCONCEIVABLE! Instructions left with his fashion Igors at the tailors, Dr Fashionstein departs, having already racked up a customisation bill for almost £200. Ah well, needs must in the name of beauty…
4pm, and as both teams have all their clothes ready and sorted, it’s time to give them all a good wash, to get the smell of death off them. The boys subteam (Andrew, Max, Sean) happily hurl their clothes into the washing machines at their launderette, whilst the girls (Alice, Amy, Navdeep) seem to be being slightly more thorough. In that Navdeep has organised a Sniff Test. Everyone sniffs the clothes. If they only smell of one or two bodily fluids, then they’re fine. More than that, then they have to go into the washing machine. Or, as Navdeep has organised it, the tumble drier. Amy contemplates pouring detergent down the coin slot, as they can’t find anywhere else to put it, and then everyone decides to just hurl it in with the clothes (!). Eventually a passing little old Irish lady points out their mistake to them, amidst a lot of Lady Violet From Downton Abbey faces. Navdeep protests that she KNEW ALL ALONG that it was a drier, because she does all the washing at home. She then bundles up all the dirty clothes, and then stuffs them into the nearest toaster. Then she tries to iron clothes whilst they’re still wet.
BRING BACK DOMESTIC SCEINCE!
Next morning now, and Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that the teams now have 8 hours to sell all their clothes off. Teams will be split in half, with one subteam selling at a pitch in Westfields, and the other headed for a car boot sale.
Team Patrick, unchanged from yesterday are naturally going to Westfields, because who can imagine a better fit for Maxamilian Fotherington Smythe than an East End car boot sale. Patrick peevishly orders David and Steven about, making sure that they display WETSUIT KIMONO to its most devastating effect. He is, incidentally, wearing trousers made out of my nan’s sofa. The honour of first sale goes to Steven, who offloads…something beige, for £5. He grins that he hopes Lordalan is pleased with that. Yeah, might as well just stop now Steven, you’re WELL safe.
Meanwhile, the Platinum B-Team are upstairs, and are finding out that Navdeep’s expertise in cleaning clothes at home has steered them well, as everything smells faintly of wet dog. At this point Amy seems to have taken control, and is trying to make sure the clothes are out on the racks as quickly as possible, so they can dry out. I can’t believe they’re trying to sell clothes that are still wet. I can’t believe that this might actually BENEFIT the other team (see how the DELICATE DAMP KIMONO clings suggestively to the impenetrable MASCULINE DRYNESS of the EROTIC WETSUIT. FASHION!). Once everything’s out, Amy immediately gets on selling, by which I mean she marches up to strangers asking them if they like designer clothes, because she’s got “designs like Burberry”. Boobery, maybe. Alice sidles up to her and tells her that actually most of their clothes aren’t vintage. Maybe she could call it a “one stop vintage shop” instead? Amy’s all “whatever, we need to get people in, we’ll worry about that when they get here”
If only they’d stapled a kaftan to a bulletproof vest, they wouldn’t be having this problem…
Speaking of which, David and Steven seem to be…subtly tip-toeing around Patrick’s creations and are giving good sales patter. David in particular is laying it on with a trowel, telling a woman old enough to be his mother’s older sister that he’s going to give her a discount because she has a nice smile. The target giggles “oh you’re such a smoothie!” and then they both stand there laughing awkwardly forever. Patrick meanwhile is too busy fussing around spritzing up his works of art to really bother with selling. After one particularly flirty gigglefest between David and a yummy mummy, Patrick chides him, saying that he was lucky that customer was so conversational, otherwise David’s tactic of talking to her might not have worked. Yes David, more mime in future. Not everyone likes talking.
11am, and we’re at Battersea car-boot sale, where the boy’s subteam (Andrew, Max, Sean) are still setting up. Max is in charge, and dressed as closely to Arthur Daley as someone with his wardrobe is going to get. The process of moving clothes out of a van onto what is effectively a pitch consisting of a table and two racks of hangers appears to be beyond him, with him changing his mind every five seconds as to what goes where. Eventually Sean gets frustrated and asks him if he’s going to make a final decision. Max says he is. At least…he’s making a final decision as to what they’re going to do. They’re going to sell. He’s going to futz around folding things and repeatedly unloading and reloading the same pair of denim hotpants for a little longer. Possibly the rest of the day. It depends how he’s feeling.
And so it is that Andrew and Sean get selling, with Kaen falling in love with Andrew in particular, and Max gets on with getting himself fired even more than he already has done just by existing. Max – do you remember seeing any footage of Yasmina repeatedly folding the same aqua-blue pullover over and over again. No. Think on it.
The girls meanwhile are fully set up, but experiencing very slow sales. Ashleigh dispatches her girls out to pull in sales by roaming the perimeter of their car-boot pitch, and Maria seems to fare better at it than Lucy Beauvallet. In that Maria is charming and upbeat and blonde, and Lucy Beauvallet is the sort of shop assistant who just stands two paces behind you, staring at you, in silence. We’ve all experienced those, haven’t we? Ashleigh suggest that Lucy Beauvallet DO something, but Lucy Beauvallet doesn’t seem keen. She’s just going to GLOWER people into buying. Maria interviews that she thinks that they (ie Lucy Beauvallet) are being way too forceful and menacing and it’s putting people off buying from them.
Discouraged, Ashleigh calls up Amy’s subteam in order to find out if they’re managing to sell anything, and they reply that they’re not, really. What, people aren’t going clothes shopping at 11am? You do surprise me. Anyway, Asheligh puts the thumbscrews on the subteam to sell harder, because they’ve got all the classy items, whilst she’s selling novelty Darkwing Duck socks and light-up bras that play “Tragedy” whilst slicing your boobs to shreds. Navdeep gulps, and prepares to sell.
3pm, and it’s peak time at Westfields. David is trying to sell the WETSUIT KIMONO, clearly under duress, to a woman with amazing hair. She guffaws it openly, and wonders where on earth she’s supposed to wear it, and wanders off. She has a point. This is the straw that breaks Patrick’s back, as he tells Steven and David that they are going to move on from Westfields (*sniff*) to a place where his GENIUS can truly be appreciated. David very smoothly buys himself another 20 minutes selling time before Patrick drags them off to the depths of Hoxton. For all his superficial arrogance, he does seem to be able to deal with people remarkably well. Patrick interviews that sales have been solid, but not spectacular, and whilst his signature creations have no doubt driven people to their stall (LOL no they haven’t), nobody actually wants to buy them, so it’s time to leave and sell them to industry. Soon. Once David has given them a cushion.
Kaen interviews disdainfully that Patrick has decided to leave Westfields just as it’s starting to get busy, to go sell his bonkers bastard fashion chimeras to industry, for a crappy margin. She really doesn’t understand the logic behind it. She wasn’t even here long enough to buy a Burger King! It’s a DISGRACE. Kaen stalks out of Westfields in FURY, chasing after a repeatedly retreating Patrick.
Two floors upstairs meanwhile, the girls have started to sell well. Navdeep’s very perky, Alice’s very smooth, and Amy’s all up in everyone’s face telling them they look sexymazing. She interviews that her sales technique is just to flirt with people, constantly, and tell them how sexy they look. We see her sales technique IN FULL with a Mediterranean looking guy and a really ropey looking faded denim jacket. She tells him that she LOVES how he looks in it, and she’s not just saying that because she’s trying to sell him tut to win a gameshow. Sadly the man’s girlfriend is on hand to point out that it looks hideous. Amy’s response? “Is this your girlfriend? Ok…If you wear that jacket, with your friends, when she’s not there…you’ll get…hmmm…yeah….hmm…that’s good”. Way to wuss out Amy. Why not just say “ditch this boring bitch and get with a FUN GIRL. Who loved DENIM!”. Own your bitchassness. She crows to the other girls about how she basically just said “get a new girlfriend!” to the guy. Looking at the jacket Amy, it wouldn’t have been a GIRLfriend. That was some vintage George Michael Faith-era chic.
At this point, Team Patrick are well on their way to Shoreditch, with David half-heartedly trying to get Patrick to turn around and go back to Westfields. He could tell that sales were picking up there, and he thinks this mission to offload WETSUIT KIMONO is a waste of time. Steven however, has abandoned his potential ally, and says they might as well just go with it now. David sulks. You need to treat them like DOGS David. Smack Patrick’s nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Practice what you preach.
At the car-boot sale meanwhile, Max folds on. He interviews that his role on the day has mainly been removing things from the van. It’s about 4pm now Max. You’ve been doing this for at least FIVE HOURS. It’s a van, not the flipping TARDIS. There’s only so much fabric that can be in there. He carries on to say that he’s done a really great job of organising all the clothes by gender, style, fabric, weft and just, you know, general vibe. This is PAINFUL. Andrew interviews that Max has done literally nothing other than wander around making burbling noises to himself and folding boxer shorts. He’s enjoying himself though.
Team Patrick have arrived now…guess where? That’s right, Brick Lane. Heaven forbid that this show have a task these days that doesn’t wander down its hipstery halls at one point or another. Amazingly, Patrick has found a woman who appreciates WETSUIT KIMONO. She loves it! She asks Patrick if both parts of the abomination are vintage materials. Patrick assures her that it is, indeed 100% vintage wetsuit. Tragically, the woman loves the WETSUIT KIMONO so much that she really only could stock it as part of a range. What if it gets lonely? David tries his best, but the nut’s not moving, so WETSUIT KIMONO remains tragically unsold…
5:30pm now, and there’s 30 minutes sales time left. We all know what that means right? LAST MINUTE SALES MONTAGE! Alice slashes prices, Ashleigh yells, David sprints, Lucy Beauvallet points at things foppishly, Maria screams Max…folds things up and moves them about a bit. And the WETSUIT KIMONO is sadly shoved off in an “everything must go” sale, crumpled in the bottom of a wicker shopping bag, to a random guy in the street, for £40.
Genius was never appreciated in its time.
It’s time now for the part of the show where everyone gazes wistfully out of their Apprenticar window, hoping that they’ve won, and that if they have won, the treat isn’t something crap, like “laugh therapy” or “have a paint orgy”. That’s right, it’s time for the Bit Before The Boardroom. The strings are particularly yearning this week, even though it couldn’t be more obvious who’s won. Who’s going to be in the Boardroom if the girls lose? Lucy Beauvallet for being a weird? Navdeep for not knowing what a washing machine looks like?
Anyway, we skip the usual preamble, and get right into the kids sitting before Lordalan, and him telling them that this was really a very interesting task (it absolutely wasn’t) and he’s going to tell them how it was conceived. Was it that the producers have a big bag of things the candidates can potentially sell in Week One, and “Nana Alan’s old knickers” is what came out this time? NO, OF COURSE NOT! It’s because Lordalan was thinking about what he did when he was their age. Apparently he went around local textile factories, bought up all the leftover rags, then sold them on to the local rag & bone man. His name was Keith. Stinky Keith. Good times.
We next cover the always relevant matter of the team names. The girls announce that they are called Platinum, and Lordalan announces that when a piece of music sells one million copies (…maybe in America Al…) then it goes PLATNUM. DO THE GIRLS THINK THEY SOLD A MILLION IN THIS TASK? A million what? Set your terms Lordalan. The girls giggle nervously, and Ashleigh reveals herself as Project Manager when asked. She says that this happened because she works in a bridal shop with ” ‘aberdashery and design and that.” SO NORTHERN! I am have longed for the day when I heard the word “‘aberdashereh” come out of an Apprentice candidate.
We cover the first day’s events from the perspective of the girls team : Ashleigh, Lucy Beauvallet and Maria picking the clothes and Alice, Ashleigh and Navdeep washing them and nobody really knowing what happened to the other team whilst the one was working. Lordalan asks Team Navdeep if they’ve ever washed clothes before and Navdeep’s all “HA HA HA OF COURSE WE HAVE HA HA HA!”. I can’t wait until she has to lie about something important. Lordalan snarks at them, asking if they ever worked out which was the washing machine and which was the tumble drier, and Alice (whose purple Lady MP Jacket is doing her no favours) grins awkwardly and nods that they did. After they picked all the team’s socks out the fridge.
Ashleigh is asked if she gave any guidance on how the team could spend, and everyone has a bit of a laugh about how she is a tight fisted accountant type. Ashleigh says that she put her foot down where it needed to be put down, which was everywhere, all over everyone’s dreams of custom-fit rhinestone jeans. We also then briefly cover Amy’s contre-temps with that poor guy’s girlfriend in Westfields. It’s the only moment in the entire episode when Nick speaks, I think. Talking about sinful women brimming over with aggression and lusty jealousy. You don’t get that on Countdown. Amy admits she was a little OTT but hey, it worked.
“Good Team Leader?” gets a resoundingly positive response from Navdeep, who calls Ashleigh “cool, calm and collected”. On the other hand, Maria says that she did think Ashleigh was deficient in some minor respects, but otherwise she was GREAT, and because (SPOILERS!) the team wins, what a pity she never had to enumerate them. I bet she was DYING to. Ashleigh for her part said she got good support from her team. She may have made some decisions that it was “hard for them to understand” (STEALTH BITCH ZINGER!) but she thinks they’ll be positively reflected in the results.
Next we turn to the boys, and David says that he came up with “Odyssey”. Kaen smirks that it was a great name, but unfortunately David couldn’t spell it. Lordalan blusters that David is supposed to be some sort of PRIVATE TUTOR and he can’t even spell (one word). I mean, Lordalan’s spelling is crap, but he never put himself forward as no private tutor. How can you put yourself forward as a tutor when you can’t spell (one word). Eh, as long as it’s not a tutor of Classical Civ…and actually even then.
Patrick is identified as Project Manager, and he says he put himself forwards because he had the “most expertise” in this area. Somehow I think “flogging old kneesocks at a car-boot sale” is much closer to the worlds of several other candidates than it is to Patrick’s…Speaking of which, Lordalan asks Max why he didn’t become Project Manager, and he replies that he would have volunteered if Patrick hadn’t been so…enthusiastic. Honest he would have. We then cover how Patrick created WETSUIT KIMONO. Interestingly, Lordalan says “part of the task was to customise a number of items”. In the case of Platinum, that number was “zero”. Kaen pulls out a picture of WETSUIT KIMONO to show Lordalan. He dismisses it as something “not even Lady Gaga would wear”. Because Lordalan would know. When he was younger he used to go round all the local butchers, gather up all the leftover joints of meat, then sell them on to Elsie Brooks to wear as a fascinator. Halcyon days. Steven says it was a joy to watch Patrick create WETSUIT KIMONO, because he could “really see the clocks ticking in his head”. Cuckoo clocks maybe. Patrick brazens the debacle of WETSUIT KIMONO by saying that it attracted customers to their stall, so that was useful *shrug*
“Good Team Leader?” gets “decent, but not the best” from David, to which Patrick snarks that he was dealing with a bunch of STYLE-BLIND FASHION-DISASTERS, so he doesn’t know who would have been “the best”. So there.
Platinum spent £107 and sold £560, for a profit of £453
Odyssey spent £171 and sold £501 for a profit of £330
The girls gasp, Andrew pushes his eyes back into his face in cartoon despair, Sean’s hair looks even more aggrieved than the rest of him does, Amy gives Alice a reassuring shoulder pat and “Odyssey” are now officially Team Wetsuit Kimono for the rest of these recaps. I feel that beauty deserves never to be forgotten…
Lordalan credits Platinum’s win to Ashleigh’s tight-fisted accountancy, and the women are told that their reward is to go on a high-speed ride down the River Thames. The fact that James Bond is not mentioned once is a happy sign that the marketing drive for that load of old tut (THE BADDY’S A GAY IN THIS ONE!!!!!!!) thankfully isn’t as all-pervading as it seemed. Incidentally this makes it three series out of three where the girls team has beat the boys one at selling. And James remains the only winning male PM in Junior Apprentice history.
WETSUIT KIMONO are then sent off to discuss amongst themselves what they just did, because one of them’s about to be fired. Hint : it’s the overeducated one who spent the whole day hiding behind the van, folding things. But, you know, discuss away anyway.
The girls now are embarking on their exciting thrill-ride down the River Thames, with adequate time given to the necessary safety demonstration. I’m glad that was shown, as I was worried about the girls safety, and it made for FASCINATING TELLY.
Anyway, the girls bomb down the River Thames on a particularly grey looking day, squealing as they go. For the record, it seems that Maria and Lucy Beauvallet are the MOST squealy, along with Alice, although I’ll forgive Alice somewhat given that her face is literally cms away from the Thames at all points. On the other hand though, you’d think that would only encourage you to keep your mouth shut… Ashleigh is the most composed, and Amy is girlishly enthusiastic throughout. Ride over, Maria grins that she really felt the adrenaline rush, and Ashleigh smirks that the girls have got a taste for victory now, and that won’t be their last.
She’s kind of terrifying, and by far my favourite already.
Loser Cafe now, and we see the boys enter, solemnly. Sadly we don’t see what they’re drinking, so we don’t know who has the infamous Junior Apprentice Poison Coke. Andrew interviews that he feels a bit disappointed, and it shows. They all tried their best, but something clearly went wrong. That being WETSUIT KIMONO. Back at the table, Patrick calls Max out for not really doing anything, despite supposedly being leader of the sub-team, and Max blusters that he was the person who organised the “boot fair” (oh Max) and he made sure that everything was off the “truck”. Yes, for SIX HOURS. I can only imagine him wedged in the van, occasionally calling out “well I can’t see any more t-shirts guys, but you can’t be sure!”. Max interviews that he doesn’t think he did a perfect job on the task, but he did a good one. Yes, at FOLDING.
Sean next tells Patrick that he thinks the team lost because he overspent on the tailoring, then didn’t manage to sell the things that he overspent ON. Sean’s subtitle is “Award-Winning Publisher” which makes me laugh for some reason. Did he get a poem published in Bunty? Patrick replies that he had a double-burden – Project Managing, and teaching all the other boys about fashion because none of them knew. Or…needed to know? He interviews that if he hadn’t have been the Project Manager, then the team wouldn’t even have had anything to sell. Yeah…that sounds feasible. I can only picture David and Steven returning to the other boys crying “we didn’t select anything because we found trousers really CONFUUUUUUUSSSSSINGGGGGGG!”
Boardroom time now. As the candidates wait, Steven cradles his head in his hand, David wrings his palms together, and Sean’s hair ponders just jacking this whole show in and joining Union J like Simon Cowell offered it.
The candidates are ushered in, and the first thing that Lordalan hoots is that he hopes everyone realises that this was not a design task, this was a task about making BLAHDDY MONEY. Patrick says that, with hindsight (or the foresight to watch the show before you appear on it), he would have focused less on the design and creativity part of the task, and more on the pricing and selling. He takes on board the fact that they didn’t sell any of his tailored creations, but he doesn’t think that’s why they lost. Lordalan asks him if he understands, as a fashion designer, the value of designer labels, and Patrick replies that he does – and he put all the designer label clothes in the back marked for the shopping centre. I’m not sure what Lordalan’s point there was and…I guess neither does he, because he just goes back to ragging on WETSUIT KIMONO. Patrick protests, again, that WESUIT KIMONO brought people in to the stall at Westfields, even if it didn’t sell. David breaks in, snorting “what’s the point of attracting customers? We were supposed to be selling to them!”. I’m sure that sounded smarter in his head then it did coming out of his mouth. Or at least…I hope it did.
Next we cover Patrick’s decision to abandon Westfield at peak time in order to potter around Brick Lane trying to offload Patrick’s wacky abominations. So obviously WETSUIT KIMONO did more than just be an eye-catching frontpiece, it actively bombed the task for them. Patrick admits that he was hoping to find someone to buy WETSUIT KIMONO in Brick Lane yes. David, rather smugly, says that he was selling even whilst Patrick and Steven were packing up, because he could see that it was going to be the peak selling hours. If you look at how much he was selling Lordalan, he alone would have made more money if they’d stayed at Westfields than the £40 panic-sell Patrick made at the end of the day. Lordalan merrily siezes this chance to puncture David’s ego, pointing out that he didn’t sell as much as Steven. The sales figures were : Steven – £107 , David – £85, Patrick – £57, Andrew – £53, Sean – £40, Max – £14.
(This adds up to £356 incidentally. Which is neither their sales figure nor their profit figure. And it also doesn’t tell us who that £40 bag got attributed to. LOL AT THIS SHOW AND ITS NUMBERS)
Lordalan asks Max why he was so bad at selling, and Max protests that he wasn’t BAD at selling. He wasn’t selling AT ALL. Yeah, that defence is going to fly. His role was “director”, dealing with the (stationary) van all day. Lordalan gruffs that the boys actually beat the girls at the boot-sale, but they nearly took double the amount the boys did at Westfield. Probably as they spent nearly double the amount of time there. Steven points this out, saying that clearly their mistake was leaving Westfields too early, something that Kaen agrees with. They probably should have taken the hint from the fact that they were actually having to struggle to get out. And only partially because security at the door treated WETSUIT KIMONO as a bomb-threat.
Sean is asked his opinion as to what went wrong, and he replies that it was Patrick and Max’s faults. Patrick for the pricing and tailoring, and Max for not selling. If he’d come out and matched SEAN’S AMAZING SALES FIGURES, they would have been a “lot lot” closer to the girls. You would have been £26 closer Sean. Let’s not go crazy.
It’s time for Patrick to select two people to return to the Boardroom with him. He chooses Max, because he’s the biggest sitting duck of all time, and David, because he’s annoying. Candidates are sent out, Kaen calls Max a CHAMPION FOLDER, candidates come back in again.
We start with Patrick being asked why Max was brought back to the Boardroom. Is this a thing that really needs doing? He sold £14 worth of merchandise, and all he did on either day was fold jeans. Anyway, Patrick says that he thinks that Max’s role as chief van-unloader didn’t warrant the amount of time he devoted to it, and this contributed to them “not making as much money as they could have done”. I think it’s very smart of Patrick to say that, rather than what most candidates would say, which is “losing the task”. For all everyone is saying all boardroom that Max is very articulate, Patrick easily seems to be the one with the best debating style.
Max then lies that he would have LOVED to have spent the day selling at a car-boot sale, HONEST. He would have found it a lot easier (than folding things) and a lot more enjoyable. But SOMEBODY NEEDED TO MOVE THE NOVELTY DAFFY DUCK TIES AROUND SO THEY MADE CHRONOLOGICAL SENSE, AND ANDREW CERTAINLY WASN’T DOING IT. Patrick points out that it was a table at a car-boot sale, not Harrods. This should have taken Max half an hour at most, not all freaking day. Lordalan asks Max if he was responsible for the failure of the task, and he says that he wasn’t. Because…he wasn’t. He’s then asked whose fault it was, and Max identifies Patrick. Because…he was. For the overspend on design, and also for moving from Westfields too early. Patrick, naturally, disagrees. David also states that it was all Patrick’s fault, for the same reasons.
It’s time now to run down Patrick’s CV, which actually says “I have the perfect balance between being creative and being a businessperson.” D’oof. It also says that he listens to the opinions of others. Double D’oof. Lordalan then discusses with Patrick the importance of money in business. Because he thinks Patrick doesn’t really recognise that. Patrick protests that he only spent so much on the tailored items because he was hoping they would attract people to the stall, and Lordalan points out again that they didn’t sell anyway.
David’s CV is covered next, specifically how he treats men like dogs and manipulates them to do his bidding. It all sounds very Blonde Assassin. David protests that the men on this task DID act like dogs – they didn’t know what they were doing and were incredibly disorganised. He blames Patrick, for not treating everyone else like dirt. Clearly he is not cut out for the “business industry”. Lordalan points out that Patrick actually appears to be doing rather well in the “business industry”, having sold over £1000 worth of his clothes, and securing industry funding. What’s David done? According to David : “If you look at my CV, I’m doing numerous things”. Well that settles it. Patrick protests that he SO does numerous things as well. Everyone here has done numerous things.
I am in awe! When I was 16, I was mostly doing just the one thing.
Patrick then starts in on David, saying that he obviously has preconceptions about him because he “does fashion” and so David clearly thinks he can be pushed around. Well WATCH OUT!
Patrick : You’re RIDICULOUS, and just blindly saying that everything I did was wrong!
David : No I didn’t!
Patrick : You just said I was responsible for the failure of the task!
David : You were! That doesn’t mean you did EVERYTHING wrong!
Lordalan : What did he do right?
David : Erm……
Begging time now, and Max is asked why he should stay given that he appears to be a thinker rather than a doer. Max says it’s easy to think he wasn’t doing anything, because he was “very quiet” but he was doing stuff, honest, and he was doing it well. Those creases were so NEAT. Patrick is asked who should leave, and he selects Max. Max blusters that if there had been a THEME he would have done much better. Patrick points out that the clothes were in fact a ton of shit. Good luck picking a “theme” out of that.
Patrick is the fire-teasing, because, you know, he was entirely responsible for the failure of the task, but the actual firing in the end is of COURSE Max, because Lordalan thinks he’s meant for other things. I’m sure he’ll be Health Secretary by 2014. He thanks Lordalan for the opportunity, which he made the most of by standing there folding things, and departs. The other go after him, and Max gives them both an awkward handshake and pat on the back, his total inability to make eye-contact with anyone a constant. In his LIMO OF SHAME, he says that he hopes that this isn’t the end of his business life. He’s going to use all the lessons he’s learnt in his short time in the process. Whatever that is. Do stuff. Occasionally.
Back at the house, Sean’s hair is ring-leadering the discussion as to who will be coming back. Navdeep really hopes that Patrick will come back, but she doubts it will happen. Andrew says it will be Max leaving, because his management was shaky (and also non-existent). Sean believes himself that it will definitely be him or David who leaves. The effing SCREAMING that the girls do when Patrick returns is quite something to behold. It’s like BEATLEMANIA happening over Alan Bennett. They all run up to hug him, trampling David in the stampede. Someone’s just found himself 6 Strong Hags. He gushes that it was the most INTENSE experience he’s ever had in his life as Navdeep fans herself. He declares that he is NOT going through that again, then points at the girls and says “SO YOU ARE!”. Alice pulls a SCANDALISED face. She loves a sassy gay. But then again…who doesn’t?
Next week : candidates have to produce a cookery book. Can’t wait for Navdeep to try to cook Beef Wellington in a bread-bin.