I got 99 items but a candelabrum ain’t one, HIT IT!
6am and in the twilight world of the Apprentibabies mansion, the phone rings. The ringtone sounds unnervingly like a clown massacre. I think the kids may have hacked into the system, in which case you can probably expect it to sound like one of Steven’s farts in a couple of weeks’ time. Anyway, picking up the second point in Phone Answering Wars is Navdeep who briefly struggles to find the “answer button”. Frankly we should all heave a sigh of relief she didn’t rush to answer the dishwasher. This leaves our current scores as
Lucy Beauvallet : 1
Navdeep : 1
Slackers : 0
The disembodied voice at the other end tells her that Lordalan would like to meet the candidates at the Coliseum, and that the cars will be there in 25 minutes. Navdeep rushes off to inform everyone of the news, interrupting Steven in the middle of his breakfast of a giant tube of BBQ flavour Pringles. I see spending last week’s task of preparing student meals prepared him well. Sadly, nobody really takes the bait that this is going to be the Apprentibabies first ever FORRUN TASK, with Andrew getting the closest (after inhaling half a can of hairspray), muttering that he thinks the Coliseum is some sort of stadium or something. You can tell none of these kids grew up in Coventry, where the Coliseum was the name of the biggest nightclub, and the task would probably be to see who could go the longest without seeing somebody giving somebody else a blowjob. Then again, at 16 and 17 these children are FAR TOO OLD to be trying to get into the Coliseum.
Our brief montage of getting-readyness shows us that Lucy Beauvallet has attached twinkly little light-up stars to her dressing-mirror, Steven continues to be the worst dressed person in this, or any other edition of the show, and Alice’s transformation into Sally Bercow continues apace. Meanwhile, Ashleigh, David and Patrick (black velvet blazer, metal studded grey shirt, blue chinos) are holding a breakfast crisis conference over some Activia yoghurt. David is worried that Lordalan told him off last week for not speaking enough, so this week he’s going to speak ALL THE TIME. Yeah, that’ll work. What a random collection of people as well. Are they an alliance now? I hope so.
After a brief jaunt in the Apprenticars, it turns out that the Coliseum mentioned earlier is in fact the London theatre, home of the English National Opera. Everyone files into the stalls, whilst Lordalan and his advisers wait up in the Gods, staring down at them all, trying to look menacing. Kaen to be fair, does look faintly Valkyrian. Nick’s just emphasising all his chins. He fills the kids in on the Coliseum’s killer opera rep, and tells them that in order to put on these great operas, they need singers, actors, musicians, and a set. Fortunately what they don’t need is anybody to watch the bloody things, because opera sustains itself entirely on its own self-satisfaction. That and, y’know, grants and stuff. And guess what? The kids are going to be going out and building those sets which comprise in this instance of…10 items!
That’s right, it’s the 10 Items Task – our semi-regular Kafkaesque day long panic attack of a task, where everything you do is liable to get fined for some reason and if you acknowledge the existence of the Internet in any way, production has a shit-fit and makes you sit with a bag over your head for two hours until you’re suitably reprogrammed. This task broke past winners Simon, Stella and even Tim a bit. It’s also a bugger to recap, because it’s mostly just shots of people either ringing up wholesalers or just running around doing a mental. Really they should have retired it after Chris Bates made it his bitch, but if they INSIST on doing it again…
Anyway, Lordalan tells everyone that really the task is a matter of negotiation and bartering and getting the right items for the right price (/shutting your eyes, pointing, and hoping you don’t get fined for using the wrong finger). Oh and getting back in time. And also making sure you get AT LEAST A PENNY OFF! A PENNY! The winners will be the team that buy the 10 items for the lowest amount of money. After all the random fines have been hurled about like confetti that is. To balance the genders up a bit, it’s also time for another reshuffle, with David going Platinum, and Alice and Navdeep both squeezing themselves into Wetsuit Kimono. For those without a photographic mind, the teams are now :
Platinum : Amy, Ashleigh, David, Lucy Beauvallet, Steven
Wetsuit Kimono : Alice, Andrew, Maria, Navdeep, Patrick
So that’s that. Lordalan asks if everything’s clear (it never is with this task) and he’ll see them back in the boardroom tomorrow.
Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that with over 200 performances a year, the producers of the English National Opera need plenty of props. At least it feels a bit more organic in this task that there has to be two of everything, as opposed to when the teams were SAVING THE SAVOY or whatever it was. The teams have eight hours to find and buy these ten items, three of which will be taken up with them wondering what a Yellow Pages is. Before all that though, the teams have to choose leaders.
On Platinum, David puts himself forward first, well aware that he has to make a big splash this week or he might find himself joining the ranks of Joy Stefanicki and Alex Britez Cabral. “Who?” you might say. Well…exactly. He tells everyone that he thinks the only reason he’s been in the boardroom twice so far is because he hasn’t been PM yet. Yeah…that’ll be it. Everyone stares in mute awe at David’s ego, and Steven breaks the silence by offering to do it instead. Lucy Beauvallet grins that Steven’s really good at organising, so that’s why he has her vote. That, and because of the rude drawing that he’d done of Ashleigh, Amy and Alice that he showed to her after the last boardroom. The ensuing vote goes to Steven unanimously, and David resigns himself to another week of being sadly let down by everyone else around him. Sigh.
Steven interviews that when he’s on a team he likes to know what job he’s doing, when he’s doing it, and how he’s doing it, and that’s why he’s making himself Project Manager. Because on this show, it’s the only way you’ll know. He keeps Ashleigh for himself, and then tells Lucy Beauvallet that she can lead the subteam. Lucy beams merrily like a cartoon cheerleader being told she’s going to of the human pyramid, before… Steven immediately changes his mind and decides David can be boss instead, seeing as how he wanted to be Project Manager. What was that about everyone knowing what job they’re supposed to be doing? Lucy looks PISSED OFF, Steven’s entire last week of having her back washed away in 2 seconds flat. We then revisit that DELIGHTFUL interview from David where he drag-queens about treating men like the dogs that they are. We then get to hear the second half of the interview, which is David’s Thoughts On Managing Women. You will be unsurprised to learn that it involves a lot of flirting and smiling and buying them chocolates and letting them have a 30 minute crying break if they’re on their period. The show then IMMEDIATELY cuts to Amy, practically yelling “NOPE!” as it does so. He calls Lucy Beauvallet and Amy “the ladieeeez” within five seconds of being officially appointed. He is so dead.
Over on Wetsuit Kimono, Andrew is elect leader with minimum of fuss. This pairing of competing PMs GUARANTEES we will have a new inductee into the club of winning male Apprentibaby Project Managers. The club currently consisting of…erm…James. What illustrious company. Andrew grins to everyone that he wants to win SO BAD and he knows he can lead his team to the promised land. He then immediately sets Alice to task looking for 50g of 100% human authentic brown human hair (Item 1). It has to be 18 inches long as well, so no cheating of the downstairs variety thank you very much ladies. Navdeep is tasked with finding some red velvet (Item 2), whilst he himself gets set on tracking down a German manufactured second-hand car, coupe or saloon, aged between 1980 and the year 2000. (Item 3) Rounding the team off, Patrick is asked to find some boots (BECAUSE HE IS GAY AND LOVES BOOTS) (Item 4) and Maria with looking for a cash register (BECAUSE SHE IS COLD HARD AND MERCENARY TO HER VERY CORE) (Item 5)
I swear these items never used to be this specific. It always used to be “get a hat” or “have your teeth whitened” not having to track down the providence of every single spurt of a cow’s udder. I’m surprised they haven’t specified that the human hair be that of a virgin, just to be EXTRA CWEEPY.
Alice gets on the phone to wig-merchants, whilst Andrew ponders allowed what “votives” (Item 6) are, pronouncing it “voh-teevs” and thus getting his Mrs Bucket on for the opera task without even realising it. Nobody knows. He interviews that he’s going to refuse to leave until he has a lead for at least one item. Well yes…that would be a start. Maria gets on with looking for another one of her items – two taxidermied rats (Item 7), and finding someone wondering if she’s looking for taxi driver rats. In London, you ARE never more than five feet away from one.
Meanwhile, over on Platinum, Steven is splitting the ten items up so that everyone is hunting for two a-piece. Ashleigh says she’ll take the car and the velvet, over which Steven mutters that he wants to do the car. Again, really clear about who is doing what there. In the ongoing discussion, two more items are revealed. A black plastic chain (Item 8) and a candelabrum (Item 9). Everyone on Platinum expressed confusion as to what a candelabrum is, and also, similarly to Wetsuit Kimono, what votives are. Not even Lucy Beauvallet knows what a candelabrum is, and to be honest, I can’t see her room being decorated with anything but. Ashleigh wonders if maybe a candelabrum is something that goes in a car or a washing machine. Yeah, the two are pretty much interchangeable.
Well, the probably are for Navdeep.
We close on everyone saying “candelabrum” over and over again, because let’s face it, it’s just a fun word to say, before Steven decides that it’s OBVIOUSLY a type of drum. Lucy Beauvallet suggests that everybody leave now, because she’s getting bored of trying to work this silly word out, and besides Steven’s been noble(/mad) enough to assign this item to himself to research anyway. Steven agrees, dispatching both subteams off to find the items without any ringing round having yet been done. Cue a lot of baffled ringing round in cars, whilst Wetsuit Kimono do a lot of baffled ringing round inside the theatre…
After a lot of riding, and a lot of frustration, and a lot of “candelabrum”, the first real hit of the day is scored by Lucy Beauvallet who finds someone who will sell her a 4ft olive tree (Item 10). Amy slaps her knees in delight. As the team pull up to their garden-centre retailer, David tells his LADIEEEEZ how the negotiating is going to go. Lucy Beauvallet is going to go in there, stick her boobs out, and “flirt her way to success”. Lucy Beauvallet sighs that she’s not sure she can do that, as she yanks at her top to make it cling to her chest as tightly as possible. Once they’re inside, Lucy Beauvallets flirting technique seems to be chewing her lip, looking confused, and then asking a man for help. So…you know, about what you’d expect. The man in charge asks her what sort of olive tree she’d like – “standard, lollipop, or bush?” to which she replies “erm…I don’t know…both of them?” in an incredibly Marilyn Monroe fashion. Such a star.
The guy who runs the garden centre takes Lucy Beauvallet round the back so she can look at his olive lollipop and she flicks her hair and smiles that it looks REALLY nice but it’s also REALLY expensive *bites lip*. David then clumps in making the subtext text and asks for a discount. The garden centre guy then loses it in spectacularly embarrassing “I AM ON THE APPRENTICE, MAKING A POINT!” style, and storms off screaming about how he’s going to ask all his staff to TAKE A DISCOUNT ON THEIR WAGES! IT’LL BE NO GOOSE FOR TINY TIM THIS CHRISTMAS, BECAUSE SOME APPRENTICE CANDIDATES WOULDN’T TAKE MY PRICE AS READ! Amy then clomps after him, moving in her heels with all the grace of a tighthead prop on his stag do, yelling “COME BACK!”. Well this is tragic.
Lucy Beauvallet of course saves the day by siren-songing him back, then wheedling seductively that she’s noticed a little sign saying “10% of houseplants” and gosh *adjusts bra-strap so it’s definitely showing* could they maybe agree that an olive tree is a houseplant? Garden Centre Guy hilariously gives in to his mid-life crisis and Lucy Beauvallet’s long golden hair and agrees, although not without David tromping all over the sale not really getting what Lucy Beauvallet is doing, just droning “COME ON, WE’RE DESPERATE!”. Worst wingman ever. Oh and at the end Amy stomps in honking “YOU SURE YOU CAN’T MAKE IT 13%? WITH A FACE LIKE THIS? *juts jaw out harder than ever*” to which Garden Centre Guy looks positively repulsed.
That whole scene was amazing.
Afterwards in the car, David makes sure to grind Amy’s face into that whole mess even more, by telling her that she shouldn’t get her mental hair and natural witchiness all over beautiful Lucy Beauvallet’s hypnotic ingenue act, completely ignoring the fact that he was doing the same thing but ten times worse. Amy protests that Lucy Beauvallet did still close the sale and David basically just tells her to keep shut up for the duration. In interview, Amy says that if she were to liken her business persona to any animal, it would be to a lion or tiger, because those are both the aggressive mental animals who kill villagers.
Meanwhile, Wetsuit Kimono are still ringing around from the bowels of the Coliseum and Andrew and Maria’s already fraying relationship is about to snap clean in two. She disinterestedly asks if Islington is in London, then asks Andrew if they can PLEASE LEAVE NOW. Andrew’s hushes her, telling her that he’s almost found his second-hand car, and they’re close to getting lots of the other items as well. Maria snots that they’ve found TWO vendors, and they don’t even know where they are. Alice pipes up to say that she doesn’t even know where she is now, and Patrick gingerly points to her map. Maria then yells that Andrew NEEDS TO PICK AN AREA OF LONDON WHERE THEY’RE GOING TO FIND ALL THE SHOPS, AND HE NEEDS TO PICK IT NOW. Andrew shrugs that he doesn’t know London, so he’s not going to make that decision yet. In interview, Maria seethes that Andrew isn’t providing the clear consistent direction that she’s used to – ie, he’s not just doing everything she says like Sean did. Back in the room she and Andrew continue to snap at one another like Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (“WELL AT LEAST I’VE GOT AN ADDRESS!” “YOU’RE SO IMMATURE!”) whilst Navdeep, Patrick and Alice all sit around awkwardly and wait for when the dead baby is going to be hauled out.
On the Platinum A-Team, Steven and Ashleigh are in East London, in a street of discount shops, looking for their red velvet. They find a tiny shop selling it for £9.95 a metre, but Steven negotiates the price down to £6.00 a metre with a small degree of charm, as the shop-owner does the usual “THAT’S MY MARGIN! YOU’RE BLEEDING ME DRY!” shuffle. Emboldened, Steven tries to convert this small victory into a larger one, by asking the shop-owner if he knows what a candelabrum is. He does not. Kaen pulls a face in order to indicate that she very definitely does. It’s what they used to use to light up St Andrew’s when she was MD at Birmingham City. Steven then spots a wig shop in the same street, and once in there, Ashleigh negotiates a price of £37.50 for a £40 wig. What a bargain.
Once they’re back in the car, Steven rings his subteam, beaming his face off “just to give them a quick update” of all the good things he’s just done. Lucy Beauvallet grins that she’s also managed a great deal – 10% off an olive tree with a final price of £56. At Lucy Beauvallet’s perkiness, Ashleigh folds her arms across her bosom in a VERY Northern manner indeed. She knows exactly what Lucy Beauvallet did to get that discount, and she is NOT impressed.
Wetsuit Kimono now and…we are officially three hours in to an eight hour task, and the team still has no strong leads. In fact Patrick is still very slowly explaining to everyone that they are in LONDON, and you can see that on the map HERE. He’s ramming his biro right through London’s West-End, and making a lovely snail pattern over the South Bank. Nick interviews a touch snarkily that Patrick is the only one who has really paid any attention to the important matter of location, which is such bs because we saw Maria YELLING about it not three minutes ago. Still, I guess she hasn’t got her crayons out yet. Slowly, eventually, the leads start to come, as Patrick directs traffic. Navdeep gets a heads up for red velvet and the second-hand car, and Maria finds her cash register. Andrew at this points tilts back in his chair, hands behind his head, all “job done” and tells everyone that they now have four items, as someone at some point in there also found some hair. Possibly down the side of a radiator. He does appreciate that they now have to go out and BUY them yes?
He nominates himself and Alice to go off and be the roaming team, whilst Navdeep, Maria, and Patrick all stay in the sweaty opera den and keep on grinding out leads. He gets Navdeep and Alice’s assent, doesn’t even bother to poke at a glowering Maria, and finally gets Patrick on board, with the latter dead-panning that he supposes he’d better stay and generate leads, as the team still have six items to find. Oh Patrick. So put-upon. He hasn’t even had a costume change this episode yet.
Andrew and Alice…TAKE TO THE ROAD! And with them out of the room, Patrick and Maria immediately pal up and start bitching about them both. Andrew was rubbish, Andrew didn’t lead, Alice smells of chicken-feed etc etc. Navdeep meanwhile just sits in the corner and gets on with her work. Such a good girl. I hope she turns out to be an EPIC CAR-CRASH of a Project Manager out of nowhere or something. Alice and Andrew’s first stop is at “Toni Textiles” in order to purchase their red velvet. Andrew gets quoted an initial price of £6.50 per metre, but opts to play the teasy-weasy game instead, telling Mr Toni Textiles that he’s going off to scout around for a better deal elsewhere. Alice shrugs and says “it’s up to you dude”. Alice saying “dude” is so far my number-two highlight of the week. The soundtrack cues up Flight Of The Bumblebee, as Alice and Andrew sprint up and down the street looking for a better price, and lying WANTONLY to all the shopkeepers they find about what all the others were offering. Such an inspiration. They finally get their red velvet for £4.70 a metre, which totals to £70.50. Helpful Stirring Voiceover Man points out that this is £20 less than Steven paid. Meow.
Andrew and Alice then also find that London’s wig and red velvet districts are uncannily close together (I bet there’s a LOT of funny-looking drag-queens in that particular corner of East London), with Alice picking up a wig for £36, down from an initial price of £38. As it stands, Wetsuit Kimono do seem to be marginally getting the better end of these deals.
The Wetsuit Kimono B-Team however, are still stuck in the basement, poking away at their phones. They do, at least, as a team, appear to know what a candelabrum is (I bet that was Patrick) as Maria noisily complains that she can’t locate any antiques shops. In London? Really? Maybe they’re all just calling themselves “vintage” now. The three of them decide between them that they really need to leave, and soon, but none of them summon up the courage to call Andrew about this.
As the Minute Waltz plays, David & THE LADIEEEEZ are on the hunt for a cash-till in Platinum Apprenticar B. Amy gets a lead, and promises the guy on the phone that they’ll be there in half an hour. London traffic does appear to be being unusually kind to these kids. As Amy tries to get the particulars of the address of the shop over the phone, David tries to get her to clarify things as she goes along, because she seems to be mishearing a lot. This prompts Amy to flap and tic and swear at David repeatedly as Lucy Beauvallet shudders and stares out the window. As soon as she’s off the phone, David passive-aggressives to Amy that when someone is trying to help her she should accept it graciously and Lucy Beauvallet huffs that she really didn’t appreciate all the swearing and fighting and could everyone please be nice to one-another please? She has more tragic middle-aged men to seduce and destroy before the day is out, and this is NOT HELPING HER ZEN. Of course Amy and David ignore her utterly and argue with one another using various comedy voices. David interviews that he thinks he’s doing a really good job of steering his team, particularly in his dealings with Amy, who appears to be a “short-tempered woman”. Just tell her arse looks nice in that skirt David, that’ll sort it RIGHT OUT. Amy for her part sits chewing her fingernails and growling with mad hair, like some sort of 1960s right-wing cartoon of a dirty feminist agitator. Lucy Beauvallet for her part interviews that she thought last week was bad, but at least then she had Navdeep and Steven with her and she got to do some therapeutic baking. There’s no escape when you’re stuck in a car with David and Amy.
This little dysfunctional family then arrive at the shop that they just identified, and Amy’s attempts to flirt (twitching around like Siobhan Fahey in the video for Shakespear’s Sisters “Stay”) result in a discount of £20, taking their cash register down to a very reasonable £150. Once the negotiation is done, Lucy Beauvallet asks the man who runs the cash register shop if he knows what a candelabrum is. He does not. He does, however, have a jukebox if Lucy Beauvallet wants one. Lucy Beauvallet edges slowly out the room…
Mid-afternoon now, and both teams are pondering the biggest item on the list (and also clearly SPOILERS : the one which the entire task will hinge on as a result) – the second-hand car. As if this task couldn’t get more arcane, Helpful Voiceover Man clarifies that the car must be capable of being driven back to the Coliseum theatre by…I dunno, Nick probably. He’s not doing much else. Steven and Ashleigh are sat poring over an Exchange & Mart, wondering if “Suzuki” counts as German or not. Probably not. Kaen interviews despairingly that this sort of procrastination will never do in a 10 Items Task. Run around as quickly as possible! This is/is not a Scavenger Hunt after all! Eventually, without an appointment, they decide to drive south-west. Whether this is to any particular end is not entirely clear.
On the way, they ring up the other subteam, and Steven tells them that he’s considering just binning in looking for the car altogether. Lucy Beauvallet, clearly with her eye on the ball, tells them to keep on “going for the car” making it unwittingly sound a bit like they’re on Bullseye. Unwittingly because I’m sure Lucy Beauvallet has no idea what Bullseye is. Or darts. Or livestock. Amy chips in to tell Ashleigh and Steven that they should have use that copy of Exchange & Mart they’ve got, to which Ashleigh offers a particularly withering and Northern “because we’ve not already!” in return. Mollified, Steven says that he and Ashleigh will keep on looking for the rats, the car, the votives and the candelabrum. Whatever that is. Once he hangs up, he realises that that means his subteam of 2 will have gone for 6 items to the other subteam of 3’s 4 items. Doesn’t seem fair does it?
At the same time, Andrew and Alice have found their car-dealer, and are in the middle of negotiating for a vintage Mercedes Benz complete with a discarded fag in the ashtray direct from 1987. They do a brief inspection of the engine (dodgy), the bodywork (rusted), the paintwork (scratched, chipped and dented) and surmise that it is worth about £500. The owner however believes it to be worth no less than £800, so Andrew indulged in some classic Apprentice “let’s meet in the middle” action, and offers £650 and it gets…accepted? Wow. They ACTUALLY met in the actual middle. That happens so rarely on this show.
3pm now Helpful Voiceover Man surmises that Wetsuit Kimono have bought 3 items and spent £757, whereas Platinum have bought 4 items and spent £334. Of course, they haven’t bought the car yet. Although they do at least have all the members of their team on the road, whereas Navdeep, Maria and Patrick are still sat in the basement at the Coliseum. After 5 hours of ringing round though, they’ve FINALLY HIT PAYDIRT! SOMEONE KNOWS WHAT VOTIVES ARE! AND SELLS THEM! AND ALSO CANDELABRUMS! Maria practically leaps out of her seat with excitement and promises to be there within half an hour. She stomps out of the theatre after six hours of task time, clutching the map with Navdeep and Patrick trailing in her wake, Navdeep holding a briefcase and Patrick holding…everything else. About 7 yellow pages and an Exchange & Mart, bless him.
In their Apprenticar, Navdeep worries that Andrew’s going to be annoyed with them having only found two more items, but Patrick hoots that Andrew & Alice have done nothing but follow his leads and his knowledge of London geography all day. Navdeep giggles that that is true. Maria nods vigorously and adds that it’s not as though this subteam has been doing nothing all day! They were a HIVE of activity. Most of it bitching about Andrew but still…ACTIVITY! Once at their destination, Navdeep negotiates £55 worth of votive and candelabrum down to £40 just by saying “that’s our budget, we have to stick to it” over and over again. Again that…never normally works. These shopkeepers are going soft.
The other half of Wetsuit Kimono (I’m guessing they’re the wetsuit part – more practical, if less flamboyantly attired) on the other hand are tracking down a cash register. Both team reluctance to spend time in the world of taxidermy rats if palpable. Alice has located a dealer in Enfield, which Andrew dismisses as far too far away. He just wants to drive around aimlessly hoping to bump into a cash register shop. Yes, that’s a plan that always works. Alice spies an office supplies warehouse, but unfortunately they only have a normal cash register, not an electronic one, and apparently that matters. She pulls many grimace-faces to extract herself as quickly as possible. Andrew rings up the subteam, and they yell at him for not understanding London like Patrick understands London. He SO could have made it to Enfield in time! Or he could have just sent them, because since they visited that one shop, they’ve done literally sod all. Andrew wafts them off with a dull “keep looking guys!”. Navdeep, Patrick and Maria all agree between them that Andrew is a BAD Project Manager, which…he is, but he’s also by far the best person on the team at the actual task so…sucks to be them.
Towards the end of the day now, and Steven and Ashleigh are heading towards Croydon, looking for a car dealership. They spot a likely looking location, but unfortunately the vintage German car they find in stock is of the right type and age and shade and smell and all that rot, but is not fully taxed. The owner of the shop tries to use his contacts to drum up something else for them, but it turns out that it’s far too late in the day now. Ashleigh huffs that the car part of the challenge has been really HARD, and turns her attention back to working out what the bloody hell a candelabrum is, as Steven sadly orders his driver to take them back to the Coliseum.
With 45 minutes left to go, David & THE LADIEEEZ are looking for their army boots. With a last-second gasp of inspiration, David has found some! Sadly they are in Gloucester. He thinks it still might be worth it though. Then, with another last-second GASP OF INSPIRATION, Lucy Beauvallet has also found some army boots. These are in London, and only about 10 minutes away from the team’s current location. David and Amy debate between themselves as to which of them get to use their sexy powers of sex on the shop owner, and in the end it turns out to be David’s turn…for all of about 5 seconds before Lucy Beauvallet mercifully swoops in to save us all the embarrassment, getting the £500 worth of boots down to £400. On their way out, David asks if the clothes shop also sells banalellos. The owner asks if he means bandanas. Lucy Beauvallet clarifies that of COURSE he doesn’t mean bandanas, he means BANDELLA DRUMS. And it doesn’t matter now anyway, as they only have 20 minutes to make it back to the Coliseum.
For all his talk of flirting and charming women, David certainly manages to forget to hold the door open for the ones holding all the shoes and task materials and folders and folders of information on the pointless petty fines they’re all about to get. Juss sayin.
In the car on the way back, Lucy Beauvallet says she was so so sorry to break in on David’s negotiation, but he was taking far too long, and also not being nearly sexy enough. Amy chips in to say “you were STUPIDLY slow” in a pointlessly vindictive manner, which sparks another pokey row between her and David, prompting Lucy Beauvallet to sigh that they are both simply IMPOSSIBLE. It was never like this at Mallory Towers. Amy snaps back that Lucy Beauvallet is really NAGGY and that, so she better not get to thinking she’s Little Miss Perfect or anything. Humph.
15 minutes left to go now, and Andrew & Alice really are cutting it pointlessly fine in pursuit of an electronic cash register. They mug some pokey little boutique with a spare cash register, and the women in charge is so ridiculously disinterested in having anything to do with them that they stand there like lemons for a good minute or two before just running out again. All of Andrew’s theatrical watch-checks have no effect, so he has to give the place up as a bad lot, clearly in utter disbelief that people don’t find him fascinating enough to give up serving customers to speak to him. What’s not to love? He’s a tiny little child-man in an adult man’s suit! COME ON!
This done, all of Wetsuit Kimono are converging back on the Coliseum, with the subteam bitching about Andrew all the way. Unfortunately for Platinum, they’re a little bit less on the ball with regards to getting back, and the subteam in particular are clearly far too far away to make it back on time. Lucy Beauvallet kvetches (again, clearly the smartest of the bunch on this task) that it was ALL ABOUT THE CAR. People should have been allocated certain items to hunt for, and it just didn’t happen. Steven for his part mutters angrily about how David has clearly led his team astray by just rushing off too far away without thinking about it. Oh Steven, that would require David to have actually DONE anything on this task which, for the second week in a row, he hasn’t. Although he was certainly noisier this week, I’ll give him that.
0 minutes remaining, and all the teams are arriving at the Coliseum, with Andrew running slap-bang into some semi-reasoned bitching from Navdeep backed up by Maria yelling “STUPID! STUPID! BAD MANAGEMENT! STUPID!” whilst stood behind her, like the Apprentice tie-in cuckoo clock that sadly never was. On Platinum, Steven’s subteam makes it back but sadly David’s…does not. Oh well.
BUYING 10 ITEMS ENDS!
All the apprentibabies file into the pre-Boardroom, where the body language action mostly focuses of Andrew nervously flexing his fingers and staring off into space whilst Maria thoughtfully strokes her jawline and gets ready to eviscerate him. I’m so sorry she only got a little bit of a chance… *sniff*
Everybody files in to the boardroom, and awaits Lordalan’s arrival. As soon as he does we get notice that this is going to be an “EVERYBODY SAHCKED!” boardroom as we don’t get a little “now this is why this task is so important, I remember when I was 17 I used to sell me Amstrad laptops made out of rags and bones to dem operas all the time” bit. It’s straight into identifying Andrew as the Wetsuit Kimono Project Manager, and him calling out his subteam as a bunch of useless insubordinates. Patrick drones that that’s not fair, and then Andrew points out that when he came back at the end of the day they all stood there yelling “STUPID! STUPID!”, pulling his hair and stealing his rucksack. Patrick deadpans that that was just at the end of the day though. I love Patrick. Maria OF COURSE yells in that she only repeatedly yelled STUPID! in his face because he is, in fact, stupid. The team only got FIVE ITEMS, WHAT A CAR-CRASH!
We next cover how Andrew organised his day – everyone researching for a bit, then he and Alice leaving to find some items, then the other three leaving a little bit more later to get some more items. Lordalan asks when this “little bit more later” actually was, and Patrick demi-whispers “3pm…”. Lordalan is DISBELIEVING, and Patrick and Maria both reply that it was only because Andrew told them to. Andrew says he told them to stay for at least another half-hour, and Maria merrily chirrups in to say that he actually said they should stay until they found another solid lead. I love that she thinks it reflects well on her that that took about three hours.
Lornalan at this point grimfaces that he’s got reports that the team didn’t get all of the items (I believe the last time anybody managed to get all the items was Series 3 incidentally, and even that was achieved by just buying the things at cost price half the time). Andrew cops to the fact that they completely failed to locate four of them, and then ran out of time on the verge of getting another, so they’ve only wound up with five. He and Maria then argue over who should have gone to get the cash register, with Maria’s tack basically being “I knew you were wrong all along, but I was told off for being amazing and getting my own way all the time last week, so I decided to sit back and let you hang, tum ti tum”. Andrew points out that Maria was still a massive pain in the arse, calling him immature within 30 minutes of the task started. Maria protests that he WAS immature. Also that it takes one to know one, and yer mum.
Lordalan finishes by telling Andrew that he really did take far too long researching the items rather than buying them. Let’s take a moment now to remember the iterations of this task where he told people off for not researching the items at all, and instead just running off like “bulls in a china shop”.
Ah, happy memories.
Platinum are next, and Steven reveals he was made Project Manager in a vote over David. David claims that he lost the vote just because people were “a bit shaky” on him based on his track record of being in all the boardrooms all the time. Lordalan asks what happened to his much vaunted ability to charm the LADIEEEEZ given that they all voted for Steven instead and all the ladies sigh-laugh. We next cover the team’s lack of vocabulary (not that anybody they met all day was any better) and I’m not sure that Steven helps his case by referring to the missed words as “the words that we didn’t really know what meant”. Everybody giggles away happily, and Steven admits that he still doesn’t know what it is. Lordalan explain that it is a fing what you put candles in what sits on top of a pianah or sumfing. Thanks Lordalan!
Then Lordalan does the usual “ACTUALLY THIS ISN’T FUNNY, THIS IS PAFFETIC!” shuffle which…explain that to your editors Al, because they certainly seem to be playing it for laughs.
We next cover Steven’s day, specifically his failure to get a car. He protests that he tried as hard as he could, going through all the dealerships and the Yellow Pages and the Exchange & Marts and so on. Lordalan jokes that he hopes Steven didn’t take him too literally! He hopes he wasn’t trying to BUY A CAR FOR A TENOR/TENNER! Oh Lordalan, that’s not funny. It’s just pathetic. Fortunately, Steven doesn’t know what a “tenor” is, so the joke flies over his head. And I’m sure we all envy him for that.
“Good Team Leader?” gets a novel response from Lucy Beauvallet, who says that Steven was good, it was the other “Team Leader” who was awful. By which she means David. He didn’t make any decisions as leader of the subteam and it was a vanity title only, as she had to make most of the plays for them. David says that this is just because Lucy Beauvallet was shouting over him all day. Yeah…that sounds realistic. He says that when he “descended” to the bearpit level of Amy and Lucy Beauvallet they didn’t listen to him anyway, so what was the point? Lucy Beauvallet points out again that it was David and Amy who were the massive pains in the arse on her team, not her.
Platinum bought 5 items, for £734, and their fines totalled £1470, making a total spend of £2204
Wetsuit Kimono spent £797, and their fines totalled £1236, making a total spend of £2033
WEUIT KIMONO STORMING UP THE CHARTS!
Andrew has to explain to his team that they’ve won, which makes them all very happy, apart from Navdeep who still looks kind of pissy about the whole affair. Maybe she has a secret inner BOARDROOM DIVA she wanted to unleash. Wetsuit Kimono are given a patented “DON’T GO FINKING YOU DUNN WEW COZ HE WAS WAS STIW CRAP!” Lordalan strop, but get told they still get their treat. Natasha Scribbins sulks a little more in her living room. It’s to go to a toy shop, to buy some childish bleepy bloopy tat. Natasha Scribbins sulks a little more. When they leave there’s a very interesting Andrew – Maria interaction where they stare at one another and then burst out laughing and hugging. I smell a FIREY Apprentibaby romance in the offing. As the entire team group-hug, Alice grins “all friends now?!”. Well yes Alice, until it’s politically expedient…
Lordalan tells Platinum to go away and think about what they’ve done, because AT LEAST one of them will be fired. So that means…just one of them then…He never follows through on his threats does he?
Hamleys now, with Patrick revelling in his first costume change of the episode (black sports jacket, blue and white shirt, beach shorts). Alice is the one to take up the mantle of doing what you’re required to do in Hamleys – take a remote control helicopter and smash it into the ceiling. Maria buys a chunky pink watch. Try to look surprised. She may have the face of an angel and the watch of a Barbie, but she’s got the CLAWS OF A GRIFFIN AND THE GAZE OF A MEDUSA! etc etc. Navdeep interview that “Andrew and Maria are very tense in their relationship”. I see she’s trying to consider whether to buy a hat as well. FIRST APPRENTIBABY WEDDING AHOY!
Maria and Andrew then both mess around with toy crossbows, shooting at the wall, and its all very suggestive and tension-laden. They both interview that their working relationship is a funny old thing, but Maria sounds significantly more “…but we love one another really, secretly, or at least that’s what I’ve been writing in my Polly Pocket diary” about it than Andrew. I’m sure he’ll come around.
Sadly, in Loser Cafe no romances are blossoming. Instead Steven is blaming David as leader of the subteam, for the failure of the task. Amy is doing the same but…more bluntly, as she is wont to do. She think he didn’t take any leadership role, just let she and Lucy Beauvallet do whatever they wanted, and didn’t ever at any point step up and say “I’m the leader – do what I say”. Yes, I’m sure Amy would have been SO RECEPTIVE to that. She also calls him lazy. David grins in interview that he always knew everyone would try to pin this on him, solely because he’s been in the boardroom twice already. He thinks it’s just a tactical move from people out to save their own arses. Steven interviews meanwhile that he’s been getting lots of negative feedback from Lucy Beauvallet and Amy about David’s role as Project Manager, and it must be really disappointing for him to have wasted this opportunity to shine. Yes, I’m sure he’s crying into his Activia. I’m sure it won’t be exactly the same next week, but with “I’m only getting picked on because I was in the boardroom THREE times”.
Boardroom time now, with Amy munching away on her fingers like they’re on of her five-a-day. The candidates are ushered in, and we begin with Lordalan asking Steven where he thinks it all went wrong. He, smartly, says it was because his team failed to get the right objects – if they’d only got the car they would have been home free. But he did try his best to get it.
Ashleigh is picked on next, and Lordalan says she’s BEING VERY QUIET and if people don’t speak up, then they can’t say something stupid and make a tit of themselves on national tv for everyone’s amu…I mean he can’t evaluate their worth as a candidate. Ashleigh says that’s fair enough – she was the one who spotted the car dealership they did find on the way to Croydon where they would have got the car if it has been properly taxed. Sadly Lordalan takes this as an opportunity to crow about the team’s lack of geographical knowledge of London. Let’s drop him in the middle of Barnsley, see how he does. Poor Ashleigh, she should have gone for how she got £2 off a wig. That was AMAZING.
The division of the 10 items is next on the agenda, with Amy explaining that at the start of the day they were given two items each to research and then buy. Lordalan asks Amy what her two items were and…she doesn’t really know. That interview about Steven’s management style at the start of the episode just keeps on giving doesn’t it? Amy thinks it was the cash register and…maybe the black plastic chain? Was there one of those? Amy just knows she was given the scrag-end items that were left over at the end that nobody else really wanted to do. Way to sell yourself girl. Steven then gazzumps her for poor self-presentation by saying that he doesn’t think he gave everyone specific items. Everyone else says that oh yes, he did. Lordalan wonders if Steven was in control of anything at any point of this task.
Hey, he was in control of putting David in charge, that’s got to count for something right?
Steven says that he was told constantly all day by everyone that they were happy and that they knew what they were doing so he doesn’t understand why it all seems so confused now. Lucy Beauvallet sighs that everyone knew what they were doing first thing in the morning, but after a while things got muddled, and David should have stepped in and made sure that Steven clarified things for them. Amy then brings up David’s habit of nattering over all her phone calls, making her confused and leading to her “losing her temper” at him. Oh Amy, never ever EVER admit to losing control over your estrogen for a SECOND in front of Lordalan. You just doomed yourself. David then says that Amy was just sucking at hearing things properly, so he was gently correcting her. Amy yells, pounding the table, that she was sucking at hearing things because DAVID KEPT ON JABBERING AWAY OVER THE CALLS. And also Lucy Beauvallet a bit. Lucy Beauvallet points out, for about the fourth time this episode, that the idea of her talking over anybody about anything is quite frankly a fantasy up there with unicorns, leprechauns, and the idea that Tom Pellereau was a deserving winner.
Lordalan asks Steven where he was in all this, and Steven says that it was all going on in the subteam so he didn’t have a clue. *golf clap*. Lordalan points out that this makes it sound like Steven had no idea what was going on with 75% of his troops, and Steven again protests that they all told him they were fine on the phone. Lordalan snarls at Steven that he should have gone into more detail over the phone than whether they were “fine”. He should have known specifically what they were doing. Steven protests that he did, and he still got the runaround from them. Lordalan refuses to back down, and says that Steven should have used his female intuition, just like what he always did in his career. I’m so sure. I definitely don’t remember anybody on this show getting away with talking utter shite to Lordalan for weeks without him even raising an eyebrow once (*cough*Michael Sophocles Katie Hopkins Tre Azam Paul Torrisi Alex Wotherspoon *cough*)
Steven is asked who he’s bringing back, and of course it’s the two most fractious members of David & THE LADIEEEEEEEEEZ. David and Amy, both for squabbling and poor communication.
Candidates go out, Kaen speaks a load of guff about how David just needs to be himself and the magic will come, candidates come back in again.
We start with Steven, and he’s asked why he’s brought David back. Sadly Steven LIES and says that it’s because David was supposed to lead his subteam and instead he just bickered with Amy about nothing all day, instead of really why it is, which is because he’s been in two boardrooms before. I mean…that’s why everyone everything to David right? David himself says that he tried to be a leader, but he found himself constantly having to calm Amy down. Amy then yells at the top of her lungs “YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO CALM ME DOWN! YOU’RE INCREDIBLY LAZY AND YOU KEPT ON JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON MY JOB ALL THE TIME!”. Way to prove his point. David then calls Amy out for having a potty mouth, saying that if he had a pound for every time Amy used a naughty bad word, he would be a billionaire. How I wish this show was aired after 9 so we could have seen Amy in all her glory. I feel we missed so much…
Amy then piles on saying that maybe David should think about why she felt the need to swear. He was an incredibly poor Project Manager, and she and Lucy Beauvallet had to tell him what to do all the time. She claims that she found the lead on the army boots and without her he wouldn’t have got anywhere near getting them. She then yells at David that he was USELESS on the task. USELESS! Lordalan makes sure to leave a great big pause so we all know what a terrifying harridan Amy is being, before picking over her CV and tutting sadly at her having said that she “doesn’t like to be messed with”. I’m sure this would be much more effective if he hadn’t let Maria go for being ten times worse than this last week. At least Amy waited for the Boardroom before she started with the insults. Mostly.
For what it’s worth :
“Business skills like an animal
Don’t like to be messed with”
Those are some killer Ke$ha lyrics yes?
Next on the Amy-Firing-Justification Roadshow, she continues to make life impossible for herself by ham-fisting her defence of an attack by Steven that she wasn’t clear on the phone about how wrong things were going, and instead just said everything was fine all the time. She says that this was clearly because he wasn’t asking them the right questions – he should have known intuitively exactly how they were going wrong, and asked the specific questions required to get the truth out of them. Everyone boggles at Amy’s attempts to make “it’s not my fault for sucking, it’s not my fault for not telling you I was sucking, it’s your fault for not sufficiently interrogating me about which specific areas I was sucking in” happen. It’s not going to happen.
David is next asked why he, as the subteam manager, didn’t keep Steven appraised beyond “How are we feeling? I’m feeling a bit hungry so we’re going for nachos. Lucy Beauvallet is getting extra jalapenos because she’s feeling SPICY today”. David instead starts talking about what a pain in the bum Amy was. Lordalan stops him, but David still refuses to explain his lack of feedback, instead saying he worked really hard and stuff. So he’s got nothing then.
Begging time now for Steven, and he says that managed the team as well as he could (which was not very well) and if they’d given him proper feedback he would have managed them even better. Amy gets to beg next and she stomps that YES this task didn’t go well, but she’s got SO MUCH MORE TO SHOW HIM AND SHE WANTS TO SHOW HIM IT. Lordalan grunts that she hasn’t shown him much so far, apart from the ability to offload second-hand clothes by singing “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like This Jacket?”. Oh for the days when this would have been enough. Ruth Badger nearly won for about that much. Lordalan asks her who should be fired, and she says David, because he’s been on the losing team three times now. Way to play into his martyr complex there Amy.
David gets to beg, again, and he says that he has kept his dignity and his fight through being in THREE boardrooms now. He has lost, but on none of those occasions was it his fault. Well…yes, because you don’t DO anything. He says he has the unique will to be able to fight like this, and though go back to the house and not cry and stuff. Well done him.
Fire-teasing is David, for being in the boardroom three times now (STOP IT!) but in the end it’s Amy what’s fired for being a difficult woman, and we all know there’s only room for one of them in any Apprentice cast at one time. She thanks Lordalan, although generally, not for the opportunity. She goes outside and clutches her head some more. Steven and David both follow her out, Steven getting a far more fulsome hug than David.
In her CAB OF SHAME, Any says that her business dream is not over, and this is but a small knock that she knows will make her stronger. Ah well. Chin up.
Back at the Apprentice Mansion, Ashleigh is holding court. She says that Amy may be lots of fun around the house (oh how I wish we’d seen that) but she is an absolute pain to work with. Lucy Beauvallet nods solemnly. Navdeep wonders if David deserves to be fired based on this task alone (YES) and Patrick sighs that he can’t see Lordalan letting someone off for three boardrooms in a row. Well…he did Tom. Who then won. What a thought.
Meanwhile in their Apprenticar, Steven joshes with David, saying that he bets the girls will be surprised to see him back, and David says that he hopes it will be in a good way. And, when it happens, it appears that it is. Well…for Ashleigh, Maria and Alice anyway. Navdeep and Lucy Beauvallet just look vaguely mortified. Ashleigh crows to everyone that she predicted that Amy would be fired and everyone told her she was wrong. She also adds an amazing finger wag to this statement. Seriously, she should definitely be a drag queen.
David closes us out by smugly saying that he is like a cat with 9 lives. I bloody well hope not, there’s only 8 episode of this show this series. Oh, and he appears to have his hand on the arses of both Alice and Navdeep as he says this. David & The LADIEEEEEZ indeed.
Next week : a tea party task. I’m hoping for a Michelle Bachman cameo.