5:20am now and the second the phone starts ringing, Natalie
MATERIALISES at the top of the stairs, ready to snatch another point. And she remembers how the stairs work this time, so there’s no stopping her, even with Luisa trailing in her wake again. Scores now stand at :
Natalie : 2
Luisa : 1
Non-Coven Members : 0
Also I’m not saying that the Apprentiphone is phallic this year
except I totally am. Any supposition as to how this might have advantaged Natalie and Luisa thus far is, of course, beneath me. The meeting point this week is Surrey Docks in East London. Natalie this time remembers to say “thank you”. This gets her double points (not really).
Luisa, of course, charges straight to the boys room to jump up and down on their beds and shriek “I CAN SEE YOUR WILLY!”
Kurt roils around under his duvet and groans that he doesn’t know which is worse : being woken up at 5:30am or being woken up at 5:30am by Luisa. Why not ask Jordan? Anyway there then follows the usual parade of male flesh, and this week we learn that Jordan either has a cyst or a nipple-bar, Jason models a
fetching new pair of pyjamas, and I fervently hope that at some point
we get to see footage of Neil blow-drying that neck-beard.
As everyone is preening and Myles is folding himself into his mankini, Zeeshaan says that he thinks that the teams are going to be mixed up this week, because the girls need help. Imagine being in a position where you legitimately needed help from Jason in order to win a task. That’s what this series has left us with.
Meanwhile, in the girls bedroom, Uzma speculates that this task might involve selling meat or serving fish. It’d be a fine time to start. Luisa meanwhile bitches with Natalie that if the teams ARE mixed, then she definitely doesn’t want to work with Zeeshaan because she thinks he is “a bit full of bullshit”. That or “a bit of an abortion”. Or a “butterball of bullshit”. It’s Luisa, so I can well believe she’d say all of them.
She and Natalie then decamp to Evolve Apprenticar B, where Natalie opines at length about how being in the boardroom has left her a changed woman, full of drive and determination, whilst Uzma
rolls her eyes out the window and says that what being in the boardroom really teaches you is that you need to stand up for yourself and get gobby. Like anybody in this Apprenticar needs that lesson. I think Luisa probably came out the womb screaming “SQUEAL! OH MY GOD YOU GUYS, WHY AM I, LIKE, COVERED IN AMNIOTIC FLUID AND SHET? CLEAN ME OFF AND GET ME SOME CHAMPAGNE! YEAH, I CAN DRINK CHAMPAGNE FRESH OUT THE WOMB! NO OFFENCE LOVE, BUT YOU’RE LIKE A DOCTOR, SO BACK IT UP OFF ME YEAH?”.
The teams are now arriving at Surrey Docks and not that this show has an urban-facing agenda or anything, but as Helpful Voiceover Man says that Surrey Docks provides a “taste of country living just a stone’s throw from Central London”, the camera
crash-zooms in on a steaming pile of shit. I am really profoundly sad that nobody trod in that. The teams line up in the barnyard and
this sheep already saw them coming, and retreats behind its shed door. Seriously, that’s exactly the face I pull every time I find out that Katie Hopkins is going to be on Question Time. Lordalan arrives, leans on a fence, and asks “ow do?”.
I really really hope that matching leopardprint scarves and leopardprint belt are Luisa, Dr Leah & Natalie’s equivalent of friendships bracelets and are a sign of a SUPER SECRET CLUB that only they know about and because it is only for COOL PEOPLE and then they hid Francesca’s leopardprint skirt under the stairs because she can’t be in the club until she proves her loyalty by dipping Rebecca’s hairbrush in the loo.
Lordalan explains to them all that over the last 10 years, farmers have started selling their produce in cities. No really. That’s what he says. That’s a thing that has just started now. I think Lordalan might be going a bit…Brucie.
Anyway, in honour of this new trend (which is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD, not just here in the UK fact fans) the teams are going to set up and run a farm shop, using produce they source themselves from local farms (/Costcutters). The team that make the most profit wins, the team that doesn’t doesn’t, hopefully we get some shots of Kaen falling over in a yellow mac a la Margo Leadbetter, then SOMEBODY’S GETTING FIRED.
Oh, and Zeeshaan was right, the teams are getting mixed up. By my count, this means it will be 12 hours until Zeeshaan is right again. Start your unstopped clocks NOW. Lordalan tells Natalie and Uzma that after last week he’s going to have his eye on them, and what better way to root out their true weakness and frailties, than to plonk them in the ecosystem that’s happily supported Jason for the past month? IT’S SINK OR SWIM, BITCHEZ! At the same time, Myles, Jason and Jordan will be moving over to Evolve.
Jordan looks so pleased to have his team’s lucky mascot join him. Myles, as usual, just looks like he’s modelling for M & S Blue Harbor range. Lordalan chirps merrily this means that we’ll definitely have a LADY in the winning team. Debatable. He goes on to lecture the women about how disappointed he is with them. You will be familiar with this speech from the time he made it to Tom Pellereau, shortly before everyone started pretending he was any cop.
As the teams leave the farmyard (can you imagine if Tim had been on this task? He would have been dancing around sploshing in puddles and going “QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK”. I miss Tim.), Helpful Voiceover Man explains to us all what a farm shop is. It’s a shop where all the produce comes from farms (/a Costcutters). He then says this produce is locally sourced and supplies right as the show chooses to display
this shot. Well done guys.
Anyway, today the teams must “scour the South East for stock”, which they will sell in their farm shops tomorrow. But first, they’re sent off to some sheds to pick who gets to be Project Manager.
I’m not sure why that mannequin is the most sinister thing I’ve ever seen on the show (that time I wondered what it would have looked like if Jenny Celery & Kevin Shaw decided to launch their Earth Day card as naturists does not count, because it did not happen) but it is. First to volunteer for Evolve is Luisa
and Rebecca is so down for this already. Luisa argues that she’s best suited for this task because she runs her own shop which sources fresh local produce and which “deals with farm shops” (by burning them down to take out the competition TEE HEE *twizzles hair*). In the face of this actual half-decent argument, Jordan asks if anybody else would like to volunteer and
of course Rebecca would. Her argument is “I have an interest in farm produce”. Well, who doesn’t? Myles asks her if she’s produced any herself and yes Myles, last week she laid an egg. I believe her business plan to sell her own boob-juice under the brand name “Becky’s Moo Milk”. Rebecca of course replies “NO! BUT I DON’T THINK IT’S ROCKET SCIENCE!” at the same time both
seductive. What an unhinged superstar. Unused to women being provocative in any context other than tucking a 10 Euro note into his g-string as he cavorts on their yachts, Myles decides Luisa should be Project Manager and everyone else agrees. Francesca yawns her bloody face off.
Outside, Luisa interviews
coquettishly that she thinks this task is tailor-made for her because she runs a shop, albeit a cake shop, and she’s really hoping to be the first Project Manager to lead Evolve to a win. I do too, because it is now officially a team of lunatics, barely socialised bumper cars, human cartoons, gigolos and “entertainment entrepreneurs”.
Inside, it’s time for the team to choose what their main product line is going to be. Jordan suggests “something like buffalo meat” because “you can get a lot more excitement around a meat that someone hasn’t tried before, especially if it feels unusual”.
And this is how grindr destroys relationships. Jordan goes on to tell the team that every week at his school there was an ostrich burger van that used to come around and the queue for it was a mile long.
I think that might be the most gentrified thing I’ve ever heard on this show ever. Francesca’s face tells me that, like me, she went to a school where people got excited when there were bits of bacon in the gravy. Or…the dinnerladies told you that’s what they were at least. Myles, Man Of The People, says that he’s not sure that buffalo meat has universal appeal, but is overruled. Jordan carries on, learning his lesson from Apprentice series past, by saying that the team should have a higher value product and a lower value product as part of their range, so he thinks that they should make soup to sell alongside their buffalo meat. Sadly he doesn’t suggest any daring, exotic, risky, challenging flavours. How about lemon & potato? Cabbage and iodine? Three bean & cholera?
“I WANT A CURRY, A SAUSAGE, AND A PAPRIKA!”
Not now Joanna.
Luisa suggests baked potatoes to round their product range off, and we’re away.
On Endeavour meanwhile, Neil has installed himself as Project Manager (guess who got to say “Welcome to Endeavour ladies!”? Go on! OK, it was Alex) and is telling everyone that they need to keep their eyes on the Holy Margins (PBUT). Outside, he interviews that
he knows sod all about farms, but he’s volunteered to be PM because he’s a born leader. Born three weeks overdue by my count then. He believes he can drive people to get good results. Which is of course what Lee McQueen is doing for Lordalan now. (“LEE MCQUEEN NO CAN DO PARALLEL PARKING SO NO POINT EVEN ASKING!” *Pterodactyl impression*).
Back inside, Neil asks the team what their main product line should be and, surprise surprise, Kurt suggests
“Milk. And Milkshakes”. Not at all shifty like. Zeeshaan dribbles that milk has the USP of being milk and it’s guaranteed to sell, because it’s milk. Everyone else moos along their agreement except Alex, who decides to announce to the group that he doesn’t think milk is a good idea, because people will already have it at home. Everyone looks at him like
he just denied Jesus for the FOURTH time. I’m thinking Kurt has been making these people many milkshakes. Milkshakes made with MKUltra. Alex goes on to suggest that they just make some nice cheese on toast instead.
I think Natalie is about to call the feds. Alex tells everyone that “cheese on toast is warm and simple” and everyone can eat it. Apart from vegans. And the lactose intolerant. And those with wheat allergies. And those people that just don’t like cheese. Not that anyone’s even considering this avenue, but Kurt decides to remind everyone that DRINKS ARE HIS BUSINESS, did he mention this, maybe he didn’t mention that his business is making ALL THE DRINKS, so they should just go along with him.
Looking like something truly unnerving right out of Red Riding as he does so. Neil signs off on this, then does my favourite thing which is yell “RIGHT! THAT’S SORTED! NOBODY ARGUE! I AM MAKING A DECISION ON THIS AS PROJECT MANAGER!” when nobody cares. I think he flares off at Zeeshaan scratching his arse at one point.
10am and both teams are heading out to find their produce.
Francesca : “I think…something like apples? SATSUMAS! They’re in season!”
Speaks for itself really doesn’t it? Meanwhile, in Endeavour Apprenticar A, Natalie is lost in a map
I’m amazed that these unreconstructed hemales let a lady loose with one in the first place. Neil sighs that as long as Natalie can find his blueberries, she’ll be fine. And who HASN’T been told that by a guy before? Alex announces that if they’re doing costumes, he’s quite happy to dress as a scarecrow. Neil says they’re not doing costumes. I mean…it makes sense, because Alex works for the purposes of scaring away wildlife as is.
At the same time, in Evolve Apprenticar A, Luisa, Jordan, Rebecca and Dr Leah are hashing out how many to sell of their three product lines. They decide on 80 buffalo burgers, 200 soups and 150 jacket potatoes. Well…they’re ambitious if nothing else. Dr Leah ponders
how many potatoes there are in a kilo.
12am now and the Evolve A Team have arrived at their first destination – a buffalo farm. Luisa squeaks that there’s a really lovely smell in the air, and Rebecca deadpans that it’s manure, the sarcasm having landed somewhere off in the field behind her. The team set about getting to their first piece of business which is
Jordan doing a sexy Cannes photoshoot for the buffalo whilst Dr Leah tries to photobomb. Once they’re done, the team go inside to buy the minced up corpses of the animals they just so lovingly cavorted with.
The shop’s mascot has a giant brain tumour, and has lost his arms in a threshing accident and yet still has work. He’s like the poster boy for Iain Duncan Smith’s ATOS assessments. Rebecca tells everyone that they all need to worship at the Holy Margins (good girl) and work out what they need to sell.
It’s like something out of Indiana Jones isn’t it? I feel like there should be some sort of holy light shining off the paper. In the end, Luisa opts for buffalo burgers and buffalo steaks. Outside Nick interviews that the team have gone for buffalo meat, which is high cost and medium margin, but he thinks the novelty value might pay off for the team.
Now if you’ll excuse him, he’s just going to finish up pissing in this hedgerow.
Back on Endeavour, Neil is ringing Kurt up for estimates on how much milk he needs to buy for his milkshakes. Kurt estimates that they should sell 200 milkshakes, which will require 50 litres of milk. Zeeshaan and Alex think Kurt is being optimistic. Kurt disagrees.
Eventually, Evolve Subteam A arrive at Meadow Cottage Farm, home of some particularly
camera-hogging cows. Including Incidental Character Cowfriend Of The Week Frankie The Jersey Cow.
Alex : “WOW! THIS IS JUST LIKE BEING BACK HOME! I’M FROM WALES YOU SEE, WHERE WE ALL LIVE IN BARNS!”
Dairy Queen : “…”
Alex : “I would like to buy 100 litres of milk please. Now, I work out that if you take £17 and divide that by 2 and then erm…carry the…I…it’s really simple if I just square root the…then if x is the number I first thought of and…convert it into Euros and back and you get…erm…I knew all this in the car…twenty…twelvty…erm…forty quid?”
Dairy Queen : “Whatever. As long as you tug on the udders yourself”. (*accepts fiver into back pocket from production staff*)
Should have thrown a NSFW up there shouldn’t I? Never mind.
Natalie : “I’m not really an animal person! I’m never had a pet in my life! Oooh, no it’s looking at me! Eeeep! Oh dear. Erp. Ooooh, look at that lovely horse…erm…dog? Cow?”
Neil : “That’s Kaen Natalie.”
Kaen : “You’re fired!” *chews daisy*
Evolve Subteam B (Myles, Jason, Francesca) meanwhile are, per Helpful Voiceover Man, apparently buying veg from “an Essex grower”. Well, not everyone can be a shower I guess. Bit personal there though. Jason is giving them all a lesson in shop stocking.
Jason : “The best way to fill up a shop is with bulky things which cost us very little and which we can mark up to a very big price and that is vegetables”.
Mary Portas is quaking in her Birkenstocks. Francesca and Myles go around the grower’s negotiating good deals for the team on sweetcorn, beetroot, and cabbages, but unfortunately when Luisa rings them up, she’s decided she just wants them to buy 6 corn on the cobs to make the shop look pretty. Myles flips his silvery wig at being told that he’s on the pointless team that is buying things to make the shop look pretty, with Francesca and Jason
not far behind him. I don’t know about you, but I’m not getting enough of Francesca looking sour just from that one picture alone.
Luisa tells them that they have a budget of £40 so they’re going to have to ENGAGE THEIR BRAINS and USE A BIT OF COMMON SENSE and then Francesca throws the phone down and tells Myles and Jason that this is why the women haven’t won a task yet. Well, someone’s not getting her leopardprint gang colours back any time soon.
Kent now, and the Endeavour Subteam (Uzma, Zeeshaan, Kurt) are being ferried around a fruit farm on the back of a tractor to get the fruit to flavour their milkshakes. Neil rings up and says “MOOOOO!” jokily to Kurt when he picks up the phone. What a shame this cameraderie couldn’t last eh? He asks how things are going, and Uzma suddenly gets super-intense, like she’s being driven around Helmand.
All “WE HAVE THE APPLES AND ARE RETURNING TO THE CAR BRAVO TWO NEILO, OVER”. I guess this is what happens to Uzma when she actually has to do something beyond lollysticks and drawing the things in her head, even if it is just moving some apples from a tree to a car. Neil tells Kurt that he wants Kurt to spend £100 on stuff other than milk and the ingredients for milkshakes, and Kurt is all “I SEE NO REASON TO BUY ANYTHING OTHER THAN MILKSHAKE RELATED PRODUCTS. MMMMM. MILKSHAKES!” in response. Then Neil tells him he has to, and hangs up.
Back in Essex, and Jason is getting super campy
and saying he doesn’t want to buy dressing for the shop. I think he’s five seconds away from calling Luisa “madam”. Francesca, having regathered her nerves, decides to phone up Luisa and demand more money for her subteam. She wants £150 to buy 25 broccoli, 40 cabbages, 100 corn on the cobs, 30kg of onions and 20 bunches of beetroot. Luisa acquiesces…bizarrely easily, despite Dr Leah’s attempts to bust their budget back down a notch to £125. They hand over the money, and then Myles interviews outside that if it weren’t for their pushing, the team would effectively have an empty shop tomorrow. Well…apart from the 80 buffalo burgers, the 200 soups and the 150 jacket potatoes and all the camera people and stuff.
3pm now, and the Endeavour subteam are at a fruit and veg market with instructions to buy £100 worth of stock. Zeeshaan and Uzma are clearly on board with this but Kurt keeps on cock-blocking them, by removing things from the basket after they’ve put them there and grizzling that things won’t sell and shining his watch in Uzma’s face to distract her. Kaen interviews that
Kurt is being a right boring tight-pursed bastard. She remembers when she followed a subteam with Chris Bates on and he kept on buying her little presents with the team’s cash fund. Sigh. Chris Bates.
The Evolve subteam at this point are at an apple juice shop, and sampling their wares. Jason in particular is smitten, twitching his wee face off and spluttering “GORGEOUS!” every 5 seconds.
Myles and Franesca close a purchase for £50 worth of apple juice, and ring Luisa to let them know that they want to spend £25 more on it. Rebecca jabs her finger at the team’s laptop and nudges to Luisa that they can’t afford it
so Luisa says she’s going to have to nix this purchase, and any other further purchases. Jason sighs out “whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy?” and
pulls this face. Someone’s a little over-stimulated I feel.
Francesca interviews that
she doesn’t understand why she’s just been told to pack up the Evolve van and go home. It’s not FAIR. She was having so much fun touring the farms of the South East and sampling all their beautiful produce. I must admit, I do find it slightly amusing that Kurt is trying to gouge every last penny out of his £100 budget whilst Francesca, Myles and Jason are whining because they only got to blow £200 on apple juice and random clumps of broccoli and also magic beans.
At this point Luisa’s Evolve subteam are closing a deal for potatoes and leeks with
the lovechild of Diarmuid Gavin and Piers Morgan. What a thought. Luisa thinks that she now has enough produce, especially given that the shop is going to have three main lines to sell.
Endeavour Subteam A at this point are foraging for blackberries at yet another farm shop. This is starting to feel a bit like watching the world’s most rustic scavenger hunt at this point. Neil’s got a deal on them for £1.50 a punnet, but tells the woman running the shop that he needs to call his subteam whilst she’s weighing up, to check how much of their £100 budget they’ve spent. Turns out it’s not a lot.
Turns out it’s £33. And Kurt doesn’t even know what he spent it on. Cabbages and shit. *shrug*. Neil frets to Kurt that he doesn’t want to be left with an empty shop halfway through the day and a sense of regret that he didn’t buy more produce. Kurt just sibilates “But Neil….think of the MILKSHAKE”
Looking more demonic by the second. I’m so glad they didn’t include the deleted scene of him crying milkshake out of his eyes whilst cackling like a marsh witch that I KNOW happened.
Neil decides at this point that Kurt has ballsed up (/is freaking him out) so he takes the most sane course of action, which is of course to run back into the blackberry shop and buy up everything he can see.
Natalie : “LET’S BUY EVERYTHING WITH CHOCOLATE IN!”
Neil : “What else is popular?”
Natalie : “CHOCCCCCCOLATTTTTTTE!”
Chicks dig chocolate I guess.
Hurr hurr hurr.
Once they’ve done piling everything they can find into their trolley (seriously, they’re one pastel coloured pullover away from being on Supermarket Sweep), Natalie decides to announce to thin air, apropos of nothing, that she doesn’t UNDERSTAND why they’ve had to buy ALL THIS STUFF, when that was supposed to be THE SUBTEAM’S JOB. Smooth moves there, subtle-pants. Neil closes by interviewing to camera that his rubbish sub-team have let him down, and Kurt is officially OUT OF THE BROMANCE. Myles, you’re promoted to captain, Jordan, you’re now lieutenan…oh, wait, where did they go?
7am next day now, and the teams are ready to go and sell some buffalo burgers. On their way to their pop-up shop, Neil tells his troops that this is it! This is D Day. I mean…I’m sure there have been more inappropriate comparisons on this show, but right now I’m struggling to think of one. He tells Alex and Natalie that he knows that his team are strong on sales, which of course causes Natalie to twitter away about how Uzma isn’t strong at sales at all, in fact Natalie has never seen her sell anything once the entire time she’s been on the show.
You may think this might be because they’ve never been on the same subteam for the sales part of any task. I couldn’t possibly comment.
Of course at this point Uzma is pontificating away about how she is going to rock this task in sales terms. She loves it. You could put her INSIDE the shop or OUTSIDE the shop and she’d still sell loads. Unless it starts to rain, in which case she has to be inside, otherwise she may run away down the drain. Being an entrepreneur made entirely out of cosmetics does have its downsides. Zeeshaan and Kurt incidentally could not look less convinced by any of the words tumbling out of Uzma’s mouth.
Tempting fate over with, both teams have now arrived in Hackney, on the same street no less. I’m very sad that this doesn’t result in any Hot Customer-Poaching Action at any point. Luisa shop is called
“Buffalocal” which sounds more like a lewd invitation than a shop and she’s right in the midst of it now, giving a sales talk.
Luisa : “OUR USP IS BUFFALO MEAT! WOO! GIMMEE A B! GIMMEE AN UFFALO! BUFFALO! WOO! AND SHET! Also try and push our lunch-lines as hard as you can, because I’ve somehow convinced myself I’m going to sell 150 jacket potatoes in one day, because that’s feasible!”
Myles : “Isn’t takeaway food only really going to work in the very narrow avenue of lunchtime?”
Luisa : “… so anyway! Myles, Jordan, Francesca, Dr Leah and ME are going to dress the shop up all nice and pretty and shet, and Rebecca and Jason are going to be locked in the basement! *giggle*”
I hate that Myles is actually being sensible and competent this task and ruining everything I’ve thought about him for the last 3 weeks. DAMN YOU MYLES!
Anyway, Neil’s shop is called “Fruity Cow” and it’s being advertised with this enticing vision.
MMM! Hand-squeezed by the undead. Neil at this point is surveying the crop that Kurt brought back with the subteam. You can tell Kurt’s heart and soul really went in to picking those veg out. It’s, like, two cucumbers and an aubergine. Neil interviews AGAIN that Kurt has screwed him over, and he better sell those 200 milkshakes like he promised now, or there will be HELL TO PAY. I guess behind every good Project Manager there really IS A Neil Clough.
10 am and back with Evolve now, and the shop’s almost finished. Those who were complaining this week that Myles hadn’t put himself in a sexually compromising and erotic position all week
just weren’t looking hard enough. The shop opens, and the turnaround time from people walking in, seeing how much the buffalo burgers cost, then running away again is truly remarkable. It’s like a revolving door but without the expensive mechanism.
Still this is notionally better than over at Endeavour, where it is 10:45 am and
Uzma is still scuttling round on the floor carrying crates about, whilst Alex demolishes the window display with his enormous arse. Neil tells her to stop faffing around and just put enough stock out to tide them over for a while, after which time they’ll replenish. Uzma huffs that she is actually stocking things PROPERLY. The art is to make your shop-front looks as crammed full of product as possible, when in fact there’s nothing much behind it. I…her face…the jokes…they come too quickly…
Midday now, and Evolve are still having sales problems. Looking at their soup broiling away
it’s not difficult to see why. Outside Jordan and Myles are doing their damndest to shift it, but they’re struggling to find takers for either it or their team’s jacket potato lunches. Mostly because both taste absolutely gopping. Myles tells a
very country-glam looking Francesca not to give tasters out, because they don’t want people to actually vomit all over their storefront.
Once Endeavour open, their milkshakes sell well. That is all. You try and make Zeeshaan wandering around with purple coloured milk-spit entertaining.
1pm now and Dr Leah is
closing a deal for £105 worth of buffalo meat with tv’s Danny Baker. Maybe. Jordan crows along happily with Luisa and Dr Leah about how this proves he was right to pick buffalo meat all along, because people will PAY FOR QUALITY. He tells Luisa and Dr Leah to not be afraid to drive home that point. At this point Myles wanders in and tells them that still nobody is buying their shitty lunches of water and minced up leek fronds. He suggests maybe getting some stuffed jacket potatoes out the front to try to shift them instead. Luisa dispatches her winged monkeys to the basement to loosen the manacles on Jason and Rebecca such that they can at least change stations.
Uzma : “Hey guys, where we going?”
Kurt : “We’re going to get apple juice”
Uzma : “APPLE JUICE?!”
Zeeshaan : “Yup”
Uzma : “And doing what with it? Selling it?”
Kurt : “NO!”
Uzma : “OOOOOH, ALRIGHT SARCY. Only asking”
Zeeshaan : “We’re adding it to the carrot juice to make juice”
Uzma : “OK, cool, SARCY”.
And lo so it was that Kurt, Zeeshaan and Uzma bogged off down Costcutters and bought some cheap apple juice, threw some mangled up carrot and pear in there and then sold it on at a mark-up, and the show let this happen for some reason. Costcutters is not a farm, producers. Get it together.
Let’s check in at the Buffalocal dungeon now, where Jason and Rebecca are doing penance for past misdemeanours by grating cheese and dicing onions.
I don’t think I’ve seen anything this rawly grim on this show since that shot of Noorul sat in some suburban garage dressed as Pantsman, contemplating ending it all. Jason says that he’s happy to be here doing all the hard labour (of grating cheese) but he’s worried that the salespeople are going to take all the credit for winning this task when really all the credit SHOULD go to him (for grating cheese) (and getting lots of arm-hair in it by the looks of things).
These are the fruits of Jason’s labours.
OMG IT’S SO UNFAIR THAT HE’S NOT MADE APPRENTICE ON THE SPOT! Myles grunts that he can’t sell the jacket potatoes, and hides them under his table.
Alex : “HELLO LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! I HAVE SOME AMAZING PRODUCE TO SELL TO YOU TODAY, FRESH FROM THE FARM! WE ARE HERE FOR ONE DAY ONLY! DELICIOUS MILKSHAKES, CREAMY JERSEY MILK AND BEAUTIFUL BROCCOLI, ALL YOURS FOR LOW LOW PRICES! TRY SOME QUAIL’S EGGS! THE BIRD ONLY LAID THEM TWO DAYS AGO! FRESH FROM THEIR CLOACA!”
Neil notices that Uzma’s sales pitch is a little…low-key and tells her to keep on moving around and being energetic to try to get some interest going. She responds to this by muttering “I feel embarrassed” and trying to hide behind a lamp-post. Neil then interviews that he’s not entirely sure what Uzma is for. This is what basements are for Neil.
Back on Evolve meanwhile, the soup and jacket potatoes are starting to sell well. We’re not really told why, except for the vague insinuation that Myles has worn London down via sheer persistence, much like he did the Duchess of Auvergne. Periodically, Myles saunters down to the basement to keep an eye on the homunculi who dwell there.
Disturbed, he retreats back upstairs and interviews to camera that he’s not really sure if there’s anything that Jason is skilled in. He may well be a trickless pony. Ah, StuBaggs’ mirror twin and equally as beautiful. And in some of the future tasks they might not just be able to lock him in the basement. This thought troubles Myles. Meanwhile Jason
gets to work tying his new bride’s pinny. SEE! HE DOES HAVE SKILLS!
Luisa : “Is someone waiting for that soup?”
Jason : “yes” *stares*
Luisa : “So…take it to them then?”
Jason : *stares*
Luisa : “Don’t just stand there, DO SOMETHING!” *takes soup, exits*
Jason : “I think it’s to go with a potato?”
*Luisa returns to find Jason just casually ladleing baked beans all over the counter-top*
Luisa : “No…Jason…no…that’s not how you…JASON! Let me do it! Just take these upstairs!” *hands Jason plastic cups*
Jason : *exits* “I just need to wash my hands…”
Luisa : “So how’s life with your new BOYFRIEND, Becky?”
Rebecca : “Fuck you”
3pm now, and over at Fruity Cow, Neil is heralding the beginning of last minute panic selling with that time-honoured Apprentice tactic – hurling random bits of leftover stock into a box and trying to sell it. He puts Alex in charge of shifting it
thereby creating the world’s most obvious trap. “What? Me? Dracula? No! I’m a vegetarian! You can tell from my delicious tray of kale and half a red onion!”. Sadly for Neil, the veg isn’t all that’s left as the camera pans sadly over fridge after fridge after fridge of unused milk, which Neil orders his team to sell off at cost price just to cover their backs.
LAST MINUTE SALES MONTAGE AHOY!
Jordan sells! Zeeshaan sells! Myles sells! Francesca sells! Natalie sells! Luisa sells! Uzma…points some milk at people! Jason wanders around like a green-screened in survivor from 28 Days Later! Luisa declares her jacket potatoes to be an EPIC FAIL and just starts selling the raw potatoes unadorned for £2 a bag!
Neil interviews that
he thinks he has led his team to the best of his ability. That’s…not as much of an endorsement as you might hope Neil. He think they’ve done enough to win though. Meanwhile, Luisa interviews that yesterday she was really focused on stocking the shop to do takeaways, but on the day that didn’t really happen.
Gingham hair-ties on the other hand, TOTALLY HAPPENED. So fetch.
As the candidates enter the atrium, we get our first proper look at the new gatekeeper to Lordalan
You can tell she’s pondering a tribunal. Just a quick one. So she can afford a holiday this year. Somewhere nice.
The candidates file in, then Lordalan finishes staring in horror at a researcher as they fill him in that milk comes from cows BOOBIES, and then he enters. The Endeavour side of the table looks a bit like
some of the lunchtime entertainment followed the stockbrokers back to the office. If you catch my drift.
We start, however, with Evolve, and Luisa is identified swiftly as the PM to allow maximum backstabbage time. She says that she decided very quickly to go for buffalo meat, and Lordalan snorts that they were in the East End of London, not the Wild West. What a wit. Jordan rejoinders that “exotic meat is a big trend in the industry”. I bet it is. Lordalan carries on his thematic quippery, by asking Jordan if there were any “cowboys” on his team and he sighs “one or two”…
whilst full-on staring at Luisa. I don’t even want to know what that means, ESPECIALLY if it involves dressing up. Luisa meanwhile, stares back at him equally smitten.
I haven’t see a look of love cast so fondly over somebody’s shoulder since…actually no, I’m not telling that story.
Jordan asks Lordalan if he has tried buffalo meat and then Lordalan says that he hasn’t and then Jordan says that maybe he should and then Lordalan gives notice that he’d rather lick out Roy Hattersley’s arsehole and then Jordan
dies a little inside and I die a lot all over the place, just to make it stop. Jordan is in a beetroot red sulk for the rest of this boardroom, bless him.
I have absolutely no idea why Jordan, who seems likable enough the rest of the time, has chosen this particular lickspittley hyped-up persona to try to impress Lordalan, but I’m certainly enjoying it. From behind a cushion.
Lordalan asks Luisa if she picked buffalo meat just to be WACKY AND OUTRAYJUSSSZ and she says yes. Basically. She wanted to create a buzz and hype around their unusual product line. She fills Lordalan in that she also added a line of soups and jacket potatoes. Lordalan replies that he doesn’t really think that people expect to buy that sort of thing from a farm shop, because they’ve gone there for something special. In response, Luisa just rubs at the Holy Margins some more and claims she was only thinking of them.
It turns out next that the team only made 70 of the 200 soups they anticipated making, and only “15 to 20” of the 150 jacket potatoes. Lordalan is
APPALLED! I think this is the point where Myles should pull those jacket potatoes back out from underneath the table to explain why that is. Dr Leah kind of looks like
she can still smell them. Luisa protests that when she realised that she wasn’t going to fulfil her jacket potato dreams, she changed strategy. About 30 seconds before the task ended. BUT STILL! Myles sighs that Luisa really limited the team by picking ranges of lunchtime items to flog, which would really only sell during a narrow time window. That being when hell itself froze over and Margaret Mountford revealed her engagement to Michael Sophocles.
Nick chirps in at this point to talk about how Luisa kept a tight rein on the team’s budget, and Luisa explains that she felt that she could stock the entire stock for less money than they were given. Myles and Francesca between them then explain how they completely ignored this and just did what they wanted. Myles in particular complains that he was put on a subteam that were sent home 90 minutes early, when he has so much to give. Luisa’s lips
periodically disappear into the abyss.
“Goodteamleader?” grants Luisa an absolute roistering from both Myles and Jason, with the latter saying that there mistakes throughout, and the former saying that he and Francesca had to use their own initiative entirely, because Luisa gave them inadequate direction. Oof.
Endeavour are to be analysed next, and Lordalan tells Neil that he’s really pleased to see Neil stepping up to be Project Manager. He’s the only one. Neil tells Lordalan that his team focused their range around milkshakes, and when Lordalan asks how this happened, Neil says that it’s because Kurt is in the drinks industry Lordalan. This may have been mentioned before. Incidentally
Kurt gets more terrifying looking by the second. His business plan is going to make Soylent Green look like Make Trade Fair. Neil says that their particular focus was on apple & blackberry milkshakes, and Lordalan chortles that that sounds like a phone shop A HA HA HA HA HA HA.
Kurt is not amused.
Lordalan asks if Kurt really pushed his milkshakes on the team, and Neil says that he did, but he was glad to “utilise Kurt’s expertise”. He says it would have been silly to go with any of the other team’s ideas, like cheese on toast or Uzma’s Fashion Burgers. Lordalan just about manages to tease out of Zeeshaan that he didn’t really agree with the milk angle, which is pretty brave of him given that he’s sat right next to Kurt. I bet he got a stab in the leg for that one. Kurt pipes up that he thought that if they sold 200 milkshakes that’d be £500 of profit right there, and Lordalan smirks back
“if you sell them”. In reply, Kurt actually menacingly strokes his beard.
“Goodteamleader?”, after an extended meander via the fact that Neil has the same surname as Brian Clough who done a football, gets muted positive notices from Alex, Uzma and Natalie, silence from Zeeshaan and rank hostility from Kurt who tells Lordalan that he had some…problems with Neil’s budgeting, and the lack of clear direction. And how he didn’t LOVE MILKSHAKE ENOUGH! YOU’LL NEVER EXPEL YOUR THETANS IF YOU DON’T DRINK THE MILKSHAKE NEIL! GUZZLE IT! DRINK THE MILK! DRINK IT RIGHT UP!
Endeavour spent £558 and took £1098 for a total profit of £540
Evolve spent £618 and took £1250 for a total profit of £632
In evolutionary terms, it’s not quite opposable thumbs, but at least they’ve stopped eating their own feces.
Obviously it’s Jordan’s grunting, fist-pumping and dry-humping a clearly bored Luisa that gets all the attention here, but personally I’m getting most of my entertainment from Rebecca and Myles’ little dance. What a pairing. Anyway, Lordalan tells Jordan to stop acting like such a twerp. And quite right too. When Sophocles got like that, Margaret nipped it in the bud the first time.
Jordan then announces that he was only grunting so loudly because it was so tight. Mmmmm hmmm.
Lordalan tells everyone that he makes out that that was a £92 difference and…I’m not sure if his point is that that’s a lot or not a lot. To be honest, I’m not sure that he knows either. Luisa sighs that obviously she’s not so bad after all, as she plots her merciless revenge.
There Will Be Blood. And Squeaking.
The reward is to go to a restaurant and have a meal. Yawn. Outside in the atrium Jordan continues twitching around like he’s coming down from a particularly leg-shaking orgasm, whilst Luisa’s rage face
also departs the boardroom with her. Before Endeavour leave after them, Lordalan castigates them all for their milkshake obsession, and reveals that they only sold 117 of Kurt’s target of 200.
SOUNDS LIKE SOMEBODY ELSE DOESN’T LOVE MILKSHAKE ENOUGH! STRAP HIM DOWN BOYS, AND FETCH THE FUNNEL!
To the restaurant we go, where the super-awkward chef tells the team that he will be cooking dinner for them as part of their treat.
Bless. As he pours them all champagne, Jordan snorfles that Jason can give chef a hand washing dishes later if he likes. Jason sighs that yes, he is now very skilled at washing dishes, grating cheese and peeling potatoes. Hey, don’t knock it. It puts you one step ahead of Melissa Cohen. She would have grated a nail off then hurled the grater across the kitchen to retributify it karmically. To break the tension, chef asks who would like to come bone a grouse.
I think we all saw that one coming.
In between courses, Luisa interviews that she’s PISSED OFF with Myles for backstabbing her in the boardroom because he made it look like she had no control over the team when she SO DED! Notice how she’s not angry at Jason. Then again, who could be angry at that face? Back in the room, she toasts to the first Evolve win…LED BY LUISA! *hair toss*.
Loser Cafe now, where misery
and really gaudy jewellery reigns. Neil asks everyone for their thoughts on where the team went wrong, and nobody has any, mostly because Kurt is staring them all out with his laser eyes. Outside, Zeeshaan interviews under an umbrella that Kurt is obsessed with milkshakes to the point of delusion, and it scares him. Outside he says this. Meanwhile, inside Kurt says that their failure was not being attentive enough to their Holy Margins. They didn’t even double their money, bloody amateurs!
he interviews that Neil has to take responsibility for the failure of the task. I’m really liking these natty umbrellas. I presume they’re there for Uzma’s protection mostly. Neil meanwhile grizzles that he hates losing, and it’s not something that he’s used to. Oh well.
Candidates go in, sit down, and we move, as we surely must, straight to the issue of milkshakes. Lordalan says that he gets the feeling that they completely took over Endeavour during this task.
Really? I hadn’t noticed. Lordalan gets Neil to admit he signed off on the team’s milkshake bonanza, and Neil allows that he did. Zeeshaan at this point decides to pile in and say that he thinks the task was lost RIGHT FROM THE START, RIGHT IN THE ROOTS OF THE TASK.
He thinks the team focused too much on milkshakes and milk. He makes little wafty karate hands as he says this. Everyone ignores Zeeshaan, because he basically just regurgitated what Lordalan just said, and that’s never cute.
Neil gets back on his defensive tack, saying it would have been silly ignoring Kurt’s expertise in milkshakes, as he does them for his day job/hobby/life/blood. Lordalan asks them why, when they realised that they had too much milk halfway through the task, they didn’t change plan. To one of the many other delicious things you can make with milk and fruit. Bowl of milk and fruit anyone? Neil replies that he should have done this yes.
Kaen, emerging from an entire episode of nothingness, burbles that to his credit, Kurt DID introduce a line of juices.
THAT HE BOUGHT FROM COSTCUTTERS *sneer*. At this news Lordalan complains that they were supposed to be a FARM SHOP selling FRESH PRODUCE, not just any old tut they’d got from Costcutters. Neil then smarms that he’d love to take responsibility for that decision but…he can’t because it was Kurt’s.
Kurt snorts that he doesn’t really care that he bought rat-piss from Costcutters, because it made the team profit, which is more than Neil’s trolley dash around a random farm shop did. Lordalan backs Kurt up, saying that between them, the juices and milkshakes brought in 69% of the team’s profit. Hurr hurr. 69. Neil snots that Kurt told him that it’d be worth far more, but he didn’t deliver. He promised £650 worth of profit, which would have won them the task. So it’s not Neil’s fault that he listened. Kurt admits that he did promise they’d sell 200 shakes for £500 profit (H’ACTUALLY) but the problem was that Neil’s hand-picked front-of-house sales team sucked. It had UZMA on it for Christ’s sake!
Kurt brags that he single-handedly sold more milkshakes in the backroom than the entire sales team at the front of the shop did combined. To be fair to them Kurt, they were hampered by not being able to pump milkshake out their ears on the spot like a Pizza Hut Fun Factory.
Anyway, the conversation naturally turns to Uzma, as Lordalan asks Neil what he did when put in charge of her & Natalie. How did they perform under the watchful eye of the menfolk? Neil says that Natalie worked really hard for the team and really pulled her weight, but Uzma is functionally useless. He couldn’t do anything with her. Even when he used her to prop a door open it slid off her slick of hair products. Uzma protests that she did
done a something. She doesn’t actually say what it is. But it definitely happened.
Next up we cover Kurt’s insubordination over his subteam’s budget for non-milkshake related product. Neil says that Kurt really stymied him by not spending the budget he gave him, and only telling him this at the end of the day, leaving him to run around a blackberry farm picking up dodgy looking okra for cost price. He says that if it weren’t for him, the team would have had nothing to stock but milkshakes. Kurt protests that Neil didn’t even tell him what to buy, and Uzma backs him up, whilst Natalie swings in in Neil’s defence. Left to tip the balance?
Alex. Who appears to be growing a moustache that looks a bit like his eyebrows reflected in a millpond. He tells Kurt that he gave Kurt detailed breakdowns of how much of the £100 budget to spend in each shop, and he blew it. Kurt then wags his finger angrily at Alex and snarls that he didn’t even sell NOTHING so don’t be questioning him and his devotion to the blessed path of Milkshake Righteousness. If everyone else had sold milkshakes as well as he did, then the team would have won the task.
Time now for Neil to decide who’s coming back with him, in possibly the most obvious boardroom decision of all time. Yes, it’s Kurt and Uzma, the only other two people to factor into this boardroom at all. Of course there’s still one person who didn’t see it coming.
Candidates go out, Lordalan, Kaen & Nick all agree that Uzma is going to get fired, but let’s all pad it out a bit, candidates come back in again.
We start with Neil being asked why Uzma has been brought back to the boardroom, and Neil replies that it’s because she was the all round weakest person in his team. He says that he knows now why she’s been in the “Bottom Two” twice now. Actually I wouldn’t say that she’s ever been Bottom 2, given that he was nowhere near firing her in Week 1 and last week he seemed more pissed off with Natalie. And what does *that* say about this year’s crop of female contestants? Anyway, Neil apologises to Uzma for telling it like it is and not being here to make friends and all that shit, and Uzma sniffs that she welcomes it. For whatever reason.
Lordalan asks Uzma why everybody hates her so much, and Uzma replies that it’s just the easy way out. Like, one person genuinely didn’t like her, and then everyone else just pretended and stuff to make her a scapegoat. Neil only brought her in because Lordalan said he had his eye on her. That was the ONLY REASON. Nothing to do with hiding behind a lamppost rather than selling being her only contribution all task other than saying she’d got some apples and was heading to the car. Nope. It was because Lordalan ruined it for her, THANKS A LOT. Lordalan points out that plenty of people thought Uzma was useless before he pointed it out to them, and that a saying he’s very fond of is “there’s no smoke without fire”. Like when it took half a series to fire Jo Cameron despite her being in almost every boardroom and everyone saying she was impossible to work with. Like when the same thing happened with Michael Sophocles. Like when Tom Pellereau lost every single task and Project Managed like a Teletubby trying to unicycle and still won the series. Like when the entire cast of Series 6 lined up and said that Stella English was a shady bitch and not to be trusted. Like when Katie Hopkins spent the entire series mugging to camera and delivering such delicious bon mots as “Kristina is a fat orange slut and I hope she dies of AIDS” and then Lordalan acted like it was a MASSIVE SHOCK SHE WASN’T THERE FOR THE JOB OPPORTUNITY. Lordalan is definitely one for hearing what the signs are telling him.
Neil at this point says that he KNEW Uzma was going to claim she was a tactical choice. He goes on to say that if he wanted to play tactics like that, he would have brought Uzma and Natalie in. But Natalie worked hard and was strong, and Uzma wasn’t. He says that Uzma has done very well to get here (!) but she’s got no chance of winning, so Lordalan might as well knock it on the head now.
Of course this was the line that Phillip took against Lorraine.
We turn now to Neil’s CV, where he apparently said that he would trample on people to get his way, and Neil says this is true, but only to prove a point. Well…that’s a noble motive. He goes on to say that he knows where this task went wrong, and it was with Kurt’s ideas, and he’s decided that he, Neil Clough, was the strongest candidate over the first three tasks so there’s no way he should leave. Lordalan tells him that it’s by no means fact that he was the strongest candidate over the first three tasks, and frankly, there’s a fine line between confidence and “being a bit cocky” and Neil is on the verge of teetering over. Into “being a bit cocky”. Right. Neil protests that he is neither confident nor cocky but instead just “outspoken”. Also “irreverant” and “straight-talking” and all that jazz. He’s the Apprentice’s Jeremy Clarkson.
Kurt is next in the firing line, as Lordalan asks him if thinks he made a mistake promising to sell 200 milkshakes, hence giving Neil the noose to hang him with, when the failure to sell them really falls on the shoulders of Uzma and Alex. Kurt protests that on numbers, the milkshakes were the best takeaway item of the day, including those on Evolve so he definitely doesn’t think he should be fired for coming up with the team’s one good idea. Neil protests that Kurt’s milkshakes overran the entire task, and it’s all Kurt’s fault for putting the GLAMOUR on Neil, especially as Neil is a person that’s not easily persuaded of anything. Like the need to
TRIM THAT NECKBEARD.
Begging time for Kurt and he says that he contributed 50% of this task’s profit single-handedly and he really put his neck on the line even with a PM win in his back-pocket, unlike Uzma who just stood around like a powdery fart. He thinks she should be fired. Uzma picks Neil for having the temerity to bring her back into the boardroom, and Neil then makes the mistake of saying that Kurt should be fired for losing the task and Uzma should be fired for being the weakest candidate. Of course this is a mistake because only Lordalan is allowed an opinion on who is the weakest candidate and it’s not Neil’s job to do his job for him and BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH.
For some reason both Kurt (for being a big mouth and overpromising) and Neil (for making his attempted rail-roading of Kurt just too gross and obvious even for this show) are prospective fire-teasings, but in the end
duh, it’s Uzma who is fired. It’s so sad that she didn’t even get proper begging time, because I know she could have saved herself. I bet Lordalan doesn’t even know that she done a fashion. She says “thank you for the opportunity Lordalan” like she’s been busting for a wee the whole time and is glad to finally be able to run off and let go.
This week’s Cab Of Shame appears to be being driven by a particularly…
salubrious individual. I hope Lordalan is vetting these cab drivers. Inside Uzma says that Lordalan may think that there’s no smoke without fire, but he hasn’t truly seen the fire within her yet.
Yes, what a pity we never got to see the true FIRE of Uzma. I think it might be when she stands too close to the hob and her hair goes up.
Back at the house, Zeeshaan is telling everyone that both Kurt and Neil were rubbish on this task. In more exciting news, Jason is giggling away to himself in a corner that Neil is just a backseat driver and can’t actually DRIVE THE CAR himself. To this
Neil bursts through the door smirking “surprise!”. At first I think he’s genuinely trying to act like anything other than an Uzma boot was a shock, but then I realise he’s doing the whole double-firing fake-out bit.
Which fools about…three people? I don’t even know what’s going on with Dr Leah there. Is she inheriting people’s make-up as they get fired? Because if so we’re in for fun times now that Uzma’s gone.
Speaking of which…
Next Week :