The Apprentice 9 – Week 5 Summary


The task is, as expected, the “Buy 10 Items Task”, now busted down to 8 because of exchange rates or whatever. The 8 items are notionally for the opening of a brand new hotel in Dubai, where Zeeshaan lived once (so doomed) and where Myles has seduced many a rich Arabic widow before leaping from their hotel balcony clutching all their jewellery twixt his buttcheeks. A hotel that needs a lot of falcon hoods. Other requested items are a flag, an oud (musical instrument), a kandura (a form of dress), a pot plant, mosaic tiles, a coffee pot and…I dunno…something else. My note-taking ability is only so strong.

As Endeavour are down 7 – 5 in numbers, as is customary Lordalan ports over one of Evolve’s stronger members – Dr Leah, in order to even things up a bit. Unfortunately for Endeavour, Dr Leah is able to stand spending all of 15 seconds with Zeeshaan in a high humidity climate before absolutely flipping out on him, spending all day alternately hurling abuse at him and having a flaming sulk. Zeehsaan of course does the absolute worst possible thing he can do, which is make his new nemesis the leader of the subteam (consisting of her Neil, and Alex), whilst at the same time making her fully aware that he thinks he’s doing her a massive favour by doing so. She spends the entire day yelling at shopkeepers in the most overwrought Norn Iron accent seen on UK tv since that episode of Coronation Street where Jim McDonald stubbed his toe so he did. Between her rage, Neil’s tripping up over his own feet, and Alex seemingly more obsessed with proving his virility to passers-by, her sub-team come back with 1 item. It’s a far cry from the glory days of Week 1. Zeeshan’s sub-team however, prove little better, as Kurt disappoints the team by delivering 12cms when he promised 12 inches. Which I’m sure isn’t uncommon for candidates of this show.

Meanwhile Evolve, under PM Myles, are ALL ABOUT the beautiful subteam of Luisa, Jason and Jordan who basically treat this task as the holiday it is. Luisa packs her bikinis, Jordan packs his best casual mint-green arse hugging hipster pants and Jason packs his best floral “gap yah” attire and they all HIT THE MALL! They gawp at sharks, they skip around perfume shops, they speak in really outstandingly offensive accents to all the locals. Then about 5 minutes before the task is over they remember they’re supposed to be, like, negotiating and shet, and so Luisa and Jason form a bizarrely effective negotiating tag-team and take down a handful of items. Even though Myles subteam spent an inordinate amount of time getting their flag, it is at least the right size, and even Myles’ cack-handed negotiating style can’t cost them the win.

Their reward is to go get drunk on cocktails. Francesca and Jason are adorable whilst getting so. I’m fairly sure this iteration of Evolve are now my favourite team of nutcases in Apprentice history, unless anyone can offer up a better one.

The boardroom itself starts off slowly, as it mostly consists of Dr Leah (suddenly labouring under the biggest hair ever seen on this show EVER. Like, Udon noodles tentacles of candy floss and labrador hair) continuing the pile-on she’s made on Zeeshaan all episode. It almost looks like Zeeshaan might possibly survive just out of pity for the utter merciless pumelling she gives him, but he then makes the mistake of selecting Natalie (who has spent most of the task doing backgroundy Natalie things) for the chop over either Neil or Kurt. It’s a mistake because between them Natalie and Dr Leah issue probably the most savage blood-letting in the show’s history, from the second Zeeshaan forgets to hold the door open for them to the point where he gets mercy-fired just so the brutalisation will stop. After a whole series so far of pretty bland boardrooms, it’s good to finally have a classic.

Next week : the teams have to design corporate away days. Really, this series keeps on giving.


39 thoughts on “The Apprentice 9 – Week 5 Summary

  1. PadsterMo

    That final boardroom was AMAZING. I wish there was an extended version available.

    Is there a British Embassy in Dubai? I’d have phoned them and asked what everything was – after all, if Stella could phone Gordon Ramsay for truffles, surely a call to the British Ambassador isn’t out of the question.

    Jordan’s trousers and Jason’s shirt were hideous.

    And Dr Leah’s hair? Magnificent. I thought last week’s boardroon hair was big, but this was epic. It’s as though she was practising Hairflicks Of Doom beforehand but failed to noticed the cloud of Elnett that she was standing in at the time.

  2. FuTeffla

    Jason in Dubai was everything I wanted and more. Him acting out falconry with an accent he stole from Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood may stay with me to the grave. I was also greatly heartened that Lordalan hadn’t even finished goodteamleadering before Leah jumped in to call Zee an appalling shitbag. Excellent episode.

    Lord help me, I think I may accidentally fancy Kurt a little bit. I know he can’t do maths and is sexually aroused by milkshake but this is what happens when you take Tim away in Episode 2. I need *something*.

      1. Neio

        I have to agree, he is strangely fanciable. Even though he looks really pissed off all the time. Or maybe because of that.

      1. FuTeffla

        I know, I think my internal logic is that Tim is a puppy and Kurt often looks like a really embittered bloodhound.

  3. Marlinspike

    Not only was Leah’s hair leonine, but the boardroom lights reflecting off her incredibly high-gloss candy pink lipgloss caused Nick “our man in Havana” Hewer to squint even more alarmingly than normal.

  4. Alex B

    Dr Leah was hilarious, I loved how she kept crazily muttering to herself as she got more stressed. Her repeatedly trying to say “oud” with a Norn Iron accent and boiling rage was comedy gold.

    In other news, I’m actually starting to like Myles.

  5. Ferny

    I actually felt sorry for Zee at the end even though I already knew he was doomed purely from the clip they showed last week. Has anyone ever said that ‘this is my field, just listen to me’ and WON?

    I definitely didn’t expect for it to be Leah to create the drama this week, mind you hot climates do that to me too.
    In TV terms, Jason is worth his weight in gold. In business terms…not so much. Although in my head I continuously call him Stephen and I have no idea why.

      1. Ferny

        I don’t think there has ever been anyone like a Jason. I wish I did know someone like him ha

  6. ooh

    The best business idea the show could sell is Jason as a house pet, wandering round in pyjamas making bird noises.
    The big boardroom row at the end did well to highlight how gendery it is this year. Very “are women with a large family of extensions to care for good at business and do salescocks know how rude they are?”

  7. Johnny

    Not sure why Kurt’s getting all the blame for the cm/inches cock-up. Natalie and Zee were right there with him and should have noticed. Dr Leah definitely went down in my estimation. There’s always one who gets outvoted as PM then spends all task bitching about it. More classic Jason. AFAICT the Jason/Jordan/Luisa subteam were looking in perfume shops too.

    Enojyed Lordalan’s Myles/Kylometres gag.

    1. Shrinking Man

      “Enojyed Lordalan’s Myles/Kylometres gag.”

      I know. Lord Alan in “genuinely funny joke” shocker. Would never have predicted that.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I think Team Jordan were looking in many shops. Not necessarily all of them task related.

  8. Tim

    Myles/Kilometres. Heh.

    Poor Zee. (Not really.) What a twerp. People kept offering him shovels and he just kept digging. His strategy was OK, it was just that he was so cack-handed with his team in trying to implement it. It was funny the way he was slowly dismantled in the boardroom, even though he kept on defending himself as if sooner or later everyone would realise he had been right all along.

    Oh well. He was mildly entertaining, but not a patch on Baggs or Jedi Jim, so good riddance.

    (The 8th item was frankincense crystals, BTW. Who cares? They only cost about three quid anyway …)

    My usual late-night ramblings:

    1. monkseal Post author

      Zeeshaan’s problem in the boardroom I thought was that he seemed to have real problems criticising the work others did, oddly enough. Lordalan kept on asking him what other people did wrong, and he just looped it back to praising himself. Whether that was a tactic or some sort of notion of “honour”, I dunno.

  9. min

    The task really had Zee-boot written all over it whatever he did – bar by some fluke end up on the winning team. Be a dictator PM – fired. Not be PM, with all that lovely local knowledge – fired. I think even if he had taken Kurt and Neil back in with him, he would still have been fired and it wouldn’t have been half so entertaining!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think there is a *chance* (albeit a very slim one) that Kurt might have gone if he’d been brought in. No chance with Neil.

  10. Neio

    I had a feeling Zee was for it once Lord Sugar started going into detail about his work history and being fired from Phones 4 U – usually they save that kind of thing for the interviews round. He did act like a total cock throughout, and unlike a lot of the candidates, he didn’t seem to have learned anything or any humility by the time he was on You’re Fired. That businesswoman on the panel seemed rightfully unimpressed with his attitude.

    The episode wasn’t as good as the classic Marrakesh episode of course (could anything be?), but there were still some great moments. Jason attempting to communicate with the locals in his clueless, posh boy way was gold. And he won a point in Phone Answering Wars in his pyjamas. Who’d have thought it?

    1. Lollypants

      I’ve been in a Phones 4 U… How much of a cock do you have to be that even THEY fire you after a month?! Despite you being their top salesman in that month (it’s no best salesperson in Europe of course).

    2. David

      That businesswoman pissed me off actually. She seemed to take Zee’s sexism personally as if he intended an affront to her and her alone. His sexism probably has a lot to do with the culture in which he was raised, and she might perhaps be an even better person than she thinks she is if she tried to at least have some understanding of that whilst not condoning it. Full marks to Zee for taking it all on the chin … but none of this means I don’t think he should have been fired !

      I see that if you google ‘oud’, one of the main results is an Arabian perfume … and they don’t always spell it ‘oudh’.

  11. Jack

    It was no Marrakesh (How can anything ever live up to that?) but it was a hugely entertaining episode, with a classic boardroom and it was the best so far.

    Zee had to go. Coming back with three legitimate items out of eight is appalling, especially when you consider that its normally ten items. However, I don’t think he was as useless as suggested, considering the two major errors Myles got wrong (Waiting around for hours to buy the flag and not speaking to the boss when purchasing the plant) Zee got right. Leah seemed a bit too keen to sandbag him, but when he started mouthing off about how he knew Marrakesh, he needed to put up or shut up and he just didn’t deliver. He could have saved himself, but by God, I bet he regretted bringing Natalie in, as that, really, sealed his fate.

    Wow, Jason was actually one of the top performers on that task – him and Luisa make the best/most hilarious team ever. Jordan had a mixed edit again, he spent too much time in the mall, but at least he seemed to make a good deal on the “Oiyed”. Myles wasn’t bad, but he did make a few mistakes and he was lucky Endeavour only had three items to show for it. If he had, for example, gone off to buy items whilst the flag was being made, they could well have got all eight.

    For a while, I’ve thought Jordan will be the top male, but after yesterday, I’m leaning towards Alex, the only candidate on either team to recognize that the Oud wasn’t a fragrance right off the bat. His criticisms of Zee were legitimate and fair and he bought the only item on the sub-team that wasn’t penalised, didn’t he? If he gets a PM win in the next few weeks, he’s bang in contention. Went off Kurt though, seeing as he messed up for the second time in two weeks and his good deal was largely aided by Zee. Thinking about it, last week when Uzma, Kurt and Zee went off to buy the juices, Kurt was the one who was pissy and snappy towards Uzma when she asked what they were doing, whilst supposed sexist Zee was the one who was patiently explaining why they buying the juices.

    Thoroughly enjoyed that episode and can’t wait for next week’s already!

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think Alex is well placed to make a run moving forwards, but he’s been coasting these last two weeks. He sold poorly last week (per Kurt’s unchallenged comment that he outsold Alex & Uzma combined) and he only brought home the least important item this week. He’s got the table-chair in his locker but yeah, I’d say he definitely needs a PM win within the next two/three eps.

  12. Shrinking Man

    Is it wrong that I fancy Dr. Aisleyne a little more now that she seems to have gone batty?

    Still, I think that Lord Alan was completely wrong for criticising her for not going to the mall. Firstly, she’d be doing so against the explicit orders of her PM. That’s usually a huge no-no (although Lord Sugar’s nothing if not inconsistent). And, secondly, the stuff bought there was *far* more expensive. The pot plant bought outside of the mall cost 70 Dirham, the one bought inside it cost 200 Dirham. That’s a huge difference.

    She was wrong to try to go there when she’d been told not to, and she was wrong to be mardy about it. I think she was lucky this week, although Zee was undoubtedly the right person to be fired.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Myles picked up the expensive pot plant, so that wasn’t the mall subteam. I definitely think their subteam would have done better in the mall, just because there were far more items there more readily available, and all three of them seem like they would be good negotiators. That said, Lordalan’s point was silly – Zeeshaan had told her that she was expressly forbidden from going there, twice. If anything, she should have accepted it the first time and gone straight to the souk and got stuck in.

  13. Definitely Not John

    I smell a Jason and Francesca ship! I wonder if she will make him sub pm next task? Her being PM is a no brainer. But Alex may be more entertaining.and therefore win.

    That businesswoman on You’re Fired was a bit harsh. Usually they just make a joke about it and leave it at that. Then she started to make a point where she assumed that he thought that stranger’s opinions were irrelevant, when he said that strangers don’t usually randomly criticise others. Then she continued as if he didn’t say anything, she got a round of applause when it wasn’t even bloody relevant. I don’t think Zee is sexist, just a clumsy person with a big mouth.

    Also I’ve gone off Myles after he said that maybe in Dubai 30 minutes is more like 45 minutes (Or something like that) when people around the world can exaggerate time. I thought it was another moment of someone not thinking before opening their mouth.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Nothing was amazing as :

        Siralan : “Jenny, why did you spend all day cheating and swindling and lying?”
        Jenny : “When in Rome…”

        Her collapse in that boardroom will never be bettered. (“IT’S MY BIRTHDAY SIRALAN!”)

    1. monkseal Post author

      I did feel a bit sorry for Zeeshaan on that You’re Fired, but that might mostly be because it had just come off the back of 10 minutes of Dr Leah/Natalie yelling at him that he had a problem with women. I’m not sure it needed compounding, as a lesson.

      (Although her blythely talking about meeting someone in the second class carriage on the tube made it worth it. Way to tread on your own point about inclusivity and understanding by making it clear that you don’t have a clue about public transportation).

  14. Dublin

    I wish Sugar could watch back video footage from the tasks rather than rely on his advisors and the subjective accounts of the candidates.

    Zee going was a formality. Despite his sound logic in avoiding the expensive mall and his own negotiating skills, it became apparent that his bravado and general twatty attitude without delivering real results meant that he was never a serious contender. Pretty much everyone knew this (even his ‘allies’ like Neil and Alex) so it was no surprise and no injustice to see him fired.

    What gets me is that despite Zee’s personal failings, the real reason why the task was lost was all down to Leah. Her attitude from the moment Zee was unanimously selected as PM contributed heavily to Endeavour’s defeat.

    – Failure. She forced herself as a sub-team leader and delivered only one legitimate item.
    – Lack of support. She didn’t even give Zee’s strategy a chance and moaned about him to her teammates for the rest of the day instead of trying to save the task. Think back to Kristina Grimes when her PM took cheese from Makro to France. Even though she knew the task was doomed, she did everything she could to salvage something for her team.
    – Insubordination. Decided to alter her PMs strategy for her sub-team without communicating it to Zee. This resulted in wasted time when the sub-team was ordered to return to the market.
    – Deception. Had the temerity to accuse Zee of sexism. It’s understandable that Natalie made that point, rightly or wrongly, but what were Leah’s reasons for this? He let her be sub-team leader despite her attitude and gave her more of a chance than she gave him.

    Even if a candidate has shown winning potential, the above behaviour is not on and frankly firing Leah would’ve been incredibly satisfying (more so than Jenny Celery in my opinion) and sent a message to the others. It would’ve made great TV too. It was only because Sugar managed to see through Jenny’s lies over the Kosher affair that justice was served. Unfortunately, Leah didn’t dig her own grave so it was never clear on how much she was to blame.

    There have been very good opportunities in previous series for Sugar to fire candidates for such heinous behaviour if only he could see what was going on. Think Claire Young in series 4 when she was a total bitch to Simon and the countless times Katie Hopkins should’ve been fired and even Philip Taylor over Pantsman.

    It would be so great if the candidates’ lies were exposed in the boardroom by Sugar himself because he’s seen footage. And all of a sudden we don’t get always get the predictable boardroom results.

    1. Neio

      Surely if Lord Sugar saw all the footage, the boardroom results would be more predictable, not less?

      I personally don’t think Leah being fired would have been satisfying at all, especially not anywhere near on a par with someone like Jenny Celery. As a candidate she’s barely the same species as Jenny Celery. On all the previous tasks this season, Leah’s proved to be a good seller and pitcher, and hasn’t been involved in all the backbiting that hindered the women’s team so much for the first few weeks. Her attitude with Zee this episode was the first negative side of her we’ve seen as far as I can remember, whereas someone like Jenny Celery was detestable from the get-go.

      Zee hadn’t impressed me in any way over the episodes he was in, with his talents or his attitude. I’d be more inclined to give Leah the benefit of the doubt than him.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I think the problem is that the sheer volume of footage from the task would be too much to watch. We’re talking what, 36 hours of raw footage from all the subteams combined? You’d have to edit it that down to bullet-points and again, subjectivity comes in. From the boardroom I think it was apparent that Lordalan knew that Dr Leah was pretty intractable from the off and that she had a vendetta. It just wasn’t enough to get her fired. Today.

      1. Dublin

        Zee deserved to go, you’ll get no argument from me, but my point really was that Dr Leah’s attitude and performance amounted to gross misconduct and far outweighed the few good (but not memorable) things she’s done, which are probably just an exercise in backside covering.

        But unless it’s shown on video, it would be very difficult to discern Leah’s awful behaviour through reports and feedback and thus Sugar is never truly aware of what transpired.

        I’m not saying he should watch back every single minute but enough clips of each candidate to get a flavour of what they did in the task. Though I will grant you that to obtain such footage (and objectively edited) by the time of the boardroom is impossible, so my plan isn’t really workable.

        Leah just showed herself to be an utter bitch and I would to have LOVED to have seen the look on her face if justice prevailed and she was fired (or also fired with Zee). it would have been totally deserved and yet totally unexpected as usually, assholes like that get away with it.

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