SMELL WHAT’S SELLING, THEN FLIP IT AND GO FROM STALL TO SHOP!
(Or alternatively, just bring back the Shopping Task)
The sun rises over yet another day in London.
Do you think Pixar would consider doing a film wherein all of London’s most iconic (*drink*) buildings come to life secretly at night, and are adorable and have abandoment issues and songs by Randy Newman doing a bad cockney accent? Frankly, I would take it over “Planes” or “Toy Story 17” or “Monsters Rehab Clinic” or whatever’s actually coming next.
Anyway, it’s 6:30am and scoring the next point in Phone Answering Wars it’s
Oh no, wait, it’s Francesca. This show is very confusing sometimes. This means, with Alex departed, our scores are now :
(Natalie : 2)
Luisa : 1
Jordan : 1
Neil : 1
Dr Leah : 1
Francesca : 1
Myles : 0
Who would have thought Natalie would stay at the top for so long? It’s like she only ever appeared at the very beginning and the very end of episodes or something. Anyway, unless someone can string the next two Phone Answers together, it’s looking like another tied-game so get your voting fingers warmed up and ready for the end of the series.
The Voice? Tells Francesca to gather everyone in the sitting room, because it’s time to reveal who the murderer was. (Any bets on it NOT being Luisa?) Francesca
yells “SITTING ROOM! NOW!” upstairs at the top of her lungs because frankly, she’s seen enough of Myles’ penis now, and isn’t going into the boys bedroom again unless it turns out there’s pirate’s gold in there. And not the metaphorical kind. Myles for his part leans over the balcony (in his fitted classic white t and jeans combination) and sighs
“sitting room? We don’t have sitting rooms in Monaco. It’s a DRAWING room you heathen”.
Francesca then leaps up the stairs in her jazzercise booty shorts and tells the remaining two other women that they’re about to go to The Sitting Room. You can kind of tell Luisa’s hoping it’s some trendy club she’s never heard of, not that they exist because she is like well cool and shet.
Luisa : “HOLD ON EVERYBODY, JORDAN’S JUST PUTTING HIS SARONG ON TEE HEE!”
Jordan : “…it’s not a sarong, it’s a kikoy”
Francesca : “It’s a skirt.”
Luisa : “AW JORDAN, THAT’S SUCH A NICE SARONG, WHERE DID YOU GET IT?”
Luisa : *cough*GAY*cough*
The television fires up and
I love the idea that in The Apprentice house there would just be The Aprentice playing 24 hours a day, so if you turned on the tv, you’d randomly get Margaret rolling her eyes at Jadine’s coffee-making technique or Lordalan making a shit joke about breakfast cereal. That’d proper grind them down – showing them exactly what they were about to become.
Anywho, Lordalan tells them that he’s very sorry to wake them up so early, but they’re going to be really busy over the next couple of days doing tasks and stuff, so he wants them to have an early start. I like the tacit admission that the weekly soujourn to London’s third-tier tourist attractions is always a complete waste of everybody’s time. Also, Lordalan’s to camera speaking skills remain as
natural as ever. He once caught a Jordan that big. He tells them he can’t be there in person, because the thought of catching Jordan wearing only a kakoy makes his balls leaps back inside his body so fast they might take out a kidney. Also he’s “on a foreign business trip”. Probably inspired to stay at the glorious Dubai Hilton after all the free advertising it got…somewhere.
He goes on to congratulate them all on making it to the last 6, just like past Apprentice superstars Stephen Brady, Naomi Lay, and thingy. You know. Chinese one. Micromanager. Syed almost drove him to suicide. That one. Anyway, in two weeks, one of them will be declared The Apprentice, so it’s time for things to get serious. With Smelling What’s Selling.
This year, the twist is that halfway through their marketstall morphs into a pop-up shop. I’m trying to imagine how I could care less. Maybe they could get Tottenham FC involved somehow. As ever, the winning team will be decided based on combining the teams loose change with the wholesale value of their remaining stock at the end of two days. The tv then
CRASHZOOMS in on Lordalan’s face as he tells everyone that’s it going back to Men vs Women for this, the final task of the series. DUNN DUNN DURRRRRRRRRRRRRRN. Jordan seems
obscenely pleased by this development. I guess everyone truly is just that in love with Neil at this point.
As the teams skitter off to get dressed (properly, not in a kakoy), Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that both teams will be given £150 and two days in order to grow their own business via smelling what’s selling. The teams will spend the first day in Spitalfields Market, the second in Shoreditch, and the third holding Jordan’s hair back and telling him to get it all out, he’ll feel much better for it afterwards, whilst Francesca fetches the mop.
As the teams prepare, they discuss the playing field now that the genders are segregated once more. Jordan’s kakoy appears to be a literal representation of him
disappearing up his own bum by the way, bless him. Myles tells Neil that he’s really happy, because he thinks the remaining men are much stronger than the remaining women. As did I, until this week happened. Which I guess was the point. Myles does, however, tell Neil that despite their superiority, they still need to “smash this”.
Luisa : “OMG DR LEAH, WE TOTALLY HAVE SO MUCH TO PROVE TO THOSE STUPID BOYS! MYLES IS WEW BORING AND LIKE, OLD, AND JORDAN CAN’T EVEN SELL ANYTHING, LIKE, EVER AND NEIL? NEIL CLOUGH? NEIL NECKBEARD?
Meanwhile, the men agree that they need to dress down for Day 1, as they will be working on a market stall. Here’s Jordan dressed down
for the golf course. Neil at least is making a better fist of looking like Burtons personified. They’re sitting down here to decide who is going to be PM. Myles puts his name forward, saying that it’s a real sales task, and that’s where he thinks he excels. He knows that he and Neil will be a great sales team and Jordan can hold their bag for them. Jordan meanwhile would also like to volunteer, on the grounds that he’s so crap at sales that it’s probably best if he’s put in charge of delegating and numbers and strategy and stuff officially. So the decision is left in the hands of Neil Clough, who picks Myles, probably on the grounds that his pitch involved more sucking up to Neil Clough. Jordan says “ok, cool”.
At the same time, there’s also a tussle going on over on the women’s team as to who gets to be PM, because let’s face it, they all need to be. Luisa needs to show she can lead without the task turning into a bun-fight, Dr Leah’s first PM stint was put on blast, and Francesca is 0-1. Although…it turns out that Francesca isn’t bothering to even try. Maybe she figures holding the power is the most fun she can get out of this show by this point. Luisa gazes deeply and soulfully into her eyes
and squawks that she “LIKE OWNS FREE RETAIL BISSNISSIS SO I SHUD DO IT”. Dr Leah meanwhile plays up her skills in logistics and negotiation. Francesca picks…Luisa. After 10 weeks, I don’t think I could unpick the relationship between those two with tweezers.
Nick interviews that Luisa has been chosen as PM because she has set up retail businesses herself before and so she should, as they say
“smash it”. I don’t think Nick has ever wanted to say anything less since “well done Michelle, you were a worthy winner”.
Next up, the teams have to pick what area of retail they want to work in. Luisa picks “fashion” for Evolve. Myles picks
“licking his lips vacantly” for Endeavour. Jeez, at least Jason waited until Luisa rammed herself down his earhole before he completely absented himself from the process. He’s got absolutely no ideas where even to start. Neil’s helpful contribution?
“We need something that’s going to make some money, and then we need other things that are going to sell”
Thank you JD Rockefeller. Jordan suggests greeting cards. Neil doesn’t like it. Myles says that teapots are cool.
Right. Kaen interviews that the men have spent far too much time yammering away emptily, and not discussing their strategy properly. In short, they’re SMELLING before they’ve even started SELLING.
Evolve on the other hand, have their strategy down, thanks to Luisa. She and Dr Leah are going to go to find stock, whilst Francesca goes out to Shoreditch to “check out the vibe”. I think “check out the vibe” is the new “peeling carrots”. In Evolve Apprenticar A, Luisa tells Dr Leah that they’re going to
“stack em high and sell it cheap”. Which would also be the winning strategy in the prostitution task that I always dream of that’s never going to happen. Francesca arrives now at Spitalfields (not Shoreditch, whatever editors) and “checks out the vibe”. The vibe is
pretty happening. She finds beanie hats for £8, bowler hats for £25 and…those things for £10 each.
Meanwhile Kaen has been driven so far to distraction by Myles’ mental absence that she’s actually going to break the David Attenborough rule and
talk to the animals. She asks them if they’ve made a decision yet. Myles says that if Kaen GIVES HIM A COUPLE OF MINUTES, he’ll make a decision. Myles likes to make the ladies wait, apparently. All in the game, all in the game. Jordan interviews that Myles is a ditherer (what, another one? FIND YOUR OWN GIMMICK MYLES, THAT ONE’S ALREADY TAKEN) and the worst mistake they (by which he means Neil) have made all day is to elect him PM. Personally
I think the worst decision Jordan’s made all day is to pop that collar. You’re not Ziggy Stardust Jordan. More like the Laughing Gnome.
Finally, ultimately, half-heartedly, Myles decides on “homewear” as the team’s theme, and then leaves. In Endeavour Apprenticar A, Neil gives him a barely-bothered pep talk about how they’re going to turn things around as Myles
wonders if they’ve got time to drive to Wales and leave a flaming bag of dog doo on Alex’s doorstep. I mean…they’re going to lose anyway? Might as well?
Mid-morning, and Dr Leah and Luisa are shopping for hats. Specifically, debating whether beanie hats are still cool or not.
Luisa thinks they’re cool, Dr Leah thinks they’re very 1998. Beanie hats are on the very long list of things that I have never worn ever, so I have no opinion. Luisa next
tries out a variety of STRONG LOOKS. In the middle of that last one, she exclaims “I LOOK LIKE ROADKILL!” right in front of the shop owner. Never change Luisa. Never change. From there they move to a different shop to look at leggings.
Dr Leah is not here for leggings. They still buy some, to go with their hats. Nick then reminds us all what SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING is about and tells us all that Luisa and Dr Leah are bound to be back here later restocking. Thanks Nick!
Endeavour, unfortunately, haven’t bought anything yet. And when they eventually do, it’s
tat like this. I’m guessing the Monaco Mansions Myles works his way through are…decorated by the lady of the house. These ceramic thingies sell for £25 each, and they’re being offered to Myles for £11.50 each. Neil furrows his brow, disapprovingly. Myles buys them.
Back on Evolve now, and the women are
all smiles, and setting up shop. Francesca grins that she’s got them a great pitch, miles away from all the other hat stalls, and she can’t even SEE any other leggings at the market (I wonder why). They’re set up! Pricing is discussed next, as Dr Leah and Luisa tell Francesca that they got their hats
sublimely modelled by Luisa, for £2 each. Francesca informs them that she’s seen similar ones selling for £10 at the market. I feel a plan coming together. I also feel the imminent return of
FRANCESCA’S GIANT NAMEBADGE. She tells us that she’s glad they’ve gone for products they’ve bought really cheap, so it gives them a lot of room for manoeuvre on price.
Over on Endeavour, Myles rings Jordan, tells him that he and Neil have 16 items for their shop, and they’ve spent £108 and that they’re both really happy actually, thanks for asking.
Jordan interviews that he thinks Myles has bought too few items, that are too expensive, and that he doesn’t think they’ll sell. Enjoy these last few shreds of Jordan’s sanity. They’re about to get shredded off him like Peking Duck off the bone. He pops into a shop to buy greetings cards to go along with…their…ceramic notepads from this lady
who seems lovely, if a little bit mad behind the eyes. I think we all know that what Endeavour are really setting themselves up to be here are “purveyors of tat”, and we all know how that always ends. It ends like this.
It looks more like a modern art installation than a market stall. AND they’re already £10 under the RRP. Myles tries to work his Monaco Magic on some passing women to get them to buy some of his ceramic tat. It doesn’t work. Kaen interviews that Myles’ market stall looks tragic and
“it wouldn’t even entice me over, unless maybe Neil loosened a button or three, know what I’m saying? *wink*”
12:00 now and sales on Evolve are going great guns. Hats are moving at a rapid rate from the hands of all three women, even Dr Leah
who doesn’t seem to get hats. Actually, it’s probably difficult to tuck that label in given the sheer VOLUME of hair under there. Luisa as well is giving an absolute masterclass in insincere flattery.
“ZOMG, HOW LIKE, STUNNING DO YOU LOOK? *don’t look at the hat don’t look at the hat don’t look at the hat*
Myles meanwhile is trying to sell using the line “bit of fun ceramics, madam?”. Let’s not do pictures of that. It hurts too much. The black hole of sales suck is so strong that Jordan starts last-minute panicking two hours into the task, and offloads almost all the cards he just bought
to the owner of a local newsagent for £80, which nets them a profit of £25 on the deal, which has taken the best part of the day so far. For this, Myles calls Jordan a legend. It really doesn’t take much does it? In other news…MANHATTAN IS SUBMERGED? HOLD THE TASK, THIS IS MAJOR NEWS! WHO CARES ABOUT SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING? NEW YORK IS DROOOOOOOWNING!
3:00pm, and the stock levels of Evolve are running low, so Luisa sends Francesca off to buy some more stuff. Making her power play whilst dressed like Peggy Patch’s slutty cousin,
Luisa tells her to in fact go off and buy some more hats, as they’ve been selling well. Nick’s all
ZOMG, SOMEONE GETS SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING! FINALLY! I hate this task so much. Francesca sprints off into the night in her hideous leopardprint leggings like
prostitute Wonder Woman.
Meanwhile back on Endeavour
Jordan : “HI, I’M HERE TO BUY MORE CARDS! Anyway, as I’m buying loads you’ll probably give me a discount on price, yes?”
Card Lady : “Not really, no”
Jordan : “Oh, ok, still…A BILLION CARDS PLEASE!”
I’m so enjoying this Apprentice “glorified courier” task. Francesca meanwhile does a restock on hats
looking pretty effing gangsta whilst she does so. And it’s a pretty good job she does as well, because sales of “funky leggings” back at the stall are not going well. I guess we’ve found this clientèle’s taste level. A hat that looks like someone ran over it three times with a combine harvester = yes. A walking yeast infection in zebraprint = no. Sales for Neil on the other hand are picking up.
Neil : “Hi Jordan, Neil Clough has sold two butterdishes now, so Neil Clough is going to SMELL WHAT SELLS and tell Jordan Poulton to go and buy more of them”
Jordan : “I can’t! I’m ferrying greeting cards back and forth across London for a £25 profit each time!”
Neil : “Doh”
7:00pm, and Francesca returns with more hats. Dr Leah and Luisa get on with selling them. Jordan closes another card deal. Neil closes another ceramics deal then interviews that
sigh, he’s had such a hard day selling stuff that nobody wants. Not so much that you weren’t just demanding that Jordan get more of it 5 minutes ago. Anyway, rest assured that Neil has sold more than anybody else did all day, possibly all series, by a mile. He and Myles stand itemising which of their 16 items, on which they make a £10 profit each, have sold. It turns out the creepy looking fetishistic ceramic rubber gloves have done the worst. GEE, WHO KNEW?
8:30am on Day 2, and both teams are convening in the Apprentice Mansion. Luisa grins at her team that she thinks that they had a great day whilst Jordan
already looks a bit like he’s got an eggy sensation building up in his oesophagus. Neil tells the rest of the team that they need to buy more ceramic butter-dishes and notepads, whilst Myles says that they need to introduce a new line. I wonder what ceramics Myles might…keep around…maybe in a drawer…that he could sell. Anyway, whilst he sorts that out, Jordan is sent out to get some candles. Neil tells him to get some, but not a lot so they can see if they sell before buying more. I think this is the closest Endeavour come to a strategy all episode and it’s still pretty flimsy. Luisa and Dr Leah meanwhile send Francesca out to buy more expensive items, because now that they’re in a shop they need to sell more upscale items.
10:00am and the teams arrive at their destination.
Never has the world looked more like a Habbo Hotel. This is “BoxPark”, a shopping mall built entirely out of shipping containers, and the location for Day 2 of SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING. The men are the first to arrive at their shop.
Evolve on the other hand have to settle for a shop called “East Side Fashion”. How street. Can’t wait for Myles Mordaunt to give them a drive-by braap braap braap. RIVIERA STYLE. They dress up the inside of the shop with their stock.
I mean, it’s not amazing, but the competition is this :
so…it’s practically Habitat. Yet again, Endeavour’s decision to only stock a handful of items comes back to bite them. Well…I say “decision”. I think, like many things on Endeavour this week, it just kind of happened.
Meanwhile in exciting restocking scenes
Jordan fingers some candles whilst Francesca
rummages through some vintage dresses. Apparently Pixie Lott wore this one last week. If you give it a sniff, you can still catch the faint aroma of a complete effing void of terrifying dead-eyed nothingness. And peppermint foot cream. The shop owner agrees to sell them to Francesca for £27 each, and Francesca seems pleased with her bargain.
Back at Casa Unique, Myles and Neil have realised that their shop looks like a post-apocalyptic bolt-hole, so Myles decides they need to get creative and make better use of their space by
…laying a mirror…across…two wooden drawers turned sideways…with a sheet thrown across it…right in the doorway? Is that what he’s doing? I mean it looks like it, but I just can’t quite believe that any human being would do that. I half expect him to knock a giant rubber ball off one of his ceramic notepads, and then a giant plastic mousetrap comes crashing down on Kaen, and he and Neil peg it. Also Kaen, stop checking out Neil’s arse. So transparent.
Just as Myles is putting the final touches to his Heath-Robinson death-trap, Francesca arrives back at East Side Fashions
modelling Pixie Lott. Everyone agrees that Francesca looks “very round here style” and agree that they should sell the dresses for about £65 each.
11am, and it’s time for the shops to open. And ooh look
a man’s having a brunch-time wee in a rooftop swimming pool. How Shoreditch. In East Side Fashion, the hats are, once more, selling well. With Luisa
forcing the buggers onto women’s heads like a one-size too small condom. Also being bought is a grey scarf, by this week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend
George The Hipster Calamity. Crave that festive onesie! In October! Wrecking the trend curve, my brony. Sadly, the vintage dresses aren’t proving quite so much of a draw, as they seem to be out of the price range of everybody out shopping in the middle of the day. Based on the front cover of the Evening Standard, this task was filmed October 30th and 31st, making this a Wednesday, so it’s not really surprising that nobody’s looking for a major spend. Also it might have been an idea to get some
HALLLOWAYNNNNN MAYYYYYYYULS in the store.
Meanwhile, over at Casa Unique, Neil is selling well. Myles on the other hand hand is stuck in some sort of quantum loop, muttering “one day only”, “British ceramics” and “hello mate” to himself like an incidental character in Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. Kaen notes in interview that Myles is starting to look like frayed around the edges. I don’t think Myles even has edges any more. He’s just one long loose thread. As Neil tots up another sale, he starts to wonder where Jordan is with those candles. The answer?
He’s still just stood there, staring at them.
1:00pm and he finally returns to the shop with them. Neil guffaws in disbelief that it has taken Jordan four hours to buy candles. That shouldn’t be possible anywhere other than a Two Ronnies sketch. Jordan then pulls them out in the store, and starts going on about how they are “statement candles” that you can put on your hearth FOREVER. He tells Myles that they are IMMORTAL CANDLES THAT CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED. In summary, Casa Unique is now selling ceramic rubber gloves, greetings cards, and giant “immortal” £25 candles. Bloody hell. Remember that task last year where they rummaged through an old dead woman’s house? That.
Back at Evolve :
Dr Leah : “GOOOO ORRRRRRN! FAYYYYULL THE QUALIDAY!”
Shopper : “It feels like acrylic…”
Dr Leah : “It’s actually majority wool!”
Shopper : “The label says 80% acrylic, 20% wool”
“LOL OOPS, OK!”
It is at this point that Luisa gives the nod to slash the price of the dresses to £40, because they’re just not selling. I guess Pixie Lott just doesn’t have the charismatic pull that she…no actually that was never the case was it?
Back with Endeavour, Neil tells the team that he thinks that they should maybe possibly go and get a £100 item and try to make big money on it you, you know, possibly, that would be one avenue, he’s not necessarily going to endorse it, it’s entirely up to Myles, but if they do it and win it was his idea, if they do it and lose then he never said they had to, if they don’t do it and lose then he SAID THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE IT OH MY GOD MYLES HOW COULD YOU IGNORE NEIL CLOUGH, and if they don’t do it and win then hey, who cares, THREE TRUE LADS IN THE INTERVIEWS and let’s say no more about it. Or something like that. Neil became a little annoying again this episode, is what I’m implying.
Myles says that he agrees with Neil, and sends Jordan out to purchase this MYSTERY EXCITING ITEM. Because in a task based on looking at what’s worked so far and repeating it, putting Jordan on purchasing is EXACTLY THE RIGHT CHOICE.
Back on Evolve, and Francesca is also being sent out to get more stock. In this case though, the team have actually identified something that sells so…there’s not much to say really. Francesca is told by Luisa to get more hats and scarves. Particularly berets. Luisa’s seen a lot of berets around Shoreditch. Maybe they’re in.
Nick : “I’ve had some issues with Luisa over the last few weeks, like that time I yelled in her face that she was the rudest person that ever lived and that I hoped she drowned, but she sure can SMELL WHAT SELLS!”
(Obligatory Sugababes joke goes here)
Jordan meanwhile is justifying Myles’ continued faith in his restocking skills by
buying this gewgaw, for £76. To retail at £190.
I don’t think it’s going to happen Kaen but…dare to dream, I guess. Kaen coos that if Jordan sells this vase for the price suggested, he’ll have equalled the money taken by the entire team on the first day in one shot. I’m not even going to bother to keep track of the numbers on this task, but £190 takings in one day from £150 seed money is…not good is it?
4:30pm now, and sales are still slow at Casa Unique. Jordan returns with his lung-fluke vase and shows it off to the other men :
Myles : “Wow…”
Neil : “It’s erm…a little smaller than I was expecting…”
Myles : “HOW MUCH DID THIS COST?”
Jordan : “£70…”
Myles : “I have to say, this is very disappointing
DADDY’S NOT HAPPY!
Jordan waffles on outside that he doesn’t know what Neil and Myles were expecting him to get. HE thinks it’s beautiful and would sit well on anybody’s desk. HE would personally buy it right now if it weren’t for these stupid task rules! He thinks Neil and Myles are just INTIMIDATED BY ITS BEAUTY and if they were such master salesmen they could shift it easy. Back in the shop, Neil and Myles prove him right, after a fashion, by saying they want nothing to do with it – Jordan has to go and sell it to trade, immediately.
LAST MINUTE SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING MONTAGE!
Francesca buys some MORE hats, Luisa slashes prices, Neil & Myles stand around their shop bitching about Jordan because they’ve got literally nothing else to do, Luisa tries to get a policeman to
feel her berets, Dr Leah and Francesca just got on with selling things, Jordan wanders around a darkening London trying to flog his fluke vase, and at the last minute he finds someone that’s INTERESTED.
OR DOES HE?
It makes literally no difference whatsoever, because the boys are so far in the hole at this point that it wouldn’t matter if he sold TWO. At FULL MARKET PRICE (which obviously he’s nowhere near because he’s selling to trade)…
So anyway, I still don’t like smelling what’s selling. Partly it’s the boring stuff that you don’t care about about how it’s hard to recap properly, but partly it’s just because, as a a task, there’s not a lot to it. The women won the very second they chose the right products at the beginning and the men chose the wrong ones. Hence half the episode was just Francesca running back and forth wearing funny hats. I mean…I love Luisa’s energy, and Dr Leah’s accent, and Francesca’s giant name-badge, but 15 minutes of them going “do you want to buy a hat?” and someone wanting to buy a hat, rinse wash repeat, does not make for an interesting watch. There was some minor pleasure to be had in the men’s collective nervous breakdown, I guess…
I mean…say what you will about Francis (/”Francis”) but you never would have caught her dead wearing that. Do they light up to show the candidates which way to go in the event of an emergency? Anyway, as we’re nearing the end of the series, it’s time for the obligatory unnecessary extreme close-up on a candidate’s eyes.
This year it’s Francesca. Very noir. Husky McGee tells them they can go through to the boardroom now, and the candidates stand
four of them simultaneously adjusting their down-below portion as they do so. It’s certainly the year for tight-fitting skirts isn’t it?
Candidates enter, Lordalan finishes customising his festive onesie with spray-on snow, and enters. And starts by telling the candidates that this is another one of his favourite tasks. So favourite, that the last two times they ran it he got so pissed off that Cousin It had to break the seal on the atrium’s defibrilator. Both times. NO REWARD FOR YOU NATASHA SCRIBBLES!
You will be surprised to learn that it’s one of his favourite tasks because it reminds him of what he did 40 years ago. What? Run a shop that only turned a profit because you didn’t pay the staff any wages? Sounds about right. Anyway, everyone nods along solemnly that yes this truly is the core of business right here. Lordalan tells them that it’s all about working out what works, and junking the rest. JUST LIKE HE DOES IN THE BOARDROOM HA HA. Jordan
squint “laughs” at this so hard he sends himself blind. If smiling with your eyes is a “smize”, then laughing with your eyes can truly over ever be “lize” (how gnomic!).
We start with Evolve, who are asked what happened. Luisa is discovered to be Project Manager, and then she and the other women all fall over one another talking about how amazing they all were. Luias explains that they mostly sold hats and leggings. Lordalan guffaws that he heard they bought some BOWLER HATS. THEY DID KNOW THAT THEY WEREN’T ALLOWED TO SELL TO NICK, RIGHT?!
Speaking of smizing, not one of those smiles reaches the eyes does it? We’re a long way from the glory days of homicidal humous or Kylometres. Dr Leah and Luisa both chortle that they tried.
Luisa follows by explaining her day 1 strategy – buy lots of low cost items, and for all three women to sell out of the shop where possible.
Nick : “Luisa did well – she brought in £293 in sales”
Kaen : “ERM, DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY NICK, MY NEIL BROUGHT IN OVER £470 ON HIS OWN!”
God, so desperate. Nobody was talking about Neil, Kaen. I guess they were only “on a break” last week after all.
Luisa goes on to say that Francesca was the team’s “restocker”. Nick asks why Francesca was always on restocking duty, and it almost feels like he’s about to say she was being marginalised, but it turns out he’s just saying that because he thinks she was rubbish at it, because she brought back those vintage dresses that didn’t sell. Luisa defends her (?!?!!!?!), saying that she thinks the dresses were worth the risk, and Lordalan snorts that THEY DIDN’T SELL SO THEY WELL WEREN’T.
He then goes on a long rant about how Luisa will learn that, in 6 months time the auditors would come in and look at those dresses and go URGH, NOW, I’M NOT VALUING THAT AT WHOLESALE VALUE BECAUSE YOUR STOCK DON’T SELL. These dresses I would remind you, didn’t sell in the space of 6 hours. On a Wednesday. In October. Not 6 months. On a task where it doesn’t really matter if they were left over because it’s not as thought their value gets deducted from the team’s total. But you know, I guess they have to fill airtime with something he can pretend Evolve did wrong.
Endeavour are next, and Myles explains that he was Project Manager because he “likes sales”. Sadly, they don’t seem to like him much these days. When’s the last time he succesfully sold something in The Process? Week 4? Myles tells Lordalan that he and Neil went off buying, and Kaen breaks in to say that Myles chose to go
to a HIGH END ARTISTIC DESIGNER SNOOTY-BOOTY BESPOKE CERAMICS SHOP. Kaen is at this point writing fan-fic to stop Neil getting fired. It’s quite something, especially as he is in literally zero danger. Myles shudders, deep down from the depths of his soul, that he thinks his ceramics (retailing for £15, the amounts he probably spends daily on lunch, if he’s budgeting) were in fact “medium-ticket” items. Lordalan asks them how many items they had in their stall on Day 1. Myles says that he bought 16 pieces of ceramics.
Lordalan shakes his head in bafflement. He sighs “3 blokes, 1 stall, 16 items”. Those dirty youtube videos just get more and more niche don’t they? Nobody bothers to point out that Jordan didn’t spend any time at the stall whatsoever, and the ceramics were bulked up by the greetings cards that he bought. And then sold in bulk about 5 minutes later. He goes on to lecture the team about how their shop looked barren (true) and that he would have thought they’d know that you can’t SMELL WHAT SELLS unless you actually have a wide range of things to sell in the first place. Luisa would have got nowhere if she’d just poured all her money into leggings at the start of the day. Mostly because they look like they’d tear under the pressure of a strong fart.
Kaen breaks in to say that the team at least had good margins. Hmm, yeah, ok.
Lordalan : “What else?”
Myles : “During the second day we had some good success with two of the ceramic lines”
Neil : “NEIL CLOUGH SOLD THEM!”
Myles : “Yes, you did Neil, well done”
Kaen *possibly actually touching herself under the table* : “NEIL DID ONE SALE FOR £75!”
Myles : “Yes Kaen Neil did great we all heard you”
Myles then admits that unfortunately sales and restocking were so insufficient that he basically had to recreate a market-stall in the pop-up shop’s doorway, rather than pretend it was an actual retail space. Oh, so THAT’S what that was. Lordalan then pretends that he think their strategy might have worked. LOL, OK LORDALAN!
Endeavour had £299 in cash and £251 in stock, for a total of £550 in assets
Evolve had £394 in cash and £416 in stock, for a total of £810 in assets
This means that, as far as team names go, it is dead even for the series. 5-5. Evolution is neither proved, nor disproved, and the Creationists live to fight another day. Incidentally, watching Luisa do maths in her head
is kind of adorable. Look at those cogs WHIRR. When the results are announced she claps and squeaks “GIRLS WIN!”. I know. Despite all being jealous of your designer vagina, or whatever. It’s a miracle. Lordalan tells them that, as a reward, they’re all going to eat in a pop-up restaurant called The Cube.
But only if first they can step sideways over two ankle-height bars with a welder’s mask over their face. Once they’ve left to do kissy-face, Lordalan makes sure to grind in to the poor benighted men that Evolve were just a MUCH better team than Endeavour.
We move next straight to Loser Cafe
Be aware, CCTV is in operation. In there, Jordan starts in strong, castigating Myles for his lack of strategy, and for spending so much money on so few products. Myles snorts back that they were the team’s best-sellers, far more than his cards or candles or…lung thing. He tells Jordan that he thinks the price-point on some of the items Jordan was bringing back towards the end made them literally impossible to sell. Jordan passive-aggressively sighs “alright, if you say so”, then does the ole
Slurp And Stare. Thus begins a short segment I like to call “Jordan Gets Loud”.
Neil : “The vase was something we all thought might win us the task, it didn’t, so le…”
Jordan : “So what, I should have just come back and said SORRY GUYS IT WAS ALL SHIT?!”
Neil : “Well I think I would at least have looked at what else was th…”
“ARE YOU SAYING I DIDN’T DO THAT?”
Neil : “I don’t know, I wa…”
Jordan : “DO YOU THINK I’M AN IDIOT?”
Neil : “I ne…”
Jordan : “DO YOU THINK I WALKED IN, PICKED UP A LOAD OF TAT AND WENT HERPY DERPY DERPY DOO.”
Neil : “eep”
Jordan : “YOU GUYS BOTTLED IT, AND WENT OOOOH, WE CAN’T SELL THIS, BOO HOO, AND MADE ME DO IT!”
Jordan : “I THINK IT’S LAUGHABLE THAT THEY’RE TRYING TO BLAME ME. LAUGHABLE! IT MAKES THEM SOUND STUPID!”
Feisty Jordan ❤
Phew, I almost thought we weren’t going to see the excitement of three women eating in a restaurant then. I guess they needed time to properly glam themselves up. They rock up to the bar where they are greeted by
Anthony Hutton, winner of Big Brother 6. Stay away from the jacuzzi, ladies. They chink their glasses at sunset, and Luisa wonders whether the three of them should start up their own business.
How many swear words do you think just went through Francesca’s head, all in one burst of obscenities? You can include the new ones she invented along the way.
it’s a little spartan. Also, frankly if I’m eating out I have trouble enough with the task of keeping myself orientated enough not to spill food over myself and the person or people I’m in a party with, let alone 15 strangers all jostling and throwing their arms around like they’re in the school canteen. Luisa thanks everyone for working so well with her, despite how sexy she is. She really felt their determination to win. Francesca then grins like a loon
and says that it’s AMAZING that three of the final five are women. Yes, operating at a level barely above chance there. Of course the chance of three of the final THREE being women seems…erm…pretty…yeah.
Lordalan open by telling our hapless final three males that this task was designed to “flush out skills”. I hesitate to say what it appears actually to have flushed out. I’d fetch a plunger though. Lordalan goes on to say that the fact that Endeavour only had 16 (/more than 16) high price (/£15) items on the stall tells him that they know nothing about retail.
Myles : “Retail? Or *sneer* MARKETS?”
Ha. Oh Myles. Lordalan squeaks that he means ALL retail. He says that Luisa, for all her faults, at least made sure that she had a “mug’s eyeful” in the front of her shop to make the place look busy and exciting and popular. Yes, I think we’ve seen quite a lot of Luisa’s “mug’s eyeful” over the course the series. I wouldn’t speculate as to who was the mug. Although they probably were at eye level with the eyeful. Lordalan asks Myles if he was embarrassed by how barren his shop looked and Myles admits that he was.
And it takes a lot to embarrass a man who’ll dance around on tv with a thong wedged up his chocolate starfish.
Kaen asks the men if they even liked the products they were selling (you know, like Luisa who skipped around saying her products made her look like a squashed hedgehog) and Myles says that he did. Neil says that he liked the ceramic notepad and that turned out to be their bestseller so OOPS TURNS OUT HE’S GOT IMPECCABLE TASTE, but nothing else. Lordalan goes to ask what the thinking behind the ceramic lines were, and Neil snarks that there wasn’t one. He thinks what they needed was one or two high ticket items that would deliver a big margin and win the task. Lordalan then gets him to stop so he can make a lame joke about how the men CLEARLY WEREN’T SMELLING WHAT’S SELLING and they should have SENT JORDAN OF TO GET SOME VICKS INHALERS, ARF ARF.
The insight in this boardroom, it is penetrating.
Kaen then reveals that she’s got something under the desk to show Lordalan.
It looks like it’s been retrieved from the office of a mohel. Lordalan
stares in mute incomprehension that it’s supposed to retail for £190. Someone whistles extra hard through the air-vents, and some poor researcher tries to shove a tumbleweed through the boardroom doors, but it’s just too big, darn it. He asks what it is, and of course Jordan smarms in with
“it’s a VASE, Lordalan, it’s a very unique, very unusual, HAND LOOMED vase”.
Can you imagine Lordalan being interested in anything hand-loomed? I cannot. Indeed, he snorts that maybe if Endeavour had a year to “enhance artistic followers” (bless Lordalan trying to talk in…well any sort of lingo) it would have been fine, but they had 3 hours of task left. Jordan then gets
weirdly Messianic and starts waffling that he GENUINELY thinks that if you stuck a single flower in a single hole of that vase and stuck it on the reception desk of one of Lordalan’s businesses, people would talk about it.
Jordan, if we stuck a single flower in a single hole of you and stuck you on the reception desk of one of Lordalan’s businesses people would talk about it. In fact I think that was the job they offered Stella. Lordalan sneers that some arty-farty advertising exec might like it if they saw it in a high-end store (Jordan giggles indulgently which…he shouldn’t) but they were in a converted shipping container in…
“IN THE COOLEST PART OF LONDON LORDALAN!”
Is he trying to be the physical embodiment of everything Lordalan hates, or is it just coming naturally? Seriously. He might as well have turned up in the boardroom wearing a Henry Holland t and openly popping eccys. I almost want to check if there’s actually lenses in those glasses.
Anyway, Lordalan asks him if it sold, so of course Jordan has to wearily say that it didn’t. He does say that he still sticks by the product, and Lordalan gruffly and bluntly says that if Jordan stands by the product then it tells him something about Jordan. Not even a vulgar joke there. THIS HATEMANCE IS SO ON.
Lordalan turns to Myles next, to roast his management, whilst Jordan chews away on his lips manically, looking like it’s only the first step to gnawing on the entirety of the rest of his face. Myles says that he admits that he went to the wrong supplier to begin with, and that they should have picked a wider range of stuff that would sell easily. Lordalan then tells him that he went to the wrong supplier to begin with, and they should have picked a wider range of stuff that would have sold easily. Myles stares at him as if to say
“so it’s true? If we actually admit we did things wrong, this whole show falls apart? Interesting…” Lordalan closes by saying that Jordan’s foreskin slurry vase was a “casino move”. Nobody makes a Monaco pun. I have no idea why not.
Myles then says, in his defence, that as we’re at the final 6 now, he should have been able to trust that Jordan was intelligent enough to go off and buy some decent stock for the stall. Lordalan asks if Myles gave him any direction, and Myles freezes, allowing Lordalan to accuse him of setting Jordan up for a fall, and for Jordan to pip up “EXACTLY! EXACTLY!” like he’s not been off-putting enough already.
Myles : “He came back with products that were literally unsellable”
Jordan : “They’re not unsellable Myles, you’re embarrassing yourself trying to make out they were SO BAD. *does a little herky jerky shoulder munchkin dance in his chair, no really* THEY’RE UNSELLABLE! THEY’RE UNSELLABLE!
Lordalan *somewhere off in the distance* : “Erm…”
Jordan : “To say they’re unsellable makes YOU look bad Myles, not me! NEURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!”
Myles : “No Jordan, what makes you look bad is sitting there saying that you like that vase”
Lordalan next asks Jordan who he thinks was responsible for the failure of Endeavour on this task. He says he blames Myles. Neil is asked the same, and says he blames both Myles and Jordan. Mildly piqued, Lordalan asks Neil if he’s completely exonerated himself then, and of course Neil does the usual “no, of course not, but I still sold the mostest so I should stay” response.
Candidates go out, Lordalan says something mildly negative about Neil, Kaen starts hysterically weeping and chains herself to the boardroom table yelling that if Lordalan takes her Neil away from her she’ll GO ON HUNGER STRIKE UNTIL HE’S BROUGHT BACK, candidates come back in again.
Lordalan starts by telling Myles that he doesn’t think Myles understood the task. As a result, Lordalan questions his entire credentials as a businessman and human being, and wonders what he’s been doing for the last 20 years. Myles replies, glassy-eyed
that he’s been selling to a “luxury client base” and then shagging their wives and stealing from their wine-cellars. Apparently he started off in Formula 1 sponsorship acquisition and then created one of his own Formula 1 brands, which became one of the largest. Lordalan promptly asks him what he’s doing on this rinky-dink gameshow then, and he says that he has a luxury brands marketing agency that he wants to take digital.
I don’t think I’ve seen Lordalan go from 0 to “only here to be on the telly” so quickly ever before. He swiftly brushes Myles off to ask Neil if he’s a one trick sales pony. Neil uses this as a springboard to launch into a transparently pre-prepared speech about how he’s been PM three times, won twice, stepped out of his comfort zone, delivered a record-breaking win and delivered in the fields of
“innovation, creation and operation…al”. Lordalan calls this out as the load of glib waffle it is. As does Jordan, from the sidelines, smirking. OH JORDAN.
Neil is asked to beg, just because, maybe Lordalan’s trying to wind Kaen up, and Neil says that he’s got a great business plan. It’s an online estate agency that he’s been researching for 18 months now. He then announces that the competitor he’s going up against made £80,000,000 profit last year. Yeah, they sound like they’re ripe for knocking off then.
Jordan’s turn to beg next and…boy howdy, here we go.
Jordan : “I should stay in the process because I am the best person in the process. Not morally, or ethically, or practically, or any of that shit, but because my business plan is PHENOMENAL!!! AND SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO INNOVATIVE!”
Lordalan : “What is it?”
Jordan : “It’s an online platform that allows hobbyists, that is normal people like me, Neil Clough and Monaco Myles
and brands to create GAMES FOR MOBILES!”
I’m sure none of them will ever reach the levels of iconic fun that Crazy Cabinet did.
Jordan then goes on to explain that software engineers are normally geeky people who write all the…I dunno…code or whatever you call it. This blog runs on buttons that say “bold” and “italic” and “link goes here”. Don’t make me transcribe technical stuff. Lordalan then takes the hump and tells Jordan that he’s been around software engineers since Jordan was born, so he’d thank Jordan not to teach him how to suck eggs. Jordan huffs that he’s just defending himself. Defensively by the looks of it.
He goes on to say that what he’s trying to say is that he’s not the software engineer – that’s somebody else. He’s going to be doing the strategy and marketing side of things. Head Prefect Kaen speaks up all
SIR! SIR! THAT’S TWO PEOPLE! YOU’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE INVESTING IN ONE! NEIL’S ONLY ONE PERSON! THAT’S NOT FAIR ON NEIL SIR! Jordan says that if and when Lordalan makes an investment, they can discuss percentages then.
JESUS CHRIST, I THINK WE JUST LOST AN ENGINE! Lordalan says that they will be no negotiation. It’s a 50-50 partnership between himself and the winner. The end. Jordan says that he just didn’t want to lie to Lordalan and make out he was a software engineer. Well that’s ok then. He goes on to jam that foot even harder into his mouth by saying that he and Lordalan could decide between them whether this software engineer is part of the business of not. Yeah, sounds kosher. Lordalan tells him point-blank that the software engineer is going to be an employee at best, because he’s not going into business with someone unless he’s forced them through 10 random irrelevant tasks and Claude Littner first. Jordan then gets all
huffy and faux-gallant and says he’s just looking after his friend’s interests! Pretty sure everyone just heard you kind of sort of imply you were willing to discuss throwing him under the bus not 5 seconds ago Jordan, but ok.
Things then descend to the level of farce when Jordan starts jabbing at the other two, saying that Neil is a “salesman setting up a website”, Myles a “luxury brands person setting up a digital agency” whilst he is a “tech start-up person running a tech start-up”. This would be a good point if he was more explicit about it being a spin on the little “stick to what you know” homily that Alex was offered last week, but instead he falls into the bearpit of calling himself a “safe investment” which causes Lordalan to
blow up like he just walked into a wind tunnel. He starts effing and jeffing, whilst turning beetroot, that tech start-ups are the MOST RISKIEST BUSINESSES ON THE PLANET. SUCH A RISKY BUSINESS JORDAN MIGHT AS WELL BE SLIDING ROUND ON PARQUET FLOORING IN HIS UNDERWEAR AND SHAGGING REBECCA DEMORNAY. AND SHRINKING TWO INCHES WHILST HE DOES SO. (yes even Jordan, we’re talking about Tom Cruise here).
Jordan gets the fire-teasing
and pukes in his mouth, but it’s
Myles who takes the bullet, because Lordalan’s suddenly got a “gut feeling” about him, and also he’s not sure a luxury brands agency is something that would be suitable for him to invest in, in these “troubled times”. Well how convenient. Myles leaves, and tells Lordalan that he’s really learnt a lot, all but making a blowjob face as he does it. He’ll see Kaen in the car-park later *wink* Bring a bottle.
Lordalan gives Jordan that he’s going to get absolutely murdered dead at interviews, have fun, and sends him and Neil back to the house. As they leave Myles gives them both one last
In his Cab Of Shame, Myles says that he’s feeling very philosophical about his departure.
Back at the house
Dr Leah learns that what works best for a twilight rooftop soiree is perhaps less flattering in the full blare of the house lights. Francesca says that she thinks Myles is leaving, but Luisa thinks it’s probably going to be Jordan. Nobody thinks it’s going to be Neil because…well…they all saw Kaen’s face. Luisa then launches into a rant about how the men didn’t
even pick the right market and they were dumb and stupid and she doesn’t even know what they were thinking and
OH HI GUYS *squeal* *hug* *squeal*
Once Jordan’s sat down, he says that that boardroom was CARNAGE. Francesca asks if there were fisticuffs between the men, and Jordan clarifies that they weren’t attacking each-other, Lordalan was attacking all of them. By which he means him.
Francesca toasts to the Final Five, and again points out that there are more women left than men. Not quite a vagina party, but there we are.
Now THAT’S a vagina party.
Next Week :
I’mma try to get #pukeonclaude trending on twitter, feel free to join me.