The Apprentice 9 – Final


(That’s an anagram. It’s wordplay. It’s ironically reverse symbolic of the beauty paradigm! Just ask Dr Leah!)

5pm and a rare daytime shot of London Porn

It’s just not the same is it? You can see all the dirt and the wrinkles and that odd-shaped patch just south of the river. Darkness is this lady’s friend. Ah well. Of course, an evening call to The Apprentice Mansion and an all-female Final 2 can only only mean one thing.

ZOMG APPRENTICE SLEEPOVER! Luisa has put Tim to bed, and invited all her bezzies to come round and watch Crazy Stupid Love because like Ryan Goling is WEW fit and if she wins The Apprentice, she’s gonna marry him. Dr Leah’s gonna give you all SUPER HOTT MAKEOVERS (SPECIALLY YOU JASON, WE’RE GONNA GIVE YOU CHEEKBONES!!!!), and then, like, Becky’s gonna turn up because Sophie “invited her”, but then they’re all gonna go “LOL NOT REALLY, DID YOU REALLY THINK SO BABES, IT WAS WELL OBVIOUSLY A JOKE” and then Uzma’s gonna pour Dr Pepper on her from the bathroom windows and then I’m gonna lezz it up with Natalie and then we’re gonna send the photos to Neil Neckbeard because like he’d be well up for that and OMG FRANNY FANNY, DID YOU REALLY THINK IT WAS FANCY DRESS HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. *throws popcorn*

Or something like that. Of that ilk.

As they sit around waiting for Dominos to deliver, they both ponder on how unlikely it is that either of them made it this far. I’m personally more surprised by Dr Leah, just because she’s from “a profession” but after Ricky Martin’s victory (despite spouting inflated guff on his application form) last year and Tom Pellereau’s victory (despite being shit at everything) the year before that, I’m guessing we’re shattering all this show’s taboos with the new format. Next year, an ARSELICKING SCHMOOZER.

The phone rings and

the dash to the final Phone Answering Wars point begins. Sidenote : Luisa is wearing a onesie at 5:00pm. Living the dream.

She’s also

picking up the final point in Phone Answering Wars. That means out final scores are :

Natalie : 2
Neil : 2
Luisa : 2

and well I’m sure you know where you can go to cast your opinions on that score. (Do not vote if Monkies lines have closed, as you may be pointed and laughed at). Anyway, it turns out to be Lordalan’s Office, and not Ryan Gosling, so Luisa and Dr Leah just have to do a dumb old task instead of having their sleepover. BOO. The cars will be there in half an hour to pick them up and take them to One Marylebone. Sadly, Luisa changes out of her onesie. More’s the pity. More people should do the tasks in their pyjamas. Judging from how comfortable Jason looked in his, he probably would have won.

We close with one last shot of personal grooming in the house, although without Myles dancing around doing helicopter-dick, it’s all a bit hollow. Here’s Luisa

pretending to be a sexy unicorn and here’s Dr Leah


Oh, by the way, for the rest of the recap, just presume that everything is overlaid with a thin patina of both Dr Leah and Luisa talking about how much this means to them and how much is at stake. I ain’t recapping that shizz. They both leave the house, and get into their own Apprenticar each, which quite frankly feels like a waste of petrol but hey, I’m not auditing the BBC. Dr Leah looks a bit

lonely. Also a bit like the doomed antiheroine of a Hollywood movie about the crushing and surreal emptiness of modern corporate America, trapped forever in her limousine with only the ghost of Sam Elliot for company.

Eventually, both Dr Leah and Luisa arrive at One Marylebone, the scene of many a high-profile corporate event. Says Helpful Voiceover Man, whose idea of a high-profile event is when they let him out of the cupboard. Today it’s just the venue for

THE APPRENTICE STARE-OUT FINALS 2013! The winner goes on to face mad-eyed Jo Cameron in the final. Good luck.

Whilst everyone’s eye-balling one another, Lordalan

sneaks up on them from behind, the cunning bastard. I guess it’s one way to keep the final fresh. Next year he’s going to jump out of a cabinet and yell “BOO!”. He tells both women/girls/ladies/whatever that they’ve both done very well to make it to the final. This is their FINAL CHANCE to impress him. No really. No takesies baksies. You blow this one, it’s all over. Just like when Yasmina made those chocolates that destroyed Swansea. THAT WAS THE END OF HER (also it was a cocoa electric). The final task is for the final 2 to “launch their businesses”. Or at least, the parts that involve creating a brand, shooting a corporate video, and doing a “launch event”. Everything else will sort itself out. Hire an accountant or something.

Oh, and those launch events? GONNA TAKE PLACE RIGHT HERE!

Nick does not look happy at this turn of events. I think One Marylebone might make his joints ache rather. After those launches, the candidates will learn which of them he deems worthy of receiving his £250,000 investment, and which of them just gets the slightly less solid warm glow of internet fanboys wanking on about how they were robbed and they were the real winner and at least they’ve got better tits and Dr Leah probably only won because she NEEDED IT MORE because Luisa will be successful on her own anyway so there.

Lordalan gives the two women a short precis of what he hopes to discover about their businesses over the next few days. In the case of Dr Leah, it’s if it’s evil. In the case of Luisa, it’s what it is in the first place.

Baking and shet, innit? He also tells Dr Leah that he needs to be persuaded to invest in a field that he has no experience of. You know, unlike Tom Pellereau’s home manicure kits. He’s well up on those. You should see his shiny pinkie. Dr Leah and Luisa are then dispatched and it is only in this, the final episode

that I have realised just how bizarre Dr Leah’s walk is. It’s spooky. It’s a bit like Lisa-Marie in Mars Attacks crossed with that terrifying dancing puppet from the Playdays Playground Stop crossed with Sadako crossed with some broken windscreen wipers. I guess this why we didn’t get a proper bridge walk at the start of the series. Between her hair and her walk she would have knocked most of the other poor sods off the side into the Thames.

Helpful Voiceover Man fills is in that what Lordalan neglected to mention is that both Luisa and Dr Leah will be forced to work with the people they’ve spent the last month and a half backstabbing, manipulating, betraying, and passive-aggressively sing-songing “OH DEAR WAS YOUR INTERVIEW A BIT SHIT, NEVER MIND FRANNY FANNY!” in the face of. One of them maybe more than the other, who can say? The method of picking will be to peruse the CVs of 8 losing candidates, then ring up the ones you want, with candidates being allocated to PMs on a first-come first served basis. Our potentials are Francesca, Jason, Zeeshaan, Natalie, Myles, Alex, Uzma and Neil.

Luisa immediately starts in on her rivals, chirruping that Francesca has some really great ideas, so maybe she should pick her. Clearly disorientated, Luisa then sighs “I DO like him, he’s just really useless. But he does do what he’s told” whilst poreing over a CV that’s too blurry for me to make out.

Having slagged some poor sucker off thusly, Luisa interviews, with an eye-twitch of rage, that she’s sick and tired of people saying that she is manipulative and evil and aggressive.

Like, they missed out GAWJUSS and with fab tits! So rude.

Luisa : “HI NEIL NECKBEARD, IT’S LU! *squeal*
Neil : “Hi Lu”
Luisa : “Guess what babes? I made the final! Oh wait you knew that! You were totes there, getting fired! *giggle*
Neil : “…”
Luisa : “Anyway babes, wanna be in my team for the final? I’ve got shooters!”
Neil : “…”

Dr Leah meanwhile has nabbed Alex as her first pick, in the middle of fretting about how Lordalan might not want to invest in the “medical sector”. I love that I’m supposed to buy this as a red herring. His last few investments have been nail-care, skin-care, and scientific recruitment. That’s a bit closer to what you’re doing than bloody cupcake sprinkles, love. She then grabs Francesca, and Uzma, who she rather flatteringly calls “Ooze”. Somewhere in the middle of that she got Myles as well, and she is DUNZO.

Luisa meanwhile, is ringing Alex, and getting rebuffed, because he’s already committed to Dr Leah. If you look closely, you can see Nick in the background, smiling smugly about the high score he racked up on Angry Birds, draining the Apprentiphone batteries so they conveniently ran out just before he passed it on to Luisa, forcing her to sarabble around One Marylebone for charger, ultimately winding up WORKING WITH JASON LOL OOPS DRAMA. Alex smirks over the phone that he’s already been booked. And not for the Bradford University Leavers Ball like he will be for the next 5 years before he’s replaced by Conor Maynard on a downswing. She also rings Francesca. Francesca’s voice at getting to tell Luisa she can’t work with her is like ANGELS SINGING. It’s better than when she beat her in that car race. Myles meanwhile, has turned his phone off, because he’s too busy seducing the Lithuanian Ambassador’s daughter to bother himself with trifling matters like turning Luisa down.

Having already got Natalie (somewhere), Luisa realises that she’s stuck with Zeeshaan and…

Jason. He already looks kind of ominous glaring out of his CV doesn’t he? I half-expect him to blow a raspberry like the haunted paintings in Harry Potter. Luisa sighs that her team isn’t looking great. Don’t sweat it Luisa – Stella managed to win with Melissa Cohen on her team. Anything’s possible.

Jason : “Hello?”

Luisa *doing Hyacinth Bucket voice for some reason* : “Oh hello there Jason. It is I, Luisa Zissman. I was wondering if you could possibly be so gracious as to return and be on my team in the final, for I have made it to this, the zenith of the proceedings, and require some assistance from your good self”.

I would have given anything to have cameras in Jason’s house at that point. I imagine him to be surrounded entirely by demi-clad beautiful people, fanning him with ostrich feathers. Like some sort of 80s Blofeld, but with Teddy instead of a white cat.

This leaves our teams as :

Dr Leah – Alex, Myles, Francesca, The Ooze
Luisa – Neil, Natalie, Jason, Zeeshaan

Luisa interviews that it doesn’t even matter that she’s got a crap team because, like, Dr Leah probably NEEDS a better team to even come close to Luisa’s experience in branding and business launches. Like, Dr Leah’s team could be Ruth Badger, Susan Ma, Chris Bates AND Nick Holzherr and she’d STILL lose. Luisa created “OH MY POW!”. She’s unstoppable. (Luisa seems to be overcompensating rather).

Teams picked, Dr Leah and Luisa return to the house, where they find Rebecca sat melancholy on the Mansion stoop, wearing a party hat and crying. It’s going to be a long night.

7am next day now, and the ghosts of the damned are washing up, ready to help the two finalists. Those of you running a sweepstake as to when Zeeshaan would desperately start trying to get Neil’s attention

can have a healthy “1.3 seconds” as your answer. As they arrive, Dr Leah envelopes Francesca in a huge beaming hug.

Francesca left, like, 2 days ago. Stockholm Syndrome truly has seized hold. Dr Leah grins broadly at her team, and tells them all that they were her first choice, and she didn’t have to ring anybody else. She doesn’t, of course, tell them which was her first first choice. You know, as opposed to her fourth. Luisa’s Big Reunion on the other hand

is more of a “B*witched” than a “Liberty X”. Luisa tells everyone that the final task is all about her business.

Neil cares. Her idea is to create a new baking brand. Tins, utensils, colours. That’s right, Luisa is inventing new colours. Mostly in the shades of Jason’s face. She explains that she’ll be selling to retailers, who will then sell the products on to consumers. Everyone else looks

confused/bored shitless. Although to be fair to Natalie, she’s not currently in the boardroom, so she’s probably in cryosleep. She asks Luisa wearily if she’s eventually going to start selling to consumers. Luisa says no. She’s a wholesaler 4 LYFE. RIDE OR DIE.

Outside Jason interviews that

he’s getting a really weird sense of deja vu being with Luisa on a design task. Just like the sense of deja vu Lizzie Borden got before she picked up the axe. He says that he’s sure that Luisa’s going to get better as she goes along. *smirk*. Back in the room, Luisa says that she’s going to be selling everything you need to make a cake, bar the cake itself. Natalie then suggests “flour” and Luisa says “no”. But yes to icing. See, now I AM a bit confused. Meanwhile in the corner

Nick tries to chloroform himself. Not happening Nick. You’re stuck with them.

Back with Dr Leah, she’s telling everyone about her clinics, where she will be offering anti-wrinkle injections and facial fillers. But she wants them to know that she’s going to be profoundly

ethical about it. Myles is all “SOD ETHICS, PUMP IT DIRECTLY INTO MY VEINS! MONACO MYLES NEEDS A TOP-UP”. Dr Leah then goes on to explain that she’s already come up with a brand.

That looks like something out of The Shining. She tells everyone that her brand is “Niks”. Which is “Skin” spelt backwards. Yes, it’s also a word meaning “painful lacerations of the skin” Dr Leah. For serious. Alex suggests “Reflections” because he thinks it really encompasses Dr Leah’s brand somehow (?), but she tells him to sod off, because she’s in love with her scary shrunken head surrounded by pig’s blood writing.

Kaen is…less so. Also, jeez Kaen, put your women in business away. Just because this is the peak of human feminist achievement doesn’t meam things have to turn into Greenham Common.

Luisa meanwhile is brainstorming brandnames with her team. “Hello Baker!” “Bake Me Happy”. “Sugar Coated”.”MASTERBAKE!” “Spongeboob Implants”. “Sticky Tarts”. “The Yeast We Can Do”. “Much A-Dough About Muffins”. “Meet Your Baker”.

Some of those may be mine.

11:30am and the teams are now headed off to do market research, design a website, and “create a brand”.

In Evolve Apprenticar A Luisa is expounding at length that she thinks a really specific brand-name like “Sugar Central” or “Bakers Toolbox” lends itself more naturally to a big brand than a more general name. Like “Cakes And Stuff”.

She is talking to quite literally nobody. Jason is plotting ways to gag her with a piping bag whilst Zeeshaan stares at her boobs. I mean, we’re not quite at Michelle Dewberry levels of disharmony here, but it’s close. Zeeshaan just about stops dribbling long enough to say that he likes “Bakers Toolbox” best.

They pull up to a bakery in Belgravia to do research. I personally don’t eat cakes so

you’re going to have to enjoy your Cake Porn alone. Once inside, Luisa meets the owner. Who is called Peggy Portion (/Porschen).

Enough said, really. Luisa tells Peggy Porschen that she runs a cake shop herself, and she’s had bad experiences with her suppliers. So she’s decided she’s going to become a supplier herself. Both Luisa and Peggy Portion look at one another like they’re in a professional egg-sucking teach-off. Neither of them seems to have a clue why they’re here at this moment in time, having this pointless conversation. Nick interviews

that Luisa isn’t really doing market research, just trading war stories with a fellow baker. Indeed we cut back to Luisa telling Peggy Portion about the difficulty she’s had obtaining a Wilton 233 nozzle. Yes, it’s true. There are some nozzles out there that even Luisa can’t get her hands on.

Jason : “Anybody want to talk about numbers? Business? Holy Margins?”

Everybody Else : “Not really Jason, no”.

Back with Endeavour, and Dr Leah is imaging her awful hateful brandname on a billboard and sending herself

a little down the Uncanny Valley as she does so. Myles says that Dr Leah should at least call it “Niks Clinics” or “Niks Medical”. Dr Leah looks like she’s considering it. It’s the closest she gets to pliability all episode.

Lunchtime now, and Luisa, Jason, Zeeshaan, Dr Leah, Myles and Alex are all arriving at their brand design agency Dr Leah shows off her sketched out brand identity to the agency staff.

So NIKS is made out of tiny little pores/zits/cysts. Good to know. Luisa meanwhile has decided that her brand logo is going to be her “in cartoon form”. So…just her then? Brandishing a rolling pin.

Design Guy : “What colours were you thinking?”
Luisa : “PINK!”
Design Guy : “What sort of pink?”
Luisa : “PASTEL PINK! Like erm…”
Jason :

“Like Zeeshaan’s gay shirt pink, or Zeeshaan’s gay tie pink?”
Luisa : “Zeeshaan’s gay socks pink”

And the brand is complete.

Natalie and Neil ask some focus group (so that’s where they are!) if they like the idea of pink for a brand. They all say “no” and some guy says that it’s a bit too gender specific for him. BECAUSE ONLY GIRLS BUY PINK THINGS. Neil rings Luisa up to let her know that there are people in the world who don’t like pink things.

HER WORLD IS ROCKED! She baffles that her logo is really more of a raspberry shade than pink, and besides, everyone’s like gunna be looking at her cartoon tits anyway, so who cares? Nick interviews that it’s confusing, because Luisa’s brand is supposedly for retailers, but her marketing and branding

seems to be targeted very specifically at 9 year old girls. Is her marketing plan to distribute to the world solely via the middle-man of lemonade stands perhaps?

Back on Endeavour, Dr Leah’s logo is coming together, whilst Alex gives it the big I Am from the world of branding.

Typography’s where it’s at baby. Give him some of that funky funky Neo Sans baby. Where’s that with his latte baby cause he needs to make the 6:15 flight to Alberqueque baby. Dr Leah is of course just talking over the top of him, drowning him out, demanding a bigger s and a smaller i and a funkier k and all that. Kaen interviews that Dr Leah has had her brand vision set out from the beginning. Corporate, safe and bland.

Yeah, come on Dr Leah! Add a couple of comedy knockers to that S there. YOU’RE ON REALITY TV DAMNIT! Back in the room, Dr Leah says her brand may not be “funky” but it is clinical. Myles says it’s boring. Dr Leah says that she likes boring.

Speaking of which, it’s now 6pm, and we’re still watching people watching people doing graphic design.

Fascinating stuff. Luisa thinks her website looks “blah”. Unfortunately, she only has 25 minutes left, and only one page of the website is finished, so there’s precious little time to unblah it. She also seems to have found space for a “blog” section which…again, it feels like she’s selling to the consumer, rather than the retailer. Jason of course is

in clover. As Luisa flaps and frets and tells everyone to shut up, he interviews (again) that this reminds him awfully of the last time he was stuck on a team with Luisa, except this time she’s the one fiddling with her pink petunias. Eventually the team are done designing and as Jason, Luisa and Zeeshaan all walk out, Jason merrily recounts to Zeeshaan how on their last task together Luisa and he were on the verge of pulling one anothers hairs out. To be honest, if they had started doing that at the time, I doubt they would have been finished in time for now. Either one of them. They’d still be there halfway through Series 10, plucking at one another’s….actually I’ve reached a part of that image I didn’t want to ever access, let’s stop.

Dr Leah’s website meanwhile, is finished, on time, and efficiently. Woo. In their Apprenticar, Dr Leah tells Myles that, now she’s working in her field, she’s super-confident that she knows all the answers to all the questions anyone can throw at her. Myles just thinks

“damnit Dr Leah, if we were launching my luxury brands idea, instead of this botox bollocks, I could have got us all a free market research holiday to the Cote D’Azur. That’s got to be worth more than £250,000? A WEEKEND WITH MONACO MYLES ON HIS (/not necessarily his) YACHT?”

8am on Day 2, and we cut to a shot of Uzma and Franesca sat in their Apprenticar, stalled in the middle of Stonehenge, wondering if anybody’s noticed they’re not there yet.

Today’s task is to produce a promotional video, and also to do some of that “too late to actually change anything “market feedback”” that this series has been so keen on. In Endeavour Apprenticar A, Alex tells Dr Leah that he’s going to help her produce a video that is both tasteful and professional. He likes to call it “Herbert Gets His Ballsack Botoxd”.

Helpful Voiceover Man tells us about the team’s two different shoot locations. Endeavour will be filming in a (haunted) clinic, whilst Evolve will just be shooting in somebody’s (haunted) house. Jason rehearses for

a thousand segments on This Morning, all at once, whilst Luisa corners some children and tells them that, just for today, she’s their mummy.


Alex and Uzma meanwhile are dressing the set for the NIKS video shoot using the

“let’s just stick a load of random shit in a vase” school of interior design. At this point Dr Leah marches in (Alex : “SPEAKING OF MAKING THE ROOM LOOK PRETTY, DR LEAH WALKS IN”, Everyone Else : *vom*) and tells them they’re doing it wrong, and rearranges everything like she’s in

Phoenix Wright : Ace Attorney. Alex interviews that Dr Leah is officially “on the rampage”.

She’s moved a vase Alex, calm down. He sighs that he doesn’t think Dr Leah has any faith in the people around her to do their jobs properly. Maybe that’s because the “people around her” are you and The Ooze, Alex. Dr Leah indeed does seem to be getting very bossy, including to the poor model who has agreed to be in their video. The constant yelling of “STOP HUNCHING! RELAX! BAY HAPPPPAYYYY! SMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYUL” does seem a little counter-productive. She won’t be leading a photoshoot on BINT Model any time soon.

Neil meanwhile is directing for Evolve, and looking pretty damned bored as he does so, whilst Jason is left

holding the idiot boards, little devil horns of hair-fluff poking through, as he bides his time. Luisa’s angle for her advert seems very much like she’s speaking to the audience as “one of them”. That it, as a baker, not an effeminate homosexual gentleman. Neil and Jason gush at her about how genuine and charming she’s being, and Jason then interviews that today is all about “Teamwork & Smiles”. Ah, the sister site to “Friendship & Flowers”, for those into more…kinky pursuits. Nick interviews that blah blah blah, everyone loves Luisa now, the Redemption Arc is complete. Almost. Incidentally, by my calculation this means that Zeeshaan and Natalie are off somewhere together doing market feedback. I’m not saying I *want* to be torn away from Jason Leech – Unofficial Third Finalist but…come on. That’s a reunion we all want to see. Maybe Natalie got pina colada on the camera when she threw it in Zeeshaan’s face and the footage was unusable?

Anyway, on “leaning at people and calling them madam” duty for Endeavour are

Myles and Francesca. They’re asking people what’s important to them in a non-surgical treatment cosmetics brand. It turns out that people would quite like the people sticking needles in their faces to be well-qualified. Of secondary, but still vital, importance is the brand identity. It takes far, far too long before someone points out to Myles and Francesca that their brand literally sounds like someone having a chunk of facial tissue accidentally gouged out with a blade. Myles replies that this was “not a brilliant comment”.

They ring Dr Leah, who is in the middle of micromanaging her script down to the individual pen stroke, to let her know the bad news.

It’s alright though, Dr Leah’s got a back up plan! “LAYYSHUN! IT’S LAYYYK, AN IRARNIC COMBINAYSHUN OF LAYYYSURE AND PRECISHUN! WE CAHD CAHL IT THE LAYSSSHUN LOUNGE!”. Sadly, there is not time to put this into motion, so instead she’s just going to stick a load of full stops into her brand name to make it N.I.K.S. Yeah, that’ll solve it. What’s it supposed to stand for? New Iron Knockers Surgery?

Kaen interviews that Dr Leah’s brand name is shit, Dr Leah

waves a needle about. Kaen better watch her mouth.

5pm now, and the teams are back at the creative agency On Evolve, everyone falls about clapping and laughing and cheering at how amazing their video is, as they watch the final cut. Natalie indeed claims that she’s got “quite emotional”. I think episodes of Miranda probably make Natalie “quite emotional” (“OMG, SHE’S JUST A REAL WOMAN TRYING TO MAKE HER WAY IN THE WORLD, WHY DOES HER SKIRT ALWAYS HAVE TO FALL OFF AT THE WORST TIME? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY? POOOR MIRANDA!!!!!! FUCKING MEN!” *squeezes out tear*). I’m saying, it probably doesn’t take a lot. Zeeshaan meanwhile continues his mission to make Neil notice him by telling him he should definitely take directing corporate videos up as a career, because he’s sooooooooo good at it.

Zeeshaan then continues his rampage of flattery by turning to Luisa and telling her that the one thing she’s really going to excel at over Dr Leah at the launch event, is getting every single person she meets to like her.


Over on Endeavour, there’s no time for a premiere though, as Dr Leah is still editing her masterpiece, getting ever more ratty, bossy, and frazzled as she does so.

I will say this, every year in this final task one of the early fired candidates always comes back, and redeems their early shabby performances by putting in a real genuine effort to put things right. And this year, I’d like to give that honour to Uzma Yakoob. You finally got your make-up right, girl. WELL DONE. Dr Leah worries that her video looks a bit like she’s going to start injecting the poor model in the eyeballs. And, you know, that’s not in the business plan until at least year 5, once Dr Leah has sold off her share and is living in the Bahamas, having fashioned her voluminous hair into a parasol. Frantically, she flails around asking one of her two “creatives” to come up with an ending that’s strong, and doesn’t look she’s about to stab somebody in the cornea.

Four words – “Popty Gay Marries Herbert”. Job done.

As Dr Leah goes full on David O Russell on everyone, Helpful Voiceover Man tells us that tonight is the time for last minute tweaks. Yeah, I’m thinking Dr Leah raiding the meth cupboard isn’t the WORST explanation for this…

Day 3, and it’s 11am. Bit of a late start for this show isn’t it? Both teams are arriving at One Marylebone again, and they all marvel at the spectacle.

Oooh, ahh, everyfin’s pink and shet. Jason sets about auditioning for an

interior design segment on The One Show just in case that whole This Morning gig doesn’t work out, whilst Dr Leah puts the finishing touches to her pitch, with Myles and Francesca’s assistance.

Fascinating stuff. Luisa meanwhile is

piping cupcakes, playing with her big pink balloons, and gawping at her cartoon visage and wondering if she could maybe marry it. Nick interviews that time is getting on, and the big part of this launch is going to be the speech. The speech which Luisa isn’t rehearsing, in favour of getting ankle-deep in pink goo with a chirpy Jason. He closes by gnomically saying that

failing to prepare is preparing to make an ass out of you and there’s no i in moving your cheese. Or something like that. BAD THINGS AHEAD FOR LUISA SAYETH NICK NEWER basically.

7pm and

the experts are arriving. What series was it that Rio Ferdinand turned up? There’s a memory that just floated into my head. Anyway, here’s an expert from the world of cosmetic medicine

Doesn’t show, does it readers? Peggy Portion is also there, Peggy Portion fans. Dr Leah interviews that

she knows she doesn’t necessarily always come across as the most passionate and animated person in the world, so she’s really going to try to get that across in her launch speech. Luisa interviews that the edge she has in this scenario is her big

personality. Yes Luisa, but the edge Dr Leah has is a scalpel so…she wins.

First to launch their products is Luisa. She takes to the stage to the sound of some sort of Stompesque clattering of wooden spoons and saucepans. Either that or Natalie accidentally got locked in the supplies cupboard backstage with a colander stuck over her head.

Her speech is a little halting, and a little tentative, although I’m not sure if that’s due to lack of rehearsal, nerves, or because her mouth is currently drier than a lecture on 19th century Austrian financial markets. She chokes on “glitter” (not for the first time I’ll bet) and Lordalan gives her a glare that

could strip paint off a Volvo. She goes on to flesh out the details of what she thinks Bakers Toolkit will have over her competitors, other than her cartoon norks. They’re going to offer online ordering, and guaranteed three day delivery. She expects to turnover £1,000,000 in the first year of trading, growing to £3,200,000 in year 3. Several bakers in the audience splutter in disbelief at these massive figures, as well they might. Small timers.

Luisa next cues up her promotional video

“HI! I’M LUISA ZISSMAN! Like you, I’m a baker and business owner. Unlike you, I’ve had a kid and have still got this SLAMMING BODY. I dunno about you guys, but I’ve found that all my suppliers are fat lazy ugly bastards who are always letting me and my MAZIN businesses down. No offence any bakin suppliers in the audience of industry experts, but you’re all shit and I hate you. So now I’M GUNNA BE A SUPPLIER! I’ve got my edible glitter and my penis shaped cupcake moulds and I’m ready to roll! You can even order online! And whilst there, why not check out my blog, and get some thinspiration watching me dance around the pool in VAYGUSS with my best girlfriends!


Time now for questions from the audience. This woman

is thinking “WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?”. Might they not be alienated by Luisa’s pink branding and female logo? Luisa says that the baking industry is “dominated by females” (well…it is in her shops) so it doesn’t really matter, but any men out there will be so impressed by the quality of her sprinkles that they’ll buy her products regardless of whether it’s pink and sherbert-scented. Another guy asks Luisa if she has any other numbers projected beyond year 3.

Luisa doesn’t have a clue, and tries to pass off her honesty over this fact as a positive. Not terribly convincingly. She promises that she’ll go backstage and check out her projections. Instead, she goes backstage and

hurls herself weeping on Neil’s chest. NOW the Redemption Arc is complete.

Throw in the Taj Mahal and call her Princess Diana.

Back in the room, Lordalan gets feedback from the baking experts. They think Luisa’s brand name is very strong, and that the whole concept “rides well with the renaissance of baking”. They think Luisa did a great job at showing her passion and knowledge of the area, but they think she might want to think a bit more about who she’s targeting her buns at. Words to live by there. Ultimately they just don’t think it really came across as a trade supplies website.

Next up, Dr Leah, heralded to the stage by

Francesca doing a dance. To “Orinoco Flow” no less. Nice work Fran. Dr Leah’s speech, when it starts, is

a little dry, a little paced, a little Dr Leah. She explains to everyone that she is the Clinical Director of N.I.K.S Medical, a chain of medical cosmetic clinics. I appreciate she’s using “medical” strictly to distinguish it from “surgical” but…wrinkles are not a “disease”. This isn’t medicine. (*descends from high horse*). Dr Leah explains that the name N.I.K.S is a “play on skin and on reflecting skin and on turning back time on your skin.” Lordalan of course has already turned back time on his skin, in that he has the leathery countenance of a pterodactyl. Dr Leah goes on to talk about the USP of her own brand, looking more and more like a one-shot villain from an episode of BUGS as she does so.

Apparently her USP is that N.I.K.S Medical will only be offering 3 different types of treatment. Anti-wrinkle injections (£149), facial fillers (£199), and skin peels (£69).

Her own involvement will consist of setting up a clinic, training the aesthetician, then buggering off after 4 months to start a new clinic. This process will last 3 years, then she’ll cash in and bugger off to Costa Rica. Here’s her video :




Dr Leah closes her pitch by waffling on about how important it is to bring medical competence and efficiency to what is currently a Wild West industry full of desperadoes and cowboys. Between this and Luisa slagging off bakery suppliers, both these women are really working the room aren’t they? As if to prove this, she answers a question about how she’s probably stymieing herself by only offering a very limited range of basic treatments

by telling the questioner to go fuck herself gently with a chainsaw. In so many words. She says that these are the treatments have the least danger of side-effects, and the most grounding in research, so Little Miss Facelift over there can DO ONE.

Well that’s her told.

Dr Leah goes backstage and tells her team that she found the Q & A very difficult. Yeah, it didn’t show or anything Dr Leah, you’re fine.

Lordalan asks the beauty industry experts for their feedback, and they say they didn’t like the brand name because it was convoluted, and that Dr Leah will need to do more to stand out in a very competitive marketplace (maybe some free advertising on BBC 1 primetime might help?) but she’s undoubtedly entering a booming sector where there’s plenty of room to make a lot of cash.


On their way to the Final Boardroom, Luisa interviews that she really feels like she let her whole team down with her pitch. Yes, I’m sure Neil feels truly betrayed. Jason is off weeping in a corner that Luisa, who he believed in so much, couldn’t deliver for him at this, the most important time for him in his life. Zeeshaan is…alright, you get the picture. Dr Leah just hopes that she’s shown Lordalan enough over the 12 weeks for him to pick her. You’re never going to compete with Luisa on that score Dr Leah, don’t even bother trying.


The candidates are ushered in, with final skirt hoiks from Natalie, Luisa, and Dr Leah. This leaves the final scores as

Luisa : 715
Dr Leah : 112
Natalie : 96
Francesca : 86
Sophie : 20
Uzma : 17
Jordan : 1 (IT’S NOT A SKIRT, IT’S A KIKOY!)

LUISA IS THE WINNER OF SKIRT HOIKING WARS 2013! The award will be in the post.

Once everyone’s sat down, Lordalan finishes getting his eyebags removed whilst munching a mini macaroon, and enters.

He starts by welcoming back all the “past candidates” and thanking them for their co-operation. But it’s not about them (apart from Jason, obviously, who has got more airtime this episode than all the other people brought back, in every series, combined) (SUPERSTAR), it’s about the final two. Dr Leah vs Luisa.

So Luisa, what do you think about Neil? Isn’t he great? Luisa says that she agrees that Neil is great, and she’s really glad that he was on her team, and if she wins it will be because of him because he is the greatest human being ever to have lived and him getting fired was sadder than the first 10 minutes of Up and that lesbian song from Toy Story 2 combined. She also was really glad to get a chance to redeem herself with Jason. Jason smiles warmly back at her. Natalie’s face meanwhile

could not read “ERM, I’M HERE TOO YOU KNOW!” any harder.

Taskwise, we start with the brandname, which came from Zeeshaan. Apparently. Lordalan chortles that it turns out that Zeeshaan will go down in history after all, as the first man that Luisa has ever listened to. Yes, I’m sure they’re carving a monument to him as we speak. Speaking of not listening, when Luisa is asked what she learnt from Peggy Portion, she replies that Peggy Portion just told her a bunch of stuff she already knew, and agreed with everything Luisa had to say.

So she wasn’t much used to her really. Heaven knows what use Luisa would have found for her if she had disagreed with anything she’d said. Mop? Human piping bag?

The focus group is covered next, with Natalie and Neil identified as having carried it out. Lordalan says that he hears there was a lot of negative feedback about the colour pink. Neil says that that is the case yes, and he and Natalie fed that back, in great detail. Lordalan chortles that obviously it didn’t get listened to. Neil looks a bit fraught.

Possibly because Lordalan just implied that Luisa valued his input less than she did Zeeshaan’s. ZEESHAAN’S. Next to be touched on is the confusion surrounding whether Luisa is aiming her brand at retailers or consumers, and Luisa replies that she does everything with the eventual end-user consumer in mind. Lordalan says he disagrees with this approach, makes a bumhole sign whilst doing so.

Yes, you could never accuse of Lordalan of ever thinking about the end-user, that’s for sure.

Luisa’s pitch is discussed to finish. She says that it was a disaster because she lost her place on her cue cards and had to ad lib from there. Lordalan says that he didn’t notice that anything went wrong. Just to remind you :

That face. He pulled that face.

We close with Lordalan asking the four returning players if they thought Luisa was a good Project Manager, and what their thoughts were about her over the process. Natalie seizes the chance to pay tribute to her friend, and says that she’s really grown and changed and become a more tolerant and tolerable person over the course of the show. Jason grins that really, when Luisa’s in control, he and she work perfectly well together.

Jason then races off to say that he’d rather Dr Leah win in all his interviews after the show, a level of open rebellion after the final task not seen since the halcyon days of “Everybody Hates Simon”. Jason closes by saying that he’s really very touched that Luisa called him up and asked him to help her.

Yeah…about that…

Dr Leah next, and Lordalan congratulates Francesca on doing a dance for Dr Leah. Truly she went out of her way for her, by twirling a ribbon around to Enya for 10 seconds. Francesca said that Dr Leah asked her to do it, so she did. No heartwarming tales of sisterly solidarity here, which you can tell the producers are a bit disappointed by. Dr Leah beams that all four members of her team were her first four choices (unlike Luisa who get her first, seventh, eighth and….whereever Natalie fell), and they were all absolutely exceptional throughout the task. None of them get a right to reply.

The name is, obviously, the first order of business.

Dr Leah : “I came up with the name “N.I.K.S Medical”, then these guys came up with…all the other names. (*very quickly*) AndthenIpickedmyname”

Watching Dr Leah try and be funny is kind of adorable and unnerving all at the same time. Everyone laughs except Uzma

who is thinking about getting a hug from a panda. Mmmmm…..hugs….

Lordalan asks if you wouldn’t just read it as “Niks” rather than “N.I.K.S” and Dr Leah admits that this would be the case. Kaen explains to Lordalan that the market feedback revealed that people associated “Niks” with cuts, abrasions, and that bloke from The Apprentice who follows the candidates around being rude about them and pulling stupid faces.

And nobody wants to be associated with that. So Dr Leah had to change the name at the last minute. Lordalan, oblivious to what has JUST BEEN EXPLAINED TO HIM, asks Myles and Francesca if they think Dr Leah ignored the market feedback. Oh God, not this shit again. EVERYTHING HAD BEEN PRINTED ALREADY, “MARKET FEEDBACK” IS AWFUL, NEVER DO IT AGAIN!

Myles explains to Lordalan very slowly that Dr Leah did as much as she could in the time-frame she had, and then Dr Leah spoils it rather by claiming she still likes the name.

Dr Leah : “I still like it! I think it’s like a play on the irony of the fact that we’re not going to be cutting anybody’s skin at all”
Nick :

Dr Leah : “Fuck no, but that’s how we’re going to spin it”

HA! I forgot at points in this episode why I wanted Dr Leah to win over Luisa but…there we are.

Next Lordalan says that all his mates what have had botox done tell him that they like to go to the same person every time, having built up a relationship of trust with them. Dr Leah says that’s rubbish.

The current brand leader is a BRAND, ya idjit, not a PERSON. Myles pipes up to say that, as Dr Leah’s clinics will only be offering three treatments, and simple ones at that, there’s no real problem with trust there. Lordalan snorts that that’s another negative. What if someone wants a really exotic treatment, like having ground up monkey anuses injected up their nose? Not that he’s ever done that, obviously. Dr Leah chirps in to say that that’s a load of bollocks as well. Everyone just wants the basic day-to-day stuff, like injecting poison into your face. Dr Leah very slowly turning into Neil “Neil Clough” Clough here.

Francesca at this point chirps in to say that if this is a matter of trust, then surely you can trust Dr Leah! She’s got a background in medicine! Lordalan says he agrees, and that he thinks the brand should really all revolve around Dr Leah then. She should be the one to have a sexy cartoon of herself all over her advertising, not Luisa.

Alright Lordalan. He’s decided his favoured name for the business is “Dr Leah”. Dr Leah sighs that she doesn’t like that.

*shuffles feet awkwardly, looks about self*

It’s no DebraBarr Inc, let’s face it. Lordalan laughs

at Dr Leah’s chutzpah, as does the rest of the boardroom, particularly Francesca. Boardroom Dr Leah’s such a hoot.

Lordalan asks the revenants how they think Dr Leah did. Francesca replies that Dr Leah made everyone feel like they were really part of the success of N.I.K.S Medical, such that they really did feel like a team pulling for her to win, and Myles replies that Dr Leah’s knowledge and passion really came through, and she was a great manager. And that’s that from them. The losers are sent off to bitch at one another in the minibar, and make fun of Luisa’s awful pitch.

The final two go out, Nick bitches that Dr Leah certainly turned out to be an uppity madam in the end didn’t she?, the final two come back in again, Dr Leah swaying about like she’s got an inner ear infection the whole way.

Once they’re back in, Lordalan gives them the full spiel about how this is the most difficult part of the process for him personally, because his decision has consequences beyond sending Rebecca scurrying to the nearest wine-bar to drink her feelings. There’s MONEY on the line here. So he’s going to give the pair of them one last chance to beg him. Luisa first.

She says that she knows her business will be profitable, and that she has a lot of business experience (*cough cough* unlike Dr Leah (*cough cough*). Dr Leah follows by saying that she thinks she’s pitching a unique and lucrative business opportunity and that she thinks she is a genuine and dependable and trustworthy person to invest in (*cough cough* unlike Luisa *cough cough*). She also has an exit plan – selling all her clinics after 9 years for £8,000,000, whch she thinks is, if anything, a conservative estimate. Lordalan turns to Luisa and asks her if she has an exit plan. Luisa’s all “does Dancing On Ice count?”.

Lordalan next tells Luisa that he’s concerned about the fact that she runs three businesses already. What are they going to do with these three businesses so that she can focus fully on her Bakers Toolbox? Maybe burn them down for the insurance money?

Luisa blythely replies that she doesn’t really do anything with her businesses anyway, they just “look after themselves”. Oooft. Lordalan disbelievingly snorts that businesses don’t just look after themselves (except when you take a month off to do a gameshow) and Luisa back-pedals and says that obviously she retains top-down oversight. Somebody else just works the till. Honest.

Lordalan looks less than convinced. He tells Luisa that the 16 candidates that came into the process were all aware (apart from Jordan) that they were going into a 50-50 partnership with Lordalan. And that goes for their WHOLE BEING, not just one business. He wants 50% of EVERYTHING THEY DO, so these three other businesses are going to have to naff off. Luisa lies that she has COMPLETE RESPECT for Lordalan and will always listen to everything he says.

We move on next to how Luisa is a manipulative gameplayer who will take Lordalan for a ride. You know, potentially. Luisa shows here that she really has learnt from all the people who came back for the final, clearly

taking woobie-face lessons from Jason. Luisa says that she came into this process surrounded by “16 other people who think they’re better than you are” (clearly including Lordalan there, that’s why it adds up), and admits that she wasn’t shy about trying to get one over on them all. But she thinks she’s learnt and grown and all that bollocks.

Dr Leah is put in for final analysis next, and the first thing we cover is how botox is evil, and how Dr Leah is potentially going to damage Lordalan’s brand. It’s interesting, because this week in Apprentice Media obviously has been a nexus of people complaining that this show is promoting shallowness and vanity and airheadedness and being blonde and awful things like that. Along with the attendant lines about how women who do stereotypically feminine things like baking or beauty are somehow “setting women back” by existing and they should clearly all want to drive trucks and play rugby. One Guardian article even claimed with a straight face that cupcakes are the tools of the patriarchy USING THOSE WORDS. And of course, we all know that Dr Leah is wasting a valuable medical education by abandoning her post as an NHS doctor to enter something as shallow as the beauty industry.

Interesting because I don’t remember a peep about Tom Pellereau wasting his degree in engineering, which he’d previously used to design cancer-screening equipment, to pursue a lifetime of wringing cash out of glorified emery boards. Odd that. Not having hangnails is obviously a matter of FAR GREATER WEIGHT AND MORAL IMPORT than not having wrinkles.

Anyway, in summary, Botox and the “anti-ageing industry” = depressing ; people who expect a gameshow to advance ethical capitalism = more so.

Where was I? Anyway, Dr Leah spins a line about how Lordalan is right to be worried about the botox world, because it’s a jungle out there, but she has the machete of truth to slash through that sordid jungle something something Jason Leech Jonathan Aiken something. Oh and also, by the way, she’s going to make him tons more money as well. So there’s that.

Nick brings up that earlier today, Dr Leah seemed to be very closed off to the advice of others, and he wonders if that might continue if she won. Dr Leah says that she’s normally a very compliant person, and in fact she knows she barely spoke in this process until Task 6 (THE DUBAI WHITEWASH CONTINUES!), but this is her area of expertise, so she’s extremely

passionate about it being done right. (*drink*)


DR LEAH IS THE APPRENTICE! Lordalan gives notice that this is because he’s geared himself up to take a risk this year, and also kind of because he doesn’t trust Luisa to give him her full attention. Dr Leah runs outside

clapping her hands in glee. She then drives off through the countryside in her Limo of Infinite Delights

saying it’s so great that Lordalan has so much faith in her. She’s so proud to have dome so well, despite her lack of business experience (indeed, she’s the youngest winner ever). She’s going to work as hard as she can to prove that he’s made the right decision.

They…maybe shouldn’t have made Dr Leah act this bit given her…face. I’m a bit wierded out.


22 thoughts on “The Apprentice 9 – Final

  1. constantmotion

    You know? Most weeks I’d say Yasmina or Tom, but I think this week – on the strength of her last screencap alone – I’m saying “Dr. Leah” for favourite winner. Also, her walk has hypnotised me.

    Also, I neglected to mention last week, but I am loving the boot icons. Francesca and Jordan, in particular, are beyond amazing.

    Right! Monkies and rankings, then? I like this bit. Makes it feel like the show doesn’t crash to a full stop – now we’ve got a couple of weeks to meditate on the series and bask in the light of Leah’s terrifying, voluminous glory. Lovely.

    Also, two mentions on You’re Fired, now, is it?! You’ve arrived – you are now a minor satellite in the world of The Apprentice. Congratulations! That’s sincere; I genuinely feel a twinge of irrational pride when I hear a Monkseal line on the show. “Hey – I’ve occasionally twittered at the bloke who wrote that!” Excellent.

    1. monkseal Post author

      Note to producers : I will be available to replace Claudine for the Interviews stage next year. Just saying.

  2. Ferny

    Leah pulls a ‘distaste’ face in the most delicate way I’ve ever seen. Also, I’m very excited you mentioned Mars Attacks because that’s exactly what I thought when I saw Dr Leah’s walk!

  3. Alex B

    The lighting in the back of the victory car must have been awful because it really didn’t do Dr Leah any favours. It almost swayed my vote against her in the Monkies Sexiest Female Award. I began to suspect she’d been possessed by the Helen Entity at some point, but I’m still glad she won. I’d had her pegged as a front-runner since the start, although I was surprised to find myself liking Neil and even Luisa by the end. I did like Alex suggesting “Reflections” as Leah’s business name purely because he hasn’t been able to see his own reflection for 800 years. Hence the eyebrows.

    I so kept hoping that Jason was going to tell Luisa to “MAKE A DECISION!” during her website design. It almost looked like he went for it, but he made it too verbose and she cut him off before he got to the punchline – typical Jason. I also kept hoping her advert would launch into the cooking by the book meme (NSFW!) but I guess that was a little too pink even for her. Still, she wasn’t too far off and she even managed to quote the opening line.

    Thanks for the recaps, I look forward to the Monkie results and your final rankings. T’was a good series.

  4. Ferny

    Tom is the favourite winner in the poll?! I liked him at the start of his series, then less over time and since he won I’ve found him awful. Not sure why but I was cringing like hell when he was going OTT on You’re Fired about flippin’ baby clippers.

    1. Ross Nolan

      Yes! I thought I was the only one who didn’t care for Tom. I think a lot of people equated the fact that he was quiet and awkward during the tasks with him being a nice guy when it didn’t neccessarily follow.

  5. Ross Nolan

    Great recap as always – and Luisa as Regina George is perfect!

    Even though the Evil candidate beat the… uh, Chaotic Neutral candidate this time around it was still a fun series. Eagerly awaiting the final rankings.

  6. FuTeffla

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed Dr Leah’s weird walk/found Lizzie the dancing Playdays puppet terrifying. I’ll stick with Chester and Why Bird, thanks. Also, I will be referring to my norks as my ‘women in business’ for the foreseeable future.

  7. fused

    I never noticed Dr. Leah’s “Lisa-Marie in Mars Attacks” walk before, but now you mention it… In this episode she was so ruthless and single-minded I could imagine her like Lisa-Marie in Mars Attacks sat chewing gum with her eyes unblinking and staring straight ahead, then biting someone’s finger off and spitting it into a fish tank. The Dr. Leah Smiths album cover is still my favourite bit of this year’s Apprentice on this blog though. I’m pleased Dr. Leah won, I always liked her.

    I always quite liked Luisa too. I’ve only been watching since series 7, but I’d rate her as one of the very best Apprentice contestants.

    If anyone’s interested, here’s my recap of this series:

  8. Elaine

    Great to see you get mentions on You’re Hired/Fired. Odd that so much of that programme was devoted to Alex and Jason, though not surprising I suppose. Great to see the Foldo reappear with more personality than Nick has managed to inject all series. Went right off Dr Leah by the end, I’m afraid. Can there ever be a series where nobody wins? Suspect I’d rather enjoy that!
    Thanks for all your hard work, and bring on the Strictly madness!

  9. Ferny

    I’m just re-watching right from the beginning of series 1 at the moment and the whole secret signals episode was hilariously awful. I’ve just got up to re-living the joys of Jo Cameron (how is she more annoying second time around?!) and Mani. lol wish me luck. I have to say so far it has been as good as I remember. My next episode is ‘Nargis and the Pitch’ oh lordy lordy

  10. David

    OK, to the question ‘who amongst the missing do you wish had returned?’ I think I may have been the only one who said Sophie, but I stand by her! This question also made me think of the excellent ‘The Returned’ on Channel 4. Alex would have been good on that.

    Like Elaine above I also went right off Dr Leah. Given a choice I prefer pink and cheerful to cold and humourless.

    Great recaps again this year! Thanks Monkseal.

  11. Definitely Not John

    I thought Luisa should have won, but Lord Sugar would have lost either way

    Also Monkseal, can I ask how long it takes to write these?

  12. PadsterMo

    Good final, and Dr Leah’s scarily precise business plan made her the obvious choice in the end. Plus, Alan was probably afraid that The Hair would eat him if he picked Luisa.

    Kudos for capturing Leah’s power-walk.

    And I’ve tried for a week now, but I can’t work out BAY ELL OIII JAY (and I’m from Northern Ireland). Help?


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