“I walk the walk, I talk the talk, and I dance the dance”
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”
“I can make women do what I want in the business world…and come to think of it, some men”
“I’m not arrogant, because what I’m saying is all true”
“My absolute worst nightmare is getting to age 40 with a £50,000 salary and a four-year-old Toyota”
“I’m like a little stealth bomber”
“Felipe’s strategy in the process is to be Felipe”
“There’s no I in team, but there’s five in individual brilliance”
“Everyone sees a friend in me, but what they don’t know is that I’m coming for them behind their back”
“I’m not better at business because I’m good-looking, I’m better at business because I’m better at business because I’m better at business because I’m at better at business alt error error run c10”
Yes. They’re back.
Twenty Of Them : So the big angle this year on The Apprentice is that they’ve cast 20 people rather than the usual “bakers dozen as added up by an Apprentice candidate” (16). This news was delivered to the candidates in typical over-dramatic Apprentice style, with the first lot of candidates assembled in the boardroom and then the last four hurled at them, surprise style, through a chute in the ceiling like a load of discarded doll parts (not really, they came through the door, just a bit later, possibly they were just hiding under Cousin It’s desk). This caused SHOCK AND HORROR in Abbey Clancys Evil Twin What She’s Had Chained Up In The Attic For The Last 15 Years Livin’ Off Fish-Heads And Gruel :
aka Roisin. For those who didn’t keep track at the time those bonus four candidates were Sanjay, Pamela Uddin (who I will be calling Puddin and nothing else for however long she lasts), Sarah and Scott. The thought of these candidates sat there thinking “OH NO SARAH DALES HAS JUST COME IN, MY CHANCES OF WINNING HAVE JUST DRASTICALLY DECREASED” will become retrospectively hilarious in hindsight. The knock-on effects of this inflated cast so far appear to be more double-firings, more people getting invisiedits, and Kaen having to go “OH THAT PERSON DIDN’T DO ANYTHING THIS EPISODE!” even more ham-fistedly at the end of every episode so we’re extra sure which people aren’t doing anything and which people just aren’t doing anything stupid enough to get camera-time. I will not say definitively whether I’m in favour of this bloat until it’s revealed whether Lordalan really will just nuke an entire Boardroom of people in one go (please say yes, this is 2014, double-firings alone are not enough) but I will say that Midlands Goddess Burlesque Queen Jemma better be getting more screentime starting very soon.
CV Crap Round 1 : With the Boardroom more packed full of sweaty hairy armpits than the Northern Line at rush hour, it was time for the first order of business in any series of The Apprentice (beyond Lordalan’s speech about how he hates scum-sucking arse-licking schmoozing wankers) – making fun of the CVs of all the candidates who are too crummy to even have a hope of making it to interviews. Because what’s the point of making these people write self-aggrandizing garbage to get on the show if it’s not read out in front of the class? So we discovered that Steven (we’ll get to him) was a social worker in the Arctic Circle, TOWIEish permatanned backwash James’ nickname is “Del Boy” (well that’s what his friends tell him it is anyway), South American Lawyer Felipe is vaguely associated with Arsenal FC somehow that I guarantee Lordalan will never shut up about (oh good football stuff), Sarah believes she can sell ice to eskimos, Scott thinks of himself as “a mix between Gandhi And The Wolf Of Wall Street” (Gandalf Of Wall Street?), and Ella-Jade (who had by far the campest London Bridge strut of any contestant this series and that is saying something) makes documentaries with a social conscience.
If she isn’t fired following an advertising task in which she makes “The Germinator” look like the work of Passolini I will pay you all £10.
A Decade Of Selling : The task this week? A meta one. This being the tenth series, to celebrate a decade of The Apprentice, the teams were tasked with selling all of the Week 1 items from Apprentice series past. Flowers, fruit & veg, coffee, fish(shaped balloons), cleaning products, sausages, fruit & veg again because they’d run out of ideas, stuff with stuff printed on it because they’d definitely run out of ideas, and a great big box of random crap because they’d seriously run out of ideas. Sadly I at no point spotted any of the iconic Series 9 lucky cats or bog roll. I hope this meta nostalgic self-referential theme continues throughout the series and we get the SHOPPING CHANNEL TASK, that one task where Lordalan told them all they could do whatever they wanted so the women’s team became prostitutes, 15 boring sales tasks in a row in honour of Series 2, that sweaty red-faced tit who used to do interviews coming back to do them again but this time as a bankrupt so all the candidates get to point and laugh at him, and a 10 Items Task where the candidates go to Mexico and have to find black market drugs for Dr Leah’s Dr Leah Clinics.
A Decade Of Stupid Team Names : The boys got off to a strong start with this one with Robert’s suggestion of “Dynamic” (passable if a little generic) and Mark(who looks a bit like a post-Atkins Mark Labett and who has an accent I cannot place for the life of me except to say it sounds like an aggregate of the accents of every white person in the Southern Hemisphere)’s suggestion of “Viper” (lol how phallic/rejected Gladiator of him) both rejected in favour of Daniel’s brainwave of “Summit”, despite Sanjay pointing out that in Lordalan’s accent it will just sound one step away from “or sumfin'”. Daniel protested that there is NO OTHER COMPANY IN THE WORLD CALLED SUMMIT and apparently this was enough. The girls fared even better though, having to decide between Katie(down-to-earth, Northern)’s down-to-earth Northern suggestion of “Grafters” (written by Kay Mellor) and Nurun(Muslim, sweet, doomed)’s suggestion of “Decadence” despite her not even really knowing what it meant. Indeed, they went with Decadence (because Sarah decided it “sounded more feminine”), a name so bad that it caused the first forced team name change since the glory days of Tre Azam and Certus, as prompted by Nick Hewer going into full “I PRESENT COUNTDOWN NOW YOU KNOW” Dicktionary Corner mode, swilling his merlot and sneering that the very word was redolent of decay and decline and spoil and moral turpitude. He could have done the job much quicker if he’d point out that if you lined it up it had a “dickhead” at one end and a “dunce” at the other. The episode ended without us knowing what the new womens’ team name would be. Is this the greatest cliffhanger in Apprentice history I’m saying yes.
Phone-Answering Wars : Yes this is back and despite the best efforts of James
the first point was taken by Felipe who answered the phone with a cherry “MORNIN!”. If you want to get a clear picture of how James walked down those stairs, just imagine he’s got a whole load of love beads in, and also his balls are the size and weight of curling stones.
Sarah Dales – Hypnobitch
It’s reassuring, in these days when the show has been won by a doctor and a luchadore and a caveman and all the other professions that Lordalan previously disdained, there are still some people whose job titles you can just look at and know that they’re going to flame out. Welcome then, mad-eyed “former PA and hypnotherapist” Sarah Dales.
The “Former PA” sets up the football, and the “hypnotherapist” part kicks it over the goal line. Based on the evidence of this task, Sarah hypnotises her clients not via a swinging pendulum or a soothing voice but with her transfixing beauty as her sole edict as Project Manager (a role she was skilfully manipulated into taking by Bianca who appears at first showing to be that rarest of all beasts anywhere in the world – a competent sane black woman on The Apprentice/any reality tv show ever) was for the women to wear short skirts and stick their tits out and talk in a baby voice. This was a literal actual exchange that happened :
Sarah : “We need to talk about strategy this morning………in terms of what we’re wearing. You all look very nice so far but…heels?”
Puddin : “I think we really need to talk about strategy and how we actually want to sell stuff”
Sarah : “That’s important, but bring some nice make-up”
After protestations from Lauren (self-proclaimed glamorous lawyer, sample quote – “I wish I’d had (*sic*) taken time to travel around South East Asia before it became too commercialised”) and Bianca on the grounds that they’d not actually brought clothes that made them look like hookers, Sarah downgraded her plans so that only half of the team would have to be glamorous and the other half could afford to be only “semi-average” looking. This was all the more hilarious given that Sarah’s stated sole plan as Project Manager was “make everyone like me”, and she instead basically came across like the sort of PA who did a lot of work for her boss…under the table. So to speak. Needless to say by the end of the task there was an entire cadre of women wanting Sarah’s be-make-up’ed head on a silver platter, particularly Bianca, Puddin, Roisin and Lindsay (boxy, swimming academy owner, this year’s candidate what doesn’t like chauvanstic MEN). Oh yeah, and Sarah’s other plan was to slice lemons up and sell them for £500 profit. That was it though. Titties and sliced lemons. She even split her subteam up by just splitting the room in half like she was the Radio 1 Roadshow, lest she accidentally actually decide something based on logic.. The side of the room that squealed loudest got a sliced lemon.
You Betta Work :
The distaff equivalent of Sarah was probably Steven (seriously, these 20 people would be a lot easier to keep track of if they didn’t all have such generic names), the aforementioned Arctic social worker. Steven spent the whole episode carrying himself with the sort of chutzpah, sass and outright rudeness that normally only comes with 3lbs of make-up, a Mariah Carey wig and a breastplate from boobsforqueens.com.
That’s boobsforqueens.com. Steven sadly wasn’t the Summit PM (that role went to Felipe, whose personality traits appear to be talking about Felipe in the third person and having an accent) but managed to cause chaos anyway, disagreeing with literally everything anybody said in the FIERCEst way possible. I can only imagine how many z-snaps the editors had to cut out. I’ve never seen someone attack the first task with such verve, charging around
scattering product in his wake, flip-flopping manically from accusing other candidates of victimising him to screeching “I AM NOT TRYING TO THROW YOU UNDER THE BUS MARK, HOW DARE YOU, I AM BEING VERY SUPPORTIVE”. Of course everybody hated him from second one
and even as I speak fired candidates are spreading rumours that in the Apprentice Mansion he bathed nightly in vinegar because he believed it gave him special powers (<3) but I have faith in Steven. To do what, I don’t know, other than a killer lip sync to “Got To Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn, but faith none the less. How could you not, in a man who tried at one point to sell a “shiny potato experience” to an unwitting public. Red Letter Days need to get that one on their books for Mothers Day STAT.
This was Katie’s idea. If you wanted someone to blame. Sadly these shirts almost didn’t make it onto the catwalks of Milan, Tokyo and Sarajevo (what? Tyra Banks told me that it was the hot new fashion capital!) because Sarah forgot to give Roisin Clancy any money to pay the printers with. But to be fair, Roisin IS really pretty and has a sexy accent so really they should have given them to her for free, yes they should, look into the tits, not around the tits, into the tits, you are feeling very generous. (NB : these t-shirts ended up being sold to the guy who printed them, for a loss of £90, because the women’s team was that useless. Although Ella-Jade did somehow get him to buy some coathangers to go with them for £10 so you go Ella-Jade)
This Year’s Alpha Sales Dog Gazes Soulfully At A Lady To Try To Get Her To Buy His Mexican Sausages, Whilst Dressed As A Hot Dog :
His name is Daniel.
Return To Penguin Beach :
For those of you unfamiliar with Penguin Beach, it’s where Series 8’s spirit animal and earth angel Jenna Whittingham spent most of her time happily paddling around in that series’ first sales task. This time though, the tranquility was shattered by who else but Sarah Dale, who was fresh off a busy afternoon of selling coffee (and NOT brewing it because that’s NOT what Project Managers do because coffee grinds stain your nails and besides the PRETTIEST girl should be out front selling at all time and she did she mention that she is Project Manager? *giggle wiggle giggle*) and ready to fuel some of that caffeine buzz into trying to sell bog brushes to penguins for £250.
This pitch featured the phrase “I’m being nice to you because I love the zoo” and Sarah literally
staring blankly at a rubber glove trying to work out if it might choke a penguin. Penguin Beach did not buy.
INCIDENTAL CHARACTER BOYFRIEND OF THE WEEK!
I don’t know who this guy peering in through the back of shot is, because he literally did not speak one word, but he is this week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week. (For the uninitiated, at the end of the series you get to vote for the hottest. This prize was previously won by Chris Hoy’s arse, and almost won by a chain-smoking taxidermied cat). I’m calling this one…Solomon The Candidate.
Felipe : Yes
Sarah : NO
Team Sarah (Sarah, Bianca, Jemma, Lauren, Lindsay) : £442
Team Felipe (Felipe, Daniel, Robert, Scott, Solomon) : £357
Team Chiles (Chiles, James, Mark, Sanjay, Scott) : £340
Team Roisin (Roisin, Ella-Jade, Katie, Nurun, Puddin) : £312
Meaning the ladies of No Team Name win! Because of Sarah’s team. On which she appeared to be doing most of the selling. Think on that. Based on the edit this mostly appeared to be down to them selling lots and lots of coffee to people on their lunchbreak, along with a few bouquets of flowers, as styled by Jemma and Bianca.
Yes, in another slice of meta-self-reference that will only mean anything to a handful of people, the reward for the women of No Team Name was a spin around the London Eye. But this time…WITH CHAMPAGNE. As with all the best rewards on this show, the occasion was mostly marked by seething hatred being directed at the victorious Project Manager by everyone she’s stepped on all task, most particularly in this case Lindsay.
Such rage. Bonus reward footage points go to Bianca for coining the phrase “teamwork makes a dream work” and Ella-Jade for
dressing like a midget Lithuanian street-walker, complete with a skirt that I believe is made out of a Rorscach Ink-Blot Test. What can YOU see in it?
PENGUIN BEACH THE RETURN : THE RETURN
Look At This Fucking Hipster Giraffe :
That’s Robert, showing an example there for all of us who wondered as gay men if it’d be easier or harder to inconspicuously take a shufty at another guy’s genitals at the urinals. He is 8ft tall, lives in a capsule studio apartment space in Hoxton (probably), wears bow ties and says things like “Shoreditch is a VERY EDGY AREA!”, “we HAD to drive to Planet Organic to get the ingredients!” and “it was creative, exciting and VERY SHOREDITCH”. If you have ever watched the show before, the point where you probably realised that the men had lost was somewhere around the shot of them buying organic guacamole hummus to smear on hot-dogs to “add value”, a decision put in place entirely by Robert. This caused the loss in two key ways – firstly the amount of time spent buying the organic guacamole hummus meant that Team Felipe missed almost entirely the lunchtime trade that propelled Team Sarah’s sales figures, and secondly that Lordalan will never ever ever sign off on a win in any task that involved organic guacamole hummus ever over his dead body. Robert made sure to cement his place in the competition, I’M SURE FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT MONTH with a killer combination of huffs, eye-rolls and dismissive groans in the Boardroom, as well as at all times carrying the implication about his person that if he ever set foot outside of the M25 he would wither and die on the vine like a delicate orchid. Let’s see how that works out for him moving forwards.
So the plan, as decided on by the entirety of Summit was to say that Steven was so annoying that his existence as a human being was the reason they lost the task (sole dissenter from this plan : Solomon The Candidate, who thought it was wrong. *sigh*), except fortunately for us all Steven was NOT HAVING IT, and managed to barrack his way through the pre-boardroom with a mixture of yelling “I’M BEING SCAPEGOATED!”
extravagant shrugs and
incoherent shouting such that Lordalan gave notice that if Felipe brought Steven back to the Final Boardroom then Lordalan would fire him on the spot (<3). There was also a brief detour entitled “Kaen Repeatedly Says That Scott Did Nothing To Set Up His Firing Next Episode”. Scott’s response was basically to say “WELL I TRIED!” and do
the world’s worst Elvis impersonation. (This segment also features Kaen deciding that Scott was the worst salesman on Summit other than Felipe, then about two minutes later that deciding actually that this was Chiles so…consistency ahoy) (Captain Hot Dog Daniel was apparently the best, hurrah)
First Boot :
Was this guy, Chiles Cartwright, who was functioning as sub-team leader. He got fired because he was behind a decision to get a bunch of t-shirts printed up with “Buy This T-Shirt” on, and then subsequently the decision to also not bother picking up these t-shirts again to sell them. Not a very interesting reason, and not a terribly interesting candidate, so I’m entirely behind him being First Boot. I’ll mostly remember him for being really patronising about James, telling some people they were selling to not to worry BECAUSE HE’S NORTHERN, LOL! HE’D SELL HIS OWN GRANDMOTHER FOR A WHIPPET! and so on, after James had spent a solid 3 minutes yapping inanely over Mark’s negotiations. There are surely many many many reasons to doubt James’ intellect without getting into regionalism. His hair for one.
This Week’s Best Nick & Kaen Faces
Next time :
Scott does something.