My idea : a robot butler in a nice sweater that looks a bit like Ed Weeks. GET ON IT DESIGN GREMLINS!
Preview Pictures That Kind Of Spoil Who Survives This Episode And Possibly Further (IE WARNING THERE ARE SPOILERS
It also includes a shot of an ENTIRE TEAM OF FOUR CELEBRATING WINNING A TASK which is so spoilery I’m not even going to include it. Regardless, the eagle-eyed and trigger-fingered amongst you should have had your options for firing this episode down to eight before we’d even started.
Phone Answering Wars Status Update :
Felipe : 1
Jemma : 1
This Week’s Jaw-Dopping Sarah Dale Comment Status Update :
“I really hope whoever’s Project Manager is going to do as well as I did”
So, the moment you all spent 24 hours wondering, analysing, and chewing your fingernails right down to the quick over? Has come. The new team name for the women, as suggested by Jemma, chosen over “Pursuit”, also suggested by Jemma?
Tena City (/Tenacity). It keeps the decade-themed wordplay of Decadence (although I don’t think anybody noticed) whilst also implying that this group of women are on the verge of uncontrollably pissing themselves at any moment. This only furthers my belief that Jemma should be getting more airtime. Her website quote is “I need praise and I get frustrated if I’m not receiving any”. And she went on THIS show. MORE AIRTIME PLEASE. (Also bonus points to Katie for telling the team very slowly that we really should be very sure that we know what this word means before we brand ourselves with it for 11 weeks/until there’s fifty different team swaps and nobody cares any more if they ever did)
Passing The Buck
So this week’s major theme was “dodging responsibility”. The idea apparently is that everyone should be rushing to be Project Manager as soon as possible, despite the fact that the strategy of most of the previous winners (Michelle, Simon, Lee, Tom, Dr Leah, Arjun, Zara) was to do exactly the opposite. Or in the case of Tom never ever ever volunteer to be Project Manager ever. Or sub-team-leader ever. Or indeed do anything. Ever. (BEST WINNAH EVAH!). Anyway, if you don’t hurl yourself head over feet to lead a team of 8/9 squabbling narcissists, both of which include EITHER SARAH OR STASHA FIERCE still, then you are officially a bottling coward who should be ashamed of yourself and can expect to be fired any second. According to Lordalan anyway. This was particularly hilarious this week, as the task set was officially the most impossible yet – lead your massive unwieldy team into producing a piece of stylish and functional and above all else WORKING “wearable technology”, which could be put together overnight by the show’s design team (whose agenda, lest we forget, feasibly overlaps with the producers desire to make you as a candidate look like the biggest idiot possible) and then pitched to all of Firebox, John Lewis and JD Sports. Anybody putting themselves forward to lead such a Mission Implausible frankly marked themselves out either as insanely overconfident or utterly out of their depth. Which I guess is how we ended up with Scott and Nurun respectively. Scott incidentally, volunteered on the grounds that he’d been to a conference on wearable tech. As Lordalan would say : I been to the Ideal Homes Show, don’t mean I’m George BLAHDDY Clarke.
The Peak Of The Wearable Tech Industry/What Norman Bates Would Be Wearing In a 21st Century Update Of Psycho
BOTTLING COWARDING BOTTLERS!!!
So who dropped the ball by not having any? Solomon (“my experience is online, not in bringing technology into the physical space”) and Bianca (“I don’t do styling, I do personal branding“) both came across as a little weaselly, but the undisputed king of hot potato chucking was hipster-giraffe Robert. Lordalan came to him at the start of the episode with an incredibly passive-aggressive speech about how in his opinion, as a Shoreditch Twat, Robert should be all over wearable tech and therefore really should definitely consider being Project Manager for this task hint hint hint. Robert then stared Lordalan(/his definitely-not-going-bald patch) down and said
“nope”. And told his team that this was because he personally represents luxury and that he considered wearable tech to be a load of cheap gimmicky crap. Into this void came galloping Scott, as previously mentioned touting his own knowledge, and was bundled Nurun, in a truly spectacular example of triple teaming on the parts of Bianca, Katie and Ella-Jade. The enforced PMing was done on the grounds that one of Nurun’s businesses sells shawls and head-scarves and she is therefore used to “looking at things and seeing what’s good”.
She was not happy.
What Not To Wear
Following a process of brain-storming the men of Sumfin rejected PM Scott’s original idea of “a suit that monitors your diet” (as someone who sort of works in that sort of area…lol at the idea of that being ready in 24 hours. Try years and years of clinical testing and we’ll talk), following which he took the hump in a way that only a true Scotsman can
yelling “WAITWAITWAITWEHWEHWOAHWOAHWOAHWOAH!” over the top of everyone like the start of Lulu singing Shout every time one of them tried to speak. Somehow out of this morass of bruised egos came two ideas – Sanjay’s t-shirt that would change its appearance to match whatever you’ve just taken a photo of (so so so unfeasible), and Solomon’s “light up leggings”, that would have lights that went higher and higher up the leggings the closer you got to your fitness goal, as measured by your heartbeat, your blood pressure, and the amount of vomit you were currently spraying into a litterbin in Regent’s Park. Personally I can think of a few things that would creep up Solomon’s legs the closer I got to my go[PUNCHLINE REDACTED ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE BOYS PRODUCT IS ABOUT TO GET CREEPY ENOUGH AS IT IS]. In the end Sanjay won, and his idea moved forwards. The women’s brainstorming process on the other hand went much more smoothly – Ella-Jade wanted a self-heating jacket, Lindsay wanted light-up lapels, and Bianca said “WHY NOT BOTH?” and that was that. Nurun nodded her head and tried to look Project Managerial and did nothing throughout.
The Women’s Market Research Process, As Led By Bianca:
“Oh my God!”
“Oh I’d love that!”
“Wow, technology, so amazing!”
“That sounds really cool actually!”
“What A Wonderful Idea!”
Market research is so easy when you just find that one special person who loves everything you do. It is perhaps unsurprising that with this woman at the core of their interface with the general public, the garment that Tena City ended up with kept on adding functions as it went, including external solar panels, a mobile phone charger, thermometer, toaster-oven, and free subscription to Netflix beaming Orange Is The New Black directly into your corneas. Glamorous Lawyer Lauren vainly flapped against this in the wind, a little, in two interviews, if you’re one of those people who like to come out of an episode of The Apprentice feeling a little bit better if at all possible about at least one person.
The Finished Articles :
You will notice there that that doesn’t look an awful lot like a t-shirt that changes its appearance to match whatever you take a picture of, as suggested by Sanjay. This is because, as you may have guessed, that was utterly infeasible (just like anything else worth doing!) in the time-period allotted, as Sumfin’ discovered when they went to their design peeps. It is instead the process of an intense period of last-minute subteam brainstorming (under no sub-team-leader because Scott didn’t even bother appointing one) in which Daniel, Mark, James and Sanjay all bashed their balls together whilst Solomon sat there looking pretty, until James said “Oh just let’s stick a camera in a jumper the end”. It also LIGHTS UP when you are filming somebody, and this apparently is to make it less creepy. Because it always makes me feel more comfortable with someone secretly filming my tits without my consent if they let me know about it via a system of fairy lights. Scott as PM was of course not aware of any of this happening, as he was off treading the streets of fashionable London with Robert, Steven and Felipe. They were looking for the finest quality cashmere to style their basic grey jumper out of, ALL DAY, and every time the subteam men tried to ring them to get advice, they instead got Robert droning on about stitch-count. I have to say that Scott’s approach to PM’ing was…amongst the most unique I’ve seen. To be fair, both teams were operating under de-facto PMs for most of the task, as Katie by halfway through Day 1 had already completely swallowed up Nurun entirely. It was like Luisa coup’ing Jason, except that Nurun’s such a wet lettuce nobody even noticed.
A Conversation About What It Means To Be A Leader Of Men
James : “It would have been nice Scott if you as Project Manager had been there to make decisions about important aspects of the task like what we’re actually doing”
Daniel : “Yeah, some direction would have been nice”
Scott : “OH RIGHT, SO YUSS CANNAE WUK TOGETHER LIKE A TEAM THEN? YUS NIDDED YUS HANDS HAWLDIN LIKE A BUNCH OF FECKING BEBBIES THEN? AWW, WAH WAH WHERE’S MY DADDA? IS THAT YER SENNIN YA BAW-BAG?”
Daniel : “Don’t take it as a criticism Scott…”
Scott : “DID YUZ NOT HIH ME YA GREAT POOF? I’M NAE TEKKIN IT AS CRITISESM! I’M TEKKIN IN THAT YUS ARE A BUNCH O PANSIS THAT CANNAE DO NOTHIN WITHOUT MEE THERE TO WIPE YUZZ ARSES FOR YUZ!
Sanjay : “Oh by the way Robert I noticed that you were pretending you were Project Manager despite having said at the start of the day that you didn’t want anything to do with it, what’s that all about then?”
GUYZ GUYZ, I’VE NOT YELLED AT YUZZ LIKE AHM IN FECKIN TRAINSPOTTING FOR THE LAST 10 SECONDS CAN WE REHFOCUS ON ME ACTIN LIKE A COMPLIT PSYCHO THANK YUZZ VERY MUCH YUZ UTTER BASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTARDS!”
Bitching About The Pitching :
I guess my favourite moments from the whole pitching process all came from the men. Firstly, whilst pitching to JD Sports, Steven was asked if the men could rotate the image being projected from their jumper-camera onto the laptop, as the design elves had apparently accidentally inserted the camera at a 90 degree angle to what was asked for (HELPFUL!). Steven’s response was this.
Secondly this shot of what looks like James preparing the hangman’s noose for Daniel before his pitch to Firebox
and thirdly, Daniel wrapping said noose around his neck and jumping off the gallows by telling said cool Shoreditch cats that he personally wouldn’t be seen dead wearing Sumfin’s product in public. What he would be seen wearing in public?
Oh my. (James OF COURSE would be seen wearing their dumb jumper in public, so he could capture all those special moments between him and his mates that he would otherwise normally miss. Said special moments according to James? Both “having a drink” and “having a pint”. Of course he neglected to mention that always special moment of “punching some geezer out because he’s looking at your bird funny” hem hem)
WERK SARAH WERK SUPERMODEL!
(Sarah was very UTR this episode but the part where she trotted over to the Firebox guys and demanded they touch her woman parts to see how warm they were shows she’s still a star)
This Week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend :
This is John Lewis. He represents all that is John Lewis. Their values, their history, their twee breathy adverts soundtracked by 80s hits done on acoustic guitar and piano, telling you to buy a hamper of luxury Spanish foods for your grandchildren before it’s too late. Robert came at him with the slogan “Privacy Is History”. I’m surprised he wasn’t vaporised on the spot.
TOO MANY PEOPLE!
Sumfin got 0 orders from John Lewis, 0 orders from JD Sports, and 0 orders from Firebox
Tena City got 0 order from John Lewis, 0 orders from JD Sports, and 250 orders from Firebox
Yes the women again somehow won, and yet again thanks to Sarah Dunn, whose captivating modelling of their Little Smart Jacket clearly won the hearts and heated hands of the men from Firebox. Not that she’ll ever get any credit of course. I guess Ella-Jade deserves some credit for the verbal aspects of the pitching process too. I guess. If I have to be “fair”. In fact Sarah, along with Lindsay, is this week’s recipient of “I DIDN’T SEE YOU DO ANYTHING ON THIS TASK” from Kaen, even though Lindsay was literally the only person in Tena City to realise that solar panels have to be exposed to the sun to work (And also NEITHER ROISIN NOR PUDDIN SPOKE ALL EPISODE, WHY NOT PICK ON THEM KAEN YOU BULLY), so expect them both to be fired next week. I don’t care that they’re on separate teams after a switch-up, it will somehow happen. Speaking of which :
ROBERT IS FIRED!
For dodging being Project Manager, 43 minutes into the show. This feels…really dramatically misjudged to me. This is the first time someone’s been fired before we even got to the Reward footage, and for such a precedent I think I wanted something a bit more than somebody doing something that about 50% of all Apprentice candidates have done before at some point. Obviously Robert’s real crime here was to disrupt the show’s narrative wherein he Project Managed a task that was his day job, failed in it, and had his real life reputation tarnished but hey ho DON’T MESS WITH THE PRODUCERS. Personally, I think if they were going to do this to him I would rather Lordalan actually wandered in to Sumfin’s brainstorming session immediately after Scott was confirmed as PM and tapped Robert on the shoulder surreptitiously, before shouting “YOU’RE FIRED” directly into his face, but that’s just me. If you’re going to do silly things for the drama of it, I’d rather you went all out.
Puddin In A Jet-Pack
It’s serious. The reward for the women of Tena City was to go to Surrey Docks and fly around in these contraptions. It was mostly enlivened by Nurun desperately trying to make herself believe that she had “led” her team to a “win” rather than allowed Katie to lead it to one of the less embarrassing sorts of losses. Also
Sarah Dale looking fashion-forward as ever.
In Loser Cafe, Scott had given notice that he was going to make SOLOMON PAY FOR HIS ERROR OF BOTTLING, JUST LIKE ROBERT WAS MADE TO PAY FOR HIS, sounding rather like the serial killer from Complicity sounded in my head, so it was no surprise that the first line of assault in the boardroom revolved around how Solomon should have been PM because he knows from technology. Solomon though at least, unlike Robert, had the fact that he had contributed an idea that was suitable for one of the retailers they were pitching to to back him up and also
dreamy eyes and soft kis…where was I? Anyway, Solomon was never going to get fired, and the rest of the Pre-Boardroom just devolved, as I would imagine much of the rest of this series is going to, into an alpha-male off between James and Daniel about how Daniel messed up the pitching, with Mark droning in in a monotone from the sidelines about how they’re both crap. From my perspective, I’m sorry, I know he’s a total Baldwin Brother, but if you’re asking me to pick between a guy who carries himself like this
and yaps constantly like one of those little backflipping dog every time he’s called upon to articulate himself, and one who carries himself like this.
I know which one I’m going for. Sassy eye-rolls FOR THE WIN.
SCOTT IS FIRED!
But yes, it was all only going to go one way in the end, given that Scott was an uncontrollable rage-monster who, after his own unworkable idea was rejected, spent the rest of the two days of the task taking it out on the team via alternating between pointedly ignoring them and hurling deranged abuse at them, like the textbook example of how to parent a child into Disorganised Attachment Disorder. Bonus points for the use of
terrifyingly aggressive air-quotes and yelling the phrase “HE DIDNAE HAVE A SCOOB!” about James, who wasn’t even in the room. Scott was hurried into the Taxi Of Shame very very quickly before he headbutted somebody, where he gave the most vindictive sulky Exit Interview since Melissa Cohen
except instead of other candidates being lined up for a karmic retributifying Scott decided to yammer on about how Lordalan had MED ACCUSATIONS ABOUT MEH THAT I TAKE VERY VERY SERIOUSLY like he was about to take him to an Industrial Tribunal or something. I love when you open up the ones who are quiet in Week 1 and it turns out that they’re full of psychosis. BYE SCOTT, YA BIG NUTTER!
Lauren’s Reaction To Discovering That Robert Had Been Super-Fired
Well at least someone enjoyed it.
The Week In You’re Fired :
This Week’s first You’re Fired played into this series’ themes of nostalgia, reflection, looking back, and rehashing old ideas, as the regular panel were joined by three of the most memorable candidates from past series. Ruth Badger is still as bellicose as ever, Rafe is still…deeply deeply annoying on a level that makes me reflect yet again on just how awful everybody else in Series 4 must have been for him to be a Fan Favourite, and Neil Clough still has a neckbeard. Actually Neil’s tale was probably the most depressing of them all, even over Rafe spewing out 6 year old catchphrases for cheap laughs, as he has decided to become a MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER based on his time on the show. Never mind that becoming a motivational speaker is what literally every ex-Apprentice candidate right down to Alexa Tiley does, this was special because erm…well…it’s NEIL. At the time this left me looking forward to spending the next three months learning what more ex-candidates were up to, until they ran out of the good ones around Week 7 and left us being regaled by the adventures of Sebastian Schrimpf, Joy Stefanicki and Ghazal Asif. But then I turned on for the second episode and it was just more Josh Widdicombe so…
Best Nick & Kaen Faces :
Next Week :