This Week’s Phone Answering Wars Update :
Oops, sorry. I think not following this show in the detail I quite used to has left me prone to moments of laxity in getting the right pictures for Phone-Answering Wars. Hang on. Back a bit…
What the…No wait, a bit further.
OH NO A DEMON…
There we go. Scores are
Felipe : 1
Jemma : 1
Katie : 1
Battle Of The Sexists :
After the absolute pounding the girls handed the boys in the first two tasks, as chaired by mighty PMs and Titans Of Business Sarah Dale and Nurun, thoughts were of course turning to gender politics in the Apprentice mansion this week, with both Sanjay and Mark hoping fervently that the “merge” could be held off (LOL some people have been watching too much Survivor) so that they could prove that no, really, boys can be just as good as girls, as though that’s a fact that needs any further pondering 10 years into the show in the year 2014. And as though the boys kicking the girls up and down the street for the first month of Series 9 didn’t result in an all-female Final 3. The women on the other hand were less bothered by affairs of the downstairs furniture department, as Lindsay said that she’d prove herself on this task SINGLE-GENDER or MIXED-GENDER team (lol), and Ella-Jade looked positively
excited at the thought of getting up close and personal with the result of James’ extensive grooming and blow-dying routine.
Apparently this team swap was in the end carried out because Lordalan was “really disappointed” in the teams’ efforts over the first two tasks/the producers told him that he had to get Steven and Sarah on the same team at the same time at least once before someone killed one of them. Incidentally, for all of Lindsay’s bravado about how this week was her TIME TO SHINE, she certainly wandered up to Team Smufin’s attempts to make welcoming eye-contact/check out her tits like
she’d just been pushed at some boy she didn’t like at his bar mitzvah. Oddly enough, despite being one of the prime movers behind “WOOOARRRGH, YEAH, MEN 4EVA, BITCHEZ NEVA!” the instant Sanjay realised the sex swap meant that he no longer had to share breathing space with Steven (and Daniel and Felipe I guess), he perked right up, cackling about how Lordalan had freed him of the three weakest men in the show.
SELLIN WHAT’S SMELLIN!
This week’s task was a basic one – design a fragrance, infuse it into a candle and room defuser, and sell it on to the public and trade. My personal choice would have been to acknowledge The Apprentice’s history and made a scent that was a combination of both cedarwood and sandalwood, called “Four Hundred And FiftShit”. Apparently we’re not doing the whole nostalgia thing any more. Strictly a one episode deal. Boo.
Neva 4get. Anyway, yes, given that this was a task that’s fairly hard to muff up totally (unless you have Yasmina adding up <3) and Lordalan told everyone last week to BLAHDDY STEP AHP OR BLAHDDY STEP OFF it was instructional to see who caught the hint and pulled themselves up into the PM positions. For Sumfin it was Roisin, coming off a week of ineptitude as sub Team Leader and then utter silence, wanting to prove her powers of costing as an accountant, and for the ladies and gentlemen of Tena City, it was Katie, after the following exchange.
Katie : “I am putting myself forward as someone who is obsessive about the smell of me horm”
Tena City : *laughs gamely at Katie’s self-deprecation*
Katie : “No really, if you fart in me horm I will throw a bath bomb at yus, then stick a cork up yus bum and throw yus out the windor. Don’t mess.”
Tena City : *fear*
This OCD about cleanliness can therefore be added to Katie’s personality profile thus far established of “Northern”. This puts her two personality traits ahead of most of the rest of this year’s candidates, although several hundred behind the rampant Multiple Personality Disorder of Steven (every one of them a diva though honey, trust believe). Speaking of lack of on-air personality.
Things Jemma Did This Week Instead Of Being On TV :
Spelled out the word “hives” in her mellifluous Walsall accent.
And that is what Jemma did this week instead of being on tv.
This Week’s Most Trenchent Insight Into The Mind Of Sarah Dale – Hypnotherapist and Former PA
“Males and females can both relate to food smells”
The Most Perfunctory Market Research Session Ever, In The History Of The Apprentice, Ever
Remember when, in the good old days, subteams used to take up fully half a day for market research? Remember when Melody got raked over the coals for only asking a handful of people their opinions in Paris? Well this week, the Tena City sub-team, headed by Lauren, for their market research, went to one (1) shop that sold candles and fed back the market research of “let’s do plain coloured soy candles, because this one shop does it”. That was it. That was the market research. The fatuousness of this market research was only compounded by the fact that PM Katie had already decided she was going to do paraffin candles that were piss-yellow, because that would deliver her the best MARGINS. Lauren spent the rest of the task all huffy and put-out that her one piece of cribbing had been ignored, although I suspect it may have more been the dawning realisation about what having been left to herd a sub-team consisting of Sarah, Steven, Daniel and Ella-Jade symbolised eg being thrown in the bin.
The Finished Articles :
Having decided on a piss yellow candle, it was left for Tena City to decide what fragrances would go with its uric brightness, with Katie’s sub-team of Katie and all Katie’s Best Friends (Puddin, Felipe, Jemma) given the job of beatifically sniffing combinations of lovely fragrances to come up with the best possible scent meld. They settled on lemongrass, aloe vera, and Green Tea. Meanwhile the sub-team of Stupid Garbage-Faces were stuck listening to Sarah noisily brainstorm with herself as to what product names they might choose and snap “NO!” at anybody who suggested anything different. “Yellow Submarine”, “Lemon Eyes” and I’m guessing several other variation on the theme of lemons, sliced or unsliced, were mooted by Sarah, until Daniel suggested “British Breeze”. Presumably inspired by all the West London Wind emanating from her. Sumfin’ meanwhile opted on a beach theme, rejecting both Mark’s name of “Smells From The Surf” and James’ “Sandy Shore” (if only they had made a candle LITERALLY IN THE SHAPE OF SANDY SHAW CALLED SANDY SHORE and sold them to Eurovision obsessives in bulk I bet they would have won hands down) for Bianca’s idea of “Beach Dreams” a name she suggested clearly in the middle of a fantasy about being fanned delicately in Kota Kinabalu by hunks with palm fronds rather than being sat in an office watching James’ face settle into the inevitable duck-faced selfie formation it gets whenever he has to think about anything.
PRAISE BE TO THE BLESSED MARGINS OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY ST YASMINA FOREVER AND EVER AMEN
So, as ever, when they are invoked, the Holy Margins do decide which team it is that wins the “make a thing then flog it” task and it was clear from the start of the very first pitch to the very first high-end hotel that Katie was more of an Orthodox Margins adherent whilst Roisin came from a more liberal, modern, laissez faire place of worship. Katie put a firm righteous guiding shepherd’s hand on her team from the start, guiding her flock to only sell at the price originally set and to keep the BLESSED MARGINS IN THE HIGHEST AT ALL TIMES, GLORY BE TO THE HOLY MARGINS. Roisin on the other hand was talking about bulk discounts, and then just plain discounts, and then just starting at £12.50 per candle and seeing what happened from the minute the car was in the Apprentice Mansion driveway. Sister Bianca tried to steer her back onto the price of righteousness, but it was not enough, and Roisin’s wishy washy half-assed practically Presbyterian worship(ish) of the SACRED MARGINS PBUT sent her disciple James by example off on the path of libidinous price-cutting and sin and telling unaccompanied women that since they had such nice tits he’d give them a candle for £3 and lo the OMNIPOTENT MARGINS THAT SEE ALL AND KNOW ALL saw this and they were displeased and then Kaen pulled a face probably. (Nobody question where spending money on piss-coloured dye for no reason fits in with the HOLY MARGINS, FOR THEY MOVE IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS)
Here Comes The Science Bit
The creation of the teams products in the lab was sadly uneventful, unless the sight of Solomon in a lab coat is enough for you. And maybe it is. All of Tena City’s lab team worked smoothly and efficiently, and Sanjay similarly marshalled Summit’s efforts neatly, with no candle wax all over the floor or hilarious mistakes in quantities made. The highlight was probably Sanjay being stood at a whiteboard, writing up numbers, then stopping and giggling “ooooh I’m Carol Vorderman”. Poor Rachel Riley. 5 years on Countdown and the role’s still not quite hers is it?
Highlights From Pitching To Trade – A List :
- Mark saying “we class ourselves as the premium end of the scented arena”
- James flirting heinously with the owner of the hotel they were pitching to, sighing that the smell of his own candle made him want to leap into bed RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
- Some dick complaining that he won’t accept a reed diffuser because the label’s on a bit wonky, I mean, I know you wanted to get on tv by clowning an Apprentice candidate mate but that was WEAK
- Roisin selling a bunch of reed diffusers that had been ear-marked for a high-end hotel to a low-end gift store instead for a cheaper price because…stuff…
- Daniel’s ability to wiggle his ears
- Steven yelling all over Daniel’s pitch, potentially costing the team £100 of sales in one go
- Daniel then saying more or less “well now I have to offer them to you at that lower price because this moron says so”
- Steven then
- Steven then doing the most bizarrely passive-aggressive thing I’ve ever seen – directing his “I SAVED THE SALE FROM YOUR INCOMPETENCE, ACTUALLY!” rant at Sarah’s face, even though he is in fact talking to Daniel.
- Sarah smiling along and nodding the whole time, implying that the APPRENTICE MEGA-PAIRING OF MY DREAMS can only be an episode away (please).
A Day In The Sales Life Of Sarah Dale
Sadly the subteams were reshuffled for Day 2, with Steven and Ella-Jade’s slots on the Team Of The Damned, still under Lauren’s command and now doing street sales, taken instead by Puddin and Jemma. Although even without her new partner-in-crime by her side, Sarah was still capable of wreaking havoc :
Sarah : “Lauren, Lauren, where are my little stickers for the candles?”
Lauren *in a voice suggesting already that a paddling is imminent* : “They’re on the table Sarah”
Sarah : “Well what should I do with them Lauren?”
Lauren : “Put them on the candles”
Sarah : “Where shall I do that Lauren?”
Lauren *all her internal organs clenching and pulsing in unison* : “Somewhere discreetly at the back Sarah”
Sarah : “But I really think everyone wants to watch me making the candles Lauren”
Lauren : “Please just do what I’m asking you Sarah, please don’t make me murder you”
Sarah : “OH MY GOD LAUREN YOU’RE SO BOSSY! STOP IT!
*tum ti tum don’t mind me, oh shit I was almost actually in shot then*
Sarah’s ability to require micromanagement on the scale of literally having to be told what to do with stickers and where, but then yelling at someone for being bossy for telling her is…so Sarah. Such love. Sarah then spent the rest of the day wandering up to strangers, opening up candle boxes like she was about to propose to them,
and asking them if they wanted to take a sniff, as an ever more exasperated Daniel and Puddin did their level best to look like he wasn’t associated with her.
INCIDENTAL CHARACTER BOYFRIEND OF THE WEEK :
Let’s call him Ian The Blurry Guy Who Didn’t Want To Sniff Sarah’s Candle
The Moment Kaen Had To Step In, For Legal Reasons
This was James’ idea, although not a single person on his subteam of Solomon, Lindsay and Nurun tried to stop him. (In retrospect giving James the run of such a pack of betas was one of Roisin’s more…questionable decisions). Personally I think it would have been a nice nod if the RRP had in fact been the price Roisin had told him he was supposed to have started selling at in the first place (£25). Nevertheless the sight of Kaen, normally ever the detached observer, marching right into the task and ordering James to take his sign down because his RRP wasn’t recommended by anybody except the voices in his head, could only have been improved if it had actually been Margaret.
The Liz Locke Memorial Sales Award For Best Individual Sales Performance Of The Task :
Ella-Jade Bitton : £950+
Sarah Dale Does A Costume Change Mid-Task For No Reason
The Moment UTR Goddess Jemma Looked Like Every Single Nu-Dr-Who Generic “Female Corporate Baddy-Of-The-Week” rolled into one person
The Length Of The Speech Lordalan Gave About How Easy He Thought This Task Was :
35 whole seconds
Amount Of Time UTR Goddess Jemma Has Been Given To Speak On Camera In All Three Episodes Of Her Time Here :
RESULTS TIME :
Sumfin spent £608 and took £2177 for a total profit of £1569
Tena City spent £633 and took £2217 for a total of £1584
(Please note that reveal of these results was delayed because James decided to have an impromptu Zumba session in the middle of the reading of the figures then someone took their shoe off and threw it at him but sadly I was on the other side of the tv screen so Lordalan had to just tell him to stop instead)
TENA CITY WIN!
So you’ll notice that the two teams spent about the same amount of money and took about the same amount of money and therefore made about the same amount of profit. So this was a tight win that reflected more or less equally well and equally badly on both teams right? RIGHT?
Pfft, no, this is The Apprentice. Sumfin had to suffer for disrespecting the HOLY MARGINS LEST WE FORGET UBER ALLES and so the fact that Tena City had a load of stock left over was a GOOD THING because in the real world they could go on and sell it the next day, whereas Sumfin’ had sold out of everything in a typical last-second Apprentice sales rush spearheaded by James was a BAD THING because THE TASK ISN’T A BLAHDDY FIRE SALE, except it was, because it’s THE APPRENTICE FOR PETE’S SAKE. Let’s all imagine a world where Ella-Jade was a marginally less crack saleswoman to the trade, and Tena City lost by £14. Do we think Lordalan would be going on about “the real world” then? No. James would have been a hero for slashing prices, Katie would have been a numbskull for sticking to her strict pricing structure, on such things are “business lessons” hinged. And anyway, if we want to move into this putative real world maybe we could cover how Katie would be paying 9 people’s wages for two days work instead of 8?
LET’S HAVE A SPA DAY!
Our first reward of the series without a tinge of bitterness and desperation, the winners of Tena City just smeared one another lesbirotically with clay and toasted Katie’s victory. I’m sure the harmony can’t last.
The Curse Of Kaen Claims Another Victim :
So despite her promise to STEP UP in this task, it turns out whatever wasting curse Kaen lays on candidates when she wearily says that they don’t seem to be doing much claimed Lindsay’s life only a few minutes into the Final Boardroom as she disappeared down the plughole she’d been circling all episode. Highlights of this death-spiral included her saying that she couldn’t do numbers, saying that she couldn’t do sales, the words “I’m happy for you to do everything” leaving her mouth at one point, never stopping yawning ever, her wearing the expression of Claire Danes circa My So-Called Life all task,
actively avoiding sales in favour of putting stickers on candle boxes all day, ultimately having to be cajoled into selling by James, selling one candle, that’s it, just one and sighing gently that she should probably just stick to what she’s good at, that being swimming. Prompted into life, Lordalan drowned her with a veritable barrage of water-related puns whilst Mark did the equivalent of holding her head under water and giggling the whole time. Then Lindsay basically just sat there staring into space until Lordalan did the decent thing and made her the first victim of the second entirely undramatic double-firing of the series. Bye Lindsay. This just leaves Sarah as the last surviving victim of this year’s CURSE OF KAEN. She was so washed out by the end that she didn’t even get an exit interview.
Boardroom Follies :
The rest of the boardroom really belonged to James. Even though he was never in any real danger of getting fired, as the top salesman on a sales related task, he decided to put in a classic “One-Note Sales Twat In Search Of A Redemption Arc” put-up job anyway. The unnecessary use of the word balls, the “LET ME FINISH”, the “I’m just like you Lordalan”, the
making Lordalan pull this face, the constant references to his own age, the complete inability to shut up ever, the “you would have done the same thing at my age Lordalan”, the “I WANT THIS MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN THIS PROCESS YOU WON’T MEET A MORE BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH”, the absolutely dead-eyed look of incomprehension when the word “ethics” came up…
Same as it ever was. If he’d ever been in danger it would have been enough to save him, for narrative reasons alone. In any case the firing here was
Nurun. If you hadn’t noticed, she was kind of nice and timid and had trouble getting through an entire sentence on camera most of the time without randomly looking off somewhere or almost swallowing her own tongue. The reason given was her poor sales (roughly £100 worth) and a hold-over from her poor PMing last week, but really I think we all know she went because she didn’t really work televisually. Also Kaen made sure to stomp around the episode about 16 minutes in all ooooh Nurun’s not doing anything just in case anyone decided they could get off the show this year without that happening.
The Most Inappropriately Homoerotic Gaze Of The Week :
This Week’s Best Nick & Kaen Faces
Next Week : People repeatedly chanting “Fat Daddy” at Felipe by the sounds of it (?) (?) (!)