Where was she producers? This task was just ITCHING for a Smug Cow cameo. Ten years of nostalgia my eye.
Too Many Candidates? : So before this week’s recap improper I thought this would be as good a place as any to draw a line under this year’s twist. At the start of this episode, there were 12 candidates. If this had been a series of 16 candidates, with one firing per episode, it also would have started with 12 candidates. So what have we gained and lost from having four extra people? I think fairly undeniably it’s meant that all the people remaining have had a shallower edit up to this point than they normally would have. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what people have done, who likes who, and we’ve had to take more on trust in terms of what we’re told (eg “Jemma has done nothing”) as opposed to what we’ve been shown (“none of Jemma, Bianca, Pamela or Lauren have done much of anything”). On the other hand it’s possible that with fewer candidates we wouldn’t have got the ones without solid credentials to be cast in the first place (eg the Arctic Social Worker and Hypnotits) and also lord knows how much more of James chewing up the edit by acting like a hyperactive 9 -year-old we’ve been spared. You could also argue that the double and triple-firings were dramatic (you’d be wrong though, both of the double firings were ham-fisted and rubbesh). I guess there’s only one way to find out :
THE COMPETITION HAS REALLY BEGUN!
Mark opened the episode by opining that now that the SUPER-MEGA-AWESOME-TRIPLE-FIRING-OF-DOOM had happened, that this was an auger that all the deadwood in the cast was gone, and that the competition had actually now begun. Personally I think this development was foretold more by the fact that we’ve reached the episode that happens around now in every series, where the hairdressers have been in and given everyone a trim, for continuity purposes. Mark and Sanjay were looking particularly fresh, Roisin looks much better with her hair down
and Jemma got some very cute twists put in her otherwise patrician bob, but my prize for slammin’est summer ‘do goes to Solomon, who had his hair’s unfortunate tendency to grow tentacles out the side managed.
READY FOR THE BEACH, BOYS!
Phone Answering Wars Update :
Felipe : 1
Jemma : 1
Katie : 1
Sanjay : 1
Mark : 1
Lauren : 1
No really, that is Lauren. I know her face changes literally every time she appears on camera, making the series feel like it has EVEN MORE candidates than the TOO MANY it already had, and all of them glamour models, but she is, in fact, just one woman. The location of this week’s team meeting – South Mimms – actually turned out to be a plot point, as Daniel was fairly sure that he knew what it was (a service station) and Mark, Sanjay and Jemma greeted this apparently innocuous information by sniding amongst themselves at length about how it blatantly wasn’t going to be a service station that shitweasel Daniel’s full of CRAP. (Actually to be fair Mark and Sanjay were sniding, Jemma just
smiled and gurgled happily like I imagine she does at most things in life, such an angel). This was the start of an episode long storyline that appeared almost from nowhere called “Everyone Hates Daniel”. There were maybe clues in the edit beforehand (Sanjay’s blithe dismissal of him, Felipe and Steven as the three weakest men in the competition, James and Mark’s grumblings over his aborted Stalker Jumper pitch) but nothing to hint of this sort of maelstrom of negative emotion.
Two Other People Who Apparently Didn’t Know What South Mimms Was :
Good grief guys, it’s a task briefing outside a Little Chef, not a Mafia funeral.
TEAM SWAP! :
So yeah, they didn’t focus too lingeringly on the new teams that were formed by necessity in the event of the nuclear holocaust event that occurred in last week’s boardroom, but Mark was moved over from Sumfin’ over to Tena City, presumably as a production decision as soon as he made his hate-boner for Daniel obvious. The new Tena City, containing as it does Mark, Daniel, Puddin and Lauren (and Katie and Felipe), did rather give off the air of a team with too many backseat drivers and not enough back-seats to contain them, given that the edits of all four so far have consisted 97% of talking head interviews where they whine about what mistakes other people are making. SO LET’S SEE HOW THAT DEVELOPS!
This Week’s Task :
Was the Coach Trip task from Series 6, but not in London. Pretty much. Teams had to persuade people to come on their magical coach tours to two attractions in the South-East and also provide lunch. Teams would be judged on overall profit eg, overall takings minus what the teams had spent on entry fees for attractions and to make lunch. Sadly, this time, nobody almost got punched out in Trafalgar Square. Not even James.
Daniel vs Mark Rd 1
Sanjay was summarily appointed to head up Sumfin’ and told his team that they would be doing a tour of Historic Kent, themed around Henry VIII and The Canterbury Tales. The process in Tena City though was less smooth, as Daniel argued that he should PM the task as he is an events organiser for a living. Mark on the other hand, thought he should be PM because he was a tour guide once. This time, and only this time, all series, the team backed Daniel. He decided immediately on Oxford for their tour destination, for an “English Experience”, the highlight of which would be a visit to an “English-based castle” (as opposed to all those castles in the East Of England where they speak primarily in Catalan). Following “British Breeze” two weeks ago, I’m guessing Daniel and Gabrielle “Just stick a Union Jack On Everything” Omar would get along like a house on fire. The discussion around price point?
Daniel : “Let’s sell it for £80 to £85”
Mark : “NO! IT NEEDS TO BE HIGHER! £100!”
Daniel : “Ok…£99.50”
So basically, if you enjoy macho power games, THIS WAS THE EPISODE FOR YOU! (Sanjay set the price much lower, at £65, despite Solomon insisting they should start really high. If you want to pay attention to anybody’s Possible Winner Edit or anything)
Chess, According To Daniel Lassman :
“Good chess players think one move ahead. GREAT chess players, like me, think two or THREE moves ahead. Any more than that and it’s blatantly a robot mate”
Boring Negotiation Stuff :
A core part of the early going in this task was for half of each team (Mark, Lauren and Puddin vs James, Sanjay and Jemma) to visit their planned attraction stops, and negotiate with them to lower their entrance prices so that the teams outgoings would be reduced. Mark negotiated well for Tena City whilst Lauren and Puddin, looking increasingly like the RestOfTheSupremes to his Diana Ross, nodded along happily. In the end he got a 34% discount on entry to Blenheim Palace, which elevated itself to a 60% discount the second he and his Vandellas got into the car-park. The true joy of the negotiations came though in INVISIJEMMA’S SECOND BREAKOUT MOMENT OF THE SERIES as she told James that his claim that he was going to negotiate the team an 80% (!) discount was “embarrassing”, an opinion that resulted in a great flailing half-hour meltdown from James over how Jemma was just MEAN TO HIM. James clearly being one of those people who thinks that everyone should tell it like it is unless it’s about him.
Of course Jemma was right – James’ negotiation was embarrassing, and went on forever, and he got no discount. James later, possibly out of spite, stomped all over one of Jemma’s attempts to negotiate by interrupting her flow to tell the woman in charge of The Canterbury Tales Experience that if his tourists came to her attraction and had a good experience that they would tell their friends and this would be called “word of mouth”. Sadly the woman in charge of The Canterbury Tales didn’t then go “OH REALLY? THANKS FOR THE HINT!” and wap him upside the head with one of the Miller’s bags of flour.
Daniel vs Mark (and Puddin and Lauren) Rd 2
Whilst one subteam were carrying out negotiations, the rest (Daniel, Katie, Felipe vs Bianca, Solomon, Roisin) were selling the tickets for their coach tours to various forrins wandering around London. For Sumfin’ their tactics mostly seemed to be pointing Solomon at young women, and using his sleepy Aladdin-esque charms to woo them onto their coach. Given that Bianca’s sales tactics ran to “we’re running out of time, take these for a tenner – we will also accept payment in buttons”, this was probably a good idea, and they sold out to capacity. Tena City’s sales push though seemed to mostly rely on Katie and Felipe, who sold 7 tickets (out of a maximum coach capacity of 25 seats) as Daniel sold nothing. Of course when Daniel relayed their poor sales figures to Mark & The Marvelettes there were all really APPALLED and DEVASTATED as
not at all demonstrated by the massive shit-eating grin on Puddin’s face at the thought of yet another PM getting smooshed underneath her axles. Mark in particular snarked “the best sales job that boy’s done all day is himself, to us, and then NOT DELIVERED” causing Puddin to sigh “Oh, Mark, stop it!” and actually probably fan herself like a Victorian Lady. (Fortunately Daniel did later close a couple of group sales (albeit for a lower price) to round the final number of passengers up to 20 out of 25 which I’m sure his team will give him due credit for at the end of the task A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA)
Snakes & Ladders, According To Daniel Lassman :
“Good Snakes & Ladders players know you’ve got to go UP THE LADDERS. GREAT Snakes & Ladders players, like me, know that you’ve got to go UP THE LADDERS and NOT go DOWN THE SNAKES”
Puddin yelling “WE’VE PM’D THIS WHOLE TASK! as she irons a logo onto a t-shirt, which is pretty much all she does all episode, followed by Daniel vs Mark (and Lauren and Puddin) Rd 3
Daniel : *calls Pamela*
Puddin : “WHAT IS IT DICKHEAD, I’M TIRED”
Daniel : “I’m not really a big fan of your attitude young lady, I’m just calling tto let you know we’ve sold our 20th ticket”
Puddin : “WHOOPIE FUCK”
Mark : *makes blowjob face somewhere off-camera probably*
What a lovely team dynamic.
Tennis, According To Daniel Lassman :
“Good tennis players know that you’ve got to get the ball over the net. GREAT tennis players, like me, know that after that sometimes it comes back again”
The Sad Fact That Solomon Still Can’t Tie His Own Tie Illustrated, Albeit Less Homoerotically Than Last Week
Tena City Tours
Well at least you can be confident that the toilets work. Tena City’s Tour of Oxford was that most disappointing thing – a well run coach tour. And who wants to watch that as a piece of televisual entertainment? Unless the delightful Brendan Sheerin is running it of course. Lauren was particularly praised by Nick for being (ugh) professional and informative. The only real downpoints as far as I could see were Daniel’s
entirely expected decorating of the coach, the sandwiches which were quite frankly
the most gopping food items seen on this show since the glory days of Yasmina’s Cut-Price Catering, and Felipe being an utter Oxford Bore the entire time because he graduated from Oxford did he mention it? Other than that though, great.
This Week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend :
Oscar The Sleeping Tourist. Felipe’s lengthy dissertation about all the special letters that Oxford people get after their names that makes them better than other people who have to have different letters after their name because they went to a different university, did for him.
The Tour From Actual Hell
Sumfin’s tour started 45 minutes late (for no particular reason), and featured James and Sanjay yelling various “fun” coach songs off key with the words EVER SO SLIGHTLY wrong (“THREE MAN WENT TO MOW A MEADOW”) for the whole journey, lots of shouting via megaphone and (*shudders*) dressing-up, James free-associating on the topic of birdlife for far too long, a lengthy episode of getting lost outside a Poundland, a lengthy episode of getting lost outside a Wilko, a lengthy episode of getting lost outside a Superdrug, the tourists actually having to be pulled out of an attraction early because the tour had run out of time, James actually trying to sell people t-shirts with pictures of James on them, a broken toilet, James actually clapping at people to hurry them up, James actually begging for tips, James actually, James, James, nothing but James, all the time, in a way that the show is clearly hoping will wear us all down into finding him endearing eventually, which NOPE, NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT, EVER AND I FOUND STUART BAGGS ENDEARING SO IT’S NOT AS THOUGH I’M NOT AN EASY MARK.
A Picture Of Mark Trying To Make “Destructive Dan” Happen As A Nickname, Not With That Hat You’re Wearing My Dear
Jemma’s Super Fun Happy Tour!!!
Pretty much the only highlight of Sumfin’s dire coach trip experience was Jemma’s delightful recounting of the life of Henry VIII at Hever Castle. You have truly not had history come to life until you’ve had Jemma Bird explain it to you as though it were an episode of Friends. Henry VIII didn’t execute Anne Boleyn because of the political machinations of Thomas Cromwell surrounding disagreements over the dissolution of the monasteries, or because of her failure to produce a male heir, or because she was growing in power and influence to the extent that she threatened to become the true power in England, no, it was because he just “felt like moving on”. HER HEAD WAS ON A BREAK! FROM HER NECK! Jemma also burbled merrily away about how there were lots of lovely photos of Henry and Anne everywhere, and at one point basically told everyone they could find Henry’s marriage chest themselves because she didn’t have a clue where it was. Oh and
Tourist : “What’s that?” *points*
Jemma : “I don’t know, it’s not in the guidebook!”
Jemma : “Anne was actually imprisoned before she was executed, so she had a bit of a tragic ending unfortunately, BUT THAT’S HENRY VIII FOR YOU (BLOODY MEN ISN’T IT?)”
Why did she only feature in this episode guys? WHY? WE MUST HAVE BEEN ROBBED OF SO MANY PRECIOUS MOMENTS.
Daniel vs Mark (and Lauren and Puddin and Katie) Rd 4
The Beatles, According To Daniel Lassman :
“Normal Beatles fans own ONE Beatles albums. MASSIVE Beatles fans, like me, own TWO OR THREE Beatles albums. Any more than that and you’re basically a bit of a stalker mate, like the new Mark Chapman or something”
Daniel vs Mark (and Lauren and Puddin and Katie and Felipe) Rd 5
In one of those glorious occasions when a team start hurling abuse at one another before the results are even in even though they’re fairly confident that they’ve won, Tena City went at it like knives from the second the Results Boardroom started, with Katie of all people swooping in to attack first, innocently highlighting that she and Felipe had sold individual tickets whilst Daniel hadn’t sold any. Felipe then hopped on to try to take away Daniel’s attempt to try to salvage something for himself by taking credit for the group sales (which, to be fair, we did see Daniel closing at least one of) and Lauren sneered that for an events organiser Daniel didn’t do a lot of organising. Mark rounded things off by claiming that the team basically functioned independently of Daniel, before Puddin put the cherry on the cake by very pointedly congratulating MARK for the win over Daniel when the numbers came in.
Sumfin spent £582 and took £1396 for a total profit of £814
Tena City spent £494 and took £1532 a total profiit of £1038
Puddin then somehow tried to claim that basically she was in fact a large part of why they won the task, despite the fact that all she did over two days was iron a t-shirt and make a sandwich. Basically I’m quite invested in Puddin Project Manager’ing herself and losing and getting hilarifired asap at this point. Why Tena City won? Because they spent less (because of Mark’s negotiation skills and Daniel’s focus on margins, implemented mostly in terms of actual facts and figures it seems by Katie) and took more (because their price point was higher from the off and remained so throughout). For once…one team was just better, even outside of the fact their end-product didn’t feature James acting like a complete and utter James.
Daniel vs Mark (and Puddin and Lauren and Katie and Felipe) Rd 6
Otherwise know as the reward, in this case, abseiling down the Orbit at the Olympic Park. At the bottom of his descent, Daniel found Mark waiting for him as soon as he unclipped to tell him that they may have seemed harsh in the boardroom but Daniel needed to hear the honest truth and maybe he can learn a lesson from this. The thing is of course that materially Mark’s side of the argument is the right side – Mark has a far better argument for having contributed positively to the task than Daniel does, Daniel did sell poorly individually and does seem quite untrustworthy, and a lot of the smooth running of the event was down to people like Lauren and Katie (NOT PUDDIN THOUGH, NEVER PUDDIN). And yet still I come away wanting Daniel to sandbag whoever the next PM is as hard as possible. I guess The Apprentice is like that sometimes…
Sex, According To Daniel Lassman :
“Good lovers know that the penis goes into the vagina. GREAT lovers, like me, know that you have to move it round in there a bit until it sneezes”.
This Week’s Best Nick & Kaen Faces :
Boardroom Follies :
Most of the early half of the Boardroom was devoted to James, with Lordalan sighing that he doesn’t want to go into business with someone who goes on a coach tour and sings BLAHDDY nursery rhymes (of course when Stella sang “Knees Up MUVVAH BRAHN!” on a coach tour it was an active positive…) and cracking wise that if Anne Boleyn’s neck had been as thick as James is she’d still be alive. I would have gone with the “brass neck” angle myself but that’s just me. Everyone sat around discussing the show-killing yammering drone that is James until Lordalan actually sighed “when are you going to stop?” (my thoughts exactly) at him and him basically saying “never”. This ultimately resulted in one of Lordalan’s patented “Final Warnings” that are about as final as Cher’s Farewell Tours, and Sanjay deciding that he’d really rather try to get Bianca or Jemma fired instead. The second half of the boardroom could then basically be summed up thusly :
Lordalan : “IT SEZ ERE ON YOUR RAY-ZOO-MAY THAT YOU ARE THE GIRL THAT ALWAYS NEARLY WINS. WOZZATMEAN?”
Jemma : “It means I try really hard Lordalan but am fundamentally incompetent. BUT if I win this won’t be that be a great reality tv narrative? The girl who always nearly wins finally actually winning?”
Lordalan : “Nah, bye”
I mean, you can add a lot of Sanjay speaking in vocal fry over the top and everyone acting like Bianca is an APPRENTICE TASK SUPERSTAR SUDDENLY BROUGHT LOW (lol she’s barely been featured more than Jemma) but that’s it in a nugget. The curse of “I INT SIN YOU DO MAHCH!” strikes again. Still
she looked happy as a clam in her Cab Of Shame, so I’m sure she’ll be fine.
Daniel vs Mark (and Puddin and Katie and Felipe and Lauren) Rd 7
ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH ENOUGH.
Next Week :
“Your task is to recreate the video for “If I Could Turn Back Time”. Nick, fetch me fishnets”.
Meanwhile, On You’re Fired
She’s a what now?