HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NEW YORK! CONCRETE JUNGLE WHERE LAUREN GETS LAID OFF, BECAUSE OF PISS-LIKE BREW!
James And Mark’s Relationship Becomes Yet More Homo-Erotic
Seriously, these two are getting more subtextual than even Simon and Lohit, and they ACTUALLY SHARED A BED.
Phone Answering Wars Update 7
Mark : 2
Felipe : 1
Katie : 1
Sanjay : 1
Lauren : 1
Solomon : 1
Jemma : 1
It’s hard to capture the sheer giddy ebullience with which Solomon charges down the stairs at the phone. Imagine Phoebe From Friends running crossed with a labrador yomping after a frisbee. (Incidentally, Solomon was so excited by the phone call that he began running to pick up the receiver even before it started ringing. Now there’s dedication). And the good times were only beginning to roll as the Mysterious Voice revealed that this was the week THAT THE CANDIDATES GO TO FORRINS!
James thought they were going to China! Katie thought they were going to Europe! Roisin thought they were going somewhere hot! Lauren didn’t know where they were going but she knew that she was going to shake her head about she wasn’t really feeling like she was getting any sense of direction from the pilot the whole way there! So where were the candidates going?
E Pluribums, Unum
I’m surprised it took them this long. Yes, after The Med, France, Morocco, The North, Germany, France again, Nowhere Coz Of These Troubled Times, and the UAE finally the show hopped the pond to visit the original home of The Apprentice – America. And to provide a fresh angle on the foreign jaunt, our branding and advertising task for the series. Of all the candidates
it was Katie who looked the most excited by the prospect of munching on The Big Apple. Either that or Felipe just noisily trumped and it sounded a bit like his name (he even farts in the third person). The specific task? Create and brand a new soft drink, with television, online and digital billboard advertising, for the American Market. Of course “for the American Market” was the Moby Dick of red herrings, as “the American Market” turned out to be Lordalan himself with a baseball cap on backwards. Nobody else is going to rob him of his chance to whine about MARKETIN’ BULLSHIT. Nobody. Especially not some bleedin’ yanks.
Power Struggle Number One : So the big question in Tena City was of course, following last week’s double warning over backseat driving to Mark and Lauren, who of them was going to get to be Project Manager and which of them was going to spend the next 55 minutes waiting to be told they were fired for I AINT SIN MUCH OF YOU reasons. Lauren argued that she should be PM because she had been to New York before “on a number of occasions” (said number : 4) and Mark argued that he should be PM because he works in advertising and manages a team of online marketing specialists. Mark was duly elected.
Nick then made a huge Nicky froo-fraw as usual about how this was a BIG LIE (Mark is apparently Sales Manager for a Digital Marketing Firm) which…that sounds fairly close to what he actually said, and besides I have little pity if these people have lived together for three weeks now ON THE APPRENTICE and didn’t see fit to work out one another’s jobs before now and besides THAT, that’s still a better argument than “I been to New York once and I wanna”. Mark and Daniel of course, as the two members of Tena City most in danger of imminent firing immediately took up saying “OOOOH, LAUREN DOESN’T APPEAR TO BE DOING MUCH” and never one stopped for the rest of the episode. It was about as playground and obvious as this show gets, and therefore amazing. (Speaking of people who were told off for dodging being PM, although in this case with it having no consequences for them whatsoever, Bianca was in charge of Sumfin’)
Power Struggle Number Two : So the nasty twist to this year’s Forrins task was that only three people would actually get to go on holiday. The other two, as chosen by the PM, would be left to sit home in
Sunny Luton and seethe about being left out. The USA based team would create an advert and pitch, the UK based team would have the arguably more important job of producing all branding materials for the product, and also actually creating it. And putting the bins out at the Apprentice Mansion and making sure Nick had taken his medicine. This must have been a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Tena City’s UK delegates – Katie and Daniel – as they had also been left out of the ridiculously lavish Week 4 “Go to Iceland and cavort topless around a luxury spa” reward. To their credit, they both took it much better than Sanjay did
who spent the entirety of the rest of the task apparently oblivious to the fact that his every complaint clearly stemmed from the fact that Bianca had chosen to take James and Solomon to America over him. Personally, I don’t care how amazing and up-scale New York is, I’d take a civilised day drinking soft drinks with Roisin over being stuck in a flying tin-can with James for 8 hours solid, probably singing “New York, New York” the whole time, spilling peanuts everywhere and noisily demanding the in-flight movie be changed to Ace Ventura 2. Sanjay may have thought the words out of his mouth were considered and accurate complaints that “that advert looks boring”, “we’re not getting enough direction” and “James, stop talking over me”, but all I heard was “WAAAAAAAAAAAH, I WANTED TO GO TO MACY’S AND BUY NICE SHOOOOOOOES!”.
Everything’s Bigger In America
Jesus, is that an Apprenticar or an Apprentitank? I do love that it basically looks like Solomon should be in a child-seat. (This sequence was also notable for James’ childlike wonder that the streets in America so STRAIGHT and erm…STRAIGHT)
Meanwhile at Customs
I know Felipe’s from Columbia guys, but I think it’s a bit much to force him to produce a sample just to get into the coun…oh, no, wait, that’s the team’s pineapple-flavoured health themed soft drink. Looking at it…kind of an appropriate product for Tena City to be producing really isn’t it? Despite Daniel’s suggestion that it be called “Love Juice” (maybe at a party in a Soho backroom where you put bin-liners down on the floor mate), the team adopted the name, probably suggested by Katie, of “Aquafusion”. In the history of this show, even with OctyClean and Special Stars and Treasure Flakes, this is clearly the worst brand name these people have ever come up with. Not only does it sound like an aerobics class or a new type of made-up toothpaste technology, rather than a soft drink, it’s also utterly forgettable. I could call it AquaCombi for the rest of the recap and not one of you would call me out on it. No really, you wouldn’t. Don’t try me. This utter balls-up was then compounded by the bottle, which looked
like something you’d buy out of someone’s garden at the Notting Hill Carnival and the billboard that Daniel and Katie produced which
YELLOW UPON YELLOW UPON YELLOW UPON MY RETINA MY EYES THEY ARE BURNING.
Big Dawg & The Dweebs
Sumfin’ on the other hand eschewed tastefulness altogether and went for a sooped-up energy drink chock-full of caffeine and sugar and DRAGON FRUIT and PASSION FRUIT and called their brand BIG DAWG, spelled with an “AW” because this is AMERICA and that’s how they say things (although if the brand had been spelled phonetically in James’ attempt at an American accent it would have been called BEG DEHHHHHHG YAWL), and advertising covered in paw-prints and bones and pastel colours.
(When Solomon was asked by a marketing executive if the bone was supposed to be a phallic symbol he replied “no, it’s a bone”. Bless). It also apparently tasted of
A Discussion Of The Flavours Of Big Dawg That Revealed A Lot About Every Participant’s Personality When You Break It Down
Roisin : *wears a face of vague exasperation the entire time*
Sanjay : “Hi guys, have you tasted it yet, THERE IN AMERICA?!”
Bianca : “Hi! Erm…Solly and James were a bit surprised that it tasted of burning?”
Sanjay : “WELL I MADE IT, BECAUSE I’M HERE, BECAUSE I DIDN’T GET TO GO TO AMERICA, AND I DIDN’T THINK IT TASTED OF BURNING!”
James : “Mate, I run a bar and nun’t our cocktails with passion fruit in taste like this…”
Monkseal : [*suggestion of what the drink in James bar might have had put in them to make them taste “a bit different” redacted on libel grounds*]
Sanjay : “WELL IF YOU’RE SUCH AN EXPERT IN MAKING DRINKS JAMES, WHY YOU DIDN’T YOU STAY HERE IN BRITAIN AND LET ME GO TO AMERICA YOU SELFISH PRICK!”
Bianca : “Sanjay, I feel like you’re being a bit negative.”
Sanjay : “I’M NOT BEING NEGATIVE, I JUST THINK MY HARD WORK ON THE UK TEAM, BASED IN THE UK, NOT AMERICA, ISN’T BEING APPRECIATED!”
Bianca : “I appreciate all the hard work you and Roisin have been putting in Sanjay thanks a lot bye”
Bianca : “WELP, SOMEONE’S BITTER”
Sanjay *literally recounts the entire conversation that just happened, whilst Roisin stares off into space*
Roisin : “IT’S JAMES, MAN, WHO GIVES A SHIT?”
Felipe and James Reactions To Their Teams’ Billboard Ads Going Up In Times Square
Not a great look on either of them is it? James there is bellowing “THE WORLD IS AS BIG AS OUR OYSTER” which…I’ll leave you to speculate on the size or otherwise of James’ own personal oyster, I couldn’t possibly comment.
Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week
James and Solomon’s Incidental Character Girlfriend Of The Week
Liliana The Model, who was auditioning for a role in their team’s advert. Really it’s a shame that this half of Sumfin’ couldn’t feed pictures back to the branding team in the UK, because shots of James and Solomon panting at this woman with their tongues hanging out and growling at one another over who got to chew on her, would have really been on message with the dog-themed branding. Sadly Liliana was nixed from the advert based on her inability to speak coherently. And given the people who actually eventually made it into the advert, that’s saying something My favourite part of this sequence was actually
Bianca giving herself a Director’s Chair so she could sit that little bit higher than Solomon and James throughout. And the episode tries to present Felipe as a pretentious Fellini wannabe…
Well…ok, maybe a little bit.
Tena City Positioning Their Product Over An Actual Drain
Also kudos to Katie for somehow managing to get a mention that she is a health and fitness expert into every single blummin’ task. With this website as Mark’s baby on the task and the advert as Felipe’s the stand-out moment of Tena City’s episode for me was a forlorn Lauren
slowly and constantly walking backwards and forwards between their two work stations, being completely ignored by both of them, talking only to herself, as Mark gave his fiftieth talking head about how LAUREN DOESN’T SEEM TO BE DOING MUCH. Yes, almost as though you weren’t letting her, eh? Solomon was on website duties for Sumfin’ as you’d expect given his status as TECH GEEK SOLLY, with Bianca and James editing the advert together.
AQUAFISSION : THE COMMERCIAL
Lauren’s Morm : Have you heard from him today?
Lauren : NO MORM
Lauren’s Morm : Here, have an Aquafusion
Lauren : FARNKS MORM
Basically Lauren’s Morm implying there that now that she’s been dumped she needs to lose a bit of weight.
Big Dawg : The Movie
Bianca seemed to eschew the idea of making an advert entirely in favour of doing, at best, an infomercial, and wat worst a website testimonials section featuring the world’s dullest people – Leo The Incoherent Skateboarder, Kristin the Student And Musician, and Solomon The Tech Entrepreneur who WORKS hard and plays HARDER and puts the EMPHASIS ON all the wrong WORDS all of whom delivered two sentences saying that they loved Big Dawg. There wasn’t even any music over the top – the only background noises was James making truly bizarre “shoop shoop” noises that sounded like the advert was about to either feature skiing or Cher singing about it being THERE IN HIS KEEEEYYYUUUSSSS. Bianca defended the decision to be as flat and bland as possible with the reasoning that it would make the advert stand out in a field of energy drink adverts featuring people rocket-biking off Kilimanjiro. This advert had real emotional appeal! Honest! Lordalan of course greeted this authenticity by yelling about how EE AINT GOT TIME FOR NO BLAHDDY JOAN BAEZ SAT UNDER A FAHCKIN TREE AND THIS IS AMERICA SO SOLOMON SHOULD BE DRESSED LIKE ZUCKERBERG AND SOUND LIKE ZUKERBERG AND POSSIBLY BE WEARING NUFFIN BUT A ZUCKERBERG MASK AND DOIN VE NAKED ZUCKERBERG DANCE. Sometimes Lordalan’s whims on the advertising task are…hard to read. Bianca did least get one thing right in her advert though – she made sure that the logo was on screen AT ALL TIMES. She’s clearly watched this show before.
Two Lawyers Walk Into A Pitch
As usual with this sort of task, it all culminated in a pitch to the big experts, in this case Clear Channel, Britvic, Aqua Coco, Fever Tree. Sumfin’s went well, bar a minor flurry of awkwardness at the beginning at James handed out free samples and made fun of the jacket of a guy in the front row and generally muged for attention. Tena City on the other hand was a grind from the moment that Mark opened with “we’re a very diverse group of people – Felipe is a Colombian lawyer and Lauren is also a lawyer”. In fact Felipe and Lauren’s lawyer status was a key focus, as the whole pitch got bogged down in questions about the stated health benefits or otherwise of AquaSputum, which both Felipe and Lauren hemmed and hawed over until Mark “saved things” by getting all
“WHAT A COUPLE OF LAWYERS AM I RIGHT?” about it, whilst Daniel and Katie cat-called via Skype about what a LAWYER Lauren was being. This was followed by the feedback session to Lordalan, in which the marketing expert talked about how it was no surprise to him that they HAD A COUPLE OF LAWYERS IN THE TEAM, BECAUSE IT WAS SO BORING. You have to wonder if they’d get away with this lawyer-bashing if Mags was still around.
Sumfin’ win because Lordalan says so!
HOORAY! I know this is an entirely subjective task but I couldn’t see it going any other way. Everything about AquaFission was awful – ugly cheap branding and packaging, forgettable brand name, embarrassingly twee advert, website with typos on in it featuring the implication that their product was being poured down the drain, no strong health message (in America, an country where you can’t list anything health-related without a screen-sized disclaimer in type 2 font about how it might cause hysterical blindness) or brand identity…just awful. Bianca’s advert might have been dreadful, but name one Apprentice advert that wasn’t? Oh wait…we had a poll for that a paragraph or so back didn’t we, never mind…
This Week’s Best Nick & Kaen Faces :
My Dinner With Roisin
The Reward this week was your standard Apprentice slap-up meal in a fancy restaurant, with James noisily joking about how he’d be happy wit steak and chips him, because he’s right down-to-earth like that. One Adam Corbally a lifetime was enough for all of us wasn’t it? Sanjay spent the whole dinner whining about basically it was him and Roisin that won the task which would carry a lot more weight if you weren’t fully aware that he would have traded this entire victory in for 30 seconds spent squee’ing “OH MY GOD, THIS IS WHERE THEY DO 30 ROCK!”.
ReceptionBot5000s New Hair-Do For The Series
I mean…what is that?
Mark came into this boardroom with one clear plan. Ride the “LAUREN DUNT DO MUCH” Express to its logical conclusion. Unfortunately for him, some Apprentice feuds just cannot be denied, and Daniel was already noisily declaring “I’M NOT HERE TO MAKE FRIENDS!” with all the self-awareness of Luisa slamming Apprentice candidates for being fame-hungry from the moment the Results Boardroom started. This was his face when Mark went into the details of his day-job (which ended up being SEO).
This was his face when Mark pinned the blame (accurately) on him for the team’s awful bottle-design and print ads.
This was his full-body Pacino/De Niro/Brando reaction when Felipe (accurately) said that the product he and Katie produced was rubbish.
Mark has no option but to allow operation Destroy Lawyer Barbie to get sidetracked by his and Daniel’s ongoing death feud. He even gave Daniel the hint of saying it was “regretful” that he had to bring him back for the Final Three, but Daniel is officially less capable of reading social cues than Sheldon Cooper, so he waled in on Mark anyway, sneering “HOW LONG YOU BIN SAT ON THAT ONE?” at all his pre-prepared quips and snotting “THAT MAKES NO SENSE!” after literally everything Mark said. Fortunately for Mark and Daniel both, Lordalan wasn’t about to abandon a storyline-firing he set up himself only an episode ago and Lauren
did indeed go home. It didn’t really help that both Nick (“you did the pitch!”) and Kaen (“you were in the advert!”) were much better at articulating what she did on the task than she (“…I SAID IT SHOULD BE HEALTHY!”) was. Will she be the final victim of the “YOU DUNT DO MUCH!” Curse this series? Given that we’re now almost two months in, let’s hope so.
The Whole Reason They Did This Task In One Sentence
“YOU MADE SUMFIN AND AMERICA DIDN’T WANT IT! S’LIKE THE PIERS MORGAN OF DRINKS!”
Speaking Of Pre-prepared Lines :
“They call me the cat, but I’m seriously running out of lives”.
Nobody calls you The Cat Daniel. You’re really more of a Rimmer.
Next Week :
Parents Evening went very badly by the looks of it…