The Apprentice 10 – Week 9 : 10 Years Of Discount Buying

#SKELETONGATE

A Dirty Pigeon (They Love A Bit Of It)

Phone-Answering Wars (Door-Answering Variation)


You’d think they’d at least let him stand on a box. It looks like he’s selling magazines for the Lollipop Guild. Yes, this was the week when Lordalan popped up at the Apprentice Mansion in person to surprise the candidates with details of the task/try to catch of Roisin in her underdrawers. It was also the week when the show went self-consciously arty for its opening, with lots of shots of businesses opening, the sun rising and London waking up, all overlayed with radio noise, instead of the usual introductory BLARP BLARP of The Apprentiphone. Not quite in keeping with this?

A spycam shot of Sanjay picking his nose. Classy. Once Lordalan arrived the contestants reverted to type, with Solomon awkwardly shuffling his feet, Daniel hiding off in his room on his own, and Mark wondering if they should offer him a cup of tea. Always working those angles, eh Mark?

Mark : 2
Solomon : 2
Felipe : 1
Katie : 1
Sanjay : 1
Daniel : 1

Jemma : 1
Lauren : 1

The Erm…Nine Items Task

A return this week then for an old Apprentice favourite, which dates back to the show’s origins. Yes even the American version. Teams were tasked with going out and buying 9 items, with the necessity of getting discounts on all of them, with the winning team being the one who spent the least money. Of course, as ever, the actual prices the objects are bought for is more or less irrelevant – what matters here is the veritable snowstorm of fines to be dodged. Fines for not getting a discount, fines for returning late, fines for not getting the item, fines for saying “oh for fuck’s sake it’s 2014 why can’t we just use Google?”, fines for looking at Nick funny, and fines most of all FOR NO REASON REALLY, JUST BECAUSE LORDALAN FEELS LIKE KICKING OFF LIKE ABANAZER IN A CHRISTMAS PANTO. DON’T CROSS HIM! The items this year were selected in tribute to the last 9 series of The 10 Items Task and were :

A Diamond (Series 1)
Nigella Seeds (Series 3)
A Kosher Chicken (Series 4)
A Human Skeleton (sort of Series 5, because they replaced 10 Items that series with a crummy inferior version where teams had to sell 10 items but without knowing the guide price, but that task sucked so let’s pretend it was 10 Items proper instead)
Tea (Series 7)
Scallops (Series 8…sort of, again. Teams were tasked with buying groupon experiences to sell on and one of them involved scallops or something…*shrug*)
Oud Oil (Series 9…sort of. As any fule know it was actually just an oud itself they were buying. Or as Dr Leah put it AN OYYYY YOOOYYY DOYYY. UTT’S A PARFYOOOOOOOOOIM)
Old Rope (?)
Belfast Sink (?)

The Eternal PM Tussle: In Tena City, Felipe having won back a modicum of pride last week, the floor was left clear for Daniel, Katie and Mark all to tussle it out for the role of PM. This battle was waged on a number of fronts – Daniel’s superior knowledge of London, Katie’s superior organisational skills, Mark always getting his way just ’cause, but in the end the decision can really be boiled down to the following :

MUMMY WILL LET YOU PM DANIEL, IF YOU THREE NAUGHTY BOYS AGREE ALL TO BEHAVE, AND IF YOU START KICKING FELIPE’S CAR-SEAT DANIEL MUMMY WILL TAKE BEING PM OFF YOU AND SHE WILL DO IT INSTEAD. Sanjay on the other hand was made PM unopposed on Sumfin’ on the back of his superior organisational skills. The superior organisational skills that led to a coach tour starting 10 minutes late, finishing 30 minutes early, and which was 90% composed of James singing nursery rhymes and Jemma claiming that Henry VIII and Anne Of Cleaves had met on eHarmony.

BATTLE KOSHER CHICKEN!

As with its appearance in Series 4, Judaism was the theme surrounding the battle to get the best deal on kosher chicken. Fortunately, Daniel is a much more observant Jew than Michael Sophocles (not much in the Torah about being a professional man-whore after all), so we were mercifully spared the sound of Lordalan roaring at him to take his trousers down so he could see for himself what a Good Jewish Boy he was. I mean we all know that Daniel is my favourite this year but…not in that way, any more than in the “is competent” way. Daniel closed the deal on a kosher chicken for £4 (a 35% discount on the asking price) with a hearty “SHALOM!”, with a man called Jakob as HAVA NAGILA played in the background. The editing, it was not subtle here. Meanwhile over on Sumfin’ Sanjay committed the Double Sin of not only failing to buy the kosher chicken, but being late for the boardroom specifically so he could go and buy the kosher chicken and then finally not even bothering to get the kosher chicken. As Jenny Celery would have told him, all you have to do is get an imam to sneeze on a normal chicken DUH. (I appreciate that narratively I should be saving Sanjay’s fucking up all over the place for the end of this recap, chronologically speaking, but he sucked so hard this week it’s hard keep it all in order)

Winners : Tena City

BATTLE BELFAST SINKS!

It appeared initially that Tena City had won this battle also, as Katie & Mark easily arrived first at the dealer (Sanjay for Sumfin’ using that time-tested PM strategy on this task : “let’s just sit around leafing through the Yellow Pages and ringing up all the wrong people for TWO AND A HALF HOURS before actually doing owt”) and bought a Belfast Sink for £75 – a 6% discount. Their advantage came, it would seem, from the owner (Declan) joking with Katie that the other team were on their way as they spoke. To which Katie

gave him a death glare like a bargain basement Ann Robinson and told him that MUMMY WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF YOU DROVE A VERY HARD BARGIN WITH THE OTHER TEAM PLEASE. Declan, happily, pulled a YOU AIN’T MY MUVVAH and sold a Belfast Sink to a very very charming Bianca for £60.

So it kind of turned out on this task that whilst Bianca can’t really sell, she can definitely buy.

Winners : Sumfin’

BATTLES NIGELLA SEEDS AND OLD ROPE!

I’m sure Mark’s told you it’s that big Katie, but I think you’re being a little optimistic. ‘hem. Anywho, this was another battle won by Bianca (and to a lesser extent Solomon, although he did seem to spend most of the task snurfling behind her like a kid out shopping for new shoes with his mum. If they’d been allowed their iPhones I guarantee he would have been on it playing Fruit Ninja and doing nothing else) over Mark and Katie, albeit by the narrowest of margins in the case of the Nigella seeds – 28p. The Old Rope victory was more comprehensive however, as whilst both teams got their rope for free from the same garden centre as they’d bought their seeds from, Katie couldn’t be arsed to cut it to the right length, despite being offered scissors to do so, and so got smacked with a scadding great fine.

Winners : Sumfin’ – TWICE.

BATTLE TEA!

To be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to this one, so captivated was I by the beauty of this week’s Incidental Character Boyfriend : Donald The Tea Boy, but let’s give it to Katie & Mark because they deserve at least one win in their battle against UNSTOPPABLE BUYING FORCE Bianca.

Winners : Tena City…probably.

A Moment Of Brief Humanity Amidst The Chaos Of BUYING WARZ

On closer inspection Felipe has grabbed Daniel’s sleeve rather than his hand. A nation’s ship is dashed on the rocks.

BATTLE DIAMONDS!

This one being probably the most ludicrous example of Bianca and Roisin teaming up to pull Sanjay’s arse out of the fire, as he continued to run around like a foreskinless chicken whilst they did all the work. Bianca’s part was minor – telling Sanjay all morning that the best place to go for a diamond was Hatton Gardens (redeeming herself slightly in London terms for the “Westminister” debacle I guess) to his complete indifference, as he utterly ignored her, but Roisin’s negotiating skill of being REALLY RIDICULOUSLY GOOD-LOOKING was where the battle was really won. Her amazing bargaining tactic of just sitting there being blonde at the guy selling the diamond got her the sparkly for £50, somehow lower even than the price she herself initially came in at. Meanwhile Kaen stood there

vibrating in terror the whole time like Roisin’s underhanded possibly illegal tactics of being really sexy were about to get them busted in a raid by the police and sent directly to Orange Is The New Black. Never mind Kaen, you should see where Katie and Mark are about to drag Nick in a minute. Daniel meanwhile, a few doors down, could only manage a 20% discount and a £172 diamond, via a very Chris Bates/Stubaggs esque story (I think) about him and Felipe gettiing gay-married (maybe) making this one a decisive loss for Tena City. Daniel sadly only found out at the end of the deal that the guy he was buying from was ALSO Jewish. If he’d known he could have yelled SHALOM YOU MENSCH! at him until he submitted. That’s how Judaism works, per this show, right?

Winners : Sumfin’

BATTLE SCALLOPS!

Nothing much interesting happened here, other than Sanjay issuing forth the words “Hello, is this the Fish Bargain Warehouse?”. Daniel and Felipe got their scallops for about £5 cheaper than Sanjay and Roisin did, although for the amount of time Sanjay & Roisin spent faffing over getting them, despite having spent TWO AND A HALF HOURS SUPPOSEDLY PLANNING AT THE START OF THE DAY, it ended up costing them far far far more in terms of time.

Winners : Tena City

BATTLE ANATAMOLOGICAL SKELLINGTON!

Or at least that’s how Solomon said it. BUT FIRST – another quick detour into Sanjay’s utter incompetence on this task :

Step 1 – see a skeleton in a health shop window
Step 2 – bring Apprenticar to a screeching halt
Step 3 – barge in asking to buy it, having done no research on the item because it’s not an item that’s been assigned to your subteam
Step 4 – when asked how much you want to buy it for, say I DUNNO
Step 5 – when told the shop owner (clearly taking the piss mightily because she knows she’s on The Apprentice) will sell it to you for £1000, say you wanna buy it for about £70
Step 6 – waste time measuring the skeleton up
Step 7 – just…wander off

INSPIRATIONAL!

Anyway, Solomon was in charge of negotiations for this, the most expensive item on the entire task and therefore the most important one, and instead of doing it properly, just kind of…arsed around playing with the skeleton and giving it a name and

generally acting like if he didn’t get the skeleton at the price he wanted he’d just come back later, pissed, and nick it for Rag Week. Bianca in the end had to step in to get “Stevie Skeleton” (oy) for £230 – a 12% discount on the asking price. Unfortunately for them however, Felipe had had a stroke of genius over in Tena City. Instead of buying a proper finished and constructed skeleton, just buy a cheapo flat-pack “build-your-own” paper one for £14 from a book shop! Even though the owner warns you it’ll take hours to put together, and even though the point of the task isn’t really to dick over the question-setters like the malevolent evil wish-“granting” genie from a Clive Barker novel. Daniel told Felipe that this might be risky, but Felipe was all “pffft” and used the words “I am a lawyer” to assure Daniel that he’d be able to bs his way out of it. Because as we have all learned from this series, Lordalan LOVES lawyers and LOVES when they use fancy arguments to get out of doing proper work in favour of behaving like a smart-arse…

Winners : Tena City…(OR ARE THEY dot dot dot)

BATTLE OUD (OIL)

See Kaen? See! I’m surprised Nick didn’t spend the entire time in the car with gloves on and his head down below the dashboard listening to Chopin. Katie somehow managed to secure a deal for Oud Oil on the set of Breaking Bad, buying a dodgy looking vial of…stuff off a council estate for £48. Mark joked the whole time, as another example of the show’s Special Relationship With The North, that this craphole must be just like where Katie grew up HA HA HA. He also, as part of the ongoing Charm Offensive To The Nation he’s had going since the beginning of the series, said that despite Katie somehow sourcing a product from someone OPERATING OUT OF THEIR FLAT that he was going to try and dick her over in the Boardroom for buying the oil for £48 instead of, like £45. Meanwhile Sanjay and Roisin

good grief, are they in Harrods? They got the oud oil for £100 although at this point I am retrospectively checking every deal Sanjay does to see if magic beans haven’t been thrown in somewhere.

Winners : Tena City

So on individual battles, that’s 5-4 to Tena City. So far.

Tena City Before The Results

“Daniel, you’ve been a fantastic Project Manager mate”
“Ive given him a hard time for 8 weeks, but now I’ll give him a pat on the back”
“I think it’s taken us a long time, but now we realise that when we all do it as a team, it all comes together”
“My job today was to win people round, not as friends, but as business colleagues, and I believe I’ve done that”
“This was the time that Daniel become a man I think”
“I think Daniel has turned over a new leaf as Project Manager so far as I’m concerned, he was much more positive”

RESULTS TIME!

Sumfin spent £484 and accrued £161 in fines for a total deficit of £645
Tena City spent £348 and accrued £52 in fines for a total deficit of £400

OH WAIT BUT THE SKELETON DON’T BLEEDIN CAHN’T SO AHVE A BUNCH MORE FINES GRARRGH RARRGH RAGEQUIT SMASH!

I can’t help but think if they’d known the controversy and bad feeling this would all end up causing with viewers they might have presented this…a bit less like Lordalan having a paddy? Anyway, apparently loads of people think that Felipe should have been rewarded for thinking outside the box and putting one over Lordalan (who, lest we forget, probably had about as much say in setting the questions and arbitrating this result as I did) and HE FOLLOWED THE SPECIFICATIONS etc etc but at the end of the day, from my perspective, ultimately, when you come down to brass tacks and look at the bottom line, this

is a skeleton and this

isn’t. Not until Lordalan sits on the floor with it with an exactoknife for 8 hours and slices his thumb to ribbons anyway. Daniel might as well have dumped a piece of coal on the table when asked for a diamond and said “WAIT A BIT” if that’s a skeleton.

Anywho, in terms of numbers, Bianca and Solomon easily performed the best on this task, and if you take it item by item were in fact the only sub-team who came out on top in terms of like-for-like comparisons with the opposition, with Mark/Katie second, Felipe/Daniel third, and the unholy flipping mess that was Sanjay/Roisin fourth.

Tena City After The Results :





ME AND MARK DID NOT WORK THIS HARD FOR YOU TO RUIN IT FOR US LIKE THIS! WE COULD HAVE WALKED THIS IF YOU HADN’T MESSED THAT UP! WE ABSOLUTELY SMASHED THEM AND THEN YOU DONE THAT! I’VE NEVER BEEN SO MAD IN THE WHOLE PROCESS! I FEEL SO LET DOWN! YOU’VE ROLLED THE DICE ON! OUR! LIVES! WITHOUT OUR CONSULTATION AND I’M PUTTING THE BLAME FOR THAT SQUARELY ON BOTH OF YOU! HAVE A LOOK AT THIS ATROCITY! I’VE NEVER BEEN SO ANGRY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!

So yeah. Mummy wasn’t best pleased.

Vroom Vroom

The reward this week was for Sumfin’ to charge around Silverstone in suped-up go karts (THEY GO FROM 0 TO 60 IN ABOUT 4 SECONDS!!!) and…that’s more or less it really. Sanjay won

and got very excited over it by the looks of it, with Bianca 2nd, Solomon a fairly sulky 3rd, and then Roisin declared the actual winner at the last minute because she’s just so pretty.

Boardroom Follies

Lordalan started by rather generously congratulating Tena City on coming back with all their items, because it had been ages since any team had managed that (eh, if you’re counting 9 items as a full compliment Team Venture managed it only two iterations of this task ago) but from there it was all guns firing all the way. Really there were two questions

a) would Felipe get fired for being a smart-arse or would Daniel go for being in the Final Boardroom 4 times now and also, you know, being a bit shit?
b) would Daniel bring back Katie or Mark, even though there was realistically more chance of Lordalan deciding to fire himself than either of them going?

The answer to the second question was Katie, for the mistake over the rope. Obviously Katie didn’t take this well, by which I mean “Katie squawked like a chicken going through a mangle without offering any reason for her not to come in other than “WELL MARK WAS AS BAD AS ME!” and “YOU’S ONLY BRINGING US BACK COZ HE DON’T LIKE US!” when the other person he was choosing between was MARK WRIGHT – THE LUISA TO HIS FRANCESCA“. I hope Katie’s got better arguing skills than this lined up for when she faces Claude, because otherwise she’s going to get swept. Incidentally this means that Mark will be going into Interviews in Episode 11, if he makes it, with the distinction of being the only person there who hasn’t been brought back into a Final 3 by a losing Project Manager (Katie here by Daniel, Bianca by Sanjay, Roisin and Sanjay both by dear departed James, Solomon by Psycho Scott, and Daniel by…a whole bunch of people really). In the old days that would be enough, although didn’t we all arrive at the “if this was the old format Mark would walk it” place about three tasks ago?

The answer to the first question is

Felipe, at the end of a truly truly era-definingly cringeworthy speech from Lordalan about how SUPREME COURT JUDGE SUGAR (good grief…) SEZ THAT FELIPE IS FIRED! which almost makes me reconsider entirely being on his side over Skeletongate ’14 to be honest with you. He can have some points back for rolling Daniel around with a football analogy for a bit before saving him,

which we all know that he loves. On You’re Fired we learn that Felipe made an omelette once, which I think is more character development than he’s got on the actual show since about Week 1 aka “Felipe talks about himself in the third person”.

Best Nick & Kaen Faces Of The Week :


MUMMY’S HOME! DADDY’S IN THE OVEN, WE’RE HAVING HIM FOR DINNER AT 8!

Next Week :

PUDDIN RETURNS! (Also apparently it’s Daniel/Roisin/Bianca/Solomon vs Sanjay/Mark/Katie so I think we can all safely so how I want this to end and therefore how it is emphatically not going to)


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23 thoughts on “The Apprentice 10 – Week 9 : 10 Years Of Discount Buying

  1. Josh

    It honestly feels like ‘SKELETONGATE’ wouldn’t be a thing in any way if it was Daniel or Mark being fired for it. Its just because people seemed to really like Felipe.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I read a few people saying “LORDALAN WOULD HAVE ALLOWED IT IF IT WAS JAAAAAAAAAAAAMES” and I found myself thinking “yes, and you would have kicked off at that in the other direction”…

      Reply
  2. Lesley Rigg

    It was so thinly veiled the fact that the producers had decided on a story-line and fitted events to suit, I’m sure people have been praised for Felipe’s sin of smart-arsery in the past. And everyone liked Felipe…

    Reply
  3. David

    I would have liked it if, when Daniel was asked who was responsible for the loss of this task, he had just said “Sanjay”.

    Reply
  4. Ross

    Monkseal, how could you have possibly missed this gem on Sanjay’s winning podium:

    Sanjay: *pops cork*
    Bianca: “I was expecting more to come…”
    Sanjay: *licks what little did dribble out off*

    Reply
  5. fembot

    I’m fairly sure that

    1) Old rope is a little joke, as in money for ~
    2) Belfast sink: not sure, doesn’t come up on rhyming slang googling. A reference to Dr Leah, maybe – is a ‘sink’ some kind of procedure she’s offering? Or did one task start off on HMS Belfast, the link being that battleships is a great game, so … oh, that was this year. So meta.

    Reply
  6. fused

    I might have had more sympathy for Felipe and the rest of Tenacity if it had been a genuine mistake because of how the request was worded, but it wasn’t. They were clearly aware when they were buying it that it wasn’t what Lordalan (or whoever set the task) had in mind when they asked for a skeleton. I think it serves them right (the whole team, not just Felipe) that it backfired. I also agree that the only reason it’s become a “scandal”, such as it is, is because Felipe happened to be popular. I never disliked him, but I never quite got all the support he seemed to have either.

    I quite like how upfront Bianca is, like here when she just said “I want a better deal than the other team”. That’s not always a sensible tactic of course, such as when she told those potential coach trippers they were the team’s last hope.

    I’ve barely noticed Katie until these last couple of tasks. Maybe that’s a good thing. I still voted for her as my favourite member of Tenacity in the poll though, which says a lot about the rest of them.

    Reply
    1. Shrinking Man

      The thing is, no matter whether they thought they were within the rules with the skeleton or not, a second’s thought should have enabled them to see that there was no way Surallen wasn’t going to see it as a personal affront and ensure that they lost. Given that this programme is in some ways a job interview, I don’t think doing something that says to your potential employer/business partner “I don’t know the first thing about you” is a good move.

      Mind you, Filipe’s business plan was to alter children’s playgrounds to make them accessible for disabled children. I think that probably demonstrates that he doesn’t really know Lord Sugar very well all by itself.

      As far as Katie goes, I’ve been thinking she’s the front runner for weeks now. Everybody’s raving about Roisin but I think it’s only the last two weeks where she’s shown much potential. This week by being blonde at a guy, and last week for managing to not stab James through the eye (which, let’s face it, was superhuman of her). But if you compare Katie against Roisin when they both PM’d, Katie was far stronger. When there were more people Katie also put herself forward more, and she essentially PM’d her team to victory last week.

      I’m a little less sure now than I was a few weeks ago, but I do think Katie’s a strong contender and the fact that she wasn’t seen much until about halfway through only makes me more convinced of that fact.

      Reply
      1. Ross Nolan

        Is everyone really raving about Roisin? Everyone I’ve read seems to have written her off after this week, which admittedly wasn’t her finest performance.

        Katie is a very strong businesswoman (with an unpleasant streak in defeat), but Roisin’s talents lie more along being a team player and creative, both of which would work well as Sugar’s business partner. I think her best weeks were creating GeoKnow and working on the Big Dawg branding, neither of which saw her get any credit at all from Sugar. Even her loss as PM saw her create a superior product to Katie’s lot.

        Long story short they both have a lot of strengths and I wouldn’t sell Roisin short for having ‘quieter’ talents.

  7. DrGreggles

    I’m firmly in the ‘the skeleton should have been allowed’ camp, as the given remit was open to interpretation and the paper skeleton matched the specifications.

    I think the producers were expecting the public reaction to be “Ha ha! They bought a paper skeleton. What a bunch of idiots!”
    Unfortunately (for them) the reaction has generally been the opposite and they (and Sugar) have come out of it looking foolish.

    Felipe (and the team) shouldn’t lose the task because of, what was essentially, a production error.

    “That’s not what I wanted!”
    “Maybe not, but it’s what you asked for.”

    Anyway, I can’t see how Sugar can fine them for the the rope and again for the skeleton, Either you go by what has been requested or you don’t. And doesn’t Sugar usually trot out the “attention to detail” line on this task?

    In short, Sugar didn’t like Felipe’s busines plan and would have ditched him somehow regardless.

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      I’ve seen that line of argument before re : the rope and the skeleton and I don’t get it at all. The rope needed cutting before it met spec. The skeleton needed assembling before it met spec. It’s the same thing.

      Reply
  8. durnovarian

    Anyone seen the recent JDsports ad? Bears more than a passing resemblance to the trainers ad so vilified by Sralan (as he was then) a few series ago! Or is it just me?

    Reply
  9. Jack

    Think the sink was from Series 2’s “Buy Ten Items” as I recall Syed, Ansell and Mani wandering aimlessly across London looking for one. And the rope was (I believe) the only unmentioned item from Series 6’s “Ten Items” task as I recall someone mentioning it on Laura’s You’re Fired. I could be wrong, though that would make it a nice even item from every series. Meh, a single Gold Tikka would have been better (but too similar to the diamond I guess?) or that blasted kitchen worktop!

    Reply
    1. monkseal Post author

      That seems about right. It did feel a bit like they were trying for an item per season but…why pick the only one from S6 that didn’t make it to air?

      Reply
  10. Emma Nisse

    The skeleton definitely should have been allowed, but then, Siralan hates creativity (or doesn’t see the point of it). Also, I may have mis-heard the numbers, but is it not that if Katie had cut the rope to the correct length the skeleton fine by itself would not have made them lose? Wasn’t there only 50 quid in it? And where did Siralan get that figure for the skeleton fine anyway? Oh yeah – from the producers who’d worked out what would ensure Tenacity lost. I still have a soft spot for the hapless Daniel, though god knows why.

    Reply
    1. DrGreggles

      “I still have a soft spot for the hapless Daniel, though god knows why.”

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen a candidate with less hap! 😉

      Reply
    2. durnovarian

      You’re right. And I’d love to know where a £50 fine and a metre of old rope have any connection in any universe….

      Reply

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