(And then I realise that I still have my Dicky left to get me through the remaining three episodes and reconsider)
Door Answering Wars We started, not with a shot of dawn breaing over London and someone sprinting for the phone in their jimjams but
the four Apprenticars of The Apocalypse – Celery, Hopkins, Wotherspoon and Tulip, all riding up to bring a portent of doom. They’re trying to sell that as 6am by the way. I know right? The bad tidings they were bringing
that old box of protective gear the contestants wore for the DIY task. Was Selina about to spend 4 hours on her knees again? Fortunately for her, not. I know some of those high-rolling foreign investors have a reputation but we’re not quite at the prostitution task yet. YET. You can decide for yourselves if Selina deserves a point in Phone Answering Wars for stumbling near the door at an opportune time, let’s face it, she’s off in a minute so it doesn’t really matter. Here’s your table so far to edit :
Natalie : 2
Charleine : 2
Joseph : 1
Gary : 1
Selina : 1
(David : 1)
The box also contained this
it was somehow not a trap. Once they were at the South Bank Tower, Ruth did not leap out from behind a pillar wearing the Jigsaw mask from Saw yelling “LET’S GET EXPLOSIVE!” before lobbing grenades. Anyway, it’s a good job that Selina found the note, as the following exchange indicated :
Scott : South Bank Tower?
Brett : What’s that?
Selina : It’s a tower on the South Bank.
Brett : YAY!
Who else can offer that sort of georgraphical insight? Selina also figured heavily in the early morning discussions, as both she and Richard pondered in their Apprenticar whether Charleine would be more horrified by a version of the obviously impending team swap that involved her working with Richard again, or one involving her working with Selina again.
I think my favourite part of this was Selina grinning that she hoped the teams remained exactly as they were. First of all yes, because you’d have a 5-3 advantage, and second of all I love that Selina’s idea of a good time is a team in which only two people (Brett and Vana) hate her guts.
What a star.
Building Expectations :
So the teams had been called to the South Bank Tower in order to witness the marvel of 11 more floors of unnecessary luxury apartments being glued onto the top of yet another City Of London Tower Block, mostly to be used twice a year for parties for Russian oligarchs YIPPEE! Fortunately to soothe my jangled leftie nerves, I was indeed getting the reuniting of my Dream Team (at least so far as petty drama was concerned) as it was Selina who was being pushed back where she started, into the arms of Team Powerbottom and Charleine.
Even under a hard-hat she threw impeccable side-eye and sneer. The challenge was, as you might expect, for the teams to sell luxury properties in London’s up-and-coming areas, with two members of the team getting to sell the real high-end stuff, with the rest mumming away with shitty old rundown £400,000 or so places. You know, granny flats and the like. The twist? None of the properties were finished. And not just in a “minimalist chic” sort of way.
Just To Prepare You :
Kaen is going to be acting like a nob all episode.
Strong Foundations: Project Managers were decided neatly and cleanly – Joseph because he owns a property business already, and Richard because he was an estate agent at University to fund his studies. Can you imagine? A little 19 year old Estate Agent Rugby Team Dicky? I would marry it. The division of labour beyond that though, was more fraught, for both teams. On The Sugababes, Scott wanted to join Dicky in selling the luxury apartments because “he just…like…wants to sell…the thing…and all that stuff” (oh yeah Scott’s edit takes an ABSOLUTE NOSEDIVE in this episode, prepare yourselves, it is not subtle, like I think at one point they subliminally splice in a shot of him farting noisily on the toilet) whilst Vana made the slightly more convincing case of “my parents are both architects, so I grew up around a lot of luxury apartments they designed. I’ve been exposed to the world and how it works and how new builds are sold”. It’s a tribute to Vana’s basic human likeability that this speech didn’t once make me want to throat-punch her. Richard told Scott sorry in the most patronising and therefore Dickylicious way possible – calling him “Buddy” and patting him on the shoulder. This prompting an epic sulk from Scott, which was only funnier given that he was dressed like
a cheap Devo tribute act. Joseph’s decision – to take Selina with him selling luxury apartments, leaving Charleine and Gary on the lower-end stuff, seemed more of a placid solution on the surface but don’t worry, plenty of class-based horror is about to come tumbling out. At this point, tempting fate, Joseph gave an interview about how *sigh* he’s had to separate Selina and Charleine for their own good *sigh* but as a man he isn’t going to get involved in their petty girly squabbles. Never has a man so underestimated the power of Selina Waterman-Smith.
Luxury Living :
I know right. HIGH END doesn’t even cover it. The former there is a finished showroom in Stratford, the latter an unfinished one in Canary Wharf. Both dreamt up by architects sat on by Lordalan and for whose patronage the teams were pitching themselves. And as always happens on this show, one team won the plum choice (Canary Wharf, apparently, entirely by virtue of being Canary Wharf) via being charming, enthusiastic and knowledgeable (Richard, and particuarly Vana, who was namedropping her parents so much even Zoe Plummer would have thought it was a bit much) and the other team lost via ploughing in and going “yeah but how much does it all cost then, what are my margins?”. This mostly appeared to be Joseph’s doing, although Claude decided that it was all Selina’s fault for not stopping him. I’ve no idea why the show felt it needed to go to such absurd lengths to justify the impending Selina-firing, because I’m fairly sure she could have sold £8,000,000 worth of property on this task and the nation still would have held a street party for her booting. Fortunately for Selina, the plum architect told Joseph that he was turning Team Powerbottom down on the basis that they “weren’t polished enough”. So get ready for Selina to
spend the rest of the episode with her nose up in the air and using social class as a weapon against the entirity of the rest of her team. The fact that the show
provided her with her own embossed nameplate and badge didn’t really help matters, and neither did the fact that even their back up choice gave Joseph a little lecture about the way he chooses to dress himself before letting him loose selling his apartments. To be fair…it’s been some time coming.
Day 1 Sales : Whilst Richard, Vana, Joseph and Selina were getting on with charming (or otherwise) the architects of East London, the other four candidates got busy making appointments (including the mysterious
“Patsy”) and selling the less exciting properties. Scott’s continued basement tier edit trundled on a-pace as we were treated to such delights as him identifying a cupboard as a fridge, telling a client he was showing around “these are the walls” and finally walking her into a small room containing a sofa and a coffee table
and telling her that it’s the dining room. Although I guess in this Modern Britain the two could be described as the same thing. Oddly enough this didn’t result in sales, although it did result entirely predictably in Scott
reacting about as well he normally does when a member of the public tells him they’d rather not. This was in stark contrast to Charleine
who closed a £350,000 deal early doors, cackled that you could buy an entire street in Wales for that, stated that she may not have the most “eloquent accent” but this showed that Joseph was well wrong not to put her selling the luxury apartment cause she would have nailed it. I’ve not seen the woman so happy since…well, the last time she managed to screw Richard over in a very minor way. She also brought me my Incidental Character Boyfriend Of The Week
Owen The First Time Buyer. Gary & Brett? Somewhere in the middle.
Day 2 Sales : The day began, as you might expect, with Selina and Charleine on the same team under the same roof, in the same room, both with an agenda, and therefore, drama! Charleine wanted in on the luxury apartments team based on her Day 1 success, allowing Selina to play the “sorry Chavella, we got told off yesterday for not being polished enough, and you’re a massive sket so….” card. Sadly Joseph didn’t take this opportunity to recognise that whatever Charleine is, she’s a much stronger pure saleswoman than Selina, and decided to keep the teams as they were.
I’d lost track of Charleine’s ever changing hairstyles for a few episodes there hadn’t I? My apologies. They’re still a wonder. Selina of course immediately proved her high-class credentials by laying on a sumptuous spread of
Starmix and squashed fly biscuits. I love that at this point in the series Haribo has had more episode visibility and stable plot-lining than Gary has. Always such a harbinger of doom.
The Sugababes offerings? A box of Milk Tray for Scott and Brett (“ladies love chocolate, right?”) and
a collection of Mr Kiplings ugliest desserts from Richard and Vana. In fairness, Scott and Brett did give out a free bottle of prosecco to everyone who bought a property from them, and after sitting through such insights as “these are the windows, where light comes in through the day and the night” that’s no less than they deserved. Based on the edit, on Day 2 sales continued a-pace for all candidates…except Selina. Richard closed a massive deal with a woman who went full-stereotype and giggled “oooh, my husband’s going to kill me!!!” as she handed over OVER A MILLION POUNDS, Vana closed an even massiver one by taking her “My Parents Are Architects” persona to its logical conclusion and literally just making up floorplans for the unfinished flats she was selling, Brett and Scott continued to bumble haplessly, but at least closed some deals, Gary lost
a returning Owen (looking much less attractive to me there in building site clothes, which of course tells you all about the sort of gay I am) but still sealed a handful of other deals, Charleine went FULL SYED, sprinting around the streets of Lewisham asking strangers if they wanted to hand over £350,000 for a property right here, right now (unfortunately unlike with Syed, it only almost worked), and even Joseph managed to find a
kindred spirit in manspreading to buy a £760,000 flat from him. Selina? Not a sausage. You will be surprised to hear though, that it was all Joseph’s fault. For…reasons.
Richard & Vana Make Up
Adorable aren’t they? I fully expect them to be back to murdering one another again next week.
Results Time! Lordalan started by impressing on the teams just how serious the task was this week, because of the amounts of money involved. I wish at this point they’d played the clip of that woman going “teee heee heee my husband will spank my bottom!” or any number of the people handing over over a million pounds for a pig in a poke (and a particularly pokey poke by the looks of it). I’m sure they were all very solemn and thoughtful on the inside. Amidst The Sugababes, Richard got a poking for accidentally pronouncing the name of the client wrong in one pitch (“WE DON’T GO ROUND CALLING YOU DICK DO WE? WELL NOT TO YOUR FACE HURR HURR HURR”) a matter of seconds before Lordalan wilfully mangled the word “bidet”, making it sound a bit like this. Other than that the pre-results for The Sugababes was mostly a matter of Lordalan relentlessly needling Scott about what a poor salesman he was on this task, telling him that KAEN reported back that he talked TOTAL RUBBISH the whole time.
You could see the rage building up already couldn’t you? It continued throughout the evaluation of Team Powerbottom, with Lordalan making sure to be extra passive-aggressive about how CHARLEINE AND GARY were well-prepared and rehearsed to do THEIR SALES unlike SOME PEOPLE LORDALAN COULD MENTION BUT HE WON’T, BECAUSE THE CAMERA’S GOING TO
CRASH-ZOOM IN ON THEM ANYWAY! Also Lordalan called Joseph “Super Mario” on account of his being a plumber with braces and a moustache. This would of course make Lordalan himself King Bowser – a bad-tempered leathery old reptile who, every time he gets hold of a woman as his match, sees her slip through his fingers (/sue the arse off him) a few days later.
Team Powerbottom made £18,200 in commission on midrange sales and £11,360 on luxury sales for a total of £29,560
The Sugababes made £12,725 in commission on midrange sales and £63,901 on luxury sales for total of £76,626
THE SUGABABES WIN AGAIN!
RAGEQUIT TIME! You could tell at this point that something was up from the fact that the
camera blocking started to go a bit wonky, with random bits of Kaen’s arm and door-frame appearing in shot. Kaen, in pursuit of her duty of being absolutely unbearable this week, having already chipped in on the task any time anything went even remotely wrong to make sure that the candidates were aware of it and felt appropriately small about it to the degree that I would personally have reached the point where I would have said “IF YOU THINK YOU CAN DO IT ANY BETTER, YOU HAVE A GO, AND MAYBE THIS TIME DON’T FALL BACK ON TRINNY WOODALL HAVING LOTS OF RICH FRIENDS!”, decided to say at this point that the contrast between Richard & Vana and Brett & Scott couldn’t have been more apparent, which was Lordalan’s cue to tell Scott that if he’d been on the losing team he would definitely have been fired. To which Scott replied that Lordalan could
stick his process up his arse to be honest, and quit.
ESCANDALO! To be honest, it’s about time Scott did something interesting and watching Lordalan, Claude and Kaen all clucking amongst themselves about how it was for the best, and they knew he was out of his depth and hasn’t it made it much easier now we don’t need to pull a random double firing out of our collective arse before interviews, as Scott himself stormed off out the doors, past the rest of The Sugababes and into the waiting taxi, was certainly a moment. It’s not quite as amazing as the Apprentice USA quits (Verna taking her rolly suitcase and just wandering off a task onto the freeway, Michelle telling Donald Trump that the whole show was pointless and demeaning and a waste of everyone’s time) but certainly better than effing Hopkins getting to leave on her own terms. His quit even took over this week’s reward (a boat ride down the Thames)
as Richard, Vana and Brett all sat discussing it, obviously very much in terms of “how awful to waste this amazing opportunity, how lame, I would never even consider doing anything like that” when I’m fairly sure if I had Kaen hovering over my shoulder 24/7 snitting about how I was saying “Galliard” wrong and my shoelaces were untied I’d left a tap dripping back at Apprentice Mansions, I would be tempted to tell the whole show they can stuff it about three times a task. BYE SCOTT!
Loser Cafe Happily, no shocking bombshell could be such a shocking bombshell that could distract Selina and Charleine from their
final Loser Cafe brawl even for a second. Selina called Charleine an irrational psychopath whilst Charleine herself screamed in Selina’s face that she is NEGATIVE before actually deploying a
“talk to the hand”. Even Joseph descended from his high horse to wade in and call Selina the most manipulative woman he’s ever met. Gary meanwhile
just sat and drank his tea. I’m not sure if this is an amusing counterpoint to everyone else’s haranguing or if it wouldn’t have been even more entertaining if you’d thrown Vana in there as well. When such a masterful villainess as Selina gets their comeuppance, you kind of want all of her enemies there to get their licks in.
Boardroom Follies : Unfortunately everyone had tidied themselves up and prepared themselves for the Final Boardroom, so in comparison to the Cafe slanging match it was a fairly muted affair, chiefly consisting of Joseph and Charleine calling Selina negative and Selina claiming this couldn’t POSSIBLY be true
as she rather undermined her own point by wearing a succession of faces that could curdle milk. I mean, I’m not saying she should have done a forward roll into the boardroom with a suirty flower on, but a little less sneering possibly would have helped her cause. After Charleine was sent off to safety (actual safety, she made it all the way to the door and everything) we focused in on the end-game flaws of the two men facing a firing (Joseph : too inexperienced, too cocky, Gary : too corporate, too laid-back) before Selina of course got fired because she didn’t sell anything and is…well…Selina. God bless her for showing her podium dancer skills on the way out though
Could Charleine do the Bend & Snap like that, no she could not.
Meanwhile Back At The Ranch : Mostly it was just Charleine fretting that Selina might not be fired and then
not looking all that excited when it was actually revealed that she’s gone. Until you realise she is in fact levitating 2 cms off that countertop.
Next Week :
You’re Fired : So as you all presumably know, a few weeks ago Selina kicked off on twitter and said that she refused to go on You’re Fired because of bad editing/production company leaking negative press about her/Romesh Ranganathan’s ruined it etc etc. What she didn’t say is that she was going to film her own version in her bedroom. My own personal highlights :
- Her looking like she’s nude throughout
- Her thanking her loyal fans for “seeing through the edit” and seeing that she was doing good things that just didn’t make it on tv
- Sorry, I mean “her thanking her loyal twitter perverts for making stuff up”
- Her all but begging everyone not to start ignoring her now that she’s no longer on the tv, and given this display, quite possibly never will be again
- Her delivering her own favourites of her lines from the series, getting them both a little bit wrong
- Her reeling off a Friends List of all the candidates she doesn’t hate like she’s back in secondary school.