Thursday, 24 April 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby

Episode five
Broadcast 23 April 2008

Last week, the teams took some photos in shopping centres. Helene’s team had a David Beckham lookalike but Lucinda couldn’t work the computer. Simon’s team set up a ‘glamour’ themed photo shot and ballsed it all up. Everyone started hating on each other, Simon was fired, and Joel recapped it all for you.

We open on the house, where Claire and Jenny chat. Jenny points out that it’s crazy Claire is PM again when five other people haven’t done it yet. Which, yes it is. Oh, hold on a minute, what’s that? Why it’s Sralan doing the obligatory mid-series turn up at the house and get the candidates out of bed routine. Claire goes up to get the others and says ‘Sralan's here, can you just put some PJs on or something’ which leaves me with a horrible mental image of candidates sleeping in the altogether. [Or indeed, sleeping all together. Ew. - Steve]

The candidates are all in the PJs, except Lucinda, who has a matching skirt and sweater, because she is ace in the wardrobe department. Sralan moves Matt Lucas to Renaissance. Claire is the Renaissance PM and Lucinda the PM for Alpha. He says she doesn’t think she’s good at sales or technology so he’s going to find what she is good at. Their task is to work with two ice cream firms that don’t work in London, to help develop several flavours to expand business into London, and the candidates need to go out and sell to trade. I would say this is potentially more interesting than the trade sales tasks in previous series. Anyway, you know the drill, the team that makes the most sales wins, on the other team someone’s ganna get fired.

Claire meets with her team and says to them to tell her if she gets overpowering. Nick winces, presumably he can see this isn’t going to go well. She says they need to think about flavours, and they must come up with a minimum of three. Jennie Celery suggests cocktails, such as pina colada. Claire interjects with vodka and coke: and really, so many jokes. Michael Sophocles says he’s just not sure a family will be going into the cinema to purchase a sex on the beach ice cream. Which is fair enough, so why not do Pina Colada and two other flavours?

Over at team Alpha, they are all about the health food angle: carrots, ginger, ginseng, gogi berries. Lee Mcqueen suggests ‘What about a nice cup of tea?’. I’m sure if tea ice-cream worked, someone would have made it by now, but it’s kind of cute. [It's kind of a brilliant idea all the same. I really wish they'd at least tried it. - Steve]

COUNTYSIDE PORN! For we are, lest we forget, in the country this week. Err, and some very twee music.

Claire and co in the cab. She says their tasting session is in the village hall behind the village pond. They laugh. Michael Sophocles jokes about there being a toothless crow with one arm there, and Claire adds that there will be someone with webbed feet. And seriously, I want them to get fired right now and for this to come back and haunt them. Renaissance are cunts. [It's particularly rich when they're on the same team as Kevin the Slack-Jawed Yokel. - Steve]

Voiceover man tells us we are at Bockingfold Farm in Kent, where Claire and team will represent farmer Alaistair. Look at him, he’s a sweet, kindly business man, with a look of the James from series one about him. I feel sorry for him already.

They have decided to make three ice-creams: berry mania (blueberry, strawberry, cherry), chocolate orange, cider and elderflower. Which: cocktails theme? Anyway, they all sound quite good, so fine.

Alistair tells them for chocolate orange they need to get fifty oranges and hand squeeze them – it’s laborious but gets the best flavour, and Claire says fine. Yes, fifty may be fine but what about when you have to make a large batch? Alistair then says to them that the secret is to be organised. Is this a portent of doom?

George Dawes, Sara and Alex are in the kitchen, cracking eggs into a funky little chute thing. Comedy music. Alex points out they have 1100 of them to get through. The voiceover tells us that Claire has taken ‘Jen’ and Michael to town. JEN? Where did that come from?

We are now at Downsview farm, East Sussex, with Alpha. And a moment, please, because THE BERET IS BACK. Maybe now all of Lucinda’s powers will be restored. They discuss flavours. They have already agreed on toffee apple and cosmopolitan. Lucinda suggests blue cheese and cranberry? There is a silence as everyone silently blees. The Best Salesperson in Europe suggests avocado. Lucinda goes a bit passive here when she says ‘I’m not an avocado fan but I’m not going to stop anyone else from putting that forward’. Anyway, avocado, toffee apple and cosmopolitan it is.

Princess Lindi has been made second in command, and sent to drum up business. They go to a local garage, where she says ‘I’ve come to bring you some good news (to you in David’s town this day is born a child…?). Oh there’s a local farm producing local ice cream (in a local shop for local people?) – and they have a free taste testing.' I was waiting for her to offer some kind of personalised service – spoon washing, perhaps - but sadly not. [24-hour spoon hotline! - Steve]

Alpha are in the kitchen. They have put avocado and chilli in ice-cream? Wrong show, surely, that sounds like the kind of MODERN! BRITISH! Food that will go to Glory at the Gherkin in Great British Menu. There is a lovely lady in the kitchen who seems up for a laugh. Lee smells an ice cream: perfection. Laughs and jollity ensue.

Unusually, Margaret gives a long piece to camera singing Lucinda’s praises and saying she has a nice manner and is doing well at managing her team.

Helene, Lee and the nice woman taste avocado ice cream and say it’s quite nice, and there is general bounciness all round.

Renaissance taste their berry ice cream, which is also nice, but Claire and her half are missing. Matt Lucas is concerned they are ‘almost gonna have to scrap the chocolate orange icecream’ (eh?). In an echo of the Renaissance poshos drink coffee scene from a couple of weeks ago, we see Claire and Michael Sophocles drinking cider.

Back with Alpha, and Raef is on the phone in a pub: ‘Hello, it’s Raef, I’m the CEO of Alpha luxury ice creams’. It’s half cringey, half LOL-worthy. Princess Lindi, The Best Salesperson in Europe and Raef are calling round people to get some potential custom. The Best Salesperson in Europe chats to a cinema guy who agrees to see them, saying to him ‘get ready to taste some of the best ice cream youse have ever had in your whole entire life’. He sounds unconvinced. Raef then businessprattles about one hit, that’s all you need, it just boosts you, its like a snowball effect in fact. The Best Salesperson in Europe says to camera ‘I’m very pleased with the independent cnemas, pyulral (sic) I managed to bag today. I’m very pleased with myself’. Anyone else think this is coming back to bite her later? The voiceover says that with six sales meetings secured, Lucinda’s sales team put down their phones and pick up their knves and forks. Dum dum durrrrr. Although, I know we are supposed to see this as a bit of self-congratulatory slacking off, but they do have to eat, right? Anyway, they all congratulate each other. It won't be for the last time.

Back with Renaissance, Clare’s team return with the oranges and stuff. They ask the kitchen team ‘shall we leave you to it?’ Alex and H from Steps bitch about it being a fucking joke. The voiceover informs us that no-one has been invited for the product tasting. Claire is shown in the car saying she doesn’t think a huge amount will happen around here, this might be the talk of the village, that there’ll be old ladies talking in the post office about it. And seriously, how patronising and offensive can you get?

They find the pond and village hall and decide to disturb a yoga class. I’m not convinced a yoga place is the best environment to find ice cream tasters, but whatevs. Michael Sophocles explains what they doing and asks if the villagers are around for a tasting at 8.30. They all say no, in unison. Heh, country web-footed, blind crowy yokels 1, Renaissance O.

Claire outside says ‘just think about it, they’re in their weekly yoga class in the village hall and in walks a random guy, asking them about ice cream’. Indeed, Claire.

In Lucinda’s kitchen, their ice-cream is finished. Lee McQueen tastes it and says ‘I’m telling you now that is a toffee apple (and when Lee McQueen tells you that’s a toffee apple, that’s a toffee apple). Helene laughs, and it’s all much jollier than last week.

Lee McQueen tells the lovely ice cream lady that they, no she, is gonna make millions. Awww.

Princess Lindi is in their local village hall , and in a primary school teacher fashion, explains what will happen and checks everyone has a spoon. She tells them ‘the thing you have just tasted is a cosmopolitan’. Woman 1: ‘I’m not sure. It tastes of nothing’. Princess Lindi: ‘so it’s a cocktail we’ve made into an ice cream’. Woman 2: ‘it tastes like mashed potato’. Seriously, villagers for the win.

The villagers are told they’ve just had avocado and a kid gag faces. A woman says it was actually quite tasty. People apparently like the toffee apple, too, so toffee and avocado go through. Princess Lindi saying she thinks they’ll have no problem making their sales and blowing the other team out of the water, it’s going to be a walk in the park, businesscliche, businesscliche.

The voiceover tells us that Claire’s team are still in the kitchen and are thirty minutes late for their tasting session. They arrive at their venue, where the lights are off and nobody’s home. Michael Sophocles tries his luck at the local pub. He collars two men and says ‘We really need some people with discerning palates who know about food to taste the ice creams’. Man 1 slurs: ‘do you think we are going to have discerning opinions after a couple of good bottles of wine?’ Absolute win. I LOVE THE VILLAGERS. MS: ‘well I think if you’ve got a good palate, you’ve got a good palate, no matter how you’ve had to drink. Look, I can see you're clearly busy…’ Clearly, they’re not, so this is just another case of Renaissance’s crack negotiators strike again. The man retorts back that yes, they are really busy (can he be The Apprentice, please?). They taste them anyway. In the car park. Seriously, the two drinking men from the pub are the only people tasting it. Nick is in the background making notes, presumably which say ‘ZOMG Alan employ the villagers instead of these numpties’.

Jenny Celerie asks ‘would your wife go for those?’ Man 2 says ‘I don’t have a wife but I think my sister in law would like them’. Man 2 says ‘my EX wife would like the first one’. Villagers approximately 8, 000, 000. Renaissance 0. And that, folks, was the sum total of Renaissance’s tasting session.

Alpha are at the house. Lucinda says she wants to mix up the teams, Princess Lindi with Helene and Lee, her with the others. The silence is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Lucinda says, ok that went down like a lead balloon. The Best Salesperson in Europe bitches that no-one liked it. Lucinda says 'oh well, we're all tired, lets go to bed'.

Drums of doom music, night to day London porn. [Though obviously London can never compare to Beautiful Cardiff. - Steve]

Alpha are all dressed up and full of pep, saying they have all great appointments, they’re a great team, come on let's do it etc. The two sub-teams remain as they were.

There is comedy bumbling music at the house as Claire holds a team meeting. The obligatory flipchart of business bullshit is out (drrrink). They apparently only have two concrete appointments. Alex bitches about how Claire and co had all day yesterday to make appointments, and they’d get fired if they were in telesales. [And Alex was doing...what? He bitched that he couldn't make the ice-cream because Claire hadn't come back with the oranges, so why didn't he use his downtime to make some sales calls off his own back? You are such a lazy fuck, Alex. - Steve]

Princess Lindi’s team are in an independent shop. They tell the owner the ice-cream is called avocadolicious. Its called what now? Lucinda and co go to their second appointment… at an ice cream parlour. Helene pitches. The owner points out they make their own ice cream. As they leave, Lucinda says it was a bit of a fuck up but let’s move on. Helene grumbles about the SALES TEAM OF AWESOME and says its not about quantity of appointments but quality. The car of overconfidence call Lucinda and say they got first order for a WHOLE 15 LITRES and give themselves big woohoos. Lucinda points out some of the stores they have been to have their own ice cream maker. Princess Lindi says we can still sell to them, Lucinda says if they not going to buy, they not going to buy, but you’re the sales team you know best. In car, The Best Salesperson in Europe asks Princess Lindi if she’s worried. Princess Lindi says she isn’t, she’s just pissed off about people telling her how to do things she knows how to do (which wasn’t the case, Lucinda was simply pointing out that half the leads were total crap). I sense she will be in danger of getting fiyud if Alpha end up in the boardroom.

Renaissance are going door to door. Daffyd and co go to a cinema. The names of their ice creams are: Veryberry and Ciderlicious (a bit better than Alpha’s effort). Vikki Pollard tells the man that says more people are drinking cider, its almost the new champagne, which I suppose is true for a school-girl like her, but isn’t really the case for anyone else. Anyway, the manager says he likes them, they are good, but all products have to go through head office because they are one of 18 cinemas. They arrange another meeting back at three. Alex says ‘we are potentially gonna secure a MASSIVE deal’.

Notting Hill: The salesteam of WE IZ WIN meet with another cinema in the same chain as Renaissance, only they meet with the chain’s manager and head buyer. The Best Salesperson in Europe is quite pushy, saying ‘if you buy today, which I’m sure you will, you will have the exclusive cinema rights on these.’ They decide to order 100 products. A cinema man calls Alex and tells him Alpha made the sale already. Alex gets stroppy. He goes back in and the manager says they can’t do it. Kenny Craig says it’s game over and totally looks like he’s going to cry. When they tell Claire about Alpha, her face is a mix of impressed and how dare they disgusted. She says it’s a shame, really bad news for them but they can’t do anything about it now.

Voiceover man tells us that Claire’s door to door strategy only sold 30 litres. Claire goes on about how they’ve got to be positive, keep momentum etc. Sara makes a good sale – I like Sara, I think she might win this whole show, you know. [Me too. She's doing the whole stealth competence thing quite well. - Steve] Alex says its about big deals not small ones: if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail and that’s what Claire’s done. Anyone sense that if Renaissance lose, Claire and Alex will be having a boardroom bitch-off?

In an independent café type shop, a woman takes a small order. Nick says this is the perfect shop for them, and if they had one of these orders every hour they’d do well. Nick says he thinks they’re in trouble.

Lucinda and team go to specialist outlets, and piece about how the avocado ice-cream can be a starter or dessert (Great British Menu is soooo calling). Lee McQueen has fallen a little bit in love with Lucinda and says she has been brilliant: cool, calm, collected. She’s clearly a manager.

Princess Lindi is with the chief buyer of a chain of gastropubs. He asks for them to agree the prduct won’t go into other pubs for three months (so let's hope Lucinda et al haven’t sold to any pubs, eh?). They decide to do that. The man orders 130 litres. Princess Lindi says it was all so easy, and the TEAM OF TEH AWESOME SALEZ go on about how they are utterly amazing and haven’t a care in the world.

Bubbles DeVere and Alex finish some more deals off. Renaissance go to a final meeting at ‘a trendy bar and grill’. They make a deal for 200 litres, £800, which suddenly makes Alpha look a bit threatened for the only time all episode.

Back at the house, Alpha big themselves up in the kitchen to the others. They are all eating Muller yoghurt, not ice cream, which made me chuckle. Princess Lindi bitches to camera about how she was more of a PM than Lucinda. Claire says she feels a guillotine literally (drink!) inches away from her neck.

In the boardroom Sralan bigs himself up a bit by saying it was all about doing good deeds for farmers, which is almost as patronising as Renaissance’s village bitching, but anyway.

Over to Renaissance. Was Claire a good PM? Jenny and Damon Albarn say she was. I call lies. Sralan asks about their ice cream. Sara tells him about Veryberry being healthy. Sralan is all like: ice cream, healthy? Sara says that berries are full of antioxidants. SR: but all the fat…? Nick says they were trying to persuade mothers to give kids five helpings a day because of the five fruit and veg thing. Kristina and lollies to children springs to mind and why weren’t we shown this? Claire tells him about the cider one. He asks about their testing. Jenny Celery says they had fewer people than expected so got two guys from the pub who may have been slightly intoxicated. Sralan: ‘two drunks? I’m gonna have a flying guess at which one they liked?’ Heh. Sralan calls them on their uselessness.

We turn to Alpha. Their tasting went well. Helene and Lee say Lucinda was a good PM and Lee sings her praises some more. The Best Salesperson in Europe says that Lucinda’s been more positive but she wouldn’t say she was a great team leader. Princess Lindi bigs herself up, saying they managed to book six appointments. Margaret continues her four-series streak of being awesome by pointing out three of them made their own ice cream. Sralan chuckles and asks if they’d thought about that before. Raef babbles on about selling anyway, Sralan tells him he’d be wasting his bladdy time (drink!). Lucinda says she tried to mix up the teams, and Sralan says it was a good idea, he would do that himself. I think he is developing the Lucinda love. Has she been taking magic vag lessons off Swimbint from Hollyoaks? Lucinda says she got a very negative response and The Best Salesperson in Europe lies that she would have done whatever Lucinda wanted. So. Much. Haaaaate. [Oh, I don't doubt she would have done it, but she'd have moaned and whined and dragged her heels and done it as ineptly as possible on purpose, much like Claire and Alex did to Simon last week. - Steve]

Onto the numbers: Alpha, orders £1273.74. Renaissance: £1455.45. Seriously, what the fuck? They did not deserve that victory, and let’s hope they appreciate that.

Sralan says to them that it’s not just about sales, it’s about finding the farmer those new deals, its like gold dust to him. Claire cries. As well she might, she knows how lucky she’s been this week. I don’t share the Claire hate a lot of people out there do, but this week she should really have been fired. End of.

Their prize is a helicopter ride to learn archery and golf. What a shite prize. [I kept hoping someone was going to accidentally fire an arrow into Kevin, but to no avail. - Steve]

Sralan says that despite £1200 sales, Lucinda’s team lost (in other words, this is one of those weeks where both teams did quite well). He talks to Margaret and Nick and says they did some good for British farmers, and seriously, enough with the patronising already. Nick says Claire was a changed person after Sralan’s talk which: notsomuch.

In the café of crap, The Best Salesperson in Europe says she never bitched about the teams. Lucinda says it was the looks she was giving and some people in the team have a problem with her. Lee McQueen steps in and says there was no issue then we got in boardroom, now there’s an issue (Lee McQueen has become all awesome this episode. Lee McQueen and Sara for the final four, surely?) and bigs up his new TL4E some more. Helene pieces to camera that The Best Salesperson in Europe is a bitch, and Lucinda did really well. The Best Salesperson in Europe says she’s gutted as this was one of her best tasks, which is fair enough, as if I’d lost to the shower of shite that was Renaissance in this episode, I’d be pissed too.

In the boardroom of blue, Sralan says the key to the task was the leads, and asks what the marketing team were doing? Princess Lindi says they did their best, that admittedly some of the leads weren’t as god as they should have been, but they put their all in etc. Sralan calls her on her use of clichés. Lucinda says Helene managed an appointment through cold calling, despite being on the kitchen team [yeah ALEX - Steve], so why couldn’t the others? Helene says accountability needs to be with the sales force as the product was good. Sralan asks about the aborted team splitting up and Lucinda says The Best Salesperson in Europe was giving it all negative body language, and that Helene had expressed concerns about working with Jennifer. Helene turns and fake faces a ‘no I didn’t’, which is as bad a bit of boardroom turncoating as Alex last week. The ladies bitch a bit.

Margaret tells them off and brings up the cinema chain and them offering exclusivity without the chain asking for it. The Best Salesperson in Europe says she offered them it, she thought it was a good business deal. Sralan is incredulous: exclusivity for cinemas for the whole of London? On what basis would you do that? And he brings up the point of, you know, the farmer whose business this is. The Best Salesperson in Europe makes a bullshit excuse about them coping with the capacity, which Sralan pulls to pieces. Raef says they didn’t discuss exclusivity before going to the meeting and thinks Jennifer was just excited by doing the deal. The Best Salesperson in Europe then lands no longer BFF Princess Lindi in it about the pub deal. Princess Lindi says it was for three months and only for chains. Lucinda points out one of the other pubs they went to was a chain. Sralan says they no right offering any exclusivity whatsoever, they potentially lost the farmer business and had he known this earlier on, these sales would have been void.

Surprise surprise, Princess Lindi and The Best Salesperson in Europe are coming back in with Lucinda, and one of them IS GANNA GET FIYUD.

Sralan asks Lucinda if she used skills from her job, she said she did. He says ‘you’re in risk assessment, better start assessing the risk of you being fired’. Sralan says to Princess Lindi that she was put in charge of sales, and they lost on sales. She babbles on about nothing much before blaming The Best Salesperson in Europe on the exclusivity. He asks why she didn’t pipe up. She said she thought they may have lost customer. Sralan: ‘sometimes you have to, you cant give away the shop’. L: ‘I totally agree with you’. (Whatevs). [Seriously, the "why didn't you stop her?" bit was irrelevant. Once someone's put it on the table in a meeting, you can't overrule them like that because it makes you all look incompetent. Although they should have discussed things like this beforehand, and WINNAR OF SALES FOAR EUROPE should've known better than to offer it in the first place. - Steve]

The Best Salesperson in Europe and Princess Lindi bitch about each other and Lucinda looks there, looking a bit relieved. The Best Salesperson in Europe tells Sralan to ask any PM except Lucinda about her, she’s always given support. Nick says he’s always felt a chill in the air between her and the others. It’s not quite ‘lips for sin’, but a pretty good burn nonetheless.

Princess Lindi babbles at Sralan, he asks who should be fired, she babbles to get out of it and then says on this task Jennifer. The Best Salesperson in Europe butts in and says Lindi was complimenting her the whole task. They bitch at each other a bit.

Sralan talks to Lucinda: does he need a risk assessor? To The Best Salesperson in Europe: she screwed up big time, what she did was unforgiveable, she is cold with people, he doesn’t just need a sales person. But Princess Lindi was ultimately responsible, so Princess Lindi is fired.

He turns to The Best Salesperson in Europe and apparently she said on her application form that one of her weaknesses is giving idiots a second chance, well maybe it’s rubbed off on him because she has a second chance. Getting burned by both Nick and Sralan in quick succession is some going, it does not bode well for The Best Salesperson in Europe.

Back at the house, Alex thinks Lucinda is coming back, Raef thinks not, and most people seem to hate The Best Salesperson in Europe. They are all shocked at who returns.

Coat watch: a nice green belted thing. Good work, Princess Lindi.

In the house, Helene bitches about Lucinda calling her on her bitchiness, and seriously, I am really going off Helene now. [Also, The Best Salesperson in Europe repeated Sralan's line about the chill between her and the others, expecting a rebuttal only to be greeted with an appropriately frosty silence. It was awesome. - Steve]

Princess Lindi in the cab says that Sralan has not seen how special she is. Princess, why would you want some crappy job running one of his failing businesses like previous winners, when you should be sitting on a throne or something anyway?

That’s it for this week. Join us next week when our hapless anti-heroes have to create an event to sell greetings cards. One of the teams plumps for ‘singles day’ (as in being single, not 7”s, as the latter would be made of win, and this is a task clearly made of lose) and Jenny Celery makes a young boy cry. I call both teams doing badly, and someone getting fired.

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