Usual bumph. Sralan says that he’s unique. His entire business empire is worth £800 million, which…isn’t that much really. A lot for your personal fortune, yes, but for your entire business in all its forms to be worth £800m isn’t that shocking, really. The people that wanted to buy Sainsbury were going to give over £10 billion.
So, last week the task was to set up restaurants in pubs. The girls thought it would be a good idea to sell tickets, which they got printed for free, thereby guaranteeing themselves money; cook curry, which is easy to do in bulk; and have a strong theme to draw in punters. The boys thought it would be a good idea to pay lots of money for their flyers; cook Italian, which requires more portion control; buy all their ingredients in Tesco; give their customers a half pizza when they ran out; and price things without knowing what they would cost. Surprisingly, the girls won. Ian was fired for being incompetent, unable to read a room, and kind of a liar.
The phone rings at 6.20 in the morning. A woman answers, but I’m too disappointed that it’s still not Alex in tiny pants that I don’t care who she is. To add insult injury, they show us Raef in the shower. Which, ew. They have to meet Sralan in half an hour. Jenny Celery thinks they’ll be doing canal boats, for some reason, but instead they got to the Wallace Collection in Marylebone. Or Marry Lee Bun, according to voiceover man [Was I the only one that noticed Raef looking around thee room with an 'o yes i iz no art, i iz b kulchered' expression on his face? - Rad]. There’s a big shot of The Laughing Cavalier. In the normal tenuous Apprentice way, Sralan tries to talk about art (and fails) before saying that there are some portraits here and so the teams will be taking photographic portraits of people. Because that’s the same. Simon is like ZOMG YES PHOTOS! We shall see why. Sralan tells the contestants that he’s found them the biggest shopping centre in the world ever ZOMG. As though it was just lying around and he stumbled across it.
Sralan is ANGRY and UPSET about all the BAD ATMOSPHERE among the teams, so in a Shock! Twist! he’s going to muddle them up. Jenny Celery, Sara and Claire go to the boys. Raef, Lee and Kevin go to the girls. In a shocking departure, the team with the most profit wins and someone gets fired from the losing team.
They’re going to Bluewater to take the photos, where ‘Shoppers are known as guests’. There are 27million of these guest a year.
Simon is like GIEF leadership! He’s very very keen to be in charge. He talks about his 170 IQ [And at this point, my notes read 'Simon to be fired' because I figure proclaiming your intelligence on this show is always a sign of imminent doom - Rad], so I lose all respect for him immediately. He doesn’t really earn it back during the episode. (Spoiler!) Alex and Claire, particularly, demand to know why he should be leader. His best friend is a cameraman so he knows about lenses and photos and the lingo, and he knows Bluewater because he’s from there. [I believe he may also actually say 'these are my people' - Fiona] Alex wants him to stay on the ball. Simon says he’ll stay calm. And if not, he’ll get fired, so it’s okay. Claire says she doesn’t care if he gets fired, she wants to win the task. Which, yay – refreshing change from looking who to blame from word go. [If only she'd kept up that attitude for longer than 30 seconds. - Steve]
Helene will be in charge of the other team. She tells us she has balls. Kevin tells the team that he is really good at selling. Helene puts Raef and Lucinda in the back room to do technical stuff. Lucinda protests, strongly and clearly, that she can’t even use a mobile phone; she doesn’t know how to use a digital camera; she is a complete technical incompetent and it would be a terrible idea to put her in charge of anything involving technology. Helene is like ‘suck it up and do as you’re told, stop being difficult’.
Simon wants to put Alex as second in command; Alex is being a twit and being all ‘are you sure you want to do that? Don’t abdicate responsibility’. He very clearly wants absolutely nothing to do with the role. Simon’s like, ‘okay, Claire, you do it.’ She says yes. Alex looks all screwface and pissed off and it’s like, don’t say you don’t want it then get pissy when it’s taken away. You’re pretty, but you’re not so pretty I can’t think you’re a twat.
Simon chooses a beauty and glamour theme, because women who shop in Bluewater are orange-skinned chavs and it’d be nice for them to look nice for once in a while. That is literally his logic. In the other cab, Claire says he’s a toddler and too emotional.
Simon looks for props for his glamorous photo shoot. Simon lies on the floor to show what he means by glamour. Sophocles doesn’t think it’s a theme. He says that it’s just a word, and I kind of see his point.
Both teams will print photos onto anything, not just paper – so mugs, jigsaws, what have you. Helene goes to a digital printers. Raef is in charge of processing images. Lucinda is in charge of the computer. She’s still a bit scared of it.
Helene decides to gets a lookalike for her theme. Del Boy. Queen Victoria. Cherie Blair? George Clooney? A really old Britney Spears, who makes me want to cry. [Not wanting to be an utter bastard, but "Britney" was not trim enough for that tight red PVC catsuit. - Steve] Cherie also does Thatcher. Then a Beckham lookalike comes in, accompanied by romantic Italian strings. Lindi drools. Beckham is the winner.
Simon is still looking for props. And you know what store is synonymous with glamour? That’s right. Poundstretcher. That’s where Simon looks for nice props with Sara and Michael. The rest of the team learns how to use the printer. Simon phones. Claire says ‘you called us’ and he’s like ‘oh yeah’. He’s found some cheap sparkling wine. Claire asks if he got glasses for the wine. He says that he’s looking for champagne flutes, and that Claire shouldn’t call him an idiot. She’s like, ‘I didn’t, you cunt, I asked a question. It’s easy to forget things.’ Everyone hates Claire, it seems, but it’s points like this that I don’t see the problem with her. She was right. Simon is going to look at frames, for the pictures. Claire and Alex are like ‘you’ve delegated products to us. We’ve priced it without frames. We don’t need frames.’ Simon’s, like, ‘I want to look at frames, and I’m the boss, so I’m going to, and you bastards with your logical pricing structures aren’t going to stop me, because I’m the BOSS.’ Simon is also going to cut up his shirts to dress the customers in, to make a nice dress shirt [Everything about Simon's idea for the photoshoot gave me the heebiejeebies - Rad]. Sara is in charge of glamourising the women and playing with their bra straps to make them look sexy. Don’t look at me like that. I’m just reporting what happened.
180,000 shoppers are expected. Stop advertising Bluewater. Teams can only accept payment once the photos are printed. Well, good. Lucinda is in charge of formatting things on the computer, Rafe is printing things out. Helene ‘oversees’. The word oversee has its roots in the Old French ‘oversee’, which literally means, ‘to do nothing at all except bitch people out and consider yourself above doing work because you’re The Boss’.
Simon’s like ‘listen to me’ and fires more random babble at his team and sets up his spot, which gets busy busy. Their glamorous backdrop…isn’t. At all. It’s red. And it appears to have some giant mushrooms? Which might be seats. But it ain’t glam. There’s not even any leopard print.
The Beckham shoot is £15.99 [£15.99!!! - Fiona] a picture, plus more for other stuff like mugs &c. They’ve spent £590 on materials and stuff for the shoot, so they have to make that much before they can turn a profit. All costs are deducted from proceeds.
All Simon’s team are selling. Alex is like, let me do it and stop telling me what to do, because I can do it well if you let me. Jenny Celery says they’ve spent 20 minutes arguing rather than taking photos. Claire tries to make a comment, Simon says ‘don’t tell me how to manage’ even though she was just saying one thing and basically babbles like a cunt and acts like one and still has a massive stick up his arse about how he is The Boss.
Kevin comes in and tells the backroom team to make mugs in 20 minutes. There’s a lovely little edit that runs thusly:
Voiceover man: ‘The only person trained to use the equipment…’
Lucinda: ‘Oh fuck’
Voiceover man: ‘… is Lucinda.’
Lucinda says, ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ Lindi sells more stuff, unaware that the printing is fucked. Raef fucks up a mug. It seems that his whole role is peeling off the sticky paper from the printed items, which: give that to Lucinda the technical incompetent. I’m sure she can peel a sticker [And probably better than Raef and his kerrazy upside-down method- Rad].
Simon’s team sell. Sophocles is charming, trying to get some ladies to have a photo. Simon is gross, doing the same thing, being all ‘don’t make me pick you up and put you on the chair!’ [I thought Sophocles was just as gross, to be honest. He sounded like he was going to take them away and cut them up in bin bags once he was finished photographing them. - Steve] They’re charging £24.99 for platinum package of portrait, keyring, and jigsaw. Who the fuck would want a jigsaw of their own face? How Cubist. £580 invested, so that’s how much they have to make back.
Simon says he is David Bailey. Renaissance – finally, we know which team remains which - log their shot numbers so that they can process the photos. But no-one is printing the pictures. Claire goes off to print stuff with Alex and Jenny Celery. The shot numbers don’t show up on the computer, so the log of numbers is rendered useless. They tell Simon that, but it doesn’t register, or he doesn’t really care, or something, cos he just carries on with photos. We see a girl with her kids saying ‘bored now, leaving.’ Margaret says ‘they is leaving lol, this team is teh suck.’ [And can I just say here: the woman in jeans with a bit of purple cloth strung round her top half and a brooch flung on to make her look 'glamourous'? She has the biggest sympathy of the night from me - Rad]
Lucinda still can’t work the computer [Which - why apply to work for Alan Sugar then? Also which - what the hell have you been doing for the last fifteen years? - Rad]. She says, ‘I managed to burn a CD this morning, I don’t know how.’ She says that she really shouldn’t be doing the technical stuff and Helene’s like ‘it’s my decision!’ and it’s like, ‘yeah, you decided to assign someone something she specifically said she can’t do. Good going, Brains Trust’ Nick is not happy. A soundtrack of ominous Windows noises suggesting errors of various kinds are occurring. Lee says to stop selling so they can clear the backlog. Best idea anyone has for the whole episode. The stand closes. AT THE MOST BUSY TIME OF DAY. They try to make it seem like a mistake, but it’s clearly a good idea.
Montage of Bluewater. Yo Sushi. A child. People wander about.
Simon’s team still can’t work the numbers. People are getting pissy. Simon calls Claire to the sales floor. Simon says his team are not ‘pulling in my direction’ and that Claire is impossible to manage. And again, everyone else seems to hate her and agree with Simon, but from my view, she was just trying to tell him not to be a retard and/or an arsehole. [True, but she started saying that long before he started being a retard or an arsehole, and it's the same thing she was doing to Sara last week. I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Claire sucks. - Steve] He’s makes Claire go back and forth, describing the people and the shots so that they can get printed. It’s a 10 minute walk.
Simon’s team are printing things wrong. A guy is like ‘yeah, this is bullshit, where are my photos?’ There is a ‘rogue photo’ floating around. Alex and Claire look at a jigsaw and say ‘he’s on crack’ but they mean Simon, not the little boy in the photo. Simon is like ‘fuck fuck fuckity, I’m shutting the stall.’ He says to camera that if he loses it’s his fault cos he last control and he’s depressed and tells the cameras to leave him alone. Twat. Boo hoo. It’s not because you lost control, it’s because you were trying to hard to have it and shouted down everyone. [Again, as I saw it, faced with a team like Alex and Claire who were determined not to listen from the word go, he didn't have much of a choice. But again, it's all a question of perception, I guess. I'm not trying to undermine you. OR AM I? - Steve] [Well, I thought all three of them were pretty nasty pieces of work this week and hated them all, I don't think it has to be an either/or situation - Rad]
Helene’s team aren’t selling. Or printing. Lucinda says. ‘Do not speak to me like that!’ Helene goes on about how she spent 11 hours in the kitchen on the restaurant task (she said it was 10 earlier) and she didn’t want to do it, so Lucinda should do this. They squabble. Lucinda says she can’t do stuff, and Helene says ‘Raef makes mugs all the time!’, presumably meaning they’re all doing things they’re new to. She goes on and on about how she didn’t like being in the kitchen’ and if she is so shit that she can’t see the difference between making people do things they don’t want to do and making them do things they are incapable of, then there’s not much hope for her as a manager. Lucinda attempting to sell herself as a businesswoman when she can barely turn on a computer is a separate issue, but does really make her suck, quite a lot, lovely as she is. [And...does she not know what sort of business Sralan is in? - Steve]
Claire reassures Simon they broke even. Helene can only print onto standard A4. For £15.99. Jesus fucking Christ. Lucinda says she’s ecstatic to print onto paper. Apparently, though, some people are willing to pay £16 for a photo on A4 of themselves with a David Beckham lookalike. Who knew? [The David Beckham lookalike for the win. He was awesome, especially when he rivalled Margaret and Nick for disdainful stares at the candidates. - Rad].
They pack up and go home and blah.
Boardroom. Lucinda has her beret on! They say, ‘Morning Sralan’, like at an assembly. Sralan asks what Team Helene sold. Kevin says they did not make stuff. Helene says it was cos Lucinda was shit. Sralan says, ‘Why didn’t you say you wee shit?’ Lucinda says that she did, repeatedly. Helene outright lies and says that Lucinda didn’t say she couldn’t do it. Nick says she should have shuffled the team, and she was wishy washy. I wouldn’t say wishy washy so much as completely bullheaded and refusing to change her decision about Lucinda, because then if she lost she wouldn’t have a scapegoat.
Simon’s theme was glamour. He generalises about ‘dowdy’ shoppers being made pretty. Claire tries to disagree but Sralan shushes her. There were some ‘ordering issues’, which Simon reckons lost him a couple of hundred pounds. Sralan is like ‘You couldn’t print either? You’re shit too? Fucking hell!’ Simon’s team made a £73 loss. Helene’s team made £145 profit. They get sailed to the Isle of Wight on a yacht for a dinner. Yeah, well done. That’s £145, between Helene, Lee, Lucinda, Kevin, Raef, Lindi, and the invisible other Jenny. So, just under £20 each for a day’s work. Yep. That’s the way to make your fortune. [That was my thinking too. Even if you were only running a team of three, which is probably the bare minimum you could get away with, you wouldn't have made enough to earn a decent wage between you. - Steve]
In perhaps the best Apprentice moment ever, Sralan says,‘Interestingly enough, I’ve got to go off now, I’m going to have LUNCH, with the PRIME MINISTER’.
Helene thinks she has a lot of credibility and Lucinda should stand up and prove herself, but she’s shit and won’t. And, kind of, yeah. I love Lucinda and her nice clothes and saying ‘fuck’ in a posh voice, but being lovely doesn’t necessarily mean good at business. Helene’s still a bitch, though. [I liked Helene until this week. I am sad now. - Steve] [Me too. I even have her in a sweepstake and as an avatar and everything. Now I am torn as to whether to use another sweepstake pick, Keisha from I'd Do Anything instead - Rad].
Jenny Celery is taken aback by the loss. She was certain they’d won. Simon says people want to abdicate responsibility but he’ll fight his corner. Back into the boardroom. Sralan asks what happened when Simon was leader. Claire said he was like a missile that would go off in your face. Sralan thinks she shows no respect. ‘You’re in the team, and the team’s got to win.’ Sralan still loves Simon and rips Claire a new one for about five minutes about being rude and a bitch and mean and unmanageable. Margaret says they didn’t communicate enough and treated Simon like dirt.
Simon says that Alex said he didn’t want to be second in command. Alex says he didn’t say that, that he didn’t back down. Margaret says ‘you stepped so far back from it, you were practically out of the room’. HA! Love Margaret. [Even better was when she looked witheringly at him and said "ALEX! I was THERE." Margaret is so awesome. - Steve] Sralan says there was panic from 10.30 til 1 o’clock. Jenny and Alex say they didn’t know what was going on on the ‘shop floor’ and there was no communication. They didn’t know there were angry customers and so on. Sralan asks whose fault it was. Alex says that originally he thought Simon, but, ‘hearing it now’ he thinks maybe it was Claire’s fault. And that’s awesome. I’m sorry, I know it’s turncoaty and two-faced and backstabby, but people not being able to read Sralan’s massively sign-posted opinions bugs the hell out of me. Alex was specially blatant about it, but he just sucked up to Sralan, which is what you do to win this shitty show. [The look on Jenny Celery's face as all of this happens suggest she agrees with you. She looked simultaneously disgusted and admiring of Alex's toadiness. - Steve] Simon brings back Alex and Claire. Nick says Claire failed as a link. NotFrances sends them back through.
Simon says Claire was dismissive and unmanageable. Claire tries to speak. Simon says that she doesn’t know how to speak to people, she’s dismissive, rude &c. He said ‘I’m project manager’ and she said ‘don’t be autocratic’, is his evidence of this. But he was being, he spent the whole day saying ‘I’m the MANAGER’ and not listening to people. Claire and Alex communicated badly, yes, but he refused to listen also. Sralan says that Claire’s application form said she was basically a bit of a bitch and he’s not sure he likes bitches. Which is a lie. He just doesn’t like brunette bitches. Claire says that Alex is lying for saying he didn’t know what was going on. Simon says everyone is trying to pass the buck. Simon says that he was all good on the floor, making people laugh and getting customers. Srlalan says that makes it worse: ‘I drummed up a lot of business and then screwed everything else up!’ Sralan says Simon lost him money. Simon says it won’t happen again. Sralan’s like damn straight, bitch. Claire thinks she’s a scapegoat. Simon says she’s not, but he could have made a lot of money ‘this morning’ if there weren’t the problems. This morning?! The Apprentice LIES!! How can that be the same day, if Sralan went out to LUNCH with the PRIME MINISTER and they spent the whole day at Bluewater?.
Claire says she was bold and took chances and that she doesn’t want to be one of those people that flies under the radar for weeks and doesn’t get fired because people forget they’re even there. Sralan yells at her. ‘I’m sick of looking at you!’ and ‘Get out! Get out that door!’ and then ‘Get out that door and back to the house. I’m sick of looking at you and you’re PM next week.’ Then, with a sense of crushing inevitability, he says to Simon, you can build a wall, or dig a trench, but you can’t manage my portfolio. ‘With regret, you’re fired.’ Yeah. He was shit. He was awesome in the first weeks but exploded spectacularly as PM. NotFrances tells him the cab’s ready, and he says ‘Thank you Frances.’ Which, what a gent, but what? She’s NotFrances, not Frances. It must be like Officer Jenny and Nurse Joy from Pokemon. Okay, the Franceses look different, but there must be a factory somewhere. CoatWatch. Black. Plain. Nice but unadventurous. Much like Simon.
Raef, wearing a pink jersey, says Claire will go. They do a drumroll and Claire comes in. Claire announces that she’ll have to be PM next week [Which I don't like. She's already been PM and there are a stack of people who haven't had a go yet - Rad][Its alright, no one else liked it either judging by their faces!- Fiona]. Awesomely, Lucinda looks worried by Claire being PM. She twiddles her glasses.
In the cab, Simon says ‘I give it my best shot.’ You gave it your best shot. Past tense is your friend. He says he made everyone smile in the shopping centre, again. Not really the best business credential.
Next week. Alex in a vest. [I hate him, but yay! - Steve] And something about being an Apprentice. But mostly, Alex in a vest.
YOU’RE FIRED HIGHLIGHTS
Photographer Terry O’Neill, Fi Glover and Trevor Nelson are the guests.
Simon says that he sucks and is a loser and deserved to go, and that ‘if you lose Sralan money, you’ve got to go’. He’s fairly stoic. He thought he’d go through a trapdoor when he said ‘Alan’ instead of Sralan.
They laugh at Simon’s photos, particularly the old woman draped in a purple sheet, which is not glamorous, so much.
We get a little recap of Lucinda saying she can’t use computers, then Helene denying she said it, a little loop of Helene saying ‘You didn’t,’ about five times. Fi Glover hates Helene. Simon thinks Helene is actually straight down the line. Sure. If ‘straight down the line’ means ‘bitch’, then yeah. We get to see Jenny Celery’s lizard-eyes dart side to side when Sralan tells off Claire. It’s awesome.
When Sralan said ‘get out that door’ Simon thought ‘I’ve got a result here’ but when he went on to say ‘back to the house’ he realised he was doomed.
The majority of the audience thought he shouldn’t have been fired, which is nice.
That’s it. You’re Fired isn’t really very interesting.