Thursday, 8 May 2008

Rock the Casbah

(Sralan don’t like it - this is not kosher)

Week Seven - Originally aired 7 May 2008

This is going to be a good one so lets not waste time. 16 tycoons of tomorrow, job interview from hell, London Porn, bloody clue (as in you haven’t got a) yadda yadda.

Previously the teams had to create an occasion and greeting cards to accompany it. Sadly no one went for a ‘sorry your 11 year old's been shot by a hoodie’ day and accompanying card and instead Matt Lucus went for the environmental soap box and Sralan went for him.

So to this week and first and foremost what we really want to know is who is going to answer the phone and more to the point what are they (not) wearing....? 7am, the candidates are up, which makes a change. Raef is already fully dressed but wait, whose that? Willie Winkie in his night gown? No its the lovely Lucinda in a full length blue and white stripped number- is there any look this woman can’t work? [Let's not encourage her. - Steve] Alex is ironing a nasty purple shirt whilst wearing an even nastier yellow one and scores nil points. Ooo the phones ringing and flouncing towards it like a big girl comes Michael.

‘Sralan would like you to pack for a two day trip to Morocco’ comes the voice of Frances/Not Frances/Someone else. ‘Really?’ asks Michael. ‘Na just a wind up’ she says. OK, I’m lying, they are going to Morocco. Jenny The Chin screams and jumps around like a demented school girl while Raef, Lee McQueen and Michael debate the type of clothes to pack. Raef does have a linen suit which would be ideal but not with him, still light colours are the best, cooler. Cut to girls in a car all in black.

Marrakesh porn.

6am - Lee Mcqueen appears to sleep in a hotel bath robe - interesting. Alex is bleary, ruffled and asking for breakfast - Oh practising his French I see. Michael is demanding his lunch. In French. Tit.

The briefing. Margaret and Nick, both in white blazers as their only concession to the heat, are here but Sralan is in London [lazy sod - Rad] so conveys the task via a video. Marrakesh is the bargaining capital of the world so they have a list of items to buy and woo betide em if they pay top dollar for anything, he/she who pays least wins. Its time to mix it up a bit Jenny Maguire & Michael are sent over to Renaissance and Sara goes to Alpha. Lucinda is looking resplendent in purple dress and matching shoes co ordinate with a hot pink pashmina. I think I might love her quite a lot.

Lee and Jenny Maguire are named project managers and are handed maps and tourist info and detailed descriptions of the 10 items they must buy. Sara is already well aquatinted with mosque alarm clocks, a sparkly bed spread and kosher chicken. ‘Is that Jewish?’ Helene asks but no one answers. Jenny Chin suggests making some calls but Jenny Maguire wants to get stuck straight into the market ‘and get the marbles out of our mouths with the French and the negotiations,’ I sort of know what she means, but still, what the fuck?

Margaret sits watching coolly as always. Not even desert heat's going to make her break sweat. I love Margaret quite a lot too.

Over at Alpha, Lee first of all wants the inside track from people who have been to Marrakesh before. Wise man. Step up Raef and Sara. Raef suggests getting into ‘the local garb so they don’t stand out’ hmm that accents not a give away tho is it? Sara looks dumb struck, Lucinda points out that even dressed in a burka they’ll still spot her blue eyes and then wonder if they are taking the ‘pee’. (I even love the way she tried not to swear.) ‘Just a suggestions’ huffs Raef, his Lawrence of Arabia fantasies smashed.

Before Alpha leaves the hotel, Lee McQueen wants them to pinpoint places each item can be found. I love Lee, I thought I was turning gay a minute ago but maybe I’m bi.

Sara pointed out they need to find the Jewish area for the kosher chicken, as this is a Muslim country it won’t be widely available. Why do I feel this may be important later? [Sara is the most clued-up of them all, I think, going on the past few weeks. - Rad]

Lee decides to keep Lucinda and Sara with him to see if the feedback regarding their (lack of) involvement with tasks is justified. And they are off, well Nearly. Lee has a question, ‘are you ready to win Alpha?’ Chicken noises or is that a retro Lenny Henry impression? ‘Comeon man’ says Lee McQueen. Careful that vain in your neck don’t pop, that's what I’m talking about.

And so to the market, Claire spots snakes and recoils. She's not near them or anything but she wouldn’t even for a million pounds, if Sralan said Claire kiss that snake or touch it she wouldn’t. Now I am going to try really hard not to say anything further about snakes, money, Sralan, kissing and touching.

Oh, Margret's got shades on and Jenny Chin has a head scarf to replace her neck tie. Renaissance split up, Jenny M, Alex and Claire wonder off after a man with a chicken... Jenny Chin tells Michael they have no strategy and are like headless chickens. Which is good because it saves me the trouble.

Despite no preparation Jenny M, Alex and Claire stumble across their first item, a Santos orange juicer. Claire suggests they try some role-play with Alex and Claire as a couple. After all the woman always has the final say when buying items for the house and if Claire is difficult and walks away it will help Alex’s bargaining. Right. Claire is well up for trying that, Alex is less enthralled at pretending she's his girlfriend. And before I know what's happening she's asking why after 7 years together they haven’t got married [this whole thing was very funny, but also very terrifying- Rad].

So asking prices of the juicer is 1200 dirhams, they have 600 dirhams. Claire looks unimpressed and says she's going outside. What? That's it? Isn’t she going to wrap herself around Alex, look pleadingly into his eyes and tell him she’ll do anything but she must have that juicer - and then flounce out? I would. Claire reappears and offers 1100 dirhams? No one seems to know what's going on.

Meanwhile Lee McQueen is doing a great alarm clock impression and Raef and Helene are off to buy a cowhide complete with tail. Raef pronounces this as ‘grass roots negotiation, as dirty as it gets’. Lee is ‘guided by his research’ and off for the green mosque alarm clock. Yes, OK, we get that Alpha planned [Alpha have all the competent and/or likeable people in this week, and Renaissance have all the 'baddies' and useless ones, anyone else notice that? - Rad] and Renaissance didn't. Sara’s negotiating, why does she suddenly sound like a character from Goodness Gracious Me? [It's a shame one of the items on the list wasn't a small aubergine. - Steve] The shop keeper isn’t impressed with Sara or with Lee McQueen getting ‘busted’ by ‘his people’ and proceeds to play an imaginary violin. I don’t love the shop keeper cos he's not my type but he is pretty cool all the same. The team walk away, but I bet like all good shopping trips they’ll be back to buy the first thing they found.

Jenny M and co have meanwhile ‘stumbled’ across the textile quarter and the berber bedspread (cream with silver sequins). Jenny wants Claire to keep quiet, drop the double act and let Alex negotiate but she fails on both counts. I think Claire likes being Alex's girlfriend and is living the dream.

Ah cut in interview with Mr Michael Sopocles. He is arrogant apparently. That's nice.

Back to the cow hide with tail, I am loving the miming so far although as Jenny Chin already has a tail to match her horns and pitch fork she could just show the shop keeper that. Now Michael is channelling dodgy ‘comedy’ Asian accent, seriously what does he think this will achieve? They get the cowhide for a third of the asking price and high 5 each other for a double act well acted. Raef and Helene are at the tannery which stinks. But their dedication to the cause pays off when they procure (from a very ill sounding gentleman) their cowhide for 250, didn’t Laurel & Hardy just pay 834? Even Raef can’t believe it.

Woohoo - as predicted Lee is back having his balls busted by the original shop keeper for the green alarm clock. 2 items down and they are off to the Jewish quarter (pinpointed by their research) for their 1 and a half kilos of kosher chicken. This means chicken that was butchered under rules of the Jewish faith - got that? good.

Meanwhile in the Muslim quarter Jenny M can find plenty of chicken but no kosher ones, they need a holy man to bless the chicken apparently. Why the fuck do they want to take a chicken to a mosque? They do know what kosher means don’t they? ‘O look’ says Claire ‘its head's getting cut off’. I assume she's talking about a chicken but Alex isn’t in shot...... Oh there he is. No Claire, you are not being stupid, Kosher is indeed Jewish and you are in a Muslim country... oh so nearly there and yet not - Muslims do not have kosher chicken, they have halal. I am shouting at the tv. Sorry. Alexs lip twitches but he says nothing. Jenny M is ‘foxed’ so she hands the chicken hunt to Jenny Chin and Michael instead. That's passing the chuck, gedit.

They have located a chicken but please Mr Butcher don’t kill that chicken until Jenny Chin can get it blessed by someone for the Mosque. Cos that’ll make it kosher? NO IT WILL NOT. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE! ‘Religious’ says Michael trying to explain himself to the bemused butcher and then looks as if he is about to cross himself. For fucks sake there are quite important, one could say fundamental, differences between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I really am shocked at how unaware these people seem to be.

A bystander starts talking about halal, ‘is it halal?’ asks Jenny Chin ‘Can you make it halal?’ I am saying nothing.

Well, other than now the butcher's is a mosque, or the butcher is going to pray or has already prayed for the chicken. I swear I am abstaining from alcohol and recreational drugs in order to provide a clear headed re cap but I am starting to wonder if a combination of the two might help me make more sense of this.

As is usual in these sort of tasks Sralan is going to fine them for any items that don’t meet his exact specification. Quite what he's going to make of the chicken is anyones guess but I suspect the Chin and Michael's self congratulation is premature. Jenny Maguire buying a white rather than green mosque alarm clock rather pales (crap pun sort of intended) into insignificance.

Next Claire spots the tagines but are they 3 red Akal branded tagines? Well if they are genuine they should cost about 800 dirhams, these cost 100. Margaret's very disappointed. Nuff said. [I like to think Margaret has the proper, correct Akal tagines in her kitchen - Rad.]

The teams continue to work through their lists. Lovely Lucinda hot foots it out of the car and runs shrieking to the sports shop looking for tennis rackets (2, medium strung) to find The Chin and Michael already there. The way Jenny says ‘Hi Lucinda’ as she walks in makes me fear for her safety, what's she up to?

Evil cow bag! She is trying to make the nice racket stringing man say he will string their rackets tomorrow, there's 10 dirham in it for him [which is about 70p, I believe - Steve]. He looks confused and possibly a little sick so they approach the manager instead. The Evil Chin now has a look of the snake from Jungle Book about her as she tries to convince the equally bemused manager to comply with their plan. The manager laughs, she doesn’t need their money.

The Evil Chin is on the phone to someone saying they have tried to delay the other team getting their rackets and ‘have been involved in espionage’ but frustratingly we don’t know who is is on the phone too. Damn.

2.45pm Claire realises they need a green clock, she remembers looking at the photo this morning ‘and thinking god that's green’. It really is amazing what goes on in their brains isn’t it? So they are back hunting for an item they already have, oh no balls to that, they’ll dump that on Evil Chin and Michael too. If they weren’t such evil, cheating feckless idiots, I’d feel sorry for them.

With an hour to go Lucinda measures and buys a large blue cactus, Raef and Helene buy the right tagines. They call Lee McQueen to tell him and he tells them he's just ‘nailed the fucking blue cactus’. O the mental image [ouch - Rad]. Raef apologises to the listening shop assistant for the bad language. He is such a gent, I can’t bring myself to love him too though.

Marrakesh is shutting up shop and going home while Jenny is still trying to find a green mosque alarm clock and Lee, Sara and Lucinda hunt for a Santos orange juicer. Lee and Sara swear a lot, meanwhile Lucinda is a woman on a mission running around finding second hand juicers. The word goes out tourists will pay good money for a Santos orange juice. Jenny meanwhile has found a shop with the alarm clocks. As the shop keeper opens each box checking the colour it reminds me of the hunt for the golden ticket in Charlie and the chocolate factory. Oh, and there is the elusive green one, there is much jumping and squealing. Oh and dancing to the call to prayer, nice work Jenny and Claire [it's not quite as offensive as Claire and Kevin's country yokel patronising the other week, but it's close - Rad].

Just before Alpha disappear into their cars, 2 juicers appear and they end up spending the equivalent of £75 on a scruffy second hand specimen, but at least they have one.

Lee McQueen shouts, gesticulates and ‘come ons’ a lot in the back of his car.

Back at the hotel the candidates stand in their teams while the lovely Nick & Margaret call Sralan and give him the facts and figures. Nice shots of Sralan talking to them whilst wondering through what I assume is his mansion. Nick says Lee did well and the ‘real revelation was Sara and also Lucinda, they did very well indeed’. Nice work there Nick. Love you. [N and M truly are the voice of the viewer. Now if only we could sneak them onto the panel for I'd Do Anything - Rad]

So Alpha got all items correctly with no penalties and spent £413.61. Renaissance spent £449.60 but 2 items are disallowed and they incurred penalties on 2 items bringing their total to £603.59. Hmm wonder what those 2 items were...

So Alpha's prize? A private air balloon ride. They all look excited till he adds it's at Leeds castle and well they might. An air balloon ride in Marrakesh would be exciting and exotic, not words I associate with Leeds [Leeds Castle isn't in Leeds, as far as I know. I think it's down south somewhere - Rad] [It's in Kent. I remember it being advertised a lot on local radio when I was little. - Steve].

Renaissance are in the boardroom tomorrow. Alpha are off for champagne cocktails and for the losers the ‘hotel cafe’. Hardly looks like a dive though does it? I mean this isn’t a caravan park, it looks like a pretty swish hotel. Michael and Evil Chin think that perhaps the cactus let them down because they didn’t count the prickles. Jenny Maguire tells them ‘if they know in their heart and soul they did the right thing today then they have nothing to be afraid of’. This isn’t confession or a fairy tale, there is nothing fair about the Apprentice.

Flying and hot air balloon porn. Aw Lucinda hanging on to the basket looking enchanted is so sweet. Raef brown noses Lee, he expected to win due to his managerial skills apparently and there is much clinking of champagne glasses.

On the way to the boardroom Michael is already concerned Evil Chin is going to put the blame on him. She's not back stabbed people before has she?

Renaissance greet Sralan with a chorus of ‘bonjours’ which goes down like a lead balloon. Not a good start.

First off the lack of research (not signposted at all by the voice over) and planning is pulled apart. So to the items they got wrong well the tagines weren’t the branded item and then there is the kosher chicken. That's kosher chicken blessed by a Muslim butcher. Sralan tells Jenny she's a ‘lady of the world’ (my Nan always used that term to infer a woman of lose virtue but moving on) ‘slightly older than the rest’ he continues. Evil Chin perks up, its my birthday today’ she says “i’m 36’. What's she expecting? Jelly and cake? [Green jelly, at that. - Steve]

36 she may be but she apparently has never heard the term kosher or knows it is a Jewish word. Sralan is flabbergasted and he’s not the only one. Sralan turns his attention to Michael, the first thing he apparently wrote on his CV was that he was a good Jewish boy. Michael doesn’t seem very willing to confirm it though but says grudgingly he's ‘a nice Jewish boy’. ‘If you’re unsure’ Sralan retorts ‘we can always pull your trousers down, we can check.’ LOVE IT! [Sralan is so fierce this series, bullshit firings aside. - Rad] Everyone giggles and Michael doesn’t look horrified but then he's probably used to having his trousers pulled down.

Back to the chicken, I don’t think Sralan is feigning disbelief about the origin of their ‘kosher’ chicken. ‘Are you havin a larf?’ ['Is 'e avin a larf? - Rad] he asks ‘I don’t know why you didn’t go the whole hog and find a Roman Catholic Priest to take the butcher to confession’ Michael is embarrassed. He doesn’t know the yiddish word Sralan just used but he does know schmuck. Hell, I know schmuck but then I also know what Kosher means. Anyway now he's half Jewish [which apparently is impossible. So he probably means he met a Jewish person once - Rad].

Sralan doesn’t give a shit, he’ll fire 3 of them, he’ll fire 5 of them it don’t bother him [Go on , Sralan, fire five of them! - Rad]. Alex interjects that he would be the first to put his hands up if he’d made a mistake. Sralan wants another expression for ‘put your hands up’, don’t start changing all the stock phrases now or how will we play the drinking game? Alex putting his hands up mainly involves blaming Claire for paying £60 too much for the bed spread.

Michael sees an opening to win back some brownie points. I was a good negotiator, I got some good deals he says and you can tell he believes it. Oh Michael, how your bubble is about to be burst. There was that piece of dead cow hide you got down from 2500 to 834 dirhams. The Evil Chin is not happy, she pipes up that she was there too, it was her negotiation. More to the point guys the other team got theirs for 250. Own goal there perhaps? O bless, his face, I almost feel sorry. Almost.

Hang on now the Evil Chin is trying to blame Michael for the ‘chicken article’. Michael told her it would be alright and with his Jewish roots - whoa there Nelly. 5 minutes ago you didn’t know what Kosher means but now you knew enough to think someone with a Jewish back ground would have more knowledge? Michael is right, it is a lie. Claire looks as confused as I feel.

Anyway, enough headless chickens. Margaret goes in for the kill and asks whose idea it was to try and persuade the sports shop not to string Alpha's tennis rackets *Fiona rubs hands with glee*. Evil Chin says that was her idea and then immediately switches to talking about ‘we’, we did, we thought, we asked. A cheap shot suggests Nick to which Evil Chin agrees. Sralan boots all of them out to ‘sit and reflect’, that's what they used to do to us at Sunday School (yeah I know) when we were naughty. Never worked then either.

Alex and Jenny M sit outside saying this is all news to them, SO WHO DID SHE RING AND TELL THEN? Claire is quiet....

The 5 are sent back in and Evil Chin is first up. Now she claims Michael told her to ask for Halal meet and give thanks to Allah. God I am bored of typing this, partly cos I can’t keep track of who she's trying to pin what on now, please save me Sralan...YES THANK YOU God/Allah/Sralan Jenny Evil Chin Celery is FIRED.

‘Who's next?’ asks Teddy Ruckspin

Eviction Coat Watch: black, long, instantly forgettable. Bah

Jenny is shocked, Michael was worse than her whinge whinge.

Back to the boardroom.

Maguire says she's owned up to her mistakes but she's prickly when Sralan says she can’t read I think its more a case that she didn’t read. She's doing Alex’s twisty lip trick - eek!

Michael says he owns his mistakes [Does he bollocks. - Rad] but he's not flash when he get things right. Alex is passionate and full of beans, he gave it 100% and he’d fire Claire for interrupting his negotiations. Is it just me or is that a shit reason? I’d fire Michael personally. Claire thinks Jen should be fired because there were too many mistakes, she bought the wrong items and had to re buy the alarm clock. Well that's a bit more of a solid reason (and Claire is my sweepie).

Jenny's straight back at you Claire, 'it's like working with a Tasmanian devil' says Jenny. It looks weak to round immediately on the person who has criticised you because whether you are right or not it looks like a knee jerk reaction. At least take a second and look like you are absorbing what they’ve said.

Michael steps up to the plate for Claire, she was a fantastic project manager and looked after him. Shocked.

‘Alex’ says Sralan, pause while Alex poos himself, ‘go back to the house’. [I would have loved it if he'd randomly fired Alex, just because - Rad]

The remaining 3 are sent out again. Come on already, just fire Michael for being a stupid tosser and I’ll be happy. Margaret deems him a waste of space and I agree with her (she scares me a bit too). Nick points out he is a Catholic, Margaret is a Protestant (nice to know Sralan does abide by equal ops) and they know what Kosher is. Michael did Classics at Edinbrough, he is a bright boy. Nick can’t understand it. But Margaret's not buying it, ‘Edinbrough’ she declares ‘is not what it used to be’. O they’ll not like that, might be a good idea to check the state of Hadrians wall...

The Boardroom part 576i769707

Jenny Maguire admits she lost control of the task but she still seems intent on blaming Claire but Sralan seems to be liking Claire and she's showing more signs of self awareness. This woman is shaping up to be this year's Badger [No, she isn't. This year's Saira, perhaps. - Rad] and he has softened towards her so I doubt this strategy is going to pay off. But come on it's got to be Michael for the chop.

Sensing that Claire's little speech has cemented her place for next week Jenny turns on Michael and the bribing fiasco. But it wasn’t him he just backed Jenny Chin up he says. Maguire points out you wouldn’t want a liar or a cheat in your company - she has a point. Michael ‘doesn’t want to go mental’ but he wants this more than anything and if Sralan is still apprehensive about him, he should let him be PM again. Can I say what a fucking lame card this one is? [Me, too. I HATE the 'make me PM' card. It was kind of cool when Alexa did it, but since then, no. I want Sralan to call them on that tactic next time - Rad] Of course you’ll try extra hard when you’re PM but you should try that hard every task ARGH!

Sralan can’t be have liars and cheats YAY... o hang on, he was young once, Michael reminds him of himself [At 22? Like fuck is MS 22 - Rad], confusing over enthusiasm yadda yadda WHAT? Fair play to Jenny Maguire ‘if you want liars and cheats in your company fire me now’. ‘You’re making a scapegoat, like a politician or something’ whines Michael. God he is a cunt, a whiny little liar and cheat whose got caught out. He wants his pants taken down and his bum smacking, and while you’re there check for evidence of a foreskin and we can settle that debate too.


Sralan makes it sound like Jenny Maguire is totally 2 faced which I don’t think is actually true. But he fires Jenny Maguire anyway. I don’t believe he's let Michael get away with it! Neither does Michael as he mops his fevered brow.

Eviction coat watch - black belted trench coat. She has a very waspy waist.

On their way back to the house, Claire says the boardroom is just people talking shit, she's been through it twice before and it's making her harder and more resilient. At work her name is the rottweiler. If I were her I’d stop equating myself with dogs, it makes it far too easy for people to draw easy and cruel comparisons.

Back at the house they all assume Michael playing the Jewish card has sealed his fate and are shocked when he walks in.

Next week
Its the National Wedding show, selling wedding dresses. Lucinda in a sexy red number with a tape measure around her neck *swoons and falls over* [Does your husband know about this? - Rad]


Reya said...

Leeds castle is actually in Kent. Strange I know. But it is very beautiful, so not quite as bad as the reward sounded.

Really wish Claire had been fired. Or Michael. I was enjoying admiring Jenny M's outfits.

CCB said...

Dear Margaret,

You can really go off someone, you know.

Nick for the win!

MA (Hons.) - Edinburgh, 2001

Tellygirl said...

Moroccan shopkeepers for the win.

I'm still not over Michael not being sacked, he'd better go this week.

mrschaieb said...

I also love Margaret and it's great that she and Nick seem to be having a larger starring role. Enjoyed the other Apprentice show (can't remember what its called) where they showed all Jenny Maguire's facial expressions - what a stunner.

Good blog, almost as good as Bitching on Ice ;o)