Week Ten: Original airdate 27th May 2008
I've just noticed this week: the opening titles of this show clearly include Sralan Sugar saying: "Don't start telling me you're just like me. No one's like me. I'm unique." So why, precisely, is Michael Sophocles still there, if not the fact that he reminds you of a young you, Sralan? This show makes less and less sense every week. If I tuned in to next week's show to find Margaret speaking Urdu while hanging upside down reading a Candace Bushnell novel and Nick clog-dancing on a panel of glass while Lucinda makes curds and Alex sits in the corner gibbering "I'm a good boy" over and over again, I wouldn't be in the least surprised.
Also, whenever he exclaims "this is outrageous!", I want to shout "this is contagious!" like in that song from Peep Show, but maybe that's just me.
Previously: Sralan told the teams to advertise tissues, and Raef promptly had a heart murmur at the thought of doing anything so shamelessly commercial when there is art to be made. Raef hired Sian Lloyd and didn't use her, Lucinda fought with Lee and Alex, not that I can blame her, Michael Sophocles was responsible for everything that was ever awesome, and Raef got the boot. Now, six remain!
Early morning, establishing shots of the house in broad daylight at what is apparently 7am. Isn't it normally a lot darker than this at 7am? Did the clocks go back at some point during filming [probably - it would have been in the Autumn so that would make sense - Rad]? Anyway, Claire answers the phone, dressed in a vest top and trousers with her hair fairly neat which suggests she's been up for a while. NotFrances says that Sralan would like to meet them in the breakers' yard in Wembley, and they must be ready to leave in half an hour. A bleary-eyed and shirtless Michael Sophocles (DO NOT WANT) asks Claire where they're going. A suddenly bedheaded and white towelling robe-clad Claire relays this information to Lee. Bad continuity editor! No biscuit! "It's not going to fucking stop, is it?" whines Michael Sophocles. It will when you get fired, asshole.
Michael Sophocles interviews that he's worn out, and says that in the past few weeks he's had it harder than anyone. Primarily due to being shitter than anyone, but that's not for here. In a rare moment in which he's actually quite sweet and endearing, Michael Sophocles confesses that he needs to win this task, but he keeps saying that and he keeps losing. Aww.
Random shot of a nightgown-clad Lucinda walking down the hallway and kicking what appears to be her pink beret out of the way. If so: awesome.
London porn. Breakers' yard in Wembley. Alex is wearing that ridiculously overstated coat with the collar popped which makes me want to punch him, and he's not even said anything yet. Lucinda is disappointingly sporting just a plain black dress with a red overcoat and no sign of a beret. Perhaps she's ill.
Sralan explains the task: it's all about cars. The teams will be finding customers to rent "very special cars" to, but not the scrap cars, but supercars. The aforementioned cars drive into the yard, and Alex and Lee pretty much ejaculate on the spot. For a second I think about poor useless Kevin and how much he would've loved this task. And then I forget all about him again. The team that returns with the most amount of lease money will win. Michael Sophocles will be the Renaissance team leader, and Lee will lead Alpha.
Narrator Mark informs us that supercar rental is a fast-expanding business. I don't really get that, personally, because I'm not really sure what the point is of hiring a flash car for a couple of days. Surely the whole point of being seen in one of those is so everyone can coo over it and go, "ooh, is this yours?" I would've thought it ruins the effect if you have to answer "until 5pm tomorrow, yes." But then I drive a Ford Fiesta and I earn less than £30k a year so I suspect I'm really not the target market here. Lee interviews that it was a jaw-dropping moment when the cars arrive. True to form, he sits in one revving the engine and says, "That's what I'm talking about!" Sigh. I've grown so very, very tired of Lee and his novelty catchphrases [catchphrase, surely? There's only one - Rad]. [Well there is also CUMOOOOON which normally preceeds whatever it is he is talking about- Fiona]
Each team must pick two cars, but the cars vary in rentable value, from £600 to nearly £3000 a day. Michael Sophocles interviews that he abhors cars and that they're alien to him. Oh dear. He and Claire eye up a Ferrari at £675 per day, which is one of the cheaper options. Lee likes the Zonda, which is apparently one of the rarest and most expensive cars in the world. Also: one of the ugliest. Trufax. Also, it can't be rented by the hour. This one is £2750 per day. To anyone reading this who's considering renting that car: I think it's only fair I warn you now that we will never be friends [However, I'll be friends with you if you buy me lots of nice food and drink and lend me money without expecting to ever get it back. I've turned so amoral since I stopped going to church on a regular basis- Rad]. Claire engages in one of the first of many shots in tonight's episode of women struggling to exit the car in an elegant fashion while keeping the colour of their underwear a mystery.
The PMs have to choose which cars they want, and Michael Sophocles wins the toss. Michael Sophocles picks the Ferrari F360, while Lee plumps for an Aston Martin which is the same price as the Ferrari. Michael Sophocles's second choice is something called a Spyker (don't look at me, I know as little about cars as he does), which is £1200 a day. Lee deliberates of his second choice, but goes for the Zonda. Lucinda looks apprehensive.
The task will end at Canary Wharf, and Sralan has arranged for marquees to be erected for the candidates to sell to city boys. I steel myself for the possibility of seeing my ex-boyfriend at some point during the show. Before then, they have to decide where the big money punters will be. Personally I would've spent the entire day at Canary Wharf, but perhaps that's against the rules.
Alpha are brainstorming ideas, and Lucinda suggests a promotional raffle, which Alex thinks is a great idea and Lee concurs. And I think we all know that where these three are involved, such mature and harmonious professionalism cannot last long. Alex suggests 100 tickets at £30 a pop. Lee's impressed.
9am. The cars are outside the house, and the teams are looking at where to take them. Claire is being very efficient and telling Michael Sophocles where all the city boys and stockbrokers can be found, identifying areas such as Spitalfields. Nick interviews that city boys like fast cars, but since Nick also interviewed that rich people would never go to Birmingham, I don't tend to take anything he says as gospel any more. Michael Sophocles is already floundering. In a meeting, Helene puts forward the brilliant notion that they need to find people with a lot of money. Well, duh. She then grouses in an interview that Michael is miserable and doesn't like cars. I'm sure Helene is doing a lot to rouse the team's morale in the temporary absence of her team leader's spirit fingers, though. To conclude the general sense of epic fail, Michael Sophocles can't even remember the name of his cars [of which there are TWO, it's hardly a stall full of fish - Rad].
Over on Alpha, Alex is confident of a win and loves selling, so he can't wait to get out there and start. I feel really sorry for Lucinda, being stuck with Lee and Alex on this most testosteroney of tasks. I'm surprised it didn't cause her to spontaneously grow a beard. Risk Manager Lucinda, however, is scared of sales, but promises to try her hardest.
At 10am, Renaissance leave. Narrator Mark explains that the two teams must split, which means one person from each team must work alone. On Renaissance, this person is Michael Sophocles, who explains that this is because he wants to prove that he can do something on his own. Cut to Helene and Claire in the other car. Claire: "How do you think Michael is?" Helene: "Shit." Claire: "I think he's shit as well." Heh.
Back at the house, there's an argument breaking out over whose idea the raffle was, since Alex is trying to claim it was his. Lucinda points out that it was hers, Alex disagrees, Lee sides with Alex. Lee then correctly says that it's not relevant right now whose idea it is, which causes Lucinda to snit that it's "so unjust", and Alex to say in the most passive-aggressive way possible, "you can have the idea if you want." Oh, how magnanimous of you. TWAT. God, I hate him. Lucinda complains about not being given credit, and Lee complains in a separate interview that Lucinda won't let it the fuck go. And really, everyone's right and wrong all at the same time here, so let's just move on. There's then a scene where they're trying to open the ludicrously large glass doors out of the house and Lee drops his papers on the floor while Lucinda strides outside and ignores him, which I expect to turn out to be important later and yet it doesn't. Hmm.
Lucinda does not want to be by herself, and Lee assures her that she won't be. Alex says that "if it was [sic] me, I'd want the two best salespeople selling the most unique [sic] product which is the Zonda", and grammar fans across the country gently weep. Lee then says that he agrees with that, but he doesn't want Lucinda going on her own, in the sort of manner in which one might talk about sending a four-year-old into a public lavatory, while Lucinda is right there. Ass. "That's your decision," says Alex, every bit as passive-aggressive as before. He is such a shit. Lucinda gets on the passive-aggressive bandwagon, saying that if they want her to go on her own, and they obviously do, then she can go on her own. Lee enquires if this means she wants to go on her own, and Lucinda confirms it does not. Jesus wept. Put together, this team has a collective level of emotional maturity just shy of that of my slippers. Lee and Alex set off with the Zonda, leaving Lucinda to fend for herself.
Michael has taken the Ferrari to Knightsbridge, for reasons best known to himself, since I would've thought your average shopper there on a weekday would be older and female and therefore not even remotely your target market. Michael Sophocles interviews that he is a born salesman. He erects a sandwich board on the pavement as a bunch of teenagers look on with barely-disguised amusement. Claire and Helene, however, have gone to Spitalfields with the Spyker, and soon gain the attention of nearby office workers.
Helene interviews that people don't always like the cheeky sales patter, and sometimes people want a professional chat. Helene tells a prospective punter that the car is very unique (AAAAARGH), and that it's important that you know how to drive it and know what you're doing. If anyone's keeping score, that's totally the moment where she would've lost me. Claire, on the other hand, has got the patter going with a besuited chap, and gets Helene to rev the engine for him. It pays off, and Claire gets a two-hour rental worth £250. The man says his wife is going to kill him. I am so Team Wife.
Lee and Alex arrive at the London Stock Exchange with the Zonda. People everywhere are photographing it with their camera phones. Losers. Lee tries the patter with a few people. For the record, Alex and Lee are dressed up in dinner suits with bow ties (Alex's is done up, Lee's is hanging rakishly around his collar) and look utterly ridiculous. Alex in particular looks like a little boy playing dress-up, and Lee really needs a fucking shave. Lee's sales patter seems to amount to "can I interest you in a Zonda today?", which isn't hugely impressive [Alex's sales patter probably revolves around flirting, just like he's flirted with all his team leaders and thus avoided the boardroom so many times. But knowing Alex, it will be passive-agggressive flirting. If you can get passive-aggressive flirting. - Rad]. [Believe me you can, remember my university stalkers? - Fiona]
The Aston Martin is being sold by no one, because Lucinda is being kept busy perforating raffle tickets, which she considers to be a very important job. Oh, Lucinda.
Knightsbridge sidestreet. Michael Sophocles stands all alone with his sad little sandwich board. He phones Claire and tells her the area's dead, and Claire says that she doesn't know what to say to that. Heh. Narrator Mark says that Londoner Michael Sophocles uses his local knowledge to pick a new location. This would, presumably, be the same local knowledge that led him to deduce that central London is nearer to north London than it is to south London, yes? Michael Sophocles's brilliant new plan? To go to Portobello Market. Oy. He thinks there will be more people there. More people, yes. More prospective leasers of a performance car, I very much doubt it.
Spitalfields, Claire racks up another deal for three hours. Helene appears to be standing there with her hands in her pockets spouting vague platitudes to Claire's customers. Claire gets yet another deal.
1pm, and the Zonda isn't selling. Even with Lee's foolproof sales technique? Lucinda arrives in the hope that Lee will help her sell the Aston Martin, but no dice. Lee tells her he's staying there, and asks if she's happy with that. Lucinda reminds him that she said she wanted to be with someone, and Lee basically says "tough shit, you're doing it on your own." I understand his reasons for wanting to stay, but don't say "is that okay with you?" if you haven't got a plan b lined up in the event of a negative response. Lee tells Lucinda that he wants himself and Alex as the two strongest salespeople to stay with the Zonda, at which point Alex greases up and smarms "Lee, am I all right to go back to...?" and Lee dismisses him. Alex is so foul. Alex, Best Salesperson in Europe With The Possible Exception of Jennifer Maguire, then ambles up to someone and indifferently asks him if he's interested in renting a Zonda for a day. Yep, I can see why you'd want to keep those l33t sales skillz in the mad money zone. [I would have thought it makes more sense to have a 'strong' salesperson with each car Fiona]
Lucinda complains that she said from the start she didn't want to be left on her own, and Lee says he isn't going to hold her hand. Lucinda objects to his terminology, and Lee asks her what she'd call it, then. Oy. He is really not a people person. Lucinda says that she needs "support", and Lee offers her support - over the phone if she needs it. Lucinda accepts this with barely disguised ill grace and slopes away looking tearful. And just for the record, while I think Lee has handled most of these meetings appallingly, Lucinda has hardly covered herself in glory here either. Lee continues to push for deals, with what looks like little success, and by mid afternoon they still haven't got any deals. One chap, however, suddenly displays an interest and Lee invites him to sit in the car. Lee sits in the passenger seat and Alex hovers around the driver door, essentially blocking the guy in, and that's the kind of bullshit sales tactic that would have me out of there sharpish. The man does not agree with me, however, and books the package. Lee celebrates with Alex: "We done it together mate, thass what I'm talkin abahhht." Give me strength.
Portobello Market. Fruit and veg stalls everywhere, and an extremely incongruous Ferrari driving down the middle. Michael finds a parking space behind a lorry, and I can tell you now that in the unlikely event of me looking to hire a Ferrari, I would not lease it from a man standing next to a pile of cardboard boxes in a fruit and veg market. Many people look admiringly at the car, but no buyers. Michael Sophocles tells the camera that "without wishing to sound snobbish, these people aren't really wealthy enough." Yeah! Dum dums! His luck looks in, however, when one man expresses an interest, and all goes well until the man asks about insurance and Michael Sophocles admits there's a £5000 deposit. Fuck me. Yeah, now I definitely would never hire one of these cash-devouring monstrosities. The man is less enthusiastic at the prospect of losing five grand, despite Michael Sophocles's protests that if you have the car for half a day, there's only around a 2% chance of you writing it off. Heh. The man is not so keen any more, so Michael Sophocles pulls out his best sales pitch: "Go on! Go on!" The man says he has to walk away now because he's worried he'll sign up. Michael Sophocles tries to talk him into taking an hour at least, but the man cannot be swayed. Michael runs after him and asks if he can go with him to his meeting. This is just sad [and quite frankly terrifying - Rad]. [At this point I am sure Rent Boy has actually become seriously unbalanced - Fiona]
Lucinda in her car phones Lee to ask if she should sell the raffle tickets or not. Lee says yes, but not if she can only sell one or two. Lucinda points out that she can't tell at the point she sells her first ticket if she's only going to sell two more, and asks for clarification. Lee: "If you go to an area where three people walk past, don't sell them a raffle ticket each because you're only selling three." Yes, but I don't think it was basic mathematics that was troubling her here. They go back and forth like this for ages, with Lucinda asking him to make a call one way or the other, and Lee telling her to use her own judgement but not to only sell one or two. The whole thing is ridiculous - Lucinda may well be trying to utterly abdicate responsibility for the idea she fought so hard to claim for her own, but Lee's "sell tickets, but know before you sell how many you are going to sell" advice is totally useless and impractical. Lucinda hangs up and laughs despairingly. At the other end, Lee's all "just fucking make a decision, man", which: take your own advice, jackhole [And to think in the early stages, Lee McQueen loked alright. Now, like all the rest of them, he's just a dick - Rad]. [I don't think even referring to himself in the third person is going to save him now - Fiona]
Lucinda tries to sell the Aston Martin, but keeps calling it a Zonda. That's pretty unforgiveable. Not that it makes any difference because she's not getting any interest anyway, though she seems to be having fun. Nick observes that Lee and Alex have disowned Lucinda, and as a result she has retired into martyrdom, which is pretty much on the money.
5pm, and everyone's heading to Canary Wharf to go head-to-head selling to boorish bankers. Lucinda asks to shadow Lee before setting off on her own to pick up some sales skills. Unfortunately, Lee crashes and burns repeatedly, so what she learns is negligible. Michael Sophocles is trying to sell to some non-povs, and has written the name of his car on his hand. Heh. Claire continues to make deals, but for hours, not days. She interviews that it's difficult to get them to sign up for days or weekend. Helene tries to pitch to a really skeevy guy, who, when asked which one he likes the best, replies "You." Helene gamely flirts back with him, but I'm pretty sure she's mentally calculating the number of showers she will need before she can truly feel clean again.
Thus far, only Claire and Lee have made sales. Lucinda tries to sell the Zonda as being "almost like a Batmobile, but heavier." [Are they going to be lifting it? - Fiona] The inside of Lucinda's mind is truly a fascinating place. The Really Skeevy Guy gets a good grip on the gearshift of the Spyker while Helene smiles wanly and focuses on the smell of money. Lucinda mispronounces the name of the Zonda. Alex comes close with a couple of guys, but they need to go away and think about it. Alex interviews "Inside my brain, I am meant to be a high-calibre salesman. I've worked for ten hours, and I've not sold one hour of a car." The inside of Alex's brain sounds a lot less interesting than the inside of Lucinda's. Lucinda gets a sale! Only £65, but it's "better than a kick in the teeth", as she says.
Docklands porn. Michael Sophocles tries to flatter a man into a sale by telling him how good he'd look in the car, but it backfires somewhat when the man returns the compliment. I'm thinking Michael Sophocles and Helene might actually have had more luck with an out-and-out prostitution task this week. It's not like he hasn't got form, after all. Claire and Helene go to spy on the other team, just in time to see Alex do a day's deal on the Zonda. Noooooooooo! I do not want to live in a world where Alex succeeds! Michael Sophocles offers to throw in a bottle of champagne for a day with the Ferrari, and lands the deal.
9.28pm, with moments to go, so you know something crazy and last-minute is going to happen. Renaissance are winding down, but over on Alpha Alex gets a call from a guy he met earlier who wants to go through with the deal. They've got 60 seconds to get his signature, apparently, though I refuse to believe the footage that follows took place in less than that. Anyway, Alex's client signs, and Alpha are happy.
Boardroom. Sralan asks Lee about the distribution of the team. Lee admits that Lucinda was sent off on her own, and Sralan asks Lucinda if she was pushed to one side. Lucinda says she was, but says that she was impressed by her own improvement during the day. Sralan is amused by this, and asks if she landed any sales. Lucinda skates around the issue for quite some time before revealing her total as £65.
Sralan turns to Michael Sophocles and asks why he didn't go for the top price cars. Michael Sophocles says they didn't think they could shift the higher-end vehicles, and with him and Helene on the team, he's probably right. Sralan asks where they pitched up, and is perturbed by the revelation that Michael Sophocles went to Portobello Market. Michael Sophocles is forced to admit he made no sales during the day.
Figures! Margaret says that Renaissance did a number of deals for £2,114. Nick says that Alpha came roaring through with a total of £11,815, over £8,000 of which came from Alex, and Lee made £3,400. Sralan is impressed with Alex, who is so getting the winner's edit right now [which can so fuck off because he's an utter cunt. I don't like any of them much, but he's my least wanted. Except Sophocles, obviously - Rad]. Sralan twists the knife with Lucinda by saying that she's learnt so much over the past 10 weeks that she sold £65 out of £11,000, which is kind of a dickish move. Lucinda tries to protest, but Sralan cuts her off - probably for her own good. Alpha's reward is wine tasting at a Mayfair hotel. Renaissance are dismissed.
Loser Café. Michael Sophocles thinks maybe it was the choice of cars. Helene says that the other team managed to sell days and they didn't. She adds that she wouldn't have expected herself to do that, coming from a non-sales background, but she would've thought Claire and Michael Sophocles could've done it. Helene truly is the master of the post-failure CYA arrangements. Michael Sophocles thinks Helene should be fired for being "insignificant" in this task. Michael Sophocles vows to go to the boardroom "full of stout heart". He really isn't that annoying in this episode, which is annoying of itself.
Final boardroom. Sralan tells Renaissance he's trying to see where the remaining finalists would fit into his organisation. He berates Michael Sophocles for his lack of sales, to which Michael Sophocles responds that there were no customers. Is that the worst boardroom defence ever? It has to at least be in the top five. Sralan points out that they picked the locations, and asked Michael Sophocles to say what he's good at. Michael Sophocles says he's a fantastic salesman, but Sralan points out that he didn't sell anything, and was outmatched by Claire.
Sralan turns to Helene and says that her "posture" reminds him of the Mona Lisa. I suspect he means "composure" rather than "posture", unless he has a problem with Helene sitting up straight. Helene bats back that her "posture" may be restrained, but that's because she was brought up to show respect, and not to bang the table. Hee. Sralan repeats that he's trying to think where she would slot into his organisation, and that he's struggling to figure out what she does. Well, he's the one with her CV, so he's probably got a far clearer idea of what a "Global Pricing Leader" does than the rest of us. He points out that Helene sold nothing at all on this task, and that Michael Sophocles is a disaster zone and that she might be wondering what he's still doing there. SHE WOULDN'T BE ALONE. Sralan explains that Michael Sophocles (a) is very young and (b) has some good points about him. He doesn't elaborate. He says that Claire has a mouth the size of Blackwall tunnel (hardly fair, since Claire's really toned down the outspokenness lately), but is a great salesperson and presenter. He's seen nothing from Helene, however. Helene admits she's never done direct sales, and that this side of things was always going to be difficult for her, but she isn't riding on anyone's coat-tails. Sralan disagrees, and says he has intuitive feelings about people, which is why Michael Sophocles is still there, but he hasn't got a reason for Helene to be around next week.
Sralan asks Helene who he should fire. There's a Pinteresque pause while Helene tries to come up with the most valid answer that isn't "me" before she names Michael Sophocles. Sralan says it's easy to name Michael Sophocles because he's the team leader. Helene protests that she's stood up for him in the past, but he was extremely demotivated going into the task and failed to lift his own or the team's spirits.
Claire has been sitting quietly throughout, and is asked for her opinion on who should go. Claire says that in terms of figures Helene should go, but that Michael contributed the least as a team member. Michael Sophocles, clearly seeing the buzzards circling, says that while he is young and naive, he thinks he's shown "glimmers of brilliance" while he's been here. Sralan scoffs at this, as well he might.
Sralan begins to sum up by saying that he's at a period where he needs to get rid of no hopers in his organisation, and right now he's got two of them in front of him. I get excited at the prospect of another double firing, but to no avail: he sends them all out so he can have a think. When the candidates have left, Nick says that Helene has no impact and is unmemorable. This is true; half the time I forget she's still on the show. Sralan mulls over a double firing, but I will not be fooled again. NotFrances sends Renaissance back in.
Back in the boardroom, Sralan asks them all to explain why they should stay. Michael Sophocles begins by saying that he's only been working for a year, [a year?! - Fiona] and he's got raw abilities that can be shaped. Oh my God, he's Pirate Jessie. He adds that sometimes he miscontrues how much he wants this, but it means more to him than anything and he wants another chance [I am so sick of his crappy boardroom whies. He gives the worst boardroom of any candidate EVER - Rad]. Helene refers to her excellent track record with her previous company, saying that she delivered every year and was promoted annually as a result. Sralan says that he deals with big companies every day, and basically goes on a five minute rant about how he's a salt-of-the-earth type who grafts all the livelong day while people in big corporations sit on their arses and don't do any work. Michael tries to cut in and Helene shoots him down with a curt "this is about me, actually, at the minute" [win - Rad] and tells Sralan that her company doesn't suffer fools either and would've fired her if she wasn't pulling her weight. She says that she's here because she wants to work for him, and adds that what annoys her about the other candidates is that they think she shouldn't be there because she's from a large corporation. Sralan tells her that she comes "tainted" with seven years experience of an environment that doesn't exist in his corporation, adding that there are no "cosy carpets" at their place. What the hell? I now have images of the halls of Viglen being bare planks of wood with hooknails sticking out of them and all the staff walking gingerly along the perimeter, desperately trying to avoid falling into the various gaping chasms that exist along the way. Helene says that it would have been easy to stay, but she came here to challenge herself, and that Michael's inexperience doesn't make him any more suitable. [Helene so gave good boardroom here, and yet you could just see Sralan going 'but ya're a bladdy WOMAN' in his head at anything she said - Rad] [She has been unremarkable but I have a lot more respect for her after the way she stood up for herself - Fiona]
Sralan notes that Claire is "uncharacteristically quiet" and Claire replies that she's "trying to regulate how much I talk". Michael Sophocles giggles at this, as do I. Sralan tells Claire that he's seen improvement and results out of her in the past ten weeks, so she will not be fired. So it's down to Michael Sophocles and Helene. Michael Sophocles has been in the boardroom a lot, and has, by his own admission, fought hard. Sralan wonders, however, if his luck is running out. He turns to Helene, who tries to speak in her own defence, but is cut off [which he never did to Michael these last few weeks. But then Michael is like the son he never had. Helene, like Lucinda, whom he also cut off mid-speech, is just a woman. Gah. - Rad]. He says that he doesn't know what she's about, and all she has going for her is that she works for a big corporation known to be mercenary, but he worries that she'll expect too much cosiness, or something. Helene tries to protest again, and someone - I think Nick - coughs loudly, presumably as code for "shut up, you fool!"
Final judgement time: Sralan has to make a difficult decision, but this time Michael Sophocles is fired. He thanks Sralan for the opportunity and exits. Helene and Claire go back to the house.
Coatwatch: long, dark, black, unremarkable.
In his cab interview, Michael Sophocles thinks Sralan liked him and saw echoes of himself in there, which he's pleased about.
Back at the house, Lee doesn't care who goes. Alex is wearing a stupid scarf thing. Helene and Claire return to moderate approval, and Claire gleefully relates how Helene was very nearly toast [which was weird, considering they've been portraying Claire and Helene as BFFs for the last few weeks - Rad]. Lee says that he's pleased to be in the final five, and Helene agrees. Lee's next goal is to get to the final, so he apologises that three of them will be fired. Har har.
Next week: interviews! Karren Brady! Lee squawking like a twat! [Alex getting fired? - Rad] [We can hope - Fiona]