Week Eleven. Original air date 4th June.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. These people want jobs. Sralan is as a god to you loathsome plebs. You know the score. Previously, the team tried to sell rides in cars. Michael’s insult your customer and then cry technique failed and he was, finally, fired. Lee was the ‘latest in a long line of project managers’ to clash with Lucinda.
Alex got £10,000 of business selling rides in shiny cars to men with small penises who wanted to compensate for it. He really was terribly good at that. Hmm. And apparently the economy really is in a bad state, because inflation is spiralling so badly that the £8,000 Alex made last week has risen to £10,000 in just a week. Stupid show. Sralan told Helene she was boring and shit.
Early morning call. Various candidates perform various ablutions. Shirtless Lee. Whatevs. Not/Frances phones. They’re off to one of Sralan’s head offices. They all know this is when Sralan sets his personal attack dogs on them. Lee is nervous because he’s going to get ‘an arsechewing’. His words, not mine.
Lucinda earns over £100,00 a year, and has been on the winning side on eight out of ten tasks. And should have won the icecream one except for stupid flukey last minute sales. She’s determined and stuff. Claire has six losses, the most. [Except Alex has also been on the losing team six times, and unlike Claire, has actually been the project manager of a losing team. Funny how that got brushed under the carpet. - Steve] She says losing is character building. I admire her stoicism but it’s not like she could say anything else. Lee has never been brought back in to the boardroom on a losing team. He tries to draw a football analogy. And fails.
In the car, Claire goes ‘it’s so exciting’ in a crazy voice. Heart Claire a little bit.
Alex draws attention to the fact that, at 24, he is YOUNG. His CV is not ‘long in the tooth’. He’s dynamic and agile. I’m not sure what he thinks the final job is going to be, where agility is part of the remit. Oh well, at least he didn’t say ‘supple’. Or ‘lithe’. Helene is a pricing leader for a global corporation. I still don’t know what that means. She claims she has a good CV and it’s not bullshit and she’s giving everything she’s got. Yawn.
Funky spy music plays as the cars pull up. Lucinda is resplendent in red. Sralan introduces the interviews. His rottweilers will report back and three people will get fired tomorrow.
Lee’s claims that his arse is on the floor because he’s shitting himself. Enough. I don’t even want to think about Alex’s arse, let alone Lee’s. [I still think about Lee's arse on occasion, but not in this context - Fiona]
Sralan’s rottweilers are:
Property magnate Paul Kemsley. He is assigned to go after strength of character in the candidates. He calls Alex boring.
Claude Litner was Sralan’s troubleshooter but is now his own boss. He calls Lucinda unemployable.
Gordon Catchup, CE of Viglen, says to Claire ‘you’re not the apprentice are you?’
Karren Brady, MD of Birmingham City football club, is A Bladdy Woman. She has to focus on personal strengths of the candidates, because god forbid a woman actually try to assess people on business acumen. She pwns lee on his skills.
All these people, with the possible exception of Brady, are vile, so I reserve the right to have spelt their names wrong and refer to them as different people.
Lee again says he’s nervous. WE GET IT. All his hard work could be out the window.
He says ‘good to meet ya’ to Paul. First impressions, Lee. Paul says that Lee’s CV says he uses humour to lighten things and asks Lee to perform his ‘reverse pterodactyl’ impression. Lee wheels his arms backwards and squawks. It’s bizarre. And I want to know what a forward pterodactyl looks like, and why a reverse one is necessary. Paul didn’t find it funny, and Sralan wouldn’t either. He asks why Lee didn’t say no, that it was a serious interview, and he wasn’t going to mess around. The answer is because Lee is a puppy dog who is so desperate to please that if you kicked him in the face he’d apologise for getting spittle on your shoes. But he tries to prove his seriousness, by giving an example of when he fired a 42 year old man with kids, who begged for his job. Nice. [And going on what happens later, I bet he totally made this up - Rad]
In the waiting room, Lee complains to Claire he was called nice. Claire’s like, that’s good! Lee says nice guys don’t win. Claire’s, like, ‘oh’. [Tim Campbell, nice guy, winner. Michelle Dewberry/Simon Ambrose - hardly nasty. Winners - Rad] [Tell that to Simon's former tenants. - Steve]
Claude says Lucinda is unemployable. She says that she’s a contractor and has never been out of work, so she’s not unemployable, you twat, as people keep employing her. He says ‘isn’t it because you’re unemployable?’ and somehow tries to twist the fact that Lucinda can swoop in and demand a massive amount of money for various companies into the fact that she can’t get a permanent job. It’s the weakest argument ever. He says that Lucinda is shit at teamwork. That’s fairer. She does tend to pout a bit when she’s not in charge. He asks how it was with the team mates. She says it was a struggle.
Claire says to Helene that Lucinda will stutter and get told to shut up and does a little posh ‘em.. hem…but I’ impression which, though mean, is not inaccurate. Lucinda says people don’t like her because nice voice and funny dress sense. Claude says ‘what about listening?’ Lucinda reiterates that she can do teamwork. Claude remains unconvinced. In the waiting room, Lucinda says to the others, ‘What am I doing here? Do I want to be a permanent employee with little diversity? I’d be crawling the walls.’ [Why does anyone want to work for NotAmstrad? It sounds dreadful. I still don't think Tim or Michelle have recovered - Rad]
Claude talks to Claire. He doesn’t like how she’s been in cosmetic, it seems, because he rants on about it. She was a club rep. OH! That makes so much sense. She claims that she likes a drink and likes boys, but hasn’t done anything her grandma would be embarrassed by. In her company, she increased profit to £8million. She’s on £85k, her bonus was £27k. He says that she’s shit at negotiating and should have got more money if she made that much profit. Outside, Claire says he was hot and Neanderthal and she should have sucked his lips off. [Yet another mental image I didn't need - Fiona]
One of the male rottweilers says to Alex, ‘you work in a supermarket?’ Alex is like, was fuck you I’m a regional manager. The bloke, says ‘Your CV is shit’. Alex thanks him. Karren asks Alex what his substance is. He says I’m great for my age, which is 24. I’m the best 24 year old ever and have achieved more than should ever be possible for one so very, very young. I’m practically a foetus. Karen says, ‘I ran a football club at 23, twatnut, what else you got?’
Claude questions why Alex has ‘English (fluent)’ listed on his CV. Is that not a given, pretty boy? [Well, Lee probably couldn't put that on his... - Steve] Alex says that he, at 24, is better than his friends, who are also 24, and went to private school for 14 years. Claude asks Alex what he’ll offer Sralan. Alex says he’s adaptable. And 24. Claude is like stop talking shit and give me something to work with. Alex claims to be ‘motivational’. So he doesn’t really say anything at all.
Helene talks about how she’s ballsy and a rottweiler is like ‘you’re not ballsy, you’re A Bladdy Woman’ and she’s like ‘I ran a team of all male engineers, and took over from a man in his 40s and they resisted and I whipped their sorry arses into show, the same way I will do yours if you continue to question my ballsiness.’ He’s like, but you ‘re leaving that job, with the implication that she can’t handle it and is, in fact, not ballsy, and she’s like yes I fucking am leaving cos I’m better than that job.
Brady asks Helene her best most defining experience. She talks about her alcoholic parents meaning she had to leave school really early and fought her way up. Credit where it’s due, she isn’t keen to talk about it and doesn’t seem entirely to rely on it, so she’d never get anywhere on the X Factor. Karen asks if it makes Helene a stronger candidate? Yes! She then tells Karren she struggled with the process cos she’s not used to being surrounded by 15 gobshites. Which, HA!, but also, perhaps not the best turn of phrase in a job interview.
Lucinda meets Paul. She likes pressing flowers, scuba diving and Chinese medicine. He then says she’s not a serious business woman. Because if she were a serious business woman, she’d be a man. He say she’ll probably fuck off and open a yoga retreat in Nepal. Because yoga is the same as aromatherapy and Chinese medicine if you’re A Tough No-Nonsense Businessman. Lucinda says that if she’d wanted to open a yoga retreat in Nepal she’d have done it by now. He says ‘are you motivated by money?’ and Lucinda totally pwns him with ‘no, because I earn in excess of what they’re offering’.
In the waiting area, they all sit about and bitch about Lucinda not wanting the job. Lucinda says she’s struggled with the process of people cackling and shoving. She says the process wasn’t fair. Paul is like ‘you’re a stupid gobby bitch who likes flowers and I hate you because you’re not a cunt’. Lucinda says, ‘nice to meet you anyway’.
Alex is told to find some energy. He goes on about being on full commission, which proves he has Hardcore Biznizz Skillz. His family got forced to move out…so they went to a farm and sold rocks and made money. And that’s entrepreneurial. Well done. I might have missed a step, but I swear that’s what he said. [He did - he and his brother sold rocks and made £7000 A WEEK. Of course they did. - Rad]
Scary cellos of doom.
Claude rips apart Lee’s application because he made about a million spelling mistakes. Lee is disappointed by his ‘grammical’ errors. Claude is like, did you do a degree pussy boy? Lee’s like, nah I’m thick. I did a two-year course for my catering managerness. Claude is like the uni says you were there 4 months! You lying little scrote. Cluade is worried that someone’s able to bullshit and Lee’s like i’m not going to bullshit and Claude’s like you just did. Lee’s got a blip in his integrity but he was ashamed about being thick. Poor Lee. It’s not his fault he’s badly educated and perhaps dyslexic, but lying on your CV for The Apprentice was bladdy stupid.
Helene’s form said ‘I’ve dipped my toe in the sea of success and am ready to dive into the ocean of opportunity.’ Oh man.
Claire says Sralan calls her big gob motor mouth but she doesn’t like all talk and no action, and she gets things done. She expects high standards and if she wants an email by 10 am she wants it there at 10 am. If she didn’t get it, she’d yell, and if she didn’t get it again, she’d stop working with that person.
Karren’s like why do you want it Lucinda? You earn more money, you’re doing what you like. Lucinda says it’s not money, she wants to be the best she can in a role that stretches her. Karren, being a nasty bitch, goes to the appearance well and is a bit snide about Lucinda’s colourful clothes and berets. Lucinda says that she stands out, which isn’t a bad thing, and the minute she opens her mouth they know she means business. Lee asks how she did. Lucinda says she felt better in the afternoon than the morning andnow she does want it.
Lucinda to-cameras that she’s glad to do it because she’s not a quitter. She’s got the skills and credibility and personality. Claire says for every her you need 10 quieter people, but people like her bring the business forward. Lee talks about being thick some more and says he made a mistake and learned from it. Not so much a mistake as a deliberate act, piggy, but I’ll let you off.
They’re all done. Back at the house, Lee says, ‘tomorrow, three of you will get fired’ and Alex is like three of YOU? Helene says there’s no shame in going in final five. Other than the shame of wanting to be on The Apprentice in the first place, of course.
Next day. Board room./ The rottweilers sit opposite Sralan, like candidates. Sralan thanks them for their time and so on.
Gordon says Alex is nice, positive, really wants the job. He was impressed that Alex was commission-only. Paul says he thinks Alex will be surprised because he likes him – he’s young (JUST 24!!!) and ambitious. Karren says he’s charming and good looking. We cut back to her interviewing him about his good looks, and she says he should embrace it and shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Sralan’s like ‘I’veve always traded on my looks’. They lol. Karren says Alex is The Apprentice. Nick suddenly loves him too. Paul says ‘junior apprentice’ and suggests he might need more training up. [They have all been hypnotised by has magic cock, just like all the PMs were. It's the only explanation! - Rad] Claude don’t like him.
Another bloke says Lucinda is brilliant, intelligent, and would be a disaster. Paul says she could aromatherapy the office. Because she is A Bladdy Woman and women only know about flowers and Lucinda is the floweriest of all. Karren says shut up you cunt. Sralan says she was on winning tasks eight times, and was great at leading. But is she good at being a team member? Margaret is like she’s shit at that, and has tantrums. Gordon says she’s shit and she doesn’t need the money. Sralan says ‘I’ll make you be her boss if you’re not careful.’ [Hee - Rad]
On Lee, Paul says the dinosaur impression was shit but Lee is nice. But he winked on his way out, which was bad. So Lee makes a bad first impression and a bad last impression. Good job. We see Karren making Lee sell her a crappy biro. He does quite well, but I’m doubting Karren’s business sense if the best challenge she can come up with is ‘sell me this pen’. Karren says it was good. It’s his big chance cos he’s cheesy and brash. George brings up the two years at uni lie. If he’s done as well as he’s claimed then he doesn’t need to do that. He’s got a hang up on his qualifications. Paul’s like, I lied about my qualifications too! It’s fine! Claude won't dismiss Lee out of hand.
Karren thinks Claire is fantastic, She knows everything about her business, and is a doer, and ‘if you don’t give her a job, I will’. She’s been on a journey. Oh, sorry. I mean, Been On A Journey. Claude doesn’t like her. Paul says she’s nice and he can see her in the canteen leading people in the Birdy Song because she is A Bladdy Woman. George says she won’t shut up. We cut to Claire gabbling about how she talks. Sralan talks about how she listened when he told her to shut up. One of the rottweilers says it’s an act and that she actually won’t shut up, ever. Which, so what? Whether she’s shut up or has pretended to shut up, so long as she’s quiet, who gives?
Claude likes Helene. She had a hard background. Sralan says ‘don’t care!’ [You cared a lot when it was Michelle, enough to fawn all over her and give her the job, you tosspot - Rad] Claude is like, ‘if you let me finish you cunt, she left school early because she was forced to work and not cos she’s thick and she’s actually kind of awesome’. Karren agrees. Paul says put her in the backroom because she is A Bladdy Woman and can’t be trusted. Karren says she lost her way a bit, but her upbringing is significant. Sralan says blah ‘I don’t like sob stories’ and Karren’s like, shut up, she’s good, her background is relevant, and she didn’t want to actually talk about it. Sralan thanks them all and especially Karren for being a lady. Srsly. He’s like, ‘and thanks especially to Karren for being A Bladdy Woman and giving us important perspective on Bladdy Woman issues like how the candidates smell and whether or not kittens are pretty’. [I'd have been more offended by this if Karren hadn't spent so long focusing on how pretty she thinks Alex is. - Steve]
Nick says that it’s odd that there was no clear favourite. Is it? Sralan says there are five good candidates and ‘Let’s call the apprentices in’. Apprentices in potentia, surely? Sralan says it was different from a task but still difficult. Sralan says to Alex – they don’t think you came alive in the interviews. Did you not think it was important? Alex is like I totally did but I don’t lose my temper. [No, he just gets snitty and defensive. That's way better. - Steve] Sralan is like I don’t like people who lose their temper. Alex manages not to lol in Sralan’s face and is like, l’m softly spoken but gave it my best. Sralan says Lee has worked in recruitment so it should have been a breeze. He asks what Lee thinks of people who overflower their CVs? What would you have done if someone had lied about education on their CV? Lee says he’d evaluate how important the lie was. Sralan says it puts into doubt how true the rest of his CV is.
Sralan says Claire took on board the too much talking thing. But you were talking again. Claire says they were intimidating and she’s chatty. So awesome. He says aren’t you lying and pretending to be quiet just to please me? Fuck off. That’s a bloody stupid thing to say and it doesn’t even matter. This really looks like they’re trying to build a ‘justification for Claire not getting the job’ edit. She says ‘I’ve changed since the first week, but I don’t think I should change completely.’ You go, girl.
Sralan says to Lucinda that as team leader, your teams thought you were great, but when you’re not in charge it’s crap. Lucinda says ‘I do like authority’ and Sralan says ‘I’m the boss’ and she’s like ‘I know you twat’. Another bullshit argument because, yes, she wouldn’t be in charge of everything, but she’d clearly be in charge of whatever wrecker’s yard in Basildon Sralan puts the apprentice in.
Alex sweeps in with a bit of ‘oh mim mim mim, by the way Miss, she said she didn’t want it’ and Lucinda’s like ‘I said I wasn’t sure, but I thought about it, and I do’ and Alex is like ‘you’re an airy fairy bitch’ and she’s like ‘I don’t need the job I want it, I’m taking a pay cut, so it’s obvious I want it, unlike you fucking wimps who are desperate, I can afford to do this for the hell of it’. Helene and Alex mim mim mim some more about how they do need the job. [Alex is such a disingenuous little snake. That was unforgivable, and I hope that every potential employer watching realises what a total bastard he is and never hires him for anything ever. - Steve]
Sralan says he has to decide who’s leaving and tells Helene that he’s a bit at sea with what she’s got to offer. Helene says ‘I’m not good at sales, but I did lots of things, unlike these twunts who do sales all the time and did sales when they came here, proving that they’re good at selling watches from the lining of a jacket, but little else. I’d have got fired from my Big American Company if I was shit, simple as that.’
He tells Alex that he’s young but ‘I want someone rounded’. Alex calls himself a partially painted canvas.
He tells Lucinda she’s a very clever lady, but asks if she’s channelled it correctly? She says she found it horrific to go through the process. He says ‘I warned you’. She’s like I lead awesomely and you know it. He says she’s too zany. And is fired. [Still - too zany is a fine enough reason to be fired - Rad] She gets her wheely case and leaves.
Lee is told to defend himself on CV lies. Lee says ‘I deliver! I have never failed to deliver as a leader or team member.’
Claire – ‘same thing, come on’. Not the same thing cos she didn’t change her CV so doesn’t have to defend it. She says she took a lot of critique – she means criticism – but kept coming back for more because she wants to learn. He goes on about how she talks too much and doesn’t listen. WHICH IS NOT TRUE.
But I’m going to let you stay. I’m going to let you all stay! Woohoo! Party! So yeah. They’re all in the final except Lucinda. Great. Sralan says ‘unusual final, but fair cos they’re all contenders’ [Or 'they're all bladdy useless, so let's see how they get on with a few months' working at NotAmstrad before I decide - Rad]
Eviction Coat watch. Kind of white and black giraffe print. Awesome, of course. Sralan says she’s a mystery and will never be in the company. Nick says ‘damn straight, girlfriend’. In the cab, Lucinda says she hasn’t been herself. She doesn’t yell about how she is great. Her accent wasn’t liked, the way she dresses wasn’t liked but she doesn’t care because ‘I am who I am and I don’t have to answer to them’. Go you! Heart Lucinda. She’s too good for this shit.
The final task is making a scent for men. It’s two teams of two. By the looks of it, Lee, rather than Claire, will be doing a sales pitch [and ditto for the other team, Alex pitching instead of Helene], which is an idea made of pure grade-A fail.
And next week we will be LIVE! BLOGGING! the final, so come and join us...