Sunday, 15 March 2009

Toy Story 2

Previously on The Apprentice Does Comic Relief: London porn! Ten celebrities had to design a toy! The ladies made a velcro suit and one of my friends enjoyed Carol and Ruby getting stuck together a little too much. The boys created a ‘swap belt’ that would have cost the earth to produce. Gok dressed some tables in Jordan’s vomit, Jonathan annoyed the life out of Jack, Michelle and Pasty had a big row about very little, Gerald Ratner revealed his ACE BIZNISS SKILLZ again by saying theirs was a ‘shit or bust’ product. Alan Sugar decided the boys’ product would cost too much bladdy money so the girls won.

Tonight: one of them will be fired. Whether that means the other nine will have to work for NotAmstrad for the rest of their days is not disclosed.

Sralan discusses the result with Nick and Margaret. Nick says Sralan isn’t as enthusiastic as he would be about the belt, which conjures up some strange mental imagery for me of Nick walking round with Bootay and co dangling from his waist. Sralan explains the rules about the PM’s role for anyone who’s missed the series proper.

NotFrances sends them in and they all adjust their clothing a bit. They go in and Jack gets a seat this time. Sralan says the girls’ product was no bladdy rocket science but it was more viable in terms of making money. He asks Gerald if they’ve done any market research. Gerald says they haven’t. Sralan says their market research was just talking to one kid in a shop, and the kid named it. Gok says he thinks this was a genius thing. Jonathan backs this up by saying the name Pokemon came from a kid in Japan. this raises interesting questions about how Jonathan's kids were named.

Sralan says it’s crazy for them to say it’s going to work, Gerald says it’s crazy to say it won’t. Sralan says listen you daft twatjob who put his own firm under by calling it crap and therefore I have every right to look down on you, despite selling products that were just as crap, I’m telling you why it won’t work. Gerald says kids love it and it’s sexy (umm… and here we’re back to the ‘intimacy’ issues of the previous episode) and he’d rather listen to someone like Gok to a pen-pusher who tells him what it’ll cost. This is not what retailing’s about, it’s about gut instinct. Says the failed retailer. He says they’d have sold it at a profit. ‘No you wouldn’t’ says Sralan. Sralan boasts about his former market share of 23% and Jonathan says ‘that’s some got penetration right there’. Gerald says if you’ve got a hot line (a 24-hour one?) and the kids all want it… and Sralan cuts him off by pointing out the number of children in that market isn’t that huge in the first place. Jonathan says yes, but they’ll all buy loads of them, not just one or two, and actually sounds a bit serious for the first time all show.

Sralan says he knows a lot of ordinary people who would tell their kiods they’re not wasting any more bladdy money on more toot when they’ve got their Tamagoochi (sic) egg still around. They all have a big circular argument about it, which gets rather tedious. Sralan says no-one’s taking responsibility. Jonathan says it’s because no-one agrees with him. Gok sighs that they’re all a bit gutted because they have put *so much* into it. I do feel that being Gok must be quite tiring, having to have a strong emotive response to everything.

Time for Gerald to decide who to bring back. He thinks they all gave him support and Jonathan performed well (by, umm, tightrope walking on a sofa?) and Gok designed it, so they shouldn’t come back. Sralan thanks them and Gok blows everyone a kiss as they leave.

End of part one.
What feels like hours later, somewhere around midnight…

Terri Seymour and Simon Cowell doing a VT together? Haven’t they split up? Or are they back together again? My celebrity gossip radar is so lacking.

Fern and Alan are presenting and she ribs him a bit about losing and being brought back into the boardroom.

More London porn. Gerald looking serious and Alan cracking up in the waiting room. Sralan tells Nick and Margaret the men are being belligerent and Margaret says they should have brought Gok back. Sralan says Jonathan gave a good presentation and seemed to run the team. Nick says he enthused them all, so full marks to him. Are these hints as to who will win series five? A glorified cheerleader?

Gerald interviews that he’s not been a good PM. Jack says he takes failure on the chin until it eats away at him and he becomes unbearably depressed. Alan says he’s never been told ‘you’re fired’ but ‘Alan don’t come back on Monday’. Gerald doesn’t seem to be getting the game, really. NotFrances sends them through, and Gerald has the look of a condemned man on his face.

Sralan says they’re all in violent disagreement about his decision and asks Jack why he shouldn’t be fired. He reels off some Apprenticecliches – I gave my all, I didn’t let anyone down (no 110%, sadly) and says he thinks Nick should be fired for doing nothing and acting as if he wasn’t in the team, and he borrowed money off him. Sralan says it’s the first time he’s heard accusations against his advisors.

Sralan says ultimately the leader, the business man should be responsible, shouldn’t they, and Gerald, ever the PR master, says yeah, if you want to fire me, fire me. Jack says ‘that’s no attitude’. Gerald says they did a good job and he’s responsible. Sralan says he’s spoken to the people from the industry who said ‘this ain’t a runner’. Gerald snarks he spoke to people who said it was a good idea. Jack Dee says he watches The X Factor and sometimes Simon Cowell says ‘I think I’ve made a mistake’ and they run and get the person back, and Sralan could do that, get the girls back and fire them instead. Alan says the girls’ product was laughable. Jack says it’s highly flammable and you could get stuck to the carpet, the health and safety implications are terrifying. There’s then some bizarre conversation about socks and Alan doing a LOL!STRAIGHT!NOT RLY! joke about Carol.

Sralan asks why he shouldn’t fire Alan. He says he’s an all-rounder and he can rap. He bigs up Jonathan and Gok and says he provided the tea and coffee. Sralan: ‘a bit of a runner then?’ Alan says sometimes you need to gee someone up and that’s his skill, he can’t run around shops getting fairy costumes. There’s then a bizarre interlude where Sralan compares them to the three wise men.

Sralan says the fault lies firmly with the team leader who is a ‘respected’ businessman and perhaps got carried away. He’s struggling to understand what Jack did other than being miserable. Alan is a very very nice fella with a miserable team leader and this miserable bloke over there. He says he’s going to rescue him and take him away from the miserable environment – Alan you’re fired – start a new life. Maybe they really do work for NotAmstrad then? That's a very tantaslising prospect. Alan says so he’s the winner? Sralan – er yeah, yeah.

Is it just me, or was he expecting to sack Jonathan Ross and this all backfired? It's hardly a result. But then I don't think anything can top the first one of these with all the politicians and Piers Morgan and whatnot for tantalising results.

Sralan thanks the boys and says he hopes the products go somewhere and raise lots and lots of money. As no-one on the night announces imminent arrivals of either product in the shops, perhaps not.

No coat watch, as we don’t see Alan leave, but in the car he feigns crying and blames those bloody gurus who talked to Sralan. I think he means the toy people and not Nick and Margaret.

That's all from us for now, but we'll be back in a couple of weeks for all the highs and lows and misogyny and London Porn and business cliche of series five. Join us then!

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