Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Making d'oh

Week 3: 20th October 2010

Previously on The Apprentice, the Apprenti were tasked with inventing a new snazzy tool that would revolutionise going to the beach and bring Sralan (I just can't say Lord Sugar) untold wealth beyond the likes that videophones and screens in GP surgeries could possibly bring.

They didn't, so much.

Synergy Boys Plus Stella invented a towel that could hold a bottle of water or a mobile or medicine for your baby or a cure for cancer or the components for your perpetual motion machine, or something. The Apollo Girls invented the Worst. Thing. Ever. A book stand for the beach, which contained about seventy five moving parts, at least twelve of which were made from razor blades and broken glass, it didn't permit you to read your book without taking it out of the rack to turn the pages, and blatantly couldn't support anything more substantial than something like Nick's Guide On How Not To Be A Sour-Faced Bitch. Which, you know, would be a single-page pamphlet with a picture of Nick shrugging, and the word 'Dunno'.

Astonishingly, Apollo only just lost, and probably wouldn't have if Laura hadn't refused exclusivity for the Booky Death Trap with, like, the largest chemist in the country. However, lose they did (no sales! None!) and despite Laura being an indecisive sap who makes other people suck just by being near them, and Joanna being a strident unmanageable beast, Sralan fired Joy. Because … she was also there? We also got a delightful view through the lens of Karrren Brady's mind, whereby women arguing are bad because they represent ALL WOMEN AT ALL TIMES. There are no individual women; just various interchangeable cyphers, variations on the theme of Woman, and thus what one does reflects on all of them, because how are we supposed to tell them apart? Behave nicely, or a Good Girl might get mistaken for you and suffer the consequences. Gross me out, Brady.

We also learnt that Chris Bates is surprisingly hairy [woof - Steve] and that Stella is pretty much worth the rest of the Apprenti put together.

6.30 am. A fully dressed Alex answers the phone. 'Piccadilly in thirty minutes!', he squeals, as though the cars ever arrive at any time except half an hour after NotFrances phones. Apprenti ablutions are performed, and into the cars they trot.

They're at Fortnum and Mason, which is famous for its afternoon teas. Cakes and pastries and bread and rolls and so on and so forth. Sralan says they turn flour into serious dough. The Apprenti give this the contempt it deserves. Seriously, Sralan, when even your soulless shills won't laugh at your jokes you're a step away from being Bruce Forsyth. Watch your step. Sralan has set up two bakeries for the two teams, along with some clients who want to order some bread products. Get lots of orders and win win win! It's the team with the most profit that wins, not the most sales. He warns that they have to make their sales or have disappointed customers. SPOILERS!

Sralan claims that he's tired of the squabbling and stuff, as if that weren't the whole point of this programme, so he's doing a reshuffle. Shibby and Chris became Apollo, while Melissa and Joanna become Synergy. We are now completely beyond Boys Versus Girls and it's only Week Three. Small mercies, I guess.

They've got commercial sales and also have to do street sales.

Time to decide who's PM! Jamie and Melissa face off. Melissa wins, for the ostensibly good reason that she works in food wholesale, and claps herself obnoxiously. And also weirdly – her hands are like somewhere around chin level. She also keeps saying that things are her bag.

Shibby takes charge for Apollo, with nobody else even attempting to. He interviews that he may be a business virgin but has intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed. Mmm hmm. Shibby likes the idea of two chocolate things. Muffins and brownies.

Synergy can't decide what to make. Mel's food industry expertise leads her to say: 'In my experience … people buy … it's dififcult to say.' Jamie tries to lead from below and get a decision, but can't direct the fail that is Mel [I was actually surprised at her fail being all about lack of confidence and knowledge rather than... well, the kind of fail the other team got into - Rad]. The teams split up, and they go to the bakers without even knowing what to bake.

They arrive at bakeries that can 'anything made with flour' [Not Angela's bakery that Mary, Queen of Shops visited, then - Rad]. Liz Locke takes charge. Chris Bates and Sandeesh start making bread. The innuendo count gets off to a good, if disturbing, start, with Liz Locke says 'Guys, can you just come and have a look. Look how purple they are'.

Mel still won't make a decision. Chris yells down the phone; Jamie is worried. They decide on 'mixed fruit jam croissants'. That's not a thing!

Shibby et al have decided on prices before they meet the clients, and we specifically see Shibby say that they should tell the clients that they can make anything they want.

On the South Bank, at a 4 star hotel. Mel leads the pitch. Joanna's hair has gone dead straight, and combined with her white shirt and tendency to stoop, she looks like Sadako from The Ring. Alex introduces 'Le pan artyzan' – his French accent is BAD. Mel gets the idea of what they want and then plays with her calculator. Chef dude is not impressed. Nor are the other dudes. One dude tells them to go off and do their sums and come back again. They do sums out in the hall. One of the hotel dudes has to go and get them FIFTEEN minutes later. 'I find that quite disrespectful', he says, as well he might. Mel says that a roll is £1.82 per unit because apparently not only can she not do maths, she has never bought bread before. They discuss in the car what abject failures they are.

Shibby, Laura and Paloma, at the same hotel, offer £60 pounds for 1000 rolls. Paloma talks them up to 1500 and then gets them on to muffins and croissants. Paloma kills it; she's totally smooth and professional and gets them to just keep ordering stuff. Whether that was a good idea, well, we shall see. They need to make 1,900 baked items before breakfast! Outside, Paloma goes 'did you like the upsell?', seeking validation in a way I didn't really expect of her. Laura's like 'we all did well'. Yes Laura, you were excellent at sitting there doing absolutely nothing. You knocked the complete inert inactivity out of the park.

Shibby's kitchen has made street sales items, and then Shibby phones through with the order. It goes something like: white bread rolls 250 brown rolls 250 sundried tomato rolls 250 pumpkin seed rolls 250 poppy seed rolls 250 multigrain rolls 250 walnut rolls 250 basil rolls 250 rosemary and garlic rolls 250 chocolate rolls 250 strawberry rolls 250 goose rolls 250 unicorn rolls 250. Also 400 croissants. Liz Locke goes 'CROISSANTS?! We're not making croissants!' and Shibby says 'We are now'. I kind of get the impression that the bakery part of the team didn't know about his 'You can put it anywhere you want' approach to selling baked goods. Liz Locke says that they've got limited capacity; Shibby says they've got to make what the client wants. Then, and this seems totally insignificant but is apparently crucial, Shibby says 'Call us back'. Sandeesh goes on about how it's the stupidest thing she's ever heard and they're not doing it. In the car, Paloma says it's kitchen team's fault for not prewarning about how much they could produce. Liz Locke says they'll make what they can make.

Mel's team make croissants and bagels for street sales because they've got no commercial orders. Stuart goes on about why he's awesome and he'd be pitching the shit out of it.

Mel goes on about how she's pitching but can't do numbers, but wants someone to help with it. Jamie gets stroppy and says he's already helping, so Mel turns to Alex and says she might have to hand over the numbers 'to yourself'. SEETHE. Alex agrees, with a bit of reservation. They go to a coffee shop chain. Mel fucks up more and doesn't know how much her products cost, or weigh. Alex steps in with the weight of the muffin and says they'll be 80p per unit. The coffee people talk them down from 80p per unit to 70 and a deal is done. Sadako has sat their croaking and creaking and clicking the whole time but contributes nothing. Jamie says Alex saved the day. Which he did.

Sandeesh bitches and won't make stuff. Her exact words are 'I'm not listening to them with their stupid order'.

At A Top Restaurant, Shibby, Paloma and Laura (yes, she's still there. Honest.) offer a price for baguettes. The Top Restaurant needs 400. Paloma tries to say 'we'll do all of it'. Shibby says 'Nah. We're, like, already making stuff for someone else and this would be, like, totally difficult, because we're not very good at making stuff, if I'm honest'. Client says 'Whuh? Then whatchoo doing here?' Paloma says that it's up to Shibby to decide. He tries to sell half the order, half-heartedly, but in the end says no to it. Which, while it was probably the correct thing to do because they've already got a massive order to fill, but, as Paloma says when they're outside, 'Do you wanna know my feedback? Terrible!' He huffed and puffed his way through the whole meeting. Shibby says we can't do it. Paloma says it's his fault and it isn't, really. It's kind of Paloma's fault for not realising that they've actually got to make these things. If she could sell like this on something like last week's task where they're selling imaginary units, she'd be amazing.

Mel et al turn up to the bakery to do some baking. Christopher, admittedly with great finesse, gets em them all going. He's an army man dontcha know.

At the Apollo bakery, Shibby's bakers got some 'splainin to do. The bakery team bitch about not knowing what to do. Which is where the Shibby saying 'call us back' thing comes in, because it gives Sandeesh, Chris Bates and Liz Locke plausible deniability on the order. Even though, as Sandeesh in particular demonstrated, they refused to try and fill the order. And could, you know, have actually called back to check like Shibby said. Though Shibby could also have called to check on the progress. Basically none of them are acquitting themselves well here. Karrren bitches on about something. I don't know.

Christopher gets things done. Nick frots himself dry and says military about a thousand times. [Because military training works so well on this show - Rad]

Shibby and Sandeesh fight. Again. Some more.

Shibby wants a stock take to see how much they've made and yells at Sandeesh about how it's easy for her to just put stuff in a box, but they need to know what's going on more. In the car back, Shibby and Paloma bitch about Sandeesh. Laura does says and does nothing. Again. Some more.

5.30 am the next day. They get up. Stuart is excited about selling. They have to sell to the public and deliver the commercial orders. In the car, Laura warns Shibby, 'he is going to batter you; I'm warning you.' At The 4 Star Hotel, of their 1,900 items, of the rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls and rolls and croissants, they've got nothing except some muffins. Oh, well, no that's not fair. They also have 16 bread rolls. Out of the 1,000 they promised. Chef Dude is understandably pissed off and says 'We took it on trust guys' and calls its 'Absolutely farcical'. He also sounds kind of amused, though, and let's be honest he clearly had a backup plan for, well... this. Shibby is like super apologetic and they end up compensating him £130. In interview, Chris Bates sounds frankly baffled by the whole situation

At The Coffee Chain, Mel turns up with her products. The Coffee Chain Man likes the rolls, but says that their muffins are hideous and nasty and retro and he could never possibly sell them. They do, indeed, have scores of glace cherries on top, looking like … pustules or something. He refuses them, but they still get £60 for the bread rolls

Le Pan Artyzan is ready for business. Nick says Stuart is good at selling. Mel talks BAD French to people who aren't French and, in another innuendo, says 'Let them smell it, let them smell it'. She gives really super aggressive hard sell of the 'You're not leaving til you buy something' variety. Stella says it's not happening and that they need to move somewhere else.

Shibby's 'Bakers Indulgence' stall is in Covent Garden. Chris Bates is dressed as a oven. Karrren says that Shibby and Chris Bates are doing very well because they understand that people are there for the Covent Garden experience and expect to be accosted and grabbed at and to have to run the gauntlet of awful horrible human statues and men dressed as dogs in pet carriers. Sometimes, Karrren, people (ie me) work in Covent Garden and just want to get to the cash point and pop into Boots for some toothpaste without getting the Covent Garden experience. But. We. Can't.

Laura and Paloma sell. Sandeesh doesn't. Because she's a surly hag. Paloma complainterviews that Sandeesh is just standing there expecting people to come to her, while Paloma and Laura are scooting about selling like dynamos.

Later, Mel, Alex and Stella are still at the same spot in Soho where they weren't selling anything. Stella says they need to move, again. Mel's like 'I'm deciding where to go!'. Alex interviews that they need to move. He tells Mel she's making excuses. She's like AM NOT! Alex says she's dragging her heels. She then has the audacity to complain about him 'dragging his heels' in the pitches. You know. The pitch to the Coffee Chain where he saved her arse and secured the sale. They bicker. She says he's got a GCSE maths problem. He says her inability with figures is her fault and also he got an A* in his GCSE so NER!! Stella tries to tame them, because Stella is actually a grown-up.

Le Pan Artyzan sell out.

Paloma et al sell their muffins and do pretty well. So does Shibby on the muffins. Laura tries to sell the bread. Shibby tells her to shut up and fuck off, basically. Because the muffins muffins muffins muffins muffins. That's basically his logic. MUFFINS!

Mel and co go to Camden and try to sell to cafes. Nick pulls a face. They get a tenner for a whole tray of products. They jump up and down with excitement. Nick's like 'nah', you sold it, but for a pittance. Calm yourselves.

End of task.

NotFrances, who is at present completely invisible, sends them through.

Sralan addresses Mel. She says three of the four skillsets spoke to her – it sounds like they get a list of what they'll need for the task? Sralan asks if she was good. Alex says great at selling but poor at pitching. She says why didn't you help? He's like, you're a food retailer, and so I thought maybe the food retailer was the best person to take charge in the meetings regarding food retail. She's like you could have helped with those complicated number things. Sralan's cuts in to say that, in fact, Alex did help. Sralan asks about the hotel and Mel, to her credit I guess, cops to it being a disaster. Nick goes on about the fifteen minute absence for about the same length of time. Sralan asks about the factory and Nick says military some more. Christopher is a SOLDIER and a HERO and good at KITCHEN CONTROL.

Apollo. Was Shibby 'Doctor Doolittle or Didalot?' Even this secures a polite titter but beyond that there is total silence. Chris Bates says good effort. Sralan says it's lucky they're not the medical panel. Indeed, what with Shibby's warning from the GMC for unprofessional behaviour, it would be terribly unfortunate if they were also his team mates. Shibby says he's not pitched before, but they didn't go according to plan, and that just cos somebody gives them an offer, doesn't mean they have to accept it.

Synergy sold £999.37 with costs of £139.50 for an £859.87 profit; Apollo sold £974.92 with costs including compensation of £308.93, for £665.99 profit. Some of Synergy are good at the maths, because they clap once the Apollo costs are read out. The treat is Eastern dining and glamorous Arabian dancers. Sralan gets a dig in at Mel for being shit. An awful insight into Sralan's brain that I really didn't want

At the Loser Cafe, Shibby says heart and soul wasn't enough. Paloma interviews blames Shibby for his bad decisions. Liz Locke says the sales were like 20 quid difference so it was what went before that was the problem. Shibby interviews that even without the compensation they'd have lost, so did everyone pull their weight? [I love that that was his defence strategy. "I'm so shit, we wouldn't have won even without my enormous fuck-up." - Steve]

At the SexyArabian Cafe Of Snakes And Titties, Jamie interviews that Mel is a sucky bitch who sucks and 'there's only one thing Melessa should do right now. Learn'. Alex and Stuart dance with a snake and a titty lady. Christopher looks appalled. Jamie says 'a win's a win' and toasts Mel. Worra snide little bitch he is.

NotFrances, who has now manifested herself as an entire hand, sends the losers back through.

Sralan makes a 'breadwinners? More like breadlosers!' funny. He asks about the hotel order. Paloma says Shibby told them to pitch everything, so they tried to maximise the order. Clever clever girl. She could feasbily be blamed for them taking on too much, but she's laid the blame for that with his instructions. Shibby admits he should have had 'a firmer grip on saying no'. He says he was pressurised by the two women either side of him, as if Laura could pressurise anyone into doing anything. Shibby says that if it wasn't for him, they'd have had a bigger order from The Top Restaurant too. Karren says he was like a sulky child and does some mildly amusing huffing and puffing to illustrate.

Sralan asks about the factory team's response. Liz Locke says they were shocked at the volume. Chris Bates says they didn't know it was definite. Laura finally sparks awake and is like 'why would we bother with a potential order?!' Karren says the lack of communication was the reason for the failure.

Sralan attacks them for failing to deliver, and for the sixteen rolls, asking where the two fish were, in an admirable attempt at a Feeding the 5,000 joke that ultimately doesn't really work. A swing and a miss is better than his usual standard of just standing there not even realising the ball has been thrown, though. Sralan says that it was totally wrong to offer compensation, because in this show there is not a 'next time' and even if there were, a company who you fail on such a massive scale, delivering just over 1% of what they ordered isn't going to use you again even if you do compensate them.

Paloma and Liz made lots of money, Sandeesh not very much. Paloma was in charge and Shibby says he wanted regular phonecalls to update him, as though that means anything. Paloma says 'Oh, Shibby, please' and brushes him aside, and then says that they made lots of money. Shibby says Sandeesh didn't sell much and Sandeesh says that she was securing the customers for Liz Locke and Paloma to sell to. Hmm, not convinced by that, but the other girls don't question it. In a gross insight into Shibby's brain, he says that Sandeesh could have walked around with her top off to secure sales.

Sralan asks why the bread was left over. Shibby says 'Nobody wants bread in Covent Garden' and Sralan asks why they made it in the first place.

Sralan asks whose fault it was; Sandeesh jumps in blaming Shibby. Via an awful joke I can't bring myself to transcribe, Sralan asks who he's bringing back. Sandeesh and Paloma. Right, in that Sandeesh was stroppy and did nothing and Paloma kind of got them in the mess in the first place But so so wrong because they will tear him to pieces.

Sralan, Nick and Karrren talk. Shibby is rubbish but sells. Paloma is so safe. Karren likes that she upsold. Sandeesh does nothing.

Why did you bring in Paloma? Because they were on a different wavelength. Paloma jumps in and shuts him up: 'Let me interject and say the facts.' and goes on to explain how The Top Restaurant wanted ciabatta but they talked them to baguettes. Which, if she did that, Paloma is again awesome in that a baguette is far easier for the kitchen to make. Shibby just picks on the volume that was ordered – '400!' he cries. Paloma says that she was given instructions and that Shibby was an embarrassment. Shibby says they were on different wavelengths and Paloma agrees: 'I'm a businesswoman and you're a joke; that's the difference.' PALOMA 4EVAR.

Shibby tries to say Paloma and Laura both doubted Sandeesh. Paloma's like Nah! That never happened! Paloma says she didn't question Sandeesh's role, because 'you're the one that brought it up.' Ha! Love. Sralan asks why Sandeesh has no sparkle. She says she'll be PM next time. Oh Sandeesh, no. Shibby says Sandeesh has got some attitude probems, and Sandeesh says she ain't got no fucking attitude problem, fuck you all. Sandeesh's rez-you-may says she wants to lead Sralan to be world domination. Sralan basically calls her Hitler.

Sralan asks who's responsible. Paloma says Shibby all the way, because 'you don't have the fundamental skills … I'm sorry to tell you that Shibby'. She's so amazing. Sandeesh agrees. Shibby says he's got two ears and one mouth and he'll use them in that ratio. He's a doctor, laygennelmen!!

Sralan says why should I keep you? Shibby is like 'I started a business! Just like you Sralan!!' and Paloma pulls a hilarious bitchface.

Sralan says he doesn't want to hear anything, but Paloma can't stop herself saying 'I shouldn't be here, Lord Sugar.' In a typical Sralan Has Total Insight moment, he says he thought Paloma thought she was 'superior' (which, yeah, she thinks that because she's better than the rest of them bar Stella) but Karrren has saved her.

Sralan thinks Shibby is smart but don't do nothing. Sandeesh don't do nothing neither. Shibby is fired. Sandeesh will be PM. At some point! Sralan will choose! Not you!

Coatwatch: A weird double-breasted number, with buttons all the way to the collar.

Cabterview: he sold the most (true) and Sandeesh got away scott-free! Boo! Whatevs.

At the flat, Sadako thinks Paloma's getting fired because on all the previous tasks 'I don't think she does a lot'. You mean when she ran the sausage machine, and when she directed the photoshoot? Yeah, she does nothing at all. Fuck off Sadako. Alex wants Shibby back. Somehow I'm not surprised. Paloma says Sralan looked at Shibby and asked why Paloma was there, but he couldn't give an answer and 'his time was up'. Paloma and Stella final please.

Next time, the Apprenti discover that hairdryers can be used to kill babies, and Chris Bates gets in some stirrups and opens his legs ever so wide.

1 comment:

Alex67 said...

Close your eyes and Alex sometimes sounds just like Neil Tennant.