First things first, the wonderfully named Raleigh Addington has left the Apprentice. And for once it is not due to a diva strop but because his brother was wounded serving in Afghanistan and he wanted to be with his family. Brother Ed is doing fine and Raleigh now works for Tickets For Troops. Which is nice.
So while we were catching up with all that, the usual over confident striding, sneering and sound biting is going on. I am still not convinced this lot aren't an improv class from the Sylvia Young theatre school, do business people really come out with this much contrived shit? Oh wait, I should know - yes they do! So, no Steady Eddies or Cautious Carols for Sralan and in the interests of climate change, no more crap!
Last time, sleep was lost, rusk and mincing abounded, some got more banger for their buck than others and Dan Harris experimented in leading a team by insulting them, shouting at them and doing none of the work. Shockingly this tactic was less than a stellar success and he was fired.
5.30am and Sralan wants them at Terminal 5 Heathrow. Sleep is for wimps people! In the car Jamie and Shibby declare they simply have to 'beat the girlies'. It's digital Sralan as opposed to the real deal. He tells them 'don't get bladdy excited cos you aren't going anywhere - beach holidays is where it is at peeps. So you need to design, produce and pitch a new beach accessory' - he says. I may have paraphrased slightly. Stella is sent to the wolves - I mean boys - as they are a man down and to keep them in check.
Stella says she knows how to handle men, she works with serious business men and can whip these boys into shape. Did Sralan actually say she was in charge? [I wondered that too. - Rad] She starts off all narrowed eyes and what she won't accept and the boys fidget in their seats.
Laura steps up for the girls. I say steps up, but she sort of begs them to say she is great and her skill set is good and then when they do starts stamping her mark all over the place - don't rush straight in with design ideas stupid! She can adapt to any personality that is thrown at her. Why do I suspect that will come back to haunt her?
Synergy dismiss Shibby's idea of a third arm to ease the application of suncream on the back of your neck. Instead they decide quickly on a towel bottle holder that keeps your water cold and you can use as a pillow. Stella accepts the idea as nothing else has been suggested and that's that. The girls are talking over each other, shaking their heads at each other's ideas and rolling their eyes. Passive aggressive much? No decisions look likely here for a while.....
Chris, Chris and Alex are sent off to beach. Alex takes the op to arse lick about Lord Sugar and his team who took a risk on the videophone. He repeats himself. Yes, yes I think we have all got the idea that you lurve Sralan and chums. In Bogner they try and interest the cold Britsh public in the cuuli - with umlauts over the 'uu' for eyes.
Jamie's VT - When I open my mouth, I'm not holding back like a champers bottle who will explode if I don't get it out there.. They try and explain the idea to the designer who seems more interested in imagining Jamie wet and naked on the beech.
Apollo are still nowhere near making a choice or even having a good idea.
Paloma, Liz and Sandeesh are at Brighton beach searching for inspiration. They look a bit silly on the beach, in their suits, just saying. With half an hour left to submit their idea, Joanna's book readers keep coming up and Laura keeps dismissing it on the basis of their being 'no research pointing towards it' and she doesn't know if she can go forward on it - oh no wait - she can. She literally goes from the depth of despair complete with bridge-of-the-nose rubbing and agonising soul searching to 'let's do it' in 5 seconds.
Karren is not impressed with the lack of decision making and suspects that having 30 seconds to design their unique book reading aid will end in fail. The 3 on the beach think this is a bad call.
Tomorrow is photographing the product, Chris, Chris and Alex want Stella to 'take one for the team' and be photographed in a bikini. This is because they are allegedly pitching to women, bear this in mind when they actually pitch later... [If they're pitching to women, surely Chris Bates should be the one parading around in a swimsuit? - Steve] She is worried she might have other things to do and won't be the project leader anymore, she will be a model. Ignoring her obvious discomfort with the idea, not to mention the fact THAT SHE SAID NO, they all go swimwear shopping - sweet Jesus they want one with tassels. 8pm and the boys are back with a classy, cowgirl Daisy Duke looking outfit [they're in fashion! Well, Steve's BFF Katy Perry sings about them in her song, anyway - Rad] and somehow Stella has been talked in, she will do things she would rather not in order to win. Hmmm what happened to being able to handle the boys? [I'm not sure who I was more disappointed in after this - the boys for coercing Stella into the swimsuit when she was clearly uncomfortable with the idea, or Stella for...wearing the swimsuit when she was clearly uncomfortable with the idea. - Steve] More to the point why did it have to be a woman in her beach garb? Why couldn't they stick Chris B or Alex in a pair of speedos? ['S what I'm saying! - Steve]
Apollo are still working. Oh Liz, don't talk over Laura - she can't deal with it or control them. With something of the brink-of-a-nervous-breakdown-teacher about her, Laura keeps telling them they are making it difficult to facilitate anything. They ignore her. (God her eyes are really blue even outside the boardroom.)
The prototypes are here. As Synergy struggles to open the box, Stella compares opening the box to having a baby - you know its in there but not what it look likes. I'd put money on her being childless. The towel is deemed very cuuli LOLZ. The girls' book-eeze meanwhile comes in 8 pieces and they can't work out how to put it together. Joy isn't keen, she was happy with the principle of going with the unique idea, but basically it is a steaming pile of shit.
Sunny pitches are required. Up steps Chris B who deems the age of the beach towel to be dead. Nick says he is too monotone,it is a holiday product not a nuclear submarine. Stella ditches Chris B for Jamie in the nicest way possible, 'please don't take this the wrong way... we need to nail this and I'm not sure you are right....' Chris B pouts and he does have lovely lips and once Stella's in the car becomes a stroppy teenager, all 'won't damage my confidence cos I don't care its just piss poor and shit yeah'? [He is this year's Alex Wotherspoon, isn't he? Can anyone verify if he is TWENTY FOUR or not? - Rad]
Melissa starts trying to pitch using 20 words where 1 will do. She can sell ice to the Eskimos - by bamboozling them with even more words for snow? Joanna calls her on it, a row begins and Laura walks out for a little weep because she can't do it, she should have right of speech and they KEEP TALKING OVER HER.
At the Synergy photo shoot - Alex has Stella on her back (in a photo studio)and Nick is instructed not to look at her. She is mortified and thankfully we are spared most of her embarrassment.
Paloma is in charge of the girls sandpit sorry photo shoot. This means lugging bags of sand up 4 flights of stairs.
Sandeesh VTs that she is Princess Paloma, she only talks to be heard.
Photographer Paloma deems that 'this is the money shot', though not like any money shot I may or may not have ever seen.
So posters printed, pitches rehearsed and prototypes ready it is off to face the big boys. First up Chris B introduces the Cuuli from Synergy Beech products to Boots. Right Chris B is pitching on the basis on Chris F using the Cuuli - Chris F would be a man so that blows his whole explanation for making Stella strip off out of the water [I still can't believe she did it rather than making them do it, but then misogyny and BIZNESS are never far apart according to this show - Rad]. The nice ladies from Boots points out despite their claims, its less stylish and cool and more rolled up towel. In the girls car Joanne tells Joy off for being sorry for having an opinion. Joanna is doing my head in with her battering ram style of erm being but she is right on this one. Joy's constant apologising could be perceived as passive aggression.
First up for the girls is World Duty Free. They build the item easily... sort of. Melissa is sure people are looking for this, the ladies from World Duty Free are not so sure. They ask whose idea it was and Joanna proudly proclaims it is hers/ In the car Laura is fuming and says it was unprofessional and they worked as a team. Joanne decides this means they want her to lie. 'If I wouldn't have said that it would be bullshit' retorts Joanne. Those earrings are huge and she could start a fight in an empty room.
Next up at World Duty Free is Synergy. Nick is gurning and Chris B's not getting better at his natural story telling pitch style.
Kit to Fit for the girls and the sandbox. Melissa tries to set the scene, how hard it is to find the right position to read on the beach. But that isn't exactly what she says. Is confortability a word Melissa? Have you all lost the ability to construct grammatically correct sentences?
Next in the lucky Kit for Fit people get hammered with the cuuli pitch which seems to go slightly better although Nick looks very board. There is a distinct swagger in Chris B's declaration of the death of the beach towel.
Final pitch of the day for Apollo is Boots. They like the canvas bit of the book-eeze but overall it is clunky. Melissa says sure 60 million times and then Boots say we have given you quite a lot of help here (what by saying its a bit crap?) and we would want exclusivity, the team aren't just going to give that away. Outside Sandeesh says exclusivity is a bad idea if a company has 1 shop but maybe not with Boots [and also, the team that screwed up on exclusivity a couple of years ago, whom I assume Laura was afraid of becoming, were bollocked because it was someone else's product they offered it on. This is their own - Rad]. Still Laura sticks to her 'it's too early to be talking like that' guns
In the boardroom the boys praise Stella as a team leader - presumably for taking some clothes off. They start to recount the idea behind the cuuli and Nick looks like he wants to stab himself to death. Sugar draws the link between German umlauts and Germans and beach towels. Casual xenophobia of course but no one notices these things, presumably because they are still mesmerised by the crazy blue boardroom eyes.
Turning to the girls Joanne takes all the credit for the bookeeze. Laura starts to explain how she literally had 2 heads on, Joy doesn't plead the 5th and I get a bit lost. A few of the girls look so similar I am struggling to identify who is who.
So it is the moment of truth.
Apollo got no orders - FROM ANYONE. Not even Boots placed an order, Karren says they blew it not giving exclusivity. So nil points across the board is a first. Joy looks distinctly tearful, possibly because she foresees how this is about to play out, I know I do.
Synergy have no orders from World Duty Free or Boots but Kit to Fit have ordered 100 units.
The boys are off to Wentworth Golf Club for private coaching. Yay. If I was on this show 'd complain about the prizes. The high tea looks nice and everything but it wouldn't make up for the fact you have to play bloody golf first.
Karren still can't quite believe the girls turned down an exclusive option with Boots. Nick says the only good thing to come out of this task was that Stella kept Synergy together. Sralan comments it is hard to control that women power, Karren comments that she has been telling him that for years.
Its all smiles and fun on the golf course, Jamie sticks his pinkie out whilst drinking tea and Stella gloats that the girls are in that 'grotty cafe' - sorry @Bridge_Cafe.
The girls are off to loser cafe. Joanne is shockingly now back tracking and brands Laura a clown for not closing the deal with the chemist. It is all hands up, in faces and heads are starting to pop. Best get them back in the boardroom before the hair pulling and scratching of eyes begins.
Ding Ding round 2 in the boardroom. Joanne agrees the product might be unique but it wasn't good. Joy points out there were other ideas on the table, Laura says there has been lots of criticism but not many positive suggestions. Sandeesh admits to assaulting - sorry, elbowing Laura when she didn't bite Boots' hands off straight away. They were all elbowing her apparently, she must be black and blue.
Laura feels managing the team was like running a circus, cue more eye rolling. Joy admits she may have been intimidated by some of the noise when challenged on why she didn't stand up more. It quickly descends into 'I'm just saying the truth, am I lying'. Sralan asks Joanne if she is the trouble causer, others disagree but Alpha Karren off screen announces 'you are Joanne' and that is that.
Laura is bringing back Joanne and Sandeesh, she would happily bring back the whole team if she could. Sandeesh and Joanna say she has done the wrong thing (and they will get her after school). It descends into shouting in midst of which Sandeeh proclaims she gave 150% (drink) ooo bloody amateurs says Sralan (drink). Karren is disgusted with the way they are representing women and should be ashamed of themselves.
Yeah think on that says Sralan. I am warming to Karren a bit now [I like her too, but where are the speeches about the infants parading as men on this show letting their side down? Rad].
Wait a cotton fuckingminute folks - Sralan says you need to justify your choice of who you bring back and Laura changes her choice to Joanne and Joy!
Sending them to wait outside, the holy trinity all look slightly shell shocked. It isn't a bladdy wrestling match or a boxing match. Not-Francis sends them back in for the final bout.
Laura justifies her change of mind because Joy didn't contribute enough. Joy says because she didn't want to take part in a cat fight, maybe she was intimidated by the noise. She is bringing back Joanne because she didn't contribute to any other ideas as she was so fixated on her own idea and she was the hardest to manage. Sralan adds disruptive and loud, Joanne says passionate, Sralan says not so much.
Joanne blames Laura. Laura says she has proved she is willing to take risks and make mistakes but she doesn't make them twice. Look! It's on her CV and everything. Joanne says don't fire me because I am prepared to put myself forward but I was too passionate. Joy retorts 'well I made sure we made good sausages last week and I said I didn't like book-eeze' and erm that's it.
The decision. Is it just me or is this somehow lacking? We know where this one is going. So does Joy.
Sraln's declaration is thus: 'Laura you enter the annuals of apprentice fame by getting no sales. Joy you can't avoid getting your head on the chopping block. Joanna you wind people up and I can't have that going forward, I am not buying the description of passion..... (in it til the rottweilers then?) Laura got a pathetic result but seeing as they don't shut up in front of me I know it wasn't easy. So Joy you are fired' (I actually said 'man' and facepalmed). Joy says 'no' and walks out meanwhile Sralan tells Joanna she is on her last chance (definitely in it till the rottweilers).
Sralan deems the cardinal sin to be not pulling your weight. In fairness Joy could have pulled a 10 ton weight while naked and painted bright blue and no one would have noticed with all the bitching. [Neither of them hugged her after leaving the boardroom. Cold. - Rad]
Coat watch - black, boring but nice pink scarf.
In the taxi she muses she is disappointed but probably couldn't have handled the screaming much longer.
At home Yoda, sorry Jamie, has wise words for the group. Its a not a crime to make a mistake, its a crime not to learn from it. Joanna says she is learning not to be a gobshite
Next time they turn flour into serious dough - selling buns and more fighting.