Aired 10 November 2010
Last time on The Apprentice our poor Apprenti were cast out in the cruel and cold third world of the NORTH to sell (literally) rubbish 'London' fashions. Ruth and I realised (just in case we were in danger of ever forgetting) that Meadowhall pisses all over the chips of any other shopping centre. Paloma wouldn't have got fired if she had stopped talking. But she didn't. So she was.
It is 7.30am at Apprentice towers and surprise surprise the phone rings. I pray for a fully nude streak to the phone by Chris Lovely Lips Bates but they are all having a lie in. He doesn't even sleep topless. [Frankly, people have been really letting the side down since Simon Ambrose and his tiny pants. It's almost like they've all given up. - Steve] No NotFrances on the blower this morning but Sralan in person. Stella opens the door fully dressed and chipper and escorts him into the building before running around telling everyone to come as they are, meaning Stubaggs gets pwned for wearing a polo shirt.
It is the advertising task this week and this big house needs lot of cleaning so they need to create, package and create TV and Radio adverts for a cleaning product. It will culminate in a big pitch for advertising experts. Sralan wants someone who hasn't been team leader in both. Gobby Jo owns a cleaning company... PM surely? [But she's already been PM. Besides tasks that speak to people's skillsets don't seem to be going down too well this series, eh Melissa? - Rad]
Stubaggs puts himself forward for Apollo and says it isn't just about skillz but keeping everyone together. For example, Alex is phenomenal with advertising apparently. Alex agrees and says "Absolutely - I am advertising, marketing and PR". That worked so well last week for you eh? He VTs "I am not a corporate clone, yeah I am outside the box, if I was an apple pie the apples would be oranges and I am crazzzzy." (Please not quotes may not strictly speaking be actual quotes). [Also? I'd like my apples to be apples if it's all the same to you, Alex, thanks - Rad] Stubaggs senses the PM role slipping away and says "OK whatever but failure is not an option. If we lose, the PM's head is on the chopping block."
Over at Synergy OtherChris is PM by default and has the win in his sniper sights.
Both teams have smelly water cleaning fluid in a plain bottle that they need to brand and sell. They sniff the options on J cloths. Stella wants Fairy meets that Country Life butter advert with colour and passion. [John Lydon and Nanette Newman? That I'd like to see - Rad] Meanwhile Alex is getting the Apollo brainstorming going by mostly disliking everyone's ideas. Chris Lovely Lips [Oh, Fiona - Rad] Bates suggests Germinate which Alex doesn't like and thinks the ad agency will laugh it off despite others in the team liking it to. In the car with Alex, Laura bum licks that she doesn't like Germinate either. It is blatantly going to be Germinate isn't it? It is going to have a Pantsman ad isn't it? [I'm hoping for GerMN8 myself. They could get failed 90s boyband MN8 to reform for the commercial and everything - Rad]
Alex and Laura call the other car try and push their 'Helping Hand' suggestion, Chris Lovely Lips Bates, Stubaggs and Sandeesh mock this suggestion mercilessly, all 'its a helping hand, a bit better than water'. The teams head to mother and baby focus groups, because Mums clean, natch. In the mum and toddler focus group Germinator gets a laugh, helping hand doesn't. "What colour would you think of?" asks Stubaggs. "Yellow" says one mum. Meanwhile Laura and Alex look at the cleaning aisle in Asda. Laura wants to make it fun, Laura suggests Blitz, Alex says "yeahbutno bombs and shit o but yesbutno they'll all be dead now". Laura pouts "I just thought, you know, quick." [In Remembrance Week as well. CLASSY. - Rad]
In the Synergy camp SniperChris is totally buoyed up by the suggestion of one mum to go for an octupous theme - eight hands are better than two for their product. Jamie & Jo say "er no" but he says "yes and it is a brand identity and I like it and that is that. I know you are trying to talk Jo but lalalalalal I am not listening. End of."
Chris Lovely Lips Bates is at the ad agency trying to sell an ad idea that is a hybrid of the bounty/plenty and Mr Muscle ads. A big strong man cannot remove gravy stain - o noes! In bursts a small puny child brandishing Germ-O-Nator and saves the day. Kids with a cleaning product? Oh well - hasta la vista gravy. Laura in just a small U-turn says "nothing in the supermarket was fun so yes let's do that. Jasmin blossom ha! Bring it on baby."
It is official, Synergy are going for Octi-Klean. Orange bottle, friendly octopus- what isn't to love? Next door the Germ-O-Nator bottle seems to base its look on the Leon film poster. Karen interviews that there is possibly an issue with their choice of colour scheme. Laura spots an issue in that they are using a child to advertise a product that specifically says it should be kept out of the reach of kids. Alex says "yeahbutnobut it'll be my neck on the line."
It is 7pm and SniperChris is auditioning for a wife - for their ad [this made no sense - why need a female actor if they don't need a male one? Surely either hire two actors or use two apprenti? I can only assume the female apprenti were too repelled by Chris's idea - in which case, why didn't they nix it? - Rad]. Queue lots of women telling off pretend children and Chris shouting 'who's your daddy?' and 'sex sells everything' - what is the idea for this ad again? This is also going to be a Pantsman ad isn't it? Surprisingly he chooses the youngest, least gurny and prettiest woman. The one whose inhalation of a fresh lemon scent seems to hypnotise him. Perv.
8am the next day and Apollo take delivery of their Luc Besson style bottle. Maybe they could sell it to hit men to clean up and do a BOGOF with plastic ground sheets for wrapping up the bodies? Alex thinks we have an iconic bottle, everyone else thinks we have a label. Synergy seems mostly happy with their lot although Jamie suddenly feels octopus says bathroom but he is "going to work with it but basically it is a bit shit." ['A bit' - Rad]
Anyway next job is TV and radio ads [No print ad for them to fall out with the designer over? - Rad]. Stubaggs is nailing the 'radio voice'. A sparkling career in local radio awaits or perhaps doing the voice overs for straight to DVD Danny Dyer films. Each germ has it's own 'comedy' accent. Influenza is cockney apparently much to the sound man's disgust. The death of a germ sounds much like Stubaggs vomiting. Domestos meanwhile must be thinking this all seems a bit familiar....
Joanne and Jamie record their radio ad. Suddenly it becomes apparent just how stupid the eight hands strap-line is. Well, it becomes apparent to me but they still seem to be thinking it is fabulous. The rest of Synergy are in a kitchen somewhere. Nick is disgusted with the stereotypical basis for the ad. Basically, the woman so carefully hand-picked by SniperChris is cast in the 'cleaning wife' role. Distasteful enough, but compounded with the not so sly insinuation that she will be using one of those eight hands to grope her 'husband' once she has cleaned up alone like the good little woman she is and I start to get the rage. [While I get the boak. - Steve] If they both cleaned up they would have four actual hands. Just saying.
Over at the set of Germ-O-Nator the movie, Chris Lovely Lips Bates in tight black turtle neck is groaning and straining over an older man groaning and straining over..... a gravy stain. In a cloud of smoke a slightly nervous masked child enters brandishing cleaning products. They are loving their work, will anyone else? In the recording studio Stubaggs is still loving the sound of his own voice. Laura is a bit board and tries to jump ship to the TV ad but Alex says "yesbutnobut we can't take on any more people." Laura interviews that she and Alex have the skillz and he isn't letting her use hers!
At the climax [apt choice of word there - Rad] of the Octi-Klean shoot Chris has wine and a sofa and now he wants chemistry with his leading lady. Nick continues to fizz about 50's stereotypes and I vomit at SniperChris's leer to the camera as he says 'eight hands are definitely better than two'. For fuck's sake I don't even have the words for how bum clenchingly, vomit inducingly, dick wavingly smug it all is. [Neither did Nick - he called it "schmaltz", which is definitely not the right word for what Synergy came up with. - Steve] Jo and Stella seem to be quite happy leaving Nick to seethe for the rest of us about how sexist and backward it all is. Where is Raleigh shouting SHAMEFUL when you need him? [Aww, I miss Raleigh - Rad]
It is 6pm and Apollo are back at the agency. Laura has already started working on the pitch what with that being her special power. In order to continue to piss Laura off Alex gives Sandeesh the pitch not her. Laura says she is "not liking the start", Sandeesh says "whatever" Alex says "yesbutno". He really is Vicky Pollard and that fence he is sitting on ALL THE TIME must be leaving giant splinters in his arse. Outside (where else) Laura interviews that no-one is listening to her (again) and it is all shit and whatevers.
It is the morning of the pitch. Alex & Sandeesh are in the car. He asks for a read through and Sandeesh says "yes and I can stab myself in the eyes please rather than talk to you?"
At the agency it is the Apollo Germ-o-Nator pitch first. Entering to the radio advert, Sandeesh says "so cleaning and stuff. Look - the black and red is eye-catching" The experts don't look convinced but do mostly smile at the advert. Sandeesh finishes on a high, "like e-coli and influenza this product is going viral" So is herpes. "How often have you laughed at this advert Chris Lovely Lips Bates?" asks one ad man. He replies "Like every time thanks." "Hmm" says ad mans face "you are easily pleased." Hasta la vista Apollo.
Next Jamie pitches Octi-Klean - they did research and last year a quarter of men admitted they would forego a night of passion if the house was dirty - where are these men? I don't know how I'd feel if Mr Fiona chose to forego the possibility of sex just because I hadn't cleaned the kitchen (like the good fucking wifebot I am!). Meanwhile the MODERN WORKING woman said she needed help getting the cleaning done.
The advert is sphincter squeezing. SniperChris' wifebot looks exactly like that - a robot. "So when your actress walked on the set dressed as an octopus did you think WINS" the ad guy asks? "Erm so maybe not but hey you are remembering something yeah so win" replies Jamie. Relationships are improved at every level by Octi-Klean it seems. The woman can clean up after her whole family and still have energy for sex. *speechless*
The ad massive report back to Sralan - travesty, distasteful, poor execution but who are they talking about? Possibly both teams... [Seriously. Two weeks of both teams doing well and now a week of both teams failing. There really shouldn't have been a "winner" this week. Or, indeed, on any advertising task given they're nearly always abysmal - Rad]
Not Frances sends them to their death - er, I mean into the boardroom.
Was Alex a good team leader Apollo? Silence.... Roll the ad.... 'Right' says Sralan "so whose was the idea." Possibly sensing impending doom, "please sir it was Chris sir" says Alex. Sralan looks perplexed "Er so radio ad says germs and TV ad says deep stain remover? Cos the name's OK but it doesn't fit with the ad."
Turning to Synergy, Sralan asks if the team utilised Joanna, what with her having a cleaning company. SniperChris says "yes we listened to Joanna with her insider knowledge." Jo says "not so much. " Roll the ad, "one of your late night DVDs Nick" quips Sralan. Cripes, here comes his feminist side -he is not impressed with layabout Dad and little woman angle [The bladdy woman didn't even make him any bladdy tea - Rad]. Nick accuses Liz of being all over the octopus idea like "a tramp on chips" when it came up at the focus group.
Sralan and the ad agency are in agreement and somehow Synergy haven't technically lost rather than won because although the ad was shocking, they did show a basic understanding of the task. They just did it very very badly - much like my GCSE science result. For the winners a karaoke party (man these are shit prizes) . For the losers, at least one person is going home.
Sralan tells Apollo that technically they have lost and that their product is the worst thing he has seen in a bathroom since Psycho.
Synergy murder 'We Are The Champions' in a karaoke booth and I want to stab them a little bit. You didn't win OK? You just lost slightly less than the other guys.
In loser cafe, Alex surprisingly disagrees with Sralan's decision. Alex asks for feedback on himself and gets silence. Wait, what is that noise? The sound of knives being sharpened?
Back in the boardroom and Alex is on the back foot straight away by trying to go after the other team first and is shot straight down by Sralan. "Look your product looks like a bladdy car de-greaser and why is Posh Spice on the front?" sneers the baggy eyed one. [I really did think it was a female model on the bottle as well - Rad] Alex says "we wanted something to stand out". In fairness, it would. Sandeesh (who has HUGE eyes) says "well the focus group said yellow was the colour and shit." Chris Lovely Lips Bates says "yes I took the helm of the TV ad" and Stubaggs says "yes, hasta la vista was mine" although we all know it was Arnie's first.
Karren summarises that they got "lost in the ad, lost sight of the product and plus cleaning fluid should be nowhere near kids, IT SAYS SO ON THE BACK OF THE BOTTLE AND YOU USED KIDS IN THE AD NUMBNUTS." Laura stresses she did bring this up but she wasn't allowed to go anywhere near the TV ad. Alex accuses Laura of "being angry all day". I think he stops short of saying she had PMT - just. I can't believe I am defending Laura but she DID ask for more involvement and she DID point out the issue with children + cleaning products = bad. Laura is obviously gutted when Sralan says the ad company said Sandeesh did a good pitch. That being THE ONLY GOOD THING about their whole performance. Might be useful to take note of this, I feel.
Alex decides the failure links to the TV ad so he is bringing back Sandeesh and Chris, "and Sandeesh should have said the bottle should be yellow." But Sralan says "but Sandeesh provided the only good thing in the whole task you bladdy idiot" and even Chris mans up and says "yeah bring me back but not her, doofus". Alex sticks to his guns anyway. This is foolish on one hand, but at least he is not being quite so easily manipulated as previous team leaders. What is it with Sralan arguing every time they choose who to bring back? Laura, who might as well have a neon arrow above her head saying FIRED AS SOON AS KTHANX is told she has got off scot-free. Off you go back to the house with Stubaggs.
Karren tells Sralan that Sandeesh may have done a good pitch but very little else so maybe she is a good choice to come back. Oooh dissent in the ranks! Still Alex is going to talk himself out the door anyway. In double talk.
As they troop back in again you can't help but feel a little sorry for the chipmunk, he must know his orange apple pie is cooked. He starts his defence as predicted. In his day job he is a marketing manager not a creative. Sadly Sralan just told him quite clearly he didn't manage shit. Chris says "yeah but you should have brought Laura back." Sralan says "it wasn't just the ad, though that was shit, you totally lost your message" and Alex says "that was all Chris fault." "Whoah, hang on Dad, I mean Alex" says Chris, "you loved it and you were the boss." There is a fight and some shouting and then Alex sends Chris to his room.
Sralan is still going on about bringing Sandeesh back and Alex now seems to be hanging this purely on Sandeesh not mentioning yellow from the focus group. Chris looks disturbingly like a Thunderbird but points out that if Alex thinks merely changing the colour of the bottle would have made a difference then he is a fool.
Alex says "Chris is responsible and I never liked Germ-O-Nator anyway." Sandeesh says "look Alex was shit end of." Sralan says "you shouldn't have brought Sandeesh in so she goes home now. Alex you should have been the expert here and it went miserably wrong. Chris you shouldn't have taken the helm and you did and it was unforgivable and cocky but the positive things you have done previously have saved your cute little butt. So Alex off you toddle." Alex thanks Sralan, Nick and Karren and is gracious outside wishing Chris well and inside the holy trinity brand him a decent bloke.
Coat watch, black, big buttons, bulky but nice red scarf.
In the cab Alex does a Darius and says he will have a record deal and shit be successful and he doesn't need Sralan anyway.
Next time working with animals, children, penguins and blue screen - no, I really have no idea either but join us and maybe we can figure it out together.