Saturday, 11 December 2010

Magical Mystery Tour

Week 10
Aired 8 December 2010

Last week on The Apprentice, the Apprenti tried to locate 10 items and purchase them in 10 hours for the least amount of spondooles without the aid of google. Jamie bullied a jeweller, Chris & Stubaggs told stupid lies but despite getting only 7 items compared to the girls' 10 they won and Sralan finally got the opportunity to fire Laura.

Jamie jogs half heartedly to answer the phone to NotFrances (and then we have a nice topless shot of Chris brushing his teeth and a not nice shot of trouserless Stubaggs looking like an overgrown school boy). In half an hour the cars will arrive to take them to Wandsworth bus garage. In the boys car Stubaggs is of the opinion that 'the unknown is like walking in to a room of knives blindfolded' - m'kay.

They all look a little confused except Jamie who is working that enthused and engaged thing but just comes off as gormless. Sralan brings them up to speed pretty quickly. The London bus is an icon to all tourists apparently and the task is to set up and run a London bus tour company. Sralan is giving them an open top bus (but not to keep) so they can run bus and walking tours. He mixes the teams up: Jo to Synergy and Stubaggs to Apollo. [Otherwise known as the 'make sure the only person who likes Stella is on the other team' manoeuvre. Cunning. - Steve]

Over 26 million people visit London every year. The teams must get some of them on the bus, round the sights and off the bus for a 'themed' walk. Stubaggs is PM for Apollo. Stella suggests the East End for their tour theme and that for their walk they could visit pearly kings and queens and a jellied eels stall. Liz and Stubaggs look pretty unimpressed but go for it anyway and somehow dump all the work on her as the 'nearest thing they have to a cockney' [I have no idea how that works - Rad] and start hedging their bets early just in case 'if she is too cold and corporate we'll blow it. If we blow it, it is her fault.'

Joanna, Chris and Jamie are up for a Ghost, ghouls and Sweeney Todd theme at Jamie's suggestion. With Joanna in charge she gets starts by getting potential tour guide Jamie by the balls - 'if you fuck up I am taking you off this yeah?'

In the East End Liz and Stubaggs are scoping out places to stop on their tour. Their COCKERNY accents and rhyming slang are as good as you might expect. Liz totally insults a jellied eel seller by asking him to cockney it up. He looks stunned and a customer(?) verbalises for him how patronising and generally shit that is. In the car, Stella is trying to show she is fun and not uptight as she somewhat painfully practices her tour spiel. She is not cold and corporate K? Got it? Good!

At London Bridge Joanne and Jamie are also completing a recce but can't find ghosts, Jamie wants to escape Joanne and go to the pub because Joanne is a rottweiler who is nagging him to death. 'Do you know what you are doing Jamie? Are you sure Jamie? Aren't you a bit shite Jamie? Get a move on Jamie. Don't cross the road without me Jamie.' Interesting that Synergy choose to have the person who will be giving the tour involved in deciding where the tour will go - just saying.

Liz and Stubaggs seem to be randomly wandering about looking scared of Londoners and insulting the East End. There doesn't seem to be a lot of forward planning happening. Joanna is still sticking her boot up Jamie's arse while Nick gurns. When Jamie finally snaps at her she says he is 'scaring her and acting like a mad man'. Never seen a mad man then. She feels he is being aggressive, not her and she feels threatened... WTF? I know that Jamie divides opinion and he can be a prize smug twat more often than not. I know that he has been mostly monosyllabic in his replies to Joanna but she has not stopped whinging at him. Joanna is normally pretty aggressive herself so why she is playing the poor defenceless and intimidated woman here is anyone's guess. [I assume the punchline to all of this is them ending up in bed together. Or is that just what happens in soaps? - Rad]

Cockney tour sorted, Liz and Stubaggs are trying to set prices. They think £30-£35 seems quite reasonable. As well as selling directly to the public the teams can also pitch to London Visitor Centre who will promote the tours in return for a cut of the sales. Apollo pitch their 'Cockney' tour first. The nice Visitors' Centre people seem quite happy with the pitch but ask if the customers get to keep the bus afterwards for that price [Ha! The Visitors' Centre were so much better at "business" than either team it was hilarious - Rad]. Stubaggs and Liz offer them a 25% cut of the tickets the Centre sells despite being told they normally take 35%.

While Joanne and Jamie flog tickets to the public, Chris sexy buzzsaw pitches the 'chilling and terrifying Ghost and Ghouls' tour to the London Visitors Centre. Their prices are a more reasonable £25 for adults and £10 for children or 2 adults and 2 children tickets for £50. He offers them 20% of their TOTAL revenue, hang on - including the tickets Synergy sell directly to the public. The Visitors' Centre bods obviously can't believe their luck and double check several times that Chris means 20% of EVERYTHING and he confirms that yes he does. Going back to Jamie and Joanna, she picks straight up on this and interviews that this is foolishness. Chris says blah blah sexy lips commercially viable whatever. [I'm beginning to suspect that your interest in Chris is not entirely based around his business acumen, Fiona. - Steve] Colin from the visitors centre shockingly rings to say they are going with Synergy - well no shit Sherlock.

Back to the Apprentmansion. The tour guides are practising their spiel. Jamie's Sweeney Todd speech is pretty gruesome.

6.30am the next day and the Apprenti are all getting dressed in a sort of bus driver/air hostess mash up outfit. In the blue corner we have Synergy and in the red Apollo. Chris looks like Parker from Thunderbirds, just hotter. [I did not want that mental image, thanks - Rad] [No, me neither. - Steve] [Sorry - Fiona]

Both teams have got 3 scheduled tours. Stubaggs says 'tourists are just bags of money' he will 'dip into *slurping noises*'. Honestly he is being a vile little toad and if he wants people's money he should at least try and hide the contempt he so obviously holds them in.

Joanne goes to the Visitors' Centre and tries to get out of the 20% of ALL revenue deal. She tries to pass it off as Chris not understanding what he was offering. Shockingly they don't budge - well why would they? They are making money whether they actually sell a single ticket or not. It doesn't really reflect well on them either, the deal is done and it was the basis that the Centre choose to promote them on so they should just suck it up now and not try and weasel their way out of it.

Both teams seem to be doing a good job of selling their tickets but as the buses set off they are hardly packed [it probably didn't help that it looked like a miserable day and the buses were open-topped - Rad]. With the buses gone the remaining team members are out selling tickets. Stubaggs starts following Joanna's customers and trying to 'neutralise them' by promising them a £4 cheaper fare. Here is where Joanna should be channelling her anger (and her fist straight into his flabby face).

Stella is doing a reasonably factual presentation. On the 'Ghost & Ghouls' tour Jamie is enthusiastically but incorrectly imparting little factoids. For example the Thames is London's second largest river and Big Ben's face is '20 diameters wide' - everyone looks confused. 'O look that is Westminster Abby - you can go there, it's a church'. [Essentially, this episode was one giant facepalm, wasn't it? - Rad]

Stubaggs is now trying to mug customers directly outside the visitors centre because 'they went with the wrong team'. Petulant much? The nice lady comes out and tells him to move. First he tries the whole 'it's a free country and pavement and you don't own it and shit'. When that doesn't work he says 'maybe the fair thing to do would be to call the police?' That is a a bit of an epic leap! She just laughs at him and says 'now fuck off my land'.

Jamie's group are now off the bus being treated to gems such as 'see the building that looks like a gherkin? its called a gherkin... cos it looks like a gherkin' [Except... it's not actually called The Gherkin at all - Rad] [Indeed as all Me Too! fans know it is actually Harlequin hospital where Dr Juno works - Fiona] [Still, if allocating names to things based on what they look like is acceptable, then I feel entirely justified in calling Jamie a Smug Bollock-Faced Cunt. - Steve]

Stella meanwhile has a real Pearly King for her show and tell, it might make up for being stuck right next road works.

In the west end Stubaggs and Liz do battle with Chris and Joanne in Trafalgar Square. Stubaggs has a system which wholly consists of approaching anyone that Synergy talk to or even look at. When Chris tells him to fuck off he starts with 'are you gonna hit me?' which confuses Chris because er no he isn't, specially not with a camera crew with them. Another epic leap there Stubaggs. Thanks to Steve we can enjoy the whole exchange:

Chris: "Seriously, Stuart, fuck off."
Stubaggs: "No, YOU fuck off, this is our pitch."
Chris: "This is OUR pitch."
Stubaggs: "Go on, hit me then."
Chris: "I'm not going to hit you."
Stubaggs: "But you mouth off..."
Chris: "Shut up Stuart, you fat twat. Why don't you fuck off down there?" [I love it when posh boys swear. Chris can call me a fat twat any time. As long as he calls me, if you know what I mean. - Steve]
Stubaggs: "That's professional, isn't it?!"
Joanna: "Just ignore him, he's not worth it!"

Meanwhile Stella has got lost in the arse of the East End - ooops. Mind you after Liz insulted Mr Jellied Eel earlier it might be for the best that she has no idea where she is meant to go. Of course if Stella had been included in the location scouting exercise there would have been a better chance of her knowing where to go. After wandering around, asking passersby for directions she suggests they go back to the bus and everyone looks relieved. While Joanna and Chris are pulling in the punters for Jamie, Stella has a mere 8 people waiting for the next tour. Is everyone enjoying themselves she asks? She threatens them that they will be singing Knees Up Mother Brown. An interestingly toothed man giggles, everyone else looks bored - and now she is announcing landmarks after they have gone past them.

Jamie's Sweeney Todd story is getting ever more gruesome. Some of his tourists are starting to look a bit sick. Do any of them actually know this ISN'T A TRUE STORY? [I suspect Jamie doesn't. - Steve] Stella is now reduced to showing her customers graffiti which may or may not be a Banksy. It is hard to tell who is less interested, her or her 8 customers.

In a moment of inspiration Jamie gets a rousing version on 'London's Burning' going as they go under London Bridge. Stella and Mr Strange Teeth's version of Knees Up Mother Brown is less of a success.

As Synergy's final tour departure time looms, they have no bookings from the visitors' centre and Joanne and Chris aren't having much joy drumming up custom. Apollo have got their last tour booked an hour later at 4pm and they have nearly a full bus, due to dropping the price to £15. They don't have to hand anything over to the visitors' centre unlike Joanna who just gave them a huge wodge of cash. Joanna fears if they have lost this will be why.

Boardroom Time!

Synergy say they got on 'OK' and Nick says Jamie was very good at being the tour guide. That is pretty fulsome praise. [Especially given that he was shit - Rad] Chris tries to justify the 20% of EVERYTHING to the Visitor Centre and pretends that was exactly what he meant to do. Sralan says it was 'adventurous' and takes umbridge at Jo trying to backtrack with the centre and says she should have stuck by her team.

On to Apollo where Stubaggs is quick to 'give' Stella credit for the cockney tour idea. Sralan bitch slaps Liz by commenting her idea of a London tour would have been a walk down Bond Street. Ouch. [Bladdy Wimminz love shopping right? - Rad] Sralan brings up the turf war in Trafalgar Square which Chris dismisses as 'handbags at dawn and whatever'. Stubaggs has some sort of fit which is the only possible explanation for his assertion that MUTUAL RESPECT TOOK OVER. Sorry but WTF?! Chris walked off because you were being a twat.

And so it is down to the facts and figures. Apollo's total profit was £834.30 for their 3 tours. Synergy made a profit £1099.43 AFTER giving their 20% cut to the visitors centre AND only doing 2 tours presumably - Chris Lovely Lips rolled the dice with his 'innovative way of doing things' and came in with a good win. They are getting flown to Jersey to look at people 'collecting' oysters and a Michelin star slap up meal. Outside the boardroom there is much rejoicing because it isn't a shit prize for once! [I beg to differ - Rad]

In loser cafe Stubaggs is gutted. Stella says she put her 'heart and soul into the task' and reckons Stubaggs is for the chop and Liz would 'assign blame' to him too. Stubaggs thinks 'they are all to blame'. I think his shitty behaviour means he is a goner.

Whilst flying to Jersey Jamie hilariously keeps up his tour guide persona, Joanne balks at eating raw oysters and they all go for a nice meal, toast themselves and the sweet taste of success.

Back to the boardroom for Apollo round two. Stubaggs surmises that they were too expensive and that lost them the Visitors Centre and that screwed them up. Sralan doesn't disagree, offering them 25% commission isn't that high plus 25% of nothing is nothing plus they would have expected to be offered 35%. Maybe if Stubaggs hadn't been working on the basis that he could financially rape tourists for as much money as he wanted he would have got further. Sralan sees Chris' 20% global commission deal as a shrewd business move. I suspect he would have called it something else if it had lost Synergy the task.

Sralan turns on Liz, 'you have a business degree and have you actually shown the ability to deal with things in a special way', special how exactly? Liz blows some hot air, shares the blame with Stubaggs and no one makes eye contact with her. U-oh....

Stella says she wanted to throw herself into the tours and show she wasn't corporate and wooden (that really stung didn't it?) That seems fair enough to me but our favorite baggy eyed mogul goes after her for doing the 'easy job' and says she should have been doing 'more business related stuff and shit'.

Stubaggs deals with the charge that their tickets we ridiculously over priced and says they did drop their price through 'negotiating' on the day but Karen says tourists don't want to negotiate. 'Yeah' Sralan says and 'Liz sold twice as much as you chipmunk'. He sends them outside so he can talk to Karren and Nick about the last 10 weeks.

Karren says Liz and Stubaggs were both to blame for the price and they had no structure. Nick says Stubaggs 'won't acknowledge he sold half the amount of Liz'. Plus he whispers on Sralan's shoulder 'you can always get rid of two....' Stella doesn't really seem to be figuring in this much.

The trio troop back in. Sralan turns first to PM Stubaggs, 10 weeks ago he was making outrageous claims about making money for Sralan and being a rough diamond. Stubaggs launches into a speech about being so committed to making Sralan huge sums of cash he will work 24/7. 'I don't want a night watchman and a fly has enthusiasm' say Sralan 'it headbutts a window over and over again'. Stu explodes into such passionate and vomity hyperbole that I can't transcribe it. No I can't because I am being sick. 'I'm not a 1 trick pony, I'm not 50 ponies, I have a field of ponies waiting to run at this'. Sralan sums it up well, 'at 21 you believe in what you are spouting but not so long ago you believed in the tooth fairy too'.

Next up is Liz. She talks about her 'energy and determination'. 'Yeah great whatever. Where is your spark of genius' says Sralan and more pointless cliches are banded about. Liz points out she could launch into hyperbole too but it wouldn't mean anything. O Liz do you not know how this works? I am getting a bit bored, but then how many ways can you beg for your reality tv career life in business speak?

'So, steady Stella what are you going to say to me?' asks Sralan. Stella goes for it big style 'I've gone from being practically homeless to being here - I AM MICHELLE FREAKIN' DEWBERRY'. You might as well go back to the Apprentmansion.

Back to Stubaggs, 'I'm only 21, I have my own company and we make 3 million annually and my mum and dad didn't give my nothing but a tenner to buy yo-yos to sell at school. And I bought a flat with my money at 18 and people always say my parents must have given it to me and they didn't and it isn't fair.' Sralan sees himself in young Stubaggs but also thinks it all sounds too good to be true. 'Betting on me will be a punt but one that will pay off massively' replies Smugbaggs.

Sralan sums it up, 'Stella's been in the boardroom more times than the other two. But you have taken on our feedback and even sung Knees Up Muvva Brown. Stubaggs you are a loose cannon and childish, am I a businessman or babysitter? Still you gave good pleading and I get off on that shit. Liz you present well and work hard and always deliver sales. I am looking for something special, I need someone unusual not just someone who can only do talking or sales. What Stubaggs says made more sense so working hard and being consistent is great and all but I am looking for someone special so I'm firing you and keeping the over sized toddler in the middle! He sure is special.'

Sralan may say he doesn't fall for bullshitters or people who say they are just like him but er hello? Michael Sophocles mark 2?

I am all WTF and so is Liz. Yes Sralan you are getting soft in your old age. Please tell me this is just so he can be ripped apart by the rottys. If you tell me that I might forgive you.

Outside the ballroom Liz tears up. The goodbyes are surprisingly warm between all 3 but especially Stella and Liz.

Coat Watch - cream short mac with black trim. Channelling Kim Novak and looking as polished and perfect as ever. Liz taxiviews that she is gutted and devastated and that maybe one day Sralan will be knocking on her door. Presumably she will laugh and then slam it in his face if he does.

Back at the house everyone expects Stubaggs to get the boot and no one expects Liz not to be there. They are really genuinely shocked when Stubaggs struts through the door waving his willy before indulging in a bit of 'Final 5' yeehawing.

Next week it is the rotweilers rip you and your CV to shreads round also known as 'the interviews' and hang on to your hats - MAGS IS BACK IN THE BUILDING PEOPLE!

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