Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bullring of fired

Week 4

Transmitted 25 May 2011

Previously on The Apprentice: we got the buying task out of the way, everyone was rubbish, and Gavin didn’t make any constructive decisions, so off he went.
You will have to bear with us folks, your tellybitching team are plagued with illnesses and deadlines, so please forgive me if, fuelled purely by Day Nurse and cups of tea, this starts to become a bit of a spaced-out recap.

The team are due to meet Sralan at the British Museum. Susan asks ‘what’s at the British Museum, like dinosaurs and stuff?’ Oh dear. The worst part, someone on that there internet pointed out, was that she went to university five minutes away from the place. Sralan stands in front of a statue of Aphrodite (alriiiight), goddess of beauty, because this week’s task is all about flogging beauty products and treatments… in Birmingham. That choice of venue for the briefing was a tenuous link even by Sralan’s standards. He makes Zoe move to Venture to become PM, then shifts Jim and Felicity over to Logic and makes Felicity PM.

He reminds them he wants a '50/50 partner' and lies that ‘a big contender’ left last week.

In the cabs, Susan blabs about this being her field, because never have any apprenti come unstuck doing their own job. Ellie tells us she’s not a ‘polished woman’ whilst Vincent tells us he’s the ‘most girlie boy of the lot’. Melody give the team her expert knowledge of Birmingham: ‘the main shopping centre is in the city centre’. Tom points out they have one treatment room if they go for the Bullring, whilst Zoe’s team go for an out of town shopping centre with three treatment rooms.

The music from The Sims plays as they have treatments demonstrated to them. Leon has a ‘molten’ chocolate facial. Sounds painful. A blonde person I don’t recognise, so presumably is a model, is wrapped in cloth like a mummy. Susan loves this treatment, because she loves every treatment because OHMIGODYOUGUISE BEAUTY IS MY LIFE. [Bored of her already but suspect karmic pay off is not far away - Fiona] Two men demonstrate ‘a clip in winge’ – a clip in fringe in colours that match no-one’s natural hair colour, and some curling tongs, which they call ‘wavy gravy’ – because THAT’S what you want to call a hair product.

A make-up lady says their male make-up products are packaged in a very masculine way as she demonstrates them on Leon. Leon snips that he didn’t like it as it was ‘unnatural’. Hate to break it to you Leon, but that’s y’know, the whole point of make-up. He says he can’t sell the products because he has A GIRLFRIEND. I thought gay panic was the domain of a certain other reality show? [His whinging gave me a possibly disproportional rage, and so did no one else seemingly calling him on it - Fiona]

Some women give a shell massage to Tom, through his clothes, which I’m sure has some people weeping and wailing at a missed opportunity, but I expect Tom has a pigeon chest and thus we've been spared. They appear to put some fluid in a shell to do it, which is all a bit too surreal for my fugged-up brain to handle. They say you can charge £1 a minute for it. Tom loves it, and he says the treatment profit has a 96% margin. Felicity is keen on it. [O sweepie... - Fiona]

Glenn receives a ‘cold stone’ pedicure – where stones are slotted between the feet and lotion is applied. Glenn is all excited and ‘ooh my feet are super-cooled down!’ and Susan loves it, of course. For the next pitch, a spray tan treatment, she blabs to the people selling it even before they demo it that she works in beauty and OMG she loves it. Susan reminds me of a performing seal this episode, all big eyes and clapping and practically offering to fellate all the beauty salespeople… I’m kind of starting to hate her. I’m just not a ‘peppy’ person. I’ve only stuck with Glee for so long because of Lauren Zizes, Santana and the vain hope that Mr Schue will one day receive his comeuppance like Tony off Skins did. [If only. - Steve]

The fake tan people then pitch to Logic and Tom works out this will be the best profit-per-minute treatment. The spray tan people felt that Venture were the most passionate. Felicity doesn’t understand how the other team could have been more passionate and Ellie points out that Susan is ‘excitable’ and might have been all ‘wooooh, you know’. Heh. We then get a neat edit to Susan going ‘wooooh’ at the phone call confirming they got the tanning treatment. Nice editing there.

The apprenti then get to practice their treatments. Melody tries to dry Natasha’s hair and fails, while Ellie and Tom massage Zoe and Jim who love the treatment. Susan fails at trying to spray tan a male model, and then it’s Leon’s turn. He doesn’t want to. Susan points out that ‘it doesn’t make you gay’, but Leon clearly can’t look at the muscular man standing in his pants in front of him. Eventually, though, he loosens up and eases himself in there. (Eyethangyew)

Susan calls Zoe and says she’s being “modest” with the figures and can sell three tanning lotions per hour, which equals 72 products. Zoe says that’s too ambitious and Susan’s all ‘that’s what I sell in my day job’ and she’s ‘more than confident’ they’ll sell out. They agree to buy 35 but Susan whines that they can sell more. I’m beginning to suspect that Susan’s ‘skincare and beauty’ business is actually a posh name for selling face-painting at kids’ parties.

Over in the Bullring, Natasha tries, and fails, to flog a ‘winge’ by calling it ‘a bit like a pet hamster’. To be fair, maybe that’s the market they should have gone down – remarkable pet hamsters that don’t need feeding or cleaning. I’m sure some parents would have gone for them to shut their kids up. Ellie, Tom and Natasha set up their single room. Team Venture are in the large out-of-town Westfield centre. Zoe reminds Susan she wanted to buy double the products so they should sell out.

In the Bullring, Logic are selling products from one of those weird ‘Soap and Co’ places you get in shopping centres that everyone tries to run away from. Every time I run past the one in Meadowhall I wonder if the people there trying to flog unspecified beauty stuff are secretly Apprentice candidates, so it made me chuckle that sometimes they actually are. [You mean the ones that tried to sell me shampoo just after I had all my hair shaved off? Maybe they are filming the next series already.... - Fiona] [The Soap & Co in Westfield White City actually did coerce Chris and I into buying two extortionately-priced pots of salt. They were actually pretty amazing in terms of softening hard skin, but I was still fleeced whichever way you look at it. - Steve]

Felicity tells some people a winge looks a bit weird, but when it’s on, it looks great because the hair is ‘such good quality’. Nick reminds us that the treatments make a load more money than the products but Logic are just selling products, not treatments. Felicity phones Ellie and Ellie says they’re fed up because they have no customers. Felicity says they’re going to send Tom down but ‘on a positive note, the products are selling really well’. Ellie and Melody beg Tom to send people up.

Over at Venture, Helen gets a tanning customer but can’t work the spray machine. She then realises she hasn’t switched it on. [Can I facepalm? Thanks - Fiona] Zoe gives a woman a cold stone pedicure. In the centre, a still silent Edna (sans gloves, and therefore sans power), Glenn, Susan and Leon are flogging tanning lotion and nail polish. Susan is struggling to sell anything. Karren reminds us that ‘if you set yourself up for something you’re not’ (burn!) you’re due a fall. Vincent sells a woman a massage for £30 which is less than they cost ‘in London’ where people will spend a fortune on a dribble of sweaty orange juice.

Tom is back down with Logic selling products and Nick tells the camera that Tom had all the figures and knew where the profit was, yet he’s selling bows because it’s easier. Melody and Ellie come down to look for something to do. Felicity sends Ellie back up and says she doesn’t understand why no treatments have been sold – erm, because you haven’t been flogging them? Rocket science it isn’t.

Leon gets over his gay panic by flirting with female customers to sell products and does what Karren describes as a ‘weird finger trick thing’ involving him linking pinkies with girls… I don’t even know what that’s about. [Because there's nothing even remotely gay-looking about walking around with your little finger in the air. - Steve]

Edna tells Zoe that Susan’s only sold three products. Zoe reminds Susan of the phone call where she wanted to buy loads. Susan puts a little girl voice on and whines ‘this is really unfair’. I hate Susan you guys, sorry. [Nope am right there with you - Fiona] Zoe says it’s not unfair, Susan made her bed. Susan says ‘I gave you advice’ and Helen says ‘that advice was wrong’. Susan whines about it being ‘so unfair’ and ‘I DO sell skincare for a living, I do, honestly, really’.

Ellie gives a massage to a woman who says she’s never had a massage from a woman before. Ellie asks if she’s had one from a bloke. The woman: ‘yeah, it normally leads to something else, dunnit?’ Ellie: ‘well it won’t do this time’. More gay panic! Although it’s kind of hilarious for Ellie’s face, as she clearly doesn’t know how to respond to girlie banter.

Logic eventually start to do more treatments, with Melody, Tom and Ellie all up there talking to clients, which can’t be very relaxing for the massage victims. Venture have £80 of leftover stock.

Sralan welcomes them back and makes a terrible ‘beauty and the beast’ joke which I won’t repeat and says that this is right up his street because if he wasn’t in the electronics business he’d be in the beauty business. Didn’t he make poor old Tim try and launch some weird electrical beauty device when he worked at NotAmstrad? Leon, resplendent in pink, doesn’t accuse Sralan of being gay for making this admission.

Venture say Zoe was a good PM, but Leon says she didn’t give him enough morale ‘but it didn’t matter because I was an acey-pacey salesman’. Zoe said she heard he’d done well though she hasn’t seen the sales figures. Sralan points out that they had Susan and Zoe says she regrets taking Susan’s advice. Helen says Susan was too ambitious and doesn’t seem to know her own business. Susan whines but doesn’t really have a comeback. Felicity’s team say they wanted the tan and massage but lost the tan. Sralan says ‘looks like Vincent already had one’. Ellie says the other team had ‘more girlie girls, no offence’ but it’s not clear if the ‘no offence’ is aimed at the girlie saps over on Venture or the butch dykes in Logic.

Figures time! Venture spent £734 and made £937 for a profit of £203.01. Sralan is distinctly underwhelmed. Log spent £924 and sold £677 for a £246.28 loss. Those figures don’t add up, Nick and Karren. Sralan calls out Susan for the rubbish profit margin and if they’d bought all the products she wanted, they’d have lost. HA-HA. Their prize is dancing with Katya and Robin from Strictly. Michel Roux Jr, Strictly dancers… the prizes are getting better (last week’s abomination aside).

Sralan welcomes Vincent to ‘team Titanic’ despite the fact that, possessing a penis, he’s been part of Logic twice before, so it really should be ‘welcome back’. It does amuse me that Logic have lost 4/4 tasks though. Sralan keeps calling Tom and Vincent his stalkers for always being part of the losing team and Vincent and Tom acknowledge it was a shambles.

We see the dancing, but Katya is sadly sans hat. Susan whines that there are ‘no friends in this place’. Gah. I just want to punch her. Repeatedly. [I'll help. - Steve]

Loser café. Vincent says he needs to be PM so he can win. Ellie reminds the women that they’re not ‘girlie girls’ and Tom reminds Felicity that she said she’d ‘got it covered’ on the treatments. Felicity deludes herself that they’re all equally responsible because in the boardroom the others said she was a good PM.

Sralan reminds them that they didn’t sell any treatments until 3.30 in the afternoon. Felicity says ‘exactly’, apparently adopting the suicide PM strategy. Sralan and Nick call Tom out on not selling treatments. He asks if Ellie and Melody were just sat waiting so they wouldn’t get the blame. Tom tries to blame the location. Melody snaps ‘don’t blame the location’. Sralan says they should all have asked what was going on. Natasha says there was no strategy. Felicity says there was a strategy, which was to sell a product and then sell a treatment on the back of it. Sralan asks why they didn’t grab people by the arm and walk them to the treatment room. Erm, because that’s kidnapping? Sralan asks what Jim did, Jim said he sold two massages for £7 each, and you know why it was only £7? Nick interrupts ‘because you didn’t sell it for more’. Nick and Karren have sharpened their claws today, haven’t they?

Felicity seems stunned when asked to bring two people back and she chooses Ellie but is ‘worried about my second one’. She says she doesn’t think Ellie is a team player and then flaps about a bit and eventually brings in Natasha for not selling enough. Natasha says ‘I sold more than Jim’. Yeah, but Jim’s the solid favourite, and we need three female firings in a row to make up for the clam bake the show’s becoming.

Karren tells Sralan Natasha is all talk and no action. Sralan asks Ellie what she’s doing here. ‘I want to be your business partner’ <3 Ellie. She says she doesn’t understand why Tom’s not in the boardroom because he wasn’t selling the treatments. Sralan asks why Ellie was brought back. Felicity says it was because Ellie wasn’t enthusiastic enough in the pitches. Ellie says Natasha didn’t let her get a word in edgeways and Natasha says Ellie was sidelined on the task. Ellie asks Felicity why they spent so much on hair products that wouldn’t sell. Felicity said she thought they could sell three items an hour per person. Ellie asks Sralan if he wants to go into business with someone who can’t do figures. Mind you, Tom could do figures and look where that got them.

Natasha and Ellie then go in for the kill, as Natasha points out some people were given free treatments. Felicity says this was a SRS BSNS strategy as they got a few minutes for free and then they could pay for more. I know nothing about business except for what I’ve learned from this show and whatever remnants of my Business Studies GCSE are lurking in the darkest recesses of my subconscious along with 3D trigonometry and an understanding of arable farming, and I can safely say that is the worst. strategy. ever.

Ellie says they were students who were just there for a freebie. Sralan asks why Natasha didn’t protest. Natasha says she did and Felicity denies it and goes for ‘everyone said I was a good PM’ as her defence. Ellie says ‘I only said that to be nice’. Sralan says it’s not a game (er, I believe it is) and they should be honest. Felicity says Ellie just moans. Natasha bitchfaces for her life.

Sralan says that ‘there ain’t no team’ with the person he’s partnering with, they’re on their own. SO much for 50/50 partners, Sralan. He says Ellie shouldn’t have stayed in the room and he doesn’t think Natasha understood what was going wrong until she got into the boardroom but there weren’t any decisions made so Felicity is fired. She gives a thank you for the opportunity. The others don’t even shake her hand, say goodbye or anything. Ouch. [Bye then sweepie. Thought the lack of farewell from the others was just mean - Fiona]

Coatwatch – grey with an overabundance of sporty scarf. Her cabterview consists of saying the others stabbed her in the back by saying she was a good PM then saying she wasn’t. Fail. Back at the house they said that they didn’t say goodbye to her. Vincent looks shocked. Natasha unconvincingly spiels that ‘this ain’t a popularity contest, this is about business’.

Next week: They make their own pet food. Bleeeeeeeee. Join Steve then!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Top hat and fails

Episode 3

Transmission date: 18 May 2011

So you guys, I hear Sralan’s on the lookout for a new business partner, but apparently The Partner would give off the wrong kind of connotations, and different prize aside, it’s been business (ho ho) as usual.

Previously on The Apprentice, hand-squeezed orange juice, fleecing Londoners, terrible mobile apps and Edna’s gloves.

6am at the new Apprentice mansion and a fully PJ-ed Melody answers the phone to hear that they have half an hour before meeting Sralan. There are a few gratuitous shots of Natasha in a towel and Glenn with his top off. His body isn’t half bad, but every time I look at his face and ears I think of this:

Too cruel?
[No - Fiona]

In the car, the girls think their winning streak can’t carry on and Natasha thinks there are some weak girls who will be going. Given I can’t name at least three of them yet, she might be on to something. [I agree. I would, however, count Natasha amongst those weak girls. - Steve]

They meet Sralan, Nick and Karren at the Savoy hotel. We discover it’s been closed for three years for refurbishments, and having blown £200 million, they’re now in need of the apprenti to finish the job by buying them a few bits and bobs for not too much money. Essentially, it’s the Big Society in action.

Savoy porn! We’re told it’s been empty for three years, but opening again soon. It has a pretty fountain that appears to be working despite said lack of custom. So much for efficiency savings, eh? This not-quite product placement is almost as shameless as the US Apprentice in the years it became one long commercial rather than a reality show. [The Savoy was also shamelessly plugged on The Hotel Inspector a few weeks ago; it's doing rather well on that front right now. - Steve]

It’s the annual shopping for obscurities task, and time for our first shuffle around of the teams. Melody, Ellie, Natasha and Zoe move to Logic whilst Glenn, Leon and Jim move to Venture. The buyer from the Savoy points out that they need the best quality at the best prices and we’re told they have nine hours to do the task. Susan is PM for Venture and she tells us she started a business at 18 and paid off her mum’s mortgage whilst doing her A-levels and a degree. Not sure doing A-levels and a degree at the same time is that possible, but hey, Melody walked on the moon with the Dalai Lama or something so Susan could have done GCSEs, A-Levels, a degree, a PhD, her bronze lifesaving swimming badge and invented the iPad3 for homework and her efforts would still have paled in comparison.

Gavin volunteers for Logic, although Vincent offers as well. Looking at the list of items, Gavin thinks getting ice will be easy (can we smell schadenfreude in the air?) but a “clock, closhay” (cloche) will be hard.

The Yellow Pages and the phones come out – but these phones look like smart phones, which presumably have the internet, and thus make a mockery of the whole ‘no internets ALOUD’ nonsense. They have to get a chandelier. I’d love to see both Apprentice-sourced chandeliers in the Savoy.

Venture ring around suppliers and work out their day’s strategy. Nick, shadowing Venture, seems impressed that Susan is controlling the big personalities in her team (including Edna, reduced to a silent part today, sadly). Venture get a whole bunch of leads and head out, whilst Logic get the loser music for their slowness in getting the same. Natasha phones a rival hotel looking for their suppliers list, and speaks as if she was giving a presentation. Karren says that it’s a daft idea to think another hotel will give her their suppliers and Gavin, embarrassed, asks her to end the call. [I was already shaking my head sadly by this point - Fiona]

In car Venture, Susan says whatever price they (the suppliers) say for the top hat, they should shoot really low and say, like, a fiver. In the shop, a ‘hatmakers to the aristocracy’, the top hat is £365 and Felicity says it’s too much and asks if there is any chance they could go lower. Instead of making an offer, she asks for ‘as cheap as cheap as cheap’ as they can give it. Susan is there, note, and does not ask for it at £5. Nick PTCs that the last time he came in to this shop, the King of Tonga was there and he does not negotiate. [He obviously didn't notice that the King of Tonga was, at the time, teaching Melody some valuable business skills. - Steve] Susan asks if he can give them “just a few pounds” off and he says no. Marvel at her amazing negotiation SKILLZ, bitches. Yasmina, Saira and Ruth Badger wouldn’t stand for this nonsense. Hell, even ELLIE wouldn’t stand for this nonsense. Felicity whines in the car that he wouldn’t take a penny off ‘I mean how greedy does one have to be?’ [Oh sweepy hello - and goodbye fairly soon I'd wager - Fiona]

Susan asks the other sub-team to go halves on their produce with suppliers. Like you did? At a butcher’s, after some haggling, Edna and Jim get fillet steak down to £180 from £210. Is that what meat costs? Colour my northern, vegetarian heart shocked. [Not in Morrisons duck - Fiona] Jim then schmoozes the finance guy down to £170, which is rather cheeky but fairly well done.

Gavin’s team haven’t set off yet and are still getting the loser music. Here is where I became convinced team Susan would go, in a rerun of the ice-cream task from series 4 (Princess Lindi, neva4get).

Vincent moans that they’re not doing anything and Gavin tells him to chill out. Vincent asks Zoe to keep a record for him, act as his PA, and her face actually gets screen-time for the first time all series. Melody has found a light bulb 20-40 minutes away. A light bulb??? The men faff about with a map. What happened to “the knowledge”, cabbie? [The supplier in question was in Teddington, which is well outside the boundaries of The Knowledge. - Steve]

In Vincent’s car he says the aim is to get the best price. No shit. He has a touch of the Peter Owen Jones about his delivery to camera, which might mean very little to those of you who haven’t spent the last five years of your life having to watch documentaries and suchlike about religion. SIGH.

Natasha fails to get a discount on a sign. She offers £ 40 or £50 and Vincent cuts her out and gets the price to £80 including VAT.

Susan’s team fail yet again to get a top hat discount, but after an intense round of negotiations, Susan’s hardline approach, basically consisting of this:

gets a whole penny off. Nick does some smell the fart acting.

Tom from Logic is trying to find out what a cloche is, and he thinks it might be a bell. Glenn’s Venture sub-team source one – it’s a cooking hood. Tom’s team then think it’s a mini greenhouse. Glenn’s team got 44p off her cloche. Susan rings her other sub-team and tells them of her bargain top hat.

Vincent’s team get 25% off steak but it’s still £240, i.e. £70 more than the other team’s.

Gavin’s team go to a dry cleaner’s called ‘Top Hat Cleaners’ and Gavin asks if they know where to get a top hat from. The guy laughs that they won’t find one ‘round here’. London bitchers, I’m sure there’s a funny point to make about the area they were in but… I’m from oop North. [I think they were in the Shepherd's Bush/Acton sort of area, so their best bet if they wanted a top hat would've been to head towards White City and hope to steal one from a hipster working at the BBC. - Steve] Gavin then asks ‘I’m guessing you dry clean these kind of items?’ The nation collectively facepalms.

Karren reminds us it’s not only Sralan they have to face but the hotel, which sadly gets my hopes up that they might give the apprenti feedback (whoops, spoiler).
Melody and Gavin bicker about what Melody has or hasn’t said to him about the mythical garden cloche. Gavin calls Vincent and stutters like he’s about to break down.

Susan goes into a fabric shop for organza and the woman says it costs £119.50 She says ‘please, please, pretty please give me money off it’s for an important client’. Fabric lady asks what difference that makes to her. [Favourite one liner in this series, can't see it getting beaten anytime soon - Fiona] Fabric lady for interviews! Susan says PLEEEEEEEEASE, we’ll give you cash and ‘be really really quick’ and yet again fails to negotiate, but the fabric lady rolls her eyes and gives her it for £100.

Gavin gets £76 as his price for the fabric in another shop, and Zoe gets some eye-rolling face time but no lines as yet.

Ellie is looking for 3 ply loo roll, which is pretty standard, isn’t it? You’d think the Savoy would want stuff made from gold leaf, moisturised with the tears of Unicorns, not Triple Velvet. Ellie is trying to find out how much the suppliers have and Vincent keeps interrupting her on the phone. He then snatches the phone off her to complete the call himself, which is incredibly rude. Ellie tells the camera that in her ‘industry’ he’d be called a ‘wide boy’. Really? I thought a wide boy was a more a Del Boy type, but hey-ho. [Where I work he'd just be called a wanker - Fiona]

Susan’s team got the sign for £40, whilst Melody calmly negotiates a top hat down from £365 to £360.

Gavin gets a discount on light bulbs, Melody seems not to find physalis anywhere – is it that uncommon? Surely you can just get it from Morrison’s or somewhere? They can’t find ice either, allegedly. What, is there no Makro in the vicinity?

Ellie finally gets some loo roll from a man in a portakabin (High end!) called Harry, who really does strike me as a ‘wide boy’.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, drumroll, please…


She’s meant to be negotiating for ice in SE London but they’re in NW. Won’t it MELT if they have to travel a way to get it? Vincent rings Gavin and says the game plan should be to kick arse (helping much?) to find ice or tea, one or t’other. Susan’s team also need two items including the flowering chamomile tea. Gavin gets 30% off the tea, which originally cost £2.50 for 75 grams (I think? The whole tea pricing thing confused me a bit). Susan reckons it’ll be £10 per kilo and she’ll get it for £30, because as has been established, Susan knows the cost of nothing whatsoever in this world.

Nick says Susan’s team aren’t thinking and they keep going to the most expensive places in town. Worked for some people in the past, though, right?

Susan has a panic attack as they try and negotiate for tea with some posh woman who loves letting them stew with an evil grin in her eye, and calmly explains that her tea is the best ever in the world EVER and costs £990 for the ten kilos they require. Felicity almost drops dead from shock. We see Logic spending just over £200 on their tea. Evil tea lady offers to give them the tea for £700. In the end, they spend £187 more than the other team. Ouch, you’d just take the penalty, surely?
Gavin’s team don’t have physalis, lightbulbs, a cloche or dum, dum dum… ice. OUCH.
Susan ponders ‘what if we could have had it for like £30’ (the tea). You could, probably, if you’d bough a job lot of Tesco Value tea bags, which I presume is what Ellie would have got for you. Leon, bless his befuddled heart, says ‘we can’t have made a mistake’.

Boardroom time. Sralan says the reason he set this task today was because you’ll need to negotiate in business. Not because you set it every year then, Sralan?
Venture – Sralan asks if Susan was a good PM, and they say yes, and Jim was a good sub PM. Oooh, BURN. Sralan calls them out on going to the highest end shops. Just because a client wants quality ‘it don’t mean I have to go to these top class poser shops’. He points out that they went to the posy tea shop and his grammar has not yet improved, as he asks ‘where is your brains’? Susan points out that it was the best quality tea in all of London. Sralan says, yeah, if they sold it to you for £410 from £990 then there’s something wrong there.

Sralan asks if Gavin was a good PM, and he gets lukewarm support. They acknowledge they didn’t research well and left at 11. Sralan – I left at 8, so you were hanging around for three hours? Gavin looks stressed throughout. Sralan points out that they went to Top Hat cleaners. G admits he took it literally. They said they couldn’t get a cloche, the others leave Tom to flounder around saying steel was maybe catering. Karren asks if that was the case, why go to a garden centre?
Venture got 9 items, didn’t get an item worth £202.75 – what was it? Spent £1381.69. Logic’s total £1389.20. Susan won – by £8. I so thought she was being fired. Still, her prize for being a sucky PM (a victory’s a victory, right?) is going to a circus cabaret in one of Covent Garden’s trendiest bars, which sounds to me like it’d be all seven circles of hell at once, so it’s probably just punishment. [The only part of that which sounds pleasant to me is "Covent Garden", and that's really only because there are shops there that sell nice cheese. - Steve]

Sralan says it’s a disgrace that Logic only got 6/10 so deserve to lose on that basis.

The circus thing looks APPALLING and Glenn pulls a face. Susan toasts to team Venture who are 3 for 3 on the wins at the moment, although which team is which will presumably become less and less meaningful until the whole thing collapses somewhere between weeks five and six as usually happens.

Loser café. The plinky plonky piano of sad French films plays. Vincent tells the camera that Gavin knows he’s very strong, and I don’t really want my brain to be going there [too late - Steve] so… oh, and he can’t wait to have a one to one with Lord Sugar.

Gavin whines that people are willing to let you sink and drown rather than help you out as a team. So butthurt…. Whoops, sorry, my mind went there AGAIN.

In the boardroom, and Sralan says they had over three hours of pontificating. Gavin says it was because their leads weren’t good enough. People wanted to go out and he was all ‘please, just carry on with what you’re doing’. This is his DEFENCE, folks. Sralan says he got feedback from Karren that everyone ignored Gavin and Gavin whines that they did. Zoe gets another line and says no one took him seriously.

Sralan asks why they ran out of time – Ellie says logistics. Vincent says 60% of their time was spent in the hotel. Gavin says he was told the sub team had got leads and they didn’t all work out. Vincent says that Gavin’s sub team only had one item until the last minute. Gavin stutters about, asking if he can respond. Oh, the tension. Sralan asks if Vincent put himself forward and Vincent replies that he regrets not taking it, even though we saw the team vote for Gavin. Sralan says Vincent did end up taking over anyway and points out him taking Ellie’s phone off her. Vincent cries ‘I just wanted to win, I’ve been in here twice’, but Sralan hates a posh bloke more than a bladdy woman, so I’m not sure the phone snatching nonsense will have done him any favours.

Natasha is called out for being rubbish and he asks why Zoe’s the only one who didn’t negotiate (er, because she doesn’t have lines, she’s just a bit part?). She then babbles about the NE/SW directions. Tom says that towards the end there was a sense of giving up. Sralan jumps on this like a rottweiller. GIVING UP? Tom says Gavin was like a beaten man at the end. He’s bringing back Vincent and Zoe, Zoe shakes her head.

Nick says Gavin lacked an authority that young 21 year old Susan had – so much for Ed being the youngest, then. I’d like a line-up to verify whether he was ACTUALLY the shortest as well. Karren says his team was stroppier to handle, despite at the start us being told Susan’s team with Edna and co was the stroppiest team so whatevs, show. They say that they don’t know what Zoe’s capable of. No shit.

Sralan – asks why Zoe’s in the boardroom. Gavin says she didn’t get leads/negotiate deals and Vincent’s feedback was she acted as his PA (which he specifically asked her to do, lest we forget) and she said she did get some leads. Karren says part of the tasks is to think on your own feet, she thinks Zoe has a voice (really?) but finds it hard to get across. Zoe says she did what she was told and didn’t have a time to shine. Sralan says that could be her own fault and she can’t go into business with him and pass him little messages (DEAR STELLA. HOW’S THE BROOM CUPBOARD AT NOTAMSTRAD? SUCKS TO BE YOU. LOLZ. ZOE XX). Zoe stutters and fails.

Apparently Gavin says on his CV that he’s a good manager of people and Vincent then blabbers about his team’s leads. Sralan gets out his pre-prepared joke of the day: ‘I know you’re Belgian and that’s where the waffles come from’. Vincent says he did EVERYTHING, even get the ice - which they didn’t get, so whatever, Vincent. Vincent says he would be remembered and could go back and negotiate again in the same shops. Sralan you like to make a good impression, let’s see if I remember you. Like you remember Nicholas de Lacy Brown?

His summing up - Zoe: your fault you haven’t made an impression; Gavin: You haven’t kept people under control; Vincent: I don’t like people who undermine others, but because the task was out of hand, Gavin is fired.

Zoe gets the first ‘show me something’ of the series. She simply nods ‘agreed’, which seems a bit reasonable for an Apprentice candidate. She won’t last. At least she didn’t ask to be made PM.

Nick says it was a foolish loss. Karren they know now there is no hiding place.
Coatwatch, long, dark brown with a black scarf. Not sure the colour combination works. Gavin cabterviews unconvincingly that firing him was a mistake as Sralan is looking for a business partner not an employee and if he’s looking for someone like Vincent good luck to him. I don’t think he’s looking for someone like Vincent any more than he’s looking for someone like Edna, Gavin. I guess you don’t know how this show works.

Ellie at the house talks about Vincent being a wanker [that's my line - Fiona] and seems unhappy when he comes back. Zoe says Gavin didn’t have an argument against them, but doesn’t mention that Sralan wasn’t that impressed with any of them.

Next week: the apprenti massage some poor unsuspecting folk – by the looks of things, at the British Museum. Such fun!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

A little APPrehensive

Week 2: 11 May 2011

Previously on the Apprentice, the rules were changed and now Sralan is looking for a business partner, not a lackey. It kind of makes a lot more sense that way, with all the wheely dealy business havey people not having to give up their own businesses to earn 100k selling bannisters from a business park in Kettering, or whatever Sralan normally lines up.

Also, the Apprentices had to 'add value' to fruit. Edward's attitude can be summed up as 'SMASH IT'; this extends to juicers. The boys (that is, Logic) lost, and Edward got himself fired by bringing in totally the wrong people. Inventor Tom, slightly doughy Orlando Bloom Leon, and 'charmer' Vincent Dinosaur stood out in my mind. The girls (as far as I'm concerned, Galvanised) won and got a reward that I have already forgotten. Cassandra-like Susan Ma (totally right, totally ignored), lost member of Eternal and stone-cold bitch Edna, and hater of poncey stuff like pasta, vegetables, spelling and That London Ellie grabbed my attention of the girls.

Fifteen remain. God. We're gonna be here a while, kids. Oh my god! At five in the morning, Tom answers the door already in his suit [has he never watched this show before? That's NOT how it works - Rad]. They get a laptop couriered to them rather than a phone call. A LAPTOP. Sralan is there on the screen. It's like a really really bad Mission Impossible sequel. Sralan says that it's appropriate that he's on a computer, because this task involves something technological doowizzery. It's a market that's exploded – 'mobile phone applications, better known as apps'. Thanks for that clarification, Sralan. They've got to make an app (Edna, in a hairnet, looks horrified) that will go on sale for one day. The team with the most downloads after one day will win. The other team will have someone fired. The cars are arriving in ten minutes.

In the cars, Glenn wants to put them on the map and prove why they're there. Melody wants to win twice in a row. Leon says there's 'APProximately twelve hours', Jim asks if they're APProaching where they need to be, Leon says it's APPsolutely important to get it right and then Vincent Dinosaur asks if they had an APPle and everyone is utterly silent. Leon looks out the window. I think I might love Leon. [In fairness to Vincent, that "silence" couldn't have been more obviously inserted in the edit room if there'd been a clock in the background jumping backwards and forwards in time. - Steve]

The teams get to GrAPPle the app makers. The chairman gives them apps for dummies, but our readers are all hip and hAPPening and internet-savvy, so I don't need to tell you that, right?

Leon puts himself forward as PM. He was thinking of an App for his (fast food marketing) business and also wants to impress Sralan. Gavin doesn't really care about that. Vincent Dinosaur puts himself up to. Glenn is a software writer. Jim says he'll do it. Eventually, weirdly Jim then leads the vote for Leon and he wins. If you can call it winning.

Edna puts herself up for the girls. This is gonna be gooooood. She to-cameras, basically 'I'm an utter bitch. That's my management style'. Melody's like 'nobody else wants to, so YAY EDNA?'

Edna sends Felicity and some others to do surveys on the street to ask what people like, how many apps they get and so on.

The boys think of 'toilet paper word of the day' and a bubble wrap app that you can press to make popping noises, I guess? Bubble wrAPP. If they'd done that, they would have won by a bloody landslide. Touch-screen phone, run your finger over it to make bubble-wrap popping noises. Everybody would download that. Tom suggests an app that tells you the temperature in London a year ago today, and a traffic light. Leon says, 'just a traffic light?' bemused but trying to encourage him. Leon reminds them that this is going global. They then utterly disregard this, by going for Glenn's regional insult app, with people with accents saying funny things.

For the girls, it's actually worth verbatiming Susan. You also have to imagine this punctuated with shots of Melody giving deathglare and Edna shaking her head and mouthing the word 'no'.

Susan: 'I've just thought of this, um, I think it's a brilliant idea. Okay, so imagine if you've got two people sat next to each other and um, okay, hang on a second, so you're you and I'm me and I say, “Okay, um”. So, if I ask you a question like “Where do you think we are?” and I say “Okay, I'm going to ask my phone where we are right now”'

Edna: 'Sounds a bit complicated Susan...'

Susan: 'Nononono. Can I just finish my idea cos I don't think I'm explaining this very well. You type the answer but when it, what it actually shows up is um here is my question. So you type … Does that make sense?'

No, Susan. No it really, really does not. Edna interrupts again

Susan: 'So the text that comes up … Can you please just let me finish?'

Edna: 'Susie, no.' Susie! Such a bitch.

Susan: 'Because I've seen it before and it's a great idea …'

So not only does it make NO sense, it also already exists. Edna finally shuts her down, and Susan is a bit frustrated. Edna to-cameras that Susan likes to talk and talk and will sulk, and that if you don't like her way of doing things, you can get off her team. They have no time left, so Susan isn't allowed to explain. I'm kind of annoyed because I really want to know what she was talking about. Truly, Susan Ma's App may have displaced Hannah Cherry's Invention as the greatest Apprentice mystery of all time. Melody pinches the bridge of her nose like she's trying to head off a tension headache.

The boys come up with the name 'Slangatang'. Leon again points out that it needs to be global (I didn't notice that he said that the first time) and despite worries that it could be offensive, they're all like 'YAY SLANGATANG!'

Felicity comes back up from surveying, saying people like time-wasters. She thinks of an annoying noise app – like popcorn in the cinema. An app to annoy people. The app man says it's totally feasible. Trying to come up with a name, they somehow they agree on Ampi App, as suggested by … um … a brunette chick I totally don't recognise. Ampi App is a bad name, but they also thought of 'Useful Noises', so you know. Small victory... [Someone on Twitter suggested An-NOISE - Rad]

Susan bitches in the car about the 'massive age gap' between her and Edna and points out that Edna had no ideas herself. Melody says shut it, I don't care, leave me out of it. Melody's kind of wicked.

The boys look for photos to be the 'face' of their app. By just photographing people in the street with their mouths open. Tom has a ruler that's a piece of paper that says 'ruler' on it, presumably to get the right distance between camera and face. They go back to the designer – it's going to be the same face each time, with different cartoon hats to show the accents. Gavin isn't sure about the app, but thinks time will tell.

The boys cast themselves as the voices. They don't seem to be insults so much as stereotypes. Alex goes Pakistani for Welsh, as is the wont of people who can't do accents. The things are like a Welsh person saying 'I absolutely love rugby'. It's not … an insult. [Or slang, for that matter. - Steve] Nick doesn't get it, but thinks he might be too old. No, Nick. It's just that bad.

Cut to some of the girls arguing really loudly, with Karrren looking on appalled. But, zounds! They're making an annoying arguing noise to record for the app! Oh, Editors! You fooled me thoroughly. [Not going to lie, I totally fell for this. - Steve] Melody makes kitty noises, very seriously, shushing people so she can, like, Be In Her Cat Moment. Susan says to camera that she's not convinced by the app and thinks they're heading for disaster. Then she records herself mooing.

The teams come up with blurbs for their apps. The joke 'apportunity' is made by Jim in his blurb, along with phrase 'hilarious local vocal'. The boys love it... I'm not entirely sure why.

They need to go to technology review websites. It's going to be Leon, Jim and Vincent Dinosaur going to the sites

There's a gaming expo. Edna decides that Melody, who has been giving talks to groups of teenagers for thirteen years, won't be as good at pitching to them as she, HR professional and soul-devourer, is. Um. Melody explains that she's used to presenting to groups of three thousand young people. Edna says she's looked at strengths and limitations and that's it, basically. 'I want to do the pitch because shut up' is her logic.

The slangatang looks really cheap, and it isn't insults any more, just things people say. Ampi Apps doesn't really look much better. There are now annoying, animal, and celebration noises. Ellie says she's worried about the randomness. Melody to-cameras that she doesn't really like it, and that there are better ones out there, but she's still going to give it everything. Good girl. Also she is bizarrely formal and says applications every time, not 'apps', which is awesome.

In the car, the boys already have 50 downloads. The girls seem to have none but are hopeful.

Sralan has made appointments with 3 tech sites. The Apprentices are trying to impress them and failing singularly. Melody screws up, saying Pocketlint has 37,000 unique hits a month, which is extremely impressive. They're like 'We have over a million.' Melody's like 'Oh.' A man asks 'Is that a picture of an elephant and the sound of a dog?' Team Galvanised are like 'Quirky!!' 'Do you have the sound of an elephant?' 'No.' 'Oh.' [I was teaching postmodernism to my A-level group earlier that day and this was still too postmodern for my brain to take - Rad]

Vincent Dinosaur also totally mucks up with Pocketlint. He starts with 'Hi chaps'. And he says they're going to introduce them to slangatang. No no no. No more introducing of things instead of people. He's just stuttering and pausing. And saying meaningless little soundbites without actually telling them anything. And also making no sense. And finally asking for help. Jim steps in and helps out, quite confidently explaining the marketing and stuff. Nick loves Jim long time.

They go to a tech fair at Earl's Court. The boys are dressed up in various uniforms to match the slangatang accents. Some dumb people seem to LOVE slangatang. Edna is pushy and abrasive. I, for one, am shocked.

The girls are at techcrunch Europe. The boys are at the 'global online technology magazine' (ie Wired.) The man from Wired says 'there's a basic issue of taste here, surely?' and says they're racial stereotypes. The guys say they aren't, Jim claims it's done sensitively. The man asks 'how do you avoid racial stereotypes if you've got an Aussie guy in a cork hat?'. He is my new favourite, and should get the job. Jim in the car thinks they didn't have any reservations about the app. Um. Were we in the same room?

In the car, Melody wants two of the three sites to feature them, but says 'What can you do? The pitch is only as good as the product.'

Slangatang is app of the day at Pocketlint. (Melody says 'Boo to slangatang!' I love her so much.) Slangatang is up at tech crunch too. The 'major online magazine' (that is Wired) has Ampi Apps. The girls don't really seem to understand that that's good because Wired is massive and global. They're like 'We got one!' and try to cheer themselves up.

Apparently there is such a thing as 'twittering technologists' and there 500 of them at a conference. Edna is pitching for Team Galvanised. She marches up and down like a scary dictator, wearing black leather gloves, marching about, speaking softly. 'Ampi Apps is big, Ampi Apps is bold, and Ampi Apps is noisy'. She seriously looks like she's going to kill them all one by one. She's going to share a secret with you and you and you [she's the worst secret keeper ever - Steve] – download Ampi Apps. It's just bizarre and creepy, the whole thing.

The boys pitch MUCH better. They tell the audience to text 'SLANG', point out that's its free, and make them get their phones out right there to download it. They give free doughnuts to the first 50 downloads. People don't often do stuff on this show that's actually genuinely impressive, but they ran it absolutely perfectly.

Afterwards, Melody says 'I think we're all thinking we might have just got thrashed'. Edna stares like a Gorgon, this full-on rictus grin not leaving her face for like ten seconds. It's amazing. Karrren makes the very valid point that Edna didn't talk about how to download the app or anything actually useful, and didn't use her time well.

Felicity thinks Edna's pitch was bad and she knows it. Leon is confident of winning.

Boardroom. Sralan self-aggrandises for about an hour about starting a business. He chats to Leon and asks if he was 'Steve Jobs or out of a job?' Leon explains how they've made the plan to make money from their app by micropayments – making extra characters available, I guess. Which is awesome, but this is The Apprentice and everything here is about the short term one-off task. Sralan talks about how the boys didn't get Wired, the biggest one. Vincent doesn't understand why they didn't get wired, and Logic are shocked that the Wired guys thought it was offensive. Jim, terribly affronted, makes a bullshit thing about Ampi Apps being 'offensive to the ear' and Sralan is all 'Yes, but yours is ACTUALLY OFFENSIVE'.

Sralan asks whose idea Ampi Apps was. Felicity says it was hers. He asks if they all liked it; Melody says no, and five out of eight say they didn't. Edna says they seemed to like it at the time, and Felicity is all 'first I've heard!'. Sralan asks why Edna went to the fair instead of the websites, which were much more valuable. She waffles and says they were the right people for it. (She blatantly wanted to play dress-up and go to the fair.) Ellie says she doesn't normally pitch, but she thinks they did OK. Sralan's like 'Well, you got one.' Ellie says, 'the big one, though', and grins. If this show was only decided on the criterion of 'having a clue', we could just cut to a Melody Ellie final right now.

After six hours, the boys got just under 3,000 and the girls got just under 1,000. After a day 3,951 downloads for the boys. Karrren says 'the world woke up' – it's 10,667 for the girls. TEAM GALVANISED! Sralan says 'Oh' and it's wonderfully expressive. They get to go a Michel Roux Jr restaurant [I wish this was a show with Michel and Monica Galetti. They should actually be on every reality show. Can you IMAGINE how much Monica would rip these losers to shreds? - Rad]. He gives Edna a kiss. They all freak out like a sitcom studio audience. Susan absolutely pisses herself laughing. Melody sips her wine and says, 'Is that victory I taste?'. She's so awful. I love her.

They sit in the Loser Cafe and talk about how it wasn't offensive. On and on. Glenn's like 'we had 500 people laughing on that stage'. They can't get their heads around the fact that it was a global thing and their app was very UK focused, even allowing for the Australian. So mostly, your app is going to offend lots of people, and the only people it won't offend are the ones who won't even give a shit about it. It's not the best, really. Funny how Leon did mention several times the globalness and then just didn't do anything about it.

Sralan yells at them. Tom says that they lost because Galvanised got Wired. Sralan, a bit disingenuously I think, says that he doesn't care if they got on the website, because people just didn't want their product. To an extent, maybe, but you really can't discount the importance of that publicity the way Sralan is trying to. He says they didn't get that it was a global product, and Leon cops to that.

He tells off Jim for his shitty production description. The girls' first line is 'screeching chalk and animal snorts are all part of the Ampi App'. It says exactly what you get. Slangatang goes, as we discussed, 'apportunity for hilarious local vocal'. Sralan says 'I'm bored'. He signposts MASSIVELY that he wants Jim in the final boardroom: 'Do we all agree, here, that these words was one of the reasons this task failed?' He really hated the product description, you guys.

Jim goes on about how he takes part and Alex sits back, and Sralan's all 'Mmmhmm!' and Z-snaps. Alex, kind of bitchily and awesomely, says that Jim saved a pitch but not the big one.

At first I'm very excited about Leon's ability to read the room, because he brings in Jim and Alex. However, Jim – and credit to him I guess – says that Vincent Dinosaur fluffed and Glenn made the shitty app in the first place. Leon then hums and haws, and says 'Do you want me to change?' and changes his fucking mind about who he's bringing back. Fire him right now. I totally love Leon but you don't let yourself get steamrollered like that. He brings in Alex and Glenn. Glenn tries to do a Jim, and fails utterly. Brilliantly, Jim says 'The PM's made his decision'. [Jim is my sweepstake candidate, therefore GO TEAM JIM! - Rad] They all go out. Sralan chats to Nick and Karrren. Karrren says Alex fights in the boardroom but is invisible otherwise.

The boys come back in. Sralan says that the person who wrote the description is gone. He really hated that description, guys. He asks why Glenn is there. Glenn does try to defend himself. Basically it boils down to the app was bad, that was Glenn's idea, but Leon was PM and backed the idea so it's his fault. You know, the same argument that happens in every single episode of the Apprentice. 'Your idea was shit.' 'You should have stopped my idea being shit.'

Leon says that he's come to Sralan having started a business with nothing, no investment. Clever boy. Alex says some more about how he's not hiding away, slicing bread and if he got the job he wouldn't be hiding way. Sralan's like, 'Damn straight, bitch.' He says that Leon's got his own business but still failed. Leon then, awesomely, says 'We're looking at this as a twelve-week process and I can guarantee that you won't make the finals'. Alex looks a little shocked and doesn't even try to defend himself. Sralan asks who should be fired, and Leon says Alex without hesitation.

Alex says that Leon should be fired because he makes bad decisions. Leon just says 'no'. Sralan says that Alex is a good talker, but he's 'not starting a business writing speeches'. Wow, he's still so burned from Stubaggs. He's not sure that Glenn is the rare person that can combine tech savvy and business sense.

Leon's been in the bottom three twice in two weeks, but has been saved by the fact that he's got a business and has achieved something. Alex has got the reputation for not doing anything. It's not just a job, it's a business partnership, and if Alex thinks he can hide he's wrong. BECAUSE HE'S FIRED! Oh, snap! I feel a bit bad for Alex. Not hugely because his face kind of scares me and he's a bit unpleasant, but the whole 'You need to spend less time doing shit and more time yelling about amazing you are' shtick of The Apprentice is always a bit off-putting.

If Leon is back again, Sralan will be very angry and there won't be a third chance. So Leon basically has to win the entire thing, then. No pressure.

In the car, Alex says Leon should go for not even making a decision about who to bring back but he's going to learn from it blah di blah.

Back at the house it turns from banter to Glenn saying 'You bottled it, you're a chicken' all very seriously and it's a bit uncomfortable.

Next week: Joy of joys, we have the buy ten things task! We may have already been spoiled for the best moment of the entire episode, with Susan telling a shopkeeper 'it's for a very important client' and the shopkeeper saying, 'How would that make a difference to me?'.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Oranges are not the only fruit

Week 1: 10th May 2011

I don't know about you, but I feel sorry for Stella English - she gets what, six months to enjoy her status as the current reigning Apprentice? Seven at a push. Yasmina Siadatan got sixteen. It seems so unfair - I mean, six months into the job Lee McQueen had only just learned how to switch his computer on, and poor Stella only gets that amount of time in which to make her mark before being a replaced by a shiny new model. Still, at least she knows how an iPhone must feel.

Anyway, we must forget about Stella and Chris Bates and StuBaggs and Melissa Cohen who was definitely not a firework that goes crazy, because that is all behind us now: there are sixteen new candidates all vying for a--well, not a job with Sralan, but I'm getting ahead of myself already, so we'll wait for the show to explain it. We begin with the obligatory London porn, intercut with shots of contestants on escalators, in underground stations, in National Rail stations, walking down the street pulling rolly-cases, looking impatiently at their watches, and other business clichés.

A Cheryl Cole lookalike tells us that last year she started her own global business, "literally with nothing". Brilliant: 20 seconds into the episode and already someone's managed to misuse the word "literally". She goes on to inform us that she's worked with Nobel Peace Prize winners all over the world, and just to add a ridiculous business mantra for good measure, finishes with "don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon". A Pale But Handsome Irishman tells us that he's a deer -- whoops, "a doer" -- and believes that he can be "the champion thoroughbred that this process requires." I can only assume that he is in fact part of Stuart Baggs' field of business ponies waiting to be harnessed by a tetchy millionaire from Hackney. George Lamb continues the strange pattern of animal metaphors by telling us that he is "a best of breed within my industry. I've got plenty of charisma, and yeah, I'm not bad looking." He does have classically handsome features, it's true, but I watched the show in HD and this particular statement was less convincing when I was staring at the general sagginess of his skin [why would you torture yourself with this show in HD? I imagine the boardroom blue would burn your retinas out in high definition - Rad].

More candidates arrive without being allowed to speak until we get to Fey Orlando Bloom, who insists that he's already proven himself in business because he turned over a million pounds from nothing (again, I'm guessing probably not from actual nothing), while Morena Baccarin insists that her social life and her personal life mean nothing to her - "I live to work, that's all I do." I assume this is meant to be impressive, but it just comes across as a bit pathetic, because I refuse to believe any job in the world could ever be that good. I mean, even if I landed the admittely implausible position of personal fluffer to Jake Gyllenhaal, I think I'd probably still want the occasional day off to go down the pub with my friends or catch up on The Good Wife. Hot Dishevelled Nerd tells us has been running a business already for five years and knows how difficult it is, before staging some kind of Superman moment by removing his specs and telling us that "underneath these glasses is a core of steel." This may have been slightly more effective had he not been clearly trying to hold back his laughter, and had the whole thing not been undercut with a shot of him gaily riding a Boris Bike through London. Bland Generically Attractive Guy With Thick Eyebrows tells us that he "takes cutthroat and ruthless to a new level", adding that he is cold and hard and unstoppable. You know what else is cold and hard and unstoppable? A wheel of cheese. I'm just putting that out there. The mood established, the next batch of people get slightly less time to embarrass themselves: Shaven-Headed Guy thinks this will change his life, Handsome Scouser is driven by the fear of failure every day, Youthful Asian Woman is confident that her business idea will make millions for Lord Sugar. Obligatory "marching purposefully across a bridge over the Thames" shot.

From there we go to a boardroom montage where Sralan informs us that he is not looking for bladdy salespeople, but for someone who's got a brain. The narration explains that having gone from "market stall to market leader" (guffaw), he's on the hunt for a new business partner. For no apparent reason, this is illustrated with a shot of Sralan on the roof of a building staring out to the horizon. There follows a selection of snippets from tasks yet to come, which of course will prove very handy for those looking for spoilers to indicate who'll be getting the chop early. Present in the montage [I am not even reading this next bit Steve, I didn't let the show spoiler me, and dammit, neither will you. And if you tell me even one note of whatever spoilers the internet has about who River Song is, so help me.... - Rad] are: Hot Dishevelled Nerd in some kind of running around London task accompanied by Anonymous Brunette Woman; Sheila Ferguson carrying what looks like a pillow, Cheryl Cole and George Lamb playing with tins of some sort and discussing pricing structures with Hot Dishevelled Nerd; Youthful Asian Woman and Sheila Ferguson having an argument while Cheryl Cole tries to ignore them; far too many people to check off walking through a museum; Youthful Asian Woman giving a male model a spray tan; Fey Orlando Bloom on a building site; Morena Baccarin, Cheryl Cole and Karren Brady (note: actual Karren Brady, not someone who looks like her) on another building site; Stony-Faced Blonde Woman grimacing in the boardroom, George Lamb grimacing in the boardroom, Shaven-Headed Guy grimacing in the boardroom; Morena Baccarin, Sheila Ferguson and Pale But Handsome Irishman in a taxi on what's clearly a "buy these items at the cheapest price" task; George Lamb, Handsome Scouser and Fey Orlando Bloom celebrating while dressed as utter twats; Blonde Woman With Pearl Necklace (tee hee) also in the "buy these items" task; more boardroom shots; unseen people getting fired.

It's 4pm, and the contestants are waiting outside the boardroom, looking rather tense. Everyone is sizing each other up but trying not to look like that's what they're doing. NotFrances sends them through, and they assemble at the boardroom table. Interestingly, most of the seats are occupied by the men, while a lot of the women are left standing. I guess very few of the guys are bothered about looking chivalrous. Sralan tells them all that one of the most frequently asked questions of him is "why is your spelling and grammar so bad on Twitter?" Sorry, my mistake - it is in fact "is it possible in this day and age to start a business like you did back in 1967 with a small amount of money and some humble background?" Yeah, I'm sure he gets asked that ALL THE TIME. Although it's a good point - there are few humble background stockists where I live, so there's obviously a niche in the market waiting to be filled. Anyway, apparently the answer is yes, and Sralan is sick of this moaning culture of people saying you can't do this, and you can't do that, because you can. All you need is an idea for a product or a service, a lot of hard work and determination, an appearance on a primetime reality show and a millionaire benefactor. As a result, the prize this time is not a job with Viglen and a six figure salary, but the opportunity to start a business partnership with Sralan, who'll be injecting "£250,000 worth of cash and value" (that's a very interesting way of phrasing it). They'll be running it themselves, with Sralan nagging them every five minutes as to why they're not making more money, an arrangement that Sralan terms "an uncivil partnership". No one laughs. No one dares.

He wants them to treat the first task as if it's their own business, only this time instead of a £250,000 investment, they're getting £250 to buy produce, add value to it and sell it on to the public. The team that brings back the biggest return on his investment will win, while one member of the losing team will be bladdy fired. It's boys vs girls as usual, with Nick and Karren in the usual voyeuristic role. Sralan reminds the teams that he is definitely looking for a return on his money. They disperse and head into a fleet of Apprenticars to take them to the luxury home they'll be staying in for the duration of the competition. They all use the drive to get to know each other, by which we mean psych each other out. George Lamb asks what was going through everyone's mind in the waiting room, and sadly no one replies "the chorus of 'Bad Romance'"; instead Fey Orlando Bloom says that he was "quietly confident, baby". Shaven-Headed Guy was thinking "I'll have you all." Bam-chicka-wow-wow. Cheryl Cole tells everyone that she runs a global consultancy business (translation: well-travelled busybody), while Handsome Scouser runs his own business selling glasses online. Stony-Faced Blonde Woman Who Is Northern, It Seems runs her own recruitment business, while Youthful Asian Woman has an organic skincare. God, fuck what they do for a living, can we just get to the part where they have NAMES, please? [I'm so glad you're doing the opener this series, it's been my pet hate in recent years - Rad]

Oh, thank God - here we get our first confessional with accompanying name chevron, where we learn that Youthful Asian Woman is Susan Ma, Natural Skincare Entrepreneur [So she's an Avon lady? - Rad]. Susan thinks people will underestimate her at first because she's short, sweet and smiley, but when she does business, she means business. George Lamb is a "sales manager-cum-sales director" (it seems unsurprising that cum is involved somewhere) and stands out from everyone else's monochrome outfits in his blue pinstriped suit, magenta socks and tan shoes. Hot Dishevelled Nerd invented the world's first curved nail file, a feat that Handsome Scouser is struggling to get his head around, judging from the look on his face.

Hot Dishevelled Nerd is called Thomas Pellereau (a good name, but not the best one we'll be seeing tonight) and talks with endearing enthusiasm about being an inventor and finding gaps in the market. His eyebrows have a life of their own, and I love him a little bit. He's clearly fodder with a capital F, but I suspect he will also be my woobie. Apparently he invented this curved nail file in his kitchen, but it's now on sale in major retailers in the UK and America. Sheila Ferguson [TreyC Cohen was where I was heading -Rad] (aka Edna Agbarha, Business Psychologist) is very into people, and loves challenging herself. "I seek out pain rather than pleasure. Weak people in business are a waste of space, and a limp handshake is unforgivable." This woman is crumbling into a sobbing heap by week five or my name isn't Charles Worthington Arbuthnot III. Stoned Guy With Neckbeard is "a humble accountant" and is reassured by Shaven-Headed Guy that "we all need you, in a way" and George Lamb suggests that he could start his own accountancy practice. If that's the level of out-of-the-box brainstorming we're in for this series, I'm scared for us all. Stoned Guy With Neckbeard would, it seems, rather not do that anyway.

The Apprenthouse is in Richmond-upon-Thames, and is ridiculously lavish, of course. Everyone bustles around excitedly admiring all the space and features, and Thomas finds himself in a bedroom with a bunch of girls and gets nerd-panicky about it. Nick and Karren are seen ambling up the gravel driveway outside, and the contestants separate into their teams and get on with the important business of choosing names. On Team Woman, Morena Baccarin suggests "Galvanised, for obvious reasons" (oh yes, obviously), and "Platinum". Edna looks distinctly unimpressed. Cheryl Cole, who actually doesn't look all that much like Cheryl Cole if I'm honest, but she's close enough to be a verbal shorthand until her real name is revealed, suggests "Venture", because it suggests they're daring, bold and taking risks. Edna likes Venture, as does Susan. The motion passes, and everyone claps.

Over in the lounge, the men are tossing ideas into the ring. George Lamb suggests "Ability", while Bland Generically Attractive Guy With Thick Eyebrows (who will be BGAGWTE for convenience's sake until his actual name is revealed) looks unconvinced. Stoned Guy With Neckbeard doesn't like Ability either. Fey Orlando Bloom, whose name is obviously Leon, suggests "Leontrepreneur", which is shot down amid giggles. Shaven-Headed Guy suggests "Logic", which is possibly the worst team name since First Forte, but earns the approval of Stoned Guy With Neckbeard. Pale But Handsome Irishman is not in love with it, but sees the logic behind it. BGAGWTE suggests they put it to a vote. George Lamb gaily asks "who likes Ability?" and waves his own hand in the air, while everyone else votes for Logic.

Next, time to select a leader: for Venture, Cheryl Cole (who speaks in the same voice as the actress who played Smell in This Is England and Bonnie in Shameless, to the point where it's quite uncanny) wants to be PM because that's what she's good at, as does Morena Baccarin. The narration helpfully fills in that Cheryl Cole is "business consultant Melody", while Morena Baccarin is "executive assistant Helen". We're getting there, gradually. Melody says "global" 56 more times, while Helen says that she's experienced at managing "large teams". Nice try Helen, but unless they are GLOBALLY large, Melody is so winning this. Edna does a head-bob of approval as Melody talks. Venture opts for Melody as their project manager, and her first job is to tell everyone that they're all teammates and ask them to send a handshake around the table. It's dorky and ridiculously the sort of thing you do on an awayday just before you go out and play paintball or try to assemble a jigsaw with half your team blindfolded and the other half chained to a wall, but it actually works quite well as an icebreaker after all that debating, so I'm willing to let it slide. This time. Melody (whose surname is Hossaini, we now learn) tells us in a confessional that she's been personally trained by Al Gore, Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, and that she works with an understanding that there is a person greater than herself. That puts her ahead of about 90% of contestants ever to appear on this show, so it's an encouraging start. Melody asserts that their plan is that they're "definitely going to win it". I hope the plan is slightly more detailed than that.

There is only one volunteer on Logic, and it's Stoned Guy With Neckbeard (Edward). Hoo boy. This isn't looking good already. He offers to bring "rationale" and common sense to the role of PM, and says that they're going to "roll with the punches". Is that not a slightly defeatist attitude? Why not hope for there not to be punches in the first place? Handsome Scouser suggests that they get a handle on Edward's credentials for the role rather than realise later that they were too quick to elect him, which Edward interprets as a leadership challenge. George Lamb takes it to another vote, revealing in the process that Handsome Scouser's name is Gavin. Thomas and Shaven-Headed Guy vote for Gavin, while everyone else votes for Edward. Aww, at least George Lamb was on the winning team this time. Maybe he won't be crying into his designer pillow tonight after all.

Edward (whose surname is Hunter - Ed Hunter, how brilliant) says that he's "a wheeler-dealer who accidentally became a finance professional". Bollocks - I know enough accountants to know that it's not something that happens because you had too many Sea Breezes one night and woke up the next day with a diploma in your pocket. Edward wants out because he knows he's so much more than an accountant, and has given up a big job with an important company for the chance to go into business with Sralan. What he has apparently not given up: the wacky baccy. Blonde Woman Who Is Not At This Point Wearing A Pearl Necklace thinks they should use as little of the money as possible, and there is some murmured agreement. On Logic, Thomas suggests "segments of fruits covered in toffee or chocolate" as a potential product, which strikes me as something far, far beyond the capabilities of any of this lot. Susan says that they need a breakfast product and a lunch product, as she thinks that will strengthen their sales pitch. Their discussion appears to bring them over to fruit salad for breakfast and vegetable pasta for lunch. Om nom nom. Edward tells Logic that they need to focus on things that they can make efficiently, quickly and well, and he thinks soup fits the bill, "because you can't get it wrong". Oh Edward. You really, really can. He points out that perhaps people might not buy it from you again, but they won't actually be sick. This is the Yasmina Siadatan Memorial Approach To Catering Tasks, by the way. Edward expands the pitch to soup and "some kind of juice", while Shaven-Headed Guy poses the $64,000 question: does anyone know how to make soup?

*crickets chirp*

No. Nobody does. The "at least people won't be sick" reasoning is looking less convincing by the second.

At 3.20am, the candidates leave The Apprenthouse to purchase their produce. In a car with Pale But Handsome Irishman and Shaven-Headed Guy, Edward decries the very idea of working out margins, and doesn't want to do that sort of stuff just to prove he can do it. The possibility that doing it because it is a good idea and a key part of capitalism does not seem to trouble him. Instead his plan is:

1. Spend £250 on produce

2. Mash it up

3. ????????????


The others look unconvinced.

The cars arrive at New Covent Garden Market, where Melody's team looks for grapes and pineapple, while Edward is in search of oranges. It prompts the following exchange:

GEORGE LAMB (holding a large, round, orange fruit): Is that an orange?
EDWARD: I don't know.

Over on Venture, Melody reminds the team that they want to be spending as little as possible, and puts Edna in charge of costings, handing her the money. Susan chimes in that they need to get going if they want to catch the breakfast market.

Logic are hunting for tomatoes, for soup, and oranges, for juice. They consult a seller about oranges, who tells them that his lowest price is £9.50 a box. Edward offers him £150 for 17 boxes (which is £8.82 a box, if anyone's wondering), at which point the seller points out that, no, they are £9.50 a box. George Lamb suggests meeting halfway at £9.25 a box, asking what different 25p makes. The seller, getting a tad annoyed with them at this point, replies that it's clear they're not in the business and don't have a clue how this works. He repeats once more for clarity: £9.50 a box is the bottom line. Edward buys 16 boxes at £9.50 each. The seller all but rolls his eyes as he walks off. So they've now got 1400 oranges, and Edward explains that he's not concerned with sales right now, he just wants to produce and sell as much as he can. He says "rolling with the punches" again.

So, £9.50 a box for 16 boxes costs £152. Pale But Handsome Irishman asks how much they have to spend on the soup, and Edward tells him £40. Gavin asks what they're spending on oranges, and is told £150, so Gavin wants to know if they're not spending all the money. Gavin explains that they're "maxing on oranges". PBH Irishman points out that soup is harder to make. Edward doesn't want to "hear negative". Someone points out that it's not negative, it's just a fact, leading Edward to channel David Brent: "Yeah? Here's a fact. You've got ten minutes to get this sorted, so come on, move." Gavin (Winstanley) complainterviews that if he'd been PM, he would've had a proper structure in place by this point and everyone would've known what they were doing. PBH Irishman, whose name we now learn is Jim, goes on the search for soup ingredients. He asks a trader what sort of tomatoes he'd need to make soup, and she tells him that he'd need really ripe ones. He asks if he would be able to make something happen if he wanted to buy some boxes of overripe tomatoes at £3 a box, and she replies that if she had them, he'd be very welcome to them. Jim, not getting the hint at all: "Do you have them?" No she does not. Jim looks like a wounded puppy.

Melody, Susan, Edna and Anonymous Brunette Woman are shopping for fruit salad ingredients, and speak to the same seller whose non-haggling manner was so alien to Team Logic in the hope that he can provide them with pineapples and grapes. Susan wants to buy 50 each of courgettes and peppers for the pasta, and Edna reminds her that they can't spend money without clearing it with her first. They try to buy some courgettes from another vendor, who is selling them at £4.20 a box. Susan asks if they can get two boxes for £8, and the vendor agrees all too readily, with the subtext that he just wants Susan to go away quickly. Edna is unimpressed, because Susan is making financial decisions without her say-so, and drags Melody into it. Susan whines that she was just trying to quicken up the deal, and Melody approves it and grabs the boxes. The vendor, in an uncomfortable attempt at small talk with Edna while she hands over the money, says that she must be the boss. Edna laughs hollowly and says that she is not, but she has been given a Very Important Task. In a confessional, Edna headbobs that she's accountable "for the pursestrings", but other people are making the deals and not involving her, which makes it impossible for her to keep track. The women buy some strawberries, and we see Edna telling them they have £84 left. They decide to leave and get started with their food prep.

At 6.15am, Logic are still hunting for cheap tomatoes. Jim offers one seller £30 for a job lot of overripe tomatoes. The canny seller asks what's in it for him, since at that price he's doing them a favour. Jim negotiates that he will throw in another tenner, but only if he gets a box of red peppers and six onions. It's almost how I imagine they would haggle in the olden days. Maybe Jim will ask for three comely wenches of virtue true next. The deal is done. Jim declares that they will make soup like they've never made soup before; Gavin points out that this will be easy, because they have never made soup before.

On the way back, George Lamb is looking sleepy, while Shaven-Headed Guy is establishing the production line mechanics of the orange-juice making: cut, squeeze, sieve, into a bottle. Edward is not interested in hearing any of this because he doesn't know what equipment they've got, although he does help me out by informing me that Shaven-Headed Guy is called Glenn. Glenn tries to argue that they could at least consider the possibilities, but Edward shuts him down. Leon finds the whole thing hilarious.

Dawn. Commuter porn. The women are in a hurry to catch the breakfast trade. People are slicing fruit, and Melody urges them to "cut it like you've never cut in your life before!" What do we think the odds are of this lot also never having cut fruit in their lives before? I'm going with 'fairly high'. I'm wondering if that particular turn of phrase is going to crop up in every task [Oh, the Big Society - Rad]. "Let's record advertising jingles like you've never recorded advertising jingles before!" "Let's be interviewed by Claude Littner like you've never been interviewed by Claude Littner before!" And so on. Fruit-preparation montage, which is nowhere near as innuendo-laden as last year's sausage-making montage, disappointingly. Helen clarifies that the salads contain five pieces each of pineapple, grape and strawberry, and they will be sold at £2 a pot. Edna asks how many pots there will be. Melody responds that she's aiming for 500 pots, but isn't sure if they have enough stock for what they have planned. As they're running out of pineapple, Melody suggests they space it out more and take "a couple out of each". Nick thinks they have not invested their money wisely, since they only spent just over half of it on "quite a mean product", and he wonders if their lack of adventure could be their undoing.

At this point, Susan plays Monday morning quarterback (apologies for the blatant Americanism, I couldn't think of an appropriately English equivalent) by pointing out that they had money left over and could have bought more fruit. Edna (correctly) points out that at this point it doesn't matter, what matters is what price they can charge for the product they're selling and thus how much profit they can churn out. Melody tries to get everyone to get labelling so they can disperse, but Susan's not letting go that easily and wants Melody to make a call on whether they should go out and get more fruit. This is the same Susan, by the way, who was rushing everyone around earlier so they could catch the breakfast trade. Perhaps if she hadn't been in quite such a hurry to close the deal in the market, they might not have had this problem. Melody deflects the question, since Edna was in charge of costings (Edna's face: "O RLY?") and she has said that profit is more important right now. They start labelling up the pots, and Helen informs Melody that she's taking 170 pots with her. But where?

8.20am. Logic are unloading their fruit and veg. Edward tells them that he wants to be out of there in 90 minutes, and that they're just going to "roll with the punches" (AAAAARGH! WHAT PUNCHES? WHO IS PUNCHING YOU? THERE ARE NO PUNCHES TO ROLL WITH!). Unsurprisingly, Jim is in charge of soup production, with his cannily-obtained overripe tomatoes and bonus peppers and onions. On his team are BGAGWTE (now formally identified as "Alex", phew) and Thomas (who is more of a "Tom", it seems, in the same way that Liz Locke was clearly a "Liz" last year and yet was inexplicably identified as "Elizabeth" in the captions). Jim advises the team not to let the tomatoes stick, because if they stick, they burn, and that's not good. Leon, meanwhile, is appointed Executive In Charge Of Sticking Oranges In The Juicer And Holding The Lid Down. At least, I assume they're oranges. I don't know if Edward and George Lamb ever actually got official confirmation on that front. There is a shot of a pathetic dribble of orange juice emerging from the juicers; it's vaguely reminiscent of dribbling urine but still not a patch on all the sausage-as-penis visual references last year. Leon (Doyle, Fast Food Marketing Entrepreneur) says that his job is not a massive responsibility, but he doesn't mind because his moment will come with the sales later. Edward comes over to micromanage the juicing and informs Leon that he's holding them down for far too long. He informs Leon that they should be "buzzed" for "no more than five seconds". Leon attempts this, and then points out that this means half the orange doesn't get juice. Edward's advice is to "push it harder". Then the juicer breaks. *golf clap*

George Lamb, who has been standing in the background looking fretful for the most part, asks Edward what they should do now that one of the juicers is broken, and the answer is obvious: they must do what mankind did back in the days of yore before such luxuries existed and SQUEEZE THE ORANGES BY HAND. Karren opinterviews that there are six boys in there squeezing 1400 oranges, and that they need to pick up the pace, because they've missed the breakfast rush and are in danger of missing the lunch and dinner rushes as well. Edward complains that his arms are aching already, and the size of the To Be Squeezed pile doesn't fill him with confidence. The clock shows 8.45am, and Edward panics that they need to be selling now.

Speaking of selling, members of Team Venture have already hit the shopping centre at Canary Wharf, where they know they will be surrounded by people with no grasp of the value of everyday money (at least if my city boy ex-boyfriend is anything to go by) and will just assume that £65 is indeed a bargainous price for three strawberries and a piece of Edna's belly-button lint. Melody genially approaches a shopper, while Susan zones in mercilessly on a group of men, offering a discount if they all buy a pot. The sales are going well, as is the attribution of names, since at this point we discover that Blonde Woman Who Will Wear A Pearl Necklace At Some Point In The Future is Felicity, and Anonymous Brunette Woman is Natasha. Natasha's sales patter seems to be less effective than that of her cohorts, since she makes the mistake of asking people how they are, giving them the opportunity to shrill "fine, thanks!" and run right past. Rookie error. The pots are being sold for £2, it seems, and since they cost 33p each to make, the profit margins are indeed healthy. This approach is Yasmina Siadatan approved, I can tell. (Seriously, Yasmina is the benchmark for cost-to-profit ratios in food tasks, and probably always will be.) Felicity and Susan sell more fruit. Even Natasha sells some. Things seem to be going well. Susan notes the sheer amount of footfall in the area and things they could make more money if they were selling the pasta too.

Unfortunately, the pasta is still being worked on by Edna and Stony-Faced Blonde Woman Who Is Northern, It Seems (who will also exist in acronym form from now on until we learn her real name). SFBWWINIS thinks it tastes like "uncooked Ragu" and that they won't do as well with that as they will with the fruit. But, she adds, "I'm not from these parts and apparently you can sell them for £2.50." Brilliant. She's totally Nick from Twenty Twelve - "I don't know about you, but I'm from Yorkshire." She even cracks a smile at this point, but it's too late, I'm not renaming her now. Helen hopes they've not left it too late to get the pasta out.

Speaking of leaving things too late, the Ironic Segue Fairy shunts us over to Edward, counting bottles of orange juice, squeezed by the hands of Logic. In the kitchen, Glenn is stewing over Edward's absence and the subsequent lack of leadership. Glenn (Ward, Senior Design Engineer) interviews that this shows a lack of focus from the PM, and that someone needs to "man up" and sort it out - Glenn himself, apparently. He does this by clapping his hands and telling everyone that they need to get out and get selling because they don't want to miss the lunchtime trade. This is all good, but then he spoils it rather by publicly making a show of Edward, saying that he's doing his job for him and asking why he's bothering to wash things up. Edward retorts that Glenn needs to speak to him more respect. Jim intervenes with these immortal words: "I'll defuse the situation." I think Jim might have started narrating this episode out loud - perhaps he's after Mark Halliley's job. Either that, or it's some kind of verbal tic he can't shake, in which case I suspect he'd make a terrible confidence trickster: "I am going to cause a distraction while Sticky Fingers McGee runs off with your watch." Anyway, Jim pulls Glenn away to calm down, and Edward, growing increasingly squeaky, tells the others that they have to be away within five minutes because they can't lose any more sales time. Soupy juicy montage. Jim declares it "good, hearty soup". Their pricing structure is £2 for soup and £2 for orange juice, at which point all the northerners on my Twitter feed shrieked "HOW MUCH?!?!" [Heh. As one of said Northerners. I still wear shoes, for heaven's sake - Rad] Logic departs, in more ways than one.

Lunchtime. Edna, SFBWWINIS and Woman Who Has Not Yet Spoken A Single Word are in a taxi, with Edna on the phone to Melody, telling her that they will be sending 100 vegetable pastas and 100 fruit pots to her location in Canary Wharf. This exchange is surprisingly drama-free.

Logic, meanwhile, are setting up outside Liverpool Street station, another prime spot if you want to accost people with far too much cash to burn. Tom turns all town crier, bellowing out that they're selling "the freshest tomato soup that you will find in the area" and juggling with oranges while he does this. Who knew he was such a multihyphenate? I may love him quite a lot. Jim (Eastwood, Sales And Marketing Manager) says that it's going well and they're selling a lot of orange juice. Sales seem to be brisk, and Gavin takes advantage of being incredibly handsome to sell some orange juice to some young women. Elsewhere, Leon, Glenn, Edward and George Lamb are the peripatetic sub-team, targeting offices in the West End. Edward, bizarrely, explains to an office worker how they managed to release this magic orange juice from its spherical fruity prison. She looks at him like she can't decide if he's high, insane or both. To be honest, neither can I. The ringleader here is George Lamb (real name: Vincent), who valiantly tries to sell on the USP that he's brought along some handsome men when in reality he's actually brought Glenn, Edward and Leon, and all the properly fit male contestants are in Liverpool Street. Karren interviews with barely contained disgust that Vincent has gone straight for the women with the smarm offensive and it seems to have worked. Vincent harasses a few more office workers and then his team returns to the Apprentaxi. He calls Jim for a progress report, and Jim informs him that they've made £160. Edward replies that (definitely not using his LAME accountancy skills or anything) between the two sub-teams they've made £230, so they're £20 away from breaking even.

The second Venture subteam (Helen, Edna, SFBWWINIS and WWHNYSASW) are setting up outside Euston station. Not content with having already been likened to one sitcom character, SFBWWINIS aligns herself with Twinkle from dinnerladies when she struggles to write the menu on the board because she can't spell "vegetable". SFBWWINIS embarks on the world's most terrifying sales pitch ("G'wan, be my first sale. £2.50." - all spoken in a highly sinister monotone and with the sort of body language that suggests she'll shiv you if you even think about declining this offer) while Helen's over-effusive manner isn't doing the business either. SFBWWINIS (now identified as Ellie Reed, Managing Director, Construction Recruitment) interviews that the vegetable pasta is not selling well at all, because they missed the lunchtime traffic and now they have to rebrand it as something to take home to eat as a fairly depressing tea.

Back at Canary Wharf, Felicity is being superlatively obnoxious ("Have you had any fresh fruit yet today? No? Then thank God I'm here!") Susan has sold out at this point, and they need more stock which hasn't arrived, so Melody phones Edna. It appears that Ellie is still in the process of portioning it all out, and Melody is not happy that it isn't there with them in time for when they need it. Edna bitches that she just wants to get back to selling, and once the call is over, Melody relays the conversation to her teammates (Felicity in particular really overdoing the slack-jawed shock) and they decide to pick up their stuff and move on.

Suddenly there is only one hour left to sell. Melody demonstrates superhuman abilities when she manages to get a mobile signal whilst driving through an underground tunnel, and uses these witch powers to call Edna and tell her that the other sub-team are coming to Euston. Edna: "Why?" Helen upsells one man to the "meal deal" which is the fruit pot and the vegetable pasta together for £5, saving a princely £1 on their individual retail prices. Also, crucially: it gives you something to wash down the taste of half-baked Bolognese afterwards. I'm relieved to see at this point that someone has at least corrected Ellie's misspelling of "vegetable" on the board - knowing that someone on this team cares about spelling makes it easier to support their inevitable victory.

Liverpool Street. Trade appears to be brisk. A man points out to Tom that his soup is cold, and Tom asks if he would prefer a hot one. I think the cunning business tactic here would have been to simply rebrand the product as gazpacho. Alex (Britez Cabral, Estate Agent) is ladling out soup in the van and fondly remembering when he used to work in an ice-cream stall, while identifying his role in the team as being largely backroom support. Tom points out that Alex has remained in the van throughout the task. "He's a salesman, that's what he does, he works in property. I thought he'd be...better." It's the baffled shrug that he delivers alongside that last word that really makes it sting.

Melody's quartet arrives at Euston and the price of the pasta is dropped to £1. Unsurprisingly, trade picks up. Melody instructs Ellie and Edna to keep boxing up the pasta so they can sell it, and Edna complies with barely-suppressed murderous rage. Pasta is now apparently 50p. You just know that Ellie's thinking "that's still a rip-off. Where I come from, you can buy a three-bedroomed house for that." Edna bristles to the camera about Melody suddenly telling her how to do her job "when we've been doing this quite efficiently all day long". Except, y'know, the part where they failed to dispatch the stock that they'd promised over to Canary Wharf, which is basically the entire reason Melody came here in the first place. I'm not feeling massively sympathetic towards Edna here.

Team Logic. Tom looks for a buyer for his last pot of soup, while Vincent and Edward charge around offices to shift their last two bottles of OJ. Over at Team Venture, they too are trying to shift the last of their stock. Finally, at 4pm, the task is over. Edward gives his team a congratulatory debriefing, which once again involves the phrase "roll with the punches". You know how earlier I asked where these punches would be coming from? I think they'll be coming from approximately 7.8 million viewers of BBC1. Hilariously, Leon totally takes the piss out of him for constantly saying that, and Edward doesn't even realise.

The teams take a fleet of Apprentaxis back to the boardroom, while Edward marvels at how the orange juice just sold, and how it was totally a viable business. In another car, Melody smirks that people will indeed pay £2.50 for fruit salad.

Boardroom. NotFrances sends them through. Nick and Karren are there waiting, obviously, while Sralan is late again. His timekeeping is getting offensively poor. Upon his eventual arrival, he reminds the team of the basic tenets of the task and turns first to Edward and Team Logic. Sralan asks if anyone else volunteered to be PM, and Gavin says that he expressed an interest, but that Edward was selected because he was so passionate. That's not entirely how I remember that scene playing out, but okay. Sralan asks the team for feedback, and Tom - adorably - raises his hand. I think he's going to need to jettison some of that politeness if he's ever going to get a word in edgeways, because Glenn doesn't bother and just starts talking, saying that he questioned the random decision-making. Tom agrees that he likes to be organised - for example, to know what they're trying to buy before they go shopping - while Ed openly admitted that he was going to work it out in the cab on the way there. Sralan enquires about the product, and Edward explains that they went for soups and juices because they were simple and straightforward and provided a good margin. Remember? That margin he wasn't going to think about? Sralan asks how much they spent, and Edward says they spent all of it, mostly on oranges and leaving about £40 for tomatoes. Karren interjects here and says how lucky Edward was that Jim was around to get the ingredients they needed. Edward bluffs that he "handpicked" Jim because he knew he was the best man to lead the soup team. Sralan cracks what I think is a "Souperman" joke, but I could be wrong.

Sralan asks at what point they decided what to charge for it, and Edward blasts out a load of non-sequiturs about how his business strategy was "bottom up, not top down" and he didn't know how many he was going to sell. "When I was producing, that was production, and selling was going to take care of itself." God, even Melissa Cohen made more sense than this. Sralan asks him for a yes-or-no as to whether they gave any thought to the selling price prior to actually selling, and Edward blathers about how the selling price is something that they could change, presumably depending on the market. Thankfully, Vincent jumps in here, realising that this approach is making them look dreadful, and that they worked out they needed to sell 250 juices to get the investment back. Hang on, wasn't the orange juice £2? So they only needed to sell 125 to get the investment back, surely? Sralan scoffs at this and turns back to Edward, asking him if it's true that he was part of one of the top accountancy firms in the country. Edward, either high as a kite or just plain unable to read a room: "I don't fit the mould." Sralan points out that this answer is not relevant to the question that was asked, or indeed to his interests. Sralan proceeds gently, trying to establish if this means that Edward has audited companies and knows how they work. Edward: "It's all there. All my experience is all there." I'm glad something's all there, because I'm fairly sure Edward is emphatically not. Sralan asks him to stop being such a weirdo and answer the bladdy question properly, and opines that the team name Logic is not very appropriate.

We turn to Venture, and Melody identifies herself as team leader, saying she's always been a person for taking big risks. She also takes credit for the team name, taking great delight in informing Sralan that it was "voted the most popular" while Helen sits there wishing she'd taken the time to invest in a hobby she could be thinking fondly of right now. Sralan: "We've heard the Melody, now let's hear from the chorus!" Groan. Felicity speaks up for Melody's good qualities as a team leader, and Melody explains that she has a style of leadership that takes other people's opinions on board. Ellie explains that their products were fruit pots and "healthy pasta". Sralan asks them the same question as the guys about whether they planned their pricing structure ahead of time, and Melody says that they had a structure in place, pointing out that Edna was in charge of finance. Sralan asks if Edna is a finance professional, and she asserts that she is not. Melody, condescendingly: "She volunteered for that role, didn't you?" Edna, with acid shooting out of her jaw: "Well, I was volunteered, but I didn't shirk away from it."

Sralan points out that they only spent £170 of the £250 he gave them, and Melody says that they thought they could increase profit by keeping costs down. Sralan counters, however, that he gave them £250 and expected them to use it all - he made an investment and he wanted a big return, which ought to have required using as much of the seed money as possible.

Time for some results. We begin with Team Logic, and Karren announces that they took £339.20 on the juice, and £92.93 on the soup, for a total of £432.13. Nick declares that Venture only made £37.28 on their vegetable pasta, but their fruit salads brought in £555.05, giving them a total of £592.33, making them the clear winners. Sralan points out that that's a threefold margin on £150 worth of purchasing (which isn't what they spent, but whatever), so it's a shame they didn't deliver that size of a margin on £250. Their prize is a champagne reception back at the house, while the men's prize is to come back tomorrow and have someone fired.

Reward montage. Champagne. Back at the house. Canapes. Melody congratulates everyone on working so hard. Felicity offers Melody a thank you in return for being a great PM. In a private confessional, Susan opines that Melody's skills as a PM have been exaggerated and she didn't think she was that brilliant. She might well have a point, but Susan's kind of insufferable, so the message does tend to get drowned under my unwillingness to listen to anything she has to say. They have a toast to Team Venture.

Loser Café. Gavin states unreservedly that the women beat them out the water. Vincent thinks the problem is that they didn't produce enough orange juice in the first place. Tom doesn't know why that is, but perhaps the malfunctioning juicer played a part. Outside, Gavin interviews that people didn't pay attention to the details, so things got a bit chaotic. "It was all a bit of a punt," he finishes. Well, only one letter out. Edward interviews obliviously that he'll make an excellent business partner to Sralan, and seems to think that the act of being PM in the first-week is enough by itself to prove his worth as a contestant. Tell that to Ben Stanberry. Or Andy Jackson. Or Dan Harris. Tea is drunk, mournfully.

Logic return to the boardroom with their rolly-cases, and NotFrances sends them through. Leon desperately needs the hair tidied up at the back of his neck. Sralan's opening gambit is to remind Edward of his application form, where he wrote that if his team lost, he would blame the PM. Yeah, oops. Edward points out that he did qualify this statement with "if I am the project manager, the gloves are coming off." I'm not sure that really salvages the situation all that effectively. Sralan attempts to summarise Edward's approach to the task, and if I may paraphrase his own paraphrasing, it appears to be "buy a crapload of cheap shit and worry about the details later". Edward talks himself in a lot of circles here, but his defence seems to be that he wanted to showcase his management skills first and foremost, and that he knew he could make a profit on orange juice. Sralan asks the rest of the team if anyone else was aware that this was the plan. Glenn says that there was "a rough plan", but there were few details and it was never developed as the task progressed. Karren points out that she didn't see anything written down the entire time, so she thinks Edward was keeping his ideas to himself. Gavin, whose eyes become hypnotically dark in the boardroom, chimes in that it was disappointing as a team to be kept in the dark. Jim describes the whole process as operating on a "need-to-know basis", which doesn't really work because arguably the team did need to know and Edward still wasn't telling them. Jim does, however, recover quite admirably with this assessment of Edward's leadership: "It was 'leave it with me, I know what we're doing with the oranges, what I need you to do because I think you're [pause to gather the appropriate level of bile for the next three words] the soup man is to look after the soup team, I'm going to give you very little money, I need you to buy a lot, I need you to convert soup and go out and make sure you can shift it.'" Jim summarises that he was capable of all of this, but he would've liked more information about what they were actually heading towards. Tom adds that the lack of planning cost them badly, and that the irony here was Edward trying to prove that he wasn't just an accountant to the detriment of all of the financial aspects of the task. Sralan smirks that this is the most sensible assessment of the situation he's heard all day.

Edward attempts to save himself once again by citing his biggest flaw as overambition, saying that he intended to bring back £1000, and totally would've done had they been able to squeeze all those oranges in time. Sralan's all "coulda woulda shoulda gouda, my friend." Edward accepts that he underestimated the manpower needed to squeeze the juice, and the team are in agreement that they could easily have sold more orange juice if they had it. Sralan offers them the results of some number crunching - they bought 1400 oranges, and could've made 470 bottles from that. They actually made 156 bottles, so there were clear inefficiencies, it seems. Karren leaps into action here and points out that Leon was in charge of the juicers. Leon says that the motors might have burnt out at the crucial time, and Karren informs him that the kitchen staff were very clear that the juicer breakdown was the result of "mishandling". This would be an excellent time for Leon to bring up Edward's interference in the juicing process, but he does not.

Since Leon's now been activated, Sralan remembers that Leon is a "Fast Food Marketing Entrepreneur", and therefore this should've been right in his wheelhouse - so what was he doing all day? Juicing, bottling and labeling, it seems. Alex is asked what he did next, and he explains that he was in charge of the "fixed unit" at Liverpool Street, where he tidied things up and poured out soup and occasionally sold things. Sralan clarifies that Alex sold nine units, in fact. Alex is unperturbed by this, as he says that he was part of a lot of other sales, and adds that customers want to buy from a clean, tidy unit, which doesn't just happen by itself. Karren goes in for the kill, saying that she just saw him cleaning and cutting bread - everyone else sold, and Alex didn't. I think that's the basic flaw in his strategy here - I agree 100% (or 110%, since this is The Apprentice) that doing backroom support and keeping the place clean is an important part of this, but there's no reason why anyone had to be on that duty all day. Since you're being judged on numbers, you probably want to spend at least an hour or two proving you've got sales skills. Alex insists that if there had been no back office, there would've been no front line sales. "Good place to hide," Nick chips in. Shut up, Nick, you were following the other team. The winning team, remember? Karren follows the losers and you follow the winners, this is how the show works.

Sralan asks Edward who's coming back, and he decides that the people primarily responsible for the loss are Gavin and Leon, so the others are dismissed. Tom apologises towards Sralan on his way out, and I think you can take this polite schoolboy approach a bit too far. In the foyer, Vincent and Tom both touch their hair in exactly the same way at exactly the same time, and since I once read a bullshit pop-psychology book that said you mirror the body language of people you find attractive, I have decided that I am a Vincent/Tom shipper. They are my official OTP for the series, so don't be surprised if subsequent recaps just end up as slash fiction.

Gavin, Edward and Leon are temporarily sent out while Sralan, Karren and Nick converse. Sralan, in what I think is actually a genuinely funny, off-the-cuff zinger, says that Edward reminds him of "a very slow internet line". Ha! He's a good candidate on paper, though. Nick thinks Edward hasn't "accounted" for himself very well, ho ho ho. Karren (correctly, I think) thinks Gavin has been brought back because he challenged Edward's leadership right from the outset, and that Leon was brought back because the broken juicers made him an easy target. She reminds "Alan" that the bottom line is he has to go into business with one of these people. NotFrances is invoked to send them all back in [What's with them giving us yet ANOTHER NotFrances this series, by the way? - Rad].

Sralan opens by asking Edward why he brought Gavin back in. Edward, looking like he's only just realised where he is, says that Gavin claimed he put himself forward for PM, which Edward doesn't think was actually the case. Gavin clarifies that he said he was willing to be PM -- "very spinelessly," Edward interjects -- and that he buys and sells products for his business, and that a vote was taken to decide the PM. I think that scene was pretty murky - I always got the impression that Gavin was more trying to establish Edward's suitability for the role rather than stake his own bid for PM, but when things took that turn he didn't step away from it, so I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. Edward disagrees, however, and thinks that Gavin didn't get voted as PM because he was so sheepish in his approach. Sralan asks Leon whether Gavin put himself forward or not, and Leon dithers for a bit before conceding that he thinks "his hand went up, yeah". Leon does, however, make the interesting point that Edward didn't ask what anyone else did in the business world before putting himself forward as PM.

Sralan asks Edward if it's fair to say he took an immediate dislike to Gavin. Edward counters that he had a feeling Edward was "not a doer", though Karren refutes this, saying that Gavin's sales tally was the second highest. Edward falters that he didn't have that feedback from Jim. Karren: "You should've." Ooh, BURN. Gavin thinks Edward was more interested in being PM than in actually doing the job properly, which I think is a pretty accurate assessment, and adds that any feedback that was offered was summarily dismissed. Edward tries the "I had the guts to take on the job" approach, and Gavin agrees that this was gutsy of him, but that he didn't deliver in the role. Edward, grasping at straws faster than a cleaner in McDonald's, says that not only is he the youngest (Gavin, sarcastically: "Well done!"), he's also the shortest of the team members. This is what we in the recapping trade refer to as a Double Wotherspoon. Leon is openly laughing at Edward at this point, as is Sralan. Edward claims that he had a "motley crew" of men and turned them into a team who had no negative feedback, though Sralan points out that he's getting quite a lot of it now.

Now Sralan wonders why Leon is here, and Edward says that it's because he feels Leon cost them time in the kitchen, and while he doesn't have specific numbers to quote, he feels Leon was a weak salesman. Leon says that he didn't feel that individual sales totals were the point of this task, and that he knows he can sell because he does that in his own business. Sralan asks Leon to "inspire" him because he doesn't have a lot to go on so far. Leon blathers on a bit about his good business instincts, and when Sralan asks him to state who was responsible for the failure of this task, he picks Edward without hesitation, because he lacks entrepreneurial flair and is an accountant. Sralan points out that lots of big cheeses started out as accountants, at which point Leon backpedals that he didn't know that. It's not a massive leap of logic to make, surely? After ensuring that no one in the room is guilty of accountantphobia (apart from Edward, who has a pretty nasty case of internalised accountantphobia), it's time to decide who goes.

Sralan doesn't know why Gavin is here, because he sold well and he's far too handsome to fire this early on, so Gavin is safe. Leon hasn't been that impressive so far: he hasn't shown any spark and already has his own business, and he screwed up with production. Edward showed enthusiasm in taking on the PM role, but had no expertise. As it happens, Sralan watched Glee this week and learned that you shouldn't be ashamed of the things that define you (at which point he strips off his shirt and jacket to reveal a fitted white t-shirt with "IRASCIBLE BLADDY TYCOON" printed on it). [Bum chin? BUM CHIN? Fuck off Mr Schue. Fuck the FUCK right off - Rad]. Edward squeaks that he's not ashamed of being an accountant (he totally is), but he wanted to show that he was more than that, which is why he put emphasis on leadership. Which he fucked up. Excellent strategy, Ed. Sralan says that as an expert in electronics, he can walk into a factory and "BANG! See things that other people can't see." I'm not sure if that's being an electronics expert or simply having ESP. Here, simple mathematics were needed, and Edward refused to use those skills. Sralan cites Edward's REZ-HOO-MAY (yay, first REZ-HOO-MAY of the series) as saying he was Sralan's dream, when really he turned out to be a nightmare. Edward? You're fired.

Edward gets up to leave, and Sralan reminds him that there's no shame in being an accountant - he just needs to put his paws up, 'cos he was born that way baby. Leon and Gavin are sent back to the house. There is no post-firing hugging, merely some perfunctory handshakes. Coatwatch: Edward's is large, thick and dark, and accessorised with a grey and maroon scarf. In his taxinterview, Edward thinks Sralan just didn't see what he wanted from him, and he can accept that. He's only 25, the world is his oyster, and -- wait for it -- "roll with the punches".

Back at the house, the contestants are of course speculating who will be getting fired. Vincent thinks Leon might be in danger because of the whole juicing thing. Gavin bursts through the door in a very elaborate entrance, and everyone cheers to see him returning with Leon. Gavin tells them all that Edward got very passionate about the situation, but ultimately wasn't quite up to defending himself properly. Vincent suggests a toast to Edward as the first to fall, and the others agree.

One down, fourteen to go [fifteen? - Rad] [I was working on the assumption that the person who actually wins doesn't get included in the count - Steve]. Next time - the show is dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century with a "design a smartphone app" task. Edna tells Susan to shut the fuck up, clearly not before time, and a team that shouldn't lose loses. Joel will have all the gory details for you.

A few points of housekeeping before I sign off - since the episode itself never revealed a few of the naming details, I shall fill them in. Vincent's surname is Disneur, making him officially this year's best-named candidate, and hopefully giving me ample opportunity to make a "Vincent Disneur want to do this" joke at some point in the future. Felicity's last name is Jacksons, Helen's is Milligan, Natasha's is Scribbins and Woman Who Has Not Yet Spoken A Single Word (and apparently made it the entire way through the episode without doing so) was Zoe Beresford, though I understand if you didn't even notice she was there. Until next time!