Sunday, 15 April 2012

Upcycle killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Week 4 – 11th April 2012

Last week – Condiments. I said condiments. Everyone gets saucy. Duane’s chutney didn’t bring anyone to the yard; the boys’ sauce didn’t fare too well either. The chutney won through and the Blonde Assassin is clearly playing the long game by being on the losing team three weeks in a row. But in the end, no matter how barra boy he got, Michael couldn’t save himself so he got the teeny tiny elbow. Seriously, how miniature are the SugarLord’s limbs? I’m getting a teeny bit obsessed with them now.

So who out of the remaining twelve will get to be his business partner? There’s only one way to find out... No, not a fight, silly. Through several more weeks of pointless tasks. Yay!

Aerial shot of the ApprentiMansions in Bayswater. Everyone’s got a morning off. What would you do on a morning off when all other mornings have started with a 5am phone call? Well you’re wrong because clearly the correct answer is to play a game of ping pong. Badly.

Everyone’s in mufti. It’s fascinating to see their real life clothes. Azhar is surprisingly buff. Who knew? The phone rings and LordAlan wants everyone to meet him at the old cinema in Chiswick in 30 minutes. Everyone rushes to get ready. OH HAI Azhar’s pecs. [Indeed, hello there. - Steve] Everyone speculates as to what the task might be. Bless them for thinking that the location has any bearing on what’s going to happen next. RickyMartin gets changed behind a modesty towel. I don’t think they let him wrestle like that.

Everyone files into the ApprentiCars. Everyone is wearing a surprising amount of red. RickyMartin, the Blonde Assassin and Tom sit in the back of their car and lament that even though the other team won; they’re not even taking things that seriously or anything. The Blonde Assassin wants to bring Duane and Nick back down to earth. Over in the other car, Nick of the Bieber hair, Duane and Jade decide that those who have been fired so far aren’t pulling their weight. Duane wants to see these shirkers get exposed and Jane whips her head round like she’s been slapped.

The cars arrive in Chiswick and everyone files out into a converted cinema packed with vintage furniture and “high end” second hand goods. Nick of the Hair looks at home. Karren has thoughtfully worn red to fit in with everyone else. It becomes apparent that Sterling have come in Red and Phoenix have come in blue. Aww, how sweet [although shouldn't it be the other way round with the whole Phoenix/fire thing? - Rad].

Lordalan wishes everyone a good afternoon and explains that “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” and cites car boot sales and charity shops as examples. Alan reckons you can make money by taking everyone else’s rubbish and selling it on. This is their task this week. He’s laid on a shop in the EAST END of London where they all buy this crap. [And then wear it. All of it. At once. - Steve] RickyMartin is sent over to Sterling and Jade is sent over to Phoenix. Now everyone’s colours are mixed up! This is literally the worst thing to ever happen to anyone ever.

Alan explains for the hard of thinking that the team that makes the most amount of profit will win and someone will be fired off the losing team. He’ll see them back in the boardroom soon.

The voiceover man explains that the second hand market is worth TWO BILLION a year. That’s a lot of Top of the Pops LPs. From genuine antiques to recycled products there’s profit in pre owned goods. Everyone rushes around the shop with notepads to find out what tat is gold. The voice over man explains the term UpCycling, which is taking second hand goods and refurbishing them I think, but it’s not especially clear, is worth big bucks. Jenna helpfully explains that upcycling is taking a bin and funking it up to be a funky bin [So, er, Change That? You know, that BBC daytime thing that was like Changing Rooms without the actual room bit, where Linda Barker and co made over a piece of furniture with a couple of stencils. Oh, the nineties - Rad]. Jane gives this the look it deserves. Both teams have a grand and two days to source and sell their stock.

Duane puts himself forward for PM, because it’s a selling task and all they have to do is apply logic to win. Jane looks uncomfortable. Laura contests this, because she has set up her own retail unit. Duane puts it to the world’s most uncomfortable vote, where nobody votes for him. Laura wins the Poisoned Chalice! YAY LAURA!

Laura then goes all BIZNIZ SAMANTHA BRICK by explaining how hard it is to be an attractive business woman, but nobody should be fooled by her lovely looks because she has been described as a Rottweiler in the past.

Over on team Phoenix, Tom explains that Hipsters can be judgemental. He’s the PM this time. Tom explains that he’s ONLY 23 but that’s not the most special thing about him [Fuck off - Alex Wotherspoon]. No, that’s the fact that he’s a well rounded individual. He explains the folly of going into a situation expecting to agree with everyone, but it’s how you deal with them that counts. I’ve watched this segment three times now and it still makes no sense to me.

Adam wants to know the strategy. The answer to this is “Well, we have a thousand pounds”. The blonde assassin wants to buy five items and make a killing (DO YOU SEE WHAT SHE DID THERE ETC.). Tom agrees that they don’t want to buy too much and not be able to sell it. Adam looks more confused than usual. He interviews that the strategy is WRONG and they don’t want an empty shop. [To be fair, SralanLordSugar is so contrary that some years spending all the money would be important and other years less so. Remember the catastrophe of the 'buy a load of nodding dogs' task last year? - Rad]

Over on the red team, RickyMartin explains that they need to be cost conscious. NO SHIT SHERLOCK. They’re focusing on turning trash into treasure. RickyMartin wants to buy crap and make it stylish. Everyone agrees with him. Gabrielle wants to tart up some junk. She’s done it before, allegedly. She mentions putting Union Jacks on stuff. Jenna agrees that this is in. Laura puts Gabrielle in charge of being creative.

PMs picked and plans in place, everyone heads back to the house. Through the magic of television it’s now morning again and we’re inside the house counting money. Everyone’s in their own clothes and it’s no less odd. Jane is wearing a rather fetching hat and is told by Laura to use her money to pick up additional stuff for tarting stuff up, like buttons. The shops will open for business tomorrow. Tom sets a limit for the number of things his team can buy, and only gives them £200. He wants them to be selective. Laura begs the rest of Sterling to keep in touch. We’ll see.

Over on team Phoenix, the Blonde Assassin is bitching AGAIN. This time it’s about Tom’s strategy. Adam joins in by saying that their good negotiators, but they’re not miracle workers. Steven sensibly keeps quiet, presumably concentrating on not blinking. They’re off to an auction in Greenwich to buy some tat. They fear that it’s a bit expensive for them. Nick Hewer can hold his silence no longer and lists their “Mortal Sins”
  1. They didn’t argue about their teeny budget
  2. They take this teeny budget to an auction
  3. They only buy three things.
Adam then gets desperate and starts raking in the bins. Nick Hewer and his excellent sunglasses are AGHAST. They get some stuff from the bins and throw it in the van.

Laura, RickyMartin and Duane are in Tooting looking for stuff they can add value to. [I used to live just down the road from Tooting; I suspect they're wasting their time. - Steve] They look at a trunk and what seems to be a horse’s head but turns out to be a pouffe. They want to reupholster it. Can you hear me laughing? Because I am. RickyMartin then pulls the leg off of a table. RICKYMARTIN STRONG. RICKYMARTIN GO BREAK. The shop owner isn’t impressed. They buy some suitcases, a table and a stool. The shopkeeper openly laughs at them. Laura remarks that it’s a lot of stuff, but she likes all of it.

Meanwhile Tom, Azhar and Jade are buying tat at a car boot sale. Tom gives us the sum of his business knowledge, which is that it’s important not just to buy any old rubbish. That is undoubtedly the kind of business acumen LordAlan is looking for. The team argue over a mirror. Jade thinks it’s important to fill the shop. Nick explains that they need to find the right thing to take to “The young trendy with the gelled hair” [Isn't that whatsisface who was Amy Winehouse's friend from The Voice? - Rad]. Oh Nick. He remarks that they’re only buying a few bits and pieces and worries that the shop will be empty. Jade wants to buy a screen and put records in it, but breaks it and weakly apologises for doing so before running away.

We are introduced to Brick Lane, where the shop is going to be. There’s lots of vintage and retro retail, plus lots of cool companies. Everyone arrives at the shops with their stuff. Laura explains to Sterling again that they’re going to have to do some tarting up, and asks her team to paint some Shabby Chic. Everyone says “Shabby Chic” a lot [It really is '90s interiors revival week, isn't it? - Rad]. Laura explains that she’s going to be upcyling her stuff, which means tarting up junk to make it attractive to somebody else. Gabrielle outlines her creative plan, which is about creating a brand [which will be active for precisely one day. *golf clap* - Steve] Jenna orders some fabric whilst everyone looks bemused. Karren points out that upcycling requires skill and time and materials which cost money. She tells this to the camera though, not the flailing team who could certainly use this being pointed out to them.

Meanwhile Phoenix are having a look at their shop. Tom points out that the size of it looks quite big. Thanks for that, Tom! That’s some brilliant insight there. He’s worried that they won’t have enough stock. Jade literally tears her hair out about this.

Adam, the Blonde Assassin and Steven are still in junk shops in South London. They assemble some junk and knock it down. Even the man in the Junk shop is confused as to their purchases. Steven then claims that he’s got all the best stuff from the shop and the man who makes his living from doing this stuff is very wrong. Oh dear. He still hasn’t blinked yet.

Duane, Laura and RickyMartin are rooting around someone’s house for tat. Duane remarks on the smell and they raid the house. Duane can’t imagine buying any of it, but it’s all free and he’s not going to look a gift horse in the eye. IN THE EYE. [It's clearly a very untrustworthy gift horse. - Steve] Laura hopes the other team have done some impressive stuff. Oh yes, they have. They’ve put some legs on a suitcase [Terry Pratchett should sue - Steve] and a box on a ladder. Nick’s not sure the stuff is any better. It’s not, Nick.

Cut to Phoenix and Tom is arranging the look of his shop. The Blonde Assassin helps by standing beside him. I don’t know if she’s planning a kill, I can’t see her face. Tom is wondering what things look best next to each other. In order to fit in with the hipster vibe, he’s rolled up the sleeves of his t-shirt and done his hair in a little quiff. He looks very sweet but one step away from a drawn on moustache. The blonde assassin has put some gloves on to move a chair [I don't blame her. Splinters were a huge source of childhood trauma for me. I swear mothers get pleasure out of jabbing you with needles to try and get them out - Rad]. Adam just looks bemused and is worried they don’t have enough stuff. Stephen does that thing where everyone else is busy and you don’t know what to do so you just walk round touching things a bit. Tom just strokes the moustache he hasn’t had time to grow.

Over with Sterling, Jane is sanding something and Gabrielle is writing “Vintage Gold” on something. Sterling are working very hard at sprucing up their stuff. Nick just walks around with his hair telling people what to do, which seems to be mainly about painting things red. I. CAN’T. DO THIS BY MYSELF etc. Karren thinks their desire to spruce everything up will take them a long time and she’s not sure if they’re actually adding any value. I wouldn’t think so, since their idea of ‘sprucing up’ seems to consist mainly of painting off-centre Union Jacks on things.

RickyMartin doesn’t like the Union Jacks though. Neither does Duane. “It looks like I painted it, and I can’t paint” he says wisely. RickyMartin doesn’t think that it’s very imaginative. Gabrielle spouts something about it being a signature on all their products. Duane replies that he doesn’t get it, and if he doesn’t get it, why would anyone else. Gabrielle thinks Union Jacks are a retro thing and they work well. Yes, they’re so retro. We’re never going to see any Union Jacks this summer what with the Olympics and the Jubilee. They’re very firmly in the past. Some hipsters eat some chips outside the shop. [And burn their mouths, because they were eating chips before they were cool. Sorry. - Steve]

Through the magic of television, it’s morning again. It’s 7.30 am and the teams have ten hours to make some cash. BIZNIZ SAMANTHA BRICK does her hair in the mirror. Azhar and his pecs walk up the stairs. Fascinating television, this. Upstairs seems more interesting. Duane is watching Stephen get dressed. Duane rubs his face and says he’s going to wear something old today to fit in with the vintage vibe. Stephen thinks clothes may be an issue and is trying to look as hip as he can by wearing a cardigan. That’s why Tom is wearing Skinny jeans, stripy socks, brogues and a shirt which is buttoned up to the top which is trying to be hipster but gives the overall impression of Olly Murs. [To be fair, Olly Murs is a bellend, and hipsters are also bellends, so he's not a million miles away... - Steve] Nick NotHewer has put some extra product in his hair for the occasion.

In the cars, BIZNIZ SAMANTHA BRICK tells everyone that her only concern is people not liking what they’ve done. Come on! Everyone wants a suitcase with legs. You can draw some eyes on it and pretend you’re in Beauty and the Beast. To think of it, there really needs to be some antlers in their decorating. Jenna looks frightened. Gabrielle cautiously says that she’s more confident about the upcycled stuff than the plain stuff, because Union Jacks are IN.

Team Sterling arrive and NickHair jokes that the stuff has been mixed up overnight. No silly, that’s how you left it. Their shop Vintage Gold and their rubbish is in two sections – Shabby chic and Union Jack. Talk about the devil and the deep blue sea. Laura is concerned about a pile of rubbish. Sorry! Not rubbish. Resale items.

Team Phoenix arrive at their shop. Tom, who I’ve decided looks a bit more Will Young than Olly Murs, makes some tweaks to his empty minimal shop. These tweaks consist mainly of moving things a couple of inches right or left. Their shop is called Retro Station. He’s written it on a blackboard in pretty pink chalk. Their first customer arrives and the Blonde Assassin is waiting to pounce on them. Tom shows some people a hole punch. BIZNIZ SUCCESS! Someone buys a clock for eight pounds.
Outside, the film crew have found someone with ACTUAL HIPSTER GLASSES to interview. She’s also American which is DOUBLE POINTS. She liked the shop and liked that it didn’t have too much stuff in it and thought it was special.

Vintage Gold isn’t doing too well though. They’re not even open yet and are scattering leaves on the floor to give the shop character, much to Karren and the viewing public’s amusement. Laura and Gabrielle price a chair at £140 pounds. It’s not even a good chair. A badly painted wicker chair is priced at £120. Nick and his hair go outside to whip up some custom. He promises them some good antiques. He’s a liar.

Retro Station are still selling well, but stock is running low. Nick Hewer helpfully points out that there is a difference between minimalism and emptiness and thinks they need more stock. The Blonde Assassin wonders this out loud whilst Tom fondles his imaginary moustache again.

Nick NotHewer is still trying to drag people in to Vintage Gold with very minimal success. Someone in shorts and a shell suit jacket wanders in. Quick! Target market! Jenna is sent to deal with them. Duane talks to other customers, helpfully pointing out which are the big chairs and which are the small chairs. Gabrielle is still trying to sell her Union Jack stuff. Someone else is marvelling at Big Chair, Little Chair. Jane is forcefully trying to sell the badly painted wicker chair. She points out their stuff is a hard sell. That’s because it’s mostly shit. She’s finding she has to be quite pushy. Jane’s sales technique is making Karren uncomfortable because she’s being ‘quite’ pushy and aggressive with the customers. She tries to sell stuff to people until someone actually shouts “NO” in her face.

Midday at Retro Station and Tom interviews that everything is going well so far. This is backed up by lots of shots of money changing hands. He’s worried that they won’t have enough stock for the rest of the day. So, Stephen, Jade and Adam are despatched to a car boot sale to see what else they can pick up for the shop. Adam picks up some old cameras, Stephen a tea set and they all pick up some ash trays which the seller practically gives to them to make them go away [that bit made me laugh so hard - Rad].

Vintage Gold are having no such luck though. Nick Hair is trying to sell a Union Jack chair which people are actively going out of their way to avoid. Their shop is still full. Laura has made some leaflets and sends out Jane, Duane and RickyMartin to give them to people in the hope of getting them into their shop to buy some badly painted Union Jack chairs. It works, and they begin to sell. They even get a man in a leopard skin jumpsuit. HIPSTER GOLD. Laura is excited that people are walking in, buying stuff then walking out again. Yes Laura, that’s how a shop works. She’s pleased her team are working hard. Gabrielle sells a suitcase with legs.

Back at Retro Station, the B team arrive with the extra stock. Nick Hewer interview that he may have sneered too soon yesterday and he admits that his knowledge of what people with no taste might want to buy is poor. Stephen rips a bag twice trying to sell something heavy. Adam, who I’ve just realised is the only one wearing a shirt and tie, tries to explain retro to a bemused looking middle aged couple.

It’s one hour before the end of the day and (SURPRISE) the Union Jack stuff isn’t doing so well. RickyMartin gloats that he knew this, seemingly not realising that it’s his team that the lack of sales affects. He thinks they need to knock down the price. Gabrielle tries to justify why she did it to someone whilst someone else interviews that stuff with flags on is silly and not even that retro and possibly even a bit tacky.

The stock needs to be got rid of, I’m taking it that stock left at the end of the day is not counted as an asset? This show can never make its mind up. Laura is begging people to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TAKE THE UNION JACK CHAIRS and team Retro Station have put all of their remaining stuff out on the pavement [I'm surprised they didn't chuck a few petals in some jam jars of water and try to flog it as perfume while they were at it - Rad]. Stephen and Adam run through the streets with a table for no explicable reason, Laura tries to sell some chairs for a pound and Jenna haggles with someone with directional hair and a bow tie and refuses to drop 25p off of her price. Laura tries to give someone a table for a pound even though she doesn’t want it. The sales technique descends into screaming “ONE POUND” into people’s faces. Laura applauds her team’s success as a leg falls off a suitcase table.

Again, it’s the next day and everyone is off to the board room. Laura is wearing far too much Touché Éclat. Nobody is talking. Londonporn!

Lordalan arrives and everyone wishes him a good afternoon. Lordalan thinks this task is interesting because he didn’t define the product and he’s keen to see how everyone got on. He starts with Sterling. Laura tells Lordalan that she put herself forward strongly for PM because she thought it was time that she stepped out from the crowd. Lordalan points out that she’s in the wedding dress business so she’s used to dressing things up. LOL. No. Laura manages a laugh at this, and goes on to say that retro was foreign to them but they were at an advantage because they had noted Union Jack painter Gabrielle on their team. They started by putting their ideas on the table (DRINK) and they started with Shabby Chic which they explain to Lordalan is painting stuff then sanding it down again to make it look rustic then upcycling, which was NickHair, Gabrielle and Jenna’s job. They say something about reupholstering and Lordalan looks impressed until Karren points out that it just involves material and a staple gun. Lordalan asks what the look of the shop was. Laura says they were more vintage than retro and Lordalan interrupts by saying he heard that there were a load of dead leaves on the floor and were they going for the ‘caught in a hurricane’ look. Jenna says that they did this because their customers were arty which is really no explanation at all. Lordalan asks who did most of the selling. Laura doesn’t know but thinks that everyone had a fair crack at it. Lordalan asks who got into the mood of the selling. This makes no sense so he goes on to explain that you can sell stuff like Del Boy off a stall or you can sell something in a crappy pop up retro shop way. This involves posture. Laura says she was impressed with herself, because she is the BIZNIZ SAMANTHA BRICK. Everyone agrees that she was a good team leader.

Over with Phoenix, Tom explains that he put himself forward because he thought the task sounded exciting. Lordalan asks about strategy. He said that his strategy was being really stingy when it came to buying things. He says that he wanted Jade by his side because she has a good eye for design, so why the Blonde Assassin spent all of her time glued to his side I don’t know. He got a feel for the shop and how to lay things out. He got the strongest negotiators to go out and source the products. Stephen burbles a lot of business speak that doesn’t really make sense whilst Lordalan looks at his nails. He unblinkingly goes on to tell him about his masterplan of clearing out the back room of the junk shop. Lordalan wants to know why the junk shop owner would have all the good stuff in the back. Stephen explains that it had been there for so long it had become retro. This makes Karren snort. He bought suitcases and chairs that were in. Lordalan thought that the junk shop owner must have thought he had some right idiots on his hands. If only he knew. Lordalan asks about money. Tom tells him that he only gave them £200 for stock to begin with. Alan asks if this was damage limitation and this causes Stephen to blink for the first time of the series. Adam tells on Tom and says that he did say several times that he was worried about the lack of stock, but Lordalan says that he knows that Arty Farty people like shops with one thing plonked in the middle. Adam admits that it’s not his area of expertise. Jade pipes in that they did their best with what they had. Everyone agrees that Tom was a good team leader and he’s got nothing bad to say about anyone on his team. Lordalan thinks that this is a brave statement.

The numbers!
Nick for Phoenix – They made £1,423.50 and spent £360.10 leaving a profit of £1,063.40. Tom strokes his imaginary moustache at this.
Karren for Sterling – They made £1,444.25. Karren makes a big deal about how they did better on sales but I’m not going to quibble about *maths face* £20.75. However, their outlay was £660.76 making an overall profit of £783.49.
Laura looks like she’s going to vomit. He congratulates Phoenix and tells Tom his stinginess paid off [Somewhere, Yasmina is looking upon this and smiling in approval - Rad]. Keeping in the retro spirit, they’re all off to a 1940’s retro party to learn how to swing dance. What a shit prize [but also quite a hipster-ish pastime, so fairly in keeping with the week's theme - Rad]. There’s lots of hugging outside.
Lordalan tells Sterling that although they did better on sales, they spent more. Thanks for that handy recap, Mr SirLord. He sends them off to think about what they’ve done and decide who’s fault it was.

The winners go off to a house in the countryside to wear fancy dresses and furs and drink cocktails. The swing dancers arrive and teach them. The Blonde Assassin is wearing a strapless dress for this task. I don’t think she’s thought this through. She rather drunkenly interviews that they won and that Tom wasn’t a good PM, but he was a strong PM who chose a risky strategy that paid off. Eh? Tom thinks that sometimes being young can make it difficult for people to do what he tells them to but everyone did what they were told on the task.

Over in the Loser’s cafe, NickHair thinks the issue is in the high costs and the sales not being high enough to cover that. Give that man a prize for his genius! RickyMartin thinks it’s all about the upcycled stuff being the wrong design. Laura points out that a third of the budget was spent on materials. Gabrielle is quick to jump in and say it wasn’t the fault of the materials because she was in charge of them, and thinks that some of the stock was too expensive. Laura interviews that it isn’t the stock’s fault and she’s blaming the materials.

Back in Lordalan’s office, he sends them in. He’s interested to hear their analysis of where things went wrong. Laura offers to answer this. Her main concern was the amount they spent on materials for upcycling. Lordalan wants to know who was in charge of upcycling. Laura says that this was Gabrielle. Gabrielle takes this with good grace. Karren says that they were a bit like kids in a sweet shop when it came to getting their goodies for the upcycling process, but didn’t keep track of what they spent. She rightly says that Gabrielle was just shouting stuff out and Jenna was ordering it. Gabrielle says she was just given products and told to make them look good. She thinks that it’s because they bought too much stuff that needed to be upcycled. Laura disagrees with this. I just wish everyone would stop saying upcycle. Laura talks about everything that they did and points out that it wasn’t £200 worth. It didn’t even look like 20p worth. Laura quickly sees who her fall guy is going to be and goes all guns blazing at Gabrielle saying that she didn’t think about what she was going to use, conveniently ignoring the fact that she didn’t give her a budget or even a general idea of what she should be doing. Gabrielle points this out. Laura claims she gave them £300 for the day and they went over so they obviously weren’t being careful. Jenna buts in and says she agrees they were given £300 for stock, but they were given no budget for materials. She says that they spent less originally but Laura changed her mind and wanted shabby chic. They then start bickering and tell each other not to shout. Lordalan is unimpressed at this and interrupts it by saying that Karren told him that nobody was sure what to buy and the shop was a tip. He wants to know who chose the stock. She explains that it was herself, RickyMartin and Duane. Lordalan asks if they knew their shop had 200 items to the other shop’s fifty and perhaps they messed up the theme a bit? RickyMartin says they failed because they didn’t do the market research and Gabrielle said she knew the market and the creative team took that as gospel and hipsters don’t like Union Jacks. Gabrielle just didn’t want the shop to look like a junk yard. Laura said that the Union Jacks concerned her. Gabrielle explained that a lot of responsibility was put on her shoulders and she took it and wonders what Laura took responsibility for.

Lordalan is as bored of this as me so he moves on to sales. Despite being busy behind the scenes, Gabrielle was the biggest seller of the day. Her jaw nearly drops off at this news. Then it was Jenna and Jane is at the bottom of the pile who only sold a tenners worth. Her jaw hits the floor. Lordalan says that Jane is a businesswoman and Karren interrupts that her sales technique went between desperate and aggressive. That’s a good place to be. Jane apologises for being “Over-enthusiastic” but she wanted as many people as possible in the shop.

LORDALAN IS BORED NOW, but he can’t get to where the problem lies. RickyMartin blames the creative team and that Gabrielle misjudged the market and blames his own lack of selling on the fact he wasn’t on the sales team. Laura tries to say her piece again but Lordalan cuts her off. He asks her who she thinks is responsible a she blames Gabrielle because she was the creative team and Jane because of her lack of selling. Lordalan sends the rest of them back to the house and sends Jane, Gabrielle and Laura outside so he can consult with Karren.

Lordalan thinks Laura has a lot to answer to (sic) because everyone he asks don’t seem to know (sic) what the steer was from day one. Karren thinks that Jane is an able businesswoman but she can’t swear to have witnessed it. I haven’t either, but she is a bit awesome. Lordalan points out everyone is blaming Gabrielle but nobody else did anything. He brings them back in.

Lordalan begins by reiterating Gabrielle’s point that although she had overspent on materials, she wanted to know what Laura was doing and he thinks that this is a good question. Laura insists that she did a good job and that the sales force was motivated and they did sell and she totally told Gabrielle what to do in that she told her to spend as little as possible. Yes, that’s a clear direction. Lordalan wants to know exactly what she said about spending on materials and not giving a limit makes her a raving lunatic. Laura hoped that common sense would have come into it. Seriously, do the contestants not watch the show beforehand? Lordalan thinks that she should have had enough sense to set a limit and gives her the dad face. Gabrielle says there was no budget or strategy and she just threw £300 pounds at her for stuff unspecified. Gabrielle takes on that she spent a lot but all Laura did was talk. Gabrielle wants to know what Laura actually did. Laura commends her on her speech and thanks her for it. She doesn’t answer the question and gives Gabrielle the most insincere feedback ever. She then goes back to Karren’s analogy of the kid in a sweet shop. You still haven’t answered the question, Laura. At the end of the day (DRINK) Laura was at the centre of everything. Jane says if that was true there would have been a budget for materials. Laura said that she had to delegate. Gabrielle wants to know what she delegated. Laura STILL doesn’t answer the question and says that even though they bought too much stock they sold it all. Yes, most of it for a pound. Laura clutches some business straws and brings to light Jane’s lack of selling again. Jane gives her a HOLD UP and said she wasn’t asked to sell, she was out on the street flyering and bringing in customers.

Lordalan can see there’s a conflict and refers back to Jane’s application. Y U NO SAY REZOOMAY? He’s very impressed with her business that she has with her husband so he can understand why her colleagues may be in awe of her and concerned that she’s competition but he hasn’t seen anything to make him impressed.

Jane clarifies that she was out in the street for most of the day and even so, she’s much more comfortable in a business environment than out on the street selling. This does not impress Lordalan. He moves on to Laura and wants to know why he should give her his investment. Laura says that she’s been successful in everything she’s ever done. Apart from all the tasks she’s lost, obviously. Ha! Lordalan reads my mind and points out the same thing. Laura thinks Gabrielle should be fired. Gabrielle thinks Laura and Jane thinks Laura should be fired. Lordalan thinks that it’s down to this task and Laura didn’t get the plot and Gabrielle is getting the blame but he doesn’t care because she’s enthusiastic so she’s not fired.

He’s left with a choice between Laura and Jane. Laura tries to put her case forward but is told that Lordalan doesn’t want to hear any more. He’s going to judge it on their potential as his business partner. Laura lost the plot and ran the team badly, but he’s more concerned that Jane’s been in the losing team three times out of four and he hasn’t seen anything that reflects she’s good at business, so she’s fired.

Lordalan thinks he may have let a good business partner out the door but he’s got a gut feeling that Gabrielle’s been unfairly put upon. Laura and Gabrielle leave to hug Jane. Karren tells Lordalan not to worry about firing Jane because she’s already successful. Lordalan says he hasn’t seen it and his gut feeling tells him that he did the right thing and it’s HIS BOARDROOM, HIS MONEY AND HIS BALL.

Jane cries in the back of the taxi. Her coat is white. Shocker. She’s going to be successful in everything she does even if Lordalan doesn’t want her and she hopes that in a few years he’ll look back and regret firing her. Aww.

In the house of bitchy, Jade thinks that Laura should be fired on paper, but Lordalan is going to fire Jane. Spot on! The Blonde Assassin thinks Jane and NickHair admits mistakes were made. Laura feeds back that they were all ripped to shreds and Jane was fired because of his gut. Gabrielle thinks it was a shock for Jane because she thought she did a good job.

Next week! New fitness programmes. Cue lots of survival of the fittest jokes. Laura is still squawking. Someone gets fired. Join us next week!


Anonymous said...

I liked Jane, I thought she was going to be in the final :(

JonnyTruant said...

Jane was very interesting in the sense that she seemed to combine existing success in her own business and a seemingly decent level of competence (which translates to outstanding in Apprenti-Terms) with some rampantly childish reactions and lack of empathy. In a odd way reminiscent of Phil PantsMan. You get the feeling Karen picked up on her petulance and I reckon that was the biggest factor for her getting the boot.

It kind of gives away that Laura must have a decent business plan too, as she was the one really deserving to go. AmsWedding?

Helen said...

Laura so deserved to go, I agree so her business plan nust have been out of this world.

I agree that Jane seemed to be pretty amazing on the surface of things, but I suspect that her plea of "good at BIZNIZ, bad at selling" was probably true. Why you have to be good at selling is one of the true mysteries of this programme to be honest.