Sunday, 27 May 2012

Tring my hell

Week 10 – 23rd May 2012

Last week! ENGLISH SPARKLING WINE which is totally a thing, as was someone winning the competition which made TOTAL SENSE AND WAS COMPLETELY LOGICAL. An advert that was rubbish even by Apprentice standards was Jenna’s downfall and she went back to HairAndBeautyAllUnderOneRoof even though it was slightly more than half Stephen’s fault but his smooth talking ways saw him dodge the bullet with the promise of being project manager this week in order to correctly show SRLDSGR his business onions.

So, Stephen has to be project manager this week and he’s promised Daddy Alan a win. I absolutely, in no way, would take any form of pleasure in him promising this and losing. Honest.

Sorry, even I couldn’t keep a straight face through that one. I hope he fails harder than the entirety of the Failblog put together. I hope he fails so hard the only way he can save any face is to take off his clothes and give them to a homeless person in the hope of becoming any use to anyone ever.

Not that I’m biased. Ahem.

To BZNZ. We begin with RickyMartin stomping out of his room bleary eyed to receive the 6am phonecall. He Bangs (he bangs) his way down the spiral staircase to answer it. We get a good look at his Mel C tribute tattoos as he does this. Gabrielle is already up and in her suitcase. They have 30 minutes to get ready and meet the Sug in The City. Thus begins the Apprenti grooming ritual.

Stephen is so motivated and positive about today. THE FOOL. Gabrielle thinks that she, Ricky and Stephen have to win this task and Stephen promises he will give a measly 110%. In the other car, Jade pulls faces as Adam talks about it being the home strait.

Rainy London is rainy as the cars pull up. Alan is here in person today and explains that Londoners like to work hard and play hard, but in the CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE everyone is looking for a bargain and he’s heard about these daily deal websites and wants a piece of that. They’ll go out and get deals and present them to the company and the winners will be the ones that sell the most. Alan reminds Stephen that he hasn’t forgotten that he’s supposed to be PM this week but the others have to sort it out for themselves.

Stephen thins this task is simple. RickyMartin knows they’re going to win. The daily deal company is called Quinoa, presumably because Couscous was already taken and every Tom, Dick and Harry is eating it these days. Graham Walker is the CEO from Quinoa [I thought that too - apparently it's Key Noir, but that actually sounds more stupid than Quinoa.  In fact, it sounds like the kind of stupid name Apprenti would come up with.  Still better than Wowcher though - Rad] who tells them what to do. Quinoa, even if they do say so themselves, are at the more luxurious end  of the market and it will be their job to ensure that the offers are part of this brand and negotiate an attractive price for them. I had a cursory Google and I can’t find them so I can’t find out if any of this is true or not. Ah well.

They have a day to sort out the deal and they’re given little rooms to sort out STRATEGY.  Jade quickly stamps her authority on her team because THIS IS WHAT SHE DOES. She interviews that she works with companies like this one and she knows what offers work well. If it was anyone else, I’d be hearing the clanging chimes of doom [Stop stealing my lines – Midge Ure] but I hope that this isn’t the case because I really want Jade to be as awesome at BIZNIZ as she is at wearing pearls and being a bitch.

No arguments over on the other team though, as Stephen has made his cross and is bearing it to the best of his ability. He tells his team who look EXSTATIC to have him as a project manager that the key is in the number of deals that they get from each person. He’s hoping for 5 or six different deals from each company.

He tells RickyMartin that he trusts him so he can go off on his own and interviews that this whole thing is beyond Gabrielle’s tiny woman brain so he’s going to keep an eye on her. I so hope that you go today Stephen. There are no words for how much I want to see you fail.

Gabrielle plots the locations on a map, whilst Stephen bores on about geography and I notice RickyMartin’s orange fake tan hands. Stephen makes sure RickyMartin knows what he’s doing then calls him a “good lad” then they all run off to get started.

Meanwhile, on team Jade, they’re still working out their STRATEGY. NickHair plays with his hair whilst Jenna barks on about quality over quantity. Tom bores on about knowing all the best restaurants and NickHair mutters something about exclusivity and Tom rolls his eyes at him.

Meanwhile Gabrielle and Stephen are in the back of the car phoning people up, because a shaky call from a mobile in the back of a moving vehicle suggests quality all the way. First up, they’re off to a dentist who calls his whitening system Deluxe so it must be good. They try to negotiate a 40% reduction on the retail price and the dentist all but laughs in their face and says he’ll take £100 off. Gabrielle’s job is to stand there with a clipboard whilst Stephen tries to get another deal out of him. Karren interviews that if they’re going to use this STRATEGY they have to be efficient. Karren laughing behind her hand is not shown as we cut to Gabrielle recapping the deal that she’s written down on her clipboard.

Cut to RickyMartin who’s running late because of ‘timing’, which is only one step further up the ladder of sensible explanations than ‘reasons’.  We see speak to Stephen on a phone which is showing the locked screen. I’m now imagining that Stephen is some kind of Fight Club style fraction of Ricky’s personality. RickyMartin’s Tyler Durden is telling him to go to Tring after this one, which is an hour away. RickyMartin doesn’t look so sure as he could be doing all kinds of stuff in the two hours it will take him to travel to Tring and back. Stephen is sure that the Spa place in Tring is the way to go and he can probably get ten deals out of them. Gabrielle grabs the phone and tells RickyMartin to make sure that he negotiates the price and the period for which the deal will be available. RickyMartin interrupts her and says that he doesn’t need to be taught how to suck eggs.

RickyMartin arrives at a top end hotel restaurant. Despite saying he’s in a rush, quite rudely I may add, he gets a full tour of the restaurant which is on the 28th floor of a hotel.  The chef makes RickyMartin some scallops and he demands his negotiation time.

Team Jade haven’t even left the office. They’re setting appointments. Jade and Nick head off for an appointment at an exclusive spa. Jade insists that she’s doing the pitch. NickHair says that he wants to do it too and Jade flicks her hair at him and says that she’ll be fine. <3 [I love that Jade is just owning this episode from the word go. - Steve]

Arriving at the spa we meet three frankly terrifying women who tell Jade what the prices are. Jade says that she’d quite like to give a discount please miss, as that’s kind of what they’re here for. She’s met with *face*x3 and is told in no uncertain terms that they do offers but not discounts. Jade, sensing there may be some resistance suggests a 50% discount to three further *faces*. NickHair shuffles uncomfortably in his chair.

RickyMartin is still in the restaurant in the sky and explains the concept of daily deals. The restaurant man point blank refuses and says he wouldn’t even give a 10% discount. I briefly wonder what the point was of wining and dining RickyMartin so much but then I realise that a five minute advert on prime time BBC is something that money can’t buy [Also: for the LULZ.  And, to be fair, it was pretty funny - Rad]. RickyMartin tries his best to get some form of discount but the manager remains steadfast. RickyMartin and his eyebrow found the whole experience very frustrating but he’s going to use this as his motivation for the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, Jade is still trying to smooth out a deal with the spa. She massages their egos and the terrifying women crumble and give a 50% discount.  Even Nick Hewer looks impressed.  Outside, Jade is happy that they got the deal and thinks it was worth the time they spent over it.

Meanwhile, Adam and Tom are in a boutique hotel in West London, living a scene from a hilarious movie from the 80’s where some posh business man is visited by his hick cousin ending in hilarious japes all round. For those who are not in the know, Adam is the hick cousin. He walks around the posh hotel shouting “IT’S GOOD” whilst Tom makes the kind of faces that indicate that he would really rather be with anyone else than here today [Seriously, what is it with you and the 80’s lyrics today? – Elvis Costello]

They get a tiny plate of posh food and Tom goes in for the 50% discount. The hotel man won’t go beyond 35%. Adam suggests that if they threw in tea and coffee that would totally make up for the 15% deficit. They agree and Adam is pleased. [If it's bottomless tea or coffee, that's actually pretty good. I know a lot of people who could easily get their extra 15% out of that, mentioning no names. - Steve]

Meanwhile, RickyMartin really doesn’t want to go to Tring. Stephen tells him to go and even puts his neck on the line and everything. He interviews that everything he says to Stephen and Gaby doesn’t make sense. Yup, got that right. He thinks it would be more sensible to go to three restaurants than it would to go to one hotel that’s probably going to spawn lots of deals. Stephen holds firm but RickyMartin’s persistence starts to make the doubts creep in and he eventually bins Tring, despite having put his neck on the line mere seconds ago.

Jade and Nick are doing some cold calls from the back of their car and getting precisely nowhere. They phone up a suspicious sounding Massage place but it turns out to be the kind of massage that ends more happily than usual. She begins to explain this to NickHair who does a posh seat shuffle and doesn’t get it, so she shouts “I THINK IT WAS A WHOREHOUSE” in his face and NickHair just looks mildly aroused. [TV HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEEEEEEEEK. - Steve]

Meanwhile, Tom and Adam are playing “Cousin Adam in the City 2” where Adam makes suggestions about boat rides and Tom tries really, really hard not to punch him.

It’s 2pm and there’s only five hours to finalise their deals. RickyMartin scribbles on a map, Gabrielle looks like she wants to punch Stephen but they make their way into a fish pedicure place. Stephen gets his feet out whilst Karren makes a face.  The entire nation shouts that NO WAY are fish pedicures high end. They did them in shopping centres until everyone realised that the tanks were germ factories. [There is still one in Meadowhall.  Apparently that was the first one in the UK.  So proud - Rad] Karren agrees with the nation but Gabrielle pushes on anyway and gets her 50% discount.

Jade and Nick are in a posh restaurant in St Pancras station. They soap him up good and proper and really sell the discount. It’s all going so well until Jade can’t work a scientific calculator. NickHair suggests using her phone but she ignores this and then NickHair can’t work the scientific calculator either.  Jade giggles about only understanding round numbers then the restaurant man berates her for coming to the table without intelligence and understanding. Finally! Someone saying something to their face! NickHair nods in agreement and the restaurant man leaves them for five minutes to get their shit together.

RickyMartin arrives at a Michelin starred restaurant called Rhodes. RickyMartin professes ‘it’ to be ‘on’. We’ll see. RickyMartin goes in hard and asks them for a 50% discount on guaranteed sales. They ask him how many they think he’ll sell. He thinks 50-100. They’re very interested and he manages to sell them. He’s presented with another plate of scallops for his endeavours.

5pm and the clock is ticking. We go back to “Cousin Adam in the City 3” and we’re reminded that they’ve only made one deal. Adam suggests Jewellers who are known for their ability to give discounts and Takeaways. Tom wearily reminds him that they’re looking for high end stuff.

Jade and Nick have managed to count everything up and they present their final figures to the chef at the restaurant in St Pancras. He berates them for not having come in like that but takes the deal anyway.

Nick Hewer interviews that the deadline is approaching them “like a steam train at 100 miles per hour” and they don’t see it coming. I can’t believe the deadline has broken the steam power land speed record.

There’s an hour left before they have to be back at the website. Stephen and Gabrielle have taken to wandering the streets. Cousin Adam is shouting about being in the poshest part of London looking for coupons and something snaps in Tom’s head. Ricky makes a further restaurant deal and is again given some scallops for his endeavours.

We’re treated to a montage of Stephen and Gabrielle scrabbling around for final deals which culminates in Stephen striking a golf ball into a wall. Cousin Adam is still shouting about random stuff until he and Tom end up in a candle shop talking about Tom’s girlfriend who may or may not exist. He gives them four minutes to sign the contract.

Predictably, everyone has left it until the last minute to get back to the daily deals site offices, but they all seem to make it in time. Jade’s team have six deals. Jade is pleased but isn’t sure if she’s smashed it. Stephen’s team have nine deals and he’s not sure whether he’s won or not either. The company will decide which deals to put on. Fates will be decided in 24 hours. The team with the deals that make the most money will win.

We’re not shown what happens in the 24 hours where we’re waiting for the results. I can only hope that there was some kind of montage where Adam and Tom worked out their differences and decided that they still loved each other despite their differences. [Or: they probably just all got drunk and played Xbox. - Steve] The cars take the silent Apprenti off to their fate.

To the boardroom!

LordAlan wishes them all a good afternoon then goes on to explain that the tasks are designed to replicate business start ups and that this one is no different. The teams were supposed to go out and find deals and pass them on.

First up is Sterling headed by Stephen. LordAlan reminds him that he put himself up and RickyMartin answers for him, stating that the pressure was on and that they all needed to keep focus. Stephen explains that they got a deal on fish pedicures. Jade gives this the look of contempt that it deserves. Stephen, realising that he’s on to a loser, quickly moves on to RickyMartin’s restaurant failure. Lordalan wants to know what ‘appened there. RickyMartin smoothly tells him that the restaurant point blank refused to give him any discount whatsoever. LordAlan wants to know why he didn’t just establish that at the beginning. RickyMartin admits he made mistakes. He then goes on to save his fake tanned bacon by telling him that he secured 100 dinners and 200 lunches at a famous restaurant.  Lord Alan seems impressed by this until he realises that RickyMartin suggested this number.

Stephen then mumbles something about his strategy being about multiple deals from the same companies. This in reality meant nine deals from five companies. Lordalan thinks that this was a smart move. I’m sure he’ll change his mind depending on how this actually translates into sales.

Next it’s team Phoenix headed up by Jade. Lordalan wants to know if she got multiple deals. She says that this wasn’t her strategy and that her strategy was quality over quantity. Stephen makes the prissiest face EVER over this. Jade explains that she spent a lot of time over a very exclusive deal.  She goes on to tell LordAlan about their day and Nick Hewer takes great delight in grassing them up about Scientific Calculator Gate. Jade hits back that they won that one in the end and they ended up striking a deal with everyone they saw. Lordalan then wants to know what Cousin Adam and his Carer got up to. Lordalan rightly sneers at the free tea and coffee and seems a little less interested in the candles. He hopes that it’s a bloody good candle. He wants to know how Jade was as a project manager. Tom says that she was ok but there was no communication throughout the day. Ok, so that’s Tom got his human shield ready.


Jade and Phoenix only got two deals accepted.

Stephen and Sterling got three deals accepted.  They sold seven (7. Hahaha) units of the golf for £350 total, the 100 dinners got sold out and 90 lunches got picked up which made total sales of £6,090, taking the Sterling team total to £6,440. Stephen looks cautiously optimistic.

Phoenix – Tom and Adam didn’t get any deals [I would have loved it if Sugs changed the rules and fired those two.  As well as Stephen, obviously - Rad], but Jade and Tom [Nick2/Nick Hair - Rad] sold 70 lunches bringing in £5,950 and they sold 87 spa deals making £8,613 making the Phoenix team total £14,563 and them the winners by over £8,000. They’re off to Cliveden to a posh hotel for afternoon tea.

LordAlan warns Gabrielle and RickyMartin that although there is an implication Stephen’s neck is on the line, it doesn’t mean that they’re automatically safe because he’ll be taking everything into account, yeah?

Meanwhile, in Cliveden, the winning team have the most expensive afternoon tea in the world which is apparently worth £500, but they could make it more expensive ‘if they like’. Adam HILARIOUSLY tries to negotiate a discount whilst NickHair blabs on about the truffle in his sandwich. Jade looks and seems right at home in the surroundings.

Meanwhile, in Cafe FAIL, Stephen thinks that his strategy of multiple deals may have been fundamentally flawed. RickyMartin interviews that it was all Stephen’s fault and Stephen interviews that it was all Gabrielle’s. Gabrielle thinks it’s all Stephen’s fault because he lost the plot at the end of the day.

Back at the boardroom, Lordalan recaps their roll call of fail. Even though RickyMartin made the only significant sales for the team he could have ordered more dinners so everything is totally his fault.  Karren says that the website would expect at least 250 units of dinners. Why they didn’t say this is anyone’s guess. RickyMartin takes the criticism quite well even though it’s rubbish. Lordalan then goes on to berate the Teeth Whitening and the Fish Pedicures and Stephen blames the whole thing on Gabrielle LIKE THE GENTLEMAN THAT HE IS. Even Lordalan knows that Fish Pedicures are as common as Greggs and they should have gone to the health spa even though it was a WHOLE HOUR away. Stephen then gets all “That’s what I said” and tries to blame it all on RickyMartin by saying that he insisted on it then let Ricky talk him out of it. Nice management there, Stephen. Stephen then tries again to blame it all on Ricky but Lordalan rightly points out that he was the boss and he should have gone if it was that important. Stephen then claims that he and Gabrielle have a much better knowledge of London. Lordalan would like to know why, if that was the case, they were running around like headless chickens. Stephen has no answer.  Lordalan wants to know who’s idea the Urban Golf was and he again tries to blame it all on the fish pedicures. Gabrielle says that she got three packages from the fish place in the hope that one of them would work.

Lordalan reminds them that this is the tenth week and he needs to make some big decisions. He sends them out so he can chat with Nick and Karren. Karren kicks things off by saying that Stephen and Gabrielle were equally rubbish. Lordalan thinks Gabrielle had a spark at the beginning and is wondering if she can’t hack the pace as the pressure goes up. He’s also worried about RickyMartin making a few minor cock ups. Stephen isn’t mentioned. I don’t know if this is bad or good.

Back in the boardroom, Lordalan wants to know whose fault RickyMartin thinks it all is. He thinks that Stephen and Gabrielle are equally rubbish. He’s man enough to admit to his mistakes but he did bring in over six grand by himself. He thinks Stephen buckled under the pressure and that Gabrielle didn’t support him. Stephen asks Ricky if he’s sure about that. Ricky describes a phone call that he got from Stephen whining about all the pressure and that he didn’t expect to have to motivate his project manager. Ooh, I like this RickyMartin. He’s going all out to fling Stephen under a bus and it’s glorious. The only reply Stephen has to this is to goad Ricky about him giving a weak answer as to who should be fired and demands to know who out of him and Gabrielle should be fired. I think Stephen’s banking on the boys club here but it isn’t there. RickyMartin places the blame firmly on Stephen’s shoulders and that they only made £350 between them and that’s terrible. Oh, this is beautiful.

Stephen then grasps at his final straw and starts banging on about the spa in Tring. RickyMartin plays the Ace of repeating what Lordalan has just said and tells him that if he felt that strongly he should have gone himself. Stephen then starts babbling that it’s his turn to speak but RickyMartin continues on his bussing by repeating how rubbish he was in the task. The argument culminates with this.
Stephen – “May I speak?”
RickyMartin – “No you may not”
Gabrielle – *looks at the wall, tries not to laugh*
I actually watched that bit three times, such was its gloriousness. Lordalan asks Stephen to justify himself. The only thing that he can think of to do is to talk about previous tasks and how he has been the one that’s influenced the big hitters to make their big hits, including naming the sauce wrong. He then goes on to say he’s better than Gabrielle anyway so what is he even talking about. Gabrielle then jumps in and says that she always puts her ideas across and she’s a well rounded candidate and she’s been good at everything. Lordalan wants to know who she thinks should go. She thinks Stephen because he lost the plot and all he did was go along with what she wanted.

Stephen then all but pats Gabrielle on the head and tells her that she’s a passionate little firecracker but leave the talking to the big boys and she should have brought that passion to the task. God, he’s odious.

Lordalan wants to know why Stephen thinks he should stay. I’m going to transcribe this because it’s so good. “From me you are going to get somebody who will make mistakes but will come up the next day with a fresh mind and a fighting spirit and do the same thing again”. BAHAHAHAHA! [It was the most epic boardroom for a long time - Rad]

Lordalan wants to know why RickyMartin should be his business partner. He replies that he’s fantastic at what he does in his industry but he’s learned lots of tremendous lessons from Lordalan and used them in tasks and this means he’s got prospects and hopes Lordalan sees that in him.

He then turns to Gabrielle, because this is the sexism edition, and says that she seems to be a lovely girl but he’s not looking for a friend cos he’s got enough of them and wonders if she’s still got her fighting spirit. Gabrielle demonstrates her fighting spirit by saying that she tries her hardest even with Stephen being rubbish on the task. Stephen interrupts her and said that she performed “to her capability”. The disgusting SNAKE. She then shouts him down and tells him to let her finish and his reply was that he was talking about her. God, he really is awful. RickyMartin then steps in to help the poor damsel and tells Stephen to stop being so condescending. Gabrielle then manages to finish her sentence by saying that she adapts her style to who she’s working with.

Lordalan’s had enough, so he’s going to summarise things as he sees them. RickyMartin sold well but was belligerent in not going to Tring. Stephen was  given the chance to be PM and he didn’t win and spent the whole task with an air of panic. Gabrielle didn’t contribute much and he’s weighed up her performance. He reiterates that it is the person who is responsible for the failure of the task that is getting fired.

And it’s... Gabrielle, even though she’s a nice person. [My take on the 'with regret' is that it means 'at least you're an actual human being'.  Note that Stephen doesn't get one - Rad] She gives a disingenuous “Well done boys” and Stephen PATS HER ON THE SHOULDER. How she managed not to punch him I’ll never know. How Stephen managed to escape, I’ll never know.

But HANG ON , the firing music is still playing. Alan tells Stephen that he didn’t keep his promise of winning and he is also FIRED. RickyMartin didn’t win when he was PM and has made mistakes this week but Lordalan’s gut instinct is that he should go back to the house but he makes sure he knows that if he’s in the boardroom again it will be the last time.

Gabrielle leaves the building in a belted black coat and taxiterviews that she’s going back to her businesses and she’ll go far in life.  Stephen wishes he could turn back time and force RickyMartin to go to Tring. Seems you’ve learned LOTS OF LESSONS there, Stephen.

Back at the house, NickHair is sure that Stephen will be gone and that if Stephen does come back they’ll all be surprised. Snork. Jade hopes that Gabrielle has fought her corner. Everyone is happy to see Ricky back, and Jade cheers when she hears that there’s been a double firing. RickyMartin tells everyone that he felt like the smallest man alive and that he had to fight his corner.

FIVE LEFT! Next week – Affordable luxury ranges [What is with all these luxury/gourmet/high-end tasks this year? - Rad] [David Cameron's Big Society, clearly. - Steve]. RickyMartin says that something is “too fruity” and the countdown to the final has begun. Join us next week to see how that pans out.


ros said...

It appears to be Key Noir, rather than Quinoa, though both sound as though they were named by Apprentice teams.

Helen said...

ha! I'm keeping Quinoa, just because it sounds slightly less ridiculous than Key Noir

Scott Willison said...

I don't know who this "Gabrielle" person is. As Stephen knows after 10 weeks of working with her, she's called "Gabriell-A".