Week 10 – 3rd July 2013
Last week Steve walked you through dating disasters and the ultimate demise of Evil Alex and his evil eyebrows. This week’s episode of The Apprentice seems similarly preoccupied with the past as it seems to be recapping the entire previous before we’ve even started. I’m not sure that this bodes well for the episode, but I get to see Popity Ping again which is always amazing.
Six remain! Who will be the business partner? I don’t know. It’s 6.30 am in the Apprentice house and Francesca answers the phone with perfect hair. They’re told to meet in the lounge because Ludalan has a message for them. Jordan leaps out of bed and puts on an HONEST TO GOODNESS SARONG. I’m being entirely serious here. I wish I wasn’t because OMG MY EYES. Anyway, because Jordan is so short the sarong grazes the floor. Oh bless. [Jordan having packed a sarong in his luggage is my favourite discovery about this year's cast since we found out that Luisa had packed about 100 bikinis. - Steve] Luisa compliments him on it then gives Neckbeard the side eye to indicate that she may not have been being entirely genuine.
It’s time for the video message. Ludalan apologises for making them get up so early. Why he should be sorry this week and not in the other weeks is beyond me, but hey. They’ve got an early start because they’ve got a busy few days coming up. He can’t be with them because he’s off on a FORRIN BZNZ TRIP to FORRIN. He would like to congratulate them on making the final six and in two weeks time it will be the final. This task is designed to show him what they’re made of and he wants to see them grow a business from scratch. Scratch being someone else’s money and a pre paid for expensive pitch. This pitch will grow into a shop where they have to SMELL WHAT SELLS to stock the shop using their profits from the day before. Have we got this? Good. Ludalan also wants to make things interesting by mixing the teams up into boys vs. girls. This means I have no idea which team is which any more. Boys and girls is easier though. Jordan is excited by this. He’ll see them in a couple of days.
Voiceover man tells us that they’re getting £150 per team to buy stuff to sell at Spitalfields market and then at the Shoreditch Boxpark. Great. Another hipster heavy episode. We all remember how the last one turned out. Everyone goes off to get dressed/talk about how they don’t have to mix with the smelly opposite sex anymore. Myles is delighted to be on an all male team, despite not having any kind of beard, pretendy or neck. He would literally like to smash it.
Luisa thinks that they have lots to prove to the stupid boys because Myles is boring (cut to Myles wondering if a suit might be the best attire for being a market trader). Jordan hasn’t done/sold/grown much (cut to Jordan using hairspray. HAIRSPRAY) and Neckbeard is strong (cut to neckbeard doing his T Zone) but the girls are stronger in sales.
PM deciding time! Myles would love to do it for the boys because he can do logistics and sales. Jordan would also like to be PM so he can make Neckbeard and Myles do all the sales and he can be the co coordinator and numbers man. Neckbeard wants Myles to be PM and we all know that Neckbeard is the boss of everyone. He’s going win, isn’t he?
Over with the girls, Leah puts herself forward for PM because she thinks she’d be good at finding the right product at the right price. Luisa puts herself forward because she already has three retail businesses and this is just her area. Francesca agrees with Luisa although she’s sure that Dr Leah is perfectly capable. Nick recaps what we’ve just seen and tells us that Luisa should “smash it”, as they say. Oh Nick, don’t make me question your awesome.
The girls begin by deciding to sell fashion. The boys are less decisive. Neckbeard thinks they need things that make money. That’s why he’s one of the country’s brightest business brains. Jordan suggests greeting cards. Neckbeard isn’t sure. Myles announces that teapots are cool. Bokay then. [Are they lights as well? - Steve] Karren interbitches that the boys have spent so much time dithering over what to sell that they have no strategy whatsoever.
The girls’ strategy, as always, is to send Francesca off on her own. Why is Luisa so mean to Francesca? Answers on a postcard please. My vote is that she wants to stroke some Neckbeard. Francesca is off on her own to see what Shoreditch is like whilst Dr Leah and Luisa check out the stock. Luisa would like to stack things high and sell them cheap.
Voiceover man welcomes us to Spittalfields market, which has been a market for over 200 years. Francesca is already in there checking out the completion and finding out how much various hats are. The boys are still at home dithering over what to sell. Even Karren is bored and buts in to ask them how much bloody longer she’s going to be sat there doodling whilst they sit and compare facial hair. Jordan thinks that Myles is scared to put his neck on the line at this late stage and if he’d have been PM it would’ve been a different story. They eventually decide on homeware.
Over with the girl, Luisa is trying to find out what bestselling hats are. She declares beanie hats to be in and Dr Leah declares them to be a ‘bit 1998’. Luisa tries on lots of hats and everyone has to tell her how beautiful she is, even in a hat that makes her look ‘like roadkill’. Nick recaps for us that their strategy is buy low and sell as much as they can. He thinks they should be in and out of the wholesalers. He is then seen in a funky leggings shop fondling some leggings in a confused manner whilst Luisa burbles on about stuff being on trend.
Over with the boys, they have yet to start buying. They’re talking to a ceramicist in her studio. They ask her what she would sell at Spittalfields. She says deffo a £25 butter dish and a ceramic notepad which is basically a tile with a felt tip pen attached that you can leave messages on. She’s willing to sell the butter dishes to them for £11.50.
Back with the girls, they’ve chosen a pitch that is away from the other hat sellers. Francesca feeds back that nobody else is selling leggings or tights and the average price for the hats that they’ve bought is around £10. They’ve bought them for £2 each so they are happy. Francesca interviews that they went for cheaper wholesalers so that they could make a bigger profit. She’s happy with what they’ve chosen.
Over with the boys, Jordan is hanging around Boxpark taking into his phone wrongly whilst Myles tells him that they’ve spent £108 on 16 items. He pulls a face at this and cocks the phone closer to his ear because he can’t quite believe what he’s hearing. He can only hope that there are some people with more money than sense who don’t mind buying tat in Shoreditch. OH I THINK THERE MIGHT BE A FEW. He’s decided to buy some smaller items and goes for packs of 10 greetings cards that cost £1.10 but retail at £2.50. The other segment of the boys’ team are setting up their stall, which looks terribly sparse. Karren points this out, and that she wouldn’t be enticed to have a look.
The girls are faring better, selling lots of horrible hats. The boys are failing epically to sell “fun ceramics”. Jordan decides that someone should sell something so decides to sell on all of his greeting cards. He decides to try to sell the cards to someone who makes her own cards. She declines. He ends ups selling all of the cards to a newsagent at a £25 profit which will at least keep them ticking over, according to Jordan. Neckbeard and Myles begin to complain but realise that they haven’t got a leg to stand on.
The girls are doing extremely well with their fluffy tat hats but the leggings aren’t going as well. The girls decide to follow the smelling what’s selling advice and go and get more hats. Nick recaps this for us. It’s Francesca who gets sent off again. SURPRISE. Jordan is off getting more cards as they’re the only things that are selling. Francesca picks up more hats. Again, funky leggings aren’t’ doing so well.
Miraculously, the boys are managing to sell some of their ceramic tat. The notepads and the butter dishes are what’s selling and they tell Jordan he needs to go off and get some more. Jordan tells them that isn’t nobody got time for that because he’s got to get off and sell the greetings cards that he’s just picked up for a teeny tiny profit. Neckbeard and Myles wonder why he’s taken so long.
7pm and Francesca is back from the wholesaler. Jordan seals the greeting card deal but Neckbeard is happy because he’s sold more than anyone else. They’ve sold all of the notepads and butter dishes and none of the gloves. Leah is happy with the girls’ performance but worries that none of their items are high ticket ones.
Back at the house, sums are done ready for the shop task tomorrow. The boys assess their choices and decide to go with the notepads and butter dishes, but to also add in a new line. It’s decided that this is candles and they vote that clearly to be trusted on his own Jordan is the best man for this job. Neckbeard suggests buying a small amount to see how they do. The girls decide that they need to put some money into a slightly more expensive item for their pop up mall shop.
The boys have named their shop Casa Unique. The girls have named theirs East Side Fashion. The girls immediately fill their shop whilst the boys decide that all their stock is going to have to go on show so that it looks like they have more than they’ve got. Karren complains that the task is all about enticing passing trade and they haven’t really got anything that would do that very well.
Meanwhile, Jordan looks at some candles and Francesca looks at some designer dresses that are being sold at £27. Francesca thinks that they need some higher value items because what’s the point of buying something from a shop when it’s the same thing you could buy in the market. VERY GOOD POINT FRANCESCA. Over with the boys, they’ve got all their stock out and their shop is still more bare than a biker bar. Neckbeard thinks it looks awful and they decide to stick some stuff out by the door.
Francesca arrives back at her shop and takes off her coat to reveal the dresses that she’s bought. Both Dr Leah and Luisa coo. She reckons that they could sell for £65. Yeah yeah. The girls shop is off to a flying start, even managing to sell a bowler hat to a man that came in looking for menswear. The boys’ team are less successful. They stand outside shouting “LONDON DESIGNERS CERAMICS UNIQUE GIFTS” to only minor success. Karren interviews that Myles seems to be coming undone. Neckbeard ponders where Jordan is. Jordan is still buying candles. Really. He’s deciding to go with ones called Twilights.
Back with the girls, they’re trying to sell their dresses as “AS WORN BY PIXIE LOTT” to some unimpressed punters. This is Shoreditch, ladies, you’re going to have to do better than Pixie Lott. [Let's not pretend anyone even remembers what Pixie Lott looks like on a day-to-day basis. - Steve] A hipster in a onesie laughs at the £65 price tag, much to Luisa’s annoyance.
After 4 hours, Jordan returns with three different types of candles. He reckons you could sell one of them or £25 because they’re immortal. The girls hats and scarves are selling well, and Dr Leah thinks that a scarf that is 20% wool is mostly wool. Bless. Luisa makes an executive decision to mark the dresses down, even though stock left at the end of the day counts toward profit.
The boys, however, are doing terribly. Neckbeard decides that they need to buy one high ticket item and if they sell it they’ll make a big profit. He can’t guarantee it, so he asks Myles to make the call. Neckbeard is frustrated that Myles can’t make a decision and thinks he’s lost the plot. He has indeed lost the plot because the decisive business brain he hands over the responsibility for buying the high ticket item to is... Jordan. AKA Speedy. AKA I think these candles could sell for £25. Oh Myles.
The girls are still selling though, although not the dresses or the funky leggings. They decide to send Francesca out again for more hats which are selling. Nick interviews that he’s always had a question mark over Luisa but she seems to have come into her own over the last few days and she’s doing well. As one team is getting praised, Jordan is bumbling around someone’s pottery studio asking if they make the stuff themselves on site. Oh dear. He’s taken with a Zsa Zsa vase, which looks a bit like a designer cheese and pineapple hedgehog but at the end of the party, when there’s no actual cheese and pineapple left on it. I’ve tried to describe it another way but I’m really coming up at a loss. He wants to know prices. A small Zsa Zsa is £76 trade. If they sell it, they’ll make more money than they did on their entire first day. Karren wonders if there is such a person in Shoreditch who might want to buy something ugly for lots of money. You’d be surprised, Karren.
It’s 4.30pm. The boys have barely sold anything. They need that big ticket item badly. Myles has the look of a drowning man about him. Jordan doesn’t know what they were expecting and they’re scared that they can’t sell it in the shop even though they’re supposed master salesman. Yes Jordan, that’s it. Nothing to do with your vase being SHIT. They send Jordan out to try and sell it to a shop.
Francesca is back at the hat shop buying more stock. Luisa has dropped the prices in order to sell more, critically ignoring the WHOLE POINT OF THE TASK. [In fairness to Luisa, they've done this task three years on the trot now, and I still don't really understand how it works. Depending on how capricious Sugar's feeling in the boardroom, it's hard to tell what's a good decision and what's a bad one. - Steve] She even tries to sell berets to some policemen. It’s now half five and Jordan is meandering around the streets trying to sell the horrible vase with no luck. The girls are selling their stock at bargain basement prices whilst the boys have nothing better to do than to try and tot up what they’ve sold. Jordan tries to sell the vase to someone in a shop for £150. He nearly does it but it isn’t confirmed.
And that’s it. End of trading. Profit and stock will be totted up and we’ll see who wins. The boardroom arrives fairly swiftly. Ludalan arrives and says that this is one of his favourite tasks because it’s how he started out. He wants them to find the good stuff and ditch the rubbish, a bit like what he does in the boardroom. WAHAHAHA! YOU MADE A FUNNY!
He starts with the girls who are apparently Evolve. Luisa says she was elected project manager because she has shops. They were happy with her and she was happy with her team. They decided quickly to go with fashion. Ludalan makes a quip about bowler hats and that they can’t sell one to Nick. They said that they tried. I don’t doubt it. Ludalan then reiterates that it was about seeing what sold well and wonders who did most of the selling. Luisa says that they all had a go. Nick reveals that £293 of the sales were by Luisa. Karren then buts in to say that her Neckbeard did £470 on his own, like some kind of business madam. Luisa ignores this and goes on to say that Francesca was the restocker. Nick wonders why it was always Francesca going out when she came back with the rubbish Pixie Lott dresses. Luisa keeps powering forward and says that she didn’t see the point of having money sitting in the till and it was always going to be better to reinvest it. Ludalan says that it’s not right if stuff doesn’t sell and that auditors won’t take any notice of stock that doesn’t sell. [Which is why I think Luisa might have been right to try to get rid of the dresses by whatever means necessary, although again it all depends if this is one of those weeks where Sugar is pretending this is the real world or not. - Steve]
Over with Endeavour, Myles sticks his hand up as project manager and says he liked the task from a sales perspective. Ludalan wants to know what they bought. Myles replies that they wanted to buy trendy stuff so they went for ceramics. Karren interrupts that it was high end, bespoke ceramics. Myles disagrees and says that they were merely medium ticket items and they felt that medium range was the best for their strategy. Ludalan wants to know how many items were on their stall. They reply that they had 16 items total. Ludalan makes a quip that it must’ve looked like the bailiffs had just left them. He then goes on to say that he chose £150 as a specific amount of money because they’re supposed to use their brains and get a depth of stock so they could smell what sells. Karren inexplicably sticks up for them again by saying that although their stall was sparse, their margins were good. Neil sold the most and Myles concedes this. Karren is still playing team madam by saying that her boy Neckbeard sold £75 in a single sale. Myles then says that he got eight each of the items that sold and they couldn’t even fill the shop. Ludalan says that as a strategy it wasn’t bad because you’ve got to sell a lot of pairs of leggings to make a good profit.
Anyway, enough chat, to numbers. Karren and the boys first. Cash in hand after the two days is £298.83 and the value of the remaining stock is £251.43 making a total assets of £550.26.
Nick and the girls are left with cash of £393.50 and stock value of £415.55 making a total assets of £809.05.
Ludalan is pleased with the girls and their treat is to go to a pop up restaurant called The Cube where they will eat some Michelin starred food. [It would've been so much better if their reward was to go on The Cube. - Steve] They have an adorable three way hug in the corridor. Ludalan reminds the boys that the girls were clearly the better team and they all head off to the Loser’s Cafe.
Jordan is pointing his tiny finger solely at Myles because from the beginning there was no strategy and he spent all the money on three items which were all terrible. Myles gets all NUH UH and reminds Jordan that they were the best sellers. Myles interviews that all the blame of the failure of the task shouldn’t land on him because Jordan brought back a horrible vase. It’s Jordan’s turn to get all NUH HUH. Neckbeard is suspiciously quiet, even though the vase was technically his idea. He does say to Jordan that he perhaps wouldn’t have picked the Zsa Zsa vase. It didn’t sell then. Jordan then asks if Neckbeard thinks he’s an idiot. Brave question. Neckbeard didn’t say that. Jordan then gets all uppity because Myles and Neckbeard didn’t even try to sell the horrible vase. Jordan then interviews that the failure of the task totally isn’t his fault. Whatever. I’m bored.
The Cube looks like an amazing restaurant, and the girls’ joke that they should go into business together. Over dinner, Luisa says that she felt like they were behind her and that they worked so well together. Francesca is happy that three of the final five are going to be women. AMAZING.
The boys are back at the boardroom. Ludalan says that the task was designed to flush out skills and that only having 16 items on their stall shows that they know naff all about retailing. Myles comes back with ‘Retailing or markets?’ infusing the word ‘market’ with the kind of venom usually reserved for child murderers. Ludalan says that markets are retail. He explained that Luisa, for all her faults, managed at least to make the stall look busy and surely they must be embarrassed by their tiny little stall. Karren wonders if they actually liked the stuff they were selling. Myles begins to say yes but Neckbeard says that he liked the notepad but wasn’t as keen on the ceramic discarded rubber glove. Neckbeard then goes on to say that it was hard for them to know what was selling so he made a last ditch effort to send Jordan, the king of decisiveness, out to get a couple of high ticket items for them to win the task. Ludalan is confused because the task was about smelling what was selling and they all had blocked noses and perhaps they would’ve been better sending Jordan out for some Vics inhalers. He’d have only come back four hours later with a teddy bear. [Immediately followed by an angry Jason, presumably. - Steve]
In order to rub it in further, Karren gets out the shit vase and Ludalan is genuinely lost for words. He doesn’t even know what it is. Jordan explains that it’s a high end, designer vase. Ludalan can’t even deal with it because he gave them £150 to invest and they had to turn a profit in 2 days, not invest in some arty farty nonsense. Jordan truly believes that it would look lovely on a desk with a flower in it. Ludalan is sure that someone arty farty would like it but it’s not for selling in a lorry container. Jordan maintains that it’s a container in the coolest part of London. Myles and Neckbeard let him dig his own grave. Even though it didn’t sell, he’s standing by the product. Ludalan thinks that that says a lot about Jordan. Heh.
Ludalan then puts Myles in the firing line, saying that a good leader stands by his troops and Myles should’ve been thinking about what to sell rather than letting Jordan buy Jordan tat. Myles agrees that he should’ve gone to a supplier with a bigger range of stuff initially. Ludalan agrees and calls the shit vase a casino move. To be fair though, if they had managed to sell it they still would’ve been nowhere near winning. Ludalan isn’t sure whether Myles understood the task. Myles blames it on Jordan because he’s the one out buying whilst he and Neckbeard were selling. Ludalan says that it’s clear that Jordan had no direction with what to buy so is dammed either way. Myles says that Jordan came back with unsellable items. Jordan thinks that this only makes Myles look bad because they were just unsellable by him. Again, Neckbeard is very, very quiet. Myles says that the only thing making anyone look bad is Jordan insisting that he likes the vase. Poor vase lady.
Ludalan wants to know whose fault it was. Jordan blames Myles. Neckbeard agrees with Jordan to a degree because Myles was indecisive but also thinks that Jordan chose some rubbish products. Ludalan wants to know why Neckbeard isn’t taking any of the blame. He says he’s not without it but he did sell £470 worth of stuff. He needs to send them out again before deciding who’s fired.
Ludalan says it’s difficult to understand what’s going on and even though he told him off last week he’s still a bit clueless. Neckbeard is just being Neckbeard and saying that he’s sold loads. Karren blames Jordan for twice choosing the wrong product. Ludalan thinks that they should’ve gone for safe products. They’re called back.
Ludalan starts with Myles. He’s not sure if he got the task. He wants to know what he does. He says he started out in Formula one, then he started his own event. Ludalan rightly wants to know what he wants from him. Myles says that he has a luxury brand marketing agency. Ludalan doesn’t know what that is. It’s brochures for luxury products. Karren thinks that sounds quite lucrative but apparently it’s not. What he needs Daddy Alan’s coin for is to make his business digital and he doesn’t have the capital for that.
Ludalan then wonders if Neckbeard is a one trick selling pony. He agrees that he’s good at sales but he’s also broken records and been PM three times. He’s basically so awesome he can grow a BEARD on his NECK. He’s proven himself in the areas of innovation, creation and operation. I’m presuming he means the board game, he looks like he has a steady hand. Jordan laughs at him. Ludalan says that if he keeps repeating it then you can believe anything. Neckbeard’s business plan is online estate agency stuff that he’s been researching for a year. His competitor made £80 million last year and he believes he’s better. Finally, Jordan believes he’s hands down the best person in the whole process. His plan is phenomenal and innovative. He wants to set up a platform so that anyone can make a game for a mobile phone. He does a lot of talking which basically boils down to him being the human face of an extreme geek because that’s what software companies are all about. Ludalan, KING OF AMSTRAD, reminds him that he’s been running software companies from before he was born. He presses on that he’s not alone and there will be three of them in the partnership. Ludalan says he’s only willing to go 50:50 and there’s no room for third. Where did all this come from? Jordan presses on to say that he isn’t working alone. He does not get the hint. He persists in trying to get the brains behind his venture a percentage but it’s not working so he tries another tack. Ludalan can either have a salesman running a website, a luxury brand person running a digital agency or a tech start-up person running a tech start-up. He’s the safest bet. Ludalan would like to know what bladdy world Jordan lives in when a man who can pick a vase so ugly is considered a safe bet. Plus tech is never a safe bet.
Ludalan goes on to say he’s spent a lot of time in business, particularly tech, and he still doesn’t have a bladdy clue what he’s on about. Jordan tries to explain again. Of course, he doesn’t want to know. He thinks that Neckbeard is very self complimentary and that makes him admirable but is he just a salesman? He doesn’t know if Myles’ business is the kind of one he wants to be in during a recession. The decision is SERIOUS as it’s his money.
He turns to Jordan who looks like he’s going to vomit but manages to turn it into a cough. He doesn’t know, nor want to know what he’s talking about but he wants to think longer. He doesn’t know what Myles is for nor is he sure about him so he’s fired. He sends Jordan and Neckbeard off with the promise he will get to the bottom of this.
Myles is wearing a fabulous grey overcoat as he taxiterviews that he’s sad to be going home but the standards were very high and Ludalan saw more in the other two, he can take it on the chin.
Back at the house, Francesca thinks that Neckbeard and Jordan are coming back but Luisa thinks that Jordan may struggle as she couldn’t understand his choices. Jordan described the boardroom as carnage whilst Francesca reminds them that the final five are female heavy.
Next week, INTERVIEWS!! Hurrah! Join Rad then.
As a footnote, this is my last recap of the series and I feel that I should say that this series has been excellent. I don’t know who I want to win, but I know that Neckbeard probably will. He’s the right mix of arrogant and fawful. Thanks for reading!