Friday, 31 October 2014

Vlogging a dead horse

Series 10 episode 4
29 October 2014

Welcome back! Last week!  The teams made home fragrances and got confused between deference to the Holy Margins and commitment to yer typical Apprentice fire sale, no stock must be left behind, ever, montage!  Katie, in honour of Yasmina PBUH, went for disgusting but cheap with MOAR BASIL (/lemongrass) and took Tenacious D to yet another victory, whilst Roisin went for forgetting to rein in yappy salesboy James and Sommat crashed to a loss of £14.  Lindsay pretty much fired herself for not really being any good at the process, wanting to go back to her day job and basically being a normal person, whilst Nurun was fired for, well, pretty much the same reasons.

Cue spoilery credits!

The call to meet LudSralan in twenty minutes comes and they have to get to Wilton’s Music Hall in twenty minutes.  Bianca reveals a love of music halls, whilst Sanjay reveals he has grade four in bassoon.  Daniel isn’t sure what a bassoon is but is still impressed.  In other news, whilst watching Neighbours VsZombies this week I have finally realised who Felipe reminds me of – a weird hybrid of David Bishop and Philip Martin. 

In the cabs, the women speculate that the task might involve performance.  Ella-Jade says she loves musicals but her real love is film and documentary, which she hopes will help in the task.  James LOLterviews that the only trumpet he can blow is his own.  Such a card.

LudSralan says in the past people used to go to music halls to be entertained but now all you need is a mobile phone.  Bet the Wilton’s people who just ensured the camera zoomed in on their sign are really pleased it was followed by that little speech.  LudSralan tells us that nowadays both celebrities and everyday people can have their own video channels online.  He says advertisers love spending money on putting ads on popular videos.  Users love it when the ‘skip ad in 5 seconds’ countdown ends. 

The teams are to create their own YouTube channels and whoever gets the most hits will win.  Despite his blathering about advertisers (SPOILER) there’s nothing about pitching to advertisers or securing their services involved.  Jemma is sent over to Summit for being under-the-radar.  Yes!  I love it when the under the radar personalities start to get discovered.  They’re either super business gurus, completely insane, or a little of both.

Ella-Jade is made Tenacious D PM because she dun a telly or summit and Solomon (who’s also been a bit UTR up til now) is made PM for Sommat because he likes this new-fangled technology wotsit I dun bladdy know it used to all be Amstrad em@ilers and Yellow Pages round these parts in the good old days. (Incidentally, I love that the iPlayer description of this episode says they’ve been set a ‘21st century task’.  Bless the Apprentice, showing in the 21st century since 2004 and only now cottoning on to the fact).

Helpful voiceover man tells us that internet videos are watched by millions of people and shows some examples, none of which feature those annoying hipster twenty year olds the Sunday papers tell us are the biggest celebrities we’ve never heard of OMG except we have heard of them because there’s an article about how we’ve never heard of them somewhere every bloody day.

Solomon says he’s up for the idea because GOING VIRAL YEAH.  I love it when telly tries to understand the internet and is all ‘trending, hashtag, viral, these are definitely all things yes?’  It’s like when every sitcom circa 2000 had a joke along the lines of ‘http@//’.  Much laughs.  Very comedy.  Such internet.

Pamela said her work once did a thing involving rubgy players and hand cream that was very popular.  I can only assume those rugby players went by the name Evans (NSFW).  Ella-Jade says her mind is ‘going crazy like entertainment, funny, you know what I mean?’  Speaking of things that are crazy like entertainment funny, YouTube’s London HQ comprises a bunch of brightly coloured buildings because those Google people are SO WACKY.  Normally I am in favour of bright colours as a general thing in life, but not for what are essentially bland corporate office blocks, because then you’re just looking like you’re trying too hard.  Unless you’re in Balamory, I guess.  Egads, they have rooms inside called things like BEETROOT.  I bet no-socks wearing colourful hipster coward Robert was DYING that he couldn’t be there when he saw this.  SO EDGY.

Ella-Jade interviews that her best quality is that she’s Ella-Jade and if you can’t smell a firing on the horizon, you have clearly never watched this show.  Pamela cements the doom by saying if Ella-Jade is PM then she must have been chosen for a good reason.  Yes, for failing at her (not exactly) day job and getting fired for it.  This is effectively how this show works and has done at least since Rocky couldn’t sell sandwiches, Pamela, keep up.  Ella-Jade says she can work with cameras and do editing but she doesn’t have experience with social media.  Katie says she’s done fitness videos and had thousands and thousands of hits.  Felipe stares daggers at her with the look of someone who’s spent many a long night at the Apprentice Mansion hearing her babble on about all her many life experiences.  The poor man’s only thirty four but has aged to look like someone at least twenty years older and no doubt it’s from the strain of the process.  I mean, being locked in a house with Katie, James, Steven and Sarah all talking nine to the dozen is enough to age anyone prematurely.  Almost makes you wonder if Paloma Faith, Florence Welch and Rotherham Joseph were former Apprenti at one point too.  

Daniel thinks Katie’s fitness videos would be a good idea but would it get lots of hits?  They bounce around a few ideas such as ‘how not to lift weights’ before Felipe suggests ‘Daddy fit in a week’ – the idea being that he, as a father who is unfit (as opposed to an unfit father before The Daily Mail starts) could learn to get fit from Katie.  He calls himself a fat daddy.  Lauren says the humour would need to be sensitive but the others think the idea of Fat Daddy Fitness Hell is hilarious.

Solomon gets very excited about being funny and involving food and suggest some kind of playing with knives thing that is sure to go down well with LudSralan who hasn’t at all bollocked numerous teams for doing child-unfriendly/potentially lethal things in the past.  He interviews that he wants to teach Sralan about the 21st century. How very dare you, young man? He suggests Gut Reaction as a name which the team hate.  Jemma, in possibly her first line of the series, suggests Dare to Dine, which everyone likes.  Solomon suggests James as a presenter because he’ll be good and Roisin because ‘we need a girl as well’ #epicbantz  Roisin says she thinks she’ll actually come across well.  James says he’s quite funny and she’s quite serious; she’s the mother figure and he the child.  James is 26 years old, FFS.  Susan Ma and Alex Wotherspoon are judging him so hard right now.

Ella-Jade wants Felipe and Katie to be on camera for team FatDaddy and interviews she wants the balance between informative and entertainment.  She says she’ll direct and wants Sarah to be in charge of time-keeping.  It’s not clear what the other team members will do.

Team Sommat are in a TV studio filming against a greenscreen.  Roisin tells James to take his top off then hits him with a rolling pin #everydaysexism #fiftyshades #nsfw whilst he says she’s boring and then pretends to eat a rubber chicken in two minutes.  I have no idea but Sanjay finds it amusing.  Nick interviews that James was chosen to present because he can act the idiot, that it’s meant to be funny but he’s not sure anyone else will find it so.

Tenacious D also have a green screen as they film Katie and Felipe boxing.  Ella-Jade directs him to introduce himself as a Fat Daddy and she says Fat Daddy in a grossed-out voice.  Pamela suggests she get Felipe to introduce what he’s doing and Ella-Jade says she’s just figuring out what she’s doing, whilst Pamela bitchterviews that Ella-Jade hasn’t a clue.

Team Sommatare in a random kitchen with a guest star we’ll never see again who is clearly surplus to the narrative requirements of this episode.  Not sure what they’re doing but it involves chucking flower around.
Lauren, Steven, Sarah and Daniel are with a brand designer trying to get a FatDaddy logo.  Daniel says if he was a fat dad, he might find it offensive.  Lauren whines it’s a problem he has with the concept but the concept has been decided.  I thought Lauren was the one against the concept so I have no idea what is going on with the editing this week. 

Felipe and Jade film their second video with a ‘body coach’ who is apparently called Joe Wicks.  He shouts at Felipe, calling him a Fat Daddy, then plasters the room in newspapers and puts tin foil on his head.  Karren interviews that their original concept of following Felipe’s journey to lose weight and have the audience laugh with him seems to have been sidelined for making fun of him and being quite cruel.  Pamela pulls faces to ensure we know she is against this sort of thing.

The next day they’re meant to be working with YouTube stars, even though we saw them already film with some kitchen randomer and this, so I call shenanigans.  Lauren interviews Lean Machine who have half a million something or other.  I’m not sure what, as their highest rated video (the funny things at gyms which they mention) has under 400K hits and they have under 170000 subscribers.  They’re inflating their figures so much anyone would think they were Apprenti.  (And in YouTube terms, I don’t think 170000 subscribers is all that many, is it?)

NotThat Mark Wright talks to a ‘culinary sensation’ who had 3000 hits overnight.  He and Bianca like him, but 19 year old vlogger Olly/Ollie Wright (and I’m sorry, but you try searching for that name on there, there are tons of the buggers, so I can’t verify his subscriber numbers) has a lot of teenage girls following him and 1.5 million views a month as opposed to other bloke’s 70,000.  Solomon agrees that the older bloke might be a better fit, topic-wise, but this task is all about quick hits rather than building a sustainable brand, so they go with the young guy because that’s how the show works.  NotThat Mark Wright says he didn’t want to make the decision because it was a big one so he’s glad Solomon did it.

Team FatDaddy are despondent that there’s no humour in their video.  Sarah says they need to get the timings down.  Daniel says he doesn’t want to bitch but Sarah is supposed to keep to time.  I can’t help but feel something in this sequence got lost in the edit because I’ve seen it twice and still have no idea what was going on, and given how (SPOILER) allegedly important it is to the outcome, you would think a bit more, er, time would be spent on the time issue.

The next task is to write descriptions for the channels and videos.  Dare to Dine suggest something that sounds like ‘have you ever eaten glass that tasted of lemons’ at which Sarah’s ears no doubt prick up from all the way over on the other team.  Poor Sarah.  Lemons have been her secret weapon to all three epic victories so far.  *Sadface*.  Dare to Dine’s logo, by the way, looks like it was knocked up in MSPaint in five seconds.  Tenacious D forgot to add a description to their upload which is presented as the biggest fail of all time despite the fact that you could just, you know, edit it afterwards and/or re-upload.  Oh, the logics of the real world, never trouble this show.

The teams only get to view their videos five hours after they have been uploaded.  *Eyebrow raise*.  Sommat break out in hysterics at their video but Nick snarks that his sense of humour is childish and ‘millions’ (LOL) have to find it funny, not just ‘the odd nutcase’.  FatDaddy’s Fitness Hell is a case of video hell as it basically consists of the internet douche bullying Felipe.  Everyone looks worried although Pamela makes sure she is the most worried.  Steven says NOTHING, by the way.  Just FYI.  Pamela is sent to work on their collaborative video whilst Steven finally speaks up and says he’s happy to pitch to a ‘news entertainment site’.  Sarah asks what she can do because she feels excluded and Ella-Jade goes ‘errr’.

Dare to Dine film their next episode with the vlogger I’ve now discovered is spelled Oli.  It involves cream pies or something.  FatDaddy do more filming with Pamela taking over as director and Katie bitching that she’s much better than Ella Jade.

Both teams pitch to BuzzFeed.  Both videos are terrible and both pitches go horribly as is the way of such things on this show.  Steven babbles desperately that their videos will get people rolling around on the floor laughing and Bianca admits not everyone will find their videos funny.  The BuzzFeed people are, obviously, suitably unimpressed (suggesting Dare to Dine is pitched a lot younger - 8-10 - than the 18-30s they want and FatDaddy is cruel).  Sarah, of everyone, actually vaguely tries to rescue things in the Q and A by saying Felipe is laughing at himself but doesn’t really manage it.  They check BuzzFeed to see if their videos have been featured, but they haven’t.  (I don’t wish to point out that they could have become community contributors and written articles themselves as I assume that’s against the arbitrary task rules like when they used to be banned from using the internet for anything at all).

Now, like every good procrastinator, I have gone onto BuzzFeed when I should be doing something else (usually the washing-up so don’t come round for tea any time soon OK) and ‘check out these terrible videos from the new Apprentice candidates’ is EXACTLY the kind of article they would write and exactly the kind of thing that would be likely to ‘go viral’ so all the logics of this task are ridiculous – you don’t want a sustainable brand as it’s something that has already been said will only be live for a couple of days and is all about the hits, not about getting advertising money, so there really isn’t any point in being serious.  Given that, the teams should just have aimed for making the most ridiculously Apprentice videos of all time and pitched them accordingly.  God, this show.

Everyone feels a bit despondent.  James blames Solomon, Solomon kind of blames himself but kind of thinks he’s done everything he could.  Ella-Jade thinks she’s done a good job.  Pamela doesn’t. 
Boardroom time! 

LudSralan gets excited because it’s (fifteen years into) the 21st century and they’re all young people.  We watch terrible video extracts from each team, which, incidentally, are NOT the ones on the BBC site, which, for one thing, don’t include the fitness nazi shouting FATDADDY a lot which the episode keeps showing us.  Also: Roisin is actually quite good at the presenting thing which gives me hope for a shopping channel task.

LudSralan asks Jemma what she did and she says she came up with the name ‘Dare to Dine’ and he’s pleased she came out from hiding.  FOR ALL OF ONE LINE.  And Sanjay hasn’t even managed that unless you count the bassoon thing.  So much for this episode setting up that they might both develop personalities in its opening scenes.  God, everything about the editing of this episode is SHODDY.  We all know this show is a contrived mess but it’s usually a well edited contrived mess.  This episode is all kinds of useless in the way it’s been constructed and that’s even before we get to… the thing that happens.

NotThat Mark Wright says he was worried about a cooking show being led by a ‘nineteen year-old prankster’ but they conceded he had the numbers and LudSralan likes that.  NotThat Mark Wright reveals BuzzFeed thought it was too young for their audience.  However, Team Sommat liked Solomon’s PMing.

LudSralan says Felipe is about as fat as James is funny but he loves to torture lawyers (and fire them for no reason #justiceforkarenbremnerfromseries2).  Katie gushes that he experience of viral videos is that they’re about a journey.  No lovely, you’re thinking about The X Factor #mawliddlefatdaddy.  Lauren spouts out words like banter and viral to try and convince LudSralan they know the internet.  Steven says he wanted to convince BuzzFeed that the start of a hundred mile journey is a single step, which is how he started his pitch.  The others say he rambled.  He moans that he didn’t.  He doesn’t shut them down in a fierce fit of pique.  Oh Steven, I am disappoint.

The numbers.  Sommat: 3532 views.  Sralan: ‘….good…?’.  Tenacious D: ‘not as well’ – way to be a spoiler pants Karren.  Remind me never to talk to you about Game of Thrones.  You might as well tell me Keyser Soze was a ghost all along.  Anyway: 3314.  Tenacious Defeat!  For no good reason, Sommat get the best reward in a million years – to go to Iceland and drink champagne in hot springs.  Seriously, Sugs.  Save the good rewards for when a team done a proper trouncing.  Both teams being a bit shit and a marginal-but-still-rubbish victory is not a good enough reason for the best reward.  But it only gets worse from here, so….

In Loser café, Katie thinks their video can’t have been that offensive because it got over 3,000 hits.  Pamela snarks that viral videos are either entertaining or informative.  Or, more often, Pamela, stupid, ridiculous, hilarious, terrible… I mean, have any of you even heard of Rebecca Black?  Bringing it closer to home, 146000 hits204000 hits5.57 million hits.  Ella-Jade (who reminds me a little of poor doomed Alexa Tilly) whines at her team not putting descriptions on because Sarah was in charge of times.  IDEK.  Steven snaps that if Ella-Jade brings him to the boardroom he’ll make her look a fool.  Come on, Steven, bring that boardroom crazy.

NotFrances sends them all back in.  LudSralan reminds Ella-Jade he chose her because her business idea is a TV production company.  She says she’s never uploaded videos, which is probably not a great start for a film-maker, TBH.  LudSralan says that’s irrelevant.  He asks if the video was supposed to be funny or informative.  Ella-Jade says the idea was FatDaddy’s fitness hell which was a bit of both.  He says whoever was in charge of the first day of filming didn’t start off in a comedic manner.  Ella-Jade says they tried to.

Katie says it was where they went wrong because everyone came from different angles.  Ella-Jade says she tried to push the entertainment angle.  Pamela says she didn’t brief the trainer at all.  Lauren says on day two they tried to push the humour more.  LudSralan says the collaborator made all the difference to the other team and Sommat’s collaborator video got twice the hits of Tenacious D’s (which, given the difference between the two was a couple of hundred, presumably means one or more of Tenacious D’s other videos got much better hits than the other team’s, but of course we’ll never get to find out any of that). 

Steven says during the brainstorm he thought doing exercises in the wrong way would be funny.  Karren asks if he thought he was ignored.  Steven says he gave 110% (DRRRRRIIIINK) and Karren says that wasn’t what she asked.  They go into the description thing and Sarah gets the blame because she was in charge of timing and yet again I don’t understand this point.  LudSralan says she’s a hypnotherapist who claims to have helped people lose weight and stop smoking so she should have been able to contribute and she tries to say she did but was talked over, but he keeps talking over her, rather proving her point.  He makes a joke about her curing erectile dysfunction: ‘don’t look her in the eyes, Nick’.  EWW.  Katie snarks about Sarah’s initial strategy of telling them to wear lipstick and short skirts.  Ella-Jade brings Sarah and Steven back.  Steven shouts that it’s completely wrong and LudSralan says he’ll have plenty of time to talk about it.

Editing fail #4808408y430y43. This episode has mainly sidelined Sarah and Steven.  The focus has been on Ella-Jade vs Pamela with a side dish of Katie and/or Felipe.  With that in mind, the boardroom should have been the scene of Pamela taking Ella-Jade down and then somehow also coming a bit of a cropper for being disruptive or something.  THIS IS HOW THIS SHOW WORKS.  This show does not work by sidelining its two biggest crazies all episode and then randomly getting them in the boardroom.  In week four.  If they were being crazy, SHOW IT TO US.  Even if they weren’t and you have to go with what the contestants choose in the boardroom, you could still edit it to look as though they were full-on failing in order to justify Ella-Jade’s decision. I mean, ten series of this, you should know what you’re doing.  Did Ella-Jade direct this episode or something?

They send the candidates out and LudSralan speculates that Ella-Jade might be well-educated but she’s probably never done a day’s work in her life.  Karren says people don’t listen to Steven because he spends so long getting to the point.  Nick says when Sarah pipes up they tell her to pipe down.  YES AND LORRAINE GOT A WHOLE SERIES ARC OUT OF THAT COME ON EDITORS.

They go back in and LudSralan asks Ella-Jade if she’s had a job or just been in education.  She says she worked in the family business over the summer and when she was in university she was president of a society.  Oh, Ella-Jade.  LudSralan snarks that he doesn’t care about goody goody university bollocks and would have more respect if she’d cleaned plates in a caff to get an insight into real BZNS.  Because that’s exactly what BZNS is.  She says she hasn’t seen any positive contribution from Sarah who was given the role of ‘timekeeping concerning the description and the name’ which: ??  Sarah says she did timekeeping and Ella-Jade whines that it wasn’t just about timekeeping.  LudSralan asks if she was asked to do that because she was a PA.  She says probably.  He suggests it was insulting and asked why she accepted it.  Sarah says she didn’t want to cause an argument.  She and Ella-Jade get into an argument about the week one task again and Sarah says Ella-Jade won’t look her in the eye.  Ella-Jade says Sarah has no business acumen and LudSralan asks if she does given she’s never done a day’s work in her life.  Sarah says she won the first task.  Ella-Jade says it’s nothing and Sarah thinks she’s good.  Sarah says she was good because she won it.  She says her (proposed) business is worth 2 billion (something) worldwide.  LudSralan asks what experience she has.  She says she’s trialled websites.  Ella-Jade clarifies that this means she’s used dating websites, not set them up, which is her business plan.

Ella-Jade Steven didn’t benefit the task.  He babbles that Ella-Jade needs to be fired as she couldn’t set up even a three minute video never mind a production business.  Ella-Jade says he’s like Jekyll and Hyde and suddenly snaps and no-one can work with him, plus his pitching is OTT.  Steven says Dan wasn’t effective either.  Ella-Jade snarks that he’s passing the blame.  LudSralan says he’s ‘shouting and scraming his bladdy head off’ yet expects to run a sedate care home. Steven babbles that he’s learned everything in the process and when asked to clarify what he’s learned, says to rein in his passion.  In a very, um, passionate way.  He begs to be PM on the next task.  LudSralan says he won’t be the next PM because he’s a lost cause in the process and he’s CRASH!  FIRED!

Sralan says Ella-Jade was made PM in the task closest to what she wants to do and failed, which is unforgiveable.  He tells Sarah there’s no smoke without fire and if people don’t have confidence in her, he doesn’t have confidence in her as a business partner so she’s also fired.  He has to get on with the process with good candidates and get rid of the no-hopers.  Ella-Jade tries to beg for her life but she doesn’t have the acumen so is fired and then she still tries to beg so she gets fired a second time, then begs again and gets fired a third time.  Ouch.

Coatwatch: Sarah: beige, bit boring, unexpectedly.  Steven: black, dull, with natty purple scarf.  Ella-Jade: unseen but looks to be black or grey with a flowery scarf.  She cabterviews that when the others left she thought she might have a chance. B Steven says his passion was misunderstood and in reality he’s very easy-going.  Sarah says LudSralan looked at all of them and didn’t think they were suitable business partners, which is fair enough, as she didn’t think he was a suitable business partner for her.

LudSralan says he’s been in business long enough to know who he can go into business with and it wouldn’t be any of those three which was why he fired them all.  Now, if this show were actually about real business, I’d agree, but you can’t tell me these three were cast for their potential as business partners.  Steven and Sarah, in particular, were clearly cast because they’d make good television characters.  You wind them up, you let them go crazy and when you get down to the part where candidates have to start looking a bit credible, you let them have an episode where they lose it a bit, followed by a mad boardroom and a solo firing.  You don’t throw them away in the middle of a group firing in week four when there are eight weeks left and so many bots still in the mix.

Furthermore, we all knew the EPIC TRIPLE FIRING was going to happen at some point in the series, but you don’t throw that away on a bland task on two people who were barely featured in the episode, when the result was a marginal victory and neither team did too well.  You save that for a team that loses HARD in an utter clusterfuck.  You save that for environment greetings cards.  Or cheese from Makro.  Or BixMix.  Or Marrakech.  You save that for much later in the series than episode four, especially when the last two episodes were double firings.  It’s like LudSralan just went and spunked this series’ potential up the wall.  Sorry for the graphic image.

The triple firing coming on the back of two doubles means it doesn’t even have the shock impact on the other candidates as it should and their responses are more mildly amused than terrified.
This bloody episode.  Still, at least we’ve got fewer names to remember and next week is the return of the coach trip task.  Helen will be back with you to lead the Knees Up Muvva Brown singalong.

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