Wednesday, 24 December 2014

All Wright on the Night

Week twelve: The Final
Broadcast 21 December 2014

Last week!  Roisin crashed and burned with a bad business plan - but not as bad as Solomon's, who was laughed out of the boardroom!  Daniel's was surprisingly good (apart from him making up an award for himself) but he was fired anyway, leaving a final two of Bianca vs Mark!  Will tights in every skintone become the latest development in the saga of LdSralan dun a beauty?  Or will Mark's SEO bsns get bought into and probably somehow joined up with Ricky Martin's recruitment thing?  Will Bianca become the second-ever woman (after Stella) to triumph in a male vs female final two, or will Mark somehow overcome his villain edit to become trimphant? (Sidebar: isn't it weird how there's never been an all-male final?  It's like the anti-Masterchef of reality TV)

As it's a special final evening, Dara welcomes us feom the YerHiyud studio, with the fired contestants and super-special bsns partners Tom, Ricky Martin and Dr Leah!  Cue credits!  Now I feel able to watch them I'm glad I didn't for most of the series, because they really were super-spoilery - especially around the skeleton issue.

6am and Apprentice Mansions is empty, except for the chilling ring of a phone.  Mark answers it to the disembodied voice of NotFrances telling them to meet LdSralan in the Bloomsbury Ballroom in half an hour.  Even though there are only two of them, it's deemed appropriate for them to have separate limos.  Global warming what now?

Nick and Karen are waiting at the Bloomsbury Ballroom, 'leading venue for high profile events' when the candidates get there, and then LdSralan turns up in yet another car.  Who is overseeing the budget for this show, John Prescott (totally topical joke)?  LdSralan tells them their task is to launch their business, coming up with branding, product, video and a promo event and at the end of it, one will become his business partner.  They'll be joined by the annual parade of losers: Sanjay, Sarah, Daniel, Katie, James, Felipe, Lauren and Solomon.  Where are all the women?  Bianca chooses Katie; Mark Solomon; Biance Felipe; Mark Sanjay; Bianca Lauren; Mark then pulls a total face at what he is left with before plumping for James.  Bianca chooses Daniel and Mark takes Sarah because 'we need some beauty'.

Mark thanks the team for being with him and apologises if he gets stressed.  Daniel says Bianca 'got him fired' (although also Mark, surely?  And himself?) but he hates Mark more, so he's on her side.

Bianca tells her team about her plan of a range of tights for all skintones.  Lauren says it's a great USP and Katie says it'll be like wearing tights without looking like it.  Bianca says it's a 'high end, luxury' product so you're looking at £35 per pair.  I'm sorry. Bianca, but what are those tights made of?  It better be super stretchy and completely indesctructable, because I tend to ladder a pair of tights on first wear so if I was paying any more than a couple of quid, I'd expect something ladder-proof.  THIRTY FIVE QUID?  Daniel says he's never worn or bought tights in his life but he'll help Bianca as much as he can to defeat Mark.

Mark tells his team that people used to use the Yellow Pages, until a couple of series ago when they caved in and let smart phones exist.  Now he wants to help small and medium businesses promote themselves online and his business is all about search engine optimisation and getting these businesses higher online rankings.  Karren says he knows his business but now it's about demonstrating he can run it.

Branding time!  Mark says catchy names and colourful logos are really important.  Solomon comes up with 'a good one': Splash.  Then sponge.  Everyone laughs but Solomon thinks it's good.  Bianca's team suggest B Miller or Bianca Miller.  She says she wishes she had a better name.  Daniel says Yves Saint Laurent sounds exotic to us but in France it just sounds like Alan Smith (!).  Felipe suggests True Skin, which Bianca is happy with.  Sounds a bit like a porno to me.

On the way to do market research, Katie says Bianca's identified a gap in the market but Lauren is worried about the price because if the tights get laddered, it's a lot to spend.

Sarah and Sanjay are out looking for potential clients.  Sarah suggests funeral directors because they have to be making a packet as there's always someone dying.  Totally deadpan.  I've missed her.  They go to small shops and a cycle shop owner says he constantly get calls for people offering SEO, as does a guy in a music shop who says they usually call from 'India and California'.  Two untapped places for the Apprentice does Forrin in future series, right there.  Sarah worries that Mark's trying to enter an already crowded marketplace.  Sanjay says they have to find a way for Mark's business to stand out.  A mechanic says what would make it stand out is a personal management system where you had a named person to speak to.

Daniel, Katie and Lauren check out tights shops.  There's a brand with two gussets.  Useful for conjoined twins everywhere!  (/tasteless)  Bianca goes into poncy Wolford and talks to the manager who is keen on the product and asks how many skin tones she'll create.  Bianca says thirty.  The shop owner says that's probably too many subtle differences and buyers are likely to only want six or seven.  Nick interviews that Bianca's talking about a wide range with all the colours, sizes and thicknesses and that means a warehouse of stock that LdSralan might be reluctant to invest in, especially with Bianca's lack of retail experience.  Bianca mentions a £30-35 mark and using luxury material.  The manager says they are probably the highest price point in tights and their best selling products go for £20-25.  Bianca and Felipe wonder about changing the price point, so they ring the sub-team and talk about reducing their price and offering fifteen colours instead.  The other three, surrounded by disembodied mannequin legs, agree.

Sanjay and Sarah ring Mark and say the branding is key and they offer the mechanic's idea and Mark thinks personalisation is how to win the business.  So basically, the unnamed mechanic has probably saved Mark's bacon here.  James says what will make Mark's business stand out is Mark.  Solomon plays with his hair and stares wistfully into the middle distance, probably thinking about his next invention.

With the designers, Mark and his team throw around some names and come up with Climb Online, which has no doubt made this climbing website much more popular in the past few days.  The logo looks a horrible orange and blue globe with a ladder thing that wouldn't have looked out of place ten years ago, fittingly enough for this series.  Sarah says it looks like Clim-Bon-Line (pronounced Lean).  Amazing.

Mark interviews that the pressure is fine and he's coping but he has a lot going on.  He tells the designers which photos to use and the team have persuaded the music shop man to pose for some reason.

Bianca's packaging involves a black and white pair of legs in tights.  They look a bit like white legs, which is... kind of against the USP?

London porn!  Back at Apprentice Mansions, Bianca's tights have arrived.  The tram are pleased with the packaging and the colour wheels, with each shade named after a woman.  Daniel wonders what shade he is and he's 'a bit of a Charlie'.  Such scripting.  Very edit.  Much hilarity.  Wow.  Bianca asks if her packaging looks premium.  I'm not sure it does.  Felipe thinks the price is a bit too high for a new brand.  Bianca wants it to be £24 regardless of what the team think.

Video time!  Katie directs Bianca presenting a promo video.  You chose Katie as director when you have Felipe, the creative master himself?  Talk about not utilising your team's skillset, Bianca?  Sadly we don't get an interview of Felipe crying about his misunderstood genius, either.  Come on, editors, sort yourselves out!  Felipe, Lauren and Daniel are pitching to some experts who like the idea but don't think the branding looks luxury and think you need colour on the packaging - they'd pay the price for two pairs, but not one.  They think it's important to be TRUTH TELLERS to Bianca and ring her and say the branding and price have been problematic.  Bianca interviews that she thinks the packaging is good but she doesn't want to price herself out of the market so she'll think about it.

Mark's promo is set in a climbing centre.  The actors playing small business owners (/actual small business owners/randoms off the street) nail their lines and Mark (wearing a 'fetching' white polo shirt with the tacky logo on) fluffs his own lines again and then some more and more again.  Oh, Mark. Solomon and Sarah anre pitching in Shoreditch.  Somewhere Robert is flouncing.  They talk about what the business owner pays (£3000 a month.  Which seems a lot given you could probably learn to do SEO yourself without much effort, or get an employee to do it, but IDK, BSNS and that) and pitch their bespoke service and he says this is just what he's looking for.  Well, that was all disappointingly competent.

Bianca and Katie choreograph their promo show to 'Vogue' and edit the video.  At rhe factory, Lauren, Daniel and Felipe dye tights and try and get them to match the swatches, including a pair for Bianca.  They hope that Bianca has taken on board the issues of pricing in the video.  Bianca tells Katie she doesn't want the others to come and interfere with the video because too many cooks spoil the broth.

Mark puts finishing touches to his (horrible) branding and Sanjay is left in sole charge of the video edit.  Sanjay interviews that Mark is using the team well and drawing on each of their strengths, as we cut to Solomon working on design.

Bianca's sub-team arrive with the tights and she's really pleased with their work.  She says they can stay if they want to view the video but she doesn't want loads of voices and opinions so they can go home if they want.  They snark at her and leave.

Meanwhile, on team Not Bitter, Mark says Sanjay did a great job on the edit.  Team Bitter, on the other hand, bitch about Bianca sending them all over London.  Bianca interviews that she feels a bit guilty but wants to make sure things are done her way.

Mark is nervous about his pitch and Sanjay reassures him it isn't like trifles, which he knows nothing about, this is a business he's experienced in.  Mark interviews that he hopes he won't fluff it and he needs a clear head.  Is this... the extent of Mark's journey arc?  I find it really confusing - he's been presented all series as an egomanic arsehole and in this episode he's seemingly quite nice and team-spirited and a little bit humble, and yet no-one is commenting on how Mark has changed, or how they like him better now, or any of the things James and Daniel got in their edit.

Bianca's team are still discussing the issue of price.  She says there's no way she is going below £20.  On the way to the presentations, Lauren and Daniel think she'll do well because she's skilled.  James asks Sarah to hypnotise Mark so that he gives a good pitch.  I actually like James this episode.

At the Bloomsbury Ballroon, Mark rehearses his pitch and fluffs it again.  Sanjay tells him to relax and breathe.  Bianca choreographs her models whilst the team set up the room and rehearses her speech.  Nick says Bianca is efficient and runs a good team but she didn't listen to market research which didn't like the packaging or price and he thinks she might be too headstrong and lose it.

Solomon and James put on orange and blue condom-style faceless suits and goof around and Sanjay says 'I really don't see why you two didn't get to the final'. Hee.  Mark tries to rehearse his speech some more and Karren worries that he's put James and Solomon in charge of entertainment, which seems to consist of putting models in condom suits and getting them to mime, which is a strong throw-back to the surrealness of performances in finales of yore.  In this anniversary year, I approve.

Bianca's event is competent and corporate and her video is clear and says what the brand does.  Her logo includes a lot of skin tones, including... grey?  I guess there's a burgeoning zombie market out there somewhere.  She says the price point is still £20, which LdSralan balks at.  She describes her target market as 30+, brand loyal and a little bit of disposable income.  Oh Bianca, I fit two of those categories myself, but I'm not brand loyal at all, I'll go for whoever's offering me a good deal and I sure as hell won't pay £20 for tights unless they genuinely are indestructable.  Her pitch is still professional.  Questions involve people loving her product but wondering if she is pricing it too high and putting it out of the reach of people who need it.  Bianca says loads of people sell tights for £5 and that people are willing to pay more if it's something they can't get elsewhere.  So she basically admitted to charging people more because of their skintone?  That's... a Twitter outrage waiting to happen, surely?  Bianca says there are fifteen skintones and four sizes available (S, M, L, XL).  A snarky woman in the audience points out that there are fifteen tones, four sizes, each in gloss and matte and each in 10 and 15 denier, so that's 240 different products in all.  LdSralan rolls his eyes.  Bianca says she doesn't think most retailers would buy all of those.

The team congratulate her for a good presentation and Bianca interviews that she's feeling positive.  LdSralan talks to some of the audience.  They think it's a good idea but for it to work, it needs to go global and she needs to think about the branding and the packaging more.

Mark;s show opens with the condom-clad dancers miming climbing and being stuck.  It's hilariously terrible and therefore utterly appropriate.  LdSralan facepalms.  Mark enters to the music of doom wondering whether or not he'll fluff it.  He does his nervous cough thing and pauses... and then is OK.  His video is a little (/lot) naff but clearly gets across what he's offering and his pitch is also clear and competent.  It's that standard Apprentice final thing when your final two are both pretty competent and their pitches are solid and it's... not very exciting.  Questions include whether, if the business grows, they'll lose the bespoke nature and the USP.  Mark says they won't.  Someone else asks if this has already been a moment that's passed and his company has already done the same thing.  Mark says he's never heard of that company (ouch) and yes, SEO has been happening for ages, but this is his background and he understands how the market will develop.

The team congratulate him as well.  LdSralan's chosen audience members say he pitched well and to win in the area he needs grit and hard work but they think he can do it because he's got experience in the area.

Boardroom time!  NotFrances sends them all through.  LdSralan welcomes back the losers.  Felipe says he was happy to be in Bianca's team.  LdSralan asks if he ever built the skeleton, but we don't get an answer.  We relive the Mark/Daniel hatemance some more as well.  LdSralan likes the name Climb Online because it explains what the business does.  LdSralan takes the piss out of James and Daniel a bit and says he heard Mark choked on the video.  Sanjay says he turned it around and Mark did a good job.  They talk about sourcing clients and the team say Mark managed them well.  Mark says he was nervous at the pitch but once he got into it, he enjoyed it.  LdSralan says it's a crowded market and to be successful, Mark needs to have passion. The team: 'which he does.'  Sanjay says he has the experience to grow it.   Mark thanks the team and James says Mark is a great guy, which Karren confirms. So Mark is... liked?  After the whole edit of him being a knob?  OK.

Bianca talks about the price point and how she came up with it and talks about the marketing.  They look at the names.  Karen (not Karren) is a pale white.  LdSralan likes the uniqueness of the product.  Bianca talks about the video and we get a joke about Nick fancying the models.  Incidentally, Nick revealed before this aired that he's leaving, so bye Nick!  Fare thee well on Countdown and whatever else you do!  They talk some more about the pricing and Sarah says she wears tights but would never pay that.  Karren says the leading brand can charge that because they're established.  LdSralan says some of the figures (maybe from when there were more tones proposed?) hint at 720 variations of product.  He talks about her needing to decide where to pitch and whether or not they're for all although he doesn't want to get away from the good concept.  The other team members are behind it.  Daniel says 'it's a no brainer' and everyone laughs and the loser candidates are dispatched.

LdSralan is concerned about the stock inventory and distribution needed for Bianca and thinks the £250,000 would be burned on marketing and inventory very quickly.  Bianca thinks they couldn't manufacture everything until they had orders so they'd probably begin with just gloss or matte, not both, and only a couple of sizes at first.  LdSralan says that'd still be around 90 variations.  Karren asks why she didn't go for the mass market.  Bianca says she wanted a good quality product, not tights that only last a day.  LdSralan says high quality means scaling up and the market isn't waiting for her so she'd have to force herself into the market, but he doesn't see why it couldn't be for mass market.  Oh Bianca, have you never seen this show before?  You know how well luxury goods go down.

Mark talks about the type of people that do SEO and their salaries are around £25000 a year.  LdSralan mocks the people that work with computers a bit.  He asks Mark if he knows his costs as the money goes on people and sites, but where does it come in?  Mark says you'd devise a strategy for each business.  STRATEGIC.  LdSralan asks how he can afford to do the bespoke service.  Mark says he'd set a minimum price package of £400 a month and start small.  LdSralan worries about the salary costs compared to income.  This all feels a bit... like actual bsns talk.

LdSralan says neither of them can whine at him if they run out of money because he's not a bank and they need to make it work with the £250K investment.  He sends them out for one last rumination.  He tells Karren and Nick he's torn because they're both credible.  Nick says Bianca has a great concept and it's a product and LdSralan is a product man - he knows how to do production and sales.  Karren says all Mark needs to start the business is a telephone and he won't need much hand-holding.  Nick worries Mark is a 'slow haul' guy and 'Alan' isn't.  Karren says it's all about the credibility and service and Mark offers that very well.

NotFrances sends them in for the final time.  Thanks, NotFrances!  LdSralan gives them a last opportunity to pitch themselves.  Bianca says her concept is strong and could be used for either a mass market or luxury proposition and you could do sales for £6 and compromise on quality - she wanted luxury because of higher margins but mass could give higher volume, so she's willing to change.  She says she believes she's the right person as she knows a lot about the market and she'll put all her time in.  She thinks Mark is a great person, but when she started her business, she spent thousands of pounds (more fool her) on SEO specalists who were unsuccessful.

Mark says it should come to him instead of 'the stockings' because that's a saturated market and 'only for females'.  Oh, Mark.  When your criticisms have all been that your market is saturated and Bianca's praise has all been about her identifying a gap, that's... not a great opening gambit. He says there will always be 'leggings'.  LdSralan says it's a big market and Bianca says it's £2.3billion.  Mark says his business can go global quickly and Bianca's can't (?) and there isn't a comparison between internet business and tights.  He says Bianca has a business but he doesn't so this would be his sole focus and he wouldn't get distracted, and he knows his market inside out.

LdSralan says Nick pointed out that he's a product man, and Bianca has a good idea but he'd need to hold her hand in the manufacturing process and he wants her to remember she's doing the work, not him.  He says Mark's in a 'new world' business but wonders if Mark can do it - he can see that Bianca's business would work but he's not sure about Mark's, so he'll 'roll the dice' to see what happens.  So he makes all his decisions like The Dice Man?  That puts some perspective on the last ten series.  He says there's the sensible part of him that wants the product and the 'devil' in him wants the 'service industry'.  He thinks they're both very good candidates but he's made his mind up and his new business partner will be Mark.  No coat for Mark but a horrible little fist-pump and a bragterview about being stoked.

I don't really know what's been going on with the edit this series.  It's like that time Tom won despite always losing in the tasks.  At least Ricky Martin and Dr Leah had likeable personalities.  But Mark, whilst a good salesbot, has always been set up as the series villain and tonight didn't really emphasise his 'journey' so it's... a curious way of doing things, anyway.

Still, that's it for another year.  We'll no doubt be back next year with the replacement Nick and a new batch of hopefuls giving it 110%.  Thanks all of you for reading, and all TWENTY candidates for making the identification of candidates EVEN HARDER.  Merry Christmas all and remember to Clim-Bon-Leeen!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

CV jeebies

Week Eleven
Broadcast 17 December 2014

Last week! Roisin led Tenacious 'Tea' to Victory by mildly reinventing the cheesecake whilst Katie saw Sommat crash and burn by reinventing trifle to include ALL THE SAFFRON and be packaged in ALL THE CLIPART.  Mark choked hardest but LdSralan is at the stage of the 'process' where he no longer cares about performance, and fired those whose business plans he didn't want to get involved in: Sanjay for inventing Grindr at the gym and Katie for inventing healthy eating (in Sunderland).

This week!  Interview time!  Except Margaret wasn't invited back but Claudine still was!  Err?  (Also bonus Ricky Martin no not that one).

An unspecified time in the day and Bianca answers the phone to the disembodied voice of NotFrances telling her LdSralan will meet them and their BZNS PLNZ at the Leadenhall building the next morning.

Helpful voiceover man tells us that Mark Wright no not that one is the absolute worst (/has the worst task record in the process).  Mark yabbers about how amazing he is and I have become accustomed to tuning out his blather much as I have his namessake's, Solomon is the youngest and yabbers about how excited he is, like a puppy dog. Bianca is the joint-best and owns a 'top 100 start-up' whatever that means.  She talks about being competent and it's a bit dull TBH. Daniel has been in the boardroom four times and has been ON A JOURNEY.  Roisin is the other joint best.  Roisin says her business plan is so solid she's left her job to pursue it and then cries.  They all get to 'modify' their bsns plans although I do wonder whether this is actually the case, given the interviewers presumably saw the originals ages ago.  I should really not question the house of cards that is this show, should I?

In the apprenticars, Mark and Daniel yet again compare the size of their willies (/bsns plans).  Mark's is heavier.  Daniel says Mark used a larger font.  Such japes.  Bianca asks Solomon if he's included all his figures.  Solomon says the nitty gritty stuff is in his head.

They arrive at the Leadenhall building and LdSugar says they started in an old market and now they're in a shiny new skyscraper that isn't even open for business them, just like their businesses.  He reminds them that three of them will be leaving and they surrender their plans.  In the waiting room, Roisin says she doesn't care what the others' plans are, she just wants to focus on hers.

Because the building isn't even open yet, the interviews all take place in huge cavernous glass spaces like some 21st century twisted fairytale.  Mike Soutar is still present despite being a bit rubbish - see also: Claudine.  Claude is still there like a cockroach that can't be crushed and this year they are joined by All!  New!  Ricky Martin!

Mike establishes that Bianca's business plan is about tights.  Claudine notes Solomon has a side project called 'Willykini', which is basically a condom for swimming and makes that Borat outfit look tame.  Claude snaps that Daniel doesn't know is numbers and Daniel says he'll take away the importance of knowing his yearly accounts.  Claude snaps 'daily accounts' at him.  Not that Ricky Martin tells Not that Mark Wright that he can smell bullshit on a CV a mile off, because he is a wrestling bsns god.  Mark's CV says he was a sales manager but he was actually a marketing consultant.  Mark says sales manager was what he was for the longest, around a year and Ricky Martin sees that as deceitful, which... I don't like the guy but if that's all you've got to go on to eviscerate him?  It's hardly Jordan dicking over a random third partner or StuBaggs promising us a field of ponies, is it?

The candidates talk about how nervous they are and how horrible the rottweilers are likely to be.  We get a moody shot of Daniel ascending to doom in the skyscraper's glass lift.  I don't know if all this skyscraper porn is meant to be good publicity for the Leadenhall building or not because all it's making me think is 'fuck no I never want to go into that labyrinth of nightmares in my life'.  Mark says it's good if Daniel goes in first because then you'll always look better.  It raises barely a titter from the others who are presumably as sick of Mark's hate-on for Daniel as we are.

Mike tells Daniel his CV says he has great pride in his CV and he won 'Salesperson of the year' and that they rung the company and Daniel didn't.  Turns out Daniel basically invented an award for himself like that time Michael Jackson invented the Michael Jackson award for being Michael Jackson or whatever it was called at the BRITS that time.

Claudine asks Solomon what he does, it's something to do with logictics and shipping for new business start-ups and university students.  He then plays with her big glass ball on the desk because Claudine sees herself as the David Bowie of this particular twisted fairytale labyrinth and she snaps at Solomon to put it down because he's an excitable puppy and might break it.

Solomon notes that Mark and Daniel are competitive.  Mark says it's because they had similar backgrounds and neither went to university.  Mike says Mark sold a zillion times more than Daniel, which makes Daniel look ordinary and Mark look like a demigod.  Even though Daniel's sales have been pretty shit throughout, to be fair, there was that week that Mark fluked out and got Mr Holiday Park owner buying seven hot-tubs from him, which Daniel points out.  Roisin says she's sick of hearing about the hot tubs.  Daniel whines about landing the product and not getting to sell it.  Mike says Mark outsold him throughout.  Daniel asks for the figures because it 'must have been exceedingly close'.  Oh Daniel bless you but you crashed and burned on sales almost every week, didn't you notice?

Mark says Roisin is going straight to the finals if her business plan is good as she's that high calibre.  Her plan is for a food range (with attractive looking mock-up packaging) called 'Skinny Chick and Mr Lean'.  She tells Ricky Martin it's a 'virtually' carbohydrate free, ultra low calorie ready meal.  Ricky Martin says LdSralan is looking for a business partner, not an accountant.

Bianca tells Claude her plan is for a range of tights and shapewear to 'revolutionise' the market because lots of women have problems finding the right shade.  Claude says it'll be hard enough to start with one product, let alone two.  She says she understands that, but it IS an issue for women.  He tells her it's a non-starter but doesn't give a reason.

Solomon bitches that Mark won't cope with difficult or unusual questions.  Mark tells Ricky Martin his business plan is a company that generates marketing leads for small businesses.  Ricky Martin tells him he gets 20-30 calls a day from digital marketing companies and wants Mark to call him with his pitch.  We don't hear it.

Mike asks Solomon what he means when he says he comes from the 'ideas generation'.  Solomon says he has one or two ideas a day and puts them in his phone.  Solomon, I have more ideas than that in an average minute.  Doesn't make me Tom Pellereau.  (Anyone tried his nail files yet?  Are they actually any good?)  Solomon says he thinks some of them are good ideas.  Mark hands Solomon his phone which he stole from the house and asks Solomon to pitch one.  Solomon says one is 'breakfast in bed' where you can send someone the ingredients to make breakfast.  Mike says he's basically just invented online shopping.  (Now if he'd said the Just Eat of breakfasts, maybe that would have worked, but sending someone ingredients to make their own is less a nice gesture and more a sign that they're your slave).

Mark tells Ricky he could come in and assess the website and Ricky says he doesn't have time to take Mark's call.

Solomon's next idea is a shop where you can go in during the day for a sleep.  Mike satys that's a hotel.

Ricky asks why he should trust Mark.  Mark says to buy him a coffee and see.  Ricky asks what qualifications he has.  Mark stutters.  Ricky says there's a lot he needs to think about to make his plan work.

Mike asks Solomon for a good idea.  Solomon says his business plan is a good idea that came from his phone.  So this is basically Siri trying to take over the world through Solomon?  It's a page of different logo mock-ups for 'We Ship Start-Ups'.  Mike says there are flaws in the business plan because it's eight pages long and half of those are logos.  Solomon says it's all about the idea.  Mike says it isn't, there needs to actually be a business plan there.

Roisin says she's given up her job even though it was secure and lucrative because she believes in herself and her business.  Claudine asks if she's ever run her own business.  Roisin says no, but she eats food.  Oh, Roisin.  Daniel asks the others if you'd put money into an accountant moving into food who's never run a business.  Roisin tells Claudine she's run a focus group and tested her product on family and friends.  Claudine says you can't run a business with that little market research, even though every task on this show does market research with a smaller sample than that.  Are you telling me The Apprentice is lying to me about real bsns, Claudine?

Daniel's business plan is for a company called 'Global Events Company' and its logo is those words word-arted over a globe.  Oh, Daniel.  His idea is to grow his current successful quiz company into a bigger events company.  Claude says that's great but it isn't what's in the business plan.  Daniel says it is, they're just using the internet to do it.  Claude says people won't trust the internet to plan their wedding for them because he's got no idea how the twenty-first century works and then he just repeatedly snaps 'it's ridiculous' on a loop.  I think this Claude doll is broken, guys.

With Mike, Bianca says she's reconsidered since her minor mauling and thinks she's planning to get into shapewear too early in the business so she needs to work on the hosiery first.  She says she isn't changing her mind, but her plan is ambitious and she's new and she does believe it will work.  Mike says one of Britain's leading fashion editors thinks Bianca is really onto something.

Claude is with Roisin now and says she makes loads of claims but the problem is she's gone global from day one (just like Daniel).  Roisin says she wouldn't start there, she'd start by getting it trialled in a hundred stores.  Claude says she'd be lucky to get it trialled in three.  She says if they did, it would sell out.  He says even if she got the £250,000 she'd run out of cash very quickly because she has costings of £750,000.  Everything about this feels very Dragon's Den.  Roisin descends in the great glass elevator to hell and tells the others all three of her interviews have sucked and were as bad as each other.  Aww.

Claudine tells Mark he's sucked in the process because he's always on the losing team.  Mark says he's lucky to be here.  They relive his choking at Tesco.  He says ever since he was little he wanted to be a businessman.  What an awful childhood he must have had.  He tells the others he's feeling OK.  Solomon says he's looking forward to meeting Claude and his idea is amazing.  The others wish him good luck and then question whether he has any substance behind his charm.

Claude reminds Solomon that in this anniversary series it's ten years of Claude!  He says Solomon's CV filled him with pleasure as it was mature, well-written and enterprising.  Solomon's eyes pop out of his head.  Claude says he's never put so many ticks next to anyone...

Claudine asks Daniel about his JOURNEY.  Daniel talks about his patented rough diamond salesbot cheeky chappy JOURNEY.  Still, better him having that arc than fucking James.

...We then get the punchline to Solomon's praise from Claude, which is Claude saying it's a bloody disgrace that his business plan is all pictures.  Solomon lollops off and then thinks he maybe should fight for survival and sort of tries to come back but Claude tells him he's taking the piss and then Solomon can't find the door.  Solomon laughs at the others about how bad it went and they think he's joking but then they all laugh about it.  He says he didn't realuise it needed to be a complete document and now he sees his error.

Claudine calls Bianca impressive.  Bianca tells her about her education and traits and Claudine gossip columns 'tell me something about yourself that no-one would know', clearly looking for a Michelle Dewberry tragic past upon which to hang Bianca's winner's arc (I mean, come on, surely that's the most likely outcome?).  Bianca doesn't really have a sob story, she likes her friends and family but doesn't show her emotional side so much because she thinks being professional is a good thing.  Claudine is all CRY DAMN YOU and the plinky plonky music of doom plays as Solomon says she's intimidating and robotic.  Bianca talks to the others and says people think she's hiding things and she doesn't think she is but it's making her a bit paranoid.  She says she felt attacked as a person and wipes away a possible tear.  JOURNEY!

Mike asks Roisin about her ready meals and she says the key thing is the unique ingredient - a vegetable fibre.  He says it's not unique, you can buy it in health food shops.  She says, yes, in its raw form, but not in ready meal form.  He smarms 'wrong' and brings out a pre-existing ready meal.  Ouch.  Roisin says she wasn't aware of it.  Mike says her business plan was based on this being unique and it isn't.

Mark tells Claude his is the first business plan he's written.  Claude says it's bland and unoriginal like the company he's working for.  BURN.  Mark says he's started with what he knows and he's never been so sure of anything in his life because he has all the relevant experience.  Claude says he answered well.

Ricky Martin says he knows what LdSralan likes and who he gets on with and he wants to know the real Bianca.  She defensi-snaps 'fine'.  Ricky Martin talks about her current business and he says what she does is an added service to what his business already does.  Unexpected hatemance!  Bianca says it's great he does that but lots of people want her services, and then she properly cries.  HOORAY HUMAN EMOTION. She says she's been herself throughout the process and her character is getting questioned and she wouldn't normally give her clients the advice to cry in interviews.  She says she thinks her business plan is good, the product is needed and she really wants to work with LdSralan.  She tells the others it was horrible. Roisin says she doesn't feel positive.  Mark says he thinks it went well.  Solomon sits with his face in his hands staring at the floor.

Roisin interviews that she isn't sure how she did.  Mark smugterviews that he did well and is more confident than ever whilst Solomon and Roisin crashed and burned.  Bianca says it was tough but she was herself.  Daniel says he's taken knocks and learned things.  Solomon thinks LdSralan will believe in his idea.

Boardroom time!  LdSralan reminds us it's the tenth series.  He reminds us Ricky Martin is one of his success stories and Claude is one of the original cast, along with Nick (PS bye Nick!).  Claude says Solomon had a great CV and he did well to start a business at university.  Ricky Martin says his business is about logistics for start-ups.  Claude snaps about his business plan being just pictures.  Karren says he's really immature.

Claudine says Bianca is professional and worries about her image.  Karren says this is true, because it's her business.  Nick says she's considered. Ricky Martin says she got emotional because she felt insulted but her professionalism would make the business a success.  Claude says he did some 'pleasant' research into the product and thinks it's a good idea but he worries about her understanding of manufacturing.  Mike says she has no manufacturing background but he spoke to a fashion director who thought there was a large, lucrative market for it.

Claudine liked Mark a lot and says he's proposing a business he knows about.  LdSralan asks if it's about getting websites higher in search engines.  Ricky Martin says this is the kind of digital marketing he's successful at in the day job and now he wants his own business.  Claude says he knew what he was talking about and gave impressive answers and thought he was another Ricky even though there's only one Ricky Martin.  Except the other one.

Mike says Roisin's magic ingredient is a tasteless, filling root called Konjac, but there are other suppliers doing it.  Claude says he doesn't think she'll get into the supermarkets and she'll run out of money.  LdSralan says if "Kojak" was the next big thing they'd all have heard of it and he doesn't want to risk his £250,000.  Here's where Roisin should have said she'd make cheesecakes instead like when Helen should have franchised MyPy.  Like Helen, LdSralan is disappointed, and Like Helen, they'd buy  her as a person but not her idea.  Oh, Apprentice nearly-rans.

Mike says Daniel made up an award on his CV.  LdSralan says he has spirit.  Claude says he does have spirit and has genuinely made a business out of nothing but the problem is his idea which is putting things together online which sounds perfectly fine to me, but then I'm not planning a wedding, so what do I know.  The others say LdSralan would either get on well with him or kill him.  LdSralan thanks them and off they pop whilst NotFrances sends the candidates in.

LdSralan talks to Mark and says thousands of companies do what he wants to.  Mark says there are, but he has a good track record and he was the number one consultant for revenue growth in his area last year.  LdSralan asks him about running a business and he says it's what his parents do and he's learned from them.  Karren says he chokes under pressure and he says last week was the first time he'd done that.

LdSralan says he's asked his wife about tights and she says there are loads of types of tights already.  Bianca says the darkest shades aren't dark enough for her skin tone and she thinks there really is a gap in the market.  He asks her about manufacturing and she says she's found the factories that manufacture for the top companies.

Solomon says he found it hard and he acknowledges his bsns plan wasn't up to scratch.  He says he's only 23 and can be immature but his idea is up in his head and he needs to put it on paper.  LdSralan says Solomon is intelligent but he can't see them working together and Claude reckons he'll go somewhere one day but not now, so he's fired.  Solomon takes it on the chin and thanks them all, saying he's enjoyed the process and thought they were fair.  Coatwatch: deep blue, to match deep blue trousers, accessorised with a natty red scarf.  He cabterviews that he's disappointed but to get to the final five at his age was an achievement in itself.

LdSralan says Daniel started in business a while ago and is now making money in his own business but he's wondering why Daniel didn't expand his own business rather than doing an online party planner, which he doesn't think will happen.  Daniel says if LdSralan doesn't think the website is good enough, fair enough, it's just one arm of the business.  LdSralan says Daniel told Claude all he needed was cash, a good name and some contacts.  LdSralan says he sounds like a criminal, but he's glad that Daniel's mind is open.

LdSralan tells Roisin her idea has concerned him and the advisors.  He says she doesn't understand the scale of things that would need to happen for it to be successful.  Roisin says the market demands it and she wants to be there first.  He snarks about the size of her research.  She says it has huge potential.  He says it does for a huge conglomerate but she's not in that position.  She says she will be and he says it's very difficult to get into supermarkets.  He says her spend was £750,000.  She says that's conservative.  He says it isn't. Roisin says she can get bank loans. LdSralan ain't into no bladdy bank loans.  Nick says the scale of her ambition has exposed her naivety.  LdSralan gives her even more of a Helen edit.  Sailed through the process, business plan won't work yadda yadda and so, with regret, she's fired.  Roisin thanks them for a wonderful experience.  Coatwatch: black, short, nice white scarf.  No cabterview.

He sends the other three outside for more conflabbing and says it's a shame Roisin didn't understand what would be needed to bring the food to market.  He says Bianca's plan has 'got legs' hoho, Mark is solid but wants to go into a crowded market, Daniel is passionate and works hard.

They go back in.  LdSralan says he needs to think about them as people now.  He asks Daniel if he still thinks he's a good salesperson.  Daniel thinks he is, bless him.  LdSralan says Daniel is the sixth best in the process.  Daniel snaps he'd be higher IF HE GOT TO SELL HOT TUBS.  Mark says he's only been PM and should have fought harder rather than what he actually did which was dodge that bullet as hard as he could until LdSralan pointed a gun right at him. He says his figures would blow the others out of the water because he has a plan, unlike Daniel, and he doesn't know much about tights.  Daniel snaps back that Mark has just been a good employee whereas he's had his own business and they bitch at each other some more.  Bianca says her business is a good proposition and it might be riskier but with the combination of her and LdSralan they could be a good business.  Daniel says his business is based on facts and Bianca's is based on what she thinks is a good idea.  LdSralan says Daniel makes a good point because he works in the area he's proposed whereas Bianca doesn't, although her proposition is good.  He has doubts about whether Mark can transfer his skills into running his own business, he thinks Daniel has already been successful and knows what to do, but Daniel's had a rocky ride in the process.  He reminds us yet again of Daniel's journey.  He says Mark has confidence but chokes under pressure.  LdSralan is struggling, but he doesn't think he and Daniel will go into business together, so with regret Daniel is fired but leaves as a better man.  THE POWER OF THE PROCESS.  Daniel appreciates everything and wishes the other two luck.  Coatwatch.  Cabterview: JOURNEY.  Metaphorical AND literal.

Man. This whole series has been building to either Mark and Daniel taking each other out in a nuclear boardroom or Mark getting a SHREDDING at interviews and neither of those has happened.  He'd better not fucking win this thing.  See also: The Other Mark Wright on Strictly.

Next week! Sunday!  Product launches!  Fuck-ups!  And someone is hired!  Join me then.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Just desserts

Week 10- 10th December 2014

Hello! It’s Helen again! I forgot I was going gallivanting next weekend so Rad kindly swapped for me so you have me two weeks running. You lucky, lucky people. Last week I talked you through Paper Skeleton-Gate. I feel it’s now reached Gate-status.  This week is about luxury deserts. I think it’s going to be about how luxury is probably subjective.

The phone rings at 6am. Roisin answers looking delightfully dishevelled. A voice on the luxury phone tells her that the cars are coming to take them to the Tate Britain in 20 minutes.  Solomon leaps out of bed. Katie confirms with Roisin that they meant the Tate Britain art gallery and not the Tate Britain Soft Play Area. Roisin confirms. Katie wonders if they’re going to have their portraits painted. I’m guessing no.  Daniel is worried about doing an art task with his cockney barrow boy charm. Mark feels he’s failed too many times whilst Sanjay  points out that he’s probably the worst.  Mark points out that he isn’t the actual worst, that falls to Daniel. Again, subjective apart from when you’re talking about the statistics on this show which are shaky at best, owing to the fact that some of the wins are purely based on the whims of LordAlanSirSugar. [Indeed, such whims meant perma-loser Tom Pellereau won his series because of an invention that had nothing to do with his actual business plan rendering the 'process' and the business plan all entirely pointless.  God that series was dire. - Rad]

Upon entering the car, Mark declares that he’s got to win. Daniel feels similarly. Sanjay thinks they’ll all have to justify themselves on this task. Yup. They arrive at the Tate Britain in an environmentally disastrous 3 cars. LordSir climbs up the stairs in his tiny legs. He’s wearing a dashing gingham shirt. He tells them all that the Tate Britain was built by Sir Henry Tate, who made his fortune in Sugar. He doesn’t make a crack about his name.  [Possibly because the only jokes around that seem to involve the insinuation of Tate being Sugar's pimp somehow.  Or maybe that's just my filthy mind - Rad]He saves up those Zingers for the boardroom.  They’re also going to be making their fortune from sugar. They’re going to be designing and marketing some premium desserts. Lordsir explains what this is to them. It’s when you can buy a dessert what is a bit more posh than a chocolate mousse or yoghurt.  They’ll be pitching to three retailers and the team with the most amount of orders will win.

He turns his attention to Daniel. Because he’s always arguing with his team, he wants to see if he’s just as much of an irritant on another team so he’s now in Sommat. Sanjay is on Tenacious D because reasons.  Daniel is unhappy with this and puffs out his cheeks in a show of masculinity. What he doesn’t realise is that he’s nowhere near as unimpressed as Roisin and Bianca who look like they find this addition to their team as welcome as a paper skeleton in Lordsir’s shopping basket.  Little Alan would like Roisin to be the PM as she wants to go into the Ready Meal business and Katie is now the leader of Tenacious D because she wants to go into the restaurant business.  We all clear? Of course we are.

The teams separate. Sanjay is overjoyed to be in Tenacious D because he’s had enough of Bianca. Tenacious D don’t care. They’re rid of Daniel and they’re overjoyed.  Sommat have already got to work. Solomon suggests British Cheesecake.  Roisin wants to make it about tea and it should be more of a Teas-cake. Daniel then suggests they should make the name a play on the word Tea, which is what she just said. How about suggesting that 20 candidates fight it out over a series of arbitrary tasks to be Alan Sugar’s business partner, Daniel? Bianca suggests Tea-Pot. Roisin just wants tea in there. [Tea is a smart idea.  They've been using it on Gret British Menu and Masterchef for a few years now, so it must be a "thing" - Rad]

Katie is reiterating the task to her team. They’re pitching to supermarkets where people basically want what they like but a bit different.  We finally find out about Katie’s business plan. She wants a healthy eating restaurant. She interviews that she’s happy to be team leader on this task as this task and her business plan are both about eating.  Katie is doing the manufacturing, whilst Mark and Sanjay are doing the branding.   Sommat are also divvying up tasks.  Roisin is absolutely, positively going to do packaging and branding with Bianca until Solomon says that he wants to do it because he’s just a LAD who’s hopeless in the kitchen. Oh you LAD. He’s apparently strong in branding. Roisin hasn’t seen this but apparently it’s a thing and he’s on branding.  Bianca says she’s fine with this like she’s Ross from Friends being FINE about Rachel and Joey. Nick interviews that Roisin started out well but was a bit of a wimp when it came to telling Solomon to get back in his box. I’m sure she’s probably just ground down by him like the rest of us, Nick.

10.30 and they’re off to go to do this week’s pointless market research. Roisin has to explain the concept of tea V E R Y  S L O W L Y to Solomon who doesn’t know what Chamomile is and thinks that everyone is saying Caramel. He doesn’t know what Chamomile tastes like. This should be fun. Daniel and Bianca have a bitch about Solomon in the other car. Well, they are the subteam. Bianca says that she’s sure that Solomon thinks he’s a creative spirit but his creativity isn’t always valuable. Oh the SHADE of it all.

Tenacious D are beginning by Katie going to a delicatessen in that poncey North London and tasting exotic flavours including saffron (OOFT OVERHEADS, SANDALWOOD ETC) and something in a bottle that looks like Jif lemon juice but probably isn’t. Katie tastes everything then just repeats the last word that the man uses to describe everything. Karren interviews that Katie is trying out lots of new flavours but she can only repeat the words the man uses. If she can’t describe the flavours, how on earth is the average supermarket using commoner going to know? Stay classy, Karren.

Mark and Sanjay are in fancy East London tasting fancy puddings.  They talk to a chef who can barely disguise his contempt tells them that they should try to remain familiar as Sanjay reels off a list of expensive ingredients. The chef tells them that if they don’t know what something is they probably won’t know what it is. Thank goodness they got the experts in! Where would we be without these insights? Sanjay suggests tarting up the humble trifle. The chef man likes this as you can be a bit creative with the ingredients without scaring people off. They then get back in the car and suggest names, including Fancy-Full, Sweet Bliss Treat Time and Sweet time, which they think sounds a bit like a massage parlour, which reminds me of Dame Jade Nash’s “IT’S A WHOREHOUSE” comment. Man, I miss her. She was ace.

Sommat’s subteam of Bianca and Daniel are tasting tea with a “tea sommelier” which is apparently now a thing and clearly one of the harbingers of the apocalypse. I don’t think Lorsir Sugar is going to like this one bit (SPOILER – he doesn’t). It’s all very ‘pinkie in the air’ so Daniel decides to make it all about how IT AIN’T THE TEA HE’S USED TO because he’s a DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH and a GOOD OLD COCKNEY DOWN TO EARTH COCKNEY BOY. He interviews about how pretentious it all was and how much he didn’t fit in but Bianca did and suddenly knew all about tea. I’m going to guess, Daniel, that as a black woman, Bianca may have faced a bit more prejudice than you in her lifetime, but I don’t want to hurt your precious feelings so please tell me if I’m wrong.  HUMPH.

2pm and the teams are making puddings in the kitchen.  They’re making three flavours each. Katie begins with a strawberry and hibiscus pudding. This involves her asking if the thing she’s about to put in her pudding is edible, eating it before she gets an answer, declaring it horrible and STILL putting it in her pudding.  Bianca and Daniel are making cheesecake. Bianca can’t work a mixer and Daniel can’t crack an egg. OH BZNZ PPL. Daniel explains that the theme of their dessert range is tea. Oolong tea, black tea and tea. He interviews that he understands the concept but isn’t clear on the taste because he’s such a simple barrow boy. He declares TOO MUCH TEA on the first taste test. Poor Bianca. It’s already been too long a day for her. She wants MOAR TEA so Daniel suggests a truce of how it is. [Possibly the easiest truce ever forged on this show? - Rad]

The boys of Tenacious D are designing trifle boxes. They phone up Katie and explain to her that the word ‘trifle’ has two meanings and they should call their dessert “A Trifle Different”. Katie likes it. Sanjay interviews that he’s comfortable with the brand and they’ve done an excellent job. He won’t change anything about today. Mark declares their brand a winner. Easy now. Katie is still in the kitchen suggesting they put sandalwood  saffron in with the berries because the man in the shop told her to. She isn’t sure how much saffron to use. The clearly contemptuous chef tells her to be careful because the pinch she’s holding is all they have.  She’s used waaaay too much but still feels the saffron isn’t strong enough.

Solomon and Roisin are in south London (represent) designing their Tea Pot Dessert.  Solomon thinks he’s proved his worth even though Roisin thinks he’s a loose cannon. He goes on to further prove his worth by suggesting that he could post his girlfriend some cheesecake.  What a dick.  The other half of the team are still making cheesecake. Daniel tastes it and declares himself much more confident about it. Bianca interviews that she hopes the other half of the team like it, but also the people they are pitching to. That may be a TAD more important, Bianca.

Over with Sommat, Katie interviews that she’s pleased with her product and the fact that it doesn’t look artificial. She also says that if the branding matches up, they’re probably on to a winner. Stop saying you’re going to win! It’s never a good idea.  SPOILER the branding is shit. [And how.  It was like a bunch of year 4s let loose on clip art for the first time - Rad] Everyone heads home, ready for the pitches tomorrow.

8am and we’re getting ready for the pitches. Mark Wright declares that the pitch is going to be easy. Again, portentous. The products arrive and Bianca declares that their branding looks real.  Tenacious D are enjoying their 80s nightmare packaged trifle.  They’re going to do a pitch each because their team is A DEMOCRACY.  Sommat are not a democracy. Roisin knows that Daniel wants to pitch but she and Bianca are going to do it and if that works he’s not getting a go because his bull in a china shop approach may not be appropriate. He makes her promise to use him if needed. She agrees but later says to Bianca that they need it to be sleek so they’re doing it. Daniel responds to this in typical mature style buy bitching to Solomon that he wasn’t picked because Bianca and Roisin are clearly LEZZING UP and why don’t they just MARRY EACH OTHER. I don’t think I want to marry Daniel any more, but I still would. Sorry universe.

Sanjay has set up stall in a supermarket giving customers a taste of his trifle, which is apparently not a euphemism.  Everyone wants to be on telly so they love it, apart from one lady who wouldn’t shout about it and a man who says it’s too much. He interviews that some people didn’t think it stood out but it’s not for the public to decide, but the supermarkets. Another lady is a bit saffron-dubious. Daniel and Solomon have been put in charge of cups and ice giving out samples in the supermarket. They phone up Bianca and Roisin to tell them that they’ve been stuck in traffic and may not make the first pitch. Bianca and Roisin first pull a face at the ‘stuck in traffic’ comment for reasons we don’t know then clearly could not give fewer fucks about the absence of Subteam Irritant from their pitch. They can barely get to the end of the sentence about it being a real shame that they can’t make it to the pitch without giggling. They don’t think it’s going to make a difference.  Roisin and Bianca arrive at an Asda Superstore in South London to do a pitch about their teascake. They do a pitch with such marketing wankwords as ‘treat seekers’ and ‘grazing consumers’. Asda don’t get it. There’s not enough indulgence. Someone else tries to get a Lordalan joke in and suggests they leave the bag in a bit longer. THE WIT.

Team Tenacious D are about to go into Asda. Sanjay lies that everyone loved the trifle and nobody said anything negative. Their strap line is that one lady said it was the best trifle she’d ever tasted. They like it, but not the saffron one.  Karren interviews that the pitch was poor and nobody at Asda wants anything poncey, let alone saffron in their custard.  Bianca and Roisin tip up at Waitrose. Daniel and Solomon meet them there. Roisin explains that they did a good job at Asda and she doesn’t want to mess with the formula so Daniel and Solomon are going to be quiet. Daniel asks if this means he can talk about ingredients. No it does not. Does this mean he can talk about market research? No it does not.  Roisin says that none of these things are things for Daniel to talk about. In fact, she doesn’t want lots of people talking so let’s just Daniel be quiet and see how that goes, yes? Bianca says that he might be allowed to talk at the third one. Daniel lasts three sentences of being quiet before he has to say something. Nick immediately facepalms.  Daniel’s bit is about how he’s just a simple boy but he liked the tea.  A lady points out that Tea is a delicate thing and cheesecake isn’t.  Solomon pulls a face at this that can only be described as ‘moron’. Daniel says that her palate may be too refined and that a simpleton like him may need to be hit round the face with a tea flavour to appreciate it. Roisin desperately tries to grab back control by saying that she can take on board the comments. Roisin takes him outside and tells him off about being repetitive. She interviews that the Apprentice is not about speaking for the sake of speaking. UM, YEAH. OK ROISIN. IT’S DEFINITELY NOT ABOUT THAT. Daniel goes off on one in the car about how boring the pitch was and how he was just BORED with all the PROFESSIONAL LESBIAN MONOTONE. Roisin has to stop him. Daniel says her pitch actually put him off.

Back with Tenacious D, Mark is whispering in Katie’s ear about Sanjay being rubbish at selling and how he’s totally the MAN to sell to the biggest company. They phone up Sanjay and ask him to do the Waitrose pitch rather than what is presumably the Tesco pitch. Katie then goes on to say that she’ll be doing most of the talking on Sanjay’s pitch because it’s her product. He’s understandably a bit irritated with this but he’s got nobody to talk to, so he just looks confused at a speaker. He’s PERFECTLY ABLE to do his own pitch, thanks. He interviews that he can just about remember what goes in a trifle.  Waitrose are mindful about the saffron being expensive and that the rubbish packaging lets them down a bit. Karren interviews in a similar vein - it’s not saying Luxury to Waitrose.

Finally, the big guns. Tesco. Sommat go first. Bianca leads the pitch. Tesco really like it. Solomon says that he’d buy it for a gift. Cheesecake. Daniel jumps in about the hour’s market research they did. Tesco seem to be really excited about tea cheesecake. Every day is a school day. They even liked their presentation. Solomon is more excited about a lady potentially winking at him. Roisin laughs in his face. With Tenacious D, Mark declares himself a prize stallion then fluffs his way through the pitch. Fluffs and coughs. He coughs so much that Tesco offer him a glass of water.  Sanjay takes over. Karren interviews that it’s Mark’s worst nightmare and he completely fluffs it. Tesco declare their trifle too trifley and leaves knowing he’s fluffed the biggest presentation of his life.

Anyway, orders will be placed overnight and the results will come in tomorrow.

By the magic of television and Londonporn its tomorrow and we’re in the boardroom. Lordsir Sugar wishes them a good morning and fires straight in to Roisin. He asks them about making a chocolate Tea Pot. OH THE WIT. MY SIDES. ETC. They all have to laugh. Roisin wastes no time in marking out Solomon as potentially on the hit list by saying that he pretty much refused to go into the kitchen and wanted to be involved in branding.  Lordsir seems to think that it’s a good thing that he’s going where his skills lie but Bianca soon disabuses him of this notion by saying that he didn’t say he was good at branding as much as totally refuse to get involved with anything else. Never mind all that was he any use? Roisin says it would’ve been fine without him, thanks, but he did contribute in a miniscule way. Solomon nods as this and Nick said he liked the way he worked. Lordsir wonders who would want a bladdy tea cheesecake anyway. Roisin says ‘grazers and treat seekers’ again to a face of befuddlement. He doesn’t know what that means. They move on to the tea sommelier and Lordsir interrupts to ask Daniel why he isn’t talking. He says that he’s taking a new approach. He’s as disgusted by the tea sommelier as he is by grazers.  Lordsir then wastes no time in asking whether Roisin deliberately kept him away from anyone that he might upset. Roisin says that’s exactly what she did. Daniel said that he didn’t even speak in the second pitch. Bianca said that he did speak, but he said nothing. Ah, this is wonderful. Nick Hewer is clearly on something today and said that people seemed to like Daniel. He takes this as the scrap of a compliment that it is.

Tenacious D’s turn.  How did Sanjay enjoy joining them? He loved it apparently. Karren then raises her eyebrows and grasses him up for slagging off Bianca. He claims not to remember. Karren jogs his memory and mentions having to cover Bianca’s back and being glad to be away. He said he may have said something along those lines. Karren says that those were his exact words. Bianca whispers that he’s a joke. I love Karren.  Katie then moves on and says they went for trifle. First one was strawberry and hibiscus. Lordsir wonders if that’s a Real Madrid player. AGAIN. MY SIDES. How was the market research? All positive? Sanjay said it was mostly positive but the negative feedback was mostly about it not standing out on the shelf. Six out of seven people were positive, though, and I don’t think that’s as much an average as the whole number of people questioned. Lordsir says that the market research is about listening to the negative feedback and being able to pre-empt it in the pitches. Whoops.  He then wonders how the pitches went. Katie said that someone wasn’t keen on the saffron. Karren, who has had the opposite of what nick’s had, says that she didn’t say she wasn’t keen, she said it was disgusting and inedible and it should go in the bin. Mark then admits to fluffing the Tesco pitch, claiming to “drop his bundle” but again, this isn’t a euphemism. He let the occasion overwhelm him. Nick’s meds then wear off and he says that nobody else has buckled. Ooh.

So! Orders.  Tesco didn’t like Tenacious D’s pitch, or the saffron but they’re ordering 13.5k of the other two subject to tweaks.  Asda felt that Sommat’s tea cheesecake was too niche for them so haven’t ordered any.  Waitrose thought Tenacious D spotted a gap in the market but the branding was rubbish so haven’t ordered any. Better news for Sommat though, and with a bit of work they’ll order 5,500. Tesco haven’t ordered any trifle, also because of the branding but they love the Tea Cheesecake and have ordered 20k units.  Tenacious D are the winners and they’re all off for Macarons and Martinis on a James Bond yacht. Huzzah!

While Tenacious D think about what they’ve done, the winners congratulate each other and argue about who looks the most like James Bond.  They all look at each other round the table. Mark is disappointed and Katie is stumped. Katie interviews that she’s fluffed up on a food task even though her business is food and she hopes that her track record will save her. Um... Mark thinks he hasn’t done anything wrong. Sanjay interviews that he fluffed the pitch. Mark interviews that Katie fluffed the flavours. MAYBE YOU’RE ALL RUBBISH. Mark feels he’s been an exemplary candidate. Yes, Mark. You’re less bad than Daniel. Well done.

Back at the boardroom its finger pointing time.  Lordsir gets straight to the point. He asked them to make a high end product and they clearly haven’t.  He asks Katie why she went into the kitchen. She says that she thought she was best placed for this then admits that desserts aren’t her thing but she threw herself in anyway. Nope, not seeing the logic, here.  Lordsir then points out that she wants to start a food business but put saffron in a pudding that tasted horrible and is one of the most expensive things ever.  Katie says that her business is making unhealthy food healthy and she’s never claimed to be a chef.  He then moves on to the branding, which was miles off beam, both in the gingham and the blotches. Its bad all round.  Katie homes in on the fluffed pitch, saying that she put Mark in for the big one and he missed it. Mark bites back that they didn’t lose on the pitch, they lost on the rubbish branding (which was also his fault, but hey) and the rubbish product.  Sanjay then blames Mark for the branding but Karren jumps in and says he was all for it so he could go home at 4pm. Mark takes responsibility for the gingham but says that buying stuff is 80% about the taste and they got that wrong.

Lordsir has had enough talking about it, and tells Katie that he doesn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm, but she may not be an entrepreneur. Katie then takes the opportunity to talk about her business plan, which is a healthy eating restaurant in Sunderland.  Now, I’m not from Sunderland but judging by the twitter reaction it may not go down well there. Lordsir thinks she knows nothing about running a restaurant. Katie said that she’s worked in lots of restaurants. Lordsir says he’s been to McDonalds but that doesn’t mean he could run the corporation. [Which... isn't the same thing, Sugs - Rad]

He moves on to Sanjay. He’s a banker but now he wants to run a website for social networking gym members and sell pay-per-click advertising. Now, I’m all for keeping fit etc but I have some friends who are into fitness and it’s quite a big deal. I’m not saying it’s an interesting area, but it’s an area. Lordsir thinks he’s deluded.

He moves on to Mark. Has he given up? He certainly hasn’t and he’s never failed in business except for that time just then when he died on his arse in front of Tesco. He wants to be there and the pressure of putting forward his expertise got too much for him. He then says he’s never been brought back into the boardroom. Sanjay suggests that he should’ve been. This does not go down well.  He then gives his story. He came to the UK; he does digital marketing, yada yada yada. He turned over 1.5 million himself. Still no mention of his business plan.

He sends them off to have a chat with Nick and Karren. Katie is rubbish in the kitchen but has been a calming factor on tasks but hard work may not be enough. Karren thinks that Mark may have overreached and fluffed the Tesco pitch. They agree it’s unusual. Sanjay has been a banker for his whole career and now wants to go into fitness. Is it more of a whim? He’ll see them now.

When they return, he gives a speech about the difference between sole traders and entrepreneurs. He’s not interested in small potatoes. Sanjay wants to make £1.5 million by year five. Mark tells him that that is impossible. There’s just no way. Sanjay hits back that pay per click advertising is only one of five revenue streams.  He wants to know what Katie thinks about all this big boy chat. She says that she has been one of the sole traders but now she’s ready to go to the next level. Mark jumps in and says that their businesses are all small potatoes compared to him. Katie says that her customers are ready to go and that she has a database of people that want to be part of it. Sanjay then goes on the attack and says to Mark that his business is based on sales and he’s not exactly shown himself to be amazing at that. Katie shuts them both up and says that her restaurant can go global and she knows what people like and she knows her market.  I’m bored.

LordSir says that Katie has been a good organiser and Miss Common sense but he can’t see how a business from scratch in a niche area can work for him so despite knowing this from the beginning, she’s fired now. He wishes her the best of luck, as does Karren. THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.  She’s got a lovely black Mac and a birdie scarf. She Taxiterviews that she’s proud of herself for outperforming people who do the things for a living. It would be even more convincing without the tears.

Back in the boardroom, Lordsir says it would be easier to fire both of them. He then asks Mark why his mystery business idea is better than Sanjay’s. All Mark can offer is that it “won’t work” and it may be pretty but it’s not money. Sanjay rightly protests that Mark knows very little about his business so should shut up.  Mark will make a million in year one as opposed to Sanjay’s £1.5 million in year five. Sanjay goes on full attack, saying that Mark may well be able to sell, but he’s shown no strategy or forward thinking.  He’s 50:50 on who to fire. Sanjay is intelligent and a good banker. Mark is a good salesman and his business plan is about sales but there’s millions of salespeople.  He doesn’t have confidence in Sanjay’s idea though (that he’s had since the beginning) so he’s also fired.  Karren wishes him luck. Mark asks to speak again. He can’t. He’s got one last chance. [I was so, so pissed off that after all this TWENTY CANDIDATES!  ANYONE CAN GO!  shizz there wasn't an epic triple firing at any point.  I mean, what IS the point? - Rad]

Sanjay is wearing a lovely red scarf as he taxiterviews about how he’s disappointed but he’s proud of the skills he’s shown and he’s turning that into a positive. Back at the house, Daniel thinks that Mark will stay owing to past performance. Roisin thinks that Mark and Katie will come home. Bianca just makes it clear she doesn’t want to see Sanjay again. Solomon thinks they’re all fired. Roisin actually leaves the room to look for Katie and Mark says it’s all about the business plan. Mark says he fought because he didn’t want to go before Daniel.

Next week – INTERVIEWS. It’s definitely Rad for that.  Promise.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Paper view

Week 9 – 3rd December 2014

Last week! Daniel having a really big grouse in the country! The GLORIOUS firing of James, the Dapper Laughs of the process who was always one step away from an apologetic Newsnight interview in a rollneck. Never mind though! It’s the specific items task! Oh I love this one. Mainly for its utter pointlessness. Eight left! That’s easy to recap. Thanks time.

We begin with the news and the binmen which heralds a “Life in London” montage. We even get a little look at Mark Wright having a nap. Cut to Roisin in her jammies complaining about being tired. Seems like Lordsir is on his way to the Apprenthouse to surprise everyone.  Felipe eats some toast whilst it dawns on Katie that the fewer of them there are, the more chance there is of being back in the boardroom. Wow. I didn’t know an understanding of the law of averages counted as BZSNZ SNS.  Oh! He’s here! Lordsir is at the house. He’s so short he can’t reach the knocker. Bless. Solomon answers the door in his pants. Lordsir doesn’t muck about. He doesn’t even say hello, he merely demands Solomon gets everyone and brings them to a specific room. Cue much pyjama awkwardness while he looks at his watch. Daniel’s room is a shit tip but he looks super adorable with his hair all ruffled so I’ll forgive him.

Lordsir wishes them a good morning and explains to them why they’re there. We all know. He’s “looking for a business partner” and part of that is about negotiation. He’s not going into bladdy business with someone who doesn’t bladdy have good negotiation skills. He’s asking them to get products for the best price. This will be a greatest hits finding stuff task, with famous things from over the last 10 years. Please let there be a kosher chicken disaster. As usual, the team that gets them for the lowest price wins. The other will lose at least one member. The task starts now! Don’t be late etc  etc.

First up, we’re still ignoring the fact that the internet exists and using the Yellow Pages. I’d love it if just once, someone broke ranks and ordered everything on Amazon Prime then won a billion points for ingenuity. Items include – Diamonds, A human skeleton, a KOSHER CHICKEN(!), Nigella Seeds and a Belfast Sink (which Filipe thinks will be easy HA). But before all that, who no earth will be the PM? Daniel puts himself forward for Tenacious D because he has close to a taxi driver knowledge knowledge of London. Mark Wright then says that he’s been living in London for two years so he knows it as well as Daniel. Seriously, this would be easier if they just compared penises. Why don’t they just do that? Eh? Katie then puts herself forward and says that it’s a task about being organised and that’s her. Daniel disagrees. It’s about knowing where to get stuff for cheaps in different areas. He then steamrollers Mark into backing him and Katie doesn’t stand a chance. Daniel interviews that this was his chance to show how he can get his team behind him. Katie also offers her support on the proviso that the boys stop arguing for long enough to get the job done. Daniel then goes on to say that perhaps he and Filipe need to build bridges and they’re going to work together whilst Katie leads the subteam of her and Mark.

Over with Sommat, Sanjay is putting himself forward because of London knowledge and organisational skills. Nobody else wants it so it’s his. He interviews that it’s about organisation and using time correctly. He believes that he can win the task. He also reveals that he doesn’t want another boardroom kicking.

So! They’ve got the Yellow Pages, A map and £1000 each to get the items. Sanjay’s strategy is to plan what they’re going to do before they leave and confirm everything is where it’s supposed to be before leaving. Sanjay reckons that an extra half an hour spent planning at the base will make everything easier. Roisin would really quite like to go and find the diamonds. Bianca suggests Hatton Garden. Roisin wants the outskirts rather than central London. This is why Roisin isn’t the project manager. Don’t do this Roisin, don’t go all soppy eyed and stupid at the prospect of shopping. EVERY SINGLE woman in the country implores you.

Tenacious D are employing a different strategy. Daniel is telling everyone what they have to get and splitting the money. He implores Mark to get the lowest price possible.  Katie chips in that she’s also capable. We know Katie, he knows. He’s just having a dig at Mark. You’re smarter than this, Katie. 10.30 and Tenacious D are off. Mark wastes no time bitching about Daniel badly wanting the PM job and hoping that he behaves himself and doesn’t destroy the team from the inside. Katie’s whine is that Daniel needs to get it out of his head that he’s salesman of the year and that he’s not actually better at selling than anyone else. Ok girls, I take both your points.  Meanwhile, Daniel is boring the tits off Filipe, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere than beside Daniel in a car. Daniel is Jewish so knows all about where to get a kosher chicken. It’s Golders Green. They’re going to get the cheapest one they can.  Daniel walks into a butchers and immediately gives the chat about how his family comes to the butcher and starts the haggling. He tries to get a £6-odd chicken for £4 and to everyone’s surprise, succeeds. Even Nick appears to be impressed. Daniel declares that they have it. I’m sure.

Sommat still haven’t left the base. Roisin is diamond shopping with all the enthusiasm of a female stereotype. Karren is annoyed because Bianca told her to go to Hatton Garden but Roisin is still trying to get a diamond from an independent jewellers who apparently ANY FULE NO don’t carry loose diamonds, that being the job of Diamond Dealers. The jeweller tells her to go to Hatton Garden. Bianca swallows an “I told you so” down so hard it actually looks painful and Karren wonders why Roisin isn’t listening to anyone.

Bianca manages to secure a Belfast sink from Declan.  Katie and Mark Wright find Declan first though, who has lots of Belfast sinks that he’s not selling for any less than £80. Katie and Mark confer and decide to offer him £75. He takes it and Mark gets him to promise that he won’t sell to the other team for less.

Sommat still haven’t left and Karren gives her watch a shady glance. Sanjay sends Bianca and Solomon off for the seeds, sink, skeleton and rope, while he and Roisin go off for the rest.  Bianca goes to see Declan for the sink. Declan has no loyalty so he tells her what the other team got theirs for. She goes lower and says £65. Declan is willing to do a rubbish sink for that price. Bianca gets him down to £60 before interviewing that that she thinks they spent too much time farting about but she used it to her advantage and got them the better deal. They move on to the skeletons, and then have an argument about how to pronounce anatomical. [I think antamological should be a real word.  I like it - Rad] They phone up a medical supply place and do it properly

Sanjay and Roisin take a different tack. They see a skeleton in a shop window and go in and ask to buy it. It has a name and everything so is obviously a member of the team. She offers to sell it to them for £5000. It’s obviously a “no”. Karren interviews that they seem to have gone from having a plan for everything to riding around spotting stuff in shop windows and perhaps this isn’t the best way of doing things.  Sanjay offers her £60 which isn’t even cost. DENIED.

Filipe and Daniel are in the car looking for a skeleton. He manages to find a paper one that isn’t built. Apparently this still meets the specification so they’re going to do it and it’s going to save them loads of money. Mark snarks that they seem to be thinking more than they have on previous tasks.  Cue a montage of buying things with varying degrees of success.  Bianca and Solomon have got everything they need bar the skeleton. They congratulate themselves. Katie and Mark also manage the Nigella seeds and old rope from a garden centre. [I like how no-one bats an eyelid about Nigella seeds this week unlike the year they were originally in this task. Also: that was the first time I discovered they were a foodstuff and tonight was the first time I also discovered they were something you could plant in a garden.  Because I am slow like that - Rad]

Felipe and Daniel are stuck in traffic so decide to walk there instead. They adorably hold hands to cross a busy street and I immediately decide to ship that shit.  They buy the paper skeleton. The shopkeeper warns him that it will take ages to put together. Filipe doesn’t care. All he’s bothered about is that it’s fully anatomical. Nick looks sceptical. Filipe can’t see a problem as regards the description and believes that he has not only won the task, but has proved he has every single thing it takes to be LordSirSugar’s business partner.  I’m sensing that this is quite an ominous edit regarding then skeleton but I’m keeping an open mind. HAHAHA. Daniel and Filipe check in with Katie and Mark Wright. Katie boasts about getting the Old Rope for free. Daniel thinks it’s unbelievable. Yes. It’s unbelievable that they’ve managed to get something that nobody wants for free. They reckon that they’ll come in under £100. Mark is wondering how much Daniel and Filipe have spent. They say £18. Mark is rightly sceptical because this seems to be cheap for a skeleton.  He probes further regarding the cheap skeleton. Daniel says it’s on them. It better be.

Back to Sanjay and his AWESOME PLANNING. Which seems to be mainly about him and Roisin driving around aimlessly looking for fish and chip shops and phoning fish shops.  Excellent.

Daniel and Filipe are in Hatton Garden, planning what seems to be the world’s most rubbish diamond heist. They have a code and everything. Oh Daniel, you’re such a tool. It’s why I like you so much. The story involves a fake wedding and some eyebrows. This is going to be good.  Roisin and Sanjay arrive not long afterwards without a story.  It all seems to be going very well until Daniel offers the man £150 for a £215 diamond.  The man is rightly horrified and suggests that Daniel might be taking the piss a bit. SURELY SOME MISTAKE. The arrogance of it all though. Oh the sexy, sexy arrogance.  They barter a bit and manage to get him down to £200. Roisin is having better luck and gets offered the diamond for £140. She actually purrs and says that she was hoping to get it for under £100, even as low as £65. Cut back to Daniel and he’s still going for £170 and he’s very respectful but he’s run out of money. The man gives him a final price of £175 and he explains Mazel Tov to him but Daniel jumps in very quickly with “I’M JEWISH!!1” and they have a deal at £172. Roisin is faring better because the man fancies her a bit. He says £75 final price, but she looks at him and gets him down to £65. He comes down but seeing that she’s having luck here, Roisin tries her luck on £50 and wins. MEN. Karren is impressed.  Apparently there’s charm and charm. Sanjay is impressed. We all are, dear.

Solomon and Bianca have decided that a chemist is the ideal place to try and buy a skeleton.  Solomon charges in and forgets how to say words. He wants a £200 price tag but the man seems fairly sure that it’s £260. He offers him a 10% discount and Solomon seems impressed by this. He then looks over the skeleton in a manner that suggests he knows what he’s doing when everyone knows he doesn’t. Bianca complains in her interview that Solomon is all chat and no trousers or some other mixed metaphor as we see her go in and negotiate a further discount whilst Solomon plays with the skeleton’s chin. She manages to get the guy down to £230 and that’s them done.

In 3 hours we’re back in the boardroom, and Sanjay and Roisin still haven’t got anything other than the diamond. Bianca phones them up to moan at them a bit but they’re more concerned about getting all the way over to Stratford to get some Oud Oil whilst the edit shows them to be on Brick Lane. Nice one, editors. [With all that London knowledge I declare you PM of the blog.  Such an honour - Rad] Sanjay hands over the scallops and the chicken to Bianca and Solomon. Bianca is unimpressed by this. Bianca and Solomon then have a little bitch in the car about how Sanjay isn’t as organised as he thinks he is and how he’s a little bit scared that they won’t be back in time. They’re in a pickle too. It’s generally a pickle.

Mark and Katie find a private seller of Oud Oil who lives in an opening scene from an episode of Casualty. They all seem a bit nervous. Katie remarks that it’s not the type of place she’s used to doing business. Mark thinks that she must be used to it being from THE NORTH. Fuck off, Mark. Nick Hewer looks awkward as he interviews that they’ve found an online seller of Oud oil and online means cheap due to lack of overheads. They look like they’re doing a crack deal, albeit one with a camera crew and an elderly gentleman taking notes on a clipboard about how well they’re doing the crack deal.  He offers them the price of £60. They try for £40, he goes to £55. Katie tries £49 but they settle on £50. Mark then offers £45 even though Katie has just offered £49. They finally come to an agreement at £48. That was exhausting.  Mark thinks they got it for the best price. He thinks that they could’ve gotten it cheaper and it’s all Katie’s fault. He hopes it doesn’t come down to, say, the price of two diffusers in the boardroom.

Over with Sanjay and Roisin, they’re buying Oud oil from a posh shop and that really doesn’t bode well. I’m right. He says its £300 on sale at £150 but he’s willing to do a deal. Sanjay was hoping for £60 but the man says he can’t do better than £100. Sanjay tries for £90 but no cigar. They settle on £100. This means that Sanjay’s team are now on 6 items. [I miss Dr Leah's OY-YOI-DOI OYD so much.  Why didn't they get her on YerFiyud this week?  For shame, Apprentice. - Rad]

Filipe and Daniel are buying the scallops and manage to get them for £19. They do a fishmonger’s fistbump and Daniel congratulates himself and Filipe a bit. They head back to the boardroom, as do Mark and Katie. Bianca and Solomon run through the streets as Sanjay wonders aloud if all chicken is kosher chicken. Bianca and Solomon get the tea then phone in to Sanjay who tells them to go back to the boardroom and leave the chicken and scallops to them.  Katie and Mark try to shorten their rope in the back of the car. Sanjay and Roisin are still trying to get scallops and suggest a price so low to a fishmonger that he actually laughs at them.  With 5 minutes left, Solomon suggests they try to get a kosher chicken as Sanjay and Roisin finalise the scallop deal.

Daniel congratulates Tenacious D on their efforts and he means it this time, which is just lovely. He’s being honest for once, everyone! Even Mark congratulates him on his efforts.  Mark boasts about tossing him a bone and you can hear the pride in Daniel’s voice. It’s all lovely, all this bonding. It’s making me teary.

Half six and team Tenacious D are the only ones on time. Sanjay realises he’s missed the deadline and does the sadface staring out of the window of the car thing. He interviews that he’s been a good, clear and decisive project manager today and Lordsir will be impressed by that but if it comes down to being late, he’ll stand by it. Bianca is of a slightly different opinion, in that if they fail, it’s because Sanjay is a big idiot who can’t even plan his way around London.  Cut back to Katie doing a “we’ve learned something about teamwork today” speech to her colleagues. Daniel interviews that today was about bringing people on board as business colleagues and not friends. Oh shut up Daniel. You wanted them to love you. We know.  Sommat arrive at some point and it’s finally boardroom time.

Lordsir Sugar comes in and wishes them a good evening.  He then goes on to explain that business is about negotiation then does a secret Cockney handshake with Daniel about discount, knockdown and haggling. Some have even suggested haggling with a vending machine. It’s all about the right price.

We begin Schrodinger’s project manager. Tenacious D are first. Daniel explains that he fought to be PM so he could show what he had learned in the process.  How did he do? Filipe thinks that Daniel has become a man. Aww, see? Told you. BONDING. Katie feels there’s a new leaf involved and he’s much more positive. Lordsir is surprised that they got everything and they got it on time.  Lordsir and Daniel do a secret Jewish handshake about the kosher chicken and getting a third off. Jeez, it’s all about playing up to stereotypes today, isn’t it? What did Katie do? Well, she got the Oud oil cheap and got the seeds and rope from the garden centre.  Lordsir then gets pernickety about the length of the free old rope. Oh man, he’s going to love the skeleton.  He really does love the idea of a skeleton made of paper. He likes it so much that he says it three times looking more and more like an angry ballsack each time. Daniel shakily argues that he didn’t specify that it shouldn’t be paper. He’s got a point, but Lordsir doesn’t see it that way and claims that they’re taking the piss. Filipe tries to explain that it’s a full sized anatomical skeleton. I think he’s got a point. Lordsir doesn’t and tells him he’s not in the courtroom now. Lordsir asks them if they thought they were being clever. Daniel says that’s exactly what he was doing but he calls it thinking outside the box. Mark Wright says that they did check it was an anatomically correct skeleton but Lordsir has had enough and he wants to move on. [If they'd built it, so it actually WAS full-size, then maybe - maybe - they would have gotten away with it.  Probably not though.  Sugarman only likes initiative if it's something he'd have thought of, not if it's something that makes hiim look daft.  Also, as we all know, he hates lawyers, so... - Rad]

Why the bladdy hell was Sanjay the PM of Sommat then? He blathers something about wanting to show his organisational skills. Lordsir then questions his logic about staying in the house for ages researching. Bianca said that being late gave them the advantage in the sink task and they got one for way cheaper than the other team. Lordsir moves on to diamonds. Roisin said that she found it hard to find a diamond merchant initially. Lordsir then says that ANY FULE NO about Hatton Garden and that time shouldn’t be wasted. Roisin claims that she thought that Hatton Garden was a retail place and that it would be expensive. Sanjay claims not to know about it but Karren says that Bianca was saying it from 9am and they didn’t manage to go there until 11.30am. Anyway, forget that. How much did they get the diamond for? Daniel’s face at Roisin’s £50 claim is worth my license fee alone. Lordsir says that jewel thieves normally wear masks. Sanjay says that it was like a heist. It wasn’t really, but never mind. On to the Oud. Sanjay goes through the bartering process. Lordsir then wonders why they were late. Sanjay says that he weighed up the fine for not getting the thing and the fine for being late and made a BZNZ DCSN. They didn’t get the kosher chicken because the only kosher butcher in London didn’t have one. So that’s double fine, but apart from that, what kind of PM was he? Solomon feels that he was a bit rushed and had to do a lot of the work. Bianca says that going into Stratford may have cost them. Sanjay is clearly hurt by this as he thinks they got on well and did well. OH WELL. NUMBERS.

Summat spent £483.97 on eight items. They didn’t get the chicken and they were late so that’s two fines, bringing them up to £644.97. Tenacious D spent £347.59 and they were fined for the rope being too long so that leaves them with £399.59. Lordsir then hops in and says he’s not happy with the skeleton situation so he wants another £310 on there which takes them to £709.59.

I’m not sure how I feel about this to be honest. I think they’ve done what they’re supposed to do and being fined for being a bit clever. Part of me thinks they should’ve realised that Lordsir Sugar hates anyone that rates intelligence highly but something tells me that if Lordsir had liked the team a bit better or had gotten out of bed on a different side this would’ve been seen  as the greatest business decision of all time.

Tenacious D are appalled anyway. Katie has a shitfit about not having worked this hard to be trounced like this. They claim that they worked really hard only to have it messed up by Daniel. Are we not going to mention that if they had been able to cut the rope like sensible people then they would have lost by a less significant margin? No? Just me. The winners are off to Silverstone. Lordsir is angry with the losers. They’re coming back in tomorrow. Awkward night in the Apprenthouse then.

Summat have a lovely time doing the wrong kind of Drag Race. Sanjay makes a joke about using his BZNZ money to buy a drag car. Yeah. That’s going to go down well.

With the losers, Mark Wright is the first to speak. He’s never been so angry through the whole process and let down and that one item has devastated them. Filipe is still claiming it’s in the rules. Mark Wright says that might be so, but they’ve rolled the dice on their lives without consulting them. Dramatic. He interviews that it’s both their faults as one of them should’ve realised that it was an atrocity. I think that’s stretching it a bit. Katie has never been so angry in her LIFE. They should’ve walked it and should they really be in the cafe? Daniel said they should because they’ve lost. Well done on ferociously burning down all those bridges you’ve been building, Daniel. She’s sick of hearing him today and forever.

Next morning and we’re back.  He congratulates them on getting everything and being on time but they’re still losers so ner. He cites the skeleton as being a major cock up and he wants to know the logic behind it. Daniel wastes no time on blaming everything on Felipe being a lawyer and saying that the paper skeleton matched the description. Lordsir then says that he asked for a skeleton and they didn’t bring him one. Technically they did, but who am I to argue. It’s only logic, after all. Lordsir then compares it to bringing eggs and flour to a party and saying you’ve brought a cake, which I suppose is fair enough really. Filipe said that he misinterpreted the rules. Katie, who has obviously calmed down LOADS since yesterday immediately bellows at him for trying to find a legal loophole and being a smartarse. Lordsir then says it’s more of a noose than a legal loophole and he’s talking to the judge, jury and executioner. It’s not a bladdy skeleton. Filipe then says that none of his teammates protested the paper skeleton. Lordsir then wonders if anyone knew that the skeleton was paper and what it looked like. He says he did. Mark and Katie claim he didn’t. Katie said that she asked whether it was an anatomical skeleton. Nick pipes in that would suggest they had doubts. They agree. Nick says that then maybe they should’ve said something. They can’t really say anything to that so Mark starts on about Daniel and Filipe being so sure about it. Daniel says that he backed Filipe’s decision but he thought it was the right one at the time. Nick calls him out on his weaselling when he was his wingman. Lordsir says that Daniel was beside Felipe the whole time. Daniel tries to flip this and give himself the ‘cheeky chancer sniffing out a deal’ edit but Lordsir Sugar doesn’t fall for it. It’s not a case of expertise. Daniel agrees and basically says that a big boy made him do it.

Lordsir then asks them to think about how they would’ve done if they’d taken the skeleton out the equation. For example, the rope and the fine they incurred for it being too long. Filipe says that he would’ve cut it with his teeth to win. Lordsir also says that if they’d done a better deal on the sink, they might not have been there. Mark says it was probably more to do with the diamond. Lordsir has had enough and wants to know about who’s coming back into the boardroom.

He’s bringing back Filipe for Skeleton Gate and Katie for not being able to cut a rope. Katie rightly points out that this was a 50/50 fault with her and Mark and says that she’s only being brought back for slagging him off in the cafe. Daniel says that everyone knows Mark is the one he hates so her logic is flawed. He then asks if he can bring all of them back but he can’t so he’s got to go with his first decision. Lordsir then wonders what happened to the new Daniel of yesterday. They do a secret Cockney handshake about Leyton Orient season tickets which only serves as a segue to a terrible joke about Daniel holding a season ticket to the boardroom. This is his 4th trip.

Everyone leaves and it’s time for the chat. Lordsir is still pissed off about the skeleton.  Nick says it may have been Filipe’s decision but Daniel was behind him and the others knew. Karren says that Katie is probably only there because Daniel wants to show he’s such a new man he’s not holding a grudge.

LORDSIR SUGAR WILL SEE THEM NOW.  Filipe should know what a skeleton was and decided that he should be clever. Filipe says he’s shown all the way through that he’s a business man as well as a lawyer.  Lordsir wonders when he has shown that. He says all the time. Lordsir says that for this task he’s missed attention to detail and has been a bit stupid. Filipe says that the last time he was PM he won even though his team were fighting so he must be well good at BZNZ. Katie said that she did most of the work on that task. On to Katie, she’s there because she’s the subteam leader and she cocked up on the rope. She reiterates that was a joint decision and Mark negotiated the tea and the sink so he should take the blame. Daniel seizes his chance and says if Mark did all that, what did she do. Really, Daniel? Katie got the Oud oil and that was the best one over on the other team. Daniel goes further down that road and says that the only other thing she did was the rope and that’s why she’s here.

We move back to Filipe. Filipe says that Daniel let him get away with the skeleton and he’s already been in the boardroom three times so of course he should be fired. Lordsir tries to use a football metaphor so Daniel can understand. Why should he back a player that’s missed four penalties? Well, because he’s willing to take them, is Daniel’s reply.  Lordsir is pleased to see that Daniel has grown as a person but it’s not about free therapy for the deluded, it’s about BZNZ and why should he stay? Daniel claims that he’s shown he can manage people. Lordsir then goes back to Katie’s REZOOMAY and quotes her line about not being a “stiff in a suit” and wants to know more about that. Katie says that when she first started she was intimidated by all the bankers and stuff but she’s outperformed people who do these roles for a living and if she can do that in 9 weeks, imagine what she can do as a business partner though.

So. The summary. Katie has shown common sense but that isn’t necessarily business partner material.  Felipe tried to prove tactical genius and failed.  Daniel has shown sprit and contrition but doesn’t know how many more chances he can give. It’s difficult but he’s making a decision that he might be sorry for. Katie gets another chance. Daniel is running out of warnings but he made an error in letting a clever boy talk him into being stupid. Filipe may have thought he was being clever but SUPREME COURT JUDGE LORD SIR SUGAR ALAN LORD is telling him it failed. Filipe is fired.

Lordsir then looks at Daniel and threatens him with a CRASH FIRING but he’s getting away with it on the basis that he’s learned something.

Filipe leaves in a lovely long black coat with a grey scarf. It’s not the end of him, and he’s shown that he’s capable of talking about himself in the third person. BYE THEN.  Back at the house, Mark is still shocked that he wasn’t brought in. Nobody is happy to see Daniel back again. Katie is upset that her record of never being in the bottom three is broken. Daniel wonders if it hasn’t made her a better person. She says she was fine as she was, thanks. [Loved that response - Rad]