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.