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.


Kaylie said...

There was a triple firing wasn't there? The week when they were waiting around the house and Lord Sugar called up to say 'no one's coming back'. It was pretty early on.

(Possibly it doesn't count as an 'epic' triple firing, as I can barely remember it.)

Rad said...

There was one, I had totally forgotten and I even recapped that shambles. It wasn't epic though.