Saturday, 31 October 2015


Ten things about week 4 (Pet show sales) 

Broadcast Weds 28 October 2015

1. LdSralan’s nebulous meeting place logic continues apace: ‘Samuel Johnson had a cat…’. My favourite bit was when Sam obviously thought this meant they’d be writing poetry as a task. I love him so much for how blatantly un-Apprentice he is. He sold throws for pet sofas, people. Now Ruth’s gone, he’s totally my favourite. Also: Apprenti-penned poetry books? That would be even better than them making their own plays. Why this show’s foray into the arts has never gone beyond the gallery selling task, I do not know. Watching them trying to sell tickets, programmes and refreshments at a self-penned and directed show and trying to avoid walkouts would be so much funnier than smelling woss selling.

2. The way this week would play out was signposted right from the start when, looking at the cat statue, Charleine looked sympathetic whilst Scott side-eyed it.

3. April once had a dachshund called Anastasia Edwina Jackson and now has a Yorkie called Diva. These things are pretty telling, aren’t they?

4. The teams this week were a battle between David-led Versatile and Scott-led Connexus – although helpful voiceover man persists in saying ‘the other team’ all the time. Still not helping, HVM. Natalie redeemed herself from the lack of enthusiasm in past tasks by immediately noting it was important to show vendors they’re keen on a product. That’s one of the earliest redemption arcs ever, no?

David was the week’s breakout star, though, fulfilling the niche role of annoying little brother as played by Matt Horne. He was all boggly eyed enthusiasm for balloons and T-shirts – just imagine if he’d been offered eggs and sweets to sell as well. Despite his childish enthusiasm, he managed to commandeer his team to victory even though he rode roughshod over many of their ideas – he was kind of lucky that they decided to go along with him rather than cause a mutiny – although he came close when he told Richard he’d redeemed himself: ‘what have I redeemed myself for?’. Vulcan-eared Scott, on the other hand, pouted and stropped his way through the whole task, refusing to make decisions, and needing Gawwy to come and save him at several points, and yet received nowhere near the level of criticism in the boardroom Selina got.

5. The task: It’s unclear whether or not the teams are privy to the product selection before they go out and meet the vendors, but David’s enthusiasm for T-shirts from the off suggests they might have been, otherwise where would the suggestion have come from? Also: the £25 animal T-shirts were some of the ugliest/scariest tat I’ve seen in a while, but then I’m not a pet owner, so *shrug*. Also on offer: a ‘high-vis chicken jacket’ that I refuse to believe is anything but a ploy to get on TV; a light up ball racing track thingy for cats that has been popping up as an advert in my Facebook feed ever since; dog fragrances (which Brett promptly sprayed in his eye, the doofus); ‘poop’ bags (poop? Are we Americans?); leather dog sofas; an enormous rabbit hutch as big as a house; an enormous cat tower that’s just as big; animal balloons that allegedly had a queue outside the door last time and upon which the vendor would not negotiate.

Versatile went with T-shirts, balloons and dog beds, whilst Connexus went for cat toys, heat discs (which I don’t think were previewed) and cat towers. When the balloons were selling way more at £5 than the T-shirts at £25, autopilot Karren questioned the team’s logic of focusing on them when the T-shirts would make more profit, despite the obvious flaw in that idea about actual audience demand.

Brett was being set-up for a bit of a fall this week – screwing up all the pitches, spraying himself in the eye, fumbling his promotional speech to the audience, forgetting where his stall was… Given he then didn’t even end up in the board room, I’m not sure what that was about.

Connexus sold £1221.20 of pet accessories and £1807.20 of cat towers for a total of £3028.40. Versatile sold £1589.50 on accessories and £2462.12 on dog sofas for a total of £4051.62. They ‘won’ a training session with Mo Farah.

6. From being a bit under-the-radar, Gary was suddenly very visible. He reminds me of Trigger crossed with Dirty Den and his hair is also very much an 80s-throwback with its ridiculous levels of product. He was Scott’s hero throughout, and then revealed in the boardroom that his coming in at the eleventh hour to rescue the team resulted in… no sales from anyone whatsoever after that point.

7. Selina was this week’s fire-tease: she couldn’t do the maths on customising a product, forcing Scott to leave his own sale to help her; she snarked about the cat towers and showed no enthusiasm at all – something that seems to be a quirk of her personality going on her bitching on Twitter in a way that was also pretty spoilery about the future of the series. She was criticised in the boardroom for slacking and not being enthusiastic and when she escaped firing, she decided her redemption arc would not be enthusiastic as Sralan suggested, but instead would be ‘no more Mrs nice girl’, which received the baffled response you would expect.

8. Femageddon! In pretty much a reversal of Strictly Come Dancing’s opening weeks, we lose yet another woman, and we saw plenty of #everydaysexism as the women got ignored in favour of boys throughout – the worst example of which was Scott ignoring the women on his team because he trusts ‘Gary mate’. However, I am assuming this will lead to a triumphant female winner at the end of it all, just as I expect Strictly to be won by a man. Also: as everyone on Twitter pointed out, most of the men’s shirts were the weak shade of pink that suggests they left a red sock in the wash with them.

9. Quotes of the week:
• ‘We’ve already got inside knowledge of cats and dogs. We need to be upbeat about what the rabbit sector has got to offer.’
• ‘T-shirts are for humans, right?’
• ‘I’ll say it’s unlikely that you will see chickens crossing roads’
• ‘You can wear it with almost anything’ (about the pet T-shirts).
• ‘I wanna check out the bunny showjumping.’
• ‘It’s the same stuff they use in NASA’ (about rabbit hutches)
• ‘I don’t wanna hear any more talk about balloons’.
• ‘It increases their sensory load.’
• ‘Represent the guinea pigs all day long.’
• ‘You’d look really posh in the Valleys with one of these though, wouldn’t you?’
• ‘It’s £1400 – that’s if you really, really love your pets’
• ‘I’ve got a personal target of four, but that’s because I want to over-achieve.’
• ‘We’re a fondler of animals, we’re a fondler of our pets’ (Brett actually said fondlover but he mangled his words, so…)
• ‘I love speaking to young people making their way. I think you’re great, I think it’s fabulous.’
• ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out, does it, that if you sell one sofa for £700, you’ve got to sell… who’s the mathematician here? How many balloons?’
• ‘Cat towers, historically, have sold in greater volume than the dog beds.’
• ‘I done pitch the balloons.’
• ‘Ruth was dancing around the houses.’
• ‘My anxiety levels are as high as the moon.’
• ‘You say ‘sod off’. Well, you don’t actually say sod off, but in your mind you do’
• ‘You were like the team tortoise.’

10. And so we bid farewell to this series’ standout star (so far). Ruth opened strongly, wearing a cupcake shower cap over rollers in her underwear, offering a sop to all those people who complain this show has a fixation on male bodies at the expense of female totty. She rocked up to the task briefing in a bizarre blue and gold jacket that was so very… her (and the eagles on it also looked a bit… SS so let’s gloss over that) and ended with the best coatwatch we’ve seen in years: a black and white spots and stripes explosion with a green and peach flowery scarf. In the middle, she wore a multi-coloured check jacket that looked like a bad acid trip. The whole episode, hers was a heartrending tale of trying but failing, as the sales superpowers she displayed in week one crumbled away despite her motivational (/patronising) speeches to the team before striking out. She talked ten to the dozen, the slightly manic sound of desperation rising in her voice throughout the day as she questioned the customers on their age, marital status and probably inside leg measurement – anything but selling the actual product. She said she’d rather fall on her sword for giving 110% (DRINK!) than be lacklustre. Enthusiastic, nice, friendly, awesome in at least two tasks, and lovingly bonkers. Her star may have shone too briefly, but it shone bright.  

Next week: they make a children's book and it looks AMAZING.  Join Helen then!


Anonymous said...

So sad about Ruth leaving. It was very endearing that she was genuine and earnest, but also utterly ridiculous. Also those outfits will be missed.

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