10 things about… Week 11 - Interviews
- Interview from the top - We’re back at the Leadenhall building for lots of lift and escalator shots again. The panel remains pretty much the same- Mike Soutar, Claude Littner and Claudette Collins, who I hope get married, are joined by Linda Plant, a 20 year long acquaintance of Lordalan’s who is the type of woman who will berate another woman for crying. Mike is still a hard ass, as is Claudette but it’s almost nice to see Claude soften a bit with his knowledge of the candidates. How do the interviews go, though?
- Tricky Dicky - I’m using Ludalan’s moniker for him here as he really does nothing to detract from this during the process of the interviews. He wastes no time reminding us that he’s got the best record in the process and he’s feeling massively confident. His business plan is no different to his performance throughout the process - lots and lots of bellowing with very little substance. For example, his claim to run Surrey’s number one digital marketing agency turns out to be one that was decided by his “breakfast networking group”, which is definitely the “my mum says I’m cool” of business claims. His business plan makes me want to poke sticks in my eyes and ears. The only thing that stopped me from doing it is that I want to do his first. It’s a “business growth campaign that starts with a focused base camp to remove the clouds from the client’s business growth mountain so they clearly see the summit they’re aiming for”. I told you. I warned you all. It seems to be about outsourcing marketing for small businesses and claims to be a unique model, despite Richard using it in the business he already has. The interviews break him. He starts out claiming 11 out of 10 and telling everyone he’s smashing it and ends up in the foetal position crying out for his mum. Which leads me to my next point.
- Waking up - Richard did a first on The Apprentice. He stopped in the middle of shoveling a steaming pile of bull and managed a moment of self awareness. I didn’t like it. This isn’t why I’m watching. I’m watching to see a load of idiots bumbling through and making tits of themselves. Mike Soutar begins the process by telling him that he knows that the model isn’t unique. Richard then just says its tried and tested. He spins faster than a pepped up spider, but the cracks begin to show. Linda calls bullshit on him and he just bullshits back at her. Claude wants to know why he hasn’t made his millions already if he’s been doing the same business for so long. He waffles and the questions keep coming. by the time he gets to Claudette he’s a broken man. He admits the business plan is waffle and says he can’t believe the pretentious crap that comes out of his mouth sometimes. he returns to his colleagues a visibly broken man.
- Vana know what love is - Vana’s business plan is all about the gamificaiton of internet dating. Speaking as someone who has been internet dating, adding MORE unspoken rules and messing about to it isn’t really going to appeal to anyone but hey ho. she’s going to be using SCIENCE to match people together. The people will then play games with each other until their faces are revealed to each other. Sounds a bit like the one where you play a game with a boy on Tinder to see how long it takes them to get your number so they can WhatsApp you a picture of their [REDACTED]. Vana also interviews like her performance in the competition. She’s confident, competent and if she’s in doubt, she just adds MOAR OIL [She could go into an Italian seasoning production company with Yasmina - Rad]. She seems to know her stuff but everyone’s a bit worried that she’s being over optimistic in terms of figures. we’ll see.
- Charleine on me - Charleine is still reeling a bit from her board room cry but I just bloody like her, ok? Her business plan is about expanding her hair salon but she doesn’t really have a brand or a name for herself so it’s all a bit pointless but she’s lovely so nobody really minds that she’s wasting their time. She’s going into business to show her kids that they can do anything and is doing this in the memory of her dead child. I can't pick her apart. It’s too easy. I wish her well. The panel could be a lot more savage. They merely reiterate that she’s not really got a name to franchise on and her business plan is a wishlist rather than anything concrete.
- Gary up and Wait - Gary, who is a lot more pleasingly hairy than I would expect, describes himself at the beginning of the episode as a “Corporate G” [Despite being way too much of a plonker/market trader type to ever be corporate - Rad], has been very quiet about what his work outside of NOT TESCO is about. He doesn’t even appear to be sure about what his achievements inside NOT TESCO were all about, as his idea of how many people he managed and what he was responsible for seems to differ wildly. Anyway, in the curviest curveball ever to be curved, it seems like CORPORATE G is mr Mobile Disco and is currently very big in the West Midlands. He wants to turn these discos into events with an app that beams people in. It’s not a hologram and it’s not Skype. The consensus is that nobody has a clue what is going on, especially him.
- Hey Joe - Joseph is TWENTY FIVE YEARS OLD. Let's just let that sink in. TWENTY FIVE. He shaves his tache for the occasion and manages to be the only man in the entire world who has grown more creepy after losing a moustache. Joseph is full of confidence and it oozes from him. The interviews justify it almost entirely. He claims to have been inspired by Ludalan’s book. Mike Soutar thinks this is bullcrap and quizzes him on it like a schoolchild. he passes with flying colours. His business idea is to franchise out his plumbing business but this falls at the first hurdle when it’s pointed out to him that if he’d bought into his own franchise he would not have made any money. Fair play to him though, he manages to adapt his business model, charm everyone, show his enthusiasm whilst being sincere and can do actual maths on demand. This episode made me like him and lord knows I hate liking anyone genuinely on this show. DAMN YOU, VALENTE.
- Results are in - So how did they all get on? Charleine is a fighter but her expectations go beyond her ability. She’s a fantastic candidate but she may only be able to replicate her success in Plymouth. Her boardroom plea is all about countering her small town reputation by suddenly announcing that she’ll just move to london and charge more. Karren rightly says she’ll just get swallowed up. Lordalan does have a chuckle at her bowling up to “high st, London” though. bless her. Gary is found to be one that exaggerates his own importance and doesn’t understand the difference between leading people and being their actual line manager. Lordalan does have a scoff at his mobile disco and makes a Piers Morgan joke that I’m too busy YAWNING about to replicate here. The main thrust of his argument is that his business is unique but it seems to be so unique that nobody has a clue what it’s actually about. It seems to be video conferencing for parties, as far as I can tell, but he’s got no idea. He’s so irrelevant at this point, he may as well be someone’s suitcase. Joseph’s franchise idea may be a non starter but the consensus is that he’s hard working and a bit of a rough diamond. Lordalan is concerned that he was a fish out of water in some of the posher stuff but it’s pointed out that he knows his plumbing onions. In the boardroom, he’s compared to Boycie when we all know he’s Mickey Pearce. He has an alternate business plan that could be viable. Lordalan isn’t sure if backing Vana’s dating app would make him stupid or cupid. Let’s go with the former. They agree that it’s a booming market and she’s a clever girl but Siralan is worried that not seeing the person at first would make people too cautious about ending up with an ‘ugbo’. What a lovely man. Vana’s answer to all the concerns is to disagree. She’s all about bringing in the high end men and the high end women will follow. She’s got a point. Finally, they all laugh about breaking Richard and share their concern that he’s replicating a business he’s already got. He argues that despite the mountain being the same, they’re different things. We’ll see.
- Two cool for school - So who is in the final two? Charleine is sent out almost straight away because the best she can do is replicate her Plymouth success locally. She leaves with her head held high. The others have a bit more fighting let to do. Joseph has done some great things but it’s about small business versus big business and Richard’s other business is a conflict to the one he wants investment for. None of these hold a candle to nobody knowing what the hell Gary’s business is about so he’s off too. He’s left with Richard, Joseph and Vana and has a little chat with his team about what to do next. They summarise Richard as being good in tasks but full of shit. Joseph gets the diamond in the rough, see myself in him treatment and they’re not sure about the money for Vana. They’re all called back in to give a final plea. Joseph reiterates that he’s already made 60k in two years and wants to make even more. Richard goes from being a silent partner in his business to offering to sell his brother down the river completely and Vana reminds everyone that 25% of couples getting married these days have met online. Joseph’s enthusiasm and straight talking earn him a place. He says he’s going to make Lordalan a lot of money. It’s then down to Vana and Richard. Vana gets the edge because Lordalan has heard of Tinder. Bye Richard! He taxiterviews that he’s good at The Apprentice but hasn’t shown any business skills, thus blowing up the entire process and making everyone self aware again.
- Quotes of the week
“I have been branded as a Corporate G” - Gary
“It would be crazy to pass by Richard Woods” - Who else?
“I’m part of a business networking breakfast group” - Richard
“Are you a romancer?” “I’d like to think so” - Claudette falls under Joseph’s spell
“600 people danced to the tune of my development programme but I actually managed three” - Gary
“You haven’t got a brand. You haven’t even won a hairdressing competition” - Poor Charleine
“You will be sweating from every single finger”
“It’s like a bad 1980’s business book” - Claude on Richard
“I’m just so competitive” - Richard
“So they didn’t go over your business plan?” Vana on hearing upon Richard’s supposed success
“You’re just a mobile disco, you’re far from a global event planner” - Linda
“Is it bullshit? I think it’s bullshit”- Linda on Richard
“Expecting her (Charleine) to go as big as Toni and Guy is like expecting Claude to grow an afro” - Ludalan“Party planners are fun people, aren’t they?” - Karren
That's it from me this series! Join Steve for the finale.