04/11/2010

Come back Lookey-Likey all is forgiven (well not all... some, some is forgiven)

This season seems to be becoming more boring and the candidates more lack lustre by the week. I found myself longing for Lookey-Likey to sneak back and karmically retribute someone just to spice things up :-(

So this week Ludallen had them selling young clothes designers ware in the Trafford Centre in Manchester. The teams were led by Liz and Paloma and at first glance, the episode showed a lot of promise. The possibility that our collective wish for the demise of Potty Paloma might be granted; potential for the girls to squabble; potential for the candidates to get their selection hideously wrong; comedy sales techniques etc. Unfortunately, very little of that materialised and frankly the episode was seriously un-entertaining as a result. I was half tempted to switch off and just make some stuff up, but in the pursuit of journalistic integrity (is there such a concept?) I battled on.

 
Paloma felt blessed to have Alex (the unemployed communications director) on her team not just because he is a "retail guru", apparently taught by "...a famous professor of retail" (Homework: Name one "famous" professor of retail??? Is there such a thing? How do you qualify as one? Shop a lot? In which case, several of my friends and I are at the very least MBA's in retail. I personally am on the brink of my "Professorship" in Tiffany's and Links, but I digress)....She was rapturous about the fact that Alex had once lived in Manchester. This was obviously vitally important, as the people of Manchester are all really aliens from the planet Zog and their taste in clothes are thus very, very different from the rest of the UK. Having someone on her team with local knowledge was going to give her the edge.
Crucially, he had also worked in the Trafford centre before. He didn't say what he actually did there, but whatever it was, it was clearly based miles away from where their unit was situated and he was definitely going to place their promotional stand there whether it made sense or not. I'll confess to becoming a tad excited at this point, as I felt it was a clear signal of Paloma's impending demise. Alex also became a tad excited and started talking about: "Creating a hive of honey... getting people to the Honey Pot." Apparently, "Its a hive of seduction" What????

Thankfully, Forrest didn't say much this week, but pretty much everything he did say was stupid. "I'm not a big knowledge of Manchester" he said, "but every time I go up there I always just feel like I've gone back a couple of years on London.... I don't want to offend the Mancunians, but they're always a step behind Londoners". Cut to bemused mini pot "No, no, you go to clubs in Manchester, you still have to wear shoes". Admittedly it's been a while since I went clubbing in London (or anywhere else if the truth be told), but I'm pretty certain everyone was wearing shoes...

I am coming to the conclusion that the moniker "Forrest" may be more apt than I thought and he is actually "special needs". Let's examine the facts: Everything he says is stupid; he often has a confused look on his face; he is unable to construct a proper sentence ("I'm not a big knowledge of Manchester"); his wife has to buy his clothes for him. I rest my case...

Product selection, Liz's team won on that front. The girls all got overly excited by the sparkly stuff at Liquorice (bless) and won the designers support. The designer named dropped until she was blue in the face ("Pink wore this", "Pixie Lott picked this up"), to no avail as Paloma et al, could not have looked more uninterested if they tried. "Do you think we've done enough to impress them?" She asked. Er, that'll be a no...

They decided that a sensible substitute for the sparkly dresses would be products made by Eco designers that retailed for £300+. Basically, very expensive old tat. I didn't believe for a moment that sort of stuff would sell "to the masses" in the Trafford centre. I underestimated Alex's insight into the Zogians, one of them actually spent nearly £500 on some serious old tat, including a dress made of ties that would double up as a duvet for her daughter. (Strangely, there were no takers for the hooded suit jacket. I guess even Zogians have standards). They still lost though...

Paloma felt it was important to highlight that she's wasn't comfortable with Alex's choice of location for the promotional pitch in case she needed a sacrificial lamb to take to the board room with her. Alex, managed to (almost) redeem himself by securing a commercial on Trafford TV. The owner of this years brain cell possibly? Sorry, I'm being too hasty....

The board room was, once again, disappointing, almost completely devoid of Ludallenisms. He mentioned to Alex that he heard he had been "Standing around like those blokes do in Oxford Street with a placard saying that the end is nigh." (As a Ludallenism, two out of ten). He also commented on Mini Pot's stint as a live model in the shop window: "Nick told me that it was reminiscent of his trips abroad to Holland". Personally, I felt his script writers could have done a lot more with that.


Liz's team won largely due to the sparkly dresses. Paloma decided to bring Alex back (no surprise there) and Sandeesh. Why Sandeesh? "On this specific task, it's hard to pin something on Sandeesh" but, "...overall as a candidate doesn't do much generally... relative to other candidates..." she's not great a candidate overall. Apprentice 101, never try and do Ludallen's job for him. Ludallen, predictably wasn't impressed, he'd always thought it was his job to decide who was the best candidate overall.

Even though he thought Alex "...may be bloody useless, I don't know. But I'm going to give you another chance to prove that you're not bloody useless". He was allowed to stay as ultimately, Paloma was her own worst enemy. She just couldn't stop rubbishing (albeit articulately) everyone else. Ludallen summary of the situation, you are "...very cool and don't take any prisoners.... I think its the manner in which you don't take any prisoners that concerns me". So, despite the personality transplant she appeared to have had before her "You've been fired show", she "showed her true colours" at the end and had to go. Hurrah!

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