25/11/2010

The Idiots were abroad on the Apprentice tonight...

So we've had Ageism - think Stuart the Brand's comment about Mini Pot last week. We've had misogyny - think Mini Pot "taking one for the team in the "Cuulie" task (If I'm not mistaken, Stuart the Brand had a hand in that too). The triumvirate HAD to be completed, the series would have an unsatisfying, almost incomplete quality to it if we didn't have a touch of racism (said in a French accent as it sounds so much better - raaaa-sees-mu, so much less offensive n'est-ce pas? Sorry, I don't speak German. Mind you neither does Stuart the Brand, but more of that later...) In fact I was on the edge of my seat for the entire episode, waiting for the candidates to burst into a rousing chorus of "two world wars and one world cup, do dah, do dah" - expertly led by the Army guy who "hates Germans". Yes, the idiots were abroad tonight, in Germany to be precise. Unsurprisingly, the Germans were as impressed by the candidates as we are. So not at all basically...

In a shock departure from form, the Triumverate was not completed, the candidates were far too busy messing the task up to be bothered with such trivialities, (another week maybe..) Stuart the Brand definitely had a hand in that though, but to fair to him (no, I can't believe I'm saying that either!) he wasn't the only one. Forrest opened the episode with another of his sharp, insightful comments "that's the German flag with an eagle on it". I could actually feel the space time continuum shift at that point, the hour ahead seemingly endless, but, glutton for punishment that I am, I continued to watch anyway.

So to the plot - The teams had to make crisps (or chips as the Germans call them) from determining flavours, to marketing in Hamburg and obviously the team with the most sales would win. Stuart the Brand "declared himself knackered" said Nick with undisguised disgust later in the boardroom. (I suspect he isn't a fan of young Stu either!) He championed Mini Pot's bid to be PM on the grounds that "she's not a very good PM" and whether the team won or lost it would be win, win for him (evil child). Chris the Investment Banker declared that although he had been in the losing team umpteen times, they should let him lead the team because in reality, he's a winner. The logic was completely lost on me, but not on the candidates who were, inexplicably, ecstatic at the prospect of their inevitable trip to the boardroom later.


The brain storm on Mini Pot's team resulted in the usual deviation of opinion between Joanna and the rest of her team, who eventually settled on a British theme. Chris the Investment Banker's team, decided on a Currywurst/goulash theme which was supported by Forrest and Army guys' market research in Hamburg. Cut to Stuart the Brand, who wasn't at all afraid of the language barrier, despite not even managing GSCE German. To demonstrate just how unafraid he was, he counted to 20 in German. I'll confess to being extremely impressed at that point, I would have put money on him not knowing how to do that in English, let alone German. He further impressed me by not introducing himself as "Herr Baggs", even though you could tell it was a huge effort for him. "I must sound so stupid to them.." he said, " but I think it's slightly endearing that I try". The German's didn't, as evidenced by the buyer who basically asked him what language he was actually speaking. (Side note: You sound stupid to us too Stuart, no need to bother speaking in German to achieve that).


On a more serious note, I laboured long and hard over whether to actually post this comment. After much soul searching and in the interest of journalistic integrity..I could continue in that vein for a while, but we all know it's b@llocks. Everybody heard him say it, fortunately for me, I was drinking wine and not coffee at the time - I suspect emergency rooms up and down the country are treating people who suffered minor burns when they spluttered their tea all over themselves. I can put it off no longer, Stuart the Brand said that he has a "white sausage". Ugh... and I thought I couldn't find him any more odious...


All that said, Jo who performed extremely well on the task and Stuart the Brand managed to line up a series of good appointments for the following day. (Side note: How on earth did Jo manage to convince the buyer at the Marriot to take a 6 month order when he really only wanted 3 months? Darragh on the "You've been fired show" thinks she is a Jedi mind warrior - We've already had Lookey-Likely the Sith Lord, it stands to reason they would be a Jedi hanging around somewhere. On that basis, I am inclined to agree). Forrest and Army guy basically drank beer and strolled around Hamburg. Stopping only to pitch to an employee of a bagel place that wasn't authorised to buy anything. Waiting around for the person who was authorised to buy seemed pointless as they had all that walking around and drinking beer to do. The indicator that they might be in trouble was when Forrest persuaded Army guy to move a major appointment from 9am to 1pm for no apparent reason...Despite that Army guy felt he needed someone to "get an extinguisher" and put him out as he was "burning hot".


Stella and Mini Pot sold up a storm, unlike Verruca who spoke at the speed of light during her pitch, which inexplicably began with "The World is changing"? A useful "in" if you're selling crisps? Hey who am I to question her, I'm not the one who in the past has "brought in half a million pounds worth of sales" to her firm. It would be almost (not quite, but almost) worth her being dragged into the interview episode for the veracity of that statement to be tested - Preferably by the magnificent Margaret, who will apparently be back for that episode! In any event, she didn't make any sales. Stella, wisely decided that she and Jo should take the next big pitch and Verruca threw her toys out of the pram - literally. Even Stuart the Brand appeared mature in comparison. A large part of me wanted them to lose the task in the vain hope that we'd finally get rid of Verrucca. Liz and Chris pitched well for the other team, wining a small order from the buyer Verruca annoyed. Ultimately though, their product wasn't as interesting as the other teams and they lost out on a sale to the Marriot, who crucially Mini Pot took the 9am appointment with... They were also trumped by a significant sale Mini Pot won from the Bagel place, by speaking to the the manager, who was authorised to buy.

Cut to the boardroom where Chris's team lost by a not insignificant margin, for the reasons outlined above. All of this was news to Chris, who as Nick pointed out didn't "have a handle on this [Forrest and Army guy's] little expedition." Once he was made aware, he decided to bring Forrest and Army guy back to the boardroom. Chris took pains to point out to Ludallen that he isn't a loser, despite always being on the losing team: "I'm not a loser, I mean I obviously am in terms of the numbers you have...but I've been unlucky". Okay...

To be perfectly honest, I thought it was all over for Forrest at that point as he moved the Marriot sale and he pitched to the "cleaner" as Ludallen put it, in the Bagel place. I was on the verge of volunteering to pack his suitcase when Ludallen asked him to explain what his contribution had been over the series so far: "There have been many excellent gems throughout", despite that, he struggled to think of one. To be fair, he was busy "trying to remember in my brain", I can only imagine how much effort that must have taken. Ludallen completely blindsided me by firing Army guy??? The Chips were definitely down for Army guy (sorry, couldn't resist it...) His rationale was that Army guy, doesn't have that "entrepreneurial genius" that he's looking for. REALLY? Does he seriously believe ANY of the candidates posses that???? If that's what he wants then he needs to fire the remaining seven immediately and finish the series with the seven brightest stars from the nearest primary school - he won't be compromising on quality.


Side note: Ludallen appears to have completely dispensed with the "Ludallenisms" this series. Nothing at all again tonight. He did start up some half hearted story about his wife and family liking him, but no one else. Even Army guy realised that little anecdote was going nowhere fast from a comedy point of view and cut in with his 'don't fire me speech" to spare Ludallen's blushes. (The ungrateful so and so still fired him).

Ludallen sent Forrest and Chris the Investment Banker back to the house with the warning that if he saw them in the board room again, it would be untenable. "Do you understand what I am saying?" he asked. Forrest didn't reply, but you knew a big word like "untenable" was definitely way over his head.
If Facebook is anything to go by, I wasn't the only one who was mystified by Ludallen's decision tonight, with one friend commenting: "Whaaatt!! I wasn't expecting that!!!..and now snow! Whatever next?" I don't know....possibly Katie the post op transsexual wins X Factor and then the sky falls in...?

1 comment:

  1. I feel honoured to be quoted in your blog!

    I think your observations are spot-on; If only miserable complaining girl's team had lost, it would have been the most obvious firing in Apprentice history!

    Yes, Forest or Chris should have gone. Sniper man can actually do stuff with some level of competency!

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