‘The Apprentice Series Nine Episode… Eight? Let’s Go With Eight’ Review

Apprentice 2013 week 8

I wasn’t jotting stuff down whilst watching this episode for a few reasons. Firstly, I got carried away trying to make a playlist that started off as ‘melancholic electronic’ but ended up being anything with bleepy-bloopy (industry term) sounds or a synthesiser in it. Secondly I was enjoying this episode too much. I think it’s one that will go down in The Apprentice legends, alongside:

I completely remember why I adore this show.

This week’s task was come up with a website and an advert, which already means great television is afoot. Adverts and The Apprentice go hand in hand like pasta and cheese, cheese on toast, any food with cheese…

Oh, and bacon flavoured beer. I’m still not letting that one go.

But what makes this task even better is what area the contestants have to work in: online dating. This would have easily made my Top 5 Apprentice Episodes Ever based on Alex’s shenanigans. Basically he makes lots of Fifty Shades jokes (“I’m Christian Grey of the Valleys” is a classic) and this happens:

Our poor Welsh Vampiric  Underdog tries to go for Project Manager, having experience in Web Design before. He gets outvoted and the team put Jordan in charge. Jordan is the one who hasn’t got Web Design experience, is usually in the background milling around doing stuff but not much and tweeted this…

AppEp8 Tweet

Interestingly enough, their team wins too. Not because they were great or anything, their dull corporate website clashed with their hilarious advert with mascara-d up Alex (or Herbert) and Unsayshuhbuhl Nuhdeen Leah Coyle voiceover. No, Jordan‘s team won because the other team redefined ‘disasterrific’.

Where do I begin? Let’s bullet point this:

  • Jason was voted as Project Manager. The man has no leadership qualities, was two hours late for a meeting because he was faffing around with a website that they actually never finished.
  • The team went for the Over-50s market despite knowing nothing about the Over-50s and the strange planet they live on.
  • Francesca and The Man Who Refers To Himself Only As Neil Clough made the most stilted yet patronising advert of all time. That wink will haunt my dreams.

But what really made this possibly my favourite Apprentice episode of all time was a first for the show. After nine seasons, a Project Manager actually abdicated.

Well, I say abdicated I mean BULLIED INTO SUBMISSION!!!!

I just googled ‘Apprentice Luisa‘ and well… there were lots of photos not suitable for this respectable blog, or work. Or my eyes.

But anyway, Luisa came across as evil incarnate in this episode and… I kind of loved it. Despite selling a whole caravan last week, its clear Jason wasn’t following it up and spent four hours choosing the colour of a logo. So Luisa donned her black hooded robe, raised her hand and spoke those immortal words “You will pay the price for your lack of vision” and out of her perfectly manicured claws came lightning bolts of searing pain. Jason whimpered around on the floor, trying (not very hard) to resist until it became too much and he threw in the towel.

Surely under the leadership of a strong power-crazy Empress happy to trample over anyone in her way, Luisa will lead her trembling followers to victory in this task?

Well, as I’ve already written above: no.

Although their team had consistency between advert and design, it was consistently rubbish. So it was a hollow victory to Herbert and friends who got to do some posh food tasting and most importantly, avoided the war between Jason, Luisa and Francesca. It made for one of the best boardroom scenes, with Nick VS Luisa, Jason VS Luisa (still, a mostly one-sided battle), Lord Sugababe VS Luisa and Francesca actually showing some personality! Lo and behold, she is almost as catty as Luisa. I cannot wait to see these two clash. I also worry for Karren, who is going to keep a very close eye on The Empress. If she ends up battered, bruised and/or missing, I will be very upset.

Anyway, Jason obviously gets fired and on the spinoff show You’re Fired proves he’s actually really funny. And not just to laugh at, although there is a VT of him talking about how inspirational his teddy bear is so…

Next week: ready meals. As a student (for another two weeks until I graduate) I am very intrigued as to what they will come up with.

Oh but wait!

I’m on holiday, so who knows when I will review it.

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The Apprentice Series 9 Episode Which One Are We On Again?

Apprentice 2013 week 7

Yes I know I’ve missed the last two weeks but I am back with a vengeance – trying to make funny jokes about The Apprentice, typing as I’m watching the episode live. To make sure I don’t miss a second I even turned onto BBC One (HD, obviously) ten minutes early, catching the end of Watchdog. It was scary. There was a poor man just trying to make a living by stealing people’s money getting chased down the street by camera crews and a presenter who wouldn’t let him drive away in his car. And then… this was this terrifying woman.

shudder.

Anyway onto the main event, and there’s the usual re-cap which I normally find annoying. Like, why bother – no one in their right mind would ever miss an episode of this show. But yeah, actually… thanks for the catch-up ‘The Beeb’. After some toplessness which I’m sure is written into the male contestants contracts we’re off to the Tower of London.

Insert head getting chopped off pun here.

So we get to the Tower and the task is to sell. Caravans. In Birmingham.  So why bother being at the Tower? Who knows.

Kurt becomes project manager of Endeavour because… he’s been on caravan holidays. OK… He shot Alex down, which is a bad idea.

Jason, the one no-one likes whinges about caravaning and wonders just WHO does it? Alex and Kurt have the answer through extensive market research: looking at the caravans driving past and guesstimating ages. Their ‘research’ tell us over 50s like to go camping. This is a recipe for disaster.

Myles talks to the product designers with his eyes nearly popping out of his face trying to fake smile and be nice. Nick calls him so enthusiastic its nauseating. I can’t disagree. I also can’t disagree with 3rd person lover Neil Clough calls teammate Jason a big girl’s blouse. I find this insult quite amusing, in a silly way. It’s nothing compared to Alex calling him a ‘stupid shit’ in episode 2 but its more for the CV isn’t it?

Things don’t go well for Myles’ team who don’t get the items they want to be able to sell. Bet you they win though.

Then again, once the exhibition starts most of the candidates are shown failing at selling a single thing. Except for… Alex. As Lord Sweet’n’Low tweeted:

AppEp7 Tweet

Thanks for that input.

Also selling quite well is… Jason. WHAT?!? His quirky (read: annoying) style is going down well with the camper fans he so hates. Even he looks surprised. Neil Clough admits his ‘man pride’ is damaged. I feel your pain mate. At least he’s trying harder than Kurt, whose ‘technique’ is so casual I think he’s asleep. Maybe Alex has been sucking the blood out of him as revenge for taking his Project Manager gig. Jordan goes to Luisa for sales advice only to be met with a ‘Awww I dunnow, I’m just sellin’ whilst Alex, Nadine Leah Coyle and Natalie get confused by what is a desk and what is a bench.

As the day nears its end, prices are slashed everywhere to make sales. If I ever see Apprentice candidates selling stuff, I’m just going to hang around til the end of the day and make a killing.

In the boardroom Nadine Leah Coyle is attacked for being a moody cow, she tries to defend herself but everyone’s got a point: she hasn’t looked this grim since the Girls Aloud split (its still too soon… sadface). Lord Splenda digs at Alex, telling him that maybe people voted for Kurt not because of his experience, but lack of faith in the Welsh vampiric underdog. I hope he gets a chance to stake it to his teammates when the arguments start.

And they will, because Evolve win with a landslide victory of £33,000 to just over £1,000.

To add insult to injury, Siralun invites Jason back in to congratulate him. Ouch.

Evolve get a cycling session with Olympic legend Sir Chris Hoy. Luisa asks him if she should just keep looking at his bum. Yes, yes she should. I mean…

Poor choice of picture. But that doesn’t compare to the bad decisions Endeavour made which Nick, Karen and Lord Tate Lyle rip into them for, with a sense of glee that they don’t show – but you can tell. The highlight is Leah‘s face when she gets told Kurt made her swap teams because she’s eye candy.

Kurt brings Natalie and Alex back to the boardroom for a showdown. Ding-ding-ding! I’m in Dracula’s corner. Natalie shouldn’t be brought back in my opinion and Kurt should (and probably will go). Let’s go!

There’s crying! There’s boasting whilst trying to say ‘I’m not one to brag’!! There’s Dracula revealing he was in the business of TOMBSTONES!!! You cannot write this.

As I predicted, Kurt is gone. And not even with with a “thank you for the opportunity”. But then… NATALIE GETS FIRED TOO!!!

WAIT!

WHAT?!?

At least Natalie leaves with dignity. Well, a ‘thank you for the opportunity’ at least. Good to see manners remain despite a shock second firing I think is totally unfair. Goodbye Natalie, I will miss you. Kurt… I won’t.

Next week: a dating task! OH GOD YES!!! It’s going to be so cringe-worthy. And Alex is gothed out in a black t-shirt and guyliner. I cannot wait. Apprentice, I missed you for two weeks but you have your claws in me again.

The Apprentice Series 9 Episode 4 Review

Apprentice 2013 week 4

After being two days late in writing my review last week, I promised to not be late on this one. So here I am, refusing an offer to go to the pub, writing this as I’m watching the fourth episode of the ninth season of The Apprentice.

5:20am and… half the candidates look already dressed before they get the phone call. 5:20?!? That’s like the middle of the night! The only time I ever dressed at that time is when I just get in from a night out, kebab in hand. And those bits are blurry.

The contestants are summoned to the farm and Lord Sugar tries to build up suspense about the task. It’s a farm shop, duh.

The teams are mixed gender so at least one of the girls will be on the winning team, for once. Rebecca the Hilary Devey lookalike wants to be project manager but gets shot down by Luisa. Sparks are going to fly.

Neil Clough (the one who refers to himself in third person a lot) is in charge of the other team. Alex suggest cheese on toast but gets some dirty looks from his teammates. But now I want cheese on toast. Dracula has powers of hypnotism. That or cheese on toast is just that good. Once again, another brilliant idea thrown out the window. Bacon flavoured beer, I will never forget.

Sadly Alex doesn’t have the power of calculations. And can’t keep up with a cow. After last week’s win he’s back to being the clown.

My housemate just came down and I got distracted, but the Apprentice Twitter tweeted (as you do) that someone confused a cow for a horse. And then a dog. I’m glad I didn’t see that. My faith in humanity has been shaken a fair bit today as is.

Kurt, whose business is about fruit drinks is all focusing on milkshakes. Karren isn’t convinced, maybe he should tell her that it is certain to bring boys to the yard.

There’s an eggs in one basket joke. Sigh. I am allowed to make bad puns because KEYBOARD WARRIOR!!

Neil is not happy at the end of day one, but I bet its just the editing. His team will probably win. Or not. As I said before, I really don’t know who will win or lose. Unlike X Factor, its not totally predictable after all these years. Fairplay.

Day 2 and Luisa has called her shop Buffalocal and cleverly put Nadine Coyle  in charge of charming the customers. She’s also put Rebecca on onion cutting duties. Because she loves to make her cry.

The other team have called their shop… ‘Fruity Cow’ I’m not even. But their milkshakes are bringing people to the yard. Karren makes a joke about orders thick and fast. Leave them to me please, K babe.

At this point I’d like to point out something mentioned by @islandniles on Twitter: the Android logo is featured SO MANY times per episode. And yet they have to refer to Argos as “the big catalogue shop”. Food for thought there.

Jason makes the kind of comment that is going to bite him, stating ‘he’s happy to be in the back doing all the hard labour’. Grating cheese. Hmmmmmm. Then again I love cheese. Did I mention that? Cheese.

Neil and Myles both bitch to the camera about how useless Jason and Uzma are, whilst Jason and Uzma both gush about how amazing they think they’re doing. Alex is doing a pretty good attempt at sales outside, bellowing in his dulcet tones. I want to know if he’s related to the fruit stall man who stands at the top of Cardiff Queen Street every single day.

Oh, and Lord Sugar tweeted this…

AppEp4 Tweet 1

And then makes many, many cowboy jokes in the boardroom. And then to balance out the product placement, makes a joke about Apple and Blackberry milkshakes tasting like smartphone. Or something. I sighed loudly as soon as he started that sentence.

Neil’s team made an alright profit of £500 and once again the team I thought would lose made a profit of £91 more. Kurt looks dismayed, I think he is going to sue Kelis because of lack of boys in his yard.

Luisa doesn’t seem to take winning very well, refusing to hug outside the boardroom and storming away. The four course meal and alcohol cheers her up. No amount of sugar in Kurt’s tea can cheer him up.

There is a brilliant boardroom moment where every candidate tries to get everyone else to be quiet and ends up making everyone else talk louder and then Alex pipes up and everyone zips their lips. He made me laugh at everyone else, not himself. Fairplay.

OH AND WE GET TO SEE THE SECRETARY AGAIN!

Neil brings Kurt and Uzma back to the boardroom, and for her, its a losing battle. She tries to say she is an easy target because Lord Splenda said last week he has his eye on her. I think it’s because she’s done naff all personally. She’s going to go.

But now he’s ripping into Kurt, unfairly in my high opinion. Maybe he’s going to go.

ARRRHG I CANNOT DEAL WITH THIS! WHY IS MY OPINION CONSTANTLY CHANGING AND MY NERVES ARE O.

Oh, Uzma’s gone. Phew, I was on tenterhooks.

Next week… everyone’s off to Dubai. Interesting.

But for now, off to the pub!

The Apprentice Series 9 Episode 2 Review

Apprentice 2013 week 2

So the second episode of the new series of The Apprentice has JUST finished as I start to type this, so it’s time to jointly watch You’re Fired and assemble my bullet points into something resembling a review.

Today’s episode starts on a high because…

THE THEME TUNE IS BACK!

HALLELUJAH!

And it gets better, tonight’s episode involves alcohol. I don’t think I’ve ever been as psyched for an episode of the Apprentice ever. Imagine the ‘LOLZ’ (modern term) as the candidates get all merry from tasting the product they have to make, or have a cheeky pint whilst working ‘because of the stress’ and start firing off incoherent insults at each other and throwing up on SirAlun in the boardroom.

OK, that’s never going to happen but tonight’s is a bit of a gem. In the bank that is now a pub (sounds like my kind of bank) SirLordAlunSugar puts Tim in charge of the girls team after his little outburst at the end of the last episode. I’m assuming he chose Tim because as much of a wally as he looked, at least he knew the poor wally’s name. “Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Britain” he tells them (or close enough to, I quickly jotted this one down as I was forgetting it) and sets them off on a task to make and sell it. I’m a little surprised by this fact, £1 Jagerbombs are pretty popular amongst the kids nowadays, not that I’d know…

Anyway… onto the bit where the contestants, desperate to prove their creative GENIUS, offer ideas for what flavour beers to make.

First suggestion: nettles flavour.

Nettles flavour.

NETTLES FLAVOUR?!?

Like, stingy stuff. Or worse…

JOHN NETTLES FLAVOUR!

(shudders)

But, joking aside, one of the boys comes up with an idea that is actually genuinely actually the best idea anyone has ever had on The Apprentice if not ever, except for maybe the internet and pre-grated cheese in a plastic bag. Ready?

Bacon Flavoured Beer.

This actually sounds incredible, I genuinely was eating a packet of Smoky Bacon Crisps whilst watching this episode and thinking that in the pub, I often have the taste of ye olde ale and bits of streaky walkers mixed in my mouth (such a LAD). Combining the two would be the most ultimate manly thing in the world, apart from my iTunes playlist (end sarcasm here).

But in the end they go for Chocolate and Orange. But not Chocolate Orange flavour, because Terry’s and this woman would have a few issues with that…

The girls led by Tim go for an odd choice of Rhubarb and caramel. It doesn’t fill me with me confidence but they enthusiastically tell Karren about their choice, who just shrugs. Like the legend that she is.

As Lord Siralun pointed out on up and coming social media site ‘Twitter’

AppEp2 Tweet 1

errrrrm

Although I stuck up for Alex yesterday, I have to notice that he did look quite Dracula-y running around the lab with a vial. He did rightly calling Jason a ‘stupid s**t’ and ‘dozey pleb’ so swings and roundabouts.

The teams name their beers Rhubarb & Riches, for the rhubarb one, and A Bitter This for the other. One of these is genius. And I have to disagree with Lord Shugs, puns win me over everytime. I mean… PantsMan!

So after the first day, despite the boys not being able to drink or not fans of drinking they still crack on OK for day one. Tim’s team… well by the end of the first day they’ve wasted a few kegs which amounts to £100 due to poor ratios. As Primarch Alan points out:

AppEp2 Tweet 2

Though to be honest he admitted he was watching The Apprentice and the football at the same time, so goodness knows who he’s on about.

Onto Day Two and things get worse for Tim’s Team (which sounds like a dodgy spinoff of Time Team). They go to a ‘beerfest’ which turns out to be a gathering in a pub. Seriously, I’ve had more people at house parties, but then again my playlist did include the Cha-Cha Slide. The boys sell their pint in a more busy location for £4 a pop, which doesn’t seem that bad to me considering a lot of pubs I go to charge something stupid like £3.09. Sometimes I think they might as well just round up to the nearest pound. Nick doesn’t agree and does some frowning. I’m a bit disappointed by any killer one liners by Mr. Hewer. Karren has a good go, observing ‘there are lots of people at this wine bar. Drinking wine…’ Can you imagine the gold these two could’ve come out with if they were drinking on the job? Seriously, if they do this task again the producers should definitely consider it – there’s so much potential here!

As time goes on the boys team start making a few blunders. They go to see a specialist and don’t bring anything for them to try. Maybe the boys have been drinking after all! The specialist shoots them down and there is a wonderfully silent tracking shot of them walking down the street. Alex/Dracula doesn’t look best pleased at all. Or maybe it’s the sunlight. The other half of the team move base to the South Bank, wasting over an hour in transit and leaving them with only two hours to sell 300 (pints, not the film). You know what would sell, boys?

LOOK AT THE BACON (DAYUM)

Look At The Bacon

Crispety crunch.

Meanwhile, Tim’s Team don’t really deserve me commenting on their performance because it might bring me to despair. One good thing I will say though is that Leah brings her Nadine’s Irish Mist skills to the table and makes me love her a little bit more.

To the boardroom now! Emperor Sugar (I’m running out of these fast) starts off with: ““Alex, sit up properly… something wrong? You got a backache or something?” which I find a bit rude. Sleeping in a coffin is probably quite painful you know.

I really should stop with these clichés actually, because I’m about to berate SirAlun, who told us in the last episode how much he HATES them, for calling non-drinker Zee “dryer than a cream cracker in the Sahara desert” and ends the boys arguing by saying “Time gentlemen, please”.  At least he redeems himself with the excellent putdown of “Are you from the office of fair trading?”.

Of course, Our Lord doesn’t just make witty one-liners on the show, no no. He tweets new ones as well, as you’ve seen above. They don’t always have proper spelling or grammar but I can imagine that he’s just thought of something so excellent he just can’t wait to get it out. Or he’s tweeting from an Amstrad brand iPad. The Amspad? I’ve got nothing.

AppEp2 Tweet 3

‘The ladies seem to like Tim’ he tweets with irony. Except that their team fails under his leadership, and they blame him for it. They don’t seem to like each other much either. Lord Sugar calls all the girls ‘dumb’ and they are sitting there with ‘dumb’ expressions on their faces. They do look a bit like rabbits in headlights, or like they are at an audition for a manufactured girlband (and we could really do with some more actually, Girls Aloud split, The Saturdays all getting pregnant, Stooshe delaying their album, Little Mix messing up their latest single release).

As I said, the girls lose so therefore the boys win and get to jet off to Belgium. Thinking about it, there are some really good treats for the winners. I may enter this show just to get the chance for these all-expenses paid nice things and the chance to meet Dara when I get booted off the show. I have a chance, I can come up with terrible metaphors (as evidenced, well, everywhere) and have no business sense. I’d fit right in.

In the boardroom Tim, Rebecca and Francesca all get a major tongue lashing from Lord GaGa. And this is why I continue to watch The Apprentice. As reality shows go on, they get predictable to the point you know exactly what is coming up and nothing surprises you. But of the final three contestants, I rarely know what will happen. I thought Rebecca looked likely to go, despite apparently being the best seller, better than everyone else on either team COMBINED. But she was demolished for being difficult in other areas, whereas Francesca who should’ve gone had less of a verbal throttling. In the end it was Tim who went, which is shame because he was bouncy and fun – even comparing himself to Tigger in unshown footage from You’re Fired. Dara even gave him a Tigger onesie.

The biggest shame is that of all the contestants who went, it was one whose name I didn’t have to look up whilst writing this.

Booger.

The Apprentice Is Back!

Image

I always get excited when a new series of The Apprentice starts on BBC One.

I mean, weeks upon weeks of catfights, egos, genuine tension in the boardroom, Lord Sugar’s putdowns, Karren looking bewildered at stupid decisions and Nick Hewer’s facial expressions.

But most of all, the thing I get excited about is THAT music!

So, as the first TV show I want to review/write about on this sparkly new blog, I thought this was the most apt an-

Wait!

Where’s the theme music?

😦

 OK, well despite the lack of ‘Most Grandiose Yet Spine-Tingling Television Introduction Theme Ever’ this new series started off well, with the amazingly stupidest, stupidly amazingest (amupidest? – add it to the Anderictionary) boasts right off the bat.

One -I don’t know names yet, I never do until week 5- happily claims to EVERYONE WATCHING they will cheat and manipulate to win, lucky for them its not a public vote. There’s more gems “I am one of the greats of this generation… (something about Napoleon) I will conquer!”, “Energy of a Duracell Rabbit and the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit”. Blimey.

My favourite has to be the woman who claimed to be ‘half machine’ and can process things at the speed of light.

Image

Where’s Jedi Jim when you need him?

 This was Jaz, unlike many first week losers I think she’ll be remembered for actually doing jazz hands and according to Twitter looks a lot like Mel B. When it came to being Project Manager (which you should NEVER do on week 1, let alone throw yourself forward to do it) she could have done with a bit of scary. No one took her seriously and she didn’t have a great business plan. Her sub team did better, led by Leah – whose name I remember because she is Irish and as Nadine Coyle proves, the Irish do everything better.

Image

Fierce.

A lot of the episode was a bit standard: sales blunders, running around like headless chickens and slick editing to make it look pretty close between the two teams. And it actually was, Sir Alun (as he will forever be known) and co. revealed the difference was only £58 in the boardroom.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, because before the boardroom…

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Finally one of life’s greatest mysteries is getting closer to being solved. At first I thought the legendary Apprentice Secretary was a mannequin or elaborate BBC prop, or even controversial Series Three contestant Katie Hopkins actually having a job for Lord Sugar (Sir Alun) giving the already nervous contestants evil glares.

But now, to the boardroom!

Its a bit too early in the series to know everyone’s names, and also too early for the really venomous comments to come out but we had some great moments, the two that stick out for me most are:

  • Jaz trying to knock down Sophie (I’ve resorted to checking the website for names, if I’m going to write about the show I think its best to learn them sooner or later, although I shall try not to get too attached because they are all going to drop like flies) by pointing out the latter made no sales. LordAlun quickly responded with the fact Jazz sold absolutely zero as well. And then fired her. 
  • After the boys won, Tim went on some odd tangent about how he’s learned from his mistakes and will do better next time, prompting Alan of Amstrad to issue a priceless “you won…. you won… shut up.” In his defence it got him noticed, I hadn’t even noticed him speak all episode. All publicity is good publicity.

The standout star of the episode had to be Welsh man Alex.

But not in a good way.

Most of the Twittersphere, one of his fellow contestants and everyone on You’re Fired compared to him – not Freddie Mercury, sorry boyo – but Dracula. I’ve seen a few comparison pictures and Dara did show us a great mockup which I was going to post here BUT I stumbled across this:

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Put. DOWN.

I’m guessing he’s not going to be the winner this series.

But seriously though.

I mean, how can you be nasty about this face?

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Bless his cotton socks. Maybe I just like the underdog, or its because he’s a fellow Welshman. Saying that though, so far – my money’s on Nadin- Leah.

Thanks for reading my first television review/blog post, I hope it was mildly amusing. I’m sure these will get better, I’ve just kind of knocked it out instead of going to bed. If you have read this and would like to give me a few pointers on what works or what didn’t (or are looking for a weekly Apprentice reviewer…) then feel free to get in touch.