Junior Apprentice: Week Five

It’s Junior Apprentice time! This week, I’m going to attempt to avoid any word containing the letter ‘U’ as my key is sticking. So for one week only, L(u)rdSh(u)gga may have to be referred to as Lrdshgga. Please, for the sake of your own sanity, don’t imagine that word as ‘Lord Shagger’. Just don’t, ok?

Don’t.

9:02pm Just five candidates remain- and there’s only tonight and tomorrow’s final to whittle them down to one mighty champion-child. But how?

6am- the phone rings. They’re off to Amsterdam in 45 minutes. OMG, say the children, WTF? and possibly even LOL as they get ready. Tim thinks he should wear his ‘most European outfit.’

I’m hoping that means lederhosen, clogs, a bullfighter’s cloak and morris-dancing bells.

Oh, he’s wearing a dull black suit. Never mind.

Emma and Kirsty are planning to stock up on tulips and windmills while they’re there. Kudos to them for not mentioning drugs (unless ‘tulips and windmills’ is actually a euphemism for ‘pot and heroin’).

Tonight, the teams will view six Dutch products, and choose two to pitch to UK sellers.

I really, really hope they pick tulips and windmills.

Kirsty is leading team Puberty (Instinct). It is a team of Tim. Arjun’s leading the other and is the boss of Zoe and Emma. That’ll be interesting. She’s a savage, beige-beret wearing beast and he’s a polite, geeky little chap. I don’t think he’ll be doing much bossing…

9.08: The designers proffer a hat made from hair, a dog-trailer that attaches to a bike and other, frankly loopy things that repeatedly remind me that marijuana’s legal in Amsterdam.

One product is half exercise machine, half bike. It’s called the ‘stepper’.

Aren’t bikes already providing exercise? Or am I missing the point? Are normal bikes a piece of piss?

“Pah, I reject this dull, easy normal bike. I want one which is also a treadmill and a weight-trainer. Because I am Chuck Norris!” *punches tiger*

The kids seem to be relishing being the pitchees rather than the pitchers and are delighting in being rude to the product manufacturers.

“What’s that? A tea-light holder? A lamp? A bike? That’s RUBBISH. You smell of BUMS! LOL”

The two teams aren’t allowed to pick the same designers. However, when they appear in front of Karen and Nick, both have chosen the Chuck Norris bikes.

FIGHT!

Neither team are backing down. This could be interesting. Kirsty will only ‘give’ the other team the bikes if they give them 50% of the profits. Emma tells them the bikes aren’t theirs to give (not to mention that’s an absolutely rubbish deal). They’ll let ‘Instinct’ (aka TeamKirstyTim) have the bikes but only if they take the crappy dogtrailers too. They agree.

Arjun’s team (VanillaImpulse) get the mini-lamp things, some cutlery and some baby-comforters. Or ‘small blankets’ if you’re being pedantic. Not looking great, to be honest.

My money’s on KirstyTim, which means that they’ll almost certainly lose as I have all the business acumen of a five day old lemon.

Tim calls to set up a pitch

“Where are you calling from?” asks the retailer.

“Highbury,” says Tim

“No. What COMPANY?”

Oh dear.

9:19pm- Zoe, Emma and Arjun pitch the ‘dishcloth’ like comforters and the frankly rubbish lamp-shaped tea light holders to annoyed retailers. They’re annoyed because Team Arjun aren’t willing/able to negotiate on price. They didn’t bother to arrange that with the designers. WHOOPSY!

Over in TeamKirsty, they’re pitching the ‘doggyride’, the leading brand in the dog stroller sector.

There’s a dog stroller SECTOR? Oh, those crazy Dutch people. What will they think of next? Guinea pig hammocks? Hamster planes? Cat, er, chairs?

“You can put your shopping in it, you can put your kids in it,” says Tim, inaccurately. I’m pretty sure you’d have to cut a seven year old up pretty small to fit it in there.

What? What did I say? WHAT?

He also gets the bike brand name wrong, calling it a Brazimus or a Bravissimo or something. Nick rolls his eyes spectacularly. It’s almost beautiful, as if he’s channelling the spirit of Margaret.

“I have three dogs,” says the next retailer, “how would that work?”

Well, you’d have to pick your favourite one, Mr Snarky, wouldn’t you? OR, if you’re worried about making two of them insufferably jealous, you could choose not to buy a doggy trailer at all. Just saying.

Over at the fancy pants luxury shop, Arjun takes over.

“This is cutlery for individuals,” says Arjun. Presumably because each overpriced box contains Not Much Cutlery.

“Who likes to eat alone?” says snooty-lady-with-excessive-blusher.

“People who like being seperate from other people,” says Arjun. *Facepalm*

TeamArjun escape from the fiasco, pausing only to stuff their products into a plastic bag like hobos. They manage to flog a bunch of tea-light lamps to a local novelty shop for over £300. Ah, so we’re back to the traditional Apprentice method of wandering around London hopefully clutching something very odd, like a skeleton or cheese or a Chuck Norris bike.

Tim takes the bikes to a bike shop. They don’t want them. Bugger off, they seem to say. Bugger off with your odd bikes, man child.

Arjun takes the comforters to a baby shop and sells £306 worth. The woman wants to pay £300. He won’t let her. Oooh, what a tiger! Rrrrrrrawr.

Kirsty sells the doggy-trailer to a couple of pet shops. Is it me, or are dogs getting lazier? Back when I were a pup, I ‘ad to run 15 miles to buy my owner a Dutch baby comforter and a tea light lamp, and I only got half a can of Lidl own brand dog food for me pains. No bugger ever gave me a lift in a dog-cart, by eck.

Tim’s not sold any bikes yet. His final attempt is a fancy pants bike shop. In the VT, he claims he ‘wins Monopoly’ because of his negotiation skills, but then sells six bikes without negotiating, and none of the pricier Chuck Norris bikes either. Negotiation FAIL.

I’d like to play Tim at Monopoly. For real money. Lots and lots of money.

9.34pm- It’s board room time! Yay!

The tense music seems more noticeable than usual this week. It’s like watching an episode of 24. I keep expecting Jack Bauer to burst in and start waterboarding Arjun…

Zoe doesn’t think people should be ‘autocratic’ all the time, but that Arjun should have been more decisive (she clearly just wanted an excuse to use the word ‘autocratic’ there). Arjun is pulled up for not negotiating on prices with the designers at all. Tim looks insufferably smug. LrdShgga blames Arjun’s youngness’. It’s as if this were some kind of ‘Junior’ version of the Apprentice, or something.

Perhaps if the mini-Shggas (sorry) had been a bit nicer to the designers KIRSTY they’d have given them a better price KIRSTY.

But it was all misdirection yet again. Team TimKirsty made a staggering £39,700!!!!!!! The most anyone has ever made on t’Apprentice EVER! Well done those kids. Epic Win!

For once, my ‘winner’ prediction for this episode was utterly, completely RIGHT. This is very odd, as I’m utterly useless at business and, if asked to sell a pen to someone who really, desperately needed a pen and were willing to pay a trillion pounds for the pen, I’d still somehow make a loss. Because that’s how I roll…

9.44pm- So, who let the other team have the bikes? Because they’re for the chop, I reckon (which means that they won’t be for the chop because I’m always wrong- apart from tonight when I was right).

LrdShgga doesn’t think that swanning into the House of Fraser pitch with everything in a plastic carrier bag looking like a bunch of scruffy wee urchins from a Dickens novel was a good idea. “Who will buy, my oddly shaped tea lights…”

Arjun was told his pitch was Proper Rubbish and he should have let Zoe do it, what with her being quite good and all. Emma’s pulled up for being abrupt with the designers, not asking the right questions and basically not really doing anything and blaming everyone else all the time.

Zoe is next up, and told she’s ‘forceful’ and doesn’t succumb to authority. I can’t really concentrate on anything else that’s being said as the camera just cut to her and the sheer redness of her lipstick burnt a hole in my retina. OW. It looks like she’s been feasting on the blood of a freshly-killed kitten.

9.52pm- They’re sent out and brought back in again to stretch out the drama a bit more. The music is now tenser than the theme to a psychological horror movie set in a haunted funfair in an abandoned forest built on an ancient Indian burial ground. Or something.

They start frantically justifying why they should be allowed to stay. Emma looks a bit upset.

“Emma, I read your Res-YUME-eh, very impressive but I haven’t seen much of that on the tasks”

“Arjun? You’re a bit, y’know” *kind of shrugs*”But d’yer know what? You’re in the final!”

OMG, thinks Arjun. Me FTW!

(I’ve been brushing up on my YoungSpk. Can you tell?)

“Zoe, what worries me about you is whether a leopard will ever change its spots.”

And by ‘spots’ he means lipstick. It’s clearly bothering him too.

But he’s clearly got stronger retinas than me…..becausehesavesZoeandactuallyfires

EMMA!

Which is a shame as she’s really sad and cries a bit and even though she looks about 30, we should remember that she’s actually only 17 and is just preternaturally precocious. In a slightly creepy way.

Well, there you go, lads and lasses. Only four to go! Who will win this Carnival of Youth? Not me, I’m 29. And also, crucially, not a contestant.

Tomorrow evening, Zoe and Kirsty go head to head against Tim and Arjun in a task which may or not involve sharks.

I hope it involves sharks.

I’ll leave you with this thought: is it just me, or is Zoe starting to look more and more like a haunted shop dummy?

NIGHT ALL

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About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

11 Responses to Junior Apprentice: Week Five

  1. Apprenticles says:

    “Where does your product fit in our store?”

    ” … it doesn’t.”

    Superb.

  2. kate h says:

    I loved the shot at the end of Zoe and Kirsty standing next to each other, looking for all the world like a hobbit resting in the shade of an Aryan redwood.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Yes! I loved that shot too. It’s what inspired my ‘haunted shop dummy’ comment. Zoe looked massive and pale and bored and angry.

      • kate h says:

        Zoe has been quite the most striking presence on TV in the last month. She’s a weird gangly painted-doll silent expressionist movie monster, a bit like a blonde Louise Brooks but also a bit like the Judder Man from the Metz ads… and quite magnificent of course.

        There’s no page for The Final yet, so I thought I’d remark on how Kirsty seemed to be shrinking through the episode here. She’s always been a bit teeny, but when she donned the hoodie I thought she’d turned into a Jawa, or the killer dwarf from ‘Don’t Look Now’.

        I expected that by the end of the episode, Kirsty would be battling a spider armed with nothing but a sharpened paper-clip, while Zoe scoured the carpet for her with a magnifying glass.

  3. KJ Elsdon says:

    Is it just me, or is Nick turning into Margaret?

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      He is! Did you see those eyerolls? They were MAJESTIC. I think she’s used a spell from one of her ancient Egyptian papyri to possess him.

  4. rEddie_brek says:

    I quite enjoyed Alan’s assertion that he was really impressed by Emma’s res_YUME_ay because so far we’ve been informed that it consists of ‘selling eggs and sweets’.
    Eggs.
    And sweets.

    Also – I don’t think LurdShugga could decide whether Zoe was a lion or a leopard. This concerns me as they are quite clearly very different creatures.

    I’m not sure he’s all there.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Everything you just said is RIGHT.

      I will miss Emma-Who-Sells-Eggs-And-Sweets

      • rEddie_brek says:

        So will I. Because Tim ‘rears and shears sheep’ will never quite have the same ring to it…
        Which is hard on the poor lad, because in almost any other (non-farming) circles it would be gold dust.

        Roll on tonight!

  5. kate h says:

    Just caught the Sunday afternoon repeat. With benefit of hindsight, Arjun spectacularly messes up everything in this task. I reckon he only survived to the final because a) Lord S can remember when he was Arjun’s age and it breaks ‘is blaaahdy ‘eart [in which case we must be thankful that Adam sicked out], and b) Emma’s “ready for my close up, Mr. De Mille” boardroom moment saved him.

    It must have been the doggie-stylings that maxed out Kirsty’s team; if it had been the bikes then there’s no way Arjun would have got to sit in the Sugarmobile at the end.

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