Junior Apprentice: The Final

I didn’t manage to liveblog the final as the BBC moved it to a Thursday. And not just any Thursday, a Thursday when I had a Thing. I emailed the BBC to ask them to swap it to a more convenient date but they didn’t reply. Don’t they know I’m the boss of everything? Pah.

Anyway, I’m going to watch and live blog it tonight. It’ll still be live to me, but not to you. I promise not to cheat by pausing or rewinding, which means as ever I’ll continue to miss vital pieces of information and have to bark questions at my girlfriend like: “What did he say? Which team won? Who made the most money? What? What’s a ‘Dog Stroller’? Eh?” and generally ruin the viewing experience for her.

I’ll be back later when I may or may not be drunk on fruit wine. In the meantime, I will leave you with this truly masterful comment about Zoe from Kate H:

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.

See you later!

——

Hello! I’m back, and sober (ish). Let’s get live (ish) blogging!

6am. The phone of mystery and enchantment rings. It’s the LAST CALL EVER. Arjun answers.

“Surallun would like you to meet him at the shark tank at London aquarium”

Just me? Says Arjun’s alarmed expression. Don’t worry, little fella, the others are going too. It’s not the beginning of a Sopranos episode.

I really hope tonight’s task is to design shark-mounted laser beams and hollow out a giant volcano for Lord Sugar to use as his Evil World Domination HQ.

At the aquarium, the sharks circle peckishly. ‘Nom’. They seem to say as they look at Giantess Zoe.

Nom.

The kids pick teams. Jordan de Courcy is picked last. Not, I suspect, for the first time – poor Acnerake(tm)

Their task? To design and launch their own brand of bottled water. Well, at least there was a tenuous link between the task and the briefing location. Although I really would have preferred it if they had to design and launch their own brand of sharks.

“Water! Hydrogen and Oxygen!” says the overexcited Voiceover Man over footage of a fountain, as if he were auditioning for an episode of Look Around You.

More information about the task is revealed. Turns out the teams have to choose between eight different types of water.

Yes, you heard right. Eight types of water. Flavourless, watery water. I honestly thought there was only one type of water. This, clearly, is why I’m not a multi-trazillionaire bottled water tycoon.

Team ZoeKirsty opt for ‘oxygen water’. It has oxygen dissolved into it. REALLY!? Wow. Because I always thought H2O wasn’t really O-ey enough. ‘Needs more O’, is what I’ve always said. And I was right.

Kirsty thinks they should call it Hydr8. With an EIGHT. Zoe doesn’t like it. She’s worried they’re trying to be ‘down with the kids’ (um, they are kids, aren’t they?).

Apparently, unlike every single teenager in the entire Universe, Zoe writes full words when she’s on ‘MSN’ and ‘Facebook’. But you don’t type out ‘Microsoft Systems Network Messenger’, do you? No. So shush.

They opt for the bemusingly lame ‘Drip Drop’ as a brand name. I’m Laughing My Ass Off at that, frankly.

I’d have gone for ‘Shark Water’ myself. It would come in 60 gallon bottles and contain a real, swimming endangered shark which you’d have to kill before you could drink it. It would only be slightly less ecologically sensible than every other bottled water in existence.

(It comes out of TAPS, for goodness sake! How do we as a nation spend £2 billion a year on something that’s ostensibly free? I know, lets wrap air in plastic too. We could call it ‘bubble wrap’ and…oh, wait. Never mind)

9.15pm. Team ArjunTim are also struggling to pick a brand name. Emma doesn’t think the name needs to relate to the thing they’re selling. “You don’t call a car ‘CAR'” she says.

“What about the Ford Ka?” says Rhys.

LurdShugga was a fool to fire her. A fool! She’s clearly a genius (Laugh Out Loud).

Tim is canvassing gym types. They suggest calling the brand ‘A Bottle of Water’. Stripping it down, back to basics- hey, it’s a ‘new way to promote water’, says Tim.

Telling the truth? That’s a rotten idea. Imagine if everyone did that? We’d have ‘Bernard Matthews reconstituted-offal-wrapped in-breadcrumbs-sticks’ coming out of our EARS.

“Drip drop- when you feel that you want to flop, have yourself some drip-drop”, sings Zoe tunelessly. We’re given a second or two to digest that piece of wonderful, Byronesque poetry before the camera mercifully cuts back to the designers lair. Kirsty is overseeing the label.

No! Don’t put Kirsty in charge of that! Didn’t you see how she was with the artists? She’s about as creative as a chair leg. This will not go well.

Over in the other team, Tim is having a milkshake and fries in a diner with Adam, who seems to have recovered from his lurgy. They’re hard at work chewing and swallowing and texting ‘Laugh Out Loud’ and ‘Oh My Gosh’ to each other. Arjun calls to say he thinks they should use a wave as a logo. Tim rolls his eyes at the interruption. “We’re really busy”, he says.

No. No, you’re not. You’re eating chips, furface.

They head to the recording studio.  Tim tries to come up with a Theme Toon for their ‘Dur- It’s Just A Bottle of Water’ brand.

“Keeping it simple it’s just WATER. Keeping it simple it’s a Bottle! Bottle of WATER,” he croons. It’s painful, but not quite as painful as the Treasure Flakes tune from the last adult Apprentice. (A bowl of this a Pirate makes so have yourself some TREASURE FLAKES!)

Over at a housing estate, two thirsty boys are about to have their precious bottle of Drip-Drop stolen by a young lady. Yes, that is the bizarre plot of Team HobbitTree’s advert.  Kirsty squashes the bottles so the logo can be seen by the camera.

“They’ll never notice they’re squashed,” she says, utterly incorrectly.

Over in the other team, three actors show up for ‘Bottle of Water: The Movie’. But they only needed two.

Yes, Tim buggered up! Quelle surprise. I suppose chewing used up all of his brainpower. There wasn’t enough left to remember the difference between ‘two’ and ‘three’.

“Are you ok to go home?” says Adam to the extra actor.

(Hollow silence)

“I came all the way from Hertfordshire,” he eventually says.

He’s quite scary. If he doesn’t get this role, he’d be great as a third Mitchell brother on ‘stenders. Or a murderer on one of those programmes that do crime reconstuctions. Er, Balamory? No, wait, In The Night Garden. Yeah, that.

The plan is to ‘create a buzz’ around the launch by pimping out their brand HQs at Spitalfields market. Team Hobbit/Haunted Tree are planning to go with a graffiti theme, but for some bizarre reason they don’t bother to bring a label for the artist and end up just doodling a rough design on a bit of paper instead, then sticking it to a wall.

I’m no branding or marketing expert (unless you’re reading this and were thinking of offering me a job, in which case I am AMAZING at branding and will advertise the flipping heck out of your magic unicorn water for a mere £100,000), however I know you have to get the design and brand colours exactly right if you want them to be imprinted on the sheep-like punter’s virginal little minds. Scribbling an approximation of the word ‘Drip Drop’ on a ruled piece of A4 paper doesn’t really cut it, unfortunately.

Silly Hobbit. Foolish Haunted Tree. This won’t end well for you, I fear.

TeamTim thinks they should have massive bottles with the label on all around their showroom, like Andy Warhol.

That’s……actually a good idea. Wow. Looks like ol’ carpet features isn’t a total tool after all. Just a small tool- an Allen key, perhaps. Or a screw.

Launch day dawns. The Drip Drop graffiti artists have somehow obtained a crate of the water and painted a proper version of the logo on the walls. I really think they should win Junior Apprentice for using their initiative, frankly. They look quite young.

Over at the ‘Bottle of Water’ HQ, Tim is practicing his pitch. “Water is health beneficial”, he witters.  So is going to the toilet. Someone should market that too.

It’s nearly launch time! Team Bottleofwater take the stage.

Their ideal customer is Todd. A 28 year old businessman- a typical city worker. A professional who thinks ‘simplicity is key’ and who just wants an ‘honest bottle of water’.

I can imagine Todd now: suit rumpled, eyes red. He’s been up all night because of the teenage Apprentice candidates who’ve moved into the luxury docklands apartment next door to his. They’ve been singing a song for 24 solid hours. ‘WATER. Bottle of WATER, keeping it simple it’s just WATER. Da da da da da da da WAT-ER!”

He stumbles down the road, muttering to himself. Whenever he sees some water- a puddle perhaps- he stamps on it violently and twitches.

“Water- keeping it simple it’s just WATER” he whispers hoarsely as he passes a shop front in Spitalfields. He freezes as he hears that hideous, tortuous tune again. But this time it’s not coming from the darkest reaches of his subconscious- it’s coming from inside.

“Water,” he mutters, then lurches through the door. His fists blur as he charges around the room, punching ad agency people, cameramen, TV producers. He kicks over a pile of ‘Bottle Of Waters’ before being forced to the ground by security guards.

“Simple. Water. Water. Simple,” he groans as they drag him out by his feet.

*rubs eyes* Oh, sorry, wasn’t that their ad? It really should have been.

The mini-Shuggas open themselves up to questions. They do rather well. Whenever anyone anywhere asks for ‘A Bottle of Water’, they’re saying their brand name. It’s ubiquitous. They think it could even be adapted to ‘A Packet Of’ and that they’ll woo shopkeepers with a 150% profit margin while still providing a cheap (50p) product.

The retailers’ eyes light up.

Over to the Drip-Drop launch. Their ideal customer is a 14 year old who, like ‘74%’ of people, isn’t aware of the health benefits of water.

Are 74% of all people on the verge of death?

Their ad is AWFUL. Two boys drop their water. It rolls about two feet away but they JUST-CAN’T REEEEEEACH IT.

They’re still stretching desperately, arms flailing when a random water-thief runs by and snatches their water, pausing only to say ‘Laugh Out Loud’ and wave it in their useless faces.

“The fact that it’s ozonated means that it’s cleaner”, says Zoe. Kirsty announces that teenagers could ‘show the water off to their friends’.

Are these people actually teenagers? If so, do they have friends? I certainly don’t remember rocking up to school going ‘Yo dudes! Check out my radically AWESOME water. It’s, like, wet and things’.

One of the retailers thinks that the yellow label with black drops reminds him of petrol, and how will they get past that?

Um, well, it’s clear for one thing. You can’t get clear petrol, silly! Durrr. If I were the kids, I’d just use the traditional teenage method of ganging up and mocking the retailers in order to undermine their confidence. “LOL ur hair looks daft,” they could say. Or one of them could set up a Facebook page called ‘Tesco Man is a Massive Gayer” and invite all his friends to join. And only agree to delete it if Tesco man DM’s Lord Sugar to tell him their water is the bestest.

THE BOARDROOM!

LurdShugga asks about the target audience- the 25-35 year old market is the largest. That’s why we went for it, say ArjunTim, smugly.

ZoeKirsty say they wanted to go for the teen market and that they wanted to make water FUN. I have news for you, Kirsty-who-may-or-may-not-be-a-teenager, if a kid wants ‘fun’ water, they put it in a balloon and throw it at an unpopular kid’s head (please note- I am not condoning this course of action. Unless the ‘unpopular kid’ is actually Jeremy Clarkson).

The Shugganator tells them that the teen market isn’t very good. He also thinks their advert wasn’t very good. He thought it looked like a ‘mugging on a council estate.’

It did a bit.

Team ArjunTim get pulled up for offering the retailers 150% profit. Shops usually get 25% as the owners of the Bottle of Water company might want a bit for themselves. You know, to pay for adverts and speedboats and mortgages and suchlike?

However, the retailers were impressed with the pitch and that means only one thing- that Team Hobbit/Haunted Tree LOST. Yes, they’ve had the victory stolen from them as easily as their bottle of Drip Drop was stolen from those two strangely unmotivated/dehydrated teenage lads.

So, who will win the £25,000 prize? Will it be Tim, who will presumably just spend it on hair-and-beardcare products? Or Arjun, who’ll spend it on calculators and Battlestar Galactica duvet covers? We’re about to find out.

“That last task was exceptional”, says Lord Stubbly. “An’ you don’t ‘ear that very often in this boardroom.”

Arjun suddenly unleashes all the words he’s not bothered to say all series. Words pour from him like a river of shiny foil, often in the right order. “I sold a two thousand pound painting, I dressed as a cupcake, I’m driven,” he says.

Tim seems very blah in comparison. “I worked on a farm, I did 16 hour days at the age of 11, staying up all night. I did a lot of hard work for not a lot of reward. Apart from seeing the ickle lambs get born,” he says, tearing up at the thought. “Er, but really money drives me,” he says, suddenly remembering that there is No Room For Feelings in business.

Arjun is brainy, sums up LurdShugga.

He nearly fired Tim a few times, he says.

He chews over the decision for a little while longer, like a bulldog chewing a wasp, beforesuddenlyannouncingthat

ARJUN IS THE WINNER!

Aw, look at his little face. Yay! Go Arjun. I really hope that the pressure, recognition and expectation won’t be too much for him and that he doesn’t end up spending the £25,000 on addictive substances. Like World of Warcraft registration fees.

Well, that’s that, folks. Thanks so much for following my first foray into the curious world of liveblogging. I do hope you’ve found them amusing and that the wear and tear on my fingers wasn’t in vain.

I’m keen to keep on doing them because I’m a glutton for punishment and I really hate my own hands and want them to fall off from overuse, so if you have any liveblog suggestions just let me know.

Nighty night! x

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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.

34 Responses to Junior Apprentice: The Final

  1. Apprenticles says:

    I missed it the other night, so watched it this morning — BBC iPlayer; making the unmissable unmissable.

    What I am missing though Ribs, is your final live blog. Please don’t let your followers down, or it will have a similar effect on us as it did on Forrest Gump’s followers when he stopped walking and went home — “what about us?”

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I’m doing it RIGHT NOW! Woo. Was planning to liveblog it yesterday eve, but I had a few too many ales, officer. I would have produced something along the lines of:

      APprjunece Libelog- the fhinal!

      oh lok at TIm’s face it looks laike a carpit lol

  2. kate h says:

    Now you’re past the branding stage I feel it’s safe to speculate wildly about why Team SheepSpex thought they even needed a logo for their “stripped-down” product. During their moment of silence, I was yelling “If you’ve got to have a picture, why not make it a picture of… A BOTTLE OF WATER?!!” at the screen, but they didn’t hear me.

    The little wave spoiled the effect they were aiming for. It actually reminded me of the “generic packaging” from ‘Repo Man’. Alex Cox should direct ‘The Apprentice: The Movie’.

    • kate h says:

      WATER THIEF! PROTECT YOUR WATER!

      No, forget ‘Repo Man’. It’s ‘Dune’. Next year, the Padishah Emperor Shuggah IV challenges Team Harkonnen and Team Atreides to create a new marketing campaign the spice Melange. Team Harkonnen are ahead on points with their “It doesn’t just extend your natural lifespan but allows you to warp time and space as well!” but then Nick points out that they’ve inadvertantly revealed the secrets of the Navigators Guild, which is a bit of a blow. Team Atreides clnches it when their Project Manager unexpectedly turns into a god. After a tense boardroom, Beast Rabban of Team Harkonnen gets beheaded, leading to the most awkward ‘taxi moment’ of the series so far.

      • ladyribenaberet says:

        You’ve just won a PRIZE for the best comment of ever.

        It’s a crate of Drip Drop! I’ve also thrown some Treasure Flakes and an antique skeleton in there for good measure.

  3. Apprenticles says:

    This gets more hilarious as you go on Ribs — did you have a puff of dube and then start typing as it began to take hold until you could type no more? In fact, that’s not a question; it’s a bet that that is what happened!

  4. kate h says:

    Big boo that Lovely Scary Zoe got eliminated at the last moment. She would have spent the £25,000 on spreading fimbulwinter across the globe.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Ragnarok and Fimbulvetr would make great team names. Also, continuing the Norse theme, I think Zoe is actually Yggdrasil the Norse world tree. With lipstick.

      • kate h says:

        But who is Ratatosk, the squirrel that lives in the branches of the World Tree?

        Size-wise, I’m guessing Arjun, Kirsty or possibly Rhys. But Tim seems the most squirrely to me.

        Rhys I felt was more like what you’d get if David Cameron mated with ALF.

  5. Apprenticles says:

    Beardcare products?

  6. kate h says:

    The boardroom gets ever more like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. I was expecting Arjun to get drowned in a teapot.

  7. Apprenticles says:

    Yes — I thought the same thing on re-reading it after posting. Can we have an edit button Ribby?

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      I would LOVE to grant you the power of comment-editry, but fear I don’t know how. I will try though. *waves wand around*

      Sorry, now I’ve come over all Harry Potter.

      Zoe is the spitting image of Draco Malfoy BTW http://cache.deadspin.com/assets/images/deadspin/2008/09/malfoy.jpg

      • kate h says:

        See also: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1359118848/tt1325004

        Though it looks like she’s applied lipstick to her eyes.

        Zoe’s ‘Victory Vintage’ shop has lots of pictures on Facebook (though the website proper doesn’t seem to be up and running). I’m not sure if the model is her or her sister – if the latter then they have scarily similar fashion sense,

        Sadly most of the fashions are from the 40s/50s/60s. I really want to see her as a flapper, laughing nihilistically as her spurned lovers commit suicide or succumb to absinthe.

  8. kate h says:

    Thank you for your wonderful liveblogs Lady R. They’ve been invaluable memoirs of this series, especially given the Guardian’s shameful lack of coverage for the kiddie show. I hope this wasn’t Anna P’s decision.

    I’m still no closer to working out the answer to the big question: which of this year’s intake are gay? My Apprentice Gaydar burned out in 2009 when Yasmina emerged onto a stage flanked by pink lightning bolts to the strains of Electric Six.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      So glad you enjoyed! Yes, I do love a good liveblog. I’m not sure that AnnaP is going to cover adult Apprentice this year from what she’s hinted in tweets. I really, desperately hope that’s not true as she’s funnier than four kittens on a Roomba. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTxW3GWZ5hI)

      • ladyribenaberet says:

        Oh, and as for which kid is gay- my money’s on lovely, gangly Jordan de Courcy. He’ll hit 18, start working out and be Mr Gay UK in a few years time. Oh, not to mention Kirsty. Beneath that shetland pony hair lurks wanton lesbianity, you mark my words.

  9. kate h says:

    Given the final two, I do think that Lord S made the wrong decision (everyone: “What?! Again?!”) Partly because Arjun became very irritating in the final 10 minutes; partly because Tim clearly did improve over the course of the series; but mainly because everytime Tim appeared I got the urge to bellow “LEE McQUEEN!!!!” at the screen.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Did you also get the urge to do a Reverse Pterodactyl impression and then lie on your CV?

      I’m LEE MCQUEEN (caw, caw).

      • Apprenticles says:

        A couple of weeks ago I predicted Krankie would win, but I have become disenchanted with the humourless little helmet-haired Caledonian. However, she WILL make an absolutely cracking store manager for a McDonald’s franchise, spending her time in the back office fretting over the team holiday spreadsheet she will spend three months “developing”.

        In the end I was rooting for beardy-boy — he was the only one to display a developed sense of humour.

  10. ladyribenaberet says:

    You’re both absolutely ace for commenting along to a non-live blog of a two day old TV programme by the way. Here, have these Golden Hats with ‘I am Fricking Ace’ written on them.

    I love you, you’re my besht friendsinthewholeworld *passes out*

  11. ladyribenaberet says:

    Just found this hilarious chunk of review over on the Watch With Mothers site. (By @Swineshead)

    ‘A Bottle of Water’. It’s simple. It’s catchy. It’s to the point – I agree with all these things, Tim. It’s a great idea – but what happens if you pour it into a glass?

    Waiter – Would you like Evian?
    Diner – Erm… no thanks. Do you have A Bottle of Water?
    Waiter – Yes, sir. We have Evian…
    Diner – No – the brand name. A Bottle of Water. Do you have any of that?
    Waiter – Ah – yes sir. Just in. Shall I pour it into a glass with ice?
    Diner – Yes please. I’ll have a glass of A Bottle of Water.

    You haven’t thought this one through.

  12. kate h says:

    A word on music from this episode. The Beeb must have worn out the ‘Royal Tenenbaums’ soundtrack album and decided to whack on the ‘Draughtsman’s Contract’ one instead.

    ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ is a film about a bunch of talented but egocentric and dim also-rans bonding over their shared sense of failure, in a colourful alternate world where everyone’s clothes seem to have been designed by Lucinda. So the music suited ‘The Apprentice’ quite well.

    ‘The Draughtsman’s Contract’, on the other hand, is about a talented but egocentric and dim also-ran getting lured into a web of sex, murder, deceit and naked men pretending to be statues. So it might have worked better when Katie Hopkins was still around.

    It was a weird that they played the track ‘Chasing Sheep Is Best Left to Shepherds’ as a lead up to Zoe and Hibah getting down wiv da kidz rather than anything involving Tim.

  13. Jo says:

    I’m so glad you did explore a bit of liveblogging as if I hadn’t been reading these shortly after I watched JrApp I’m sure I would’ve felt like I’d wasted 5 hours of my life as the prog was most dissatisfying. You really did make a silk purse out of a sows ear there, m’love. You are a natural liveblogger, I hope you carry on.

    • Hilary says:

      Wow- thanks so much. High praise indeed 🙂 You’re far too kind.
      To be honest, I didn’t think this was quite as much fun as ‘normal’ Apprentice, but it was enjoyable enough for my Apprentice-starved brain. It had been Too Long since the last instalment. Too long… x

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