The Apprentice Series 6: Episöde Twö, sört-öf-liveblögged

Hello!

If you read last week’s equally un-liveblog, you’ll know that I’ve been given a Apprentice style task of my very own.

Not by Suralun (I’d have given at least 198% if so)- no, my taskmasters are much less grizzled and hairy of face, for they are Heidi Stephens and Vicky Frost: the Guardian’s liveblog queen and TV editor respectively. They’ve asked me to pick out the best comments on their very prestigious and extremely funny Apprentice liveblog, an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The comments are all bloomin’ hilarious and a joy to herd, lassoo and otherwise gather, however, it does mean I can’t actually do this live. But what’s so good about live things, eh? Nothing, that’s what- which is why I’m pressing play on the ‘catch up TV’ menu right now…

———————-

9pm: The apprento-twunts are woken at an impossibly early hour and told to go to Heathrow. They gibber with excitement and start prettifying themselves, rambling on about where they might be off to. “The Caribbean!” says one, utterly ridiculously.

Sadly, it’s not to be.  Suralun was having them on- he just brought them there to tell them about holidays. People like holidays, and they go on them quite a bit, he informs them via videolink. Not the most earthshattering news, to be fair. If someone woke me up at 5.30 to give me pointless information I’d clobber them.

That’s probably why he didn’t show up in person.

They’re tasked with inventing a new kind of beach accessory. LordSurAlunSugar sends Stella over to keep order in Synergy, aka the boys’ team. Gimlet eyed beauty Laura Moore heads up the girls. I’ve temporarily forgotten their name- let’s call them Estrogen for now.

9.06pm- The boys come up with an idea almost immediately: “Whenever I go to the beach, my biggest bugbear is you get a nice bottle of water and its warm within seconds…so I use it as a pillow”, says One Of The Two People Named Christopher.

Er…right. I mean, it’s nice to have a warm, rigid plastic pillow, I suppose? Ah. I see: he uses it as a pillow to keep it cool. Although that barely makes any more sense to be honest.

They elaborate on that idea and decide to make a soft, comfy drink cooler that doubles as a pillow and attaches to a towel. Not a ridiculous concept, but not one I’d rush to Argos to buy either. Stella ringleads the discussion with icy calm. I think she possibly stores herself in a drinks cooler when she’s not on camera.

There’s nothing quite like a nice cold Stella.

Things aren’t going so smoothly over in the girls team. Apparently, when Joanna reads a book she wants it to be ‘more easier’ so she can have her hands free. She announces her idea- a sort of book stand- to thunderous silence.

9.10pm- Stella packs the boys off to the beach, including ‘recently redundant Creative, Alex’. He brainstorms product name ideas with The Chrisses in the car, finally coming up with the ‘Coolie’. Or Cüüli, rather- complete with entirely unnecessary umlauts. They take their potential name to Butlins, where people casually dismiss it with delicious Bognor Regis charm:

“It just doesn’t work for me at all,” says a man who looks like he’d much rather be ogling a redcoat. Or anyone other than Droopy Faced Alex and the Chrisses to be fair (who, if their Apprentice candidacy doesn’t work out could try finding fame as a 1950s style doo-wop band).

Then, it’s off to the team of designers to find the best way to brand their ChillyPillow- which, incidentally, is what I’d have called it. But what do I know- I’m not an unemployed creative with limited knowledge of Britain’s colonial past

Jamie, the Topman clone with a buzzcut, claims that if he’s got something he has to say, he’s like a ‘champagne bottle that will explode’ if he doesn’t get it out of his system.

What utter tosh. Although if that were true, I’d be tempted to tape up his mouth and ask him questions about issues he has strident opinions about. Kaboom!

Over in the girl’s team they haven’t got a clue. Not a bladdy clue. They go to a beach volleyball court to search for inspiration. Coming up with…hang onto your hats, people….

A foot glove. You know, to protect your feet from the baking sand. Because that’s exactly what you want in tropical climes: something that entirely envelops your entire foot, toes and all, keeping it nice and toasty.

They head to the designers and Joanna frantically pushes her idea for a kind of plastic rack…thing…to use as a prop for books on the beach.

That’s great. The product tagline could be ‘Apprentice BookRackThing: For When Your Hands Randomly Stop Working’.

Project manager Laura is aghast, but clearly without any other ideas whatsoever because she reluctantly greenlights it. A shame, as it’s only marginally more useful than a cardboard lilo.

Tomorrow the teams have to market their product. The boys think Stella should ‘take one for the team’ and model for the ‘Cuuli’ photoshoot in a bikini.

Stella doesn’t want to model in a bikini.

This very clear fact doesn’t seem to deter the boys, who go straight to the nearest (ahem) watersports shop and pick one up for her- well, a string top and tiny pants anyway. If I were Stella, I’d garrotte each and every one of them slowly with the various straps. Or possibly make Alex wear it in a bid to find out if the rest of his body is as hairy as his big, eyebrow covered face.

Unfortunately she backs down instead, saying she’ll ‘do things she’d prefer not to’ in order to win. Don’t go down that route, Stella. It’s a slippery slope. Before you know it you’ll be gyrating your hips in a hip-hop themed Amstrad TV ad, while Lord Sugar raps about the Em@iler.

In the girl’s team, the argument continues. It feels like its been going on for years- centuries even. None of them are even listening to each other anymore, instead preferring to just repeat their deep and passionately held views on beach accessories in a tired monotone.

8am the next day- time to pitch the products to retailers. Sorry, ‘top’ retailers.

The boys get their Cüüli delivered. It’s pretty good. I mean, I wouldn’t buy it, obv. But in the grand scheme of Apprentice products it’s almost unique in being not entirely shit.

The recently christened ‘Book-Eeze’, on the other hand- comes in 8 seperate pieces and is almost impossible to put together. It resembles one of those terrible corporate teambuilding exercises where you have to build something pointless out of straws to prove you don’t hate Carol from Marketing. Even though you do.

During his pitch, Chris strikes a hammer blow to the absorbent material industry by announcing that the ‘Age of the Towel’ is dead.

That’s not entirely true, is it? On a day to day basis, I really don’t require my towels to store drinks. Because I have a fridge.

Nick isn’t impressed by Chris Bates’ mumbling, stumbling pitch- and neither is Stella, inspiring a grumpy, childish rant from the 24 year old ‘investment banker’- rhyming slang if ever I heard it. I’m also tempted to make a ‘Master Bates’ gag, but I wont because I’m far too classy.

Over in the girl’s team, Joanna is acting even more tyrannically than Bigface Dan in the Sausage Factory. Which, incidentally, is the name of the new series of children’s books by JK Rowling.

The boys head off to pitch the Cüüli to Boots. Sorry, Bööts. They do a fairly good job, given that one of the women they’re pitching to seems to be asleep. Or possibly just bored rigid by Chris ‘Master’ Bates’ mono-drone.

They pitch about looking stylish, glamorous and cool, but the non-asleep Bööts staff member says that it just looks like a rolled up towel to her, instantly destroying Synergy’s dream to sell shedloads of Cüülis to Fendi and Marc Jacobs.

Next it’s the girl’s turn. They bring in their 198 bits of product into the room and proceed to try and set it up. It looks like several sections of a rotary washing line collapsed, taking half a hula hoop and a pair of brightly coloured cargo pants with it.

Needless to say, the panel seem resolutely unimpressed, although they like the name. Joanna said she came up with the product to make reading ‘more easier’.

Might be an idea for you to read a bit more, Joanna. You know, to make you more cleverer.

The second pitch is World Duty Free. They’re based in airports, and make the very good point that people who are going on holiday tend to have their towels already. Unless they’re utter idiots, or are going on holiday by mistake- like Withnail.

Jamie says that punters might be tempted to pick up a Cüüüüli on a whim, as mothers could use it to keep their babies nicely chilled, or something. Sorry, didn’t quite catch that part. Oh, he meant people could use it as a baby pillow. That’s ok then. I’m not sure it’s legal to refrigerate your baby while you go for a swim.

Over to Apollo, or The League of Extraordinarily Argumentative Women, as I’ve decided to rename them.

At first the girls’ team look like they’re making waves with Boots, however it soon turns into a Tsunami of FAIL when Laura turns down their – fairly charitable- request for exclusivity.

Hmm, doesn’t look good for Laura. Sandeesh tries to remind her that if it’s a big chain, exclusivity tends to be a good idea- but she’s ignored.

*drumroll* Over to…the Boardroom.

Dark Lord Sugarmort (like what I did there?) asks the boys team if you could keep anything in the ChillyPillow. Could he, for example, keep his keys in there?

Um, yes- but why? Do they need to be kept refrigerated? Maybe SurAlun has keys made from cheese. Cheesekeys. They’re all the rage amongst serial entrepreneurs, apparently.

They get down to discussing the orders. It’s not great. Apollo get absolutely nil points. If this were Eurovision, they’d definitely be the UK. ‘Synergy Beach Products’, on the other hand, get 100. Which means they’re…I don’t know…Lithuania or something. Sorry, I should admit I rarely watch Eurovision so that wasn’t the best analogy I could have chosen.

Synergy get to go to a golf club as their treat. Given that there’s a recession on, there’s every chance he means they’ll be gathering round to stare at a five iron for an hour. But either way, it’s a rubbish prize.

Over in the Cafe of Broken Dreams, the girls continue their eternal argument over a polystyrene cup of cafe, almost hoarse from repeating their same points over and over. Frankly, I’d fire the bladdy lot of them- but mainly Joanna who is a yapping, idiotic tyrant.

She continues to yap in the boardroom, saying she was ‘passionate’ about the flimsy, kite-shaped bookstand she invented. I can almost sympathise: I’ve been passionate about some terrible ideas in the past, but I was fairly quick to dump them- even if I didn’t always get my stuff back (note to any exes reading this: no! Of course I don’t mean you!)

They continue to argue, but my mind has started filtering all their voices out in a desperate attempt at self preservation- all I can see is their big empty flapping mouths.

Laura brings Joanna and Joy back into the boardroom. She doesn’t think Joy contributed. Joy says she didn’t want to take part in a catfight. Fair enough.

Joanna’s been brought in because…well, all she has to do is point at the Book-EEEZE in the corner, frankly. No explanation required.

Laura wants to ‘Reliterate’ that she doesn’t make mistakes twice. So, does that mean that for the rest of her natural life she’ll never mispronounce ‘reiterate’ incorrectly again? Hmm, seems unlikely.

Darth Sugar umms and ahhs for a while. There have never been zero sales in a task like this before. He’s not happy with any of them. Joanna winds people up and causes aggravation (not half- she’s like a wasp in diving suit). Laura’s result was rubbish, but to be fair the people were difficult to handle….so he fires….

JOY!

Who, arguably, was one of the easiest to handle. Apparently she didn’t pull her weight enough. Hmmm.

Well, I’m not sure I agree with that decision, but what I do agree with is that the only thing that ruins a holiday more than a slightly warm beverage is an insufficiently tilted book (kudos to Oyebilly for that gag).

Night all! See you next week for another not-liveblog.

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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.

6 Responses to The Apprentice Series 6: Episöde Twö, sört-öf-liveblögged

  1. kate h says:

    I managed to catch this episode on iPlayer late last night so haven’t had to spend most of the day dodging spoilers on every single web page I frequent. Hooray!

    I quite like Psycho Eyes Laura but she is rubbish. She’s kind of like Lucinda seemed to be – a delicate flower-fairy surrounded by horrid heffalumps – but when Lovely Lulu got put in charge for the first time it turned out she kicked ass. Laura… not so much.

    Though possibly she saw that episode back in 2008 and reasoned that ‘exclusivity’ was a poisoned chalice. Still no excuse for not asking about guaranteed minimum sales in return…

    Nice to see the real Cafe of Despair back after last week’s aberration.

    The chaotic boardroom scene would have been this week’s TV highlight if only this week’s TV hadn’t also featured scenes of a hairy lion-owning Brazilian playing ‘Love Shack’ on the bongos.

    • kate h says:

      Laura also reminds me of a TV star – probably from a horribly kitsch US series of the 1970s, 80s or 90s – but I can’t pin down exactly which one. Neither Stacy Haiduk nor Meg Foster, despite their equally demented eyes, quite does it for me.

      This is going to annoy me forever now.

      • ladyribenaberet says:

        Hmmm, Jaclyn Smith off of Charlies’ Angels perhaps?

        Stacy Haiduk was hot. I’d forgotten about her. She was in a programme called SeaQuest DSV that no one remembers. I was addicted to it in the 90s. It featured a talking dolphin. Can you imagine!?!!!? etc.

  2. kate h says:

    I remember SeaQuest DSV, despite years of therapy. It was executive produced by Philip Segal, who soon after was spotted dancing on Doctor Who’s corpse on American TV and now makes series with titles like ‘Ice Road Truckers’ and ‘Lobstermen’.

  3. Tim says:

    After watching Alex, Chris and t’other Chris giggling like a bunch of pubescent schoolboys over the thought of Stella in a bikini, I thought I’d accidentally tuned in to Junior Apprentice again. And Karren thought the girls in the boardroom gave women in business a bad name …

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2010/10/14/the-apprentice-candidates-discover-lifes-a-beach-in-product-design-task/

  4. Brennig says:

    Stella. Absolutely bladdy gorgeous, the kind of girl who would rip my bleeding heart in two then set fire to the remains only pausing to piss on them when they were already well and truly extinguished. But I was a bit surprised that she did the bikini thing. And I loved the way she managed the team. Except for that total anus who insisted on doing the pitch, she should have shot him.

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