Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Two

Hello, and welcome to our second Young Apprentice liveblog!

We’ll be following the antics of the mini-Apprentlings for the next seven weeks, and I’ll be trying my very best to be nice about them…they’re only youths, after all. The well behaved kind, that is, not the semi-imaginary, Daily-Mail-alarming ones who wear hoodies and hang around in underpasses threatening to nick your mobile .

Although this lot of mini-tycoons probably would steal your phone…then flog it back to you for a profit.

Last week, we experienced the ups and downs of the ice cream selling trade: mainly the downs, to be fair.  Even a jaunty straw hat couldn’t save fast talking Mahamed from getting the cold shoulder (sorry). Due to his youth he was whisked off in the lavish Rolls Royce of Not-Quite-Winning, rather than the tear-stained Taxi of Failure. It’s political correctness gone mad.

This time round, Lord Sugar has ‘laid on’ an opportunity for the remaining 11 contestants to design and pitch a new product for the lucrative parent and baby market.

Shouldn’t be too tricky for them: they’re only about four years old themselves. All they’ll need to do is cast their minds back a bit and try and remember if they ever heard their parents wishing aloud for a handy rucksack-that’s-also-a-changing-mat-with-wi-fi-functionality.

See you at 9! 

9pm: We’re frozen-treated to a recap of last week’s task. The girls won by charging about £700 for a scoop of their fruity ice cream, then a bit extra for the cone. The boys, on the other hand, couldn’t give away their watermelon flavoured frozen yoghurt, almost certainly because it was watermelon-flavoured frozen yoghurt. I can think of less palatable things, but none that aren’t dog flavoured.

9.05pm: The be-suited teens are woken at the traditional Apprentice time of Half Past Ridiculously Early and asked to meet Lord Sugar at the Royal College of Art. “What’s the Royal College of Art?” asks one. “I hate art” says another. Well, I suppose you don’t get rich by liking art. Unless you’re Banksy. Or any number of other famous artists. Or an art dealer. Or someone who sells high quality paint. Actually, they should probably learn to like art…

The tenuous link here is design. The College features designers as well as artists. The Apprenteenies will be designing baby products. Next week’s briefing will take place in a bookmark and lemonade factory because they have to ‘factor’ in…er, something.

9.11pm: The girls (Kinetic) come up with an idea straight away: an arm-pad that supports a baby’s head while you hold it. It’s called ‘Support and Comfort’. They’re alarmingly precocious. Adult Apprentices would be openly weeping, running around London and asking if French people love their children by this point.

But don’t worry, it’s not all good news. True to tradition, the boys don’t have a bladdy clue: brainstorming baby related items in a panicked rush: Nappies, milk, poo…they eventually opt for a bottle holder.

It’s about as imaginative as a new kind of shelf that holds objects and is called SHELF, but at least they have a product.

9.16pm: Harry M claims he ‘came up with the concept’ of a hippo, which is what the bottle will be either shaped like or covered in. The hippo community are already preparing an aggrieved statement.

The bottles are delivered (complete with cushiony hippo casing) and they actually look pretty good. The newly renamed ‘Comfy Curve’ baby sling isn’t half bad either: although if they were going for the lucrative Shoreditch Yummy Mummy set they should really have included an iPad holder. Or just scrapped the whole baby-holding concept entirely so they can fit in a copy of the Guardian and a decaf chai latte.

9.22pm: Photoshoot time, and there’s some consternation within the team that the baby is white- very white- and the mum-model is black (although dad-model is Caucasian). “I want to leave as much colour in the photo as possible,” says Zara; blissfully unaware that colour is, in fact, the problem.

Gbemi isn’t happy at all and thinks it looks a bit odd. If only they were advertising baby fake tan instead of a spare, padded arm for lazy parents.

9.25pm: Armed with their racially confusing publicity materials, Kinetic head off to their first pitch. Gbemi takes the lead, but falls down on the key question: ‘what does your product do’?

Er, it’s washable! It does washability, silly.

The boys take Hippobottle to the same pitch and are told they ‘don’t really do things like that’. What: toys? Baby bottles? Fun things? Useful items? Sounds like the best shop in the world…remind me to go there never.

They head off to their next victims- a department store- and poor Lewis stumbles more than a short sighted person in a dimly lit rake factory. Poor lamb. He hands over the responsibility for the final pitch to another member of the team: SurAlun won’t be happy.

9.30pm: Eek, they’re off to Mothercare: the Microsoft of the baby world, which I can only assume is run by unfeeling Mumsnet droids. I don’t envy them. The girls go first and this time it’s Haya who does the pitch, having led an unexpected coup…surprisingly, it goes well. Gbemi looks thunderous. First palebabygate, now this.

Harry H takes the lead for the boys and, again, does a good job. Turns out Mothercare were fairly caring after all. And motherly. Who knew?

9.35pm: The boardroom. The girls are immediately pulled up about pairing a white baby with a black model…apparently showing a potentially adopted child/parent combo was a horrible idea rather than an imaginative, creative and attention grabbing image. Proof yet again that the world of marketing is more staunchly conservative than a herd of David Camerons.

9.38pm: Suralun asks the boys how the hippo evolved. They look confused. “Like, from a fish with legs?”

Ah, he’s referring to the bottle holder. Never mind.

They explain they got the idea by chatting to a man in a shop. One of them thought of a toy, and another one thought of a bottle. Then they put the two together. Apropos of nothing, Suralun announces that he used to sleep with a piggy bank. I can’t say I’m surprised, but should he really be talking about that sort of thing in front of wee Apprentiddlers?

9.41pm: Results time. The international (i.e. pretentious) baby chain place an order for 7000 Comfy Sling Things, gazumping the boys order for 4000 and handing the girls an easy win. Their prize: they get to dance with Diversity…they seem keen, but I’m surprised they can be bothered: they’ve been doing that all day.

9.44pm: The boys are pulled back into the boardroom. Suralun instantly falls on poor Lewis, asking him why he didn’t let someone more eloquent do the pitch. By ‘eloquent’ I can only imagine he means ‘less Scouse’: it’s racism, pure and simple. Posh Harry did well but he was bred to eloquence, brought up on Cicero, Plato and Aristotle with a side order of Martin Luther King. Lewis was brought up on Twizzlers. It’s not a fair contest.

9.50pm: Lewis decides to bring Ben and Harry M back into the boardroom. Ben- who’s been so unobtrusive so far that I’ve entirely failed to notice him despite the fact he’s wearing a pink shirt so lurid it’s melted a shirt-shaped section of my TV screen- is pulled up for being about as useful as a tinfoil television and doing (pardon my French) buggery-squat for the entire task.

“I’m just relaxed!” says Ben.

I like that excuse for not doing any work. I might start using it in my day job as a senior Foreign Office diplomat.

“Sorry Prime Minister, I’ve not got round to sending that crucial email explaining that I don’t actually think the North Korean ambassador is a horse’s bumhole, thus preventing that nuclear war. I’m just really relaxed, you know…*explosion*”

9.55pm: There’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing by LordShugga. Ben didn’t do much. Lewis’s decision to pitch was disastrous. Suralun tells Harry no one likes him, which is a bit harsh: he’s only 16…I’m surprised Lord S didn’t nick his lunch money and lock him in a cupboard for good measure.

But it’s BEN who gets the boot, presumably because being unlikeable or Scouse makes for better TV than being a silent, brooding wallflower in a headache inducing shirt. In the luxurious Limo of Never-Mind-You-Did-Quite-Well-Really, Ben mutters that Suralun ‘didn’t see the best of him’. Or any of him, in fact.

Apart from that shirt, obv.

Well, that’s that for another week. But what did YOU think, eh? Let us know in the comment box or else I’ll send Ben round to trick or treat you…if you don’t leave your feedback he’ll stand in the corner of your living room being unsettlingly quiet for an hour. It’s surprisingly effective.

Night all.

—————————————————–

You can follow Hilary (nee Ladyribenaberet) on Twitter: @Hilary_W

Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week One

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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.

24 Responses to Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Two

  1. robertsnozers says:

    A guitar strap for babies! Genius.

  2. robertsnozers says:

    Come on lads, I’m sure there’s something involving pirates that you could come up with.

    Actually, of all the small children who came trick or treating tonight, most were dressed as pirates. Either that or the Somali warlords are extending their reach and we’ve been paying chocolate ransoms all evening.

  3. robertsnozers says:

    Hmm, I’m having flashbacks to Edna’s pitching ‘style’.

    “I have something to say to you! and you! and you!”

  4. robertsnozers says:

    I’m sure I heard Sugar just say ‘I used to go to bed with a piggy bank’.

    Can’t say I’m surprised. The money slot I presume.

  5. robertsnozers says:

    Ashley from Diversity… Is that the litle one with the mad hair who always does the backflip?

  6. Hilary Wardle says:

    Robert! Thanks for your comments- I’d have been Dead Lonely if it weren’t for you. Have this gift of a used Comfy Curve and a hippo full of curdled milk in thanks xxx

  7. Sorry Miss W, had to iPlayer this one due to Adventures(tm). Normal service to be resumed next week, I hope.

  8. Tim says:

    Dear, oh dear. Gbemi really is just Edna’s Mini-Me, isn’t she? Although good on her for letting Haya do the last pitch, and then admitting it was the right thing to have done.

    I felt a bit sorry for Ben, who didn’t do much wrong but just didn’t shout loudly enough. I have to say I wouldn’t have shed many tears if Sugar had invoked an Apprentice-first triple firing, though. Harry M really is unbearably smug, isn;t he?

    My collected not-at-all-live-blog thoughts are here:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/11/01/young-apprentice-no-go-as-jojo-says-no-no-to-hippo/

  9. Sheri says:

    I liked the boys’ endless stream of baby-products-they-don’t-realise-someone-else-has-already-thought-of (“It could be like a bath, but smaller! We could call it the BabyTub!”).

    But yes, “nobody likes you, Harry” was a bit harsh, even if he does look like (and probably is) a future Tory MP.

    • Hilary Wardle says:

      heh. “We could invent this thing that your wrap around a baby’s bum to collect poo. It could be called a Naapi.”

      “Don’t forget to add umlauts to that. Umlauts sell”

      “Sorry. Nääpi”

  10. Steph says:

    Last week I felt like the only person in the world who didn’t think that watermelon and apple flavour was eleventy billion times worse than Hitler; this week I found myself puzzled by the big skin colour hoo-ha and spent about twenty minutes shouting ‘MAYBE THE BABY IS ADOPTED’, which must have baffled the neighbours no end.

  11. Steph says:

    Also, am disappointed that streetdance lessons weren’t on the agenda for the adult Apprentice because I would have killed Her Majesty the Queen for a chance to see Tom dancing.

    • Tim says:

      No, no and NO! I still remember Simon Ambrose’s attempts at break-dancing (grown-up Apprentice, season 3).

    • Hilary Wardle says:

      Oh my, you’re quite right. I can see the awkward elbows-out dad-at-a-wedding dancing AS WE SPEAK.
      And by ‘speak’ I mean ‘type’, obv.
      Good use of eleventy billion, by the way x
      p.s my missus just pointed out you’ve got Tellysquawks put on an MI5 watch list by using the words ‘killed’ ‘her’ ‘majesty’ and ‘queen’ together. Thanks.

  12. Tim says:

    Missed your liveblog tonight. Hope you’ll be back next week!

    If anyone’s interested, here are my thoughts on the flower-selling task:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/11/08/young-apprentice-atomics-problems-stem-from-faulty-pricing-in-flower-selling-task/

  13. Hilary Wardle says:

    Hey- thanks. A CRISIS occurred on Monday so liveblogging plans had to be suspended. Friend of mine was in a real pickle and I had to swoop to the rescue like a giant eagle. Will be back liveblogging next week!

  14. Love this review, but where is Episode 3? I have been waiting impatiently for your take on the young apprentices with flowers!

    • Hilary Wardle says:

      So sorry: last week’s liveblog was cancelled due to Unexpected Events. Will do a recap over the weekend (won’t be live though, obv.) and episode 4-8 will be liveblogged as planned!

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