Young Apprentice Liveblog: The Final!

The last 8 weeks have been emotional…not to mention frequently confusing.

We’ve seen small boys in pirate costumes harangue passers by in an attempt to sell frozen yoghurt, the anti race-relations act being read in response to a progressive mother/baby ad campaign, and who could forget the dramatic search for a dashiki in Week Six.

Oh, you already did. Never mind.

So, 12 were whittled down to 2, as is traditional. The two whittlees are James and Zara. Do they deserve to be there? Possibly, possibly not…but a Boris Johnson vs Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice Elizabeth of York final is what Lord Sugar wanted, so it’s what we’ve got.

Tonight the Younglings have to design and market a ‘downloadable online game’. An app, in other words: calling to mind the dreadful, mutated creations peddled by Edna and the other Adult Apprentices last year.

But these are youngsters, after all. They’re hip, they’ve played not only Angry Birds, but Angry Birds Rio. They were weaned on the Cow and Gate Virtual Milk Game on the Playstation 28. They’ll create something worth buying, right? Right?

Ah, hang on. These are the same people who created Barbeque Chicken and Paella flavoured popcorn last week. All bets are off. They’ll probably create a game that breaks down the barriers between the Earth and Hell, ushering in the apocalypse. And what’s worse, they’ll charge £1.99 for it instead of the far more socially acceptable 69p…

See you at 9!

9pm: “It’s an education like no other”, says voiceover man. That’s true enough, but I don’t think the local Sixth Form Colleges accept GCSEs in Shouting and Blind Panic.

Previously on Young Apprentice…Harry M created popcorn that tasted like America, James created popcorn that tasted like the Mediterranean. Unfortunately for Harry, this time Europe wasn’t vetoed and Team America lost.

9.05pm: Zara and James are whisked off to an arcade at County Hall. In London, this seems to be some kind of flashy, blingy arcade rather than a seat of government. That explains a lot about Them Soft Southerners, frankly.

They’re told they have to create an ‘online game’ and viral advert. I can only hope they don’t take him literally and remake that scary one about AIDS from the 80s.

Before that though, they play a much older game called Return of the Fired. But instead of picking teams, as is traditional, five ex-contestants are assigned to each team member. I suppose they don’t want any of them to feel unpopular: they’ll have to wait ’til they’re back at school tomorrow for that.

9.10pm: They’re sent over to a company called Mindcandy to brainstorm game ideas. Mahamed is told his zombie idea is ‘too sombre’. You know, because zombies have never, ever been made into popular games. Ever. That’s just an idiotic idea.

Zara prefers the idea of a game where a pig has to escape from a butcher. They go to some kind of macabre museum full of people wielding cleavers to research their idea. A slaughterhouse based game…because that’s far less sombre or depressing than ‘Plants vs Zombies’.

9.14pm: However, Zara’s game sounds positively inspired next to Louis’s suggestion of an Office Management game where people come up to your desk and, like, borrow a stapler. Maybe it’ll be an alternative to the ever-popular Football Manager-type games…people like Alex Ferguson could play it to take their minds off the stress of doing their interesting, exciting Premier League jobs.

James tweaks it and changes the idea to a Prime Minister sim called Crazy Cabinet: Do A Better Job. I hope they have a level where you have to veto a vital piece of Brussels legislation while desperate for a wee.

9.20pm: Team Zara’s game is now called Piggy Panic. They’re now making their ‘viral ad’. They’ve cast a man who looks like a cross between Arnold Schwarzenneger and a wall as the butcher, and a someone in the World’s Cheapest Pig Costume as the pig.

Over in Team James, they’re filming the ad for Crazy Cabinet on Tower Bridge. It basically consists of old, pink faced men in suits pretending to be utterly idiotic. Oh, wait, no- sorry, I just accidentally switched over to Prime Minister’s Questions on BBC2.

Actually, if they wanted to depict Cameron, they could have just borrowed the crap pig costume from Zara. After all, as Caitlin Moran aptly pointed out on the News Quiz- he looks like C3PO made from ham.

9.29pm: It’s time for the games to be unveiled! As expected they’re both fairly awful. Doesn’t mean they won’t do well on downloads though: I just bought a game where you have to design a new brand of baby product using only string, a lit stove and some sharp bits of metal. Oh, no, hang on…that was an earlier episode of the Apprentice.

James heads off to pitch to the assembled game-industry types. His ad, featuring a combo of slick and inept politicians referring to buses as ‘losermobiles’ and suggesting selling Scotland to pay off the deficit, is actually really good and much funnier than expected. He handles a couple of fairly awkward questions (e.g. ‘most casual gamers are women, why haven’t you included any female cabinet MPs in the ad?’) really well and leaves the stage already looking like a winner…

Which almost certainly means he’ll lose.

9.34pm: Zara shows her advert, which is bad. Really bad. Octi-Kleen bad. The butcher looks angrier than a student who voted Lib Dem and the whole thing is a total mess.

All together now…she’s made a right PIG’S EAR of that! Eh? Eh?

Sigh.

9.37pm: The boardroom!

“You might not realise it, but I used to be in the computer business once,” says Grandad Sugar, blowing the dust off an e-m@iler.

If only they’d made an app where a cantankerous millionaire had to dodge good ideas and make misguided forays into impractical technology. He’d have loved that.

9.41pm: Sugar claims ‘Piggy Panic’ doesn’t have the migration potential that James’ idea had, but he does think PP would translate well into merchandise.

Oh come on, LS: Crazy Cabinet would be great for merchandising. What child wouldn’t want a cuddly, pliable, bendable, nodding head Nick Clegg doll who’ll pose in any position you want?

9.46pm: James and Zara both said ‘Thank you Lord Sugar’ at the same time. Jinx! They won’t be able to speak for the rest of the episode unless someone says their name. Which is a relief.

Zara is praised by Karren for being ‘incredibly credible’. Why stop there, K: she’s also unbelievably believable and implausibly plausible.

9.52pm: Have the results of the task been announced yet? I’m getting a bit confused- my internetz went down for a bit and I missed some of the action in a mad dash to press the reset button. Thanks very much, Virgin Media.

Zara and James are being asked why they want £25,000. To their credit, neither of them say ‘I want to fill a bath with Haribo and sit in it while playing a diamond trombone’…which is what I’d do.

Zara says she needs new filmmaking equipment. James says he wants to use the money to study economics. Zara says she’s done enterprising things outside of the Apprentice, whereas James hasn’t. She wants to invest in a business, which is a bit more Apprentice-y…

Lord Shug ums and ahs, rubs his beard and crowns…

ZARA

as his new Young Apprentice!

She leaves the studio in the magical Rolls Royce of WIN. It’s all a bit anticlimatic, really: like the series as a whole, in fact.

But what did you think? Did Zara deserve to win, or is she a terrifying mini-fembot intent on world domination via a combination of gimlet-eyed staring and appalling viral pig videos that even Charlie Brooker would shy away from?

Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you next year for Old Apprentice: 12 pensioners get 12 weeks to find out what a smartphone app is- the first contestant who comes close to an accurate description wins 25,000 shillings and a trip to Scarborough.

Goodnight!

—————————————————————————————————

Related posts-

Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week One
Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Two
Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Four
Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Five
Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Six
Young Apprentice Liveblog: Week Seven

You can follow Hilary on Twitter here, if you want. She’ll throw in a free app called ‘Liveblog Manager’ where you have to watch a television programme and type at the same time. Actually, don’t download it- it’s not much fun. 

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.

8 Responses to Young Apprentice Liveblog: The Final!

  1. Hilary Wardle says:

    FIRST!!

    *sighs*
    *looks lonely*

    Week one’s liveblog got 35 comments. THIRTY FIVE. Where have you all gone? Has James eaten you?

  2. NoLemons says:

    Sorry, I was working and watched on iplayer.

    Why does Zara look 36?

  3. Tim says:

    Sorry Hilary, I was too busy making notes for my own blog recap, which you can find here:

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/12/13/young-apprentice-final-fantasy-as-crazy-cabinet-takes-on-piggy-panic/

    Zara was in fact the Terminatrix. We just never saw her unmasking in the boardroom. (Or the bit where Tom Pellereau suddenly appeared and removed her CPU with a curved nail file.)

    I really did want James to win as I still can’t shake the feeling that Zara was all style and no substance. But all credit to her. She was a fantastic presenter, and clearly knows what she wants to do next, so good luck to her. But I still maintain Harry H was the best overall candidate.

    Overall, I have to say the standard of the Apprenti-Kids has been much higher than many of the grown-up candidates. Mind you, that made for a slightly dull series, especially when the best overall candidate (Harry H) didn’t make the final.

  4. Reading your liveblog has been my pleasurable post-recapping ritual all series. Here’s the accumulated comments for all of them: Yyyyyyyyoooooooouuuuuuuu aaaaaaaarrrrrrrreeeeeeee hhhhhhhhiiiiiiiillllllllaaaaaaaarrrrrrrriiiiiiiioooooooouuuuuuuussssssss.

    Go you!

    • Hilary Wardle says:

      Oh you! Thanks muchly. Means a lot coming from that famous JRME who writes for lots of places and looks like Jeremy Paxman. xx

  5. The Archivist says:

    Thanks for live-blogging Hilary – some of us don’t have PC next to TV so have to watch TV first, catch up on PC later, so it’s not live, but it is still very amusing!
    I wanted Zara to win as she actually seemed to have an idea of what she wanted to do with the money – James came across a bit vague for that bit. Just studying economics does not an entrepreneur make and you could see Lord Shuggah mentally dismissing that idea.
    I agree with Tim though – Harry H had my vote all the way through.

  6. Jenny says:

    I also wanted James to win, he was one of my favourites, alongside Harry H, and Lizze was impressive last week. I think there is more of a spark with James, although that is not to deny Zara’s talent, but the last boardroom showdown showed that Zara was the better candidate in the end. I wonder what kind of films she will produce…

    • Hilary Wardle says:

      Really can’t believe Zara got £25,000 to buy filmmaking equipment- I’m sure there are scores of incredibly talented amateur young filmmakers far more deserving of that level of investment than the creator of the Piggy Panic ad. Life = unfair.

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