Saturday, 22 May 2010

Junior Apprentice: Week 2

And so to week 2 of our young friends trying to suck up to Lorsugah, and this week they've to create an item of camping equipment, which requires them to wear wellies.  Adam volunteers to head a team, because he's been camping 'like, loads', and also because he sells camping stuff on de inernet.  Blonde girl who mysteriously appeared at the end of last week's show (Hannah, possibly) also volunteers herself, because she has a brilliant invention that she can't tell us about.  Then Lorshugah swaps them round, so Adam is in charge of the girls and Hannah is in charge of the boys.  Fear fills Adam's eyes; not 3 minutes before, he has confidently declared that 'men are better in business than women. They're just more suited to it, like, because of their, like, physical attributes'.

So they begin coming up with ideas.  With Hannah and the lads, things are going well (relatively speaking, of course - this is The Apprentice), and they have neatly sidestepped her idea of making 'a table in a bag' and gone on to invent a kind of sled thing, with optional wheels, which you can pull your stuff around on at festivals.  Adam and the girls are having a more difficult time deciding between a games table, a shoe rack and a storage thing.  Adam is also having difficulty in stringing together any useful combination of syllables, which isn't helping.

And so to market research.  Generally, no one hates the sled, which is about as much as you can hope for; the games table/shoe rack/storage thing is going down less well, until Zoe beats some hapless campers into agreeing that one, all, or any combination of those facilities is the only thing standing between them and camping nirvana.  Adam decides they should put them all in, especially the shoe rack, because you always have wet shoes when you're camping, and there's only so much a Tesco bag can do.

Then they go to the designers to talk things through.  What should these items be made of?  Well, the sled has to be waterproof, and big enough for your stuff, right?  Surprisingly perhaps, the boys actually think of that, and go along with it, and the final result is really not bad.  Probably completely impractical of course, but the kind of thing you might buy to try it.

The girls and Adam, on the other hand, when determining a suitable material for their shoe-rack-to-store-muddy-shoes-in, choose cardboard (this is suggested by Emma, who, according to the caption 'sells sweets and eggs').  Well, at least it has the advantage that it folds up, yes?  No.  We're not doing fold-up.  And so, on the morning of the second day, they are presented with their prototype: a large, white cardboard box, with smaller cardboard boxes inside, and a games table on top, with snakes and ladders, and backgammon.  I challenge you now: guess where this is going.

Next, they have to photograph their things, make publicity, and convince people to buy them.  The boys send Tim and Arjun off to take photos, while Hannah and Rhys stay behind and don't come up with a pitch, which Tim and Arjun will do when they get back.  This is the more successful morning's work.  The girls have dispatched Hibah and Adam to take photos, and Adam has lined up a tent and models and that.  He goes camping, like, twice a year, and yet cannot construct a tent.  He admits that he goes camping, like, twice a year last year, and prior to that, had never been camping.

And at last, they're off to the shops to try to get a few orders.  Arjun is pitching for the boys.  He fluffs the first one a bit, but then gets into his stride, and by pitch 3 he's flying.  Not that anyone seems overly keen to 'slide stuff', but by pitch 3 you're not embarrased for him.

Not so the girls, who are lumbered both with a huge cardboard box and Adam's incessant optimism ('I'd, like, totally sell that product on my website.  I fink that'd be, like, really popular').  They are asked how durable the box is. 'I'd say, like, you'd get 4 or 5 uses out of that', says Adam, winningly, or not so much.  When someone points out it's made of cardboard, Zoe nearly eats her.  It is, apparently, reinforced cardboard.

And so to the boardroom, where the box sags unhappily in a corner, while the sled bathes the room in gentle fluorescent green light.  Needless to say, the boys and Hannah have won by a mile, mainly due to Argos ordering 3000 sleds, despite not being mad keen on them as a concept.  This, I believe, tells us all we need to know about Argos.  The box, on the other hand, has achieved precisely no orders, and the girls and Adam are packed off to the Losers' Caff, where they listen to him stuttering and claiming he'd sell it on his website and it'd be dead popular.

Back in the boardroom, and Adam appears to be in a last-ditch attempt to sell the thing to LorShugah.  When this fails, he points out that he set up his business with his life's savings, as if a man who started a company with £23.40 cannot be wrong.  Emma gets some rap for suggesting making the thing out of cardboard, though in all honesty that is clearly the best material for it, being biodegradeable within a very short space of time.  Bizarrely, Adam brings Zoe back into the boardroom, along with Hibah.  He then proceeds to spout an incoherent, but passionate, self-defense, and somehow, Lorshugah loves him again.  Hibah, on the other hand, is way to nice for this business, and is sent packing.

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