Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Apprentice 2010: Week 4

The episode begins with our friend Stuart Baggs The Brand answering the phone, presumably immediately changing it to 'sold'. They have about 30 seconds or so to get up, dressed, and to the Science Museum, where they are introduced to this week's task, which is the one where they take wick inventions and try to flog them to shops.

The teams get swapped round again, but I don't care.

Weirdly, and with cavalier lack of self-awareness, Melissa is gagging to be in charge of her team, but so is Jamie.  Mel has all the relevant experience, such as it is, and Jamie has none, so they vote for Jamie, because they're not complete fools.  Mel looks all disappointed.  On the other team, Chris Bates is put in charge.  Yawn.

And so to the inventions, which are truly insane.  A helmet thing that allegedly reduces fine lines, and definitely makes you look like you're being melted.  A thing that shrieks every time you dare to slouch.  An exercise thing made almost entirely from elastic bands.  A t-shirt equivalent of suck-your-tummy-in-granny-pants (£50 a pop).  A spade with 2 handles, which appears to be the gardening equivalent of chopsticks.  A water-saving shower head (actually not insane, but lets Stuart Baggs the Twit do his David Brent impersonation).  And finally, a baby grow which changes colour when you blast your baby with a hairdryer.

Both teams want the baby grow, but Stuart Baggs the Brand was obnoxious to the inventor woman, so she chooses the other team, which is Chris Bates'.  They end up with:
Jamie's team: spade and shower head
Chris' team: baby grow and t-shirt

Pitch one, and Jamie and Mel are in Debenhams, who don't sell spades or shower heads.  Mel thinks they should start though.  Really thinks they should start.  Really thinks it would be a great idea.  Seriously, Debenhams people, just open a spade and shower head department, it will be quicker and easier.

Pitch two, and Chris, Alex and Liz are in Debenhams.  The t-shirt is all well and good, but it costs £50, which is a rip off.  Liz has more success with the baby grow; Alex insists it will be all over the news and on breakfast tv.

I can't quite understand why I dislike the baby grow (the stated objective is to allow parents to monitor their baby's temperature), but I think my reasons include:
1. You'd need at least 10 of them, and they cost £25 each.  Because, let's face it, how many parents are going to sleep well the night they put the baby down in a regular baby grow instead of the magic temperature reading baby grow?
2. You have to be looking at the baby to see whether the baby grow has changed colour.  With this restriction, I cannot think of any circumstance in which a thermometer would not be as easy, and more accurate.
3. I distrust clothes that change colour.  It does not seem natural.
4. I am not convinced it would survive washing and ironing.

Alex Epstein has gone all encouraging, though, and I like him more.

But now we hit a snag: Jamie wants to pitch tomorrow, but Mel thinks it's because he's too stupid to see how great she would be at doing it.  She has a very strong skill set, she says.  We have yet to see it, of course.

Anyway, on Day 2 (because 2 meetings with Debenhams seemed to take up all of Day 1), they have an appointment with B&Q, and they can also set up any other meetings they want.

Melissa is pitching to a plumbing wholesaler in Leamington Spa.    It is unfortunate that the demonstration thing has picked up an airlock in its travels, and can only manage a dribble of water.  Stuart starts biting it.  This does not help, and they don't want to buy it.  But Mel really wants them to buy it, because she's driven all the way from London, but they don't want to buy it, but Mel really thinks it could do well for them, but they really are not interested... this goes on for a bit.

On the other team, Paloma, Sandeesh and Laura are trying to flog the t-shirt in what appears to be a range of gay sex shops.  They do ok initially, but then it all breaks into a screaming match about orders and exclusivity, right on the doorstep of the shop.  Nick hovers in the background, one eye on the girls, and one eye on the range of rubber goods in the shop behind him.  The upshot of it all is that they give some guy an exclusive deal, only to phone Chris and be told that they can't do that.  Well, that solves the row about who gets credit for the deal, then.

Over at B&Q, Jamie, Jo and Christopher are bigging up the shower head, and their own grand ambitions, and how they're all ears.  The other half of their team (Stuart, Stella and Mel) are all over the moon because they forced half a dozen shower heads onto a bloke in a shop.

And so to the boardroom, where both teams have actually done quite well, and could, potentially, not make complete prats of themselves.  Fortunately, Stella, Mel and Stuart have fecked up by selling the shower too cheap; meanwhile, Laura, Sandeesh and Paloma get a ticking off for the Big Row, which is now known as the Battle of Old Compton Street.

The numbers come next: Apollo (Chris' lot) got £76,518.80 of orders, while Synergy (Jamie & Co) got £122,225.95, or thereabouts.  Flip.  Gasp.  Synergy head off to a spa, while Apollo are off to the Cafe de Doom to stare blankly at each other, and then bicker a bit.  Melissa's vocabulary gets all inventive; she claims there was no room for manouverment in her pitches.

In the boardroom, Lord Shugah tells them that Mel, Stella and Stuart only brought in £800, and that is crapski.  Stuart blames Melissa, and she turns on him for getting an airlock in the shower thing, and then Karren says that the people in the shop though Melissa was really annoying, which comes as a surprise to Melissa, at least.  Stella admits that she didn't know how much the stuff she was selling was meant to cost.

So who's coming back in with Jamie?  Please let it be Mel and someone.  Please let it be Mel and someone.  Please... YES!  It's Mel and Stuart Baggs The Brand.  They go outside and Melissa sulks.  They come back in, and Jamie gets told off for leaning on the table.  Melissa complains that Jamie gave her no feedback, and didn't help her learn.  Jamie says she's like a firework that goes crazy, and she says she's not like a firework that goes crazy, at least not in her analysization.  Melissa is trying to be a poor little lamb, while maintaining her professionality.  She has a bag of potential skills.  Not actual skills, note.  She calls Lord Shugah 'Sir Lord', which I quite like.

Stuart claims he should stay in because:
1) He's 21
2) He'd like some of Lord Shugah's massive resources (snigger)
3) He's really good at selling yo-yos in the playground

A tough choice.

But since Melissa's been so obviously hopeless, she gets firedicated.

We then see the finest Apprentice exit EVER.  After a brief pause where we wonder if she's going to stage a sit-in, Melissa storms out, glancing back over her shoulder to say 'Well done for ganging up on me.  Horrible people'.  She won't accept the standard fake hug from Jamie, and tells him 'I have nothing to say to either of you.  Save your skin and come out of my face.'  In the taxi, she is more level-headed: 'Karmically, they will be retributed.  The universe speaks louder than I do.'

Flicking over to 'You're Fired', because that's bound to be fabulous, we discover that Melissa has, in the year since this was filmed, got rid of the glasses and become a long-ish haired brunette.  She looks totally different.  You wouldn't recognise her.  Which is probably best.

No comments: