Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Apprentice, Series 7: Week 4

If there's one thing we've learned from previous series, it is surely this: do not, under any circumstances, ever, utter the words "Oh, I know all about this!".  Do not claim any kind of expertise in anything that you are about to have to do.  You may claim as much expertise as you want in any activity you can dream up that you're not doing at the time, but Do Not Ever relate it In Any Way to the Task In Hand.  Or do, but know that you are dooming yourself.

And so to week 4, which is hawking beauty products and services to random people in Birmingham.  Susan's face lights up, and she squeals "I work in the beauty industry!".  We could forgive this as a slip of the tongue, except that she repeats it approximately 748 times in the next 40 minutes.

But I get ahead of myself.  They get the Phone Call at some kind of stupid o'clock, telling them to go to the British Museum.  A brief shot of Tom in his pants (which would be lovely, but they're blue and pink), and then lots of idle speculation about what's at the British Museum.  After some deliberation they come up with "dinosaurs and stuff".  In any case, this week's link between location and task is so unbelievably tenuous that it'd be more worrying if they DID guess it.  The point is that there's a statue there of Aphrodite, and she's the goddess of beauty, and the task is to do with beauty, or something.

Because of Zoe doing feck all so far, she gets put in charge of one of the teams, and Felicity gets put in charge of the other one.  I have no idea who's in which team any more, by the way.  I have, however, established that Zoe is the one with the most boring voice in the world, and Natasha is not.  But the point is that Susan "actually worked in the beauty industry and OMG this is just the most perfect thing, like EVER, and did you know I actually had a skincare business?! This is what I am so actually fabulous at!" DOOM.  DOOM. DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOM.

The first thing they have to do is figure out where they should have their little stalls.  Natasha lived in Birmingham for 2 years, and Melody is also 'very familiar' with it, so maybe the weight of doom has shifted away from Susan and onto team Flick.  They opt for the shopping centre, even though the treatment room is miles away from where the stall would be; Tom the Lovely Inventor points this out, and Felicity tells him to shut up and stop being awkward.  Zoe's lot opt for the out-of-town option.

Now they get to meet people who have invented new ways of parting fools from their money, and they get to choose which ones they'll try to flog to the unsuspecting folk of Birmingham. There's a fake tan thing, a chocolate face mask, and some sea shells that you rub all over your victim's back.  Susan is almost off her seat with excitement, because she gets to tell EVEN MORE PEOPLE that "OMG I actually worked in the beauty industry and I actually had a skincare company!!!!1!!".

Leon, meanwhile, is taking the more sensible approach.  "I can't do this.  I have a girlfriend".

Over Chez Flick, no one is being listened to, most of all Lovely Tom, who has worked out profit-per-second for all the thingies (and let's face it, the numbers side of things is probably more in Lovely Tom's domain than any other part of the beauty task, no offence to him, I still think he's lovely), and Felicity basically slaps him down for too much thinking.  I think this makes Lovely Tom a little bit sad, but at least he got to do things with numbers, so it wasn't a complete waste.

Felicity's team end up with the shell massage thing, and fake fringes.  Team Hysteria get the spray tan and some sort of foot / nail varnish thing.  They do some rehearsing, during which Leon only agrees to spray tan Gavin after Susan and Helen have assured him that "It doesn't make you gay".  Susan's going a bit mental and yelling "OMG we could actually sell, like millions of products, because I know ALL ABOUT the beauty industry and I am an expert and I could sell a million in, like, 30 seconds." and they buy a truckload of little bottles of gak.

Off to Birmingham, with some practicing of fake accents, and Tom working out all kinds of numbers, just for the heck of it.  Felicity and co set up in the shopping centre, where Natasha tries to press-gang a woman into buying a £25 fake fringe by saying "It's kind of like a pet hamster, innit?".  Leon offers to get a girl naked and spray her.

Ellie, Lovely Tom and Melody are at a bit of a loose end, because the rest of their team are failing to generate any interest in having any of their treatments.  They're flogging a cartload of bottles of stuff, like, not that they make any money on that.  So Felicity does the obvious thing and brings Lovely Tom onto the sales floor.  If anyone could look more unlikely to convince anyone to buy a fake fringe, I have not seen them.

Meanwhile, Susan is horrified. "Everyone here is so poor!" she moans, poor wee thing.  They're not buying anywhere near as much stuff as she, who you may recollect is a Beauty Expert, commanded that they would.  Unreasonable peasants.

Leon, however, has come out of his "I can't do this, I have a girlfriend" shell, and developed a thing whereby he grabs passing girls by their fingers and whirls them round till they buy his fake tan.  It seems to be working.  Even Karren is on the verge of stripping down to paper underwear and letting him Do His Thing.

Zoe yells at Susan, but in the most boring, whiny way possible, because Susan said they'd sell truckloads of stuff, and they've sold, like 8.  Susan yells back that she sells skincare for a living.  Eh?  Still, at least we know more about Susan's background.  Because we were wondering, like.

Felicity's team come up with a strategy whereby they end up giving people free massages; furthermore, we see the Count Dracula side of Lovely Jim as he approaches a young chap in a hood and leers "4 hands are better than 2.  I'll do the massage.".  Creepy.

Anyway, time to pack up and get back to London, where the nice rich people are.

Lord Shugagh reveals that Susan is in the beauty business, and the nation fall off their seats with shock.  Susan gets all defensive, mainly because they all turn on her, like sharks circling their prey.  DOOM DOOM DOOM.

So Team ZoeSusan made £203.01, which is a bit wick.  DOOM.  Team Flick managed to lose £246.28, however, which is really quite spectacular, and Susan is off the hook, and they're off to play with people from Strictly Come Dancing.  How did that happen?

In Cafe Del Losers, Tom's fed up, because he's now lost every single task.  So has Vincent, who has determined that he needs to be Project Manager, in order to haul the whole thing back from the brink.  Good luck with that one, Vince.  Felicity is all for sharing the blame equally, which I think might not be the best strategy.

Back in the boardroom, and Lovely Tom puts his hand up every time he wants to say something, which is even more endearing.

Felicity has a hard time finding 2 people to bring back into the boardroom.  She chooses Ellie and then there's a loooooooong pause, during which you can see her thinking (2?! I have to bring 2 of them in?  When did they change THAT rule?) and then opts for Natasha.  Back in, Lord Shugagh asks Ellie why she's there. "Because I wanna be your business partner" she says, before realising that he means why is she back in the boardroom.  Awkward.

Anyway, after a lot of moaning and whinging and general bickering, Felicity gets fired, for not being able to make a decision without taking a lie down afterwards.

Ellie and Natasha don't say goodbye to her, which seems a bit mean.  I'm not sure I like them much.  Still, it's not like they ever claimed to be nice.

No comments: