This series of The Apprentice
has been a classic but what one moment has stood out so far in the way that Simon Ambrose and the wanking trampoline or Michael Sophocles' redefinition of "kosher" did? The answer turns out to be "pretty much every moment of this episode." After the choice of tasks was starting to look a bit unimaginative, with three food-selling ones this year, we get a tourism task to take people around That London. Or get lost in it, as the case may be.
It appears to be nighttime as Jamie answers the phone and is given his instructions; he puts the phone down gingerly - so as not to wake everyone up? Before going to wake everyone up. Chris has his shirt off again (but to clean his teeth this time instead of shave. I sympathise with Chris and the whole shaving thing, sometimes it's hard to know just where to stop.) They're off to Wandsworth Bus Station and none of them can figure out what this might mean - BallBaggs says it's like walking into a roomful of knives blindfold. Which is actually next
week's task. So it's a bus station but LdAlan still arrives in his limo, he ain't going on no bladdy bus! They're going to do themed open-top bus tours, BallBaggs will go back to Apollo 13 and Joanne/a to Synergy (and both become the respective PMs) and LdAlan will see them in the boardroom "in a few days' time." No rush, you know, whenever's good for you. Stella wants the Apollo 13 theme to be cockneys because she's really enthusiastic about the theme guv'nor, Jamie suggests Synergy's should be "ghouls and ghosts" because he knows absolutely nothing about the subject, or indeed any subject, so talking about it for a couple of hours should be fine. The soundtrack plays "My Old Man Said Follow The Van" as BallBaggs and Lizlocke set out to patronise the almightly fuck out of some cockneys and tell a man selling jellied eels he should do some rhyming slang for the tourists. If looks could kill, Jellied Eel Man would have just wiped out half the South coast. I wonder what he'd look like if he heard Stuart saying CockneylandTM
smells of wee.
Jamie and Joanne/a are on Tooley Street, trying to map out their ghostly tour which will consist of "that there is the London Dungeon" followed by "er, pass." Jo is jabbering twenty to the dozen which Jamie replies to with "OK, let's go to the pub then" before running across the road to escape her and then calling her a rottweiler. They then have a FITE! in someone's doorway in which they each accuse the other of being aggressive and Nick rolls his eyes right out of his head, not-so-secretly thinking "come on, I had the losing team last week at last, we can do it again! Screentime yay!" Meanwhile both teams have to pitch to the London Visitors' Centre, which will sell tickets on behalf of one of the tours. For Apollo 13 it's once again BallBaggs and Lizlocke (I'm not sure exactly what
Stella is doing on this first day - we eventually see her back at the house making notes, which she has to do because she is SO VERY OLD and cannot store information IN HER BRANES like wot BallBaggs can.) They've decided their tickets will cost £35 for adults (neither team seems to do any research to find out how much open-top bus tours usually
cost, which, how hard can it be? You can't go down the road in the West End without one of them passing you by, usually with the price written on the side.) The people at the visitors' centre basically laugh in their faces at this price, which is what is called a SUTBLE HINT, BallBaggs. He offers them 25% of every ticket they sell. They're used to 35%, don't call us, we'll call you etc. Chris then drones in and offers them 20% of total revenue
and alarm bells start going off. Not 20% of the tickets they
actually sell but also of the ones the team themselves sell, plus drinks and tips. The manager repeats this several times to clarify and I'm convinced Chris doesn't know what he's done but apparently he does as he then defends himself when Jo gives him a bollocking for giving away so much of their profits. Well maybe he did
know what he was doing but I'm still not sure - given how unflappable Chris is in the Boardroom he could just have realised he's made a mistake and be completely covering it up, who can tell?
"Have a taste of my eels!" Ah yes, when in doubt Stuart knows that shouting vaguely fellatio-related lines at strangers will get the punters in, as they round off the day trying to sell a few advance tickets. Back at the house Jamie practices his speech about Sweeney Todd, who was totally a real person and not a fictional character/urban legend obviously. It's all a bit neck-breaky and blood-splattery for Chris, could Jamie maybe tone it down for the tourists? Hmm, I wonder. Next day, it's comedy costumes for everyone! Apollo 13 get the bright red, Synergy the dowdy grey. Stuart says tourists are Juicy Moneybags (is that a character from Bleak Expectations
?) and makes a Hannibal Lecter noise. You're not going to eat
The Visitors' Centre have of course accepted Synergy's overly generous deal which Jo now embarrasses herself by trying to renege on. No way sister. Between the centre and the team themselves, there's some punters for Jamie's first tour, to be told that the Thames is "literally drenched in History." And also in water. Apparently it's the second largest river in London, which is interesting - I've lived in That London half my life and the Thames is pretty big, how have I missed this one that's even bigger? And why can't you see it on the Eastenders
map? (I wonder if anyone asked him which was the biggest? If it was me who'd made that gaffe I'd have made up some gubbins about the underground rivers.) Meanwhile Big Ben's clock face is "20 diameters in width" and as for Westminster Abbey well, "you can go there and it's... a church." Later he'll be showing them the Gherkin. Which looks like a gherkin. And is therefore called the Gherkin. Gherkin. Gherkin. Still no ghosts mind. Gherkin. Meanwhile Stella tells her lot that Nelson's column is named after, er, um, er, Nelson.
The rest of the teams are selling tickets and Stuart is being particularly cunty, hanging around the doorway of the Visitors' Centre telling people to buy their tour instead of going in there, until someone tells them to fuck off. Next he'll try to steal potential customers from the other team while they're still talking to them
and honestly, is there anyone this would work on? I mean if you had agreed to listen to someone's sales pitch and some nutter interrupted shouting "come with us, much better!" would you seriously give your money to the nutter? This results in the second FITE! of the episode, right in the middle of Trafalgar Square, where Chris says "fuck" a lot and Stuart says swearing isn't very professional. As opposed to suddenly appearing over someone's shoulder and yelping "we're much cheaper!" which is fine. Jo's all "leave it Chris, he isn't worth it!"
At Spitalfields now, Stella's lot are off the bus and not quite as excited about trying out jellied eels as Stella tells them they are. Just as well really, since she's got them lost and they never actually find Jellied Eel Man. On to the second tour of the day and BallBaggs' interesting sales technique has netted all of 8 tourists for Stella, who goes on to miss every single thing she's trying to point out in Whitehall, but "we can pop in later" to Downing Street. Yeah, I'm sure they can. Jamie's busful of people are listening to his story about Sweeney Todd, who was totally a real person, no honest, he looked a lot like Johnny Depp. This remains as graphic as before and appears to be as close to an actual ghost or ghoul story as the tourists are going to get. Gherkin. Stella's eight people get to have a bit of a wander round some back streets. Is that a Banksy? No. Or maybe it is! Or not. Jamie attempts a singalong of "London's Burning" and the tourists sing along; Stella does an excruciating "Knees Up Mother Brown" which one person joins in with, sort of. On to the final tour which for Synergy is at 3pm. I don't know what time of year this is, probably still summer so night would fall too late but couldn't they have tried
to run their spooky tour at a time when it might actually have been spooky? They've sold nothing for this tour and as far as we can tell it doesn't go ahead. Apollo 13 meanwhile have got a decent turnout at 4pm for Stella's World of Ineptitude. All ova! Jo has to give away 20% of everything (including Jamie's tips, which he's not
happy about) and says she thinks this'll lose them the task.
Boardroom, some unspecified amount of days in the future! LdAlan doesn't like how Joanne/a tried to bladdy get out of the bladdy deal they'd made. He doesn't like the FITE! in Trafalgar Square, which Chris describes as "handbags at dawn." Heh. So, Apollo 13 done got £834.40, and after deductions Synergy still got £1099.33 - a win for the greycoats. Take that Nick! The Karren of Doom only lost her mojo for the one week and now she's back! And next week it's interviews so it's La Mountford who gets the screentime AS IS RIGHT AND PROPER. The treat is a trip to Jersey to catch and eat oysters. Joanne/a says "this is something I can only dream of doing." Going to the Channel Islands? Careful Jo, or LdAlan will sack you for lacking ambition. Meanwhile the losers are at some random cafeteria again instead of the Loser Caff, this just won't do!
Back in and LdAlan tells them they done lost 'cause Chris made a "shrewd business move," as if he wouldn't totally be tearing Chris a new arsehole right now if the gamble had gone the other way. He sends them out yet again because this is now a game of musical chairs and before getting them back in again (maybe he thinks they need the exercise) says he's going to judge them on the last 10 weeks. Nick builds up his part by suggesting he fire two. Stuart grovels that if LdAlan gives him the job he'll work weekends, EVEN SUNDAY which yes, does tend to fall at the weekend. He then projects his daddy issues onto LdAlan ("I'll make you so proud of me") before going into a little girl's fantasy about a field full of ponies. Seriously, what the fuck? Lizlocke is briefly allowed to speak (she's looking to develop, which is nice for her I suppose) as is Steady Stella (I wonder if she'll replace Cautious Carol in the opening voiceover next year?) who thinks she's resourceful and like, blew away her corporate image by acting like a total pranny this week. Then BallBaggs has a second burst of gibberish in which he lets us know he am what he am, he am his own perfect creation, he's ONLY 21 (but not 24) and his parents never gave him anything except £10 which he used to feed and clothe himself for 20 years before building up a yo-yo empire that turned into a telecommunications company (which I assume involves tin cans and string.) LdAlan's response to Stella is "fair enough" so high praise there; Lizlocke is good at sales; but BallBaggs' gibberish has saved him. Or rather, LdAlan doesn't want to hire Lizlocke or
BallBaggs but the latter will be much
more fun to send to the gits next week so Lizlocke can go home now. He doesn't actually say "with regret" but he seems to be implying it. Lizlocke cries in the waiting room, the other two go home where the Synergy make no attempt to hide their surprise (/horror) that Stuart hasn't been fired(/staked through the heart with garlic put in his mouth so he can never rise again.)
Next week: Gits! Yay! Margaret Mountford! Double Yay! The return of Margaret's Withering LooksTM
! Ultra Yay! Gherkin.