Well so far in series 4 it's been all men fired, leaving us with whatever the opposite of a sausagefest is. A fishfest? If you think that's typical gay misogyny I should point out that it was a straight
friend whose description of a lady's precious flower was "they can be a bit... scampi" so don't point fingers. Anyway, will a woman finally go this week?
Yes. Oh, well that review went a lot quicker than usual, didn't it? Maybe I should go back a bit, to when Natasha - I think it's Natasha, all I can see is a lot of messy hair with the odd bit of face peeking through it - takes this week's point in phone wars. No wonder the boys are doing badly in the contest itself, this is where it all starts. This week's topless boy is The Actor Michael Sheen, who is wearing bright blue pants and let's just say Jim and Glenn should not worry about the "fittest boy" competition just yet. They have to go to the British Museum, which Susan thinks contains "Dinosaurs and stuff." Well just for today you're right Susan, as it currently contains LdAlan. Actually, as any fule no (other than Susan,) the British Museum contains lots of stuff what we stole when we had an Empire, or, as voiceover man tells us in a spectacularly tenuous link to this week's beauty theme, "how we looked through the ages." This is illustrated with a sphinx whose nose is missing, so it's only really showing us how Daniella Westbrook looked through the ages, but there we are. LdAlan informs the Apprenti that Gavin looked like a real contender but he got fired last week. Even LdAlan seems mildly surprised by this; maybe he's regretting it, since Gavin turned out to be the first person this year polite enough to say thanks for the opportunity rather than storming off in a tantrum.
The task is the one where ten products are pitched and the teams choose two each to sell; and whichever team successfully gets the most obvious cash cow wins. This year's theme is beauty treatments to be hawked in Birmingham, LdAlan chooses the team leaders who will be Zoe (Venture) and Felicity (Fuzzy Logic.) Ellie announces she's not a girly girl. Well no dear, we all know you're from T'North
and have no truck with That London
and our expensive pasta salads
And That. Felicity's team plump for a spot in the Bullring, despite The Actor Michael Sheen pointing out that this only gives them a small treatment room several miles away from their selling point. Because customers like having to go out of their way for something they didn't want in the first place, as we found out last year.
Zoe goes for a Westfield out of town with more treatment rooms, round the corner from where they'll be selling.
Time to choose what products to sell, and The Actor Michael Sheen gets a chocolate facial. I KNOW, so many jokes, so little time. Another product on show is a winge - a wig for fringes. Looks like a merkin, sounds like "minge," obviously it's just a comedy product oh wait one of the teams is actually going to go for this. Yikes. One product that doesn't get anyone's approval is "discreet" makeup for men, as demonstrated on Leon (7) who has his first gay panic of the episode, tellling everyone it makes him UNCOMFORTABLE to wear makeup and he has a GIRLFRIEND, honest, and can't be a part of it. At least getting his slap on makes him look less like a prepubescent, and more like a person of more mature years. On the downside, that person is Joan Rivers. Glenn gets a pedicure and doesn't cry like a bitch about it, then the obvious moneymaker is a spray tan, demonstrated on a male model. His boxers' waistline gets pulled down a bit so we can see the tan line. Karren likes what she sees. Both teams want this, but Susan leads a chorus of wows on Team Venture; while according to the edit, Team Fuzzy Logic respond by glaring silently. If the editors had some footage of Fuzzy Logic throwing bottles of piss, they'd splice this in here, so discreet is the edit. Anyway, whatever their response actually
was, Venture's was the one that got the top treatment.
Having got the spray tan contract, Venture now has to learn to use it by spray-painting another semi-naked male model. Like everyone else on the internet, I have never even looked
at one of "those" websites, so I could not suggest that this second model may have appeared on one or two of them. I wonder if HETEROSEXUAL Leon knows about this as he throws his second gay panic of the day before finally consenting to actually practice what he's supposed to be doing. As well as the big money from the treatments, some pocket money can be made by selling peripheral items and the teams have to decide how much of this to stock up on. This is where the
winges come in - Melody grabs a handful of
winge and, realising that Edna's been AWOL for the last couple of episodes, attempts to do Edna's trademarked Headshake of Sass. This doesn't really work for her. Over on Venture, Susan's day job is in skincare and she wants them to order loads of extra stuff; Zoe drones at her that they'll be getting about half the stock Susan wants, as any unsold comes off their total.
To That Birmingham they go, Felicity selling lots of products but no treatments, Zoe's team lots of treatments but Susan's not getting rid of the products as fast as she expected. Felicity's upstairs team sort of realise that nobody's turned up in the last couple of hours and that's A Bad Thing, so they send The Actor Michael Sheen downstairs to sell more treatments. He sells more products. *Slow hand-clap* Melody is next to follow him down - this is like a horror film, one by one the people supposedly doing the treatments are disappearing down the stairs, never to return. Now Ellie's left alone with nobody to tell how Northern she is. Eventually she'll get some people turning up for a Hot Shell Massage (er, yay?) but only because the first three minutes are now free. What happens after the first three minutes? Well the customer runs away, obvs. A couple of young guys go in for free massages which leads to one of the creepier moments of the episode: I can only imagine that Jim has got it into his head that Ellie is IN DANGER if left alone in a room with two young Asian lads, and decides to turn up unannounced and do one of them himself. Jim, you may be built like a brick shithouse but I kinda think I'd bet on Ellie in a fight, I think she can handle herself. Also, there's a camera crew in there with her, just so you know. Jim also opts to make his entrance in the style of One Of Those Predatory Gays, leering that he's going to massage one of the boys. He does so. Obviously these two were going to go away as soon as the free bit was over, but now they do this very, very quickly
. Over on Team Venture, everyone decides to give Susan a bollocking in the middle of Westfield for her lack of selling; they're left with £80 worth of unsold stock at the end to be taken off their total.
London porn! Which, once again, heavily features The Shard. Are we supposed to think that LdAlan's pretend boardroom is now located there instead of Canary Wharf now? 'Cause, you know, The Shard hasn't actually finished being built yet. Anyway, we're in LdAlan's very real boardroom and definitely not a BBC studio, and to "good team leader" HETEROSEXUAL Leon slags off Zoe just, you know, in case. But it's OK, they made a profit of £203 while Fuzzy Logic made a bladdy loss of £246. A bladdy loss! Unfortunately LdAlan can't tell them nobody's ever made a bladdy loss before, because they have. Still, they iz well shit. They were even being followed by Nick, proving that the Curse of Logic is even more devastatingly powerful
than that of The Karren of Doom. The winners get to piss about with some people off Strictly
. The losers go to Loser Cafe, where Felicity thinks everyone on the team was equally responsible for the defeat. Fancy the PM thinking that, eh!
Back in the boardroom, The Actor Michael Sheen tries to blame it all on the location, which he'd warned against. (The Actor Michael Sheen's tendency to bury himself in stats has caused Nick Hewer to nickname him "Mister Notebook Hyphen Calculator." What have we learned? That's right, we've learned that Nick Hewer should never be allowed to choose someone's nickname. And who needs to call people on TV by a silly nickname in any case? Anyway, back to The Actor Michael Sheen.) Oh actually we're back to Natasha, whoever she is, saying Felicity had no sales strategy. Ellie was the last person to leave the back room and try to make some sales herself, which she gets berated for. And you know, I do get this argument about certain people hiding away to be unnoticed, but somebody's actually got to do whatever it is they're selling each week and everyone trying to butt into the sales side of things tends not to work too well either
. Anyway, Ellie is apparently the obvious choice to take back in with her, as well as, er, um, ah, let's see, how about Natasha for, I dunno, not selling enough. Melody huffs off with her wheelie bag, making a big show of not saying goodbye to the bottom three.
Back in the firing line and Ellie actually gives pretty good boardroom, she's not quite
as unflappable as Chris from last year (who is?) but she's not far off. Best Ellie moment is when she's accused of failing to "upsell the massages we sent her." "The free ones?" she shoots back. Anyway it's enough to save her, Natasha is saved possibly because LdAlan hasn't noticed she's there, so Felicity is fired because she failed to make any decisions at all. She thanks LdAlan for the opportunity at least, but out in the waiting room she herself gets blanked by the other two who just storm past her without a word. Ellie is later actually rather proud of the fact that she didn't even say goodbye - tsk what next, "I call a spade a spade?" You can go off a person you know. In the cab home, Felicity moans that the two people she nominated to get fired then stabbed her in the back. Well yes, that's pretty much the idea. Next week: It's the advertising task! Find a cushion to hide behind.