So, this is actually a Brand! New! Task! for this series, although it’s superficially like lots of others, which is about to cause muchos confusion. LdAlan presents the teams with £250 worth of tat each, which they must attempt to sell. Profits must be reinvested into more of whatever sold best and the whole thing done again, and so on. Crucially, he tells them that they will not be penalised for having unsold stock at the end of selling on Day 2, its value will be included in their total. It’s meant to be a microcosm of a real business model, to be done as if they were going to continue doing the same indefinitely. Got that? Well the Apprenti certainly haven’t. LdAlan moves Susan to Venture and Helen to Logic, while telling The Actor Michael Sheen to bladdy do something for a bladdy change. The Actor Michael Sheen doesn’t take this as a hint to be PM, instead Melody is unopposed (for now) as leader of Team Logic. It’s Susan vs Natasha vying for Venture leadership; a democratic vote at this stage basically boils down to Jim deciding who’s in charge, and going for Natasha.
Off to the streets of That London to do selling! Jim’s on umbrella duty in Covent Garden, and does his usual Jim thing of being beaten down on price (he wanted £12 for a brolly; he got £10) but acting as if he’s actually done some supersmashing haggling in the hope that no-one’s noticed. For both teams (The Actor Michael Sheen is selling on the South Bank for Logic and actually not doing too badly) the umbrellas are a good seller, unsurprisingly given it’s a cloudy day. More surprising is that the other big sellers are nodding dogs for the back windscreens of cars. They both sell out of them instantly – I don’t know, maybe nodding dogs are so out of fashion that everyone’s completely forgotten they ever existed, so now they’re new again? I certainly don’t know, and neither does Susan, who is Venture’s solo salesperson. Having noticed that LdAlan’s bunch of old tat was a bunch of old tat, Susan has decided to go to West London and try to flog brown duvet covers to posh houses. I wish I could have heard her sales pitch – “they’re the colour of poo, so if you shit the bed nobody will know!” Sadly she doesn’t get to give this pitch as everyone’s out being rich and fabulous, and every door is answered by Consuela from Family Guy. If only Susan was selling Lemon Pledge instead of turd-tastic duvet sets!
Meanwhile Helen and Melody seem to have completely misunderstood what a wholesaler does, and want to flog their tat to shops. Ugh... In this task you are the shop, Jeebus! This not being bad enough, they try to flog a £50 watch to a pound shop. The owner informs them that the words “pound shop” in the window are a form of language that is meant to communicate information to humans. Never mind, next stop trying to flog duvet sets to a hardware store. How, how did this woman win 9 consecutive tasks? How does she even get out of bed in the morning without getting distracted by her own feet? One shopkeeper does promise to buy a load of duvet sets but he needs a bulk order – they’ll have to go back to the warehouse and get them for him tomorrow. On Team Venture Jim is attempting his creepy charm offensive in French and I cringe; Natasha currently has no purpose in life so she phones Susan, who is VERY YOUNG, REMEMBER and therefore is having her afternoon nap, post-milk and cookies. Well someone had to get through that pile of uneaten Special Stars. Helen and Melody are still trying to sell to shops, while The Actor Michael Sheen phones them to tell them nodding dogs are selling like hot cakes and they confirm that yes, they will therefore definitely not be buying any more of them. LOLZ. Eventually everyone remembers the “restocking at wholesalers” bit of the task and does so, although they don’t seem to actually be buying the same items, just wandering around and choosing shiny things like bracelets in Susan’s case and, in Melody’s case, some kind of... Well I don’t know, it’s a digital... picture frame... alarm... clock... thing? Anyway, it’s not brollies and nodding dogs. Aren’t they supposed to be smelling things with their balls? I see what’s happened, both PMs are bladdy women this week, therefore they have no balls, therefore they have no sense of smell. QED.
Next morning at Apprentice Mansions! Helen has been up all night
Meanwhile on team Logic Helen is wandering forlornly outside Canary Wharf tube, because that’s totally where people are going to want to be accosted by a madwoman selling suspicious-looking electrical goods. Trying to get shifted to something useful, she ends up being sent instead to pick up those extra shitty duvet sets from yesterday, despite the fact that it’ll take about 4 hours and make them roughly 0.7 of a p profit. And, it turns out, once she’s bought them the shop has already closed so she’s stuck with them. On Venture, Natasha finally permits Jim to buy some more umbrellas, just in time for him to run in the direction of the O2 and not have time to actually sell them. D’oh!
Boardroom! This task was about “smelling what’s selling,” says LdAlan who’s very, very pleased with that new catchphrase. Good team leader? Usually LdAlan complains when people say the team leader was good then change their minds when they’ve lost. So you’d expect him to be thrilled at Helen saying Melody was a terrible team leader but no, he looks as taken aback as everyone else. Logic had not strategy, The Actor Michael Sheen sold nodding dogs but couldn’t persuade the bladdy women to buy more of them etc. On Venture Jim sold well but Natasha totally missed the bladdy point of the task by not reinvesting and therefore is fined! £100. Which is always a sign that they’ve won anyway and they’re just giving the other team false hope. And so it is. Logic turned £250 into £728 but even after the fine Venture turned theirs into £751. Finally, the Curse of Karren and the Curse of Logic have overpowered the Curse of NotHelen and got Helen into their sweaty clutches! Meanwhile, the fine wasn’t enough of a punishment, so because Venture smell of wee they can’t have a treat this week, and instead have to somehow cope with just being limo-driven back to their fabulous mansion.
Melody actually does a bit of a cry outside Loser Cafe – it’s OK, she may be a hard-nosed businesswoman but Al Gore and Mr Dally the Llama taught her it’s OK to let it all out sometimes, and if she couldn’t do it for real Stanislavski taught her how to fake it. Back in the boardroom Helen is accused of having got so used to those massive sales in previous weeks that all she could think of doing was getting massive orders from retailers. She and Melody argue over whose idea the whole “missing the point and trying to sell £50 watches to Pound Shops” was until they get sent out again – I mean, there’s only 3 of them so there’s no choice over who’s in the firing line and this is a bit pointless, but it does mean he can talk to Nick’n’Karren, and Karren stands up for The Actor Michael Sheen because of his selling. Normally this would mean The Actor Michael Sheen definitely getting fired, because if there’s one thing LdAlan likes doing with his “trusted” “advisers” it’s ignoring them, but not so this week. Back in, and Melody tells us she set up “the most successful democratic project on earth” and wrote the Queen’s Speech, or something. The Actor Michael Sheen actually does the whole boardroom thing properly, i.e. has a proper go at the two bladdy women. For the second week running LdAlan fire-teases The Actor Michael Sheen, and for the second week running The Actor Michael Sheen falls for it and attempts to yammer a defence before realising that the “with regret” was in fact aimed at Melody, who is bladdy fired. Because LdAlan just couldn’t see himself working with her. Because she’s awful.
Melody thanks LdAlan and Nick’n’Karren – is she the first one this year to remember them? On the way out she has a long hug with The Actor Michael Sheen, whom the remaining Apprenti are openly surprised to see still here. Helen calls his boardroom technique “slightly naughty,” a reminder if we’d needed one that she’d never been in there before, and has no idea how nasty it can actually get, if she thought that was bad. Next week: Not interviews! Madness! Instead, the producers seem to have decided that the Apprenti haven’t poisoned quite enough people yet, so there’s another food task.