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So anyway,
Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
UP YER CYCLE! 
13th-Apr-2012 03:24 pm
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This week on The Apprentice it's that task with buying and selling rubbish, which I didn't like last time. Except it was slightly different this time, so I didn't mind it so much. Oh, I have to write more than that? OK then.

The male Apprenti are playing table tennis, only it's that one where a load of them all run around the table, so they can get sweaty and overpower the other contestants with their musk, or something, I don't know. Azhar gets the point in phone-answering wars, and they're to go to The Old Cinema in Chiswick. This leads them to all try and second-guess which task it's going to be, and they figure it's the advertising one because of filming And That. Oh silly Apprenti, as if a location would ever have as obvious a connection to the task as that. They get ready, Azhar turns out to be unexpectedly buff. All right Azhar, but don't get too cocky about it, it just makes you The Jim.

Turns out the key word in the location wasn't "cinema," it was "old." Because here comes LdAlan. LOLZ NOT RLY. It's because it sells overpriced old tat upcycled second-hand goods, and that's what the teams are going to be doing as well, in shops in Brick Lane. They have a £1000 budget and 2 days to spend it and do the upcycling (upcycling is this week's Bullshit Bingo word.) Jade gets sent to Phoenix, Ricky Martin has to shake his Bon-Bon over to Sterling. Duane wants to be Sterling PM again but his Rubbish Jedi powers get him no votes, instead it's Scottish One, who it appears we're supposed to call Laura, who leads them, while over on Phoenix Tom somehow grumps himself into the PM job, before informing us he's ONLY 23. Yes, yes, I know who he reminds you of too, and just as we'd nearly managed to forget. Anyway he wants his team to be selective and not spend too much of their budget, whereas Laura wants hers to buy anything they see anywhere, and there's a lot of emphasis on buttons.

Shard porn! Then Tom's subteam are in Greenwich for an auction. Greenwich, again? Why must they keep coming here? Maybe they got as much filming done here as they could last year, because now we're a Royal Borough we won't let their sort in any more. Tom's only given Adam, Toothlicker and Blonde Assassin £200 to bid with, and Nick Hewer huffs about what a mortal error this is while Adam tops up their meagre stock by rooting through a skip. At the exact same time, Tom's half of the team are at a car boot sale stocking up, where Tom is really picky about stuff until they break something and they're all "run away!" Nick Hewer is there commenting as well! Since it's impossible that things didn't happen at exactly the times the edit suggests they did, the only conclusion is that Nick Hewer has been cloned. Let's call this version Hick Newer. Meanwhile Team Scottish One are buying anything that catches their eye, like magpies, if magpies were attracted to turds instead of shiny stuff. It's fine, they're going to upcycle it, innit. They'll use all that lovely money to stick Union Jacks on them (in this context they're called Union Jacks, not Union Flags, because Team Scottish One are ALL AT SEA! I KNOW! LOLLERSKATES! ETC!) and call it shabby chic.

On Subteam Assassin, Toothlicker excitedly buys all the hidden treasures at the back of a junk shop. Because, these are the things the owner hid away 'cause they're really good deals and he doesn't want you to notice them, right? That's totally how it works, right? The junk shop owner informs the camera than no, not so much. But thanks for giving him £30 for the stuff so useless he stuck it at the back 'cause even junk shop customers wouldn't pay money for it.

Laura's subteam are at a house clearance RAIDING THE HOMES OF THE DEAD LIKE GHOULS and Duane informs us you shouldn't "look a gift horse in the eye." Because it might... look back? And see through your Rubbish Jedi powers? He doesn't elaborate. But back on the main team Tortoise keeps informing us that Union Jacks are big with the hipsters right now so they keep painting them onto stuff, a job so exhausting that Arctic Monkey Nick's hair is looking slightly unkempt by the end! I know!

By the time the shops open, Tom's is looking pretty empty but, and I know I've got the benefit of hindsight, but at the time I did think that he might be on to something. Given that the task is to sell stuff to hipsters and pseuds, surely a pretentious, faux-art gallery look with only about three chairs in the whole shop means you can whack any outrageous price on something and still get someone to buy it. (The word Hick Newer chews outrageously over is "minimalism." He even has to admit he might have been wrong about the strategy earlier.) Whereas no matter how many Union Jacks you slap onto stuff, Team Scottish One's junk shop just looks like a junk shop. They chuck some dead leaves on the floor too because this will make it look... less so? It's OK though because Jane will entice passers-by into the shop by invading their personal space, and Duane will try and sell a big chair and a small chair by excitedly announcing that one of them's big and one of them's small. Careful Duane - have you double-checked to make sure one of them isn't just Far Away?

Tom's minimalism is starting to look more like "not actually having any stock left" so Toothlicker, Adam and Jade are sent off to a car boot sale in Battersea, where they badger this episode's obvious hero, a woman who tells them they can have stuff for a quid if they promise to go away. Meanwhile it's the other way round on Laura's team, where they're slashing prices and Jenna has to give in to a hipster twat in a bowtie just to stop him saying "£9.25!"

Boardroom! Sterling were going vintage so it's lucky they had Tortoise on their team, which makes it sound like Tortoise has herself been around since that furniture was new. Their shabby-chic was more shabby than chic according to Karren Brady, or possibly her clone Barren Krady, who knows? Tom meanwhile hasn't got a bad word to say about his team (if it was me I would have totally followed that up with a "...yet" but LdAlan calls it a brave statement.) But it doesn't have to be put to the test because with a profit of £1063.40 compared to Sterling's £783.49, Phoenix have won. Which means the Blonde Assassin has actually won a task for once, giving her extra time to plot a particularly cunning and convoluted death for this week's victim. The winners get a 1940s-style party complete with swing dance lessons, while Tom informs us again that he is TWENTY THREE and therefore young.

Back in the boardroom and Sterling bought 200 items compared to Phoenix's 50. Plus of course all the paint for those totally useful Union Jacks that needed painting on, and lots of fabric and buttons that had to be bought because of reasons. So yeah, Tom's strategy was clearly right, except if Tom had lost LdAlan would totally have been all "I gave you 1000 bladdy pahnds! If I'd only wanted you to spend 200 bladdy pahnds I'd have given yer 200 bladdy pahnds!" You know it, I know it, let's move on back to the losers, where we're told what everyone's individual sales figures were. Which is totally a fair measure of success when some people were actually in the shop selling, and others' job was to send customers in to them and not make the sales themselves. Turns out Jane only sold £10's worth. Basically, LdAlan has decided he wants to fire Jane because she smells of wee, so he's giving Laura a mahussive hint who to bring back into the firing line. Which she does, along with Tortoise because of all that Union Jack shabby chic stuff which was totally going to fly off the shelves until it didn't. The rest is filler, with a big fire-tease for Laura due to her very clearly having no idea what she actually did as PM. But it's Jane who has to go because she smells of wee. Jane didn't see this coming and cries in the cab. To be fair, she's crying 'cause the driver of the cab has turned out to be the Blonde Assassin, and she's just told her what she's going to do to her. It involves tiny knives, feather dusters and a giraffe with a bladder infection, and it ain't gonna be pretty.
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