So, what I want to know is: Was this week's Apprentice
of the advertising task, or will there be a proper ad task as well? 'Cause it was pretty damn similar. I could use the opportunity to wonder whatever happened to the home shopping channel task while I'm at it, but I think we're all resigned to the fact that it got ditched for being too entertaining.
Tortoise gets her second point in Phone Answering Wars, and is told they're to go to York Hall. On relaying the message to the other Apprenti there's some LOLARIOUS York Hall/Your Call confusion that results in Tom actually smiling for the first time, possibly ever. Look, Tom doesn't just find any old thing funny, it has to be absolute gold material like this. I, however, actually knew better than them in a sports-related issue for once, having been to this boxing venue at some point in my life. It was to see some boxing-themed site-specific theatre
rather than actual real-life boxing, obviously, but it still totally means I win and am well butch And That. Once there, LdAlan tells them to create and licence a new fitness regime that will make people fit and, much more importantly, make the Apprenti look ridiculous.
Toothlicker works in the gym industry, which I'm taking to mean he's basically Gordon Brittas, and so announces himself Phoenix PM. On Sterling it's Ricky Martin vs Jenna, but RICKY MARTIN WRESTLE! RICKY MARTIN SMASH! RICKY MARTIN BE PM! They will be mixing street-dance with martial arts, and calling it Beat Battle. Actually there won't be much martial arts stuff, probably not much street, and I'm not sure what's left could be called dancing, but the other team are babbling on about skipping and 80s discos for fuck's sake so things could be worse. Adam, Azhar and Toothlicker do the Thriller dance in a scene whose cringeworthiness is only tempered by the fact that it's been so deliberately staged to be cringeworthy. They end up going back in a cab filled with space hoppers and hula hoops. Tom is not convinced that a regime that requires every gym to buy a couple of dozen space hoppers will be as surefire a hit as everyone else expects. But on this show, pointing out the obvious flaw in the plan translates as "getting taken back into the boardroom for being negative" so he shuts up. The workout's called Groove Train by the way, because it might as well be I suppose. Adam now becomes very keen on the idea that he's the choreographer. I'm surprised, I would have thought he'd see that as work for Women and Gays, but on balance the opportunity to give women orders clearly won out.
They're having to make promo videos which is where I really start to think we may not get a proper advertising task this year 'cause... this is basically it, isn't it? Apart from the fact that it's judged on orders from health clubs, not LdAlan picking the only one to actually mention the product. Duane is directing the Beat Battle promo, and says he's taking a couple of moves out of the routine but it's totally fine and he won't check with the PM about it, even though Arctic Nick thinks there's not enough Battle left - given how things pan out I'm surprised more wasn't made of this later on. Anyway Arctic Nick is quite enjoying wearing a headset so that's OK. Hick Newer sniffs about how people go a bit mental whenever there's a camera involved. I KNOW RIGHT? Give people a taste of the limelight and next thing you know they think they can host Countdown
. Ricky Martin tells the camera that his team is all motivated and happy and united as we SURPRISE cut straight to the rest of his team bitching in their Apprent-mobile, and Laura is apparently "pitsed off" aout it. Arctic Nick, who's still wearing his shorts (bless) tries to be a peacemaker. Fails, obviously.
Word must have got out to the other team that Laura didn't look quite ridiculous enough in her fitness instructor role, so it's up to Phoenix to bring in the LOLs. Azhar is chosen as the person who will look most uncomfortable in shorts and a headband so Azhar it is, reading his script unconvincingly from a clipboard. Adam's "choreographer" role seems to involve him loudly interrupting everything director Jade is trying to do during the filming and editing. He is aghast at her failure to accede to his every demand, and doesn't know if it's because she's thick or deaf (or a woman, eh Adam, just a bladdy woman? Oh god, LdAlan's going to love him isn't he? He'll probably win.)
The next day it's presentations to three gym chains, and the woman at Fitness First looks in actual physical pain from trying not to laugh at the Groove Train. Toothlicker is completely stumped by questions from all the gyms about where they're supposed to store the numerous enormous toys that the routine requires. But they're asking for £35 for it, as opposed to Beat Battle (Battle not included; Beat pending) who want £45 per franchise. And Duane, who could have totally done everything yesterday on his own, attempts to demonstrate the routine on his own now, and gets it wrong. On his own.
Boardroom! LdAlan says it's right that Toothlicker led the task since the person in the business should be in charge. Yeah it's not like that's failed almost every single time in the last seven years, is it? Adam is still
so excited about being choreographer that he mentions it to LdAlan at a completely inappropriate time, like a toddler enthusiastically pointing at a poo that (mostly) ended up inside the potty. When it comes to the numbers, there's the usual mislead when Sterling get orders from the two smaller chains and Phoenix get none; then Virgin don't want to license either, but
want Phoenix's idea as a kids'/family activity and are willing to pay 12,810 imaginary pounds for it, against Sterling's imaginary total of £7,970. So... Phoenix wins? There's been some dodgy wins before but this one's really questionable, since Phoenix completely failed to come up with what they were supposed to, and got flung a load of pretend money for something completely different. Still, a rare victory for someone who works in the relevant field. Although, again, without actually managing to target that relevant field even remotely.
Phoenix's prize involves beauty treatments and massages, but we're not shown Tom getting a happy finish so I'm not interested. The others are in Loser Café, then back in the Boardroom where Laura seems to be getting the blame for removing those martial arts moves that Duane removed, and nobody seems to be correcting this. Ricky Martin brings Laura and Duane back with him though, and LdAlan is all "why not one of the people wot dun nuffin?" And god help me but I'm agreeing with Ricky Martin who's all yes, but you've got to do stuff well
too. Because in the last couple of years since LdAlan got tough on slacking, tough on the causes of slacking, there's been way too much of people getting away with doing a bad job loudly, because it's easier to put the blame on someone who got on with a good job quietly. Not that Laura necessarily fucked up in this case, as even Duane admits. So does LdAlan who says she's safe. Duane is fired for fucking up the video, and it's only because Hick and Barren have given good feedback about him that Ricky Martin lives (la vida loca) to fight another day.
Still, the Blonde Assassin's been pretty quiet this week so I guess Duane must be safe right? As he tries to enter the cab though a shadowy figure creeps up and batters him to death with a space hopper. Oh the humanity!
Next week: The food task. What, again? We just had that a couple of weeks ago.