I don't want to be one of those
people but this really isn't a great Apprentice
year is it? I'm struggling to write these things, honestly. I mean we've already had a Food Task but only just halfway through the series and we've got a second. Had not enough of the population been poisoned first time around or something?
The Apprenti are having some time off (again? I thought they were only allowed that once a series as well,) this time they're playing Wii. When ZOMG LdAlan turns up in person, like he does every year, and Azhar gets the door so I guess this week's Phone Answering Wars point is his, even though there's no phone involved. LdAlan wants them to go off and make some "gourmet street food," which will definitely not
be some grotty burger van, will have the best ingredients, and he keeps saying "quality" quite slowly so that the less intelligent might have some chance of taking the hint. The less intelligent do not, sadly, as however many times LdAlan says "quality," all Adam hears is "scrape roadkill off road, put on barbecue, kill millions." You can hear the Blonde Assassin grumbling in the background that assassinising is a noble art to be practiced by stealth on a one-on-one basis, not knock off half the population of Scotland in one go. Because verily they will be going on a TRAIN up to Edinburgh, up in Scotlandshire, so let's get the deep-fried Mars bar jokes out of the way ASAP. And LdAlan is picking the PMs this week, they be Adam and Jenna because no, really, they do
want some kind of mass poisoning event in the streets of Edinburgh, there's no other explanation.
Adam, who's taken on the "quality ingredients" remit so very well, is not interested in Tom's suggestion of sushi because it's raw fish and nobody could conceivably want to eat that, how about a burger van? GOURMET! He is eventually talked round to "Italian" food, or in any case pasta with meatballs, because it can be slopped onto a tray like school dinners. GOURMET! Adam even tries to put forward the idea that they use corned beef for the meatballs. Having seen the finished product, I'm not entirely sure he didn't get his way. GOURMET!
Meanwhile Jenna, disappointed at not getting her desired task of "choose a form of fossil fuel to take to Newcastle," because she totally
had a great idea for that, is going to take Scottish Food to Edinburgh. And what's Britain's favourite kind of fast food at the moment? That's right, casserole
On the train up to Edinburgh the teams look at the possible pitches, with Team Casserole ruling out the football match because much cheaper food will be available, while Assassin convinces Team Roadkill they should go there because of all the footfall. Or, this being Scotland, fitfa. Jenna is worried that the people there will speak Scottish, and I can't tell if she's joking or not. When they get there they each get a chef who'll create their recipe. Adam, of course, wants the cheapest possible ingredients (Tom reminds him what the task actually is
and gets ignored; Hick Newer tells us how right Tom is, because he doesn't want to make the same mistake as in the Tat Shop Task and actually have to admit he was wrong about something.) Anyway, cheap of course it is, and yet when then they ask chef Mattia if they can use his name for their product he lets them. The only conceivable reason he would do so is that, being Italian, he hasn't actually seen this show. In any case I'd be suspicious of eating anything he'd cooked in future, his judgement is not the best. Mattia is saved from himself though, because the branding sub-team have, for reasons unknown, been driving around Edinburgh in case this gives them an idea for a name. Toothlicker and Assassin come up with "Utterly Delicious Meatballs." Trips right off the tongue doesn't it? But then again, so do the meatballs, you certainly wouldn't want to risk getting any of that down your throat. Adam goes with their suggestion simply because they're the branding team, and he can blame them if they lose.
So, the selling bit, or the not selling very much bit anyway. Team Casserole is at Parliament Square, which isn't as busy as they expected. Hearts' football ground, where Team Roadkill are, is
busy. It's positively overflowing with people who don't want to buy dodgy meatballs for £5.99, but still Toothlicker phones up to suggest they put the price up to £7.99. This will not be happening, however many times Assassin hangs a lantern on the fact that these tasks have no relation to reality, and points out that it doesn't matter if they charge people £7.99 for two meatballs, three overcooked pieces of pasta and a week's worth of diarrhoea: Return custom isn't a factor. When the otherwise solid approach of "if it's not selling, raise the price" (admittedly that might have worked in Brick Lane) fails, they strike a deal with a bus tour company, who for some reason are willing to let their customers be pestered during the ride. "That's a task-winner, that!" says Toothlicker, in case the edit hadn't given away already that they were going to lose. This task-winner involves them moving the van to some back alley, then hopping onto the tourist bus two stops earlier with Assassin dressed as a pizza, and telling the tourists to buy Italian food, but not pizza because they don't actually
sell that. Then getting off at the van, accompanied by approximately zero hungry tourists, and walking back ten minutes to do it all over again. Except not, because they miss the next bus.
Meanwhile Team Casserole also exists. They move about a bit, sell some food, don't sell some food, etc. At one point Laura asks someone "have you had your tea?" but this is Edinburgh, not Glasgow, so she's got that joke wrong.
Back to That London. BOARDROOM! Team Roadkill start off all positive but LdAlan can't even be arsed waiting for the results before laying into them, and Adam gets all flustered when confronted with the fact that he chose a name that was more of a mouthful than his meatballs. Despite their higher production costs Sterling win - narrowly, by just over £20. So, if Phoenix had
got the higher profit, would there have been any
kind of penalty for the fact that FOR THE SECOND WEEK RUNNING they didn't actually do what was required of them by the task? Because next week they might as well go all the way with "I know you told us to sell jellied eels in Marrakesh but we figured that selling the cars and mobiles you gave us to a bloke in a back alley in Dalston would make more money."
The winners go to a five-star country club to ride segways, so they're probably wondering why they even bothered trying if this is the prize.
Back in the boardroom, Toothlicker goes a bit mental which is quite amusing, then points out Azhar hasn't said anything in a (successful) attempt to get the blame shifted onto him. Tom says to Toothlicker "why do you lie so much?" which makes me love him a bit, Adam picks Katie and "...either Jade or Azhar" but Jade gives him evils so he goes for Azhar. Then it's the final three, and to be honest while I was catching up on this bit I got distracted by a Twitter conversation, because Emma finally spotted the reference I made to her forearm fetish in my King John
review over on the other blog. But the distraction's a handy excuse because if you've read my Apprentice
reviews before you'll know I always struggle with the boardroom bits anyway because it's all white noise to me. LdAlan says Azhar spoke up for himself well so he can stay, he'll let Adam stay as well for reasons he doesn't seem that clear on, which means Assassin is bladdy fired. She gets into the cab, forgetting the poisonous gas she'd set in there earlier... Argh! Hoist by her own Assassinerating! Will she come back from the dead next week to continue killing fired Apprenti in their dreams like Freddie Krueger? (Spoiler: Yes, if I can be bothered keeping the gag going.)
Next week: The Smellin' What's Sellin' Task. Oh you know, it's the one where leftover stock actually counts for once.