This week on The Apprentice
it's the "art gallery" task they do every year except this time it's TOTALLY! DIFFERENT! because the art is question is "street art" or "graffiti on a canvas" which will allow Tom to unleash previously unheard-of levels of hipster pseud.
We open with London porn, and it's sunrise at the Shard - not so at the Apprent-cave where it's pitch black at 6am. Possibly there's now such a huge army of Nick Hewer and Karren Brady clones that they block out the sun. Jade answers the phone, they're to go to those arches under Waterloo Station that are a designated graffiti zone. This is the compulsory one task a series where LdAlan is far too bladdy busy to tit around on a game show so he's just appearing on a widescreen TV which just happens to be in the middle of some railway tunnels. The important business keeping him away is "not wanting to stand in some railay tunnels that smell of wee." Anyway, it's the art task, which is the usual - schmooze six artists, pick two to represent, inevitably both teams will want the same artist, whoever gets him will win the whole task. This year there's also a thing where half the artists are in London and half in Bristol, and we're not explicitly told that they have to pick one artist from each city but it seems to be the case. Which kind of makes sense since usually the Apprenti are trying to compare things they've seen with things they haven't, but now each sub-team can choose based on what they saw.
So on Sterling it's Toothlicker vs Tortoise for PM; she's done loads of arty stuff, she's a dab hand at potato printing and everything. He hasn't. So it's Tortoise for PM. Over on Phoenix Tom launches into a "fascinating" lecture about how he's an expert on urban art, collects it himself, and how like, Banksy, right, and be prepared 'cause this might blow your mind, Banksy is well famous but nobody knows who he actually is. He doesn't mention that there may or may not be a Banksy on the side of the building where I live
so he doesn't know everything
, eh? Before actually meeting the artists each team has a corporate client to schmooze, In Tom’s case Renault (Tom conducts this meeting perfectly, according to Hick Newer who’s standing at the side with love-hearts coming out of his eyes.) In Tortoise’s case it’s Beefeater Gin, she doesn’t ask them what their budget for art is, or it seems, any questions about anything at all, but Tortoise is SO ENTHUSIASTIC and hopefully that’ll make up for everything. Barren Krady’s eyes are shooting out evils instead of hearts.
There’s a number of graffiti artists they have to visit, and some of them will have their stuff up on the gallery walls later but the only one we really care about is called PURE EVIL. And the reason we care about PURE EVIL isn’t that he’s got the silliest name, but because he’s the one who, as mentioned earlier, both teams will want but only one can represent. Tom’s team is first to see QUITE NAUGHTY and now Tom attempts to impress him by listing names of, presumably collectible graffiti artists, who presumably actually exist and he’s not just making them up to seem clever, but who knows. So, if you read this blog you’ll know I go to the theatre an insane amount, and occasionally there’s a Q&A with the cast and/or creatives afterwards. There’s an unwritten rule of these Q&As, that if there’s an American woman in the audience, she will invariably ask a question along the lines of “how has the work of X, Y, maybe even Z influenced your performance?” The phrasing doesn’t really matter because the essence is always “Here is a list of obscure avant-garde theatrical practitioners I have heard of, and everyone else in the audience (and probably most of the people on stage) haven’t heard of, so I’m awesome. Discuss.” This tends to use up about half of the time allocated for questions as the creatives try to formulate some answer that isn’t “ooh, aren’t you clever, have a biscuit.” Anyway, the looks on the actors’ faces when this question hoves into view is pretty much the same as the look on COMPARATIVELY UNPLEASANT’s face as Tom drones on. Whereas Tortoise is just SO ENTHUSIASTIC when it’s her turn, and ACTUALLY A BIT DASTARDLY chooses her team when the time comes. Tom is completely unprepared for the possibility of not getting his first choice, and ends up going for James Jessop, who does paintings of B-movie monsters roughly the size of Brighton Pavillion. If they sell one it’ll probably win the task on its own. If
Meanwhile in Bristol, Adam quite likes a picture of a three-titted woman. Because HUR HUR OF COURSE HE DOES and etc.
Selling day comes, they set up their galleries, SORT OF ILL-MANNERED is of course selling very well for Team Tortoise. Team Tom’s Bristol artist, SPQR, is selling well enough, but there’s nothing moving on the Jessop side of things. Tom does continue to be good with the Renault people, despite the distraction of Hick stalking around him in the background. At this rate Tom’s going to need to take out a restraining order. Seriously Hick, this isn’t The Voice
, you’re not Danny, Tom’s not Aleks, so take your tongue out of his arse. Meanwhile Team Tortoise gives a “masterclass in how not to treat a corporate client” per Barren, as they basically ignore them and, horror of horrors, they’re stuck with Toothlicker trying to welcome them.
BOARDROOM! LdAlan has a go at Tom for being too busy showing off about his “art” “knowledge” to properly kiss PARTICULARLY VILE’s arse, and losing the chance to represent him. Then he turns to Tortoise and chews her out (not literally, that would be hideous) about her lacklustre corporate arse-kissing. So basically, more arse-kissing all round, people! As a result of these failings, Tom’s team were the only one to get a corporate sale, coming in at 2 grand, but their total commission of £4,442 is pipped by Sterling’s £4,579. So yeah, yet another week where the losing team didn’t really do that badly but there we are. The “treat” this week involves sticking the winning team in an empty studio that isn’t being used at the moment, and letting them run around smearing each other with paint that’s been left over in BBC storage ever since Take Hart
finished. The paints turned out to be toxic so they’ve not been able to get rid of them legally in any conventional way, and having them absorbed into the skin of Apprenti is the only ecologically sound solution.
Anyway back in the boardroom there’s some VERY SUBTLE HINTING that Laura had the lowest sales on the team, and some similarly subtle “Adam did well despite only knowing about fruit and veg” so Tom brings Jade and Laura back into the firing line and LdAlan tells him it was the correct decision and he was right to let Adam off. Ugh, of course
LdAlan is a big Adam fan. Then LdAlan aks Tom why he brought Jade back, and somehow Tom manages not to say “because there’s only three people to choose from and you already agreed I shouldn’t have brought Adam back so, you know, MATHS.” Tom continues to be pretty canny in the boardroom with regard to his James Jessop fail (chances are if he’d chosen another artist at least a couple of artworks would have been sold which would have been enough to tip the scale, so the loss is largely down to this decision.) Tom all but says that he’s watched the show before and LdAlan is always heaping praise on people who take risks which pay off, so if he fired him for doing the same thing it might almost look as if LdAlan is just making all this up as he goes along BUT THAT ARE VERRA VERRA UNLIKELY! Besides, look, Laura’s sitting right there and she’s totally pointless. Plus she’s misusing the word “myself” a lot even by this show’s standards, so fuck’er. And Laura is fired. LdAlan says what saved Tom was that he took a gamble and then owned up to it. It’s crazy, but it’s almost as if the reason Tom is always so calm in the boardroom is that he’s… telling the truth about what he did on the task? Where do they come up with their crazy ideas?
Meanwhile Laura has managed to get all the way home without getting Assassinated, she must be safe. She’ll just have a nice relaxing bath to get over her firing. Just… dozing off in the tub. Oh no! A faulty splashguard causes flooding, the water’s rising, a shadowy figure holds her under... Laura’s drowning… drowning… ASSASSINED!