The last episode of this series. In the previous 11 weeks, we’ve had 13 firings, 7 of them male, 8 of them female, and a whole lot of confrontation. Now, it is an all-girl showdown between Yasmina Siadatan, restauranter, and Kate Walsh, Development Manager.
They wake up, are driven in separate cars to a meeting pint, wherein Sir Alan brings back eight previous fired members, and a hilarious game of picking teams ensue. I’m personally not fond of picking teams, as it brings back horrible memories of when we were picking rounders teams in Secondary School, and I was always selected last ‘cos everyone hated me. And for Rocky, who is the last man standing and looking very sullen, he must share my feeling. This is how the team-picking went:
Yasmina (who guessed tails, and it landed tails): Howard
And Kate gets Rocky.
It was quite interesting because the cameras kept showing a close-up of Philip, who was watching Kate expectantly, whereas Kate seemed to be looking anywhere but at him.
Onto the task, which, is to create and market their own box of chocolates. SirAlan reveals that the chocolate industry makes £3.5 billion a year, and Kate looks ecstatic to be given this task, whereas Yasmina stares straight ahead, concentrating.
Yasmina’s group (Empire) start out with the idea of a box of chocolates targeted at men, whereas Kate wants something sensual and naughty. Ben, who has clearly got sex on the mind, suggests having a threesome with your box of chocolates. The good ideas from Ben just keep rolling in, because he then suggests packing the chocolates in a 69 shape. Ha.
Yasmina believes the men’s chocs to be a tricky sell, and the idea really isn’t hitting off when they pitch it to some businessmen in London. Instead, they brainstorm names – Cocoa for Men, Shockolate, Cocoa Electric. Meanwhile, Kate takes some of her team to do some research in a supermarket. “Women have come to the supermarket for a bottle of wine and a night in,” she says, as she peruses the shelves and looks at prices, packaging, etc.
Philip also thinks that the men’s chocolate idea, so Empire change their theme. They’re keen on the “Cocoa Electric” name, so they go for chocolates with shocking new flavours.
In Kate’s team, Debra and Rocky are tasting the chocolates with famous chocolatier Paul Young. They’ve found some tastes that they are really keen on, with one setback – to sell said chocolate and make a profit, they’d have to price it at £13. Kate is unsure when she hears about this, but Debra promises the taste makes it worth it.
Now, onto naming Ignite’s chocolate. The name “Intimate” is floated about, but without a huge amount of keenness, as it sounds more like a brand of condoms than a decent chocolate box name. With seconds to go, Ignite go French – Choc D’Amour. Sounds a bit cheesy, but it’ll do.
Advert time! Kate and Kim direct their advert, which is boringly rigid to begin with. Kate suggests the idea of the woman in the ad tying up the man with his tie and smearing chocolate all over her mouth to add a bit of spice to it, to which a bemused Nick watches. Empire, meanwhile, have an ultra-cheesy advert wherein a group of hip-looking youngsters pretend to get electric shocks from their box of chocolates. Anything goes, I see.
When it’s time to make the pitches, the nerves start to get to Yasmina. She practices her pitch in front of Lorraine but its rife with stops and nervous breaks. Clearly, Yasmina is not in her element here. Kate, however, is, and her pitch goes swimmingly. The chocolates are clearly popular, evoking appreciative nods from the bigwigs in the audience, but a hushed murmur passes through when she mentions the £13 price tag. Then it’s Yasmina’s turn to make her pitch, and she does surprisingly well. Whilst she doesn’t seem as ease talking as Kate does, she keeps it going, and it’s soon all over.
Boardroom time. Sir Alan says what we were all thinking - £13 too much for Ignite’s product, whereas Empire’s product, whilst packaged well, the chocolates themselves are a bit stale. James, who has been rather quiet all episode, pipes up in the chocolates’ defence, saying that they didn’t have enough time to perfect the recipe, but, had they had the time, it would have tasted better.
The firees retreat, Sir Alan asks Kate and Yasmina to step outside, and broods over his decision. Finally, he asks them back in again. Kate, he worries, might only be good at selling and pitching, whereas Yasmina already owns her own business, and he fears holding her back from it. However, in the end, he makes his decision, and Sir Alan picks Yasmina. She is ecstatic, Kate is gutted, but composes herself well, and thus marks the end of the fifth series of The Apprentice.
I think that Kate should have won, personally. I never saw the point about her being "robotic" and I thought she was a very good all-rounder. That said, Yasmina did well over the series too, she dealt with big characters well and generally went about her business quietly. I still maintain Phil should have won, though, so I'm not unduly fussed. What I do know is that I won't be able to cope for 40 weeks without The Apprentice. I love this show, so much. It's amazing. And nearly a year without it. Gah.