Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Apprentice, Episode 6

As my good friend, fellow cinephile and moral compass Luke pointed out, The Apprentice has become mandatory hangover watching on a Thursday morning. And this week, on recovering from a (not so) heavy night of boozing (I iz a lightweight) last night, today was no different!


Episode 6
Philip has as sexy little tattoo on his left arm. We see it when he picks up the phone to be told that their next meeting point with Alan Sugar is in West London. They go to Chiswick Auction House, Hounslow, where Sir Alan tells them he's given both teams 10 objects. Their task is to find out the value of them and sell them by 6pm of the same day. But first, the teams are mixed a bit: Ignite take Kate, and Empire take Noorul. Philip is made Project Manager of Ignite, Ben Project Manager of Empire.

Some of the gems in the 10 objects are vintage black women's heels, and a lush Indian rug worth over £200+. There is also a first edition copy of Octopussy by Ian Fleming. Empire's PM, 22-year-old Ben Clarke, wastes no time bigging himself up, "I am a natural born leader." If you say so, mate. At Empire, meanwhile, Philip asks if he and Lorraine can put water under the bridge. "If I'm being a jerk, tell us so I can listen," he offers. Almost immediately, we see him getting fired up, as Lorraine is spending time pouring over rug catalogues, rightly believing their carpet to be one of the gems, but Philip gets irritated, thinking it's a dead end and a waste of time.

As one of the aspiring Apprentices point out, this is one of the more difficult challenges. It involves valuation of the objects, finding the market for the objects, locating the market, and finally, selling it to them. Philip thinks the skeleton is the most valuable object, and they go try a few places, unsuccessfully. At Ignite, Ben is getting agitated in a bookstore. The valuers need time in trying to estimate the books' value, and time is not something the team has. As they walk out, Ben curses darkly under his breath and Debra says matter-of-factly, "They're book people, they wanna waste your time."

Philip is more and more fixated on the skeleton, but Lorraine still hasn't lost hope on the rug, asking if she can make a phone call, only for her suggestion to be disregarded by Philip. Empire have found success at last, getting Octopussy sold for £100. The music from WALL·E plays.

Believing that they are targeting Med students, Philip, Mona and Lorraine wheel a skeleton into a bar near King's College Medical School, and luck should be a lady for them, because they find a bloke willing to part with £160 for it. Elsewhere, Kate flirts her way into selling a crappy self-help book for three quid, and they also get £35 for a signed poster of Frank Lampard (I want!). The jellied eels are less of a success, and they have to let them go for £30.

Meanwhile, we are repeatedly being told that the Indian rug is the most valuable object, so naturally, one just knows that both sides are going to sell it for tuppence. Philip, resolutely refusing to wise up to its worth, carries it through an East End market, and it looks like he and Mona are holding a dead body. Margaret, unable to contain her disdain, voices her disgust - "This is the most stupid activity they have engaged in."

Having rightly getting the skeleton valued at £150+, Ben and Noorul try to flog it to a cash-strapped (and conspicuously old looking) student for £60. Meanwhile, Yasmina and James are roaming the streets of North London trying to sell the rug, only to be told, "Don't waste your time in this area." We're given a hint of Philip's folly when Empire are told "It's a bit expensive for this store." Philip, by the way, is still not having any success with the carpet, and is now just trying to sell it passers by. Margaret mutters "I'm speechless." The display of incompetence in front of her obviously does not bode well for her soul.

There's also a little thing known as a toiletchair to sell. Ben's ponders if they'd make more money just selling it as a chair. "It's very unusual for three smartly dressed people to try and get me to buy a commode chair," admits the pawn shop owner. Ben opines whether they should just give someone cash to take the crapper (literally) off their hands.

Debra's starting to get pissed off by the fact that Yasmina and James only had three things to sell, whereas she, Noorul and Ben have seven. "She's just a bit destructive," mutters Yasmina darkly. Empire have five items still to sell. "Find some nutcase and sell them all to him for a quid," Ben says, of the shoes, which contains a pair worth £100+. Ben's huffing and puffing and not blowing an awful lot down, whilst Debra looks unimpressed and Noorul darts about in the background.

Ignite are still burdened with their rug, as are Empire. In the end, Empire are ripped off £55 for it, from a man who clearly knows that it's worth more than that. Ignite sell theirs to a man in the street for £50. After doing so, Lorraine feels even stronger than ever about the true worth of the rug, and Philip, suddenly realising his mistake, gets all defensive.

Back in the boardroom, Sir Alan Sugar makes the point that in this challenge, the devil is in the detail. Some things, he says, are not much to look at, but are worth quite a bit. Like himself. Ben complains that the task was too difficult and Philip is described as "totally professional" by his teammates, and Alan Sugar ribs him for his Tyne side pronunciation of the word "book" though Lorraine brings up the point that she wanted to dedicate more time on valuing the rug. Margaret notes that she's like the Cassandra of the Team - get it right and nobody notices. Sir Alan asks Philip why her suggestions were ignored, and the Geordie fumbles around giving an answer.

But it's the numbers that matter, and Ignite come out better, a loss of £34 compared to Empire's net loss of £169. Ignite didn't necessarily win, they just didn't lose as hard as Empire did. I'll concede that the teams only had a day to sell a lotta shit, but both teams weren't good at all. And hence, Ignite are sent on their way for an evening of truffle tasting, but not before Sir Alan tells ominously Philip "your mind is like concrete", suggesting, perhaps, for the sexy Englishman to be more open to other people's input in future. During the truffle tasting, btw, we catch glimpses of everyone kissing Lorraine's butt now that it turns out she was right alone. "No one deserves this more than Lorraine," Philip says cheerfully. He's changed his tune!

Back in the boardroom, Ben is resolute that he's going nowhere. Yasmina wonders where they went wrong. Sir Alan Sugar tells them: "Anyone with half a brain cell would have known to sit down and work out what everything was worth first," he barks. They've all miserably failed. Alan Sugar isn't impressed that they put more priority on getting everything sold rather than getting the gems sold for their true value. Debra complains (she's good at complaining) that Yasmina and James had only three objects in their van. "I sold more than they did put together," she asserts, but Nick isn't convinced, making the point that Ben deserves credit on quite a few of the sales. She challenges Nick arrogantly, which, needless to say, raises a lot of eyebrows. Debra wants credit for the sale of the James Bond book as she set up the meeting, but Nick is resolute that "it's closing the deal that matters," in which case, Ben did the talking. Debra's having none of it, snapping at Nick in a dangerously rude way, and Sir Alan is none too impressed.

Unable to put up with any more bickering, Sir Alan puts the question to Ben of who he's going to bring back into the boardroom with him. Ben talks and talks, finally picking Noorul, and James. No wait, he says, changing his mind, I'll have Debra instead. Debra is "well up for" a scrap with PM Ben in the boardroom, and I do think it is unfair for her to be bought back as, for bitchy as she is, she was very proactive on the task.

So, the three of them sit uncomfortably again in front of Sralan, Margaret and Nick. Ben claims "I have the potential to win this". Ben and Noorul argue. Ben gets extremely heated in debate, and Debra says simply, "You were a shoddy project manager." Ben accuses her of being corrosive. She bites back, "There's a difference between being corrosive and being honest, mate," though one just feels that they won't be "mates" for much longer. She makes the point that Ben burdened himself with way too many objects and I agree, I think Yasmina and James should have been give an extra object. Noorul can't make a very good case for himself and ends of just calling Ben volatile and arrogant, which, whilst true, does nothing to help his case. Ben snaps back, but Noorul keeps interrupting. 'Tis all very snarky and entertaining.


Ben, pleading his case to Sir Alan, claims to be a "grafter" and a "good team leader", though the catty look on Debra's face tells otherwise. Noorul gets desperate and brings Ben's desire to be in a magazine shootout into it. Sralan says his bit. Firstly, he puts Debra in her place, before firing Noorul, deservedly. He was a terrible Apprentice, always hovering about in the background and sitting on the fence. There have been idiotic mistakes aplenty by many of the contestants on this show, but at least they did so in trying. Noorul didn't really ever try, just lingered about in the background, and was lucky to get this far.

Personally, I would have loved this task. There was just so much to it, and I would have gotten totally stuck in and out there. Though saying that, I'd probably have been even crapper than any of the contestants in practice.

By the way, next week is revision week and last night was my last night on the piss until exams end on 27th May. The reason I'm telling you this is not because I'm going on a hiatus, but that as I won't be being a drunken loon during evenings any more, my Apprentice reports should be up sooner to the actual broadcast of the show. But not next week's, I'm watching the football then.


anahit said...

yeah, what was going on last night? cos I got a text from you at like 10, twas hilarious stuff.

at the beginning of the show, when phillip struggles to put the phone down in the receiver, my dad was like "I think someone's paying him to act that stupid." LOL. ah welll, I still really like phillip though, even though he is incredibly arrogant (although ok, that's like a positive for me) and defensive and all. I looooooove his accent. and he's just so cute.

ok. enough :D xx

Emma said...

Hehe I were drunk!

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Thank you for this!

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