Another tardy Apprentice blog post. I know, I know, I’m a constant disappointment, etc.
This week, the remaining ten Apprentices were summoned to the Tower of London by Lord Sugar, told to pack an overnight bag and given the task of selecting products to flog at the Motorhome and Caravan Show in Birmingham. Apparently the caravanning industry is worth £6 billion a year. As someone whose abiding memory of a caravan “holiday” is a truly woeful trip to Lowestoft, which featured me sneezing the entire time as I was allergic to the bedding, and the Crillys making the executive decision to leave a day early due to torrential rain, I find this crazy sum of money hard to believe, but The Apprentice voiceover man must have got that figure from somewhere, oui? Oui.
Kurt, the token Scouser, was chosen as PM of Endeavour over Alex, with Myles putting himself out of the running straight away due to the fact that he hates caravans (because he’s a snob and only deals with “glamorous business activities”) and because they’re banned in Monaco (which is where he lives – I think he may have mentioned that once or twice.) However, as he’s apparently marvellous at selling, he was in charge of the sub-team that pitched to suppliers, along with Leah and Natalie. Unfortunately, Myles’ over-enthusiastic pitching left Nick feeling nauseous and had a similar effect on the suppliers, plus Leah, who can always be relied upon to sour a mood, was pushy about the subject of discounting items towards the end of the day, showed no interest in the kid’s camping kit and therefore alienated all the manufacturers in the process. Job well done, misery guts! At the exhibition centre, Kurt and Alex were checking out the competition, with Kurt making loads of insightful comments – “these are, like, deckchairs, aren’t they?” while pointing at some…deckchairs – and choosing a retro camper van for their high-price product over a popular collapsible camper that transformed from a trailer to a tent, the latter about which Kurt himself stated “you can’t argue with the numbers he’s sold.” He ignored his own advice, bizarrely.
Myles and his smile that wins people over apparently. Sincere, non?
Elsewhere, Neil was sent to Evolve to even things up and put himself forward as PM. His sub-team of Francesca, Luisa and Jordan had an opportunity to check out the products to choose from, including an electric bike, a kid’s camping kit and a boat box. Jordan went further down in my estimation by sneering “why would you pay for a roof on a chair?” Well, Jordan, as someone who has braved flash floods at Glastonbury and also determinedly sat on the beaches of Abersoch in sub-zero temperatures, I would have welcomed a chair with a roof on in both situations. Meanwhile Neil and Jason went to check out what was on offer on the first day of the exhibition, and also to select a high-price product to sell. The most mismatched pair the Apprentice has ever seen, the wonderfully camp Lovely Jason spent his time musing that he’d never been caravanning and also had never been to Birmingham, and wandering off like an errant toddler to look at motorbikes, whereas the more straight-laced Neil (who is, let’s be honest, a bit boring), became ever more exasperated with him and wanted to stick to the the task at hand, eventually selecting the collapsible campers being sold for a cool £11,000 as their high-end choice.
Both teams, it transpired, chose the electric bike and kid’s camping kit as their cheaper products to sell. Unfortunately for Kurt and Endeavour, and solely thanks to his useless sub-team’s total lack of enthusiasm, both suppliers favoured Evolve instead, so Endeavour were left with the chair with a roof and the boat box. Alex was APOPLECTIC with rage about this. Oh dear.
Off both teams went to the N.E.C, with Neil coming up with some, err, radical and motivational sales techniques – “Have a selling competition between yourselves!” – and his targets looking a tad unrealistic when it became apparent that their products were quite expensive. It was up to the utterly magnificent Lovely Jason to show them all how it was done. Just the right amount of camp, innuendo, and cheekiness – “Mount the stairs. ASCEND!” – he charmed the socks off absolutely everyone, leaving Neil a.) flummoxed and b.) nursing a dent to his sizeable ego (or “man-pride” as he calls it.)
Lovely Jason upon completing a lovely sale. “Score!” I love this man.
Meanwhile on Endeavour, Kurt’s sale technique was so laidback it verged on complete disinterest – at one point I was worried he’d dozed off – Myles, who earlier had declared “I’m someone who sells stuff” sold absolutely nothing, and Alex spent much of his time seething with rage about not being allowed to sell anything. Leah was summoned at one point in a last-ditch attempt to flog a camper van – a “bit of eye candy” as Kurt put it, displaying his feminist ideals – to no avail.
To the boardroom, where Alex was, for once, lost for words; Myles pointed the finger at everyone else for poor sales rather than shoulder some of the blame himself; and it was confirmed that Neil’s sales targets had been way off the mark. Lovely Jason showed he was sharper than his mad professor exterior makes out when Lord Sugar sneered “you’ve obviously never been in a caravan or camping!” replying coolly, “I’ve never been to Birmingham either – it was an entirely new experience all the way round!” He also didn’t take the opportunity to criticise Neil’s managerial skills, due to the fact that HE IS LOVELY. Largely thanks to Lovely Jason, Evolve won in a victory that was, in Alex’s words, a “total annihilation.” Karren could barely wait to snitch about Kurt’s “eye-candy” comment, with Natalie clearly fuming that she wasn’t considered to be the eye-candy of choice, and Leah pretending to be outraged by it but secretly thrilled at the same time. A double firing followed – our token Scouser was shown the door as he’d wanted to prove something to Lord Sugar but, in this case, only proved that he was a bit crap, and thankfully Natalie too, who was far too hysterical to be business-like at any point.
Tonight’s episode was all about online dating. Lovely Jason + a task involving online dating = A GLORIOUS TELEVISUAL DREAM. Can’t wait to watch it.
A Few More Things
Lovely Jason’s teddy ❤
I can’t stand Jordan, the smug little gnome.
Luisa’s voice makes me feel sick.
I laughed my head off when the teddy bear fell on Nick when he was sitting in the camper van. Was it the one that Jason was trying to pack in his overnight bag, do you think?
The circumference of Sir Chris Hoy’s thighs is truly a sight to behold.