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IKEAThis post on last week’s Apprentice is LATE. I know, I know, I have just had a particularly busy time this week with my other professional endeavours. You know, like, my job. Anyway, let’s get to it…

Last week’s predictions: The theme is flatpack, so surely the King of Sweden will give some sort of masterclass (NO, BUT THE KING OF SWEDEN SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST BEEN A TECHNICAL CONSULTANT ON THIS EPISODE, SURELY);  Jason will call Jordan small, which Jordan will take too personally because he has a phallus inadequacy complex (YES, AND I’M GUESSING YES); Luisa’s vocal range will accelerate by at least 4 decibels (IT DID, AND I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I HAVE A DECIBEL MEASURING APPARATUS IN MY LIVING ROOM THAT WENT OFF THE CHART); Neil will come up with a shit flat-pack related name, such as “Pack It In” or “Joker of the Pack” (THE NAME WAS SHIT – “FOLDO” – BUT NEIL DIDN’T DECIDE ON IT THIS WEEK); Karren will have dip-dyed hair (NO, BUT HER HAIR LOOKED MIGHTY FINE) I’m giving myself 4/6 because I make the rules!

The Apprentice S9E3:

The team are just kickin’ back like a bunch of sorority girls in their chapter house, and Luisa is painting FLATPACK GIRLSJordan’s nails because we all know that the sign of a good, butch man is to allow a girl to decorate him as if he were a cast member from The Birdcage. The phone then rings in the hallway downstairs and there’s a lot of screaming. The girls all clamber down the stairs, tripping over each other, pulling one another’s hair (extensions). Oh, Alex also runs to the phone…like a dickhead. He is desperate to answer it. He just wants to lift that receiver and hear the sultry tones of Lord Sugar’s faceless secretary as she breathes her instructions down the line. But he manages to restrain himself and loiter on the stairs…like a dickhead. The phone is answered, the gang get their instructions and there’s a load more screaming and falling (UP the stairs this time), and then we get an eyeful of a man walking around in a thong.

The Apprentice: representing the best business minds of 2013.

The group are summoned to some building where there is a giant penis-shaped monument in the centre of the lobby. Lord Sugar levitates himself out of the floor and tells everyone that this week’s task is to design a piece of flatpack furniture. Apparently, they’re going to be pitching to some benders…sorry, vendors.

NAILSNatalie is a designer of clothing. So naturally she is the obvious choice for the girls’ team leader. Rebecca tries to speak but no-one will let her. Someone says something about their dissertation. Francesca comes up with a cubed piece of furniture and then immediately says she hates the idea; however, in the 4.2 seconds between thinking of this idea and retracting it, it’s already been decided that that’s what they are going to make. Luisa says something about flipping it over and sitting on it. I presume she is talking about Jordan, who, with his Eddie Izzard nails, is the PM for the boys. Kirk, who last week brought the boys to sweet sweet victory, suggests they design a chair that you put your recycling in. So basically a bin that you sit on. That idea is nixed immediately.

Off they go to talk to some professionals and some potential buyers. A camp man talks about bending over a sofa. Luisa comes from a meeting rambling “This table, why wouldn’t they buy a table, it’s just a table that they want”, only she pronounces “table” as tay-balUzma has styled her hair like Rapunzel in “Tangled”. Alex pretty much single-handedly designs a table that becomes a chair and consequently dubs himself “lead designer and Mr. Special Face”. The girls go to Homebase to find a cushion.

That’s pretty much day 1 of the task.

FLATPACK NICKDay 2: the prototypes are delivered. The cushion the girls bought for their “cube” doesn’t quite fit into/onto it and so Natalie begins tearing it to shreds in order to resize it. Stuffing is seen flying toward Luisa (it’s been a while since she’s seen a good bit of stuffing) and the ladies all begin to panic. But fear not, sweet mistresses, for Natalie knows about fashion, so is capable of ruining a cushion. Her precise words are “I’ve done a fashion. I’ve studied fashion.” Luisa starts talking about fluffers and Karren thinks the cube is a pile of wank. The cube is given the name “Tidy Sidey”. Sweet Judas!

Over with the men, Jason gets over excited that one can simply “click” the Foldo into place and suggests that they include the phrase “click-a-tee-boo” in their instruction manual. I beg of you, Jason…don’t. They make their way off to the pitch meetings. Zee (who followed me on Twitter this week, and asked how I was, bless) is whining because they won’t let him pitch. Hateful Neil makes a joke in the back of their taxi about causing a “sales orgasm”, which is evidently when you achieve three “yes’s” from the people you’re pitching to. Neil – we do not wish to think of you in a sexual context because you have all the sexual magnetism of a tacksuit-wearing chav at a youth centre on a Wednesday evening. Alex pretends to get the orgasm gag (emphasis here on “gag”) but he doesn’t because he hasn’t had sex yet because the Vampire Queen of Wales won’t allow it. Myles on the other hand sits to the side, smiling knowingly, because he’s a real man. We like him and want him or hot Dr Leah to win. The boys then pitch to a woman who is dressed like a geisha.

At Argos, both teams are pitching in front of a line of three judges. It’s just like “The Voice” but without the swivel FLATPACK BOARDROOMchairs. Natalie demonstrates the Tidy Sidey, and the three men she’s pitching to look down her top. She then asks them if they would like to feel the wood. Insert joke here. Luisa then comments  that they have chosen not to paint the Tidy Sidey white, because the colour white is common. Takes one to know one, Luisa. Alex then comes in to pitch to the same panel of men. He demonstrates his Foldo by bending over in front of them giving them a prize view of his horrible ass. Nick is disgusted and appalled.

Elsewhere, the rest of the girls sell 4 Tidy Sideys. They pretend to be happy about this rather shit achievement. Zee fucks up a pitch and then insists that he be given the chance to do another one. Permission denied. Someone else then does it and of course sells, like, a million Foldos.

In the boardroom, Luisa starts talking about screwing and interlocking. Insert joke here. Natalie earns brownie points because she went to the pitches as the PM, and Jordan immediately panics because he didn’t. Lord Sugar asks the boys to explain the reasoning behind the Foldo, to which the boys start yammering on about how at Christmas you never have enough chairs around the dining table. Alex makes a lame joke about how the chair also turns into a cage to lock your mother-in-law in. It’s not funny.

Karren gets the girls’ hopes up by telling them how much their potential buyers loved them in this sickly sweet, patronising voice…only to shatter their dreams into a thousand tiny shards by admitting to them the cold hard truth: the Tidy Sidey is the shittest piece of furniture ever to have been designed. “Wishy washy, poxy boxy”, as Lord S puts it. He then suggests they wheel it to the nearest skip and put it out to grass. The boys win, they sort of spasm with excitement and then head to the O2 to climb up it.

SOPHIEAfter Karren and Lord S have a little  flirt (“you know what women are like, right Karren?”), Natalie brings Uzma and Sophie back in. Sophie is sacked but Uzma is given a metaphorical slap round the cheeks when she tells Lord S that she is “in the business of looking good” and he laughs in her face. Lord S tells Natalie that the fact she is in fashion is no excuse for her inability to create decent flatpack furniture. He quite rightly points out that many successful women have taken their fashion creativity and applied it to designing things like cars. Errr, could he BE talking about Victoria Beckham!?

In the back of the taxi, Sophie insists that she is dignified and classy – then calls the rest of the girls bitches.

Next week’s predictions: It’s farm shop week, so Luisa will do something naughty with an oversized marrow; Jason will draw on his posh country roots and possibly bump into some hunting acquaintances as he is sifting through rotten butternut squashes; someone will wear a tweed hat; the word “organic” will be overused and Neil will make an unfunny joke about the fact that “organic” sounds a bit like “orgasmic”; Zee will be fired because he is the worst business man on Earth.

– – A

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