Thursday, 10 April 2008

The Apprentice: Could the boys grab even half a pizza the action?

Half a pizza, anyone?
After last week’s boardroom madness, when Sr’Alan fired the impeccably competent Shazia, condemning us to another week of Jenny’s strangulated Janet Street Porter vowels, we feared the worst in this week’s showdown.
“DON’T FIRE SIMON!” a nation cried, as the favourite so far was most unjustly dragged in by the awful Ian to cop the flak.
“Simon,” said Sr’Alan, sticking out his forefinger. “Yer staying!”
Thank the Lord.
This week’s task began, as usual, with a 6am phonecall from Frances-the-insomniac, instructing the teams to meet Sr’Alan at the Tate Modern.
You’d assume the task was going to be about art, then. But this is The Apprentice, where nothing is logical.
“You are standing in a building,” said Sr’Alan (we would love to see somebody call him Su’Ellen one week. Quietly. Just to see if they could get away with it) “which has been TRANSFORMED.”
Ah, there was the clue. The task was about pubs. Of course.
And the candidates had to TRANSFORM a pub, so that it sold food.
A pub? Selling food? Madness!
Sue Ellen himself selected the team leaders. Since we’d already seen a preview clip of him yelling: “This was a bloody disaster!” we knew it couldn’t end well.
Still, nobody ever blames Sue Ellen himself for bringing this comedy line-up of incompetents before the nation, do they?
Sara was the girls’ leader. She seemed nice, if a little eager to please.She had a habit of piping squeakily: “I AM A REALLY STRONG PERSON”.
But bear in mind, some of those girls are MEAN and Sara did a good job of keeping them in check.
She settled on a Bollywood theme, then had to put up with Claire moaning on and on about it. Claire, you see, wanted English grub, deeming curry “too niche”!
The boys, meanwhile, were trying to rekindle last week’s “United We Stand” team spirit, as they opted for an Italian menu. With cod Italian accents. False moustaches. And opera (which turned out to be Michael Sophocles murdering That’s Amore).
“I WILL GIVE YOU 100%” roared Raef to team leader Ian. 100%? On The Apprentice? Come on, you can do better than that, Raef. “110%!” he bellowed, bang on cue.
Kevin (looks of Vicky Pollard, voice of Gareth off The Office) was chef. Or “head chef” as Ian cried, clapping him on the back, lighting upon his fall guy.
It turned out there was one problem with having Vicky Pollard as chef. Kevin may have eaten in Italian restaurants “a lot” as he told us many times. But he had no idea how to cook Italian food. Or price it.His ideas on carbonara were hilarious. “With bacon. Or ham. Or... chicken?” The veggies, meanwhile, faced the mouthwatering prospect of a pureed mushroom. With sauteed potatoes.
Then, there were those mind-boggling tomato calculations. They needed 10 tomatoes for four potions. So for 15 people they needed... 150 tomatoes.
Kevin, it should be pointed out, is a bank manager. At Northern Rock, presumably.
We didn’t see much footage from Bollywood night so we were left to assume the girls were staggeringly successful. They blagged, the bartered, they got it right. All we were treated to was a shot of the godawful Jenny Street Porter wailing “MORE! MORE!” at the vertically challenged Bollywood dancer the girls had procured. Couldn’t Sue Ellen fire her anyway?
Alas he couldn’t because over on Team Boy, they were making a terrible mess. They’d spent £543 on shiny menus and supermarket meat feast pizzas and hadn’t bought enough (pizzas, not menus). They decided the only option was to serve half portions.
“Anything else I can get you?” asked Michael Sophocles, sidling smoothly up to a customer. Um, the other half of his pizza, perhaps?
The girls won by a landslide. The boys made more, but spent a lot more. Their lovely shiny menus with laminated prices (made before they knew what they’d be serving) cost them dear. The maths was done by Sophocles.“I plucked the numbers...” he began, before realising finishing that sentence might not be a good idea.
The dreadful Ian brought Vicky Pollard and Simon “Chopper” Smith into the boardroom. Vicky put up a surprisingly good fight. In the end, it had to be Ian ( who apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loser) who went.
“I can deal with this!” he cried, as he departed. “I’m an achiever.”
Yeah sunshine, as Sue Ellen himself might have said. Whatever.
Who’s your favourite to win? Email