The Apprentice blog: Episode 11

Posted on by Nell Frizzell

And so we come to the penultimate stage of the competition. Which Hollyoaks Jamie probably thinks is a fight to the death using pens. According to the narrator, Lord Sugar is still looking for that ‘exceptional’ someone to rub his face with Brasso and chisel his chin dimple every morning.

Over at house number 52 the call comes through summoning contestants to Sugar HQ. Oh sweet holy mother of Argos bedding! Stuart ‘the brand’ Baggs is sleeping like a greasy-skinned student under a sheet-less duvet. Now Sugardaddy is going to have to burn the whole bed, as well as all the towels.

All the contestants have been called in to Alanstrad HQ for a job interview. Cue some final last words from the remaining aspiring apprentices: “I’ve never not got a job,” says Stella, using more negatives than a Snappy Snaps developing suite. Monotone Chris, however, pulls out the big guns with, “I did quite well at school.”

As the contestants pull up at Lord Sugar’s rat cave it must be said that the offices do look distinctly like a Curry’s megastore. Oh, no, silly me – these interviews are actually taking place on the original set of Die Hard. I can’t wait for Bruce Willis to smash through one of the conference room walls in a grubby vest, brandishing his semi-automatic 50 calibre Amstrad machine gun in one hand and a LinkedIn invitation in the other.

“Sugar saw a little bit of himself in me last week,” confesses Baggs, bashfully. Well, that will certainly put paid to last week’s blowjob rumours.

The five remaining contestants are to be interviewed by a host of Lord Sugarmeister’s nearest and dearest, which means four greying business thugs and one Anne Widdecombe impersonator. Be warned; there’s not a convincing hairpiece among them.

The first of Lord Sugarchops’ heavies tells Monotone Christ that he can either, “Do it the hard way and I’ll rip you to shreds…” or do it the easy way and just take a quiet bullet to the temple. Oh okay, “Have a sensible conversation and stop the bullshit.” But you know what he’s thinking.

After Bordan Tkachuk (a name which is surely a poor translation of the Alanstradian for ‘factcheck’) has pushed a stick of dynamite in to the various Emmental-like holes in Jamie’s CV it’s time for Margaret Mountford to give him a once over.  The woman with the Alistair Darling’s hair, Rocky Balboa’s bloodlust and Dame Edna Everaage’s approach to power dressing pulls Hollyoaks up for his ‘puerile’ third nipple gag. What a tit he is.

“I can work in any industry…” claims Stella. Who, as we speak, is simultaneously working in a coal refinery, medical testing laboratory and the Forestry Commission. Not bad for an unqualified blonde from Europe’s largest council estate.

Joanna, on the other hand, turns out to have no idea what Lord Sugar actually does for a living. Well, that makes two of them.

Monotone Chris gets the Mountford treatment for describing himself as a ‘revered theological scholar’, which is a little like saying that Noel Edmonds is a revered investment analyst. Or Davina McCall is a revered social scientist.

When faced with Margaret Mountford’s wall of white-haired disapproval, Stuart ‘the bilbo’ Baggs chooses the interesting tact of threatening her cat. “With this, your cat could be in Bermuda…” It’s a novel, if unlikely threat for a fifty-nine year-old papyrologist.

Claude Littner, the lost Mitchell brother of Sugared business bullying then tells Baggins, “You are not a Brand. You are a 20 year old kid.” Before qualifying this outrageous claim with, “You’re not a big fish. You’re not even a fish.” Of course he’s not a fish, you hairless fool; he’s a field full of ponies.

Once the gruelling day of lying, squirming and sulking is over, Sugar’s stooges head back to the boardroom to compare notes. Claude insists that you have to admire someone who’s not got many qualifications, which must be music to the ears of all those rioting students wallowing in £15,000 of debt, while Tkachuk accuses Monotone Chris of being “really quite monotonous.” Well, really. “He drones on, but he’s actually quite bright,” pipes up Nick, who seems to be under the impression that Chris is, in fact, the lovechild of a glow worm and a bee.

Some testicle-chinned suithanger accuses Stella of being, “good, but an admin queen,” until Nick leaps to her defence with the staggeringly tepid “She’s thoroughly decent.”

The bitching and sniping over, it’s time to call the contestants in to get fired. Amazingly, after all the lying, shirking and smarming only three are going to be let go. You’d think it would make more business sense to fire them all and simple hire Margaret Mountford’s jet-setting cat instead. But you can’t teach a dogged old boss new tricks.

“Ours is more of a dynamic environment,” Lord Sugaga tells Stella. Oh yeah. It’s a veritable Pineapple Studios down at Alanstrad HQ. You should see dress down Fridays. Lord Sugarmort also warns Joanna that she may be a little out of her depth with all those “balance sheets and… er.. spreadsheets.” God, he’s right, it is pretty bloody technical up there at the top.

In the end, Sir Alanstrad sacks Stuart for being, “full of shit.” Excuse me? You’ve just noticed? At no point in the field of ponies, cat-tracking, selling magic beans, extreme masculinity fart-faced honking did you get even an inkling that this man was spitting out shit faster than a sewage? The mind Baggles. Anyway, after Stuart’s truly shocking exit Joanna is the next to get the heave ho, followed swiftly by Hollyoaks Jamie.

Which leaves Christopher and Stella to fight it out next week in a class war with Lord Suguardianofthestupid providing munitions. God help us all.

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