Rather than sending the teams out to a tenuously related building, this week Lord Sugar wanders his way to Chez Apprentice to bother the candidates in person. He reveals that this week they’ll be inventing and branding biscuits, then flogging them to supermarkets.
Helen leads Jim and Natasha in this week’s Team Venture, while Zoe looks after Tom, Melody, and Susan in Team Logic. By now, the teams have been swapped more times than car keys at a suburban party, and nobody really knows – or cares – which team is which.
Zoe wants to be in the biscuit-tasting sub-team, but is shot down by professional pisser Melody, and ends up staying at home to do the branding. Melody’s reward is three hours in a car with Tom, heading to the factory in Swansea.
“Emergency warning, that seems… lame”
The teams faff about with the biscuit machines, making balls stuffed with cornflakes and marshmallows, and all the other unfeasible shit that you do when you have a biscuit machine. Tom tries a biscuit within a biscuit, like a coffee break Inception. Oh God, she actually pitches the madballs (or, “popsquits” as she appears to call them) at real people.
When Melody is told that heart-shaped biscuits are off the table, she responds by banging on about heart-shaped biscuits like a hungry Kurt Cobain, and whining about all the other ideas. She goes with her usual strategy of vehemently lying about the market research and moaning “I dooonnn’tttt llliiiikkkeee iiiitttt”. They eventually compromise on a biscuit within a biscuit that’s half chocolate. The arguments over who gets the chocolate side could start wars.
Venture decide on space-themed flapjacks aimed at children. Presumably there are a million picky regulations about the advertising they’re allowed to produce. Ah, it’ll be fine. They’re marketing it as as treat for after school, that’s also a treat for any time, which, pleasingly, annoys Karren. They’re biscuits with chocolate stars on top. No jokes to be made there.
“Could grow into a healthy little biccie”
Hewer is impressed with Logic’s classy purple box, and the team loves the way the biscuits look and taste. It’s all going so well for them.
And then the pitches.
For the buyers at Sainsbury’s, Tom and Melody perform a “role-playing”-style skit in which they play the world’s most stilted couple trying to laugh about a biscuit in an attempt to plaster over the ever-increasing cracks in the relationship that once seemed so promising but has now become a joyless and empty stream of arguments over what to watch on telly. This isn’t particularly well-received. But, undeterred by the horrified reactions their pitch elicited, they run another roleplay for the benefit of increasingly-baffled Asda buyers.
Jim and Helen rule the other pitch, in which they’re bollocked for their “any time is treat time” slogan, and general marketing chocolate at kids badness. Natasha tries to chip in, and is later told to just… “shut up”. Waitrose’s buyers aren’t impressed by the massive star-shaped slab of chocolate on top of a Travelodge-pillow thin flapjack.
The teams give the obligatory mumbled voices to the usual “good team leader, bad team leader?” questions, and bleat on about their USPs.
Zoe’s Bix Mix sees a return of, er, no orders, while Logic’s Special Stars took an order for 800,000 units from scumbag superstore Asda (possibly due to Jim’s promises about a sponsorship deal with Harry Potter). Helen’s winning streak is now at nine.
Lord Sugar shoots one of his rubbish no-win situations at Zoe: The biscuit was rubbish, so why wasn’t she at the factory? If she had been at the factory, then the rubbish biscuit would have been her fault.
There’s the usual back and forth bickering and squabbling, like harridans outside an off-license. Zoe saves Susan, bringing back shrieking Melody and hapless Tom.
Zoe’s made a mistake here, as Tom and Melody were together at the biscuit factory and it’s in their interests to back each other up over her poor communication. After last week’s market research debacle, Melody has the balls to complain about Tom’s small sample size. Oh, and she claims credit for “the concept of sharing”.
Bullet-dodger Tom has somehow survived another week, as it’s Zoe who is… fired.
Tom stops by to give her a hug, while Melody walks past without troubling her neck muscles to look at her.
Next week: Mediocre muppets move miscellaneous merchandise.