The Apprentice 2011, Week Five: Where There's Muck, There's Brass

While Vincent is sadly missed, Jim gets down to brass tacks with a megaphone and Lord Sugar talks about bullsh*t
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While Vincent is sadly missed, Jim gets down to brass tacks with a megaphone and Lord Sugar talks about bullsh*t

9pm. Wednesday. Lord Alan Sugar standing dramatically on a rooftop like he’s playing the villain in a live action business reimagining of the Lion King. Energising strings, mobile switched to mute, belt unbuckled. This was going to be real. Terrifyingly real. On the downside, Vincent wasn’t going to be involved in proceedings, haven been given the finger the previous week on account of falling in love with an Irish charmer. Would he be missed? Would that girl Melody spend another hour behaving like a hot robot? Would the inventor grow an entire beard in an afternoon? With a bit of luck, all of these questions would totally be answered…

Week six, the phone rang. Susie climbed out of bed already dressed in a smart bespoke pyjama suit to show these suckers that she meant business. That kind of bullshit, Sugar absolutely loves. All then piled into waiting Renault Espaces, and were taken to a South West London rubbish tip dressed in luminous football bibs.

THE TASK EXPLAINED

“I want you to blag some rubbish, and turn it into MONEY!” barked Lord Alan Sugar like he was King of the Tramps, before muddling the teams up to look less like a funny mirror reflection of the VIP section at Faces nightclub in Essex, and more like a couple of pre-op Human Centipedes.

Their task – to take people’s trash off their hands, then sell scrap metal and old planks of wood to alchemists.

Helen impressed everyone by repeating whatever it was that the inventor, Tom, just said, and everyone hailed her as their new Queen.

In one room, Venture spent the best part of an hour debating who would be most appropriate as a team leader, eventually plumping for Zoe – a very serious woman who presumably greets cute newborn babies with handshakes, and talks to them about work. For Logic, Helen impressed everyone by repeating whatever it was that the inventor, Tom, just said, and everyone hailed her as their new Queen.

Logic were then decked out in wonderful red jumpsuits, Venture blue. It was going to be like Liverpool versus Chelsea. Only mixed gender and based solely on the profit made from selling shit that nobody really needs.

THE ACTUAL DOING OF THAT TASK

Glen and Leon went around cafes to eat sausages and eggs, occasionally flicking punters’ newspapers and asking them if they’ve got any old metal going. Somewhere else in London, Jim the Irishman shouted at houses through a loudspeaker, like the world’s most intimidating ice cream man.

The girls, meanwhile, were dressed like hot versions of Bob the Builder and attempting to make deals to pick up massive piles of crap. This was occasionally interspersed with scenes of heated rows from both teams in the back of their respective Renault Espaces. It was getting heavy. Temperatures were soaring. The Moog keyboard which acts as Melody’s voice box didn’t once change key.

As it was, it was Logic who managed to get the best of the incomprehensible business deals.

Tom and Jim ran up and down stairs throwing wood and smashing sheets of glass into the back of a van.

To summarise the rest of the task:

Tom and Jim ran up and down stairs throwing wood and smashing sheets of glass into the back of a van. Melody treated the scrap metal business like she was selling diamonds to Kings – clearly unaware that the people on the other end of the phone were probably playing with their balls beneath their tracksuit bottoms.

Leon did his damnådest to look like Orlando Bloom. Susie wrestled with a cardboard box.

“I’m the brains and the brawn,” said Edna, confusing herself with Dolph Lundgren.

And then, in by far the most nonsensical task ever performed on television, they all took rubbish from Del Boys, who then sold it all back to Del Boys, creating an everlasting ripple of ex-convicts exchanging money for useless metal that goes on into infinity, like putting a mirror in front of a mirror.

THE BOARDROOM

“Lord Sugar will see you now,” said a voice, no longer coming from under a table, but from an actual woman sitting in a chair.

It was cruel. A cruel enough margin for Zoe to erupt into tears.

They trooped in. Scary music. Melody dressed for a Prom. Within seconds, a beautiful busty silhouette appeared behind a misty door, only to turn out to be Alan Sugar, his face like a shrivelled balloon being half-heartedly inflated by asthmatic.

“Good team leaders?” he asked, pointing first to Helen, then to Zoe. The back to Helen. Then Zoe. Then Helen. Zoe. Helen. Zoe. Helen. Zoe. Helen. Zoe. Helen. Zoe. Helen. Helen…

Everyone agreed that Helen was ace. Zoe, not so much.

Hewer tapped his manicured fingers on a pocket calculator.

“Logic won! By six quid!”

It was cruel. A cruel enough margin for Zoe to erupt into tears.

Logic were sent off to a thermal spa to get a complimentary glass of fresh orange juice, a free dressing gown, and a few frantic hand pumps to ensure an awkward end to what was supposed to be a simple Indian Head Massage.

The other’s plodded disappointedly off to Heartbreak Café for four espressos and a small Pinot Grigio for Leon.

“Oh get out Edna!” shouted Lord Sugar, a humiliating invisible bullet shot from his index finger.

THE BOARDROOM ROUND TWO

“Lord Sugar will see you… again.”

More moody music. A heated row about who did the deal for cylinders with the bloke who used to be on Shipwrecked. Karen Brady dressed like Blake’s 7. Eventually it was decreed that Zoe would return, this time with Edna and Susie.

All three girls bitched. Zoe’s neck threatened to ingest her face.

“A man who’s a billionaire would be nothing without me!” shrieked Edna, unusually.

“Oh get out Edna!” shouted Lord Sugar, a humiliating invisible bullet shot from his index finger. And off she went.

“Cab for Mr Lundgren?” barked a waiting cabbie.

“That’s me!”

NEXT TIME: Porno mags!

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