The Apprentice 2010: The Final

Chris v Stella in a boozy battle to win over Lord sugar. Cue triangular bottles, bad colouring, rubbish adverts and Joanna re-branding the colour blue as 'gay'. And where the hell was Baggs the brand?
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Twelve weeks of cufflink polishing and numerous applications of Barry M lipstick in ‘hard faced bitch’, it comes down to this; Stella and Chris going head to head in the design and marketing of a new upmarket alcoholic drink to determine who’s going to be the new apprentice. But let’s face it; given that none of the past five winners still work for Sugar, it’s likely that this year’s winner will probably end up filing in a dark cupboard for the next twelve months whilst self-harming with Argos pens.

Summoned to a suitably decadent hotel at shit o’clock in the morning, the two finalists were greeted by the old Machiavellian ringmaster looking perturbingly like one of the California Raisins.

‘As this is going to be the most difficult task yet, I felt you’re going to need some assistance’, he grizzled. Cut to the sound of New Look shoes clumping over the Axminster and the sweet intermingling smell of Red Door, fear and bleach; always good to see Joanna back. Sadly Stuart Baggs was conspicuous by absence – which directly affects my cunt count - but most of the old lags turned out in force, including Melissa, who still reassuringly looked as though she’d fallen straight from heaven onto an axe.

Having been asked to select their teams, there followed an excruciatingly embarrassing minute where Chris and Stella picked over the ex-hopefuls like vultures on a chicken farm. Alex visibly started hopping from one foot to another after three choices, reliving the moment he was caught eating stolen sausage rolls from the tuck shop and no one ever wanted him on their lacrosse team again.  Luckily for him, he was saved from total embarrassment and Paloma carried up the rear with a sheepish sidestep to Team Stella.

So then it was to brainstorming. Chris, Liz, Jamie, Alex and Shibby decided the vodka market had peaked and slumped, and wasn’t ‘where it was at’. So maybe a rum-based drink with a fruit flavouring. But which fruit?

‘What’s gooseberry like?’, asked Liz, without even a trace of irony. ‘Is it nice? I had it in a pie once’.

‘In the UK at the moment, the hot fruit is the pomegranate’, replied Alex. ‘What about if you could have a pomegranate flavoured spirit?’

Apparently Chris thought there might be a gap in the market for that, despite it sounding about as appealing as drinking rat piss out of a badger skull. On the other team, Stella, Paloma, Joanna, Melissa and Christopher decided on a ‘heritage’ drink with a modern twist – bourbon with a fruit flavouring to the rest of us. As Stella desperately attempted to keep spirits up with a series of pep talks about ‘what’s in the past is in the past’, you could see vengeful eyes flicking around the room as they recalled former boardroom scraps and personal slurs. Paloma drummed on her Moleskin. Christopher looked as if he didn’t dare breathe for fear of being smothered with a sanitary towel laced in chloroform. Melissa made arbitrary sounds about the drink needing to ‘taste nice’. The fight was on.

The first task was the naming of the brand. Alex had some superb ideas for Chris; all things ‘England’ related.

Stella shoehorned her trapping shoes on to talk about living in the country, before begging people to support her. Please. Or her race might fail to invade the planet, impregnate all the men and create a super race of frightening blonde androids that shoot flames out of their twats.

‘I’ve been thinking... bulldog. God save the Queen. Errr... crumpets?’, he offered helpfully.

‘Crown jewels?’, suggested Liz.

‘I think it’s pretty much out of the question to expect someone to ask to put their lips around the crown jewels’, replied Chris, soporifically. Even though he was telling a joke. And we all know he’d consider it if it guaranteed him the job.

On Team Stella, the task was going equally as well. In a thoroughly wonderful moment of television twattery, Joanna managed to confuse all the colours of the rainbow together and completely bewilder everyone around her.

‘Blue is happy’, she said, excited by the prospect of a drink with blue colouring. ‘You’re happy when you’re blue, aren’t you? Oh no, blue’s gay. Is that what it is?’

Unfortunately their excitement was short-lived as a group of marketing professionals told them it was a shit idea, and then men generally don’t like carrying coloured drinks around with them. In Soho, Chris took the practical approach by accosting a ‘high-end’ drinks retailer with his idea for a flavoured rum called Cubed.

‘To be honest’, replied the retailer. ‘I don’t like the sound of it’.

Chris looked like he’d caught his fingernails on his Mach 3 and took himself away in a corporate sulk, sending Shibby and Liz out to devise a taste of his modern rum twist. Much spitting and shuddering later, they decided to blatantly sabotage their Fuhrer by fucking off the clear liquid idea and settling on a ‘nice reddy, pinky colour’ that was so effeminate it made Louis Spence look like The Man with No Name. ‘Ah well, said Shibby in a classic ‘fuck it!’ moment. ‘Pink is the new blue’.

After a meeting with advertising regulators who advised Chris that promoting alcohol as a means of date raping women wasn’t the best idea, he decided on the brand name ‘Prism’ based on the fact his drink had three key ingredients, like the sides of a triangle. Clever.  Stella picked through the dirge of Joanna’s prattling to settle for ‘Urbon’, an urban bourbon with key notes of vanilla, honey and cat litter that would appeal to both men and women absolutely cunted at the bar at 3am and needing anaesthetic.

Commercials directed – including two spectacularly inept barmen throwing ice and elaborately dressed pomegranate everywhere – and actors shipped in from Hollyoaks, it was time to prepare for the launch. Cut to Chris taking oration lessons from smarmy twat Jamie, hopelessly tripping over the ‘angularity of the points of Prism’ and confusingly talking about lone children grabbing at bottles in the Nisa booze section. Stella shoehorned her trapping shoes on to talk about living in the country, before begging people to support her. Please. Or her race might fail to invade the planet, impregnate all the men and create a super race of frightening blonde androids that shoot flames out of their twats.

They’d done all they could. It was time for the Boardroom. Despite not actually giving a fuck, and still slightly pissed from the launches, Lord Sugar deliberated and cogitated on the pros and cons of both finalists. Chris was a ‘green shoot’. Stella was a ‘great organiser of people’. One of them would be very disappointed. The finger of fate moved between them with alarming tension and dramatic tension.

‘Stella’, he growled. ‘You’re hired’.

And we were all half expecting her to peel her face off and reveal a beaming Stuart Baggs making wanking signs at the camera.

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