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The Apprentice Week 9 – A View From The Cheese Shop

If you cast your mind back to last week’s post, you’ll remember that I referred to artists/art critics and how they’re as unbearable as wine tasters… that was truthfully unintentional. A complete coincidence. Because this week, we were thrown into the world of sparkly wine, and with it; wine tasters, who I find as unbearable as artists/art critics.

Swings and roundabouts.

We began at St Pancras International Station, where the remaining candidates were told they were to be tasked with raising awareness of English Sparkling Wine.
First off, Team Phoenix were offered the opportunity to take one of the members from Team Sterling. Adam, with a face like a boy getting to stay up a bit late, wanted Nick Holzherr. And got him they did, with Adam just about holding back from giving him a cuddle.

The teams were sorted out in a jiffy, sort of. It’s a bit difficult to vote for a team leader, when there is only four of you, and each of you wants to be a team leader… but Phoenix got there in the end, having ‘nominated’ the humorously (however obvious joke avoidingly) named Ricky Martin (who really should just call himself ‘Rick’, or ‘Samuel’, or even ‘Martin’. ‘Martin Martin’.)
On team Phoenix, Tom was the obvious choice, as he sells and markets wine for a living and is brilliant at anything. I hope that he learned from last week’s Street Art task and doesn’t bang on about his knowledge, and try to impress peop… oh, he has, hasn’t he.

The taxi ride to the wine estate for Sterling seemed a fun learning time for Adam, where he quizzed Tom on the matter of wine… comparing the difference between sparkly wine and champagne to a vacuum cleaner.
At the tasting itself, we were treated to Tom smelling vanilla, chestnuts and the other stuff wine tasters seem to have up their noses when sniffing wine, and Adam smelling an entire Christmas cake.

Meanwhile, over in Team Phoenix, Stephen knocked some ideas for names about…Cert, Chink and so on, and then decided, that a British made English wine, made in England by English people, should be named ‘Grandeur’, a French word. I double checked the spelling, after Slippery Stephen’s cock up in week three’s episode, and the misspelling of Bellissimo.

With Adam and Tom off getting drunk, at what was the most pointless wine tasting session ever, the other half of the team, Nick, Jade and her voice were off doing the website, advert and all the things that would be regarded as ‘the important bits’.
Adverts next.

Jenna and slippery Stephen were in charge of the making of theirs, with Martin Martin calling  now and again to make sure that they weren’t doing anything cheesy. Jenna reassured him that it wasn’t,  whilst directing a lady in a wedding dress to more or less spit out what could have been perfectly fine champagne, and specifically ask for English Sparkling Wine. Hilarious.
Tom’s team stuck to the ‘let’s make the the most utterly dull ad’ rule, which involved Adam swanning around saying “I’m the choreographer. Are you choreographed? Do you need any choreographing done? Choreographinisationalist? Choreograhinisationisim?” and so on, while Jade and her voice didn’t actually do much. I think she fixed a table cloth.
The ad? A few people sitting around a table, swilling flutes of Champag…. sorry, English Sparkling Wine and not having a very good time.
It was choreographed quite well though.

Day 2. Websites were designed, both looking as bland as a website could possibly be, and off the teams toodled into a room filled with industry experts, to do their pitches.

Firstly, Martin Martin’s team. It was all going rather swimmingly… until the ad came on. If you could collect facial expressions and put them into a jar; slippery Stephen would name it ‘Ce Que L’enfer est-ce’, and sell it as a hand cream.

Then to Tom’s team. Tom seems to have forgotten the basic business rule of listening, opting instead for the what seems to be the ever so popular in this series ‘not really listening… is that a squirrel? Oh God, what did he say… sell? Sell stuff? I’ll just sell stuff’ rule instead.’
Day three rolled in shortly after Lord Alan took a phone call from the industry experts, and the good ol’ Beeb editing left us wondering, ‘Who are they talking about? Which site was worst? Whose video are they talking about? Is that a squirrel?’ and so on.

In the boardroom, both teams got a grilling, Martin Martin’s crew for making their video  a bit like a Carry On film, which caused Lord Sugar to say maitre d’ in a bit of a camp voice, which was fun.
And then there was Tom, who was slated for being dull… never bloody happy, that Alan.

After a bit of toing and froing, Tom’s team clinched it! Adam was more excited than an entire classroom of children being told that the school boiler is broken.

But who was Martin Martin going to bring back in? Well, it was Jenna, obviously. Gabrielle designed a logo featuring a rose in the shape of a champagne flute, so she was safe… so the only other option was Slippery Stephen and his vast array of facial expressions. I’m amazed that Stephen is in there, though. He said ‘specifics’ to Gabrielle loads of times… maybe Lord Sugar didn’t hear him.

After Stephen ‘threw daan tha blaady gauntlet’ and guaranteed a win if he was team leader next time, Jenna got the chop. (I like what I did there)

So there we are. Week 9 is over us; and that can only mean one thing…..

Week 10 is next.

J

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