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The Apprentice Week 5 – Parrots, Pirates and Pants

Oh My God....Philip

Oh My God....Philip!

The Apprentice Week 5 – Parrots, Pirates and Pants

The penny finally drops: when deciding who to take into the boardroom, the losing team leader must ignore task performance, personal animosity one or two-way, disruptiveness, charmlessness and most especially the unshakable solipsistic egoism shared by all the apprentice Apprentices. No: the implacable rule is to take two people in with you who Sralan will find it easier to fire than you. As team leader you by definition have accepted some responsibility: you must take in with you the quiet, least offensive or even the ontologically challenged like ‘No Rule’ Noorul. Noorul poses profound philosophical problems: he generates sense-data that reach the retina but still one doubts whether he actually exists. Sounds and words emanate from his mouth but leave untouched the problem of what it is to know another mind: is there we ask another mind there to know? When Noorul leaves, as soon he must, I think he’ll walk out backwards.

I lead such a sheltered life I have never developed that useful modern sensibility that my daughter affectionately calls one’s ‘gaydar’. It took the outrageously vulgar but funny Jenny Éclair on Ady’s TAYF follow-up show to enlighten me that How-ard is apparently gay – if not, take it up with Jenny please not me. The only materiality of this fact for me is that it makes the inter-relationships within the teams richer and more interesting. We only need Philip to swing both ways and How-ard and Kute Katie can mud-wrestle for him. How-ard’s sole contribution to this week’s task, on camera at least and we must never forget that, was to lecture self-styled hot-stuff, rough-tough, NY cream-puff “I’ll give you balls” Kimberley and “I’m a big ‘ead with a big mouth” straight-talking, hair-straightening Philip about resolving their differences for the good of the team. In your dreams Howie baby. A bit like asking an enraged bull if he’d mind holding the matador’s cape for moment; or telling Maggie Thatcher to shut up and listen.

Certainly if Pretty Phily and Kute Katie do become an item the increasingly interesting and impressive Kate can look forward to some pretty lively tantrumic sex: loud, aggressive and wholly centred on Kill Phil. This week with all the linguistic inventiveness and imaginative flair for which he and his fellow Estate Agents are renowned, PP achieved a stunning first: a marketing concept that only he and he alone, at least on the planet Earth, could understand. It had something to do with the fact that kids, especially kids like Phil, find ‘pants’ – the word and the Kantian things-in-themselves, hilariously funny. Good job they didn’t think to call their Super-Hero ‘Willy’ or we’d all have choked to death.

There is something surreal every week in The Apprentice – this week it was watching this fags-behind-the-bike-sheds idea turned into a full marketing pitch with a seriously weird ‘Pantsman’ character looking more like Pete the Paedo. There is no contempt more absolute than that in children’s eyes when they are forced to watch adults do really silly things based on the fallacy that because they once were kids, they still have the slightest idea what will make kids laugh. Philip reversed the old saying: finding himself in a very deep hole – he just kept digging. Cleverly though, because Philip is often stupid but not dumb if you know what I mean, he made sure the whole team jumped in and helped him dig. Safety in numbers. Even in a hole. And nobody remembers how they got there.

Poison pill, or hospital pass of the week went to Moaner ‘Lisa’ Lewis with the less than enigmatic smile – to pitch Pretty Phily’s inscrutable concept to a group of professional advertisers. An exegesis by the uncomprehending of the incomprehensible. Adopting the now standard Apprentice presentational style of ‘now then half-wits, are you sitting comfortably? …then I’ll begin’ Moaner didn’t so much ‘dry’ as drown in a sea of syntax. Golden rule: if you have no idea what you’re talking about – shut the f*ck up. She should have just led a cry of “author, author” and watched Philip squirm.

Lovely Phil and well, not so much, Lorraine bitched their way through the task: Lorry, like the kid in The Emperor’s New Clothes was the only one to say what they all knew – that Pants was pants – as kids do say. Philip succinctly summed up his philosophy of teamwork – “if you don’t use my idea, I’m going to f*ck things up”. The trouble with being a bully is that Sralan week in week out let’s the guys bully their way through to the next round. Only Kute Kate would have had a chance of zipping Philip’s mouth, but by means outside the canon of business theory. PP’s one to watch though – he cleverly turned Lorry and Kimbo’s shared animosity towards him on to each other. Who said men aren’t manipulative?

Nick Pen-Chewer Hewer’s face throughout this debacle was priceless: a comic mixture of disbelief and perplexity. Perhaps like us he was locked in philosophical contemplation of the deep question of whether Noorul still existed inside the Pantsman costume when we couldn’t see him: a conundrum marginally easier to answer than the same question when he took the costume off.

If Kimbo had taken How-ard and Noorul into the Boardroom with her – she’d still be on the show. And she knows it.

Not much on Kute Kate’s group this week. Incredibly they acted like a team, responded well to her relatively light touch leadership, came up with a good idea and worked well together to bring it home. While Kimbo was wasting precious time trying to shut motormouth Phil up, Kate divvied up the tasks, allocated them and surprisingly, was not let down. Interestingly she proved she could be decisive through a bad decision. Yas and James did a good job on the jingle and rightly hired a professional singer for the finished piece. KK dismissively said she liked the jingle but wanted a male voice – so an uncharacteristically docile Ben stepped up. The result? Great Parrot – lousy singer. One lovely moment was the angelic child actor they hired confessing that he couldn’t actually eat any ‘treasure flakes’ as he had a nut allergy. Wishing no harm to the poor lad I can’t help envisioning pitching to parents the healthy qualities of Parrot’s Treasure flakes with an angelic little chap being rescued in the Nick of time from anaphylactic shock.

So Kimbo enters limbo and now there are 9…… and Noorul. Kute Katie entered the reckoning running very well this week in easy going; but Darkly Deb ran a very good tactical race ending near the front with plenty of running left in her. Ben finished the course but was never in contention this week. Pretty Phily unseated Jockey Kimbo and then finished strongly but rider less making a complete bloody nuisance of himself getting in the way of all the other runners. Noorul didn’t start – his jockey could find him and How-ard refused at the first fence.

Kute Katie has shortened to 3-1 which puts her ….er…. neck and neck with Pretty Phily. Otherwise its 4-1 Barr these two.

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