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The Apprentice Series 8, Episode 5: Unfit for Purpose

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What's sweaty, has up to 40 legs and looks like an agitated chimpanzee?

A group of people taking part in an Apprentice-invented fitness class.

As tasks go, forcing this group of self-styled 'business brains' to come up with gym session ideas was a bit unfair. After all, these are people who can barely cope with flogging ironic vintage tat to hipsters, which as challenges go is approximately 110% easier than convincing a dog to eat a Winalot sandwich.

The reason this task proved particularly challenging is that if you can imagine an exercise class, the chances are it's already been done.

Typing a review of The Apprentice is probably a gym session somewhere, combined with the occasional pelvic thrust (well, it's an exciting subject). In such a crowded market, the only way to come up with an original idea would be to invent a time machine and try to patent zumba in 1897:

"What on Earth are you doing, Wilkins?"

"It's called an 'MC Hammer Shuffle', m'lud. It's very good for core flexibility."

Wrestler and gimlet-eyed GI Joe lookalike Ricky was convinced his team should combine martial arts with street dance, and lo! Beat Battle was born.

The other team, led by sales manager Stephen, managed to come up with- on the face of it- an even worse idea: Groove Train, an 80s inspired 'retro workout' that involved miming the Thriller dance while bouncing on a space hopper.

Sadly, the section that involved them dressing up as a striking miner and punching an effigy of Margaret Thatcher in the face had to be abandoned due to cost. Other rejected 80s themed workout class ideas include 'Flashdance' (you dress up like Jennifer Beals and spend the day welding).

Groove Train also involved a pair of shorts so tiny, you almost expected an irate Oompa Loompa to march onscreen and demand his underwear back. Nevertheless, Super Trouper Azhar (sorry, wrong decade) took one to the team and squeezed himself into them for the sake of creating a fitness video that was only a whisker away from needing an 18 certificate.

There was much less team spirit over at the Beat Battle video shoot, which saw Duane take over the editing process and remove pretty much every scene that showed the martial arts element of the class. It was left looking like a deleted scene from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, with Laura and a group of unfortunate street dancers flailing around, marching on the spot and occasionally lifting one knee.

Hardly inspiring stuff, and not much use against a mugger.

Unsurprisingly then, Ricky faced some tough questions at the pitch to Fitness First; questions like: "did you actually do any research?", "how is this any different from our body combat class" and "why is your video so bad?" (I may have made that last one up).

However, he actually handled them very well indeed, reeling off information about 'core stability' and the fact that dance related fitness is popular at the moment. His answers were so good that it probably took the panel's mind off the fact that he's called Ricky Martin for at least a minute. Although they no doubt carried on humming She Bangs under their breath.

Stephen, captain of the Groove Armada, didn't do quite as well at his pitches. Despite the fact Tom had already pointed out that the space hoppers and hula hoops could pose a storage issue, he didn't have much to say when the gyms asked where they'd keep all the 80s tat Groove Train came with.

But at least he offered them the equipment at 1980s prices to fit in with the retro theme:

"How much for the space hoppers, you ask? Er, £1. No, £2. 50p? A shilling?"

Compared to that shambles, it was a shame Team Beat Battle went on to lose.

One gym offered Ricky's team 5k to develop the idea but as that's just the cost of a typical two month gym membership at today's rates, this was effectively a bit of a consolation prize. In contrast, Virgin Active decided Groove Train's combination of space hoppers and hula hoops meant it was child friendly enough to use as a family class and bought £12,000 worth of licenses. The fools.

The Disco Divas' (frankly undeserved) prize was a trip to a spa/swimming complex, where Azhar still ended up wearing more clothes than he did in the video.

Ricky brought Laura and Duane back into the boardroom, Laura because... well, who knows. The girls have been falling at every hurdle so far, so he probably thought she'd act as a sort of lightning rod.

Duane was brought in as Ricky felt their naff, uninformative video was the reason their pitch wasn't accepted. Lord Sugar agreed, and Duane became the latest candidate to ride in the tear-filled Taxi of Failure.

Next week's task: reinventing the wheel.

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