The episode kicked off with a video message from the Great Leader, who had been kept away on urgent business (apparently). "Arm sorry ar carnt be wiv you," intoned Siralanlordsugar to the 16 remaining candidates, gathered in the "wartime tunnels" underneath Dover Castle. "Where's Dover?" enquired one dunderhead. "I know it's on the coast," she added knowledgeably. "But...., er...." There was a long pause as the cogs whirred and GCSE Geography papers were recalled. After what seemed like an age, everything fell into place. "Are we going to Ireland?" Okay, a failed GCSE. How does Sugarlordalansir stand it? I'd never manage to run The Apprentice. I'd fire the lot of them in under five minutes.
They were told some of them would be dispatched to Calais while the rest stayed in Kent. Also told to remain in their girls vs boys configurations, they were given a list of shizz they had to buy. Project managers were chosen. Vana spoke French but Elle, inexplicably, declared that working in the construction industry meant she was good at cracking problems. Vana generously allowed her to be her deputy, whilst smirking happily. Vana does not like Elle. Elle looks like Nigella Lawson. Perhaps that's it?
Gomez Addams, aka Joseph (the bloke I've drawn in the office sweepstake God help me) confessed that although he couldn't speak French - to be fair, it didn't stop Girls Aloud - he nonetheless wanted to be leader. Several other team members had French language qualifications but craftily agreed to Joseph's wishes, presumably in the hope that he would fail.
Tasked with buying champagne flutes, lace, a mirror, cheese, a galvinized anchor, (yes, really), an inflatable boat - or goat, I didn't quite catch - and, if I heard correctly, animal poo, half the team headed to Calais (not Dublin) and half glumly stayed put in Kent. Joseph declared that the girls would have an advantage because they were pretty. His pencil moustache drooped at the thought of this unfair qualification.
In Calais, he wasted a great deal of time asking people if they spoke English. Sam, who could speak some French, was not allowed to come forward until Joseph had run out of permutations of the same question: "Madam, Do you speak English?" "Miss Your, do YOU speak English?" and finally the desperate, although admittedly direct, "ENGLISH?" Meanwhile Claude stood close by, gleefully confiding to camera: "I'm fluent in French. I'm going to know EVERYTHING." He might as well have thrown his head back and give us his full plot laugh. Claude is ace.
Anyhoo, lots of running around, paying daft prices for stuff, hurling themselves into restaurants and asking to buy mussels, and one idiot, Gary, who bought a child's inflatable dingy instead of a proper one as Sirsugaralanlord had stipulated. Remember the cardboard skeleton of last year, Gazza? Fool.
Back in the boardroom, Joseph was questioned by Lordalansugarsir. "You woz made project manager?" "Yiss. Fust fing ar did woz find out oo could speak French." This is the kind of spectacular business acumen boardrooms across the country are looking for, people.
There was much amusement at the teams' ignorance over the Frenchie's tendency to "go on strike" over lunchtime, hahahajingoismha. The girls bought the "wrong cheese" and the boys won and went off to a wine tasting. Wowser. Vana looked like Wallace being told that Grommit had run out of Wensleydale, and off they trooped to the Café de Despair. Accusations of being a "morale vacuum" were bandied about.
Back in the boardroom, the girls quickly descended into being vile to one another and it really wasn't pretty. Vana chose Elle and Jenny for the chop, and quickly lay into Jenny, who didn't buy anything at all. Why did she choose Elle? "I was counting on her logistical prowess." Elle gave an excellent account of herself, being reasonable, fair and avoiding any kind of snarkiness. "Ultimately, this is Vana's fault." Jenny didn't buy anything in the task, and in Alansirlordsugar's book, that's a crime punishable by death. Goodbye, Jenny. She eschewed the usual "thank you for the opportunity" and instead gave a long speech that made Vana and Elle look at each other with identical "spot the loon" looks on their faces as Jenny finished her Oscar length oration. Packed resentfully into the Taxi of Doom, she declared "I'm gonna achieve massive things. I bet you anything in a couple of years he's gonna be knocking on my door wanting to be part of my business." Er, okay.
When Vana and Elle returned to the house, Selina eyed Elle speculatively, as a cat might an unsuspecting mouse. Watch out, Elle.
First published here