It's a bit early in the series for my favourite task (advertising and branding of course), but I'm not complaining. After all, who can forget the arse-squirmingly appalling Pantsman ad of 2009? Tonight Siralanlordsugar challenged both teams - back to boys versus girls, yawn - to create and market a brand new shampoo. And not just any old shampoo. One with a unique ingredient - cactus seed oil. I shall refrain from making any reference to it being suitable for a bunch of pricks.
Back to the teams. Elle was more than happy about the battle of the sexes, as it meant she didn't have to put up with someone she considered to be entirely unsuitable for the task, Brett: "coz he's bald". Nice, Elle.
The teams picked their leaders. Ten seconds after she was anointed, Aisha threatened her team with the boardroom if they lost the task. Richard went for the diplomatic approach. "Everyone will get a chance to pitch their idea." He forgot to add "and then we'll go with mine regardless," but top marks for effort.
Onwards to the brainstorming. Mergim's contribution was invaluable: "My idea is sexiness." Ground-breaking. And what would they call this sexy cactus shampoo? "What about.... Cactus?" Eventually they chose Western, because, er, cacti. Meanwhile the girls adopted a similar theme and called their shampoo Desert Secrets, even though most of them hated it but Aisha, whose role model appeared to be Mussolini, overruled them. There was an immediate stampede to confide to camera they thought the name was rubbish, just in case they lost and Aisha dragged them into the boardroom with her.
Let us draw a merciful veil over the filming of the ads, and speak of them no more, except to say the boys' ad featured so much foam on the male model's face it looked like the Phantom of the Opera taking a shower.
So, it was time to choose who would pitch their shampoos to a leading panel of industry experts. Charleine and Natalie stepped forward, but Mussolini picked Natalie, which incensed Charleine who declared everybody to be intimidated by her shampoo expertise. Er, okay. The pitch was terrible though, so maybe Charleine had a point. The boys prepared themselves. "The time is now," declared David Brent, I mean Richard. Their pitch was equally terrible. I really think Siralansugarlord should consider firing squads rather than being sent home in a taxi. That might sharpen them up.
Back in the boardroom, Ruth eschewed her clown suit and instead plumped for a leopard print, Jackie Collins-meets-Siegfried-and-Roy-the-Las-Vegas-years, jacket. But she was the only one on her team to give a firm but softly-spoken explanation regarding the ideas behind the creation of the ad, and described Mussolini as being "good, but also frustrating", so snaps for Ruth. Alas it counted for nothing. The girls lost, and the boys won an afternoon of anti-gravity yoga. Clearly the budget had all been spunked on last night's visit to Nobu and next week the big prize will be 20 minutes in a paddling pool in a field, described by Alanlordsugarsir as a "visit to a luxury spa".
Mussolini chose Vana and Natalie to beg for survival, and immediately laid into both of them. Natalie was slammed for delivering a shite pitch (true) and Vana was slammed for no other reason than Mussolini didn't like her. Lordalansugarsir saw this immediately and saved her. Natalie was told off for her negativity, but it was Musso who got the boot.
In the Taxi of Despair, she made it clear she hated everyone in her team and that she was utterly brilliant and should be made Empress of All She Surveys. She'll go far.