The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 9


Sometimes, when you lose someone early on, you get the impression that a handful of people are just too good for the world. Something about their raffish charm and twinkly brown eyes being beyond the capacity of the amount of goodness this world can actually handle.

On the other hand, some people are all mouth and no trousers, dress foppishly in order to distract from their empty personalities and have a decent vocabulary which isn’t backed up by any substance. Raef somehow had it both ways… being both a grade ‘A’ bullshitter and also an apparently lovely bloke. Rather sad to see him go – he was certainly this year’s Nice Contestant. We’ve not got much left to work with, after his exit.

We’ve got Lee – loaded with common sense but prone to unblinking twattishness and we’ve got his ex, Lucinda who is a lovely leader but a pain in the arse when asked to follow. We’ve got Alex who, despite his protestations about being a Sales Manager with an international remit, whatever that means, is all over the bloody shop. We’ve got Helene, who is dripping with awfulness. We’ve got Michael Sophocles who walked out of a sitcom and into the boardroom and then we have Claire, the one who won’t stop SHOUTING ABOUT HOW SHE WAS RIGHT.

Sophocles treated the ladies to the sight of his naked, miniature frame as he answered the phone in enormous boxer shorts. Frances was on the blower, predictably enough, and she told them they were off to the National Theatre. ‘I’ve got to step up’ said Sophocles in a split-second vox pop, his neck riddled with shaving cuts.

When they arrived at the National, Nick and Margaret waited patiently as the briefing  kicked in. Nick did that weird thing with his face. I think it’s meant to signify impatience but it actually looks like he’s trying to hold back a huge flood of diarrhoea.

Alan changed the teams about, as is his wont, and we ended up with Raef as team leader over Claire, Helene and Michael – the latter having been refused his plea to lead a team this week. The same old method used by desperate contestants to stay in the show. I DO BETTER NEXT TIME MUMMY. PROMISE! On the other team, Alex was to lead just Lee and Lucinda – who at this point were still very much in love.

They were asked to come up with a name for a box of tissues, as well as suitable packaging, a print advertisement and a 30 second television ad. Quite a lot of work for two days, so Alex’s team sat down to brainstorm. And they brainstormed really badly, with Alex totally non-commital, Lee in a bad-idea-frenzy and Lucinda coming out with some utter crap. When coming up with names, Lee barked ‘WHAT ABOUT SNOT’? ‘COSY-NOSE?’ ‘COSY-NOSE IN THE CAR, COSY-NOSE IN THE PLANE?’. At least he tried.

Lucinda seemed hell-bent on sabotage and suggested gathering the pink pound with snot-rags aimed at gay men. If they’d have done that, they’d have reduced their market by about 90%. So probably a good thing she was roundly ignored, despite her assertion that Alex was ‘worse than useless’. Her whining cost her the love of her life, as Lee Cold Eye McQueen finally seemed to dump her through the medium of swearwords.

Rather than do anything so insignificant as research and planning, Raef picked up his little pal Michael so they could be driven around the West End and talk of their thespian pasts. We learned that both had extensively trodden the boards – Raef as Sebastien in Twelfth Night and Sophocles with a singing part in West Side Story. Cue: Dodgy recitals of lines and show-songs. Never before have two birdbrains looked quite so preening. This culminated in Michael singing one of Fagin’s numbers from Oliver – and it was horrendous.

So, Alex’s box was designed and, good grief, in comparison to the others’ it was a thing of unbounded ugliness. An orange monstrosity with irrelevant stock photos and bad fonts. It was the Cillit Bang of tissues. The television advert was almost brilliantly awful. The mother figure was accepted after an awful audition in which Alex asked them to ‘freestyle for a bit’. Her reaction was to whimper like John Inman in a man-trap. The actual TV ad involved this whimpering and a father who was on the money as cheesy-ad-dad. At one point, he grabbed his ‘daughter’s’ nose and tweaked it so melodramatically it looked like he might wrench it off, stuff it in his gob and spit it out in a fountain of gore. The ad was so garishly orange and pink and ridiculously heavily branded, they might have handed victory to Raef before they reached the edit suite.

Might have, were it not for Raef’s Sophocles-buffered pretension. Their ad featured Sian Lloyd for bugger all reason (even SHE said they should’ve googled her before booking her) and for only about five seconds. In their mini-masterpiece, a couple of children shared a tissue (unhygenic) and then smiled as Ronan Bloody Keating warbled in the background. It was well-shot in every way but one. There was no branding, whatsoever. Not one logo, one mention of the brandname or even one shot of the box – a shame as the packaging was pretty impressively well-made by Claire and Helene.

Right from the start, it was obvious that branding was of the utmost importance, so how they could have forgotten to stick in a logo and deemed a close up of the box ‘vulgar’ reeks of a complete lack of awareness of how advertising stripped to its most basic elements actually works. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, but for a businessman or a ‘tycoon of tomorrow’, it’s actually disastrous.

And so it was that Raef made a fundamental error, and it was with ‘all due respect’ that Alan told him he was full of hot air. And though it’s not very nice, it’s true. He was a likable statue, an affable ghost, a respectable spectre. But he hardly had acute business acumen. The ladies will miss him, I’m sure.

Sugar had a ball in the boardroom, sarcastically dubbing Sophocles and Raef the next Spielberg and Fellini, telling Lee he was mind-numbingly boring, laying into Alex… Rather than have anyone read out the scores, he simply launched ‘YOU LOST. YOU LOST’ at an unsuspecting Raef, telling them off for doing 95% of the task and leaving out the main product point – a call to action. And quite right too. He then told Alex that his ‘crap advert had won’, having a pop at the box, the clip and the print media while Alex smiled at the criticism, safe in the knowledge he’d lived through the trauma yet again.

Despite Raef’s eviction, Sian Lloyd probably came out of this episode worse than anyone else. Not only did she suffer the indignity of appearing in one of the worst pieces of advertising ever made, she also had the mickey ripped out of her by Alan – with his sly Cheeky Girl references. Add that to having been dumped by that lip-twisting turd, Lembit Opick and you have to say that things aren’t going too well, eh love?


Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 3
Episode 4

Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7

Episode 8

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91 Responses to “The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 9”

  1. Clarys Says:

    I actually watched this last night, for the first time ever. I will say one thing: Raef comes across as a Grade A, 24 carat gold, copper bottomed git. He was all smarm and oilyness, he didn’t strike me as nice at all.

    Who was the other bloke in their team, the short haired one, that said he was exhausted when he got back to the house? He seemed a bit odd aswell.

    Alex was quite fit though.

  2. Swineshead Says:

    Y’see, you’ve come to the party late and not really gauged the atmosphere before drunkenly laying into the guests and started dancing in far too unsubtle a manner for the ambience.

    First impressions of Raef were not good across the board, Clarys, but the boy had hidden depths. He’s the oily worm you can’t help but like.

  3. Napoleon Says:

    I could see that advert of Alex’s annoying the living shit out of everyone if it was on telly for real, and surely that’s the point of adverts? The other one reminded me of a Fudge ad from the olden days.


  4. Swineshead Says:

    Exactly – Cillit Bang. Radion (I think it wad called that). Bad ads for cleaning / hygiene products do tend to work.

  5. Napoleon Says:

    The faces on those three when they realised they’d won was a picture. Especially after the other team had guffawed at their appalling ad and gaudy box. You certainly wouldn’t forget Atishu! tissues – that ad wouldn’t let you.

  6. Swineshead Says:

    I quite liked the name ‘SNOT’

    In fact, I’d probably buy Snot Tissues. And I’d buy Fart Beans as well. And Pissed Beer and Wank Magazine.

  7. Swineshead Says:

  8. Napoleon Says:

    I’d buy all those if I didn’t tend to go shopping with the other half.

    I enjoyed Raef’s confident assertion that his ‘team’ would stick together in the boardroom, whilst Iago sat next to him silently plotting his strategy. That boy’s a snake. A small snake, but a snake nonetheless.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    More of a grub than a snake.

  10. Napoleon Says:

    Are grubs poisonous?

  11. Clarys Says:

    “Y’see, you’ve come to the party late and not really gauged the atmosphere before drunkenly laying into the guests and started dancing in far too unsubtle a manner for the ambience.”

    That made me do a giggle.

    But he just seemed so incredibly arrogant, and entirely out for himself. The kind of bloke that would twat you in the chops and then have a little grin about it. I may be wrong.

    (I’m not).

    I did like Alex’s sneaky smile when Sugar started the, “YOU’VE LOST!” tirade, most enjoyable.

  12. Napoleon Says:

    Raef was just a posh twerp, Clarys. If you’d bothered to watch this series, you’d have seen he’s not been out for himself, just out of his depth. A shame he went, considering that little bastard Michael was sat next to him.

  13. Napoleon Says:

    Bloody hell! Collins has outdone himself this week. Puts your poxy review to shame, Swineshead …

  14. Swineshead Says:

    Grub can be poisonous if someone puts poison in your dinner…

    And I’m with NC on Raef.

  15. Swineshead Says:

    Andrew Collins eh? Typical music journalist – overegging the pudding.


  16. Swineshead Says:

    It’s a bit too conceptual for my liking, this.

    Besides, my review is great.

  17. Napoleon Says:

    I thought it was alright, that. I’m with myself on Raef too.

  18. Swineshead Says:

    It was very good on Collins part, his best yet. He made up lies though, which is cheating.

  19. piqued Says:

    Does anyone know when Big Apprentice Brother Get Me A Celebrity begins?

    I love the twins of Pete Burns

  20. Napoleon Says:

    That’s STILL funny, Piqued! Ha ha ha!

  21. piqued Says:

    Hey u keep larfing and i eel keep ’em coming m8

  22. Napoleon Says:

    Honestly, I’m bent double here. Anyone got a needle and thread? My sides have spl …

  23. Napoleon Says:

    Come on! Surely the ‘bent double’ comment’s worth a blindingly obvious comeback?

  24. piqued Says:

    I’m too busy eating orange cheddar to think

  25. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve got some of that in my fridge. TESCO’s Value Cheddar. It’s a lovely shade of nuclear orange.

  26. badgermadge Says:

    Aaaaaaah tttiiissshhhhooooooooo

    Scuse me…

  27. Swineshead Says:

    Disgraceful self-promotion, Badger.

  28. goodbyetoallfat Says:

    Well Raef failed to rock my boat. I had been thinking for a few weeks, since the departure of Sexy Sargeant Simon Smith, that my changeable heart might plonk itself next on the ravishing Raef, but he failed to ignite, failed to excite and failed to deliver an advert that would sell the product.

    Top marks to Nookie Bear (sorry, I mean, SrAlan) for firing the cad …. could it be I am getting a small liking for the grumpy bearded one?

    Oh no!

  29. Napoleon Says:

    My review’s better than Badger’s:

  30. Napoleon Says:


  31. Swineshead Says:

    Alan’s beard is very grumpy.

  32. george Says:

    Guessing you all didn’t watch much of the football then?

  33. Swineshead Says:

    I watched both… the wonders of V+

  34. george Says:

    Did you giggle at super hard JT bawling like a little girl? I found it well funny.

  35. Swineshead Says:

    It’s like Whitney Houston said – it’s not right, but it’s ok (to laugh at that tit John Terry).

  36. george Says:

    True that, especially when all we’ve heard for the last season is how much of a hard man he is, he’s the heart and soul of England / Chelsea etc..

  37. piqued Says:

    Christ, football again

  38. Napoleon Says:

    I’m keeping out of it.

  39. badgermadge Says:

    Yeah sorry. Ummm… waffle waffle. Scotch eggs. Boobs. Snot. Wank.

  40. Napoleon Says:

    I love boobs. Boobs is best.

  41. Swineshead Says:

    Boobs and scotch eggs… it’s a close run thing.

  42. smarkatch Says:

    I may have said this before, but I’m certain Surallun is just a old man version of James Dean Bradfield. Having just read Slaughterhouse 5 for the first time, I’ve decided they’re definitely the same person in different years.

  43. piqued Says:

    How about a boob with a nice golden brown breadcrumb

    Nipple eggs?

  44. Napoleon Says:

    I thought we’d explored the idea of tits as food before? Well haven’t we?


  45. badgermadge Says:

    We’re *always* talking tits and food… Hence my lazy waffle.

  46. Napoleon Says:

    Tits are great. Unless they’re 70s tits – the worst tits in history.

  47. Swineshead Says:

    The Apprentice loses steam around now, don’t you find?
    We’re going to have to find something new to latch onto.
    Or is it back to Eastenders?

  48. badgermadge Says:

    Big Bro starts in a bit…

  49. Swineshead Says:

    I think I’m going to boycott it.

    That ‘think’ acts as a disclaimer.

  50. badgermadge Says:

    i always think i’m going to boycott. mind you, i’ve rather successfully managed to avoid most apprentice eps since ep2 due to being newly single and always out. would rather catch the ap though than be having all this mindless sex, but hey ho.

  51. Napoleon Says:

    Sex doesn’t have to be mindless, Badger. If you fuck in the front room, you can catch Question Time while you’re doing it. Or Andrew ‘Three Wheats’ O’Neil and friends.

  52. Napoleon Says:

    Sorry, Andrew Neil. I always assume the Scotch and the Oirish have an O’ or a Mac in their surnames.

  53. badgermadge Says:

    Napoleon, you’ve opened up a whole new world of sexual perversion. Newsnight review here I cum…

  54. Napoleon Says:

    Glad to be of service, Badger.

  55. Swineshead Says:

    Ergh – Newsnight review during slap and tickle… I can’t imagine much worse. Tom Paulin nasally whining while you’re at it hammer and tongs. He’d make you wilt.

  56. Napoleon Says:

    I wouldn’t watch that shit if you paid me. That Paulin character’s still on the go, is he? I couldn’t stand him when he was on that show with that awful woman with the giant 80s glasses. And who’s that bald cunt? I hate him as well. And Tony Parsons. Smug twat.

  57. Swineshead Says:

    Mark Lawson’s alright, I reckon. He’s a smart cookie. He’s not on it any more… so he must be smart.

    They drag Paulin out of his coffin once in a while.

    The rest of them annoy me no end. Especially this bloke who was on it the other week – the Director of the ICA. You’ve never seen such a bleating twat who was so certain of his own intelligence he felt the need to interrupt every other bastard there.

    Watch Newsnight Review after a joint and it becomes pure comedy.

  58. Napoleon Says:

    After a joint? Grow up.

  59. Swineshead Says:

    Grow up?
    From the biggest baby on the internet.

    Get fucked.

  60. Napoleon Says:

    ‘the biggest baby’?

    What is this? The playground? Grow up!

  61. Swineshead Says:

    I can’t get over the image of a grown man eating a Twister. Tragic.

  62. Napoleon Says:

    At least it’s an ice lolly as opposed to a choc ice on a stick. I also like Orange Fruities – another ice lolly. You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to lollies. Grow up!

  63. Swineshead Says:

    ‘At least’?

    That’s the prefix to every playground comeback, is that.

    ‘Well AT LEAST my Mum don’t wear glasses!’
    ‘AT LEAST I don’t live in a council house!’ etc…

    You bloody child.

    Do me an article will you? I’m up to my neck in choc ices.

  64. Napoleon Says:

    Grow up!

    I can’t do one, I’m on deadline. Can’t that lazy cunt Piqued do one?

  65. Swineshead Says:

    I don’t know – let’s ask him.


  66. Napoleon Says:

    PIQUED? Do a thing!

  67. Swineshead Says:

    He’s a big baby.

  68. Napoleon Says:

    He wants to grow up. Piqued? Grow up!

  69. piqued Says:

    For fucks sake, you woke me up

    I’ll see how I get on, just finishing off my neighbour with a spade

  70. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    My 21 year old sister claims to love LEE MCQUEEN and finds his ‘reverse pteredactyl[sic]’ impression ‘hilarious’.

    The world’s going to the dogs, so it is.

  71. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Death to Sugar. Simon and Raef fired. You may know how to make unsufferably shit computer products, but you don’t know telly. Beardy tool.

    I’m in a huff.

  72. West End Wookie Says:

    i watched a bit of the the rerun of last weeks show last night. I’ve never watched it, and have decided to read this blog as a way of not being out of the office loop.
    Sadly, all my fears were confirmed; the entire show is filled with insufferable show off’s who’s faces I’d like to see clawed off by a badgers.

    I will happily join the Big Brother boycott.
    I think i’m the only living human in the UK not to have ever watched it, other than the first comic releif celebrity version, which had some celebrities in it.

  73. extremelisteningmode Says:

    Otherwise it would just have been called Big brother. Sorry mate, you led with your chin there 😉

  74. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Incidentally, Lembit’s a nice bloke in person.

  75. Swineshead Says:

    Shame he comes across as such a twittering drip onscreen, eh? Especially considering he’s a politician. People don’t tend to take to twittering drips, and he’s in the take-to game.

  76. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    True, he’s hardly got a shattering screen prescence, but last time I met him he openly joked about the fact that he didn’t see his party getting in any time soon, and that he’d rather they didn’t if they had to sacrifice their initial ideals for the win like everyone else. He also said ‘Yes, so, I’m MP for one of the largest counties in the UK! Partly because sheep can’t vote.’

  77. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    In my book that makes him a decent enough sort of a bloke. Plus he shagged a Cheeky Girl.

  78. Swineshead Says:

    He also apparently wasn’t liberal in outlook before joining the Lib Dems, so his political outlook actually means fuck all. And the Cheeky Girls are cunts.

  79. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    Didn’t say he was a fantastic politician, just said he was a nice bloke, is all.

  80. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    You eat houmous with Piqued, after all.

  81. Swineshead Says:

    Carry on jabbering away at yourself in an old thread, JQW…

  82. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    That’s right, try to worm your way out of the tough question.

    I’m like Jeremy Paxman, me.

  83. Swineshead Says:

    What was the tough question? You’ve bored me bumless.

    *falls off chair*

  84. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    There wasn’t one. I’m getting more and more like Paxman every minute.

    *bursts blood vessel*

    This is your starter for 10

    *looks old*

  85. Mikey Says:

    The Apprentice v Big Brother.

    I find the former very watchable and the latter complete and total pooh. Both reality programs, both full of wannabees. The former however, the format does make you think about business and how you might go about things. The card making episode was quite interesting. The participants are actually trying to get a job and are using their intellect, though I use this word loosely.

    BB is not really a program. A bunch of misfits whose sole aim seems to make a name for themselves, sitting in a house with silly tasks. At least in the apprentice the tasks do have some sort of aim about them. In BB they are just puerile. I cannot watch BB as it is a crime against humanity.

  86. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    And there we all were thinking it was a cutting exposé of interpersonal nuances, a zeitgeisty and gripping experiment that seeks to reveal the workings of modern society.

  87. Mikey Says:

    You are a clever guy JQW. You know about counterpoint and use long words.

  88. John Q Wagonwheel Says:

    AND I’ve got a big cock.

  89. pal talk Says:

    […] just too good for the world. Something about their raffish charm and twinkly brown eyes?being bey doesn’t want hubby, female pal playing tennis The Charlotte Observer Q. My friend likes to play […]

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    […] 1 Ep. 2 Ep. 3 Ep. 4 Ep. 5 Ep. 6 Ep. 7 Ep. 8 Ep. 9 Ep. 10 Ep. […]

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