Thursday, 30 June 2011

Jim Cheating on The Apprentice!!

In this week's Apprentice, the contestants had to make and sell biscuits.

The Asda buyer is interested in the Special Stars, "How would you launch it onto Asda's shelves?"

Jim jumps right in with a conservative and considered response:

"We would launch it with above the line marketing and below the line marketing and advertise on TV and maybe tie it in with Harry Potter. A very structured and strategic advertising program. With a wand and a wizard."

Later, in the boardroom, Lord Sugar questions Jim on his extravagant promises, and Jim stands by his offer to get Harry Potter on board and use his chocolate star.

"I stand by what I said"

Yeah, because it's not your money, you idiot.

Lord Sugar says that any idiot can get an order from a supermarket by promising a massive product launch. You spend £20 Million on a TV campaign and the supermarkets will be only too happy to let you use their shelves.


But wait, what about the Special Stars win? The massive order for 800,000 boxes that won the task?

Remember what His Lordship said? Any idiot who promises to spend £20 Million on TV advertising can get an order from the supermarkets.

So what Lord Sugar was trying to tactfully say was that JIM CHEATED!!!!!

So next year, we'll get on the show and then go into the big retailers, and this will be our pitch:

"Look, you and I both know this isn't a real product, this is a TV gameshow. So what say I give you £100, right now, and you order a million of my product. Everyone happy?"

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Zoe gets the biskwits

We were going to say that this weeks task takes the biscuit, but Jim said it over the winner's tea party, and there's no way we would get in the way of Jim taking the credit....

It's Sunday evening, everyone is relaxing in the Big Brother house. We mean the Apprentice Apartment.

A knock at the door, it's the next door neighbour asking for a cup of sugar.

Oh, no, it's Lord Sugar come to check on his beetches.

"Hey beetches, get mah beeteches in the goddam kitchen, beetch. Ah wan a word with yo beetches."

Oh no, it's not beetches, he wants biscuits. Can't he go to the corner shop like everyone else?

Oh, no, wait. He wants the gang to make some biscuits. And guess what? He's not looking for a sales person. But the winner with have sold the most biscuits.

Helen has run food outlets before, so is an obvious choice for PM. But wait, is there a contender?

"This is right up my street, it's what I do", says Susan.

Hang on, doesn't she sell cosmetics? And not very well?

"But it's a similar concept". Yes, I often have my mid morning break with a cup of tea and a yummy pot of eye shadow.

Back at snack HQ, Tom sets about inventing a new biscuit, drawing a schematic of where the raisins will be positioned. By robot, probably.


Tom has invented an emergency biscuit, to be eaten in an emergency. So you buy it in an emergency.

Tom, if I can get to the shops, it's not an emergency.

"Each team will work with a biscuit development boffin"

An old man in a white hat is the boffin. We were expecting a laboratory with bubbling liquids, electrical things and monkeys in cages. Not an old man in a hat with a full range of flour products. And a cooker.

Jim takes over from Susan's normal role, asking, "How feasible is a biscuit for children?"

Hmm, let's think. Biscuits. Children. Could it work?

Melody has a daring concept, "I'm going to do 'Biscuits, the new popcorn'"

"You can be snacking on it while watching TV"

Wow! Can I?

Yes, but not before bed.


It's a blob of dough with marshmallows and cornflakes falling out of it.

"I think this fills a gap in the market"

We think it would fill the gap in the floorboards where the mice come in. She should have been pitching it to B&Q.


Jim runs the focus group, meaning that he fills some kids with sugar and then asks if they like it. That's like asking the kids hanging around the shops if they like smack.

What shape? Star shaped. Shooting stars? Special stars? "I'll take credit for that one" says Jim. They laugh. He says he's only joking. If only. Jim takes the credit for his own conception.

Jim pays one of his colleagues a rare compliment. "I like Helen's personality, but probably because she's passive. Who doesn't like that?"

Hmm... Helen?

Tom has spent hours hunched over his drawing board and chemistry set. He finally bursts from the laboratory, hands raised to the Heavens, crying "It Lives!!"

"Something's gone wrong, I need an emergency biscuit"

A random Welsh woman gets the idea, "Like you put the phone down and you think 'I need a biscuit'?"

Yes, exactly that kind of emergency, random Welsh woman. Never fear, the emergency biscuit is here.

You could put them in little glass boxes on the kitchen wall. Break glass in case of emergency. Smash. Oh no, my biscuit's full of broken glass.

Melody's still harping on about her popcorn/ biscuit homunculus. She has even given her Godless creation a name. It is called "Popscuit"

Sounds like the noise you make when you have diarrhoea.

The old people of Swansea like the heart biscuit. It was a concept they could get their heads round. It's a biscuit. It's a pretty shape. It's everything you want in a biscuit.

But Zoe ruled out the idea. Didn't like it one bit. Is that because Glenn isn't there? Sore subject?

Tom's double biscuit began to take shape. He attached two electrodes and waited for lightning to strike.

Natasha briefs the designer for the Special Stars packaging, "Special stars, take away the description of time, we open up time. Do you get it?"

Open up time? Tom is interfering with the very work of God and Natasha is opening up the fabric of time. The end of the world is nigh.

Melody questions Zoe's market positioning. "Have you made a decision as to what scenario it's aimed at?"

erm... The scenario where I want a biscuit? Is that complicated? Is the world so commercialised now that we need different biscuits for different scenarios?

"Mrs Faversham, would you care for a custard cream with your tea?"

"What the hell? Custard cream? You dozy trollop. Bring me a ginger nut forthwith"

However, Zoe will not be challenged by Melody. "I couldn't give a shiny shit about Melody".

Natasha makes a public announcement in Asda, "I'm going to be demonstrating a new biscuit product"

Demonstrating? We've always wondered what to do with a biscuit.

A man with a big purple nose, gives his feedback, "It's a bit dry that, isn't it?"

At Sainsbury's,Melody and Tom pretend they're at home and the buyers look distinctly uncomfortable. Wouldn't you if someone was in your house eating your biscuits?


Natasha identifies her biscuits USP as "An oatmeal based flapjack biscuit with a chocolate star on top".

Wait, here's an idea. A rich tea with a raisin on top. USP!

Now it's time for the Asda pitch, to be held in the cafe at an Asda store. Odd.

Before going in, Melody tries to hijack the pitch by winding up Zoe, so Zoe responds by doing the role play with Melody.

The buyer says, "If I had digestives on a night in, I'd feel a little bit cheated"

Ooooooh! Get you! You're having a meeting in an Asda cafe and you'd feel cheated by a digestive? Well, we're not getting our biscuit tin out, you'll feel totally conned.

Helen pitches the kid's lard surprise, we mean the Special Stars, to Waitrose.

"Special stars are what children are all about"

The buyer wants to know how they would market a kids product that is so unhealthy?

Helen says, "I don't think we need to be told what's healthy and what isn't. I think we all know what's healthy these days."

That told her.... Bloody do-gooder.

The Asda buyer is interested in the Lardy Stars, "How would you launch it onto Asda's shelves?"

With a catapult?

No, wait, don't launch it onto the shelves. Leave them on the floor because the fat little kids who eat them won't be able to reach the shelves.

Jim jumps right in with a conservative and considered response, "We would launch it with above the line marketing and below the line marketing and advertise on TV and maybe tie it in with Harry Potter. A very structured and strategic advertising program. With a wand and a wizard."

In the board room...

Was Zoe a good team leader? Silence

Jim stands by his offer to get Harry Potter on board and use his chocolate star.

Lord SugarCoatedBiscuit says that any idiot can get an order from a supermarket by promising a massive product launch. You spend £20 Million on a TV campaign and the supermarkets will be only too happy to let you use their shelves.

And the results?

Bixnix - No orders at all

Special Stars - 800,000 boxes if they make them exclusive to Asda


Right at the start, Zoe said that a good product will sell itself, and that she needed to be in the kitchen. But the team talked her out of it, saying she needed to design the packaging. All style, no substance. And she makes biscuits and stuff for a living!

Didn't she learn from Tom's kicking last week?

DON'T LISTEN TO YOUR TEAM!

But Zoe loved it when she tried it.

Back in the boardroom, Zoe blames the product quality. It wasn't premium.

Melody said there was no clear product market.

Tom said that he didn't realise that he was supposed to be making a luxury product.

£1.99 per packet and he didn't realise???

Zoe defended her broad targeting by saying that Bixmix was "Suitable for elderly, children, couples alike"

It's a bloody biscuit!

Tom defends himself, "I came up with a huge number of very powerful ideas"

Zoe's turn, "I signed off the theory of the product and I didn't understand how thick the digestive ring was, it was disgusting and wheaty"

She bloody loved it!!!

Melody, "I came up with quite daring concepts"

Daring? Biscuits?

So who should go? Is it melody? Too disruptive?

Tom? Bad product?

It's Zoe. Strops off, not a word.

Next week, the teams will be selling tat on a street market. What is it with Lord Sugar, wanting to relive his youth through his teams? He's like a pushy parent.

And then, on the "You're fired" autopsy show, Zoe comes on looking like an airline stewardess.

Now that really does take the biscuit.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

She's a Bulldozer... And He Likes It

"Do the French like their children?"

Mais Oui! With garlic butter!

Susan's off again...

"Do a lot of people drive in France?"

Not really, they mostly ride biciclettes with strings of garlic round their necks.

A teapot on a piece of string for €140? Did someone just leave the teabag in? No, it's a light.

Leon is very impressed by Melody's linguistic skills, "It's really impressive how you can speak to people and, like, understand them when they speak back"

Yes Leon, not bad for a girl who talks so much.

How about a pipe cleaner to wrap round your phone?

Jim tries his hand at a sales pitch to a shop, "Can you sell this kind of small petit item?"

"No I cannot sell this"

The shop owner shrugs in that way that only the French can.

Sold! 50 teapots on string!

Who would have thought it?

If they'd been fairy lights in the shape of garlic, they'd have bought them by the thousand.

Melody is surprised too, "I wasn't sure about the teapot but I think there's really a market for it in France"

Yes... Paris flea market on a Sunday morning.

Leon begs for a go at selling. "Can I have a go? Pleeeease?"

Melody looks kindly on the young lad, "Technically i could have been selling both products all along but I didn't to give you a chance"

Oh, thanks Melody, you're an angel.

And we're back in the boardroom. Is the task over already? Yes, selling illuminated teapots to the French is not gripping TV.

Was Susan a good PM?

Jim answers first, "She made a bold move to lead from the front"

Eh? Jim's up to his usual tricks.

Melody didn't like the car seat rucksack. She did not get it from the start. Really, some people just aren't child-minded, and they can't really understand any product for families. Why do children need car seats anyway? Don't they fit in the glovebox?

Melody did some thorough market research which revealed that people in Paris don't drive, they take the Metro. And where did they she conduct this research?

Yes. In the Metro station.

Although the feedback from the public was that they loved the car seat rucksack and hated the teapot. Still, what do they know? They're only the public. Melody is the CEO of a global consultancy. Market research overruled!

Sales to small retailers:

Team     Sales
Logic      €11705
Venture €14699

Sales to big retailers:

Venture €214000
Logic     €0

Oops. Not such a close call this week.

Tom was right, the rucksack was the best product. He allowed Melody to push him into selling the wrong products. He's the inventor, he's made and sold products, he should have stuck to his guns. His logic was sound though, if the team don't want to sell a product, they won't sell it, so he may as well give them what they want to sell.

WRONG!

They want to win the bloody task, Tom. You give them the product and whatever it is, they don't want to lose the task. Tom thought that the team's buy-in was more important, forgetting that as PM, he held the decision that they could either like or lump, but either way, no-one wanted to lose, least of all Melody.

Based on that alone, Tom needs to go. He failed to control Melody.

Melody defends herself by saying that it was her job to do market research. Well, yes, but she tried to bias it to what she wanted, and then she ignored the feedback anyway.

Tom asked her to research the retailer and she didn't because she wanted to be right and hijack the task. Even Nick sprung to Tom's defence there, a rare event. He doesn't seem to like Melody much.

Melody got the appointments and wanted to do all the pitches. Greedy

"I let leon in on the sales, he asked me and I said yes."

How kind.

"The business that I'm proposing to yourself is a very profit driven business."

Are there any other kind of businesses?

Leon is very quiet. "Je non parlais Francais, Monsieur Sucre."

Alan says that he used to negotiate with the Koreans for his first products. That would explain everything, He thought he was miming "best quality" when the Koreans thought he said, "give me the tat that the French won't touch with a bargepole."

Tom, normally reserved, has a rare moment of grandeur.

"I believe that I have the potential to be far greater than Dyson and other Britsh inventors"

What ground breaking products has Tom created? A curved nail file. And a baby bottle.

Melody stays, courtesy of being a bulldozer.

Leon, You're fired.

He doesn't need Melody to translate THAT for him.

Alan makes a final comment on Melody. "She is ruthless. She'll walk all over and tread all over anyone to get what she wants.

That's what I like about her."

Monday, 20 June 2011

Great British Apprentice

We caught a snippet of "Great British Hairdresser"

The format appears to be exactly the same as The Apprentice

A group of contestants, a house, tasks, vicious feedback ("You call that a fringe?")

We think that in this age of budget cuts, TV programs that are too similar should be combined.

Picture the scene... The Apprentice penthouse, 5 AM. The phone rings. A contestant rushes to answer.

The secretary's voice, stern and concise.

"Lord Sugar would like you to meet him at his office in thirty minutes. He would like a brazillian."

It could happen...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Don't Shoot Bambi!

It's magazine week.

Not surprisingly, Natasha goes for a lads magazine. What do lads like? Cars. Fashion. Gadgets.

But lads like entrepreneurs too.

OK, lads. They like money. And building. And gadgets. And underwear. And surfing. And wearing Tom's glasses.

Susan and Glenn head to a bowling club. “I've got a million and one questions to ask them”. Like “Why aren't you dead yet?”

Susan asks the old people if they'd like something to get their brains going.

Susan tries out some brand names on her focus group.

Vitalife? Sounds like margarine.

Joy? Incontinence pads.

First Lady? Dog food.

Radiance? Denture fixative.

Eternal? Perfume.

“What's a term that you call an old person?”

That would be “Lord Sugar”, Susan.

All agreed on 'Hip Replacement'. Nick shakes his head.

“How do you blow your load?” Melody really likes that. Hmmm.

So we end up with Covered, which is anything but, and Hip Replacement, which sounds like a special supplement for Which? magazine.

Natasha's thinking 'dirty secretary'. Not for the cover, that's just what she's thinking. Is anyone else starting to question her sexuality? Not that we're bothered.

Susan's back to codger bothering. For a magazine called Hip Replacement, she has old people doing piggy back rides and wheelbarrows.

Natasha goes up to men in the street and asks, “How do you blow your load?”

Hmm... you could start by buying me a drink, love.

The magazines arrive at HQ. Everyone loves them.

“It's nice looking at naked women but we thought it would be nice to look at the business side of things too”, pitches Leon. What, the business side of looking at naked women? We think Hugh Hefner has that one sewn up, Leon.

But the advertising buyers don't like Hip Replacement. Jim won't negotiate. Susan wants to slash prices next time. Jim doesn't want to lose his shirt. And to top it all, Jim is happy to make the call. Until it comes to the boardroom, maybe? Then it will be Jim's decision. I mean it was someone else's decision. They made me do it, sir.

Natasha says that Leon can pitch. And then interrupts him all the way through his pitch. And then takes over. Basically, Natasha couldn't pass up the opportunity to talk about naked women again.

They buyer says that she has cut her spend on lad's mags because the market has changed and magazines don't appeal to today's young men. But I'll buy it at £1500 a page. We want £2000 but if you say no then £1500 is fine, thanks.

They clients want 50% off Jim's prices. Is everyone in agreeance with that? It's agreeMENT. It's English, Jim, but not as we know it.

Into the boardroom with some new music. We were expecting to see Amanda Burton gazing broodily over a dead body.

Karen Brady is dressed like Bet Lynch.

Lord Suggs asked who would advertise next to “How do you blow your load?” Natasha says that a strip club might be interested. High brow, Natasha.

The results:

Hip Venture: £12000+£7500+£16850+£0= LOSERS!!!

Covered Logic: £60000 – they bought the whole magazine

The winners are sent for fencing lessons – Jim and Susan would have benefited from that.

Jim says “We all endorsed the name. But Zoe thought of it. If they didn't like it, it was Zoe's fault”

Susan disagreed but was still too wishy washy to get her point across.

Susan puts her foot down. “I was the only one who disagreed”

“I didn't hear you” says Jim.

Lordy Lordy Alan tries to pin Jim down, “This must have come about by your direction”

“It didn't really happen like that” - No, Jim was PM but it didn't happen like that. He was in charge, yes, but he only led his team. It was their fault for following him.

The cover was rubbish. It was because Jim didn't get the photos he asked for. But he wanted a photo exactly like the one on the cover. Eh?

The cause of failure? Contribution and Cowardliness.

Susan never stepped up.

“I actually put my hand forward”

Jim says that everyone is trying to shoot Bambi.

Susan is Bambi because of her lack of contribution and half hearted nature.


Firstly, it was Bambi's mother who got shot. Secondly, Bambi was brave and loving. And thirdly, Susan looks nothing like Bambi.

“OK, you did say it but less than half heartedly.”

“Who's responsible? All three of them. Not me. Them. And Susan. And Glenn. And Zoe. They loved me and I led them to defeat. But they got themselves led, it was their fault.”

We reckon Jim will go, simply because of his inability to take any blame for failure. And his slippery avoidance. And his outright, bare faced lies.

He brings back Susan and Glenn.

“Susan never brought up the subject of pricing.” says Jim.

Nick jumps to her defence, saying that she kept on saying that they should “slash prices”.

Who is lying?

“Nick, what I said and what you said are both true.”

Eh?

Susan thinks that Jim is picking on her.

"You're just marginally worse than Glenn so I'm not picking on you."

Glenn, you're fired. What the hell???

I've never met an engineer yet who can turn his hand to business.

WHAT?

Then how did he make it through the initial selection? Why is he on the show?

Jim and Susan return to the house. Zoe looks on in shock, “Where's ma beyatch?”

Big mistake?

On the face of it, yes. Jim should most definitely have gone. But remember, this isn't an interview process for a job. It's a game show. And people like Jim make viewing figures.

But there is no doubt that Jim will go, after Lord Sugar's embarrassing mix up with Stuart Baggs last year, there is no way on this planet that he would go into business with such a slippery liar. But he's good for a few laughs yet, and what do laughs make? Viewers. 

Next week, we're off to France again.

Vive la difference.

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Apprentice: You're Fired : You're Fired

In previous series of The Appendix, we have watched the after show autopsy with almost as much interest as the program itself.

But, somehow, it's just not very good this year. We don't know why.

Is it Dara? No, he's funny, we like him.

Is it the audience? No, they wave their red cards with aplomb.

Is it the guests? Well, they are rather serious and boring. "When I started my business, all I had was half a worm and some stale cheese, and now I'm a multi-zillionaire. And the government didn't give me any help". Then the token comedian says, "Have you see the size of that chicken?" or some other random punchline, just to try and contribute in some small way. The guests are as dull as an afternoon in the Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station's Visitor Centre, but no, it's not them.

Is it Henry, the mild mannered janitor? Could be! No, only joking. It isn't Henry.

It's the contestants. My goodness, they are such a dull, tedious, bland bunch of half wits this year, aren't they? What has happened to the selection process? Even their 'best bits' are like a trailer for a romantic comedy starring Gordon Brown and John Prescott. The voiceover says, "It's this year's funniest comedy, Meet John and Gordy, two men on opposite sides of the political fence, but on the same side of love when their eyes meet across the Commons floor". No, forget that. The Apprentice 'best bits' isn't quite that bad.

Last year we had Mel, a very noisy gob on a stick, Stuart, say no more, and all the others, too numerous to mention. Oh yes, like Jamie, smarmy timeshare salesman. And some others. They were entertaining. Erm... the annoying girl. Forget her name. Tried to change the deal with the ticket office.

But this year's hopeless young hopefuls?

We wouldn't want to be in Lord Sugar's shoes.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Any Old Iron?

This week's task on the business game show The Apprentice was to make money out of old tat. It must have brought tears of nostalgia to Lord Sucre's eyes.

Alan has of course set up some dodgy deals for the hapless teams of naive young TV starlets.

One is to shift some suspiciously arranged, second hand office furniture. Suspicious in that it looks as if an office has been hired, and furniture bought, purely for the purpose of selling it back to the teams.

"We'll take it off your hands for £100" offers Zoe. Hang on, it's used office furniture, aren't they supposed to be buying it? Susan has a rare lucid moment when she remembers the point of the task.

"Alright, £80"

The man in the office (or stooge or actor etc.) says he'll think about it. I'll pay you to buy some used furniture off me. Sounds like a fantastic deal.

The second team offer to take it off his hands for nothing. Of course, if he has to choose one bid, he'll take the lowest.

Melody closes a deal to buy 150 bags of rubbish. "That's what this business is about". What, a load of rubbish? How apt.

Edna chips in with her usually team-oriented attitude. Well, team oriented when someone's looking for a scapegoat. Me, me, me when there's credit to be had. "I've been the brains of this operation, and I've been the brawn"

Yes, Edna, but never the looks. And we'd question the brains too.

Actually, maybe she didn't say brawn, maybe she said Braun. She's the team ladyshave. And she's certainly heading for a close shave in the board room if she doesn't buck up her ideas soon. Which, let's face it, she won't.

Team Logic (which sounds like the Vulcan Science Academy has turned up on University Challenge) does a fabulous deal with a builder. Fabulous for the builder, of course. They take one load of scrap and junk, go back for the second load and... hey presto! There's more rubbish! The builder denies putting more on the pile at first, and then says that the deal was to take the lot, regardless of how much. Helen decides it's better to get on with it than to stand and argue.

Unfortunately, the program's editors didn't allow us to see if this was a good idea or not.

Was it better to tell him where to stick his pile of rubbish, or to take it as they promised, even though he wasn't sticking to the deal?

They had to pay to dump the rubbish, making a loss, but Tom had determined that there were valuable metals in there.

In the end, the two teams had a scrap dealer come in, weigh up their metal and give them some cash. Now, here's the best bit.

Team Venture, managed by Zoe, took their £900ish and whooped for joy. It certainly did sound like a good deal.

Team Logic (which sounds like the make of a cheap and nasty CD player) took their £390ish and asked for a bit more. To be fair, Melody did a bloody good job, asking the scrap man to round it up. What, round it up to £400? I was thinking £410. Not round, then. He says no, Helen pushes. The man says, "All right, £410 if you load it onto the van". Helen says, "Well, we'll help you". Brilliant!

How many people, team included, at that point were thinking, "After all that hard work, now you're going to load the scrap onto the scrap man's van for the sake of £10? Are you mad? Put your feet up, it's only £10"

In the boardroom, we can't help but notice that Zoe and Glenn are cosied up to each other.

Glenn and Zoe sitting in a tree, A-P-P-R-E-N-T-I-C-E

E rhymes with tree, you see, so it works.

Anyway, let's cut to the results.


Takings   Spendings   Profitings
Logical Team Helen:   £1090 £378 £712
Venturous Team Zoe:   £1045 £339 £706

Well, would you Adam and Eve it? £6 difference.

So you see, if you'd sat back and said I'm not loading his lousy van for him the cheeky blighter, you'd have lost by £4.

That's astonishing. That's even closer than the previous astonishingly close result.

Susan says, "i've been the brains behind this entire operation". Erm... that must be why you lost, then.

Who cut the deal with the hot water tanks?

Glenn: "I got him to three" (from two)
Susan: "I pitched it to him as well" Pitched? It's not Dragon's Den, luv
Edna: "It was a co-operative effort" Here we go again...

Who will Zoe bring back? Not Glenn obviously cos he's her bitch. Nor Leon, cos he just kept his gob shut like a nice boy.

Surely she'll bring back Edna and Susan? She does.

We've been impressed by Zoe's composure, resilience and ability to take it on the chin so far. But has her bullishness bitten off more than she could chew? And can we fit any more cliches into this paragraph? Only time will tell. A watched pot never boils.

Sorry, got carried away then.

Zoe and Susan put on the most extraordinary catfight for the entertainment of the judges. We saw faces on Zoe that have never been seen before. A kind of 'WELL????' look, and a scrumpled up brow that made her look like a Klingon.

Edna interrupts the action to inform his Lordliness that she teaches CEOs to be better at their jobs. Does she not know when to keep her gob shut? Zoe and Susan were about to come to blows, guaranteeing their rapid exit from the boardroom.

But no, she had to jump in with some random statement which involved her being great and saving the planet. She also has a MBA in 'Entrepreneurial and Innovation', whatever that is.

Apparently, everyone tells her that she has a proven ability to come up with ideas and, something to do with translating them into French. Oh no, solutions. That was it. Translating her ideas into solutions.

"Edna, get yo ass outa mah boardoom", said MC Sugar.


Next week... it's the revenge of the surfing bikini builders. Yes, the teams have to launch free magazines. One of them has a brainstorm.

Who likes magazines that they don't have to buy?

Men!

What do men like?

Surfing, girls in bikinis and building things!

It's Hawaii-Five-O meets DIY SOS.

It can only end in tears.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Beware: Hotel Manager at Work...

We've been watching The Hotel, a cross between The Hotel Inspector and Big Brother, set in the Damson Dene hotel in England's Lake District. The Hotel Inspector because it features a rubbish hotel that deserves to be shut down and Big Brother because there are cameras everywhere.

Normally, we can't be bothered to write about it because the whole thing is edited to be flabbergasting throughout, with the staff lumbering from one shambles to the next.

But something happened tonight that really caught our eyes.

The manager, a nasty little twit called Wayne, has it in for the assistant manager, Marta. To be fair, they have fallen out with each other, big time. Both may be equally to blame, but the hotel owner, Jonathan, the creepiest alcoholic we've seen in a long time, sides with Wayne. We've seen this situation in companies many times over. Of course the manager has to protect the line of command. That's not the issue.

What gasted our flabbers was the fact that Wayne calls himself a manager but deals with a staff problem by ignoring Marta and doing his best not to have anything to do with her.

It doesn't really matter who is to 'blame', the manager should be capable of sorting out staff differences, especially since he's the one they don't get on with. Therefore, he should be sacked for being  an incompetent manager.

And another thing...

So a few staff have birthdays, and when all the guests have gone to bed, the staff get together for a little party. Wayne's not there. And as manager, he bloody well shouldn't be there either. It's bad enough him making sexual jokes with the staff as he eyes them up, he shouldn't overstep the line even more by partying with them. So he sits in reception by himself.

Or, to be more specific, he sits in the reception office, catching up with his friends on Facebook.

So one of the staff comes to see where he is and tries to persuade him to join the party, which he refused. Right decision, wrong reasons.

Then another member of staff comes along to see where the first member of staff is, and now they're both trying to persuade Wayne to join the party.

Wayne puts up such a spirited resistance that he forgets himself, turns around from his computer and the two staff members see.... that Wayne's flies are open.

Hmm... guests in bed... staff partying... I'll act like a good manager and say I'm on reception. Right, let's see if I've had any new messages from SexyMama99 of Belfast.

Now, since the cameras are running all the time, we presume there is some kind of privacy clause in the contract, because there are cameras in the staff and guest bedrooms, bathrooms and so on. So who knows? Somewhere on a cutting room floor, a very interesting YouTube video sits undiscovered.

No, Wayne's surname is not Kerr, and yes, we agree that would be funny.

Britain's Got Sense!

It was a nail biting final.

We were on the edges of our seats, fingers crossed, grabbing all the wood we could find. Yes, we did everything we could to ensure that Jean Martyn and Steven Hall didn't win. Except vote. After all, the most important event in recent British history still isn't important enough to spend any of our hard earned cash on.

Thankfully, the nation saw sense, not even swayed by the judges' blatant attempts to sway the vote towards Ronan Park. Let's ask the judges who they have liked all along. Let's ask the judges who they think should win. Let's ask the judges who they think has won. And let's ask the judges who they think should have won.

Nice. Well done Jai, but we think Ronan should have won. Are you nervous, Jai? Are you stressed?

Of course he bloody is. He just won a life changing lump of cash, he's a thoroughly nice chap, he won fair and square with a lot of effort - and no tears - and now you're telling him the little cute boy with the massive fringe should have won.

Ronan stood there like Oliver, empty bowl in hand, "Well done Jai..." in a pathetic little voice. Jai should have kicked that bowl out of his little hands, yelling, "In your face Oliver!!"

In fact, he should have also kicked all the judges up their big red buttons - the judges who mocked him for being Scottish, mocked him for being nervous. What was Michael McIntyre thinking, saying he should paint his face blue and wear a kilt? What a patronising git. But where is the surname McIntyre from?

Yes Michael, you should always appear on telly wearing a kilt. And paint your face blue, instead of the peculiar shade of orange that it seems to have gone. Except for your panda eyes.

At the start of the final, we though Jai should win.

But which contestant put in the most effort? Had to be Razy Gogonea. He gave every ounce of energy. And the twist with the fire was stunning. A bucket of water might have come in handy, though.

So there you have it, another year, another singer or dancer wins Britain's Got Talent.

Aren't they supposed to be on X Factor?

As for the smear campaigns? Who started them? Hang on... is that news print on Simon's hand? We think he did a Steve McDonald, just to stir things up and encourage more voting. Oh no, let's all feel sorry for cute little Oliver, we mean David Copperfield, we mean Ronan Parke. It means so much to him. We're sorry, but at his age, it means as much to him as getting a new bike for Christmas. Bright eyes, innocence and greedy parents = a fantastic contract for $imon Cowell.

If the police 'seem to have suggested' (according to the Daily Mail) that the crime report made by Simon Cowell was a publicity stunt, then surely they should be pursuing Mr Cash-Cowell for wasting police time, which really is an offence. But the crime of sending a malicious message? Jesus. Are they making this stuff up? 90% of the messages on Facebook would have to be banned... Where are we living? France? Oh, no... England. Land of hope and glory. Land of hope for the best, more like.

Jai has lived, worked for a living, struggled, had, and nearly lost, a dream.

Well done Jai McDowell, totally deserved.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

E.Coli Outbreak Hits Britain - Latest News

The newsreader says that experts have been unable to identify the source of the E.Coli outbreak.



It's germs.




Always happy to help...

National Campaign - Veto the Vote!

Here's the problem. When Simon Cowell and ITV make so much money out of viewer's votes, it's in the Britain's Got Talent judges' interest to make decisions that cause controversy and therefore increase the number of people phoning in to vote.

Our campaign is for NOT A SINGLE PERSON TO VOTE

It's a talent show, not a scam to hang us upside down by our ankles and shake us until our pockets are empty.

The makers of the show are therefore exploiting the contestants for providing their talents for free. It's the next step on from reality TV. Actors and entertainers who cost nothing. And the TV producers get to cash in on the votes.

THEY THINK THAT THE BRITISH TV VIEWING PUBLIC ARE STUPID!!!

However, there is just one flaw in this plan. The British TV viewing public are stupid. We should know, we're two of them.

What The Flip?

Out of the Blue going home?

Edward Gimp in the top three?

So, let's get this straight...

A group of hard working, talented, genuinely innovative singers and dancers who put on a truly entertaining and brilliant act get sent home.

A daft git who sings nursery rhymes, very, very, badly gets into the top 3.

Of course the judges can't choose between Edward and Steven. That's because they're both rubbish!!!!

We're emigrating.

The Judges Have Listened... But They Still Don't Get the Point!

We're watching the live semi finals of Britain's Got Weirdos - as you'd expect.

Out of the Blue - Brilliant - inventive, unique, polished, entertaining, funny, we would seriously pay money to see them live.

Jai McDowall - what a superb singer and a superb choice of song. Outstanding.

Steven Hall - oddly compelling, but we do agree with the Hoffmeister. Funny, for a while.

Bloody hell, you're telling us that they put the following acts through instead of both Razy Gogonea and Michael Moral?????

Dance Angels - Not angel delights, unfortunately. zzzzzz.

The bloke singing nursery rhymes. Probably seemed funny when he first did it in the pub.

Mexican Mayhem - she made the mistake of rehearsing, when the only reason she got through was for being rubbish.

And not least, the artist, Nathan Wyburn. What on Earth were the judges thinking? Yes, it might be very good art, but IT AIN'T AN ACT!!!!!!!!

That's the point. There are some contestants who are entertaining for five minutes, but they don't constitute an act. We can while away an evening pulling funny faces at each other.

Maybe we should audition next year?

BUT WAIT! WHAT'S THIS?

STOP PRESS!!!!

Simon announces that they made a mistake by selecting out Michael Moral. Of bloody course they did. They realised that they should have left them both in and let the pubic decide.

DO THEY THINK WE'RE STUPID??

That much controversy means votes which means 0898-CASH-FOR-COWELL

But they missed the point of our complaints. It's not a matter of choosing who is the best dancer, because they were BOTH better than the majority of the acts in the semi finals, and each act should be judged only against itself and its own entertainment value.


And then we had some Brit award winner warbling and screeching in a rubber cloak. If the judges put her through, we'll be up there in person to show the judges our arse-kicking act.

In Honour of the Brilliant Losers

The judges of Britain's Got Useless Judges have been hacking away at our talent again.

Since they have made some truly diabolical decisions, we thought that we should at least try to even things up a little by telling you where you can book the best acts from the show for your wedding, social club, holiday park or company conference.

But first, a little rant.

The judges sorted the acts who had been told "you're through to the next round" into groups. They put two brilliant dancers together, and they put one brilliant and one half arsed singer together. And they put a load of other half arsed acts together too.

The result was therefore skewed and even fixed.

You see, it's not really fair to compare acts on the basis of their nature; that's for X Factor. BGT is about judging acts on their own individual merit.

As an act, Two and a Half Men, for example, are better than all of the singers put together, so it is blatantly unfair to say that in the semi-final, we'll have a singer and a dancer. Both of the dancers; the Matrix guy Razy Gogonea and the French dancer Michael Moral, were a mile better than both singers, as acts.

You can't say that you can only judge a singer against another singer.

We could watch Les Gibson, the impressionist, all night. But New Bounce (which we also said sounds like something you put in your tumble drier) or Jean Martyn? Jesus, we'd rather pull each other's nose hairs out than watch such tedious crap.

And all of them are better than a grinning, winking, glittering, sad retired teacher playing the organ.

At other times, the judges throw out an act because they can't see it progressing. Jean Martyn is such an act and should have been culled in the first round. Her act? She plays the organ vigorously while grinning and winking. In the semi-final? Same act, different music, although the way she hammers the organ makes them all sound the bloody same anyway.

Four children singing about making lurve? Seen it. Boring. Save it for X Factor.

Karaoke is NOT a talent.

Many of the acts are unique, innovative and undeniably talented, and the judges are basing in their decisions on TV ratings and phone-in cash.


Two And A Half Men's 'spokesman' is called Patrick Bauristhene - you can find him at these links:

http://www.uk.dancerspro.com/view.php?uid=138289

http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Patrick-Bauristhene/511240746

http://www.atmosphere.uk.com/artists/Dancers/Patrick-Bauristhene/56


The amazing 'Matrix' dancer is Razy Gogonea and you can find him at:

www.facebook.com/pages/Razy-Gogonea/181759751876354

www.zimbio.com/Razy+Gogonea


The French dancer who went head to head with Razy is Michael Moral and you can find him at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michael-Moral-Britons-got-talent-french-dancer/209590819062928




As the feckless judges continue to navigate some talentless but cute idiot on a collision course with Her Majesty's face, we'll keep adding to this page so that the talented acts can at least get the exposure they deserve.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The One That Got Away...

Do we really need to see Tom's underpants? And is it appropriate for an inventor and Apprentice contestant to wear Thomas the Tank Engine Y fronts?

Yes, another task at Apprentice World begins with an early morning phone call. "Meet Lord Sugar in five minutes... oh, hang on, is that Madame Fifi? No? Sorry, wrong number"

The task this week is advertising. An advertising campaign. Put together an advertising campaign. And show it to some advertising people. Who'll make a decision about which was the best advertising campaign. Did you get that the task is about advertising? Good. You'll need to remember that for later. Unlike the candidates.

The theme for the aforementioned advertising campaign is pet food. Melody came dressed as a zebra in the hope that they needed a zebra for the advert.

Vincent came up with the brilliant idea of having two friendly dogs eating their dinner together. Like Pals. So they'd call the dog food 'Pals'.

Ahem. Vincent? Vincent? Hello? Anyone in?

Jim's suggestion was 'Fur Play'. We think Jim's spent too much time on his own, late at night. Fur Play sounds like something you'd get from Ann Summers. It's pet food Jim, but not as we know it.

Edna further contributes to the team's collective intellect. "What kind of cat has fur that's quite long?" All of them, Edna.

Although, on second thoughts, why would Edna be suggesting putting curlers in a cat's hair? Is it because, like Melody in her zebra outfit, she wanted to be star of the advert?


Glenn announced that he is a fantastic Project Manager. In fact, he said that he's a catalyst. A CATalyst! Geddit? It's a play on words, a pun... it's a double entendre... oh never mind.

Jim suggests 'Everydog' and Vince pounces. He wagged his tail a little bit too. Jim said, "Good Vincie! Good boy!"

Vince loves the idea. The experts say you can't serve the same food to every dog, but that's not what Vince wants to hear. Tom doesn't even know that the experts said that (because Vince omitted that small detail) but he also advises not to go for a food for all dogs. Vince can't hear you. La la la la la la la.

Melody wants to focus on snacks. "Give your cat a break". What, give them a kit kat?

Having seen Tom's pants, the camera crew figure they'd even things up with a peek up Karen Brady's skirt. Yeah right, they were following the cat.

They say that the greatest inspiration can come from everyday things, and in the back of the car, Glenn is smacked in the face with a brilliant idea. Not by the girls, for a change.

"Cat's Eyes... Cat Size...!" It's aimed at fat cats - so don't tell Lord Sugarcane.

Hmm.. Cat Size? It certainly sounded fantastic in Glenn World.

"We like Lucky Fish"

"I don't like it because it's not my idea"

"But the focus group loved it"

"Sorry. Not my idea."

"But we ran the idea past some actual people"

"Yeah, and I thought of Cat Size all by myself, in my own head with my big ears and I'm great and it's my idea so it's a great idea. And I'm right. Because I'm great."

OK Glenn, you're the PM, so that must mean you're the boss. Glenn feels that his team need to be "put back in their place. When you're a manager, you deserve respect."

Zoe does a fabulous job of cutting off Glenn's pompous rambling. She's starting to shape up as a real contender.

Next, Glenn demonstrates his brilliant team management skills.

"Leon, you do the pitch"

"But I'm not comfortable doing a 20 minutes pitch"

"OK then, break it down. Just do 20 minutes instead."

On the film set, Natasha is showing some dogs how to run up and down a garden. Ellie adds her feedback, and Natasha acknowledges her in the way that only a pretentious, clueless person can. "Ellie, yeah, I'm going to, yeah, take on board, yeah, what you're saying, yeah. Yeah?"

So far, Vincent's team are all bought into the brand. Anyone could pitch it, they all demonstrate a sense of ownership. They like it. Vincent is actually doing a good job as PM!

In the blue corner, Glenn's team are complaining that Glenn's doing all the work himself. Leon's totally uncomfortable with the pitch, the team are utterly divided over the brand, and Glenn has rubbed everyone up the wrong way. Bad boy. In your bed.

So just on management performance, Glenn's in the firing line. But wait! A surprise twist in the débâcle! The advertising experts liked Glenn's advert the best!

Advert? Weren't they making pet food? Oh no, it turns out it was an a-d-v-e-r-t-i-s-i-n-g task. Did you realise that? We missed that too. Sneaky!

In the boardroom, Glenn explains his brand rationale. It's Cat Size. Like Cat's Eyes. But it's spelt differently. And 'see their light' is a pun, see. It's a play on words. Light as in not fat. Which means that 'their' is spelt wrong. Oh, never mind.

OK, Everydog. Who came up with the name? Vincent said it was a team brainstorming effort. Jim said, "Me! Me! It was me Lord Sugar! Me!"

Vincent's confused. The only thing he thinks you could criticise is their use of 'Every'. That's the whole brand positioning, then. Natasha doesn't like 'Every' any more. She thinks it might be a bit too general.

Erm, how do you get any more general than 'every'?

Sadly, the advertising weirdos, we mean experts, think that:

CatSize is clealy thought through and well packaged. It could go on the shelf right away. Although the advert was rubbish, the campaign as a whole was better executed. It's such a pity that the team know nothing about feline health, it all came about because Glenn liked his little pun.

Everydog had a good advert but the product concept was fundamentally flawed because you can't give the same dog food to every dog. As Vincent was told, several times. A great pity, because Vincent did a better management job than Glenn, and their product was thought through from the ground up, not just shoehorned to fit a catchy name. Oh wait, no, that's exactly what they did.

Unfortunately, this was not a task in producing the best pet food. This task was about producing the best advertising campaign.

Just like previous weeks' tasks, all of the heartache and misery could have been avoided if only the teams had listened to what they were told at the beginning.

So, team Vince, what went wrong?

"I'd just like to begin, your Holiness Lord Sugar Daddy, by saying that the team said I was a really good PM!"

Whose fault was the product? Didn't Jim claim the glory earlier, just like in a previous task?

"I came up with the name but not the product. It was a team brainstorming effort. I never said it was me. I didn't categorically say that. We all went with it."

However, once again, the final decision was based, not on the task, not on the campaign and certainly not on Vince's ability as PM. It all came down to the fact that Vince brought in who he saw as the two weakest competitors, figuring Jim would have blagged his was through the firing line. Sadly, the reverse was true. If he's had the balls to take Jim in with him and just kept his gob shut, Jim would have been waving from the taxi.

Ultimately, Vincent was not his own man. Jim didn't force Everydog down anyone's throats. Vincent failed to control Jim, and that was his downfall.

Jim's a very Lucky Fish... he's the one that got away.