Thursday, 14 July 2011

Natasha is Just Not Interested

"The remaining candidates fight for the chance to be Lord Sugar's bitch.... we mean business partner"

This final competitive task is, in his Lordship's words, "To find out which fast food restaurant's got legs"

Well, we think that KFC's got legs. We just don't know from what species.

What about mini pies? They're more suitable for women, according to Helen. So let's create mini pies, for women with smaller appetites, and then give them three, just so they don't feel left out.

Susan is, according to Jim, the resident expert on Mexican food. Susan lives up to this lofty expectation with, "Have you ever been to Mexico? What do they eat? Chiili? Tomatoes? Ariba! Ariba!"

We think the closest Susan has come to Mexican culture is watching Speedy Gonzales. She could have taken a leaf out of his book when it came to customer service.

Helen is in the pie lab with Heston Blumenthals' younger brother. He tries to convince her that putting live frogs and an exploding goat into a pie, made to look like a pineapple but tasting like cheese would be fantastic. Helen sticks to her guns.

Natasha and Susan spin round in their chairs, staring into space, trying to think up catchy brand names. And that is why they are not inventors. Because they presume that the answer is in their own heads, and if they stare into space for long enough, it will magically appear.

Tom, on the other hand, is a real inventor. He goes out looking for inspiration, misreads a sign and MyPy is born. This is how all of the great inventions are born. Dyson invented the vacuum cleaner by looking at cyclonic filtration systems in factories. Thomas Edison invented Small Pox by hanging around with dirty milkmaids. And Og the Inventor invented the wheel by watching a fat Brontosaurus rolling down a hill.

That's what it's all about... inspiration.

Natasha and Susan turn to their great leader, their creative muse, their spiritual guide for help. Jim.

"We're struggling"

"OK, what about something catchy and Mexican... Caracas? Is that the word? Or is it Maracas? No, Caracas"

That's right. A Mexican restaurant named after the capital of Venezuela.

With a solid and inspiring brand to rally around, Natasha and Susan set to creating the whole Caracas experience. A polystyrene cactus and some sombreros. Natasha wants peppers in the logo. Susan, professor emeritus in Mexican culture, says that you don't have peppers in Mexican food, so they can't have a pepper in the logo.

Whoa, hang on. No peppers in Mexican. Not even chilli peppers? A chilli pepper like in Chiquito's logo?

Never mind. She's the expert.

Meanwhile, Tom, inspired up to the eyebrows, creates a real brand. And it is utterly, utterly brilliant.

The restaurants are open, and Susan is telling people that their food will be out in just 10 minutes. Maybe 15. Not only does she have a slender grasp on Mexican culture, she is also struggling with the concept of 'fast' food.

It's feedback time from the fast food experts.

MyPy - what would you do in the summer?

Tom's inventive brain leaps to the rescue... "Cold pies! Like, pork pies would be nice" That's right.

It's MyPy's new summer collection! All the stodge and none of the temperature!!

Jim is challenged on his business model. How many people can he serve in an hour?

Well, if we serve 60 people in 2 hours at £7 each, that's... erm... four thousand.... no... two hundred... no hang on, Susan, lend me your toes...


But the question was "in an HOUR"

So that's £210.

And when Jim went and picked the brains of an oddly co-operative Mexican fast food restaurant owner, he was told that they serve over a hundred people in an hour. Jim is projecting 30.

Well, at the rate they served people, even 30 is ambitious.

Natasha explains her brand positioning to the experts. "We like to encourage our customers to hang up their sombreros".

The results are in and the board are looking gloomy.

Helen and Tom get 7/10 for their pies

Jim, Natasha and Susan get 4/10 for their lukewarm pseudo-Mexican slop

Praise the bloody Lord!!!!

Tom looks utterly, utterly dumbfounded. He is literally stunned. He cannot comprehend the fact that he is in the final.

And you know what? Our money, or at least some of it, has been on Tom for some time now. He isn't a salesman, and Alan has made it very clear that he doesn't want a salesman. Tom is also a team player, an inventor and a details man. Perfect.

Jim, on the other hand, is nothing but a salesman. He's great when he's chatting up the ladies to buy an umbrella, but put him under pressure to defend the details and he absolutely falls apart. There is nothing behind his charm.

Susan admits that none of the team had a business plan. Natasha blames it on a lack of communication.

But Natasha has a degree in hospitality? Why didn't she step up and sort out the food? Well, she studied International Hospitality Management and she never was interested in food, and she didn't want to do it, and she was never interested in it.

Jim is looking very, very worried. He is really struggling to defend himself from the combined onslaught of Susan and Natasha. Why? Because he has used up all his charm. He has fallen right into their trap. He can only charm them when they want him to, when they are happy to go along with it. But put the big prize on the line? Jim is easy prey. Very easy. We think that, as much as we like Jim, that puts him out of the running.

All that Jim can manage is a feeble, "I am totally open, I have always said what I think"


Lucky for Jim, Lord Sugar's decision is now based on who he think that he can stand to work with the least, and since Natasha has fallen from being a gutsy, go getting, no prisoner taking, tough talking power woman to a mardy, miserable, introverted, "lacklustre", withdrawn wallflower, she has cooked her goose. WITH peppers and smeared in greasy cheese and served up in a limp fajita with sauce oozing all over the place.

Stiil, she's probably not interested.

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