Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Apprentice final - live blog ...

All Sir Alan's looking for is someone that's "drop dead shrewd" (or is it "pseud" he's been saying every week?). He's been on the hunt for an apprentice and he's a hard man to please. So am I, that's why I never bought an Amstrad PC. Anyway, it's 9pm and we're off.

9:03pm Surely there's only one winner tonight, isn't there? And it's Kristina.

9:04pm Simon and Kristina are summoned to the boardroom. And this time, Mr Voiceover says, "they're travelling business class". Which basically means not in a people carrier.

9:06pm Sir Alan shows Simon and Kristina footage of a slab of concrete office he paid £120m for. He wants "conceptual designs" to test their creativity. Oh dear. Simon reckons he wanted to be a builder when he was a child. Shame, then, that he turned into a reality television tosser when it came to adulthood.

9:08pm Hardly a surprise - several losers from the series have come back to make life extremely difficult for the finalists. Simon and Kristina have to pick their teams from this bunch of freaks. Both would be advised to avoid Rory, who is obsessed with people taking their jackets off whenever the word "creativity" is mentioned.

9:10pm Simon's right hand man is Tre. Tre's genius idea is to turn Sir Alan's new building into a land-based boat. Rory is also on the team. A boat, he says, "is just so bloody obvious...naff".

9:12pm Adam is on Kristina's team and is swanning around the Science Museum. He sees a rocket and has a Eureka! moment. Kristina also has Paul on her team. Paul couldn't even cook a sausage earlier in the series, so the prospect of him coming up with a vast array of "conceptual designs" is one shrouded in doom.

9:15pm Lohit, one of Simon's team: "What if the building is shaped like a finger?" Rory spots a water feature: "People would come and see that." Yes, Rory, but they wouldn't want to work in it.

9:17pm Adam hands Kristina a digital camera with a picture of a hot air balloon on the monitor. "That was my first idea." Taking a photograph, you dour northern chap, is not, in itself, having an idea. But it's no surprise that he's full of shit, as he used to sell cars for a living.

9.19pm Rory has started to used words like "spunky" as he draws his "London designs" on a flip-chart. The boat idea is scrapped, despite Simon and Tre having spent several hours in an aquarium looking at big fish, which is just what designers and architects do. At this point, Tre announces that coming back for this was "a waste of time". He should have thought about that in greater detail when he applied to be on the series.

9:20pm Kristina and her team are now obsessed with angels and phoenixes. When they meet Ken, their architect, he tells us that it's too "Mussolini and Nazi". They're sent back to the drawing board and come up with a "concept" based around a phoenix. Can't these people ever listen?

9:23pm Simon: "Yesterday was a fucking shambles." Then he tells them that if his team all help him win he'll take them to Barcelona for a holiday. Tre says that the thought of going on holiday with Lohit, Rory and Jadine is like "being stabbed in the eye with a rusty nail." He obviously prefers Club 18-30.

9:28pm Kristina: "Do I trust Paul? Probably not. Can I manage Paul? Probably yes." That's two probablies too many.

9:29pm Rory wants to sell the "concept" to Sir Alan with dancing showgirls. He has, in his few weeks away, obviously forgotten who Sir Alan Sugar is. Rory adds that "women are pretty awesome things."

9:31pm Rory, in the kitchen the next morning, starts to choreograph his dancing showgirls presentation in the kitchen, watched by Tre. It is all based around the buidling's name, The Wave. For Rory, this is all a very wet dream. Rory and Tre argue about silk which culminates with Tre calling Rory a "nonce".

9:34pm Simon's "concept" for the building appears on a computer screen as a 3D model. It looks like a penis. The other group are aiming for classy. Which might be hard given that the presentations are taking place in the old Billingsgate fish market. Kristina arrives in the room, which has been decked out with props by her team. Is it classy enough? "It looks like a brothel." Nice.

9:38pm Or, as far as the programme is concerned, 6pm - the time for the presentations of the "concept", which take place in front of a sizeable crowd of people. The dancing girls appear, the argued-for silk flowing to the sound of Nessun Dorma. Sir Alan looks a tad embarrassed. Jadine speaks to the crowd and gets stroppy when they don't respond to her "good evening". The "concept" video appears. It now looks like three penises (peni?). Simon starts jabbering on as if The Wave is more than three adjacent penises and is, instead, an "iconic building". He does rather well, given the shape of things.

9:43pm Kristina appears to a Robbie Williams' track as an image of her "concept" The Phoenix appears. It doesn't look like three penises or, for that matter, a phoenix. It looks likes four upturned dolphin tails. Lots of words like "inspiration" and, of course, "iconic". Who will use this inspirational, iconic office space? The media, apparently, and other people that need offices. How do they think of these things?

9:47pm Simon and Kristina leave the house. "For one last time," reminds Mr Voiceover, as the pair head to Sir Alan's pretend boardroom via car and footage of a helicopter that Sir Alan isn't in wobbles onto the screen.

9:49pm The boardroom. Paul praises Kristina. Adam, who'd probably find the negatives when coked-up to the eyeballs in a room full of naked beauties all prepared to service his every need, admits to feeling "out of sorts". Rory complains, Tre big-ups his mate. Then they all bugger off and leave Simon and Kristina to it. And then, for no good reason, Sir Alan sends those two out as well. Ah, he's having a chat with his henchfolk. Nick appears to like the cut of Simon's jib, Margaret likes Kristina's maturity. "Thanks," gruffs Sir Alan, knowing all along that he's not that bothered what Nick and Margaret think this time and he'll pick who he bloody well wants all by himself.

9:53pm "Sir Alan will see you now." Protracted spaghetti western ECU of eyes bit before Sir Alan asks them "why should I employ you?" Kristina wheels out everything you'd expect. Simon admits he's not the "finished article" and talks about working his cotton socks off. At first, I thought he said "fucking socks" but he says it again, a bit like that bit on John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album when you think he's said something nasty about God. "It's a tough decision," says Sir Alan, trying to build up the tension after all the sock talk, and then, wow, woah, ooh, blimey, he hires Simon. Darn, I was wrong. That's why I'm not Sir Alan. In the cab, on the way somewhere not actually identified, although it's probably to see Adrian Chiles over on BBC2, Simon tells us that when he was a lad, his dad bought him an Amstrad computer. Poor bastard, he deserves a break, eh?

Catch up on all the footage here.

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