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The Apprentice: season 13, episode 1 recap: "The Buns of Brixton"

The Apprentice: season 13, episode 1 recap: "The Buns of Brixton"
A team of Oxford University physicists has recently determined that, despite popular opinion, reality is not a simulation created by a massive extraterrestrial computer, because physics. But how do you explain all of 2016? "Be under no illusion," says Lord Sugar. "In this process, I'm the one who decides who's going to remain, and I'm the one who decides who's going to leave, simple as that." What if life is just one long Amstrad computer program? No wonder the world's gone to pot.
Let's meet the contestants

Is this year's series sponsored by Vision Express? Every other wheelie suitcase wanker is wearing oversized novelty glasses.

Andy, a project engineer from Cheshire, is apparently cosplaying as Eggsy from the Kingsman movies; Anisa, who owns a fashion PR agency, looks like she's trying to disguise herself whilst spying on her friend's cheating husband. Michaela from Bolton has grabbed her granddad's glasses in the hope that no one notices she's actually Melania Trump and poor Elizabeth is either Olive from On The Buses or Velma from Scooby Doo – I can't decide which reference is more outdated. Don't even get me started on Charles's bins. Fortunately, their choice of blinkers will provide ample material later on about "being short sighted" and "Should've gone to Specsavers", etc.
The task

To inspire the new hopefuls, Lord Sugar parades his previous Apprenti around the boardroom like prize ponies (minus Stella, obviously). Many of them are blonde women but it's nice to see that Ricky Martin is still doing good business as an Andy Bell impersonator.

Reassuring to see some "WTAF is she on about" side-eyes at this early stage.


So which high-flying task has Sugar got planned? Designing plans for London's garden bridge? Creating signs for the Conservative Party Conference? Taking over Brexit negotiations? Nope. In perhaps an ugly foreshadowing of their future career prospects, the new candidates are flipping burgers. Ooh, they're starting with another food task this year!

The Apprentice is often criticised for being unimaginative; nowhere is this more evident than in the clichéd choosing of the team names. It gets pretty sexual: Jeff (glasses level: mid-range architect) tries to pitch Warriors and Trojans, either because he's unaware that they're condom brands, or because he thinks they're all knobs. Siobhan (no glasses) wants the women to be called Victorious Secret, which is just pants.

After three hours, the boys opt for Vitality, which a quick Google search confirms is a unique approach to life insurance. The girls go for Graphene – thin and hard, just like a female Apprentice winner. Danny, who I'm pretty sure used to be on EastEnders, is Project Manager/the Burger King for the boys while Sarah Lynne will be getting her buns out for the girls. Neither of them wears glasses so I can only assume they both use contact lenses.

Elizabeth aka "Scary Liz" (I give the nicknames around here, OK Liz?) emphatically points out that "There is the most beautiful beef in this country", but I have a feeling she's actually just thinking about Tom Hardy. Their theme is "luxury", but with one eye on the bottom line they're going to cut corners with their choice of chicken and beef. Siobhan gets lap dances confused with posh burgers and wants the Canary Wharf sales team to be "good to sell to men". Karren, our official face of feminism, is not amused.

In the boys' room, Harrison offers Brixton as a good place to sell their burgers. Charles agrees, because there's a lot of gyms there. 1) Are there really? and 2) burgers aren't really well known for being great post-gym fuel. If they were, I wouldn't have to wear elasticated jeans.

Cut to the kitchen: Elizabeth is pounding meat like there's no tomorrow, with sticky results. Rather than use premium cuts, PM Sarah wants them to focus on posh bread and lettuce instead. The boys are taking their sweet time with the labelling, as they're too busy making jokes about mincing and high-fiving each other. Danny can't make up his mind whether to sell on the street or continue making burgers, and Charles (who looks like a character from The Beano) is telling everyone there's no value in them being on the streets at lunchtime. He's obviously focused on that post-gym crowd.

I mean it's humiliating enough without making them dress up as Minions.


The boys rock up in Brixton at 3.30pm, but Elliot (no glasses, no beard) believes it's the location to blame for it being quiet, rather than the obvious fact they've missed the lucrative lunchtime trade. Oh, and they've labelled their patties as organic when they're not, so Ross (glasses, beard – bingo!) suggests they just cross out "Organic" with a blue biro.

The girls just out-and-out hate each other. If this lot is meant to be the next wave of business moguls, we have no hope post-Brexit.

The boardroom

The boys are dead meat: they made a loss of £114.17, compared to the girls' £236.78 profit flogging "constipated tortoises". No one can decide whether the failure of the task was down to being in Brixton or the labelling, or the fact that THEY MISSED THE LUNCHTIME TRADE. Charles refuses to take responsibility for not getting the turkey burgers out of the kitchen on time, despite the fact we all saw him say there was no point.

He's an easy choice for Danny to bring back, but Harrison refuses to return when Danny picks him next. As is tradition, the first PM is usually the one without a spine and Danny immediately changes his mind after getting shouted down. Flailing, he picks Elliot simply because he's the first person Danny sees.
Who got fired?

Elliot is a lot sharper than he looks, and absolutely tears into Danny for not having control of the task and for Charles basically being a right arsehole. Which makes him good TV, so he stays. It's a taxi for Danny: perhaps he should've gone to Specsavers.
Does he thank him?

Yes, although he doesn't look too bothered.

Next week, the candidates must build a country that works for everyone.


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