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The Apprentice: season 13, episode 4 recap: "Stadium Ruck"

The Apprentice: season 13, episode 4 recap: "Stadium Ruck"
Apparently when Queen played Wembley Stadium in 1986, which we can all agree was among the greatest concerts of all time, it only cost you fifteen quid to get in. Thirty-one years on, a few hours in a corporate box there costs you two and a half grand, and you've got to listen to Harrison sing.
The task

Here we are at Wembley, where Lord Sugar can't remember the teams' names any more than I can. Women's football is a jolly good thing, he says, so they've got to run a corporate box for the FA Cup final: an almost serious project, it seems to m– oh, they've got to run food stalls too and dress up like goons. Stand down, everyone.

Siobhan does weddings in Dubai, which is close enough, and might at least involve knowing where to get Doritos at cost, so she's PM for Graphene. Vitality get Andrew, whom it quickly emerges plans to win this task by shouting a lot, preventing women from participating and endlessly showing you videos from LADBible on his phone. Let's do it all at a knock-down price, he offers, because it's only women's football, in which no one's interested. Then he shouts "ARE WE GONNA WIN THIS?" and I picture him as a quiet, unsatisfied type at school until he learned that shouting and calling girls names meant bigger boys would laugh.

Both teams go in to negotiate with their clients, having costed the whole thing at roughly six grand each. They are firmly informed that the highest they can go is £2,500, just so we get nice juicy close-ups of them trying to think their way out of a tight spot, almost as if it was somehow set up that way. Bushra, who doesn't drink, is tasked with ordering the wine, a notion that leaves Claude incredulous but seems quite reasonable to me: just figure out the maths based on how long they'll be there, estimating two glasses each per hour, add a couple of bottles for safety and drain a cow's heart of its blood for Claude to sip warm.

Andrew refuses to recognise women's football, to the extent that he won't even let the team face the pitch while it's going on.


Elizabeth isn't properly told what the costs are before heading into the meeting, and is then presumably prevented off-camera from simply calling back to clarify, so that she can be filmed being all haughty and flustered about it. Rather than shelling out £700 for a half-hour magic show Vitality decide to let Harrison sing the Great American Songbook instead, and Andrew gives him one of those hugs that involves literally sprinting into him and bellowing encouragement into his ear. At the next meeting he says Sarah should work in the hospitality box because "You keep yourself really well". Then he shouts a bit more for good measure.

As the receptions wear on there are a few cock-ups, dealt with quite smoothly, and Harrison's singing goes down well enough that Nick Knowles's record label make a note of his name. Outside the subteams sell candy floss and popcorn, neither of which anyone has ever eaten at any football match outside the My Little Pony World Cup. Pies, lager and casual violence aren't on the menu, though, so they'll just have to dress up and badger people.

Charles melts into the background again, hoping to swerve judgement for another week, but doesn't escape mine: grow a proper beard, mate. Once subbed on to sell to passers-by, Jade proves herself brilliant at it, which means Joanna and Sarah-Jane must settle for making candy floss (ie sticking a stick in a drum) and complaining that they should be out there selling too. It's scenes like these that emphasise the show's central flaw as a means to find a genuine business partner, not that this needs any more pointing out: they've got a system that's working well, everyone's pulling together, but because someone else's contribution is more visible, they know they're losing out so have to undermine it.

The boardroom

Elizabeth throws everyone under the bus, which we're used to by now, but also has a shot at the Trump tactic of just lying outright about what happened, despite there being actual video footage to refer back to and disprove her. Not that anyone thinks to do this: you can't use video evidence in football, Gary, it'd disrupt the flow of the game. Joanna is by now just royally pissed off with the whole thing, fed up of being talked over, ignored and misrepresented. Hate to break it to you mate, but you came to the wrong place.

Captain Vitality in his natural state: needlessly wound up as a substitute for creative thought.


Andrew doubles over with tension as the scores are being read out then punches his own hand hard enough to bruise when it turns out he's won. Claude looks up at the interruption and makes a mental note to starve him slowly down a well when all this is over. Off they go to the Oval to meet Kevin Pietersen, jumping on each other's shoulders like a bunch of massive Ladiators wearing too much aftershave and quoting Scarface at each other in lieu of conversation. Siobhan brings back Elizabeth and Joanna.

Who got fired?

There's an almighty barney between Elizabeth and Joanna, during which Karren has to remind them to treat each other with respect, which is a bit rich given that they're in an environment which wilfully discourages this. Sugar does a big bait-and-switch with Elizabeth ("and ON THAT BASIS [*big pause*] ... I'm going to have to think seriously about whether to keep you on") and then points the finger of truth at Siobhan. He declares Joanna PM for next week as a test, which should offer even more frustrating scenarios in which no one listens to a word she says.
Does she thank him?

Possibly, but it's masked by one of those BRAAAHHHMM Inception horns they've got on the backing music. "Getting a thank-you from my client means more to me than money sometimes," she says in the taxi, probably because she's run out of cash and is hoping the driver will overhear and let her off the fare.

Next week: the teams go off to market, where a strange and wizened old man offers to exchange their cow for some magic beans.


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