The Apprentice: season 13, episode 9 recap: "The Bushra Tucker Trial"
The candidates gather at Borough Market, where you can get a pint and a burger and not have much change left from £20. Lord Sugar informs them they have to rustle up a concept for a new recipe box. Seems easy enough: there's no way they could balls this up surely?
This week, it's up to Harrison to lead Vitality, his first outing as Project Manager. You remember Harrison right? He's the one who looks like he should have been on Love Island but sent his audition video to the wrong address. Harrison's business idea is something to do with healthy eating, but the Apprentice formula dictates that if the task is somehow related to a candidate's expertise or background, they are destined to fail. Plus, Team Vitality now comprises Michaela, Joanna and Jade so it's certain to be a recipe for disaster.
Apparently blissfully unaware that Joanna and Jade DO NOT GET ON, Harrison puts them together on branding after being railroaded by Michaela to make a chicken curry with her instead. Jade and Joanna spend an entire day circling each other like scorpions trying to come up with names, and blood is shed. Despite telling Joanna "There's no such thing as a bad idea", Jade continually bleats at her to come up with something good, when so far Jade's best efforts are "Fresh, fresh ... food? Food fresh? Food? Fresh?" and gets pissed off when Joanna doesn't agree with her. Jade then insists on pushing for "Natrofuel", which sounds like a rejected first draft for Soylent Green.
Michaela and Harrison's attempts to rustle up a Natricious and Fuelling meal don't go much better. Claude is enraged at the lack of vegetables in their dish, to which Harrison has added a pipette of yoghurt to in order to make it "healthy", so it's essentially just chicken in curry-flavoured water. As is the way with The Apprentice, we have to ignore any modern technology such as email, so Jade and Joanna have to transcribe Michaela's recipe over the phone for the meal cards, which includes the instructions to "chop and peel the onion for five minutes", which is good because I always feel like I spend too much time chopping.
At Team Graphene, they're dining like it's 1096; Sarah Lynne is taken with calling their food box "Gourmet Crusaders", ignoring the religious connotations and reasoning: "It's basically just people marching around, innit?" The meal they've opted for to fill the bellies of wannabe Medieval warmongers is a salmon risotto. Keeping with the war theme, James and Elizabeth squabble over whose responsibility it is to chop an onion. Even when it comes to cooking, Elizabeth finds it hard to relinquish control and James hands her the knife, lest he end up in the risotto as well.
And then there are the pitches. Oh god, the pitches. The Natrofools' meal box is just an onion in a blank cardboard box. Joanna explains to a dumbfounded audience there's "no pee" in the recipe, until it becomes clear she's actually referring to the fact she is inexplicably dressed in a pea costume when there are no vegetables to be found in the curry at all. Harrison confidently informs everyone his recipe will make a gourmet cook out of anyone, whilst Michaela quietly manages to burn the rice behind him. The experts feel that the team has missed which audience they're meant to be aiming for, and although it's not entirely unreasonable for Michaela to point out they only had 24 hours to come up with a concept, she forgets this is not how you do The Apprentice.
The shit-show continues with Graphene's pitch, which is so bad the audience get diarrhoea. As if Joanna's pea costume wasn't bad enough, James and Bushra also fall for the trap and dress as salt and pepper pots, trying to incorporate it into a skit by acting as though they're in some kind of weird sexual threeway with Elizabeth. If they're all wearing costumes, Claude should strap a bowl of custard around his naked waist so he can be "Fucking dis-custard". Bushra (the pepper pot) tries to break the ice with an ill-judged and frankly nonsensical joke about Donald Trump, and then barely manages to get a word in over Liz going all Christian Grey on James.
As the panel chew on Liz's saffron-infused burned salmon, which looks like what they feed elephants during a drought, Sarah Lynne tries to deflect questions about their branding, saying they want to "focus on the positive aspects of crusading”. Like, you know, the deaths of 1.7 million people.
Vomit cleaned up and everyone given a clean bill of health, the experts vote for Vitality's Natrofuel Kicken Chicking Curry over Graphene's Holy Salmon Disgrace. Understandably they all turn on each other but James manages to sum up the mood by informing Bushra that she's done absolutely nothing for nine weeks. Like Charles, she's a captain of hindsight and only willing to snipe from the sideline, making her an easy choice for the firing line along with Liz.
James manages to escape a grilling, but not before Sugar tells him to "man up" as he walks out the door, rather than saying something helpful and more appropriate like, "Don't let Liz walk all over you and by the way, that has nothing to do with outdated notions of masculinity".
Who got fired?
In a surprise to no one, Bushra is given the chop for failing to do pretty much anything.
Does she thank him?
She gives him a "Thank you for the opportunity" before making a graceful exit.
Next week: the contestants must fight in a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church to suppress paganism and heresy, whilst simultaneously designing a range of environmentally ethical children's clothing.