Posted on 26.11.15
In a week filled with speculation about rows within the house, with reports that Scott Saunders and Brett Butler-Smythe had come to blows over what to watch on the tele – curiously (the same fight I have every week with the hubby, with The Apprentice clashing with football matches). Scott reportedly taunted, “If you want the remote, come and get it”, at which point “they both completely lost it”- let’s just hope Brett didn’t threaten to smash Scott’s face in, again!
So what better task to follow that rumpus than jovial party planning! The candidates were invited to the Museum of Childhood where Lord Sugar gave them 2 days to organise, plan and host a children’s party. With a parting shot that £2 billion a year is spent by parents putting on parties for children, they were given an initial budget of £2,000 (!) and told to make as much profit on that as possible.
Lord Sugar once again chose the team captains, appointing Selina for Conexus who seemed the obvious candidate when she announced “I don’t have children and I don’t like them!” and for the second week running, Gary for Versatile, who was clearly down with the kids, nicknaming himself ‘Gary the Giraffe’.
So to get the party started, the teams were sent in to meet their respective birthday children and the paying parents who had stumped up the £2,000 for the party.
Selina, handed a birthday girl, went in there with the hard sell, with even Claude commenting that she was, “a bit scary!” She hit the birthday girl with every theme possible, including fire breathing, which she later confirmed she would take charge of – well people have labelled her as a dragon in previous episodes!
Tasked with upselling items in order to make the most profit, they obviously needed the parents’ phone numbers in order to contact them with any ideas, however, Selina failed to do so, and therefore had no chance of upselling anything!
They decided on a sporty theme, with Richard (who had somehow become more egotistical than normal) being placed in a sub-team with Vana, being put in charge of the cake and food. Given control of the phone he decided that “hello” just wasn’t enough and decided to answer it “Super Subteam!”, or “Yo, yo, yo!” every time Selina called.
Their party however, seemed to be enjoyed by all – with Gary and Brett (having put their differences aside it seemed) dressing up as referees and asking the girls at the party to “get crazy and let their hair down.”
Meanwhile, Gary and his team seemed to make a great first impression on their birthday boy and they too decided on a sports theme, with a requested chocolate cake. The only proviso being “no nuts” (rule already broken with some of the candidates in the team) in the cake, given that the boy’s mum had a severe nut allergy.
Unlike Selina, Gary managed to get a phone number and talked the boy’s father into party bags and personlised t-shirts for the kids to take home. Albeit, dad didn’t seem overly keen on the £15 party bag, which contained two glowsticks and some Hawaiian sunglasses (necessities for every pre-teen boy!).
Gary and David were tasked with running the party, however, the assault course may as well have been run by marines given that it turned into some military operation, with David enforcing a ‘no running rule’ (which may as well have been a ‘no fun’ rule). The mother of the child even asked whether they could do something to “get the atmosphere up” since many of the kids looked so bored that they may at any time take a running jump into the lake!
The party bus wasn’t any better, one kid even had his head in his hands when David tried to get them all to join in the hokey cokey (something my 5-year old would turn his nose up at), however, it was a different story over on Conexus’ bus where Brettany Spears’ rendition of ‘hit me Baby one more time’ went down a treat!
The biggest boo boo of all came with the (nut free) chocolate cake when Charlene and Joseph decided to purchase a chocolate spread which carried the ‘may contain nuts’ warning (even high fiving each other for doing so). Gary, again putting safety first, then told the mother she may need to be cautious given that the cake had a spread which contained Hazelnut. “Nutella?” asked Karen Brady, “Yes!” replied Gary, however, then had to clarify that it was only actually Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate spread, which was perfectly acceptable.
Meanwhile, Richard proceeded to boss Vana round for the duration of the task, which resulted in her looking like she was going to burst into tears (or a rendition of ‘It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to!) when with only half an hour to go she approached him about the cake and he shouted at her, insisting he was in control of the situation.
Having lost all confidence in Gary’s team by this point, the mother and father then stated they did not want the printed t-shirts and were disappointed with the party bags, resulting in them refusing to pay any money for the t-shirts (which had cost the team £175) and Gary having to reduce the price of the party bags.
Selina did not have much look on this score either given that despite not having the client’s consent, she had taken it upon herself to go and buy party bags, for the mother to then state these were not required (what kind of a party doesn’t have party bags?). £10 a head well spent.
So into the Boardroom, which was surprisingly no pun party this week.
Lord Sugar, with his regular wit and repartee stated that he expected ‘Gary the Giraffe’ to stick his neck out in the Boardroom, after his party turned out to be more of an Ofsted inspection than anything else. Also commenting that it could well have been a murder mystery party, and a memorable one too if the mum had been taken out on a stretcher. Meanwhile, Selina was understandably made to feel small about the lack of contact details and Richard’s ‘management’ skills of Vana resulted in her being names his ‘sous-slave’. My favourite quote regarding Connexus, however, was Brett and Scott being likened to Jedward!
Eventually Selina’s team were victorious, making around £300 more – which Richard claimed as his own self-victory.
The Giraffe’s team meanwhile were herded back into the Boardroom where it seemed none of them lacked blame, David’s lack of organistion with the t-shirts cost the team dearly (well he had only learnt to iron last week!), Gary had clearly cast a whole cloud of the party with his hazelnut spread announcement, leaving a sour taste in the client’s mouth over the cake and Charlene and Joseph had chosen the chocolate spread, which had caused the problem in the first place.
Gary eventually chose Joseph and David to go back into the Boardroom with him, leaving Charleine thinking she could dismiss herself, so got up with a swift “Good luck boys!” and headed for the door only to be met with Claude stating “Where do you think you are going?!” and her swiftly sitting back down (I was actually cringing for her).
On the back of this, Gary’s decision (which had taken him about 5 minutes) was then overrode by Lord Sugar with an unprecedented move in bringing all 4 back in. Cue an attack on poor David by both Joseph and Charlene, which I thought was extremely unfair.
Lord Sugar, the ever faithful Party Pooper, eventually decided on David being the one to leave the party early and therefore a cab was ordered for his departure.
Leaving me to try and fully recover from the fact that some parents have a £2,000 budget for their child’s birthday party. Not all was lost though, I learnt some valuable business tips from Gary and also trying to make sense of some of Gary’s phrases this episode will never “Dance around the bush” or “Leave a client with a bad taste in their eye!”