“If you ever need a salesman, you know where to find me.”

And with those words, Adam waved goodbye to Lord Sugar, Karren, Nick, Nick Nice But Dim and Jade, the receptionist, the taxi driver and anyone else he met along the way.

That is what Adam does and who Adam is – he’s a salesman and he tries exceptionally hard to get on with everyone.

A salesman

But I can’t help thinking he should have made that clear in episode one and not wasted the last few weeks selling like a demon, gurning like an idiot, choreographing anything and anyone that moved, laying claim to any minor triumph and continually boasting about being brilliant at everything and casting doubt on the abilities of everyone he worked alongside.

Lord Sugar should have just fired him in the opening episode and then immediately hired him as a salesman for one of his companies.

That might have given someone with a more realistic chance of being The Apprentice the opportunity to prove their worth.

As it was, Adam sold well each week but also proved just how out of his depth he was when it came to everything else. And Lord Sugar isn’t looking for a salesman, he’s looking for a business partner to invest £250,000 in.

If you ever doubted how out of his depth Adam was, last night’s pitch to a room of industry experts and Lord Sugar sealed the deal. Having written crib notes on the palm of his hand, he immediately began to stumble over his words and as subtly as a schoolboy attempting to cheat in an exam he stole a quick glance at his palm prompts…and still made a complete hash of the pitch.

It might seem harsh to be so critical, but Adam has singularly failed to display anything other than a sales technique that works for him and a big mouth from the very start. So what if he threw himself into each task with unbounded enthusiasm? Previous candidates have been fired on the spot for displaying that very same enthusiasm because they didn’t stop to think about basic business matters before diving headlong into a task.

I can’t help thinking that the likes of Gabrielle, Azhar and even Duane might have  proved more worthy and rounded candidates than Adam has throughout the series. Then again, they didn’t provide the blatant and dubious entertainment value that Adam has.

As it is we are left with Jade, Nick Nice But Dim, Wrestling Ricky and Vacant Tom as the final four candidates…you might have noticed I haven’t given Jade a nickname and that’s because she has proved so bland I can’t think of anything suitable…oh, hang on, I’ll try again…

As it is we are left with Jade (Who?), Nick Nice But Dim, Wrestling Ricky and Vacant Tom as the final four candidates.

Lord Sugar has assembled his Avengers to take on The Apprentice – expect fireworks

They’ll face the ordeal of presenting their business plans to Lord Sugar’s assassination squad – always a highlight of any series. They are Lord Sugar’s answer to The Avengers, a corporate, suited and booted band of business bad-assess, who don’t take any nonsense.

I’m anticipating fireworks, not least from Wrestling Ricky when the Blessed Margaret arches her eyebrow and backs him into a corner. Will he come out fighting, literally body slamming his way out of the interview?

And none of them go into the final week with an advantage over their opponents, whatever the poor deluded souls might think. None of them have managed to forge ahead of the rest in the last few weeks – each victory has been tainted because it has been fundamentally flawed.

We’ve seen classic examples of teams winning for being slightly less crap than the others over the course of this series and particularly in recent weeks. Last night was no exception – Wrestling Ricky and Vacant Tom (have you noticed that when he’s in conversation a blank expression falls across his face?) won because they had at least crunched the numbers and thought about a strategy, even though their “luxury” product was duller than the dullest thing you can think of and their brand was instantly forgettable.

And they mainly won because Adam was project manager of the other team and proved how utterly clueless and lacking in leadership and management qualities he was.

So, it is almost time to pick a winner.

As with the last few series, there isn’t a clear favourite. And I’m not entirely sure there is a worthy winner either.

4 responses »

  1. I drew particular pleasure at Adam’s “there’s no way on this planet that I’m going to be fired tonight!!!!”

  2. Paul, over the years you have been writing brilliant reviews of the Apprentice. This one being no exception.

    Only just watched the last episode, in time before tonight’s finale. Oh, the anticipation of it.

    I don’t think Nick ‘dim’. Quite the opposite. He is well bred, well mannered, well spoken, articulate and intelligent. He doesn’t interrupt, waits his turn. He is never rude, never offensive, never defensive, holding up his hands to his mistakes. And always giving others credit where it’s due. I admire the guy for being so calm, so measured, keeping his cool where others flap. He will go far in life and, one day, will be a great husband and father too. What’s happening here, Paul? Am I trying to sell you Nick?

    Doesn’t matter whether he wins or not: He is one of life’s good guys.

    Looking forward to your summing-up,
    Ursula

    • Paul Groves says:

      Thanks Ursula.
      I think Nick is Dim mainly in the sense that he offers little in the way of shine and despite his well-bred and well-educated manners, he’s a bit clueless and lacking in basic common sense – a failing he shares with 99.9% of candidates.
      I do believe it is time to really shake up the format. This series has been weak overall and the standard of candidate has been poor.
      Big changes are needed otherwise the show will become a third rate parody of itself. It already feels like they’re doing anything by numbers – its become very formulaic and not very entertaining.

  3. [...] plan for his grand idea and the £250,000 investment was never in doubt. Lord Sugar and his Assembled Avengers were suitably impressed with The Apprentice’s simple but effective strategy, unfortunately it [...]

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