So the rapping acrobat has emerged victorious.
Who would have thought that the terribly nice but cringingly juvenile Simon Ambrose would land the £100,000-a-year top job on The Apprentice?
Well, my wife did in episode one. But there’s no written record of that bit of spookily accurate crystal ball gazing.
Simon has provided much during this third series to find a new senior executive for Sir Alan Sugar, but mostly it has been embarrassed laughs at his antics and bemusement at his ability to survive – hence “golden balls”.
At times it felt Simon literally could do no wrong in the eyes of the self-made millionaire.
The painful rapping and break dancing to help “reclaim the street” in the sneaker episode could easily have seen Simon shouting and shuffling his way to failure – but it didn’t.
The fact he floated in and out of so many episodes adding little to the set tasks but a goofy grin, the odd character assisination and all the charm, wit and intelligence of a sixth-former should have sealed his fate – but it didn’t.
When he led teams he might have been successful, but each time his failings and weaknesses were clearly and ruthlessly exposed and that surely should have been picked it up by Sir Alan – but it wasn’t.
Simon remained in the house yet always seemed such an unlikely lad to go all the way.
So did Sir Alan see something that I and most of the viewing public missed? Quite possibly.
It has to be said that Simon did start to come into his own in the final two episodes. He managed to impress during the interview panel episode, although doubts were cast about his ability to take a big step up the corporate ladder.
Then in the final he did eventually pull out a great presentation and winning effort.
In that respect he posssibly was a worthy winner. His main rival – Kristina Grimes – was arguably stronger in so many respects but she was also fairly one dimensional.
Her selling exploits were phenomenal and questionable. She was tough, could work in just about any team and was undoubtedly employable.
Yet, Simon represented perfectly what Sir Alan was looking for in the third series – a completely blank canvas.
He has possibly got his fingers burned in the first two series by choosing strong candidates who had already started to make impressive strides up the coprorate ladder. Both have since left his company and set up their own businesses.
They had the business credentials Sir Alan required, but not the longevity.
Simon lacks the sort of acumen that the first two winners displayed, but he is more likely to stick around for the long haul. If Sir Alan wants someone to hide away for a few years, mould, shape and form into his own idea of a senior director or chief executive then Simon was always the perfect candidate.
The rest were likely to be also-rans as they were too set in their ways (Kristina), too immature (Tre, Rory), too confrontation and rigid (Jadine) too inexperienced (Ghazal, Adam), too lightweight (Lohit, Naomi, Paul), simply too unemployable (everyone else, bar one). Or, in the case of Katie Hopkins, they were too intent on carving out a niche as TV’s next pantomime villain to offer a realstic challenge.
Katie will be debated for some time to come. I hope I never see her on my TV screen or in the papers or magazines I read ever again.
The Apprentice provided compelling viewing, at times for dubious reasons. But it was a success because of the surprise factor.
It was always difficult to pick a winner, always hard to choose who would get fired each week, and always almost impossible to decide whether Katie actually believed she was displaying a dark but engaging sense of humour with her barbed comments and scary eye-lash fluttering or she really is the Wicked Witch of the South-West.
What am I saying? Anyone who has their own scale of ruthlessness and then boasts on national TV that she regards setting out and succeeding to steal another woman’s husband as “only an 8 out of 10” on that scale is a loathsome individual. The fact she did it during a job interview as a way of highlighting a positive personality trait is unforgivable.
I cannot wait for series four. These days it is a rare event when I lament the conclusion of a TV series and look forward so much to its return.
I hope Sir Alan has found the right person for the job and wish Golden Balls all the luck he deserves.
But I cannot help thinking that series four would be even spicier and better viewing if he has once again failed to find an “apprentice” with staying power.