Let us try and focus on the positives.
No, I’m struggling…again.
Well, maybe the fact the poisonous Claire’s card is marked by Sir Alan is good – although clearly she was retained for ratings, like Jenny a couple of weeks ago, rather than her potential.
There’s also the fact that Simon “Chopper” Smith was the first candidate to say anything to Francess, Sir Alan’s fragrant PA.
I was also pleased that the blessed Nick and Margaret really got stuck in this week. Neither Claire or Alex (the percentage man) escaped their steely glare and their sharp, incisive comments.
But, then, we still saw the wrong person fired again. Ex-squaddie Chopper trooped off, but both the odious Claire and weasely Alex got to return to the house and the shallow hugs of friendship from the rest of the useless mob.
There is little doubt that this year’s crop of hopefuls on The Apprentice appear to be the worst set of candidates so far.
Four episodes in and they are looking increasingly clueless with each task.
Last week they drove me to drink, now they’ve just made me angry.
This week the teams were mixed up (always the signal for another round of in-fighting and bitchiness) and charged with making money out of photographing shoppers.
And this week, just like last week and all the previous weeks, they made a complete and utter balls up of the whole thing.
It is expecting a lot to get the teams to create something profitable and impressive in such a short space of time. But, then again, they are competing for a six-figure salary so we should expect something more impressive.
Equally, none of them are exactly shy in telling us (over and over and over and over again) just how brilliant they are at giving 100%…no, damn you, 110%…what? 110% is for wimps, I’m going to give 150%…and so on and so forth until you just stop caring.
The most damning criticism, however, is that there is a fundamental lack of knowledge – not just about business, but basic common sense too. If someone does display a spark, they’re ignored or shouted down.
The Apprentice mirrors one of the biggest problems society as a whole is facing, namely the promotion of style over substance. As long as it looks good, as long as they talk the talk, these candidates and many that have gone before them believe they’re sitting pretty.
The reason they fail week in and week out – even the teams that win hardly ever impress – is they’re too busy trying to look good, rather than prove their business credentials.
So, for example, this week we get the usual shedload of ideas and very little action. Little wonder that the grafters – Chopper take yet another bow – stand out amongst the shower of poncing, preening show ponies. Alex may be eye candy, but he’s about as charismatic as the mug that some of the photos were printed on.
A future captain of industry in Superman PJs – I think not.
Obviously, Raef’s hair and eyebrows are the honourable exception – week four and the follicle alliance is still looking good for the final.
Raef might have made a mug of himself a few times, but his hair looked amazingly good throughout.
Otherwise, it is more of the same old same old – nonsense, in other words.
Chopper had a tear in his eye when he departed the boardroom and I suspect so did Sir Alan – or just plain old Alan, as Simon knew him. If Sir Alan listened to the trusted Nick and Margaret then Claire would have been deservedly booted off, but I can’t help thinking he had to listen to the producers instead.
Firing Chopper was a ratings winner because he had become everyone’s favourite. Simon couldn’t even say anything bad about Sir Alan on Your Fired! with Adrian Chiles.
It was a mutual admiration society of two that never really got a chance to develop to its full potential.
The candidates are making mugs of themselves this year. But they’re also making mugs of the show and the idea that they deserve to be The Apprentice.