This week on The Apprentice it started badly and got steadily worse.

I don’t know what I found more ghastly – the sight of Michael in his boxers stumbling into the bathroom, or his sulky, petulant drawl as he explained how “up” for it he was.


At least it was balanced with the impeccable Raef getting ready for the day’s task with a return to the style and elegance that was missing last week.

But then it all went horribly wrong with Raef and Michael bonding over songs from the musicals in the taxi on the way to the advertising agency, where they would come up with an ad campaign for bacterial tissues.

Oh dear, another creative task for the gormless and ungracious to show just how much wit and imagination they sadly lack.

With Raef leading from the front in his own unique way, Alex greeted the news that he would be opposing project manager with the sort of underwhelmed far-away look that has become the wannabe Lynx model’s trademark – pout, damn you, pout like you’ve never pouted before!

On team Alex, Lee McQueen shouted “Snot!”. I think it was a suggestion for the name of the tissues they were attempting to brand and advertise, but it is sometimes difficult to tell with Lee. He at least informed us that he is prepared to look a pillock and climb out of his comfort zone by making ridiculous suggestions – job well done there, I feel.

The am dram twins (Raef and Michael) decided they should direct the TV commercial with yet further musical recollections, this time Oliver. They decided to hire ITV weatherwoman Sian Lloyd for her mummsy appeal and then proceeded to dissect their ad star with some Hello or Heat-style gossip-mongering – how to win friends and influence people, the Apprentice way.

Satisfied with their choice of star – even though they were asking a weatherwoman to act as a mummsy mum, even though she can’t act and was single (now married) and childless.

They were also delighted with their location and so the am dram twins walked purposefully away from camera no doubt humming tunes from Gilbert O’Sullivan.

Or should that be Gilbert & Sullivan?


Whatever, Alex’s team bickered continuously. Alex and Lee were a united, manly front, whilst their third member Lucinda complained about feeling excluded.

She was worried about the boring normality of the idea Alex and Lee had come up with, but I never expected anything more from Mr Shouty and Mr Pouty. It was an ugly product and brand dreamt up by two far from attractive individuals.

Lucinda raised her concerns, but Alex was spoiling for a fight and wouldn’t let it drop. Lee then waded in by claiming Lucinda should have volunteered to be the creative one, even though she quite clearly had put her hand up for that particular task.

At least the mood on the opposing team was considerably lighter, although the am dram twins’ role playing – “I’m Sian Lloyd,” squeaked Raef with a trifle too much enthusiasm – was slightly disturbing.

On location, both teams were as confused as they were confusing. The biggest surprise was Alex acknowledging the efforts of Lucinda, a real “blimey, didn’t see that coming” moment. Although, true to form, he was back sniping a few moments later.

But, again, the real entertainment was provided by the am dram twins luvvying up on set and then painfully trying to edit their footage. Raef described a particular close up as “tackiness par excellence”, I can’t help thinking that should be one of the team names for future Apprentice candidates.

The am dram twins’ self-proclaimed symbiotic relationship seemed to cool somewhat when Michael suggested ditching their celeb and Raef put his immaculately shod foot down. The other members of Raef’s team – overly-smug Claire and googly-eyed Helene – had come up with a brand and print ad and were then horrified by the am dram twins’ efforts to create a TV commercial.

When it came to pitching, Claire and Helene did well. But Lee lost his audience as soon as he started to read from his notes.

Yet, despite the bickering and the appalling pitch, Alex’s team triumphed because their efforts were far more horrible than Raef’s team. Eh? It was vulgar, in your face and deeply unattractive and the great and good of the ad world assembled by SirA liked it more than Raef’s refined (sic) brand and campaign.

Raef brought Michael and Claire back into the boardroom and we saw the usual tissue of lies.

The am dram twins’ symbiotic relationship dissolved completely as soon as Michael opened his mouth. He clearly horrified Raef by attempting to claim responsibility for all the “good things” about their task. Claire was picked up by SirA for abandoning her team, but again that was not deemed serious enough to warrant firing.

Neither was Michael’s general shiteness.

So Raef was fired for offering nothing more to The Apprentice, according to SirA, than “hot air”.

I disagree.

He provided hot hair and will be sadly missed. 


[Edit: Check out The Apprentice top trumps of the final six candidates on Le Craic – good fun, also helps to prove the poor quality of this series.]

5 responses »

  1. aj@lecraic says:

    Totally agree that the quality this year is abysmal, but there is a definite future for Michael and Raef in the west end in their own version of the odd couple perhaps? Definitely not enjoying this series as much as previous ones.

  2. Ursula says:

    To lose Tre in the last round left me bereft (as you well know, Paul).

    As Felix, so astutely, observed last night, Raef was the one who kept me going this series. Now what?


  3. Paul Groves says:

    Ursula: Isn’t Lee rugged enough for you?

    aj: Michael and Raef stage The Apprentice – The Musical, but who would play SirA?

  4. Ursula says:

    Lee? Which one is he?

    The one bodily secretion that gives me the creeps is, as Lee put it so bluntly: Snot. Give me arrogance (Tre’s), well chosen ties (Raef’s) any day; snot makes me retch unless you are under ten.

    Advertising genius that I am, I suggested to Felix, whilst we were watching the programme: Why concentrate on the negative: colds, tears etc. instead of something positive, upbeat; so that even people who never cry, never have the sniffles will still buy the tissues? As to antibacterial – let’s not be blinded by science. If you use a tissue, even toilet paper, once sneezed into and disposed of – that’s antibacterial. I wonder how people survived in the days of the starched handkerchief. Perish the thought.


  5. Yeah, like many I’m gutted Raef has left – he should have taken more note of the previous series though – they made exactly the same mistake by not showing a great big product shot which is all they needed!

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