“I feel like a monkey with a new tool!”

That line has very little to do with this week’s write up of The Apprentice, but it is without doubt the quote of the series so far and one of the stand out pieces of nonsense of all time.

It ranks alongside “I am your boss” and “…as such” as a line that symbolises all that is great and so very wrong about Sir Alan Sugar’s attempt to find a £100,000-a-year lackey.

It almost goes without saying that the tool brandishing monkey is James McQuillan, fast become my favourite fool on this showcase of deeply unfunny jesters.

It was just about his sole contribution to this week’s series. But what an impact!

The task facing Teams Ignite and Empire was to create an ad campaign for a new breakfast treat aimed primarily at children. Cereal killers they proved to be – the boorish Philip Taylor even suggested that as the brand name.

philiptaylor3Estate agent Philip was back to his poisonous, loud, obnoxious and sniping worst last night. After previously showing gallantry to team mate Lorraine Tighe, he seemed hell-bent on setting her up as the scapegoat this time.

He also resembled a teenage brat at times, almost stamping his feet in a hissy fit if he didn’t get his way.

He became the creative driving force of his team’s advertising and branding project – which revolved around the dubious character Pants Man – and as a result his team failed badly.

They failed on just about every level, not least in ignoring Lorraine’s attempts to reign in Philip increasingly stupid ideas.

lorrainetighe1But Lorraine wasn’t exactly blameless and a shining light. She was right to be critical, but she offered absolutely nothing constructive as an alternative.

The rest of the team simply disappeared, including project manager and supposedly feisty New Yorker Kimberley Davis. Apparently a marketing expert, she delegated just about everything until someone said “That’s a good idea”, at which point she claimed ownership.

Noorul, unsurprisingly, went missing in action yet again. But this was quite an impressive feat this time as he managed to disappear despite wearing the Pants Man superhero suit.

The other team, led by the sparkly yet dull Kate Walsh, pulled off something of a rarity for The Apprentice. They actually performed well as a team.

It could be down to the editing (yet again) but there looked like evidence of some impressive teamwork going on. Although their Treasure Flakes concept with Captain Squawk the pirate parrot as the figurehead lacked a little something, it was by far and away the better effort.

Both teams seemed genuinely excited about breakfast cereal.

cereal

That is all very well, but surely they should have got more excited about the business of selling breakfast cereal.

Like teams before them (and no doubt teams that will follow them) they all got caught up in the creative process and thinking that they were more imaginative than the most imaginative thing anyone can imagine.

Plus, despite the harmony engineered by Kate, both teams slipped into the the same old traps.

In the challenge to sell breakfast cereal we saw plenty of Snappy, Cackle and Plop.

The Snappy was mainly provided by Philip, who barked at everyone within earshot and those not in earshot. He shot down anyone who dared question him and his brilliant ideas.

The Cackle was very much in evidence again – the endless examples of people talking over each other and not actually listening to anyone else. As Sir Alan pointed out in the boardroom, there appears to be a belief that a discussion is won by whoever shouts the loudest.

The Plop wasn’t supplied by James, to go with the little wee he did in his pants earlier on in the series. Rather it was the pitch by Kimberley’s team, which fell flat as soon as Mona opened her mouth.

Kimberley deserved to go, not simply because she led this rabble and agreed to such a woeful idea. As an experienced marketeer, she missed the point badly and should have known much better.

kimberlydavis

On The Apprentice website she helpfully tells us: “I bring honesty and integrity to the table, I don’t lie, cheat or backstab. I am not the stereotypical New Yorker and it’s a stereotype I’ve faced.”

Perhaps if she was a stereotypical New Yorker she would have led her team more effectively and kept Philip and his stupid flights of fancy in check.

But she isn’t, so she didn’t and she’s outta here.

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3 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, I take exception to you calling teenagers brats – even a hoody does not make you into a human lurking with evil intent (think medieval monks – though, admittedly, who knows what they were up to).

    My own resident teenager – who complete with long blond locks is a shining A star in his A level Business studies without exactly breaking his back (apparently he is a natural) – only had the following to say: “Mama, why do you watch this s…t?” To which I truthfully answered that I did so I’d know what you, Paul, are referring to in your blogging comments on the series – to me by far the most enjoyable part of the whole experience.

    Martyr to the cause,
    U

  2. Paul Groves says:

    Ursula: I should perhaps clarify that the “teenage brat” reference purely relates to my own behaviour way back when. I’m happy to put the record straight that 99.9% of teenagers are splendid people.

    Thanks for saying how much you enjoy my write-ups – it is a thankless job, but one I find strangely satisfying.

  3. This was finniest episode evrr. Pants man! omg, they should all be sacked. The jordie guy had a bad idea and no one had the minerals to stand up to him. A bunch of weak minded fools

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