It was Alpha Male night on The Apprentice.

The show’s two prize cocks squared up to each other as project managers on last night’s task, the aim of which was to get the best possible price for a motley collection of goods.

Philip and Ben went toe to toe, no quarter given or asked, in a brutal contest to the death.

Well, not quite. For all their boorish bluster, neither proved a good leader of men or women – or seemed up for the fight.

Philip won, Ben was defeated. But both of these alphas came out as big losers.

Neither was left with much to crow about after last night’s strutting, preening, but useless display.

rooster

For weeks both these alleged macho men have been power walking their way around, shouting aggressively, winding up their colleagues, boasting of their prowess and tapping themselves on the arse.

And yet thrust into the spotlight both proved somewhat flaccid.

We still had the Mr Shouty acts we have come to know and despise. But they were clueless in the face of what was a very straight-forward task.

For once this was not about sell, sell, sell, it was slightly more strategic. They had to identify the gems in a collection of tat and get the best possible price.

Neither project manager grasped that simple fact and promptly railroaded their teams to dismal failure. Philip might have got to enjoy his dinner served under a shiny silver hubcap and taste wine that cost more than £1.99 a bottle as his treat for winning, but his team made a loss and failed to spot the big money items.

Actually, that isn’t true. Lorraine managed to spot the fact that their £200 rug was worth more than the “tatty piece of nylon made a few years ago” that Philip decided it was. Equally, she spotted the vintage shoes that were worth a tidy sum but which Philip declared were crap.

Not that Philip would ever admit he was wrong or that Lorraine had tried her damnedest to convince him to sell the rug at the correct price – £50 to a bloke in the street was a job well done as far as Philip was concerned, but was all the proof we needed to confirm what a cock the man is.

He “buried the hatchet” with Lorraine at the start of the task, saying he wanted no repeat of last week’s confrontations. Then he arrogantly ignored her and tried hard to bury that hatchet in her back when the task started to disintegrate.

Prize cock #2, Ben, lost the task but also lost face big time.

benclarke_large01Trainee stockbroker and former Gavin Henson lookalike (now that’s a claim to fame to be proud of) Ben is very fond of telling us he won a scholarship to posh army cadet school Sandhurst – but he’s such a man he turned it down.

Yet throughout last night he cut a pathetic figure. Completely out of his depth in just about every way, he is training to be a stockbroker showed a complete lack of understanding of the value of goods and how to maximise profits.

He was very much in manic “sell, sell, sell!” mode and never took any time - or advice from his team - to come up for air and show the more calculated side of his nature that was required. For a supposed Sandhurst star, Ben’s leadership skills were non-existent.

His card is well and truly marked by Sir Alan, who has yet to see anything to give the £100,000 job to a man who thinks amassing wealth is better than sex. Cock.

The other potential big loser of this week, however, is the Amazonian annoyance that is Debra.

debrabarr_large01She was her usual poisonous self throughout the task, berating people to buy and then sniping at the rest of the team. She doesn’t know when to shut up and proved as much gloriously in the boardroom.

The object of her ire this time was the saintly Nick. Sir Alan quickly jumped to the defence of his trusted right-hand man – well, in his own graceless style he did: “Oi, don’t talk to ‘im like that,” or some-such.

Nick looked hurt – perhaps more at being called ‘im by Sir Alan then Debra’s misguided, schoolyard rant.

No-one was impressed with Debra and she’s going to have shut up and put up net week to escape further scrutiny form the boss.

Another special mention goes to James McQuillan. Largely anonymous again this week, save from being stupidly targeted by Ben. He was then called the village idiot by Sir Alan – the penny dropped, finally, and he almost looked as hurt as Nick had done a few moment earlier.

In the BBC2 show with Adrian Childs after the main event, we also heard how James was scared of the invisible man – aka Noorul Choudhury. James had convinced himself Noorul was some sort of zombie flesh-eater.

He is quite wrong, obviously. Noorul is nowhere near that interesting.

He finally sparked into life in the boardroom and became almost visible. But Sir Alan waved the finger of doom roughly in Noorul’s direction and told him he was fired for doing nothing since the show started – I’m not sure Sir Alan could actually see him, he just pointed to the area where the squeaking had been coming from.

Noorul’s contribution to last night was to find out the skeleton they had was worth about £150 and find a potential buyer. But when the penniless student interested in buying the bones pleaded poverty and offered just £50, Noorul just stood and stared and began to fade away again.

It was Ben who closed the deal at £60 – great negotiating again there by the future stars of business.

So, it is goodbye to Noorul this week – wherever he is.

noorulchoudhury_large01

His biog on the Apprentice website tells us: “I have always been ambitious and driven and I’ve got the capabilities to deliver. I am not all talk… I can manage a team of people, total strangers even, because I am feisty and have attitude.”

Ooooh! Who said that…?

One response »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, the cringe factor is huge – it’s all so embarrassing. I admit to engaging in last night’s programme more than before, mainly because I know a little about the subject, ie how to recognize and flog a valuable.

    And it wasn’t alpha male night at all. An alpha male knows what to do and does it. Those guys posturing round Alan Sugar’s courtyard and fanning their not too clever verbal feathers are a little further down the alphabetic food chain.

    Never mind the cock fighting, idiots will be idiots; but why didn’t Lorraine put her foot down? And Debra is something else. She is awful, awful, awful. Obviously she can’t help her face or those tightly clipped lips of hers but she is also ugly down to the core of her personality. I am so glad I am not on the programme, not because I think I’d be better than any of them in terms of business but I’d give them a few pointers as to how humans should interact and communicate. And that includes Alan Sugar. If there is one thing I can’t stand it’s people pointing a finger.

    Looking forward to (your) next instalment.

    U

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