Every series we go through the same torture on The Apprentice.
We have to endure weeks of mind-numbing idiocy from the wannabes and then in the final two weeks we finally get something close to reality.
The interview week is arguably the best of the series. Although still an artificial scenario, at least we start to see the candidates put under real pressure.
The hot air is dispersed with a withering stare, the meaningless boasts are shot down with a pithy one-liner, egos are well and truly busted by people who have seen it all before and sacked people with more talent in their little fingers than all the Apprentice mob combined.
The interview panel are a suitably fearsome and unlikable bunch.
By this stage we are baying for blood and the angry mob of interviewers are more than happy to oblige. They look like business people, but they’re really monsters.
Over the years the interview panel have managed to weed out a few losers, even if they haven’t picked out a winner.
This year is no exception.
We had some classic Apprentice moments once again. The five remaining candidates were full of their usual bluster when they set out to attend the interviews.
But it didn’t last long. It rarely does.
First to crumble was the village idiot, the joker in the pack, the man capable of putting the whole world’s feet in his mouth when he speaks. Ladies and gentleman, I give you James.
The man who did a little wee in his pants in the boardroom, who was as happy as a monkey with a new tool and thought one of the tasks was a load of cod shit, was utterly useless in the interviews…and in the boardroom when asked to justify his place in the final.
Next to feel the wrath of the interviewers and be sent packing by Sir Alan was Lorraine, a lady capable of antagonising someone with a shrug of her shoulders. She showed plenty of sparks during the various tasks, but had never provided much substance.
During her interviews she talked a lot, but said little of note.
The same couldn’t be said for Debra. You knew exactly what she was saying right throughout the series – and most of it was really obnoxious.
Debra claims to work in a tough environment and that is reflected in her attitude. But her attitude reflects her immaturity and her unwillingness to learn, a fact reinforced by the references provided by close colleagues who work in the same environment and maintain she is a poisonous individual.
She clearly thinks she knows best and despite assuring people she was willing to take criticism on board, it is unlikely she will change too quickly. A statuesque six-footer, she stretches seven-foot tall with her mouth open.
But, do we really get an accurate portrait of any candidate from this series? It is clearly carefully edited to provide us with entertainment, not necessarily reflects someone’s personality or character traits.
At the same time, the programme-makers have to start somewhere and the candidates provide plenty of material.
Which brings us to the final two.
This year’s Apprentice will be a woman, the only given this time around.
It will be Yasmina vs Kate. A battle between the budding entrepreneur and the vacant smile.
At the start of the series, Yasmina told the Apprentice website: “Business is about a simple formula. Make more than you spend. That’s what I do, I keep business simple and it works. I’m good at it.”
Her rival said: “My CV speaks for itself. I’ve always excelled academically and I have really achieved within a corporate environment across sales, marketing and a number of different aspects of business.”
So who would you reward with a £100,000-a-year job?