It is beginning to feel like they have given up the pretence on The Apprentice.

The last couple of weeks especially have pretty much confirmed a key fact about Lord Sugar’s search for a corporate superstar that has remained the elephant in the room since the very first episode.

There are no real winners or losers on The Apprentice.

Instead there are the crap and the slightly less crap. And it is the slightly less crap who ultimately triumph.

We saw it last week with the paltry profit secured by the winners (sic) in the beauty products challenge – the losers could only muster a shameful loss. And it was confirmed this week with the latest challenge to create a new type of pet food and develop a marketing campaign.

Cat Size beat Every Dog. But both efforts were crap.

Was it something to do with cats' eyes?

Forget the fact that this week saw two hapless wannabes get fired – including the oily Vincent, which means we will not have to endure Mr Charisma’s dubious charms (or his walk, even the way he walks winds me up!) – what was more significant was the resigned way Sugar and his dynamic duo of advisors seemed to accept the fact that they would once again be rewarding the slightly less crap.

His lordship even tried to spice things up by targeting Jim, the smooth-talking Northern Irishman with the mysterious Jedi-like powers over some of his fellow wannabes. But Vincent failed to listen to the noble lord (he never really listened to anyone apart from Jim) and so consigned himself to the reject bin as a result.

Or maybe it was inspired by cats eyes?

The only time he did listen to others, albeit reluctantly, was when his team quietly pointed out that his brilliant idea of calling the dog food Pals wouldn’t work because there was already a very well established brand called Pal. You could see in his eyes his initial thought was: “We’ll just get Pal to change their name then!”

Thankfully, he didn’t. Although he did settle on a brand strategy borrowed from a budget airline group that was never likely to work.

So it was that oily Vince and anonymous Ellie departed and the slightly less crap went off to play tennis with Pat Cash as a reward for not being totally crap.

Glenn led the slightly less crap to victory and probably now believes he’s a favourite to triumph. They do say ignorance is bliss.

Whereas Vincent’s concept of Every Dog really missed every point on the initial brief, Glenn’s team managed to tick at least one box and soared to victory as a result.

Yet I’m still mystified what the winning idea actually entailed.

Was it inspired by cats’ eyes?

Could it have been cats' thighs?

Was it something to do with cats’ thighs?

Maybe it was cats’ sighs?

I’m convinced Glenn’s concept has a classic spelling mistake at the heart of it as he seemed to let slip during the pitch that the line See Their Light should probably have read See They’re Light.

Glenn’s somewhat arrogant and bullying approach to management did not endear him to his teammates, but they won so it will be forgotten at least until the next failure.

His team was too busy delighting in whacking balls with a former Wimbledon winner to care that they had just been responsible for a fairly major cock-up.

No, it was cats' sighs. Wasn't it?

It doesn’t matter, they were slightly less crap than the other team and by next week they’ll move on to another task where they’ll once more strive to be slightly less crap than the others.

But that is no way to run a business. Is it?

I don’t recall too many brands going with the “Sign up to our mobile phone services, they’re (should that be their?) slightly less crap than all the others” approach to marketing.

Maybe they should, after all it seems to work for one of our country’s most successful self-made multi-millionaires.

After this week’s furry interlude, it appears that next week The Apprentice teams are tasked with making money out of any old rubbish.

You couldn’t make it up really, could you?

7 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Stop making me laugh, Paul: It’s not even midday yet. Just watched it. Am gutted. Will now brand myself “The bridesmaid wore black”. Oily or not.

    What do you expect if not ‘crap’? After all: What goes in must come out as anyone with a pooper scooper or a litterbox knows. (By the way, why does cat food smell so awful? Now THERE is a marketing trick).

    Yes, if I were a cat I’d sigh too. If I were a dog I’d resolutely refuse to jump up and down. I’d just dig up some old rotten bone I hid in the garden in case of an emergency.

    The Svengali: Why oh why oh why did Vincent fall for him like the sacrificial lamb? Even that would have been ok if only he’d shut up at the final summoning instead of digging his own grave with ever more words. I hope he has learned that the less you say when you have made a mistake the better.

    If I’d been in Alan Sugar’s shoes (not that they would fit me) I’d overriden everything and given that ghastly little Hitler of the other team the chop instead. HA, feel better now.

    Where will it end? In the landfill of the soon forgotten. Except I still remember Raef. Sob.

    Well, Paul, let’s try and keep seeing “the light”. Sorry, lite. Foam over substance.

    Miaou,
    U

  2. I drew Susan Ma in the office sweepstake. I fear her card is already marked and I will not be taking home the £30 prize.

    • Paul Groves says:

      I’m afraid you could be right. I think Melody, not just because she was taught at the feet of the great Al Gore, the greater Archbishop Tutu and the greatest Dalai Lama, is looking strong.
      I’m hoping Natasha stays through to the final simply because she appears to have been taught at the feet of David Brent.

  3. Ursula says:

    ONE WEEK LATER:

    I see you have given up the will to live up to commenting on “rubbish”. More is the pity. Still, you’ve got your priorities right. And I am dead happy that “you know who” was shown the exit.

    U

    • Paul Groves says:

      I found this week’s episode underwhelming – lack of genuine comedy, lack of the type of crass stupidity we’ve been used, lack of anything worth writing about. Most noteworthy part of the task was seeing how badly they fared against proper wheeler-dealers – the builder who kept adding to the pile of rubbish they were taking away for a fixed price showed just how naive the wannabes actually are.

  4. [...] moment in this week’s episode – Lord Sugar deciding not to reward a team for being slightly less crap than the other [...]

  5. [...] to which team is slightly less crap than the other. In both episodes so far, the boys have proved slightly less crap than the [...]

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