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.
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.
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?
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.
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?