I decided to wait until week two of The Apprentice before wading into the latest gaggle of hapless wannabes.

It seemed only fair as previous series has shown the opening episode does not always provide a fair and accurate picture of the series ahead.

You get those who simply try to hard to make a good first impression and come over as bombastic and clueless, while others perfect the rabbit in the headlights look from the opening sequence. You can see it in their eyes, the “what the hell am I doing here with these people” look is very familiar.

So I decided to give them a week to settle in and settle down…who am I kidding? No, I didn’t decide to wait.

The Apprentice mob don’t deserve any gentle coaxing or a week’s grace.

I was working away for the opening episode, so I didn’t actually get to watch it until a few days after it aired and it didn’t seem a good idea to write about it after such a delay.

Not that it matters. Many of the themes I could have identified in episode one were once more on show this week. The curse of the big mouth will always strike on The Apprentice, whatever episode is being aired someone will make a ridiculous claim or not realise the time to shut up had long since been and gone.

The curse of the big mouth afflicted Bilyana in episode one

In episode one the big mouths were out in force and not just the ladies’ project manager Gabrielle and her luscious, Jolie-esque lips. She survived despite her woeful leadership and her team’s shamefully poor performance – and despite the way she turned from smiling, gracious lady to bile-spitting harpee in the boardroom.

The ladies generally were an over-excited gaggle, typified by the not-so-unusual-for-The-Apprentice berating they gave one bemused shopkeeper (what was unusual was the fact that they were quickly collared by the shop’s owner who left them under no illusion that their behaviour was unacceptable – shame that Lord Sugar and his two helpers are not so quick to stamp out such brattish behaviour).

The biggest mouth in the first episode was also the first to be fired – Bilyana digging herself into a deep, dark hole as she refused to shut up in the boardroom when surely the self-styled blonde assassin Katie was a shoe-in for the big heave-ho.

So were lessons learned by episode two….ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha…I know, I know, I couldn’t resist it. Of course they weren’t, this is The Apprentice after all.

Inevitably, we were served up more of the same in week two.

Both teams adopted the he/she who shouts loudest wins the argument tactic we’ve seen so many times before. In the case of The Apprentice, the argument usually boils down “No, I’m slightly less clueless than you are! So there!”

Maria - equally loud, equally ineffective and equally fired.

And the challenges, as ever, boil down to which team is slightly less crap than the other. In both episodes so far, the boys have proved slightly less crap than the girls.

So the girls are down by two members – although it could so easily have been more if Lord Sugar had grown a pair and got rid of all three who made it into the boardroom.

It was Maria who got fired this week. The youngest candidate ever, if she wasn’t talking loudly and aggressively then she was falling asleep on the job – although, to be fair, if I had been stuck in a car listening to the endless, pointless wittering of Jane and Jenna, I would have nodded off too…or thrown myself out of the vehicle.

Maria was doomed from the start. She simply would never conform to the bland, corporate drone image that successful Apprentice candidates inevitably represent.

Lord Sugar would never get cosy with someone so gobby, especially someone so young and so gobby. That’s not a criticism of Maria, more a dig at the self-made millionaire’s penchant for always playing it ultra-safe.

So it wasn’t Maria’s inexperience that counted against her, it wasn’t her unwillingness to settle for second best as her team-mates were so willing to do, it wasn’t even napping in the car that did for her.

It was her big mouth.

The secret to winning The Apprentice is clearly knowing when to keep your big mouth shout. Or, being made to keep your mouth shut.

Surely that makes the perfect candidate none other than…

Zippy - the perfect candidate for The Apprentice


3 responses »

  1. Tim says:

    Hi Paul. They’re a motley crew this year, for sure, full of the usual cliches: the salesman who thinks he’s brilliant but is in fact all hot air (Stephen), the assassin who never steps forward but picks people off from behind (Katie), the one who spends more time on his catchphrases than he does on the task (Ricky) and the one who sulks when he doesn’t get his own way (Adam).

    Although I have hope that some of the quieter, less featured candidates so far will emerge to be shining stars as the weeks go on. Certainly for now Duane looks quite competent. Ultimately it will come down to who has an investable business idea, rather than just performance on the tasks – as Tom proved last year.


    • Paul Groves says:

      The big question for episode 3 (as far as I’m concerned), is whether Azhar chooses between being a “master puppeteer” or a “killer whale”…or, even more exciting, comes up with a third misguided description of himself.

  2. Who is she? I’ve never seen her before.

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