It was the lads’ turn to shine on The Apprentice last night and they didn’t disappoint.

Now, when I say “shine” I’m obviously referring to the fact it was their turn to grab the lion’s share of the spotlight and prove that this week they were slightly more crap than the opposing team.

Apprentice just about every respect

We had it all from Team Phoenix last night – the patronising simpleton (Adam), the weasel (Tom), the clueless loudmouth (Ricky), the freaky looking sales machine (Stephen) and the invisible man (Michael). Throw in the crap hair (Nick), the walking talking cliché (Azhar) and the lucky winner (Duane, who triumphed by leading the ladies team to a win) and the boys eclipsed their female opponents in just about every way.

Of course, the women were bound to win this particular task as it was all about creating food and kitchen-type stuff – at least, that’s probably what Adam was thinking. As it was he was actually quite worried that Katie would be leading his team of men, on the grounds that it was a highly complex task and…no, on the grounds that he’s a sexist idiot.

From the patronising hand on his team leader’s shoulder to his wildly misguided boasts in the boardroom, the only reasonable response to Adam’s performance in this task was: “Eh, is he having a laugh?”

Adam doesn’t deserve to be singled out, however, as Ricky was equally boorish, clueless and deserving of being booted off the programme.

But, as ever, Lord Sugar picked on the quiet one instead. Despite singling out Ricky as the major cause of his team’s failure to produce enough product, his little lordship decided Michael had failed to stand up and shout enough meaningless drivel to be taken seriously as a businessman – as is so often the case on The Apprentice. Although it should be pointed out that Michael was responsible for the classic “I’m better than unique” line in the run-up to this series.

So Ricky escaped, as did Adam and Katie, and Michael probably got off lightly and can go back to running his own successful business without having to deal with the rest of the numpties any longer.

Some conjermants

But neither team really excelled in last night’s task to create a new type of conjermant.

To be honest what they produced looked more like condiments to me, but Lord Sugar kept mentioning conjermants and as he’s the boss we’ll just agree with him.

The boys went for a foul looking sauce destined for the mass market until Ricky cocked up production so it became a niche product instead. The girls went for an odd-sounding chutney that was, by general consensus of those who tasted both, slightly less appalling than the boys’ sauce.

And despite a terrible name (inFusion), failing to get a sample sorted in time for the hapless team dispatched to sell to the trade on day one, a fair amount of pointless bickering and thanks to a large helping of luck over judgement, the ladies won and proved that for this week at least they weren’t as crap as the boys.

One thing that is starting to annoy me about The Apprentice is the length of time now devoted to the shouty and irritating boardroom battles.

Like so many other programmes, The Apprentice now favours carefully engineered conflict and it is starting to get too familiar and boring.

Surely the real comedy gold still lies in watching these candidates play at being proper businessmen and women and failing miserably in each and every task?

I’d rather watch a few more minutes of footage explaining just why the winning team is slightly less crap than the other lot rather than the same old shouting contests we now get served up in the boardroom.


4 responses »

  1. Agree with your last comments regarding the time now spent in the Boardroom.
    Last night we saw no team discussion about their sales strategy regarding Trade vs Consumer and we didn’t see any “passengers” trying to hide away…………..and I’m sure there were a few.
    The Bel(l) issimo episode was typical of their ineptitude with nobody bothering to check either the actual meaning or, of course, the spelling. The other team also decided they could sell an “invisible” product…….no samples!
    What do the important clients set up by the good lord really think of these idiots?
    Nevertheless, compulsive viewing!!

    • Paul Groves says:

      Michael is a classic example of why they need more coverage on the task – the first time we see him properly is when he’s getting fired. At the start of last night’s programme after they got the call to assemble, there was a shot of Michael sat at a table eating breakfast and I genuinely thought: “Who was that? Was that one of the drivers they use to ferry the teams around?”

  2. What’s wrong with me, Paul? Once more I’ve fallen for, yes, you guessed it, eye candy (Azhir). I don’t care how good he is as long as he stays. AND he was good in the kitchen, doing as he was told. Admit it.

    And he can hold his tongue where others will unleash theirs.

    Since you have known me for many the length and shallow breadth of The Apprentice (and before), it will come as no surprise to you that I rather enjoy what you call “carefully engineered conflict”. I love it how they sling it out there in the mud of Sugar’s boardroom. Never shall you get to know a person’s essence more than when push comes to shove; how they handle themselves when put up against each other.I cannot tell you how many people I felt like punching (let’s narrow it down to two guys) during the last episode: “SHUT UP. Stop being so full of yourselves.” And you, Paul, thought the Lord himself is tough. Well, he has nothing on me.

    You know what riles me, being a foe of hypocrisy? All that hugging after they’d have gladly cut each other’s throat a minute ago, that’s what. “Take your hands off me, you swines” that’s what I’d say,

    Keep it up, Paul: MY ‘Apprentice’ wouldn’t be the same without your running commentary.


    • Paul Groves says:

      I’m not the least bit surprised by your devotion to a certain candidate…or even your enjoyment of the engineered conflict!
      I don’t mind some of the heated boardroom stuff, but there’s just too much of it at the expense of the true comedy highlights. I would also like to know and hear what his little lordship’s helpers really have to say about the candidates and their performance…that’s assuming Nick and Karren do actually have any useful insights, obviously (and one should never assume!).

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