Strategy…strategy, strategy, strategy…strategy, strategy….

Strategic thinking, that was so painfully missing from last night’s edition of The Apprentice.

Azhar clearly had a cunning plan after last week’s pep talk from his little lordship – stop being The Quiet One and start living up to his self-imposed title of The Master Puppeteer…or is it The Killer Whale? Whichever, he knew he had to act positively.

Alas, he may understand the meaning of the word strategy, but he doesn’t seem to grasp what being positive actually means.

Azhar left before we really discovered whether he is a Master Puppeteer, a Killer Whale, or just ever so slightly deluded.

Having spent so long annoying his team-mates with his meandering and meaningless waffle about location, location, location (which they clearly got wrong anyway), he then tried manfully to bleat on about strategy, strategy, strategy. But by that point, everyone was sick of hearing him talk.

He probably did have valid, strategic points worth making. But having inflicted a series of mind-numbing lectures on the rest of the team, everything he said was translated into: “Blah, blah, blah…” by the project manager Jade and most of the team.

Jade was lucky to escape the firing finger of Lord Sugar after singularly failing to display any leadership qualities…or, indeed, strategy. She was also lucky that Tom, him with the cold unblinking stare, didn’t go after her too forcefully when she stupidly brought him into the boardroom.

Instead, it was Azhar who got fired. Quite rightly too. Unless he was a victim of judicious editing, the over-riding impression he gave off was a negative one. He too often fell into the sneering “I’m better than the rest of you put together” trap, without actually delivering anything worthwhile himself.

While Jade managed to drag her team down with her, we had a truly shocking performance from the other team led by Nick Nice but a Bit Dim.

Shocking in that, for the second week running, the winning team actually listened to his little lordship, kept to his brief, devised a clear strategy, bought good stock, sold well and…blimey…only went and won the task!

We are truly living in strange times when a team on The Apprentice does everything right and wins.

I won’t go as far as suggesting it is a sign of the end of days, but if we get three consecutive displays of this sort of behaviour then the unthinkable will happen – I might have to start taking some of these people seriously.

Luckily, there will always be Adam, Ricky and Stephen to bring a sense of normality to The Apprentice.

Some of The Apprentice puppets have come to life in the last couple of weeks. They’re not quite ready to cut the strings yet though.

Adam Syndrome wasn’t quite as evident last night, but it was still bubbling away under the surface – Adam himself sold well, but still looks woefully out of his depth. Meanwhile Ricky and Stephen developed a hilarious (sic) and profitable (sic) double act, convincing themselves they were ace salesman but generally setting themselves up as figures of ridicule.

And when it was suggested they might take a quick sales lesson from Jenna on getting rid of the self-tan stock, the gormless duo quickly reverted to type and scoffed at the suggestion. Although it has to be said, Jenna didn’t actually need any help in selling the self-tan.

Of course, it could all come crashing down in true Apprentice style next week.

But let’s enjoy the rare spectacle of an Apprentice team performing well for the next few days at least.


2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    In the immortal words of John McEnroe: “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS”. No, this is not directed at you, Paul, but at the Lord himself. Jade can count herself lucky that I am not the Lady. She wouldn’t shut up, would she. I’d fired her on the spot and kept eye candy Azhar in there.

    I normally don’t watch the follow-up on BBC Two but what’s a woman to do when parting ways with her love interest on the Apprentice? One thing which struck me, and you may even agree: His whole demeanour flagged one thing, and one thing only. A cultural difference. If there is one thing I appreciate in a man it’s calm (in a sort of manly way – insert smiley). I liked the way he stood back in the boardroom rather than throwing his light weight around. Now we are left with Jade (god help the lord), a goldfish and a wide eyed astonished stare.


    • Paul Groves says:

      In the words of US police detectives: “I am sorry for your loss.”
      I did think of you when it started to become obvious Azhar was heading for a fall. You could well be right about the cultural differences. But I think he fell into a more basic trap – he was too quick to criticise others without offering a positive solution himself.

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