I’d be lying if I stated any kind of ambivalence to the Apprentice. Of course I watch it – I’m addicted to reality television – the lower the quality, the better. In this instance though, we’re talking about a high quality, big budget show, the difference being that the contestants are picked especially for their glaring idiocy. Perhaps Sugar thinks one or two are potential big-money earners, but I’m sure most of the heap are chosen simply because they’ll make amusing TV. Think of Syed last series, who obviously had a CV embellished with phoney claims to genius, to the point where it fell apart in the hands of the reader, weighted down by the amount of sheer bollocks on the page.
This season we opened with millisecond vox pops from the contestants, a kind of getting-to-know-you epileptic fit with a couple of words from each. The standout was big Andy (I think) saying: ‘I’m dynamic’. Who actually says that about themselves? I might say it about a superhero, maybe a pushbike, but about myself at work? Balls to that. It stinks of ‘idiot’ the minute you say it. Imagine using it in everyday language – in a cafe for example. ‘Sorry, the service was so non-dynamic my eggs have gone stone cold, can I have a refund please?’. It’s a stupid word unless you’re talking about a fancy sports car, so stop it.
We had the usual introduction from Sugar, who seemed to have tailored his spiel to diss Syed, the aforementioned berk who made the last series such a success. ‘I hate schmoozers’ he said, as he did last year, but then he went on ‘and more than anything I hate people who claim to have had a rough background and come from nothing and all this and that’. Weird really, considering that’s what Alan Sugar does in every interview he sits for to promote this very show.
The task itself saw two teams of corporate mongs try and sell coffee. We learned that if you’re trying to sell cafe latte, cappuccino or espresso, the place NOT to do it is Chapel Market in Islington. I say ‘we learned’, I live very close to that area, and if I were to take you down there on a weekday you’d see immediately, so immediate it’d be like a knuckle-duster to the hooter, that it’s absolutely fucking dead. Add to this that the people who work on Chapel Market are far more likely to prefer a watery Nescafe with four sugars to take back to the bookies and you’ll see why they only sold 11 cups all morning.
In a bizarre turn of events, Sugar fired the bullshit-stuffed but actually quite likable Andy, simply for being Team Leader. Or Project Manager. Or whatever they call the fuckers these days. Andy had allowed the women to screw things up, was the gist of the argument. I felt this was unfair, as the big blonde lady (whose name my brain has wiped off the memory banks to try and escape the trauma of having seen her snooty, undignified face) was a complete arse and should’ve been saddled with the blame, if only to crush her festering smugness. She thinks she’s Dawn French, she’s more Rose West. She’ll be one to watch, guaranteed.
Then it was over, and the voiceover declared there were ‘only 16 left’. 16?! That’s two small companies-worth. And 14 weeks of sacking. Sugar’s arm is going to drop off at this rate.