Posts Tagged ‘Paula Jones’

The Apprentice Lookalike Fun – Week 4

April 17, 2009

the apprentice 2009 paula

This week’s loser, ‘fashion conscious’ Paula Jones – ‘an academic with a love for interior design’ – is the absolute doppelganger of ‘fiery British actress’ Alex Kingston – ’ Elizabeth Corday on NBC medical drama ER.’

And for those of you who don’t agree with me (everyone), I’ve done a mock-up of what Paula Jones might look like playing three of Alex Kingston’s major roles.

paula the apprentice 2009

(From left to right:  sexy Nurse Elizabeth Corday, sexy wench Moll Flanders and sexy warrioress Boudicca.)

I guess you could say we’ve seen both the ‘Fortunes and Misfortunes’ of young Paula over the weeks.

The Apprentice: Who Will Win? Week 4

April 16, 2009
Hint: It's definitely not this one
Hint: It’s definitely not this one

To prevent the unthinkable scenario in which I have to keep rereading your comments to see which contestant you individually flip-flopped onto the preceding week, we’re going with last announced favourite. So let’s look at where we stand.

Napoleon and fourstar are joined by Exelsior and Mel in their championing of make-up wearing, hair-straightening, brief-wearing metrosexual Phillip. They’ll no doubt be fretting somewhat over his aggressive manner and his way with a make up bag.

Ugeine and Nick of the T are both backing the teacher and will have been dispirited by his bumbling silence in week 4 – in a management performance that was possibly too subtle for any of us to understand.

Lord Milky and myopiniononstuff (aka Dave) are still in the running with the Essex giantess with the enormous mouth. An anonymous week for Debra who escaped the finger by being edited out of the mix. ‘Debra’s a cow’ Clarry added, some time ago.

Sue De Nymh’s choice is still in the running – but wiley Sue has thrown me a curveball by cunningly voting twice for two different members of the cast. I have to allow it through as I didn’t notice when it happened. Will it matter come the final judgement? We’ll have to wait and see.

Your host Swines is still in the running despite a disastrous performance from Yasmina on the show and outside of it, where women seem to be rallying one another into explaining that Yasmina’s ‘not all that’. Which they have every right to do. ELM joins me in my championing of the headstrong betrayer.

Ruudboy joins the mix and follows Kimberly, the roughest, toughest and creamiest puffin to ever cross the Atlantic. Will she ever live that quote down?

Probably already regretting his pick, Scantregard opted for Ben – and who can argue with his choice of the quarrelsome little shit? Not me, I don’t get involved in these things.


So – it turns out Sue De Nymh‘s tricky double-hander proved pointless, as her second choice went last night! Bad luck, Sue!
Cheats never prosper.

Last week beardy Maj went, leaving Vones and Badger Madge out in the cold. Come back in you crazy guys, and take another pick!

Not yet picked

This leaves us with:

  • Howard
  • James
  • Mona

unpicked and languishing without any backing.

Newcomers, feel free to back one. The rest of you are going to have to stick to your guns until your choice gets fired. And I’ll be able to work out if you’re trying to confuse me as I’ve now got a list of who’s picked who, including Who, following Sue‘s dirty tricks. That’s right – A LIST.

Stop being so bloody juvenile!

Very clever, Breeks. Disallowed Sugar, Nick or Margaret because they’re stupid choices she’s now backing The BBC. Piqued also chipped in with his backing for Alan Sugar – another brilliant master of satire.

More confusingly, Ugeine is opting for Scrappy Doo to win The Apprentice.

Too many cartoons can ruin a nubile mind.

The Apprentice Lookalike Fun – Week 3

April 10, 2009

Majid The Apprentice 2009 BBC

As if we ever doubted it, ‘reformed rebel and car hire firm owner’ Majid Nagra is the spitting image of ‘Street Fighter video game character and Russian wrestler’ Zangeif.

I guess you could say Wednesday night was a real ‘K.O.’ for the bearded one.

The Apprentice 2009 – Episode 3

April 9, 2009

monas-oh-face Mona Lewis Apprentice 2009

It was Lorraine who took the thirty-minute-warning call from Amstrad Incorporated last night at the top of the show, and I don’t think a more unflattering shot’s been employed in Apprentice History ™. Lorraine wobbled away from the phone like a crumpled crone, while all around her prepared for the day. Kim partially flopped her sugar puffs out for the camera, Kate removed a lobe of her brain, James done a line in the bogs and Ben flexed the muscles of his four foot frame in front of the hallway mirror, naked, with a puny erection.

Before they’d even set off, Phillip moaned about having to go to the boardroom, despite not yet knowing who’d be going to the boardroom, while Ben employed another of his pleasant allegories – ‘whoever I’m up against, their arseholes’ll be twitching like rabbit’s noses’.

What a gloriously overconfident turd he’s turning out to be.

In the ‘world famous’ Lea Valley Athletics Centre (don’t ask me – I thought Lea Valley was a brand of double cream) the teams were mixed for the first time. Kim and Kate went over to join Empire, siding with Howard, James, Majid, Kate, Ben and Cream Puff Kim. Over on the Ignite side, Noorul and Phil crossed over, joining Debra, Lorraine, Paula and Mona.

Got that? Then we’ll begin.

Debra put her foot down so hard she trampled part of Lorraine’s face when implanting herself as Team Leader for Ignite, whilst James was met by blank expressions and the odd unenthusiastic ‘ok then’ when he put himself forward. So – Debra vs James. The brutal brunette versus the jittery jumper. Bring it on.

Empire kicked off with a brainstorm. Ben took the bull by the horns and started talking about some kind of spring mounted system for having sex on. In the background, James grasped for the reins but couldn’t take control as Ben prattled on about his boingy-bonk machine, wasting valuable time. Eventually they settled on a multi-gym knock off which went from being called the Bingo Wing Buster to the Home MultiSomethingorOther. When it was returned from the designers to Empire’s specifications it resembled a knackered, practice guitar amp, looked like it smelled of ashtray and underwhelmed all concerned.

Ignite’s brainstorm seemed to consist solely of Phillip swivelling around on his buns, gyrating his hips and bending his knees. A decision was made, based on the fluid movement of the Estate Agent’s ball and socket kinesis, to create a Bum Ball. The name got changed somewhere along the way.

A strange incident in the car later, when Debra took a call from Yasmina regarding who would model their Bum Ball Hip Swivel when the time came. Yasmina preferred Phillip to Noorul because she feels he’s better looking. But then she mixes her signals by adding that it would be better to have one white model and one from an ethnic minority – so Phillip and Mona would be a better shot.

Now, quite apart from the clumsy juxtaposition of her points and despite the fact she insultingly discussed someone’s physical appearance on speakerphone, I don’t think Yasmina meant any harm here. There’s a marketing term – multi-ethnicity – referring to the mix of colour in a promotional shot, and I think that’s all she was driving at. Debra reacted badly, however, and kicked off a short, sharp argument in which it became quite clear that she was trying to place herself as a non-racist, overstating it to the point where you had to question her motives. As a result, it’s hard to see her as anything other than a card-carrying member of the BNP. Reverse psychology, see?

When their Swiv-hip 2000 arrived in the post, Mona demonstrated it by straddling it missionary-style and pulling a sex face. The product looked pretty good in neutral green and white, and clearly to the mind of Mona that was too much to bear and she began to require its services sexually. Admittedly, in comparison with Ben’s monstrosity, theirs was some hot-sexy product design, so you can’t blame Mona for her perversions. When she took her place for the photoshoot she literally spent the entire shoot with her legs spread, as the male element in the room gazed around the room for somewhere right and proper to look. On the other team, Ben flexed his little muscles, the self-appointed best looking member of the group turned hopeless creative force and, by now, squat model. It’s hard to tell if Ben’s appearance is all a cleverly constructed joke on the viewer.

And so to the pitches – traditionally a barrel of laughs but a little short this time. Still, we had some memorable fluffs, like Phillip declaring his Swivelhip 2000 was the new iPod and Ben slapping his own arse-mid presentation – but my favourite was either Mona’s foot-shooting ‘It doesn’t work on my bottom – so it’s brilliant’ or Lorraine explaining that ‘Nana’ could use the multi-gym – which put the unwelcome image of Nana Swineshead doing squat thrusts to my tired mind. Debra’s assessment of whipping girl Lorraine’s pitch style was a shocker – ‘she comes across as either hearing impaired or slightly stupid’ she said, and you can’t help but wonder how many complaints that drew from people watching with subtitles.

Incidentally, I’m sure one of the retailers being pitched to was one of the Last Millionaires. And the fact I recognised him reveals that I watch far, far, FAR too much of this kind of television.

To the boardroom!

Sugar was on form last night for the first time this series, mainly because he’s better when reacting to bullshit, shooting down his prey than he is reading from a script. I particularly enjoyed his pointed explanation to Debra that anyone who gives 110% is a mug, because ‘they’ve been done for 10%’.

James’s Empire received 500 orders, remarkably. On the other team, Debra’s Ignite received 10,180 and won by a country mile. Yasmina was criticised by Sugar for throwing the figure of 20,000 for six months exclusivity into the pitch, but it seems entirely possible the 10,000 from John Lewis came as a reaction to her not buttoning up her over-quote. She should be championed if you ask me – good old unbiased Swineshead. Anyway, it’s by the by – they won and got to watch a blonde woman destroy some Leonard Cohen.

Off to the Bridge Cafe, an establishment that must be pig sick of failed Recruitment Consultants and Property Sales Sods mooching about their floor, bickering like children and letting their tea go cold. If I were the proprieter I’d put a sign on the door – ‘No more than two pinstripes at a time’.

James took Majid and Ben back into the boardroom. Personally, I was crossing my fingers on Ben being a surprise firing, what with him seizing the task, wrestling it from James and sending it down to hell in a knackered lift.

Whilst the viewer second-guessed whether it’d be multiple loser James who got the chop or snarky little berk, Ben, Sugar had other ideas and gave Majid the boot. Affable, friendly Majid – the lovely fellow with that beardy talking point.

Truly, nice guys come last.

* * * * *

Episode 1

Episode 2
Last series

Just a Thought: Who Will Win The Apprentice?

April 2, 2009

Week 2

Hint: It's definitely NOT this one

Hint: It's definitely NOT this one

We’ve all seen episode two then, and there are already some interesting developments. Let’s take a look at how you lot were thinking last week so we can compare, contrast, ridicule and roll our collective eyes.

WWM firebrand’s immediate choice for the win, based on the fact that he disagrees with my assertion that he looks like Spender. Napoleon ignored all explanations as to why Phil was hopeless in week one and sticks with his tip. Mel ‘fears’ Phil will win – whether that’s a solid backing of the miserable sod is to be confirmed. Another supporter of Phillip is fourstar – usually a rational man but here showing that he’s veering over to the side of the weird.

Picked by Ugeine who admitted he picked a name out at random. Noorul was picked out by Nick for special criticism in the boardroom when he chillingly mentioned that he ‘made it his business to follow’ him. Scary words from the mole-eyed observer there – making for an ominous outlook for Ugeine’s pick. Nick of the T also picked Noorul for some reasoning based on The Number One Womens’ Detective Agency which I didn’t understand.

Both Lord Milky and the living liability myopiniononstuff (aka Dave) opted for Debra without really giving any reason for their selection. Debra did nothing this week, or at least was barely filmed, meaning that the Producers have dampened her early fireworks ready for a dry out and combustion later on in the series. ‘Debra’s a cow’ Clarry added, helpfully.

Sue De Nymh‘s suggestion was that Kate ‘the bellini’ Walsh has the golden ticket, even though all we’ve seen from her so far is wonky-mouthed flirting and idiocy.

Offensive Mango went for the fiery redhead with the crazy accent, simply ‘because her name is Paula Jones’. I’m not sure that’s how it works.

Your host Swines is going for voluptuous elf, Yasmina – because she’s mad bossy, snappy and has a sense of humour. Badger, Claire last year – it’s clearly time one of these strong-women types won.


Oh dear! Who backed Rocky – and must now be regretting it. Do we give her another chance? Is Who allowed to pick another contender or is she out of the game, going home in a black cab, getting her hair done for the Adrian Chiles show?

Doesn’t count!

Amusing as it may be, suggesting the management is neither big nor clever. Who was it that played silly buggers and said Alan, Nick or Margaret should win?

Breeks – that’s who. And even worse, Telemachus went for the bloke in the shopping centre who berated Howard in week one – an individual who will clearly be long-forgotten by about week four. Like Rocky and Anita will be forgotten. Business is business.


Who’s not been picked yet? And why?

  • Ben
  • Howard
  • James
  • Kimberly
  • Lorraine
  • Majid
  • Mona

Your thoughts please…

The Apprentice 2009 – Episode 2

April 2, 2009

yasmina apprentice 2009

Both boys (EMPIRE!) and girls (IGNITE!) were worryingly self-assured going into last night’s challenge.

‘We’ve got a strong bond’, said Phillip – a notion he set out to thoroughly disprove, almost immediately, his input last night just a monotonous cascade of complaints.

‘We’ll come out fighting’ said the New York City rough, tough, sugar puff, Kimberly – at this point unaware that all the fight and spunk would be coming from Yasmina – a one-woman whirlwind of aggressive determination and violent optimism.

After the opening scenes – if yer bottle it, don’t even bovver in the bladdy boardroom – Sugar did the traditional ‘surprise ’em at home’ routine, looking like a frail bailiff surprising a telesales team on a company-paid jolly. Giving it ‘all that’, he told them about this week’s sandwich and canapé-making task, breaking out the first (and hopefully last) credit-crunch related blooper of this series when he punned that people in the City are hungry for business. Which they’re patently not, at present. They’re too busy talking guiltily to corporate recovery businesses and insolvency agencies. Working up even the slightest appetite for new business is currently beyond them.

The plan was for two separate operations – a lunch delivery whilst their market worked and, later, an evening of catering to the sandwich and snack-needs of a load of suits. Masterchef then – but with the added excitement of it being quite unlikely  that any of this lot could cook.

As it turned out, both Rocky and Yasmina had experience of catering and put themselves up for leadership immediately. But then, I suppose you’d have to. If the task was ‘taking incoherent notes whilst watching The Apprentice’, I’d probably be well up for being Team Leader. I’ve got extensive experience of biros, I’m well-versed in the best kind of notebooks available on the market and I’ve had previous exposure to television sets, so really it’d be perfect for me. And if it doesn’t work out, give me another chance and I’ll prove to you I can do it, Sir Alan.

Looking at the girls first, Yasmina started her campaign with her arms around her charges – going for the tactile, approachable boss line. This dissolved immediately when someone dared to ask permission to speak, and from that point on she was a demanding titan of dictatorship – barking her charges into making the crappest corporate bites you could possibly imagine. Until you saw the boys’ efforts.

Yasmina took a very economical approach to ingredients, obsessing over the cheap nature of flatbreads and brainstorming the best way to buy the least expensive ingredients – from frozen chicken breasts to ‘really budget, low value tuna’. Yum yum!

Kate’s pitch for a contract was a marvel. Never before has a woman with so little knowledge of mediterranean nibbles tried to sell mediterranean nibbles.

‘I’ve heard of Bellinis…’

‘I’m not the chef, you know?’

‘Cold bruschetta – always a… favourite?’

Still – they got the job on the basis that money would be subtracted when they inevitably fluffed it. And when they dished up chicken-less chicken wraps, hairy salads and plates stuffed only with delicious lettuce, it was sure they’d get their wages docked. One bellini was described as ‘a greasy ice cream cone’. Even the girls’ own Paula described their output as like the catering for ‘a funeral at a working mens’ club’. Yasmina’s style – the efficient creation of utter rubbish – seemed to shock Margaret into submission and she spent most of the task with her head in her hands or taking backchat from the boss-girl.

But, unbelievably, the boys were worse. Phillip’s hopeless negotiations – dropping from a ridiculous £60 per head to £15 after Howard ballsed up his research – made him look idiotic from square one and, pride wounded, he decided the best course of action was to moan like a condemned man who could only escape his fate if he moaned his moaning way out of it through the medium of moaning.

As Team Leader, Rocky decided the best approach to a catering task was to play dress up, showing his tender age. The rest of the task had the boys dressed as boxers, sprinters and in togas which only added to the embarrassment of the appalling ‘pan-continental’ food they served. Dry peanut butter sandwiches for the Americas,  a cheese ploughmans on a stick and a chicken tikka volauvent.

‘That is a poisonous thing that should never have been made’ came the feedback of one astute consumer. The 2012 Olympic theme was a bit of a mistake then.

Rocky’s major error was in guess-timating how many sarnies he’d have to knock up, pulling a figure from the blue-sky and ruining his company’s finances in the process. The costumes, terrible menu and inter-team bickering didn’t help, and obviously the boys lost.

Into the boardroom, and the girls were sent off to play with horses upon hearing of their win and they morphed into 12 year old girls in front of our eyes, all giddy and squealing and pegging it to the paddock.

In the cafe, Rocky set out his stall, charmingly calling Howard a ‘dickhead’. He took the former dancer and James – the one who looks like former Big Brother contestant Eugene – into the firing line with him. James’ line about how the choice had hurt him as much as the feeling he got when his cat died will forever stay with me as a wonderful execution of language in describing the bitter grief of betrayal. Tangible hurt. Very much a real sense of loss.

After a largely scripted Sugar breakdown of events, James took it upon himself to break down. His constant interruption and doddering non-speak can’t have done him any favours, and when considered in addition to the bunkum in his CV – ‘I can taste success in my spit when I wake up in the morning’ – he was begging to be booted. But he wasn’t. It was a shocker, but Rocky was ejected – and weirdly it seemed fair.

Though it looks like she’s got it wrapped up, Yasmina’s storming start can only be a hindrance later. She’s so far ahead at this point that any wobble will be considered collapse in the mid or latter stages. But the simple sight of her wobbling will be worth it, right guys?



* * * * *

Episode 1

Last series.

Just a Thought: Who Will Win The Apprentice?

March 26, 2009
Clue: It wont be her


This is your chance to pick the winner of The Apprentice 2009. If you comment here with an accurate choice, come the end times your brilliant foresight will be recorded on the indelible pages of this website for posterity.

You’ll be able to brag to your friends that you’re as good as, if not better than Alan Sugar when it comes to recruitment!

It doesn’t get much more exciting than that.

So – who is most likely to get kicked out because they’re distracted by the fact they have a partner and kids?

Who will be the villain of the piece? (My money’s on Debra).

Who will put on an animal costume?

Where will the friction come from?

Who will WIN the damn thing?

And if you’re still thrown by the sheer number of them, here they are again.

The Apprentice 2009 – Episode 1

March 26, 2009


Put names to faces over here.

Down to business then, and unless you’ve been hiding under a desk for the past fortnight, you’ll know that The Apprentice 2009 began last night.

The first episode’s always absolutely rammed with information, stuffed with soundbites and edited to within an inch of its life in order to make candidates more memorable. Add to this the presence of fifteen blustering braggarts running around like confused toddlers and you’re left with a dizzying hour. As a result, some candidates slip under the radar totally – this week Paula, Kimberly and James barely got a shot – and it’s easy to figure out who’ll be in the firing line when things inevitably go cock-up.

That’s fifteen braggarts rather than the sixteen that should have turned up – we were told early on that one chap had ‘bottled it’ – which gave Sir Alan Sugar an opportunity to berate them before they’d even done anything and bang on about the pressure involved in the world of business – which is patently bollocks because business is all about meetings. Streams and streams of meetings, like turds bobbing on an acrid canal. Meetings about how other meetings went and meetings to arrange more meetings. Business is as banal and uneventful as breakfast in a Basingstoke B&B and as unpressurised as a lingering, dispersing fart.

He also declared himself to be a violin and the potential Apprentices ‘bongo drums’. A clumsy metaphor which might’ve worked if they were about to form a busking collective and earn money on street-corners like corporate minstrels, but in the event they were ordered to set up a cleaning firm – boys versus girls.

But what to call the teams?

‘Genesis’, one man suggested, not realising that it sounds like the name of a gay gymnasium. ‘Empire!’, decided the boys. ‘It’s distinctly British’ they said, forgetting years of oppression and imperialism in one foul swoop.

The girls went for ‘Ignite’ – but if you were able to work out the process by which they came to that conclusion from the barking rabble their voices became, you’ve better ears than mine.

Howard led the boys, because he was up for it – even stating his credentials after he’d got the job – whilst Mona led the girls simply because all the others were too daunted by the task, gaining some credit in the viewers mind from the off. Some more soundbites, ‘ I’m a rough, tough, cream-puff!’ particularly sticking in the mind for its emptiness and stupidity, and then we were off in those cramped cars they whizz around London in.

As team leader of the boys, Howard was up against the broken-headed, immediately obnoxious Phillip Taylor, who made a terrible first impression. Where Howard was reasonable, if a bit wet, Phillip – with the face and accent of an irate Jimmy Nail – was an annoying berk. He sniped behind Howard’s back and led off some of the boys to clean cars using methodology that’d require them to actually work hard – an almost fatal error. They could have collapsed on the job if Howard hadn’t turned up later after a stint as the shoe-shine kid, getting berated by old folks in a shopping centre, and organised their onions.

Now – rule one of car-washing is clearly ‘close doors and windows when hosing’. I didn’t get pocket money if I didn’t clean the car, so the directives are lodged in my grey matter like most people have a system of morality. Where others have ethics, I have a system of squeegee holding techniques. So the boys’ haphazard attempts at scrubbing vehicles – five men on one car – were mind-boggling for me.

But nothing boggled quite so much as the girls’ decision to spend 200 quid on cleaning materials. This was their entire budget – and they could have got by with seven buckets, as many sponges and two or three shammy leathers.

When they finally picked up their products they were a mess of skirts, legs and cleavage – so it came as no surprise that a blushing Nick, with steamed up spectacles, used a ‘spanking’ metaphor to describe how they’d get on come judgement day.

It’s easy to mock these ’empty business suits’ retrospectively the way Sugar does, relentlessly, and if I’d have taken part I’d have probably gone and hidden from the scary men. But it’s always nice to see that the mistakes of past series are completely forgotten in the midst of a new task’s chaos. Team leaders are ignored and strategies are flushed down the bog as boys and girls wobble around with a headrush, ballsing up every thing they think they should have done.

The best moment in the girls’ non-campaign had to be when the mighty Mona, a woman who speaks as though she’s constantly reporting a fire, told the owner of a garage that he was wrong about his own budget. The viewer was forced to watch with an uneasy mix of repulsion at her arrogance alongside a weird affection for her childlike approach to negotiation. She was so clearly out of her depth it was a wonder Nick – as Apprentice lifeguard – didn’t pluck her out, give her a towel and condemmn her to the changing room.

And on the boys side of the fence, special mention must go to Ben Clarke and Majid Nagra. Ben, simply because he looks like a hybrid of Tommy Carcetti and Teddy Ruxpin; Majid because he fancies himself as a bit of a wag – sexist jokes followed by non-sexist disclaimers.

Incidentally, Rocky must be ignored for now – he’s clearly only there for a laff, like, la.

Come the end of the task, it seemed obvious that the girls, particularly after Debra’s mental breakdown, would fail. And thus it came to pass.

Empire were sent off for a cocktail night – cue a stolen scene from Bachelor Party – while the girls went off to bicker some more, then return home, where Kate Walsh managed to flirt with seven men simultaneously. Hot cha!

In the boardroom, the delightful Yasmina was never going to be in any trouble and it was clear Mona would drag Anita and Debra in with her for the showdown. Anita visibly crumbled as though the volume around her was causing her head to implode, while Mona’s shrill voice combined with the slime-dripping sarcasm and snickering of Debra, making the scene almost indecipherable. Turns out that Mona and Debra despised each other, Anita got caught up in the crossfire and the poor, hapless girl was inevitably fired.

Clearly Debra should’ve gone – what with her being a terrifying android from Essex – but if you want a fair round this early on you’re watching the wrong show. Anita was considered chaff and so has been sorted from wheat.

As a result, we have weeks of Debra-footage to contend with in the meantime. Aren’t we lucky?

Next week:
Those crazy contestants will take on corporate catering for ‘City slickers’.

(Presumably this was filmed before everyone went home from the City with their redundancy letters, and back when people could afford to buy lunch rather than bring in thir own peanut butter sandwiches)

All of last year’s reviews are here.