We’re up to week ten of The Apprentice and this week the show lost…no, mustn’t spoil the ending (of David’s review) for you. Rather, read on…
It is a rule of thumb – and unimaginative editing – on this programme that as soon as someone offers as their opening gambit that they are feeling positive and expect to smash it then they are about to fail dismally and be taking a taxi by the end of the hour. And so it was last night when perma-irritant Stephen used up his ninth life and put us – and him – out of our misery by ballsing up his task of finding and selecting luxury services for a discount website offering them to their high flying clients thus depriving him of the ÃÂ£250,000 win which, in all honesty, is little compensation for having to work for – or should that be with – Lord Belligerent himself.
He was not alone however as several other contestants failed to make their mark and were a little luckier in avoiding the axe due to highly efficient team mates saving their skin. This whole episode was extremely frustrating and what little charm these wannabe business moguls may have possessed at the beginning is wearing thin, whilst there is a sense the series has run its course and the BBC should seriously consider telling the business world’s answer to Sid James to find some other medium for humiliating and bullying budding corporate cannibals other than a TV show.
Back to last night’s episode however and Team Phoenix were led by Jade who decided to favour quality over quantity when securing deals. At least this was the excuse – sorry reason – she offered when it became clear she hadn’t secured quite as many as expected. The failure to secure more deals was down to Tom and Adam who struggled to secure any interest in their proposals and matters were not helped by Adam’s street trader banter with high end businesses. Nick managed to slip under the blame radar yet again – this is perhaps his greatest skill – and by the end of the series he may actually fit into his own hair and lose those plumy tones which seem to have inflicted him with irritable vowel syndrome. Despite these drawbacks the team still managed to secure nearly fourteen thousand pounds in orders which even the old curmudgeon quiz master seemed impressed by.
Team Sterling on the other hand were a shambles from the get-go largely due to the auspice of having Stephen as a project manager. A shambling stressed out buffoon from the off it was pretty obvious he was unlikely to win the task or any commendations from his team in the inevitable board room confrontation. He was not alone in being underwhelming however as Gabrielle-who always sounds on the verge of tears- seemed to have resigned herself to the role of supporting cast member but this is never advisable when the process reaches this stage and there are fewer people to hide behind. Of the three, only Ricky Martin managed to impress and even he failed to secure anywhere as near as he could have if he had been a little sharper.
It was Team Sterling to the boardroom then and one of the more lively spats of the series so far. Stephen sensing he was cornered went immediately on the offensive and babbled and wailed but unfortunately Ricky was able to beat him down and expose him for the useless waste of space he has been for weeks-nine I think it is- meanwhile Gabrielle fought back her tears while standing her ground admirably. It came with a sense of disbelief when Sugar fired her and it seemed as if Stephen had miraculously survived another week. But no! Pausing only long enough for a hint of a smug smile of relief to appear at the corner of Stephen’s mouth Sir Sugar surprised everyone-not really as he always does it around this stage of the series- by sacking him also, making it a double eviction. At last!
With the main irritant of the series gone there is no-one left to hate and approaching the final weeks we are left with bland and blander. At the moment it is still Nick and Tom who could be the front runners although both have under performed in recent weeks so the game is pretty open; if anyone still cares.
Find this weeks edition of The Apprentice on the iPlayer here.
All words David Marren. More of David’s Apprentice blogs can be read here.