An episode involving the acquiring and subsequent selling of Urban Art- more often referred to as Graffiti – was bound to elicit at least one comment about the writing being on the wall and predictably enough it was left to failed stand up and head quizmaster Alan Sugar to deliver the inevitably cringe-worthy line. Less predictably it didn’t even manage to raise the usual amount of obsequious laughter from the boardroom of polyester suited sycophants. Perhaps this means that even they can no longer pretend to be interested in the tired format and limp jokes being trundled out week after week despite this being one of the better episodes in what is unquestionably the dullest run yet for this series. The main attraction always involved a sense of superiority over the smug, supercilious cretins prepared to forego their last shred of dignity in trying to impress the curmudgeon-like one but unfortunately-for us the viewers-they seem to have wised up.
Last night saw Tom lead Team Sterling with, what at first, seemed like insiders knowledge of the subject at hand but somehow emerged as arrogance. This is probably his first serious mis-step so even though the writing was on the wall-sorry couldn’t resist it- concerning him securing the art which was going to win the task it was clear he was going to survive the inevitable boardroom bitching. The most surprising thing about this team though was Adam’s method of selling art as if he was still working on a fruit and veg market stall. Cue bad joke by stand-up Sugar about the Turnip Prize. Oh, how we didn’t laugh! Again!
Team Phoenix was led by the shiny happy person Gabrielle and a healthy dose of Prozac if her overly enthusiastic behaviour was anything to go by. It was ironic that her insufferable joie de vivre was used to secure a collection of macabre and brilliant works by an artist trading under the moniker Pure Evil. It was pretty obvious from the outset that this collection was the one which was going to clinch the deal as it not only encapsulated the spirit of the genre but was also extremely commercially viable.
So onto the boardroom and poor Tom there for the second week running and for the first time the stress of this game show was showing. It was one of the more feisty confrontations of this series with each contestant really fighting their corner whilst offering their opponents up as a potential sacrifice. Tom impressed the most however with his ability to finish what he was saying- and never raising his voice nor faulting in his delivery- as the others tried to interject and/or talk over him. It was Laura who eventually took the bullet as claiming sales is her area she failed to deliver and drastically fell behind the rest of the team in this department.
So with the number of contestants markedly depleted it looks as if Tom and Boris Johnson soundalike Nick are the two clear runners although Adam is a potential dark black sheep-or whatever- sneaking up on them from the outside. He is actually surprisingly becoming less irritating as the series goes on but this can all change. The perma-irritant Stephen must be perilously close to the end of the line in this show although the foghorn voiced Jenna-her voice alone is a sackable offence- has been unfeasibly quiet over the last couple of weeks. Next week sees the teams try and sell sparkling English wine and with this being Tom’s area if he can’t pull it off he is unfortunately the next evictee.
All words David Marren. More of David’s Apprentice blogs can be found here.