The Apprentice – catering for our amusement

As long as there is always something amusing/ridiculous/shocking to write about, I think I will turn my comments on the latest episode of The Apprentice into a weekly occurrence. And last night there was certainly plenty of the above.


First of all we need to address the issue of James. This seems to happen every year. In the first week, and sometimes for the first couple of weeks, certain people, who later turn out to be rather large characters, manage to completely slip under the radar and then ‘bam!’ they are suddenly right there in front of you, annoying the hell out of everyone. How on earth did I barely even notice James last week? Well he’s certainly made an impression of the nation now.


Not only does he seem to cope with stress worse than a hamster copes with a sudden noise (, but he also has a very distinct lack of people skills. He was clearly about to use the words “your ugly mug” at Sir Alan last night and even after narrowly escaping that one still managed to almost shatter the boardroom table in moment of sheer over-excitement. You just feel like yelling at him ‘YOU’RE ON TV! This is going to be shown up and down the country to potentially millions of people!’. Obviously that thought was not going through his mind when he let us know on an extract of ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired!’ that a small amount of ‘pee’ escaped from him during that particular boardroom experience.


Following on from the fine example of a human being that James manages to present himself as, I love the way that there is literally no camaraderie in The Apprentice. As in, literally none. The show manages to convey some of the very worst characteristics that human beings possess.


Kate slowly sank like a ship for what must have been at least a half hour meeting about grilled tuna sandwiches and the like (looking distinctly confused over the idea of a warm tuna sandwich – have you never heard of a tuna melt?) and not once did I hear a peep out of the other girls who were in there with her. They didn’t even attempt to pull her back from this highly awkward situation. Poor Margaret, with her head in her hands – surely part of her despair was because the other contestants in the room showed zero initiative or support during the entire meeting?


Yes, I know, they are in a competition, against each other and there is only one prize. But what on earth happened to people having high standards and putting that above their TEAM MEMBER jumping and sinking right in front of their eyes? What on earth happened to that horrible aching feeling you get in your stomach when you are watching someone dig themselves deeper and deeper into a very awkward hole? On national television. This isn’t life or death. It’s a (slightly fake) job interview. But clearly ‘survival’ instinct far outweighs normal human decency instinct in this lot.


Of course, as ever, there always those who do speak their mind. Philip is a shining example of this. Yet again he acts as narrator for us all, keeping us abreast of every tiny thing that his team members are doing wrong. Fair enough, occasionally he does have a point (i.e. the garish gold table cloths of which he was clearly not a fan), but seriously, calm down Philip. This contestant is a disaster waiting to happen. At some stage he is going to lose the plot with a fellow competitor, and you can see that it is not going to be pretty. Maybe Philip and Debra (of which, I can see from the highlights, there will be plenty to write about next week), will end up at loggerheads. Now that would be entertainment.


So, amongst all of this chaos, is anyone showing a beacon of hope yet? I’m still deciding how I feel about Yasmina. She has appalling taste in what a canapé should consist of, and as she is a restaurant owner this is one of the things making me so unsure right now, but she did lead the girls to an impressive victory (purely in numerical terms). She did that whole ‘cut the crap’ persona this week and it seemed to be relativly effective after a few looks of horror from the likes of Kimberly and Paula. And she learns. There was certainly no overspending on produce or equipment this week. But it remains to be seen if she is cost efficient or just cheap.


I’m not going to talk about Rocky, there isn’t a huge amount of interesting things to say. Which just about sums that up.


The main thing I can conclude from last night’s episode is that I am very glad I was at neither of those evening events. And, if in the future I am supposed to be going to an event which The Apprentice candidates have anything to do with organizing or catering, instead of getting all excited about the prospect of being on TV, I may well stay in and order a take away. Although, thanks to the stupid theme, last night’s episode did manage to put me off food from at least five continents. Impressive.


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