The Apprentice – Philip’s finally fired

For anyone who’s been reading my posts on The Apprentice over the last few weeks, you will not be surprised to hear how relieved I am that Philip will not be returning to our screens next week. After yet again miserably failing to make any positive contribution to a task this week, Sir Alan finally saw sense and Philip was fired.

However, in true Philip style, he yet again gave us all plenty to talk about in his final week. Love is in the air, and my respect for someone could not drop further in the space of an hour than it did when I saw Kate, who I have been relatively impressed by up until now, relentlessly giggling her way through the task with Philip. According to gossip columnists they are now ‘blissfully happy together’ after a short break. I’m guessing that break came shortly after Philip tenaciously defended his new love in the board room, whilst in return Kate got all panicked and in a desperate attempt to save herself, eventually turned on Philip.

In previous weeks, I have reserved judgement on Kate. She has displayed a mix of capable leadership and involvement in the tasks, with a hint of ignorance and lack of authentic shrewdness. Last night she managed to display a complete lack of focus, a worrying lack of loyalty (if she will suddenly turn on Philip like that then goodness knows what she is willing to do to the other candidates) and above all an appalling taste in men. I will not be surprised is this is the start of her demise. She will need to give quite an impressive performance this week to get Sir Alan back onside.

Another one who needs to do quite a lot to even be in with a slither of chance of winning is Lorraine. She is driving me mad. And, being one of the few people to stand up to Philip, who I’ve been openly so unimpressed with, this just shows how irritating she is. However, I am going to save my rant about her until next week, as I get the feeling she will give us plenty to talk about then. She will no longer have Philip there to argue with, so with her attentions turned elsewhere, it is sure to annoy Sir Alan when she proves herself capable of falling out with everyone else as well.

Elsewhere, Mona lead the winning team and gave an impressive performance. She hasn’t been one of the most entertaining contestants thus far, but it’s not often the ones with the biggest, most memorable personalities who go on to win the show, so maybe she’s one to watch.

So, we are the half way point. Given this milestone, and at the risk of being proved completely wrong over the next few weeks, I’m going to give my predictions of who I think should have a chance at winning the show.

Firstly there’s Mona. She has shown herself to have some backbone, standing up to Kimberly in a previous week when she was being stroppy with her about her presenting technique. She is also calm, not having been involved in any massive blow-ups yet, and manages to state her opinion without flying off the handle as other contestants have regularly done.

Next there is Howard, another favourite of mine. Again clam and collected much of the time. He’s also resolved other people’s squabbles in a authoritative and controlled way. Even managing to defuse one of the frequent fallings-out between Philip and Lorraine a few weeks ago. And few of us would have the patience to get anywhere near that mess of a relationship. However, he has not been in the limelight much since week one, so I think he does need to step up and and perform a little more yet in order to get Sir Alan’s attention.

My third and final favourite is James. He didn’t start the competition off very well but he’s become a firm favourite for a lot of us now. Week two was the first time he was brought to our attention. His self defence in the boardroom that week was clumsy and far too loud, alienating the other contestants and almost saying “your ugly mug” to Sir Alan.

However, he has gradually endeared himself to us. He still has the balls he displayed in week two, but he also now has the likability factor. Although slightly clumsy, he always seems to get stuck in, the other contestants all seem to really like him and he’s polite, smiley and reliable. He doesn’t whinge like Philip, he’s not big-headed like Ben and he’s not grating to watch and probably to work with like Debra.

The only problem with James is that sometimes he leaves you feeling slightly nervous that he could suddenly say something a bit stupid, but, lets be honest, compared to the rest of arrogant, selfish and often dishonest bunch that he’s largely up against, James comes across as a pretty stable choice for Sir Alan’s new apprentice.

Anyway, onwards and upwards to next week. Hopefully we’ll start to see (more) moments of brilliance from the candidates as we’re past the half way point now. At least I hope so, as with the fortunate exit of young Philip, there certainly won’t be as much for me to complain about next week.

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