The Apprentice – Mona moans in Margate

The minute you predict things in life (especially to the entire internet) it seems to get thrown back in your face, and sadly one of the three favourites I pin-pointed could win the show in my column last week, was booted off the show this week. 

Yes, on Wednesday we said goodbye to Mona. And, to be honest, despite my favouritism towards her, I understood why she had to go. In the absence of being able to sell anything, which is where she had really shone previously, she became awkward, dull and slightly useless. She wasn’t sure how to conduct herself in unfamiliar situations (cue her uncomfortable meeting with a transsexual) and didn’t really contribute anything to the task apart from wide-eyed confusion and the odd complaint about how she didn’t think targeting the gay community would be suitable for Kent, not seeming to understand that, yes, homosexuality has managed to spread its wings outside of the stereotypical London and Brighton areas. 

I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed this week’s episode though. It was a case of frustration building and building throughout. And the only way that it was going to be released was through Debra being fired and knowing that we wouldn’t all be put through the same thing again next week. 

Sir Alan certainly seems to like opinionated women, and in many of the series it is the loudest, brashest women who have stayed on until the final, despite upsetting everyone else taking part and all of the viewers. A classic example of this would be previous contestant Katie Hopkins. However, despite these women being irritating and often impossible to work with, normally their main strength, and probably the reason why Sir Alan keeps them in the competition for so long, is because you can always rely of them to at least get the job done. 

The same cannot be said for Debra though. She proved herself to be utterly useless this week. She has zero emotional intelligence, finding it impossible to deal with people in a constructive way. And she didn’t even complete the task. The ‘leaflet’ her team produced was nothing short of embarrassing, with more white space on it than useful information or even pictures. Debra needs to go, probably more so than Lorraine, as at least we can see her trying to do something constructive in each episode. 

Ben stepped in as the main source of entertainment this week, with Philips departure the previous week. His attempts at being a photographer were laughable, he clearly thought he came across as the professional, but in true Ben style we were all just being entertained rather than impressed. 

The biggest surprise of the week was Lorraine, who was as sweet as pie for the majority of the show. The opportunity to flirt with Ben on a trip to the seaside certainly seemed to perk her up, with Ben seemingly completely unaware of her advances. Something tells me he won’t be too receptive if she continues to try it on however. But we did get a quick flashback of her normal behaviour when she returned to the rest of the team, managing to upset Yasmine within about five minutes of arriving, so maybe Margaret got it wrong and instead of being a ‘Cassandra’ Lorraine is really a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’. 

And it sadly seems as though another one of my favourites could be out the door quite soon as well. James is clearly not impressing Sir Alan, so I think I am going to need to brace myself for his imminent departure. At this stage of the competition the candidates really do need to start to shine. As fewer contestants are there to hide behind, their every move seems more easily observable to Nick and Margaret. James can’t just be likable and funny anymore; he needs to start making a real difference in the tasks. I hope he is a team leader next week and manages to show his worth.

So, next week it seems they are all given the task of selling products at the baby show. It will be strange to see them performing next to a group of toddlers, many of whom could probably be completing these tasks with far more originality, humility and competence.


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