The Apprentice

It’s the final of The Apprentice tonight. For no reason other than I’m at home, it’s raining and it’s on, I’m going to attempt one of those fashionable and modern ‘live blog’ things during the show. Also, they reckon nine million people are going to be hitting BBC One for tonight’s episode, so if even one per cent of those people also read this blog (which I’m sure will definitely happen), I’ll triple my all-time hits in one fell swoop. I never said I was an altruist, did I?

It’s always funny when a series of The Apprentice comes to an end because you realise that a) each run of the show lasts forever and b) television reality shows do really provide the most fleeting kind of fame. For example, who the fuck are any of these people?


Anyway, until we get underway at 9pm I’m going to catch up on last week’s fast-food episode and everyone else can watch this amusing Apprentice auto-tuned clip mash-up.

Hit refresh for the updates from nine!

9.00pm Go! First up, it’s the LAST WEEK ON THE APPRENTICE round-up. Natasha gets the boot about 200 weeks after she should have done. Aah, so we get to find out the business plans, and hear Jim say confusing things like “now we’re just four people standing on our own two feet”. More on Jim’s astonishingly hackneyed garbling later.

9.10pm Here come the interviews, which have always been the best bit of The Apprentice. Tom’s up first.

‘Boffin’ Tom, who’s now presumably doomed to lug around that prefix, applied to him in editorials across the media due purely to the facts he wears glasses and has previously been employed in jobs that require the incumbent to think, forever more. Or at least until we all forget about him at eleven tonight.

Here’s an artist’s impression of what Tom winning would look like. I think we’re all looking forward to that.

9.15pm Jim’s getting nailed for his cliches. “It was really good,” he says. It really wasn’t mate. You definitely didn’t have “the minerals”.

I did some digging on psycho-eyed Jim’s cliches earlier…

A sales professional, public speaker and more. These aren’t my words, they’re Jim’s, from his own website, (to the best of my knowledge it’s actually his – either that or a seriously elaborate parody). Presumably that enigmatic “and more” is referring to serious aggression issues, a talent for sledgehammer-style manipulation and generally coming across like he wants to fight you to the death even when he’s being nice.

His stunning website is like a microcosm of The Apprentice itself: toe-curlingly excruciating, plank-headedly stupid and bloody hilarious. Take a look at this actual picture grabbed from the site.

I didn’t make this. It’s actually on there – and he continues with the whole Jordan-esque person-as-a-brand thing throughout. You couldn’t make this kind of gold up, actually – is packed with idiocy, cliche, horrible typography and platitudes. Like this one:

Or this one, where he spectacularly manages to trip himself up over his use of the third person, which he employs throughout the site when referring to himself:

And if all that isn’t enough for you, Jim has plenty more solid business tips to impart over at his buzzing Twitter feed:

Sound advice. Anyway, enough of all that. Onwards…

Next up, there’s The Winner of This Year’s Apprentice Helen, who’s pretty much a buttoned-up shoo-in simply because she’s not a staggering idiot and on the whole manages to speak without garbling out a load of cliches and xenophobia. Before she was on the show, Helen worked in a senior role at one of the biggest firms in the north, she says. It turns out she’s actually secretary to a sausage roll salesman.

Yep, this kind of sausage roll. On a slight tangent, they’re actually doing four for £2.30 at the moment, which seems both amazing and frighteningly unnecessary. I mean, I like a nice hot sausage roll in me as much as any other normal human, but four in a row?

Fish joke. That was kind of brave – respect.

And Susan now, a pretty dimwit who surely can’t seriously ever be employed again after asking the now fabled question, “Do French people drive?” (or something to that effect).

Yes Susan, yes they do: a quick look on the internet would have tied that one up for you, as this snippet from WikiAnswers proves:

And if any further proof were needed that people who live in France do indeed drive, here is some actual video footage of Frenchmen operating not just cars, but a series of different, increasingly more tricky to handle vehicles.

I think that puts that one to bed.

They’re all in the board room, backed by some sort of Inception-style soundtrack. Margaret’s there. In the world’s brightest clothes. The dude who used to edit FHM cuts everyone down to size, then everyone tears into Jim, they all have a laugh, and then uncover the Irishman’s creepy Alan Sugar obsession. Not so much laughter there – presumably they’ve realised he actually looks like he could have a murder or two in him. Could have.

Call them in.

9.50pm Karren Brady has apparently come dressed as some sort of Edwardian schoolgirl. Jim tries to justify stealing Alan Sugar’s rubbish branding for his own business plan. Alan goes all Jerry Maguire, “show me the money” on him. It’s coming…

9.55pm Susan gone. I think she’ll go on somewhere, do something, Alan says. Maybe introduce the automobile to the continent, something like that.

Two left, then, The Winner of The Apprentice Helen and the smart one off Thunderbirds, Tom, who still looks like he’s trying to work out how all this happened to him. He’s not the Curvy Nail File Guy, though, he knows that much.

Helen talks a good game. You can see why she’s good at helping a man sell fattening pastry goods.

9.59pm Big revealing close-ups of faces, and, fuck – The Winner of the Apprentice Helen loses The Apprentice, leaving Tom to step up and do a big cheesy click of the heels and high-five to himself – weirdly almost exactly like that Spongebob picture from earlier. In the real world, probably the smartest choice in every sense, actually. Hello Dara, goodbye live blogging. That was hard work and, I think we can all agree, not entirely successful.

I’ll leave this kind of thing to the Guardian in future…


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