The Apprentice 708: Unchained Melody

Melody, you're fired

I never feel entirely comfortable with The Apprentice until we reach this point in a series, when there are only eight contenders left and they all get a seat in the boardroom. It makes me edgy that until then, some of them have to stand. I don’t know why it makes me edgy, I’m not a psychologist or anything. Oh god so I am. Okay well I still don’t know, I just like it better now they can all sit equally, okay? Although of course there’s nothing equal in The Apprentice, not when you’ve got hilarious self-parodies like Melody Hossaini, whose claims to have worked for the UN and with Al Gore, the Dalai Lama and Mother Theresa hold water right up until the point when you think, hang on, you’ve swapped that for a chance to appear on a tawdry – if compelling – telly show?  Hmm. Something doesn’t quite add up here.

Anyway clearly Al, Mother Theresa and Jesus all breathed quiet little sighs of relief when Melody skipped on to her next global achievement, for she is the walking talking embodiment of the phrase ‘would try the patience of a saint.’ Her insanely high levels of self-confidence mean she has no room left for any of the more likeable human traits: a sense of irony, a sense of fair play, humility, and a theory of mind (the understanding that not everyone thinks exactly like oneself. Told you I was a psychologist). She is so pushy she makes the showbiz mother in Gypsy look reticent; so big-headed, Jeffrey Archer is a relative model of modesty. In short, she is Top Telly.

And of course Shugs thinks she’s terrific. It’s always such a disappointment when I realise how goddamn venal he is. I was praying he’d say to Melody, ‘You’d trample a starving child to make a sale; you stole all the appointments on the tenuous grounds that you’d made the phone-calls; you kept saying you’d done market research when you’d spoken to four people and then ignored their fucking answers; you only got all these awards you keep banging on about because you just ran up and grabbed the trophies off the rightful winners. In short, you’re utterly appalling, this isn’t how to get on in business and you’re so totally fired I might as well do it from a cannon.’

Instead he called her a tiger and admired her bulldozer qualities. I’m such a stupid sucker for appearances. Because Shugs looks like a kindly old Sid James type granddad I somehow imbue him with nice qualities (Malcolm Gladwell talks about this phenomenon at length in Blink, to continue the Psych 101 theme. He doesn’t use Shugs as an example, though he should have). But Shugs isn’t nice. He’s a bladdy arsehole, as he himself might say.

Clare and Melody: separated at birth?

Enough about Melody and Shugs, partners in dreadfulness. Though I must swiftly commend my PLA colleague Our Man in The South for noting Melody’s startling resemblance to the self-aggrandising Clare, star of radio show Clare in the Community. Donds to you, OMITS.

I can summarise the rest of my feelings on this episode in a series of bullet-points. If it’s hilarious blow-by-blow you want go here to the Guardian.

  • I’m glad Leon was fired, he was a tosser
  • Dara describing Leon’s pathetic reluctance to spray-tan a guy – ‘Did you think you’d catch gay?’ – was my favourite moment of the series so far
  • I love Dara
  • Can you believe Leon’s girlfriend telling the world that he was ‘very manly’? It makes her seem even more of his beard than she was already
  • Tom was a bit wimpy but better a trillion percent him saying, ‘It’s a team game,’ than Melody forcing him to let her keep all the appointments
  • Natasha is a waste of space. That is all
  • I love Dara
  • Helen is so clearly better than everyone by a country mile that I wonder what strange fate will befall her. Possibly stabbed as she sleeps by Melody
  • People’s lack of French made me weep and rend my garments in mourning for the education system
  • I didn’t think Susan was such an asswipe as all that to ask those basic questions about France. She didn’t know the country so she was trying to find out. Her phrasing was naïve but it wasn’t actually completely dumb, however…
  • …She then lost all brownie points by bragging how little she was every time that child seat appeared. Ok you have a tiny botty Susie, we get it. But you seem to have a brain to match
  • I love Dara

So who’s going to win? I don’t know. But I do know who isn’t. Melody, Jim and Natasha are definitely not going to make it. You heard it here first. Of the remaining four, Tom is unlikely but has an outside chance; Zoe has the nasal whining quality Shugs has been known to go for before; Helen seems too obvious but is clearly a contender; and Susan could be a surprise winner because she’s young and sparky.

Who do you think will win?

 Posted by Qwerty

5 Comments

Filed under The Apprentice

5 responses to “The Apprentice 708: Unchained Melody

  1. pauseliveaction

    Melody has clearly taken on Jim’s mind-control techniques. Her power over the quivering Leon was as all-encompassing (and as fatal) as Jim’s over Vincent. So busy was he marvelling at her skill in speaking French that he didn’t even notice that, most of the time, both Melody and the French people were speaking English.

  2. Velocity Girl

    Great review as ever, Qwerty.

    I howled so hard at the television whenever Melody and Susan (albeit to a lesser extent) were on I set my car alarm off through my open front room window!

    It’s easy to reduce the Apprenticii (ooh, get me) that I don’t like to one handy adjective. So Melody – hideous, Natasha -airheaded, Zoe – disgruntled, Jim – spiteful, Susan – daft (although the bit where she sat in the car seat made me laugh out loud), Leon – nothing (and now also Gone).

    Which leaves my faves, Helen and Tom. Tom was weak but I also thought he had a bad rap – I don’t think anybody could have controlled Melody and totally agree with your thoughts on Lord Tyrannosaurus Alan.

    Mystic VG’s prediction – Helen v Melody final. It will be Ruth v Michelle again – Helen will be best but Melody will win.

  3. Tim

    I’ve been rooting for Tom all along, and although he made a complete EveryDog’s dinner of being PM on this task I remain convinced he has a strong chance of winning. His instincts are always right – but even he won’t listen to himself when he is! I sense a redemption arc coming on – the Clark Kent-like buffoon who plays paper-scissors-stone to decide who pitches is slowly revealed as a strong, heroic icon who wears his underpants on the outside.

    Helen has to be in the final, surely? Everything we have seen so far screams “winner”, but it’s just too easy, isn’t it?

    Melody and Susan will make it through to the interviews, where Susan will be reduced to tears when someone (I’m thinking Claude) will invite her to sit in a kiddie seat. And Melody will self-destruct in a puff of self-delusion when she believes that Sugar has told her that it is “commendable” the way absolutely everyone utterly despises her, including Shugs himself.

    My usual ranting & raving is over at:
    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/06/23/the-apprentice-sacre-bleu-leon-gets-lost-in-translation/

    I’m off to think of some decent biscuit puns for next week. I fear my current ones are half-baked (boom boom).

  4. Tim

    Oh, and Dara’s “did you think you’d catch gay?” was utterly brilliant!

  5. I love Dara too. He cuts through all the crap like a red hot knife through butter. And he has adorable canine teeth too. Have realised that You’re Fired is the bit that makes The Apprentice worth watching. I know, late as usual.

    I too was struck by the ridiculousness of Leon’s girlfriend proclaiming him manly. Perhaps she was brought up in a female-only household and went to school in a convent? It may be the only explanation.

    Also did you see the sour look on Melody’s face back at the house when someone brought up Helen’s massive sales success? Ouch. I too fear for Helen’s safety in the night.

    I have had to adjust my Apprentice slappability scale to accommodate monstrous Melody. I honestly thought no one could be more annoying than Natasha (yeah?). How wrong I was.

    Fingers crossed for Tom or Helen to win, and for Melody to go next week.

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