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.
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