The Apprentice 711: Columbus at the Coliseum

Gratuitous pic of Tre from Series Three

In the normal run of things I don’t generally miss an Apprentice candidate once they’ve felt the wrong end of the pointy finger. I think back to the start of this series and can barely recall those who fell early. Alex? Felicity? Edward? (I had to look them up.) Even ones I thought I’d miss like Ellie (too normal for her own good) and Edna (off her head; leather gloves) are gone from my affections. Watching The Apprentice makes Roman emperors of us all. We sit on our comfy thrones watching funny little people doing crazy things for our amusement. If one of them gets gored by a lion, or whatever it was that went on in the Coliseum (why should I be expected to know this when other people think Columbus was the potato guy?), we just say ‘Who’s next?’ The Apprentice juggernaut is far bigger than its candidates.

Very occasionally a personality impresses itself so indelibly that it is remembered after its sell-by date. Stuart Baggs from the last series for instance; and I’ve always had a soft spot for Tre from Series Three because he was so stroppy and interesting. I might have to face up to the fact that actually I just really fancied Tre. But generally I don’t miss anyone after they’ve gone, except Margaret.

All that said, this week I did find myself missing Melody and her over-defined enunciation just a bit. I would have loved to have seen her in Helen and Tom’s team, insisting that ac-tu-ally it was Charlie Raleigh who liked to smoke potatoes and Byron studied poetry at Yale with Al Gore. I would also have been interested to see if Helen and Tom still decided to choose a nodding BNP bulldog equivalent of a restaurant with Melody present. Say what you like about Melody, go on, you know you want to, but she certainly didn’t look ‘100% British.’ Which was the best thing about her.

Tell you who I’m not going to miss. Natasha. I was desperate for her to get off my tv screen. I know she was clearly out of her depth – her shell-shocked expression was a clue to that. But the way she just opened her mouth and let burble fall out, the stroppy black cloud permanently over her head, and the lack of any redeeming features made me just want to fling open the gates and let an extra-hungry lion into the arena. She continued to be unsympathetic on You’re Fired, showing no humour, insight or grace. She didn’t even wince when watching herself do that should-be-punishable-by-death thing of forming quotation marks in the air. The panel obviously felt the same way as they were unusually harsh. Ed Byrne took the piss for her describing her BA as ‘Hons’, and Sarah Willingham slagged her relentlessly for not using her degree. Even Dara who usually teases slain candidates affectionately was formal and reserved. Only Mark Frith, who fascinates me the way his words seem strangled in his throat then come bursting out in a great emotional cavalcade, seemed vaguely on her side.

Anyway, ta-ta Natasha. Back at The Apprentice Jim made history by being the first ever person to say anything other than ‘thank you’ to The Early Morning Voice On The Phone. He asked a fashion question and The Voice simply hung up. Surely that’s not teaching good business practice is it?

Client: ‘And just one more question…’  Apprentice: Click. Brrrrr.

When Helen played Mrs Tweedy…
              It was clear from the get-go that Tom and Helen would win, partly because they worked well together, partly because they spent more than half a second thinking things through, and partly because Helen once played Mrs Tweedy in

Chicken Run

            who was a great pie expert. Mrs Tweedy didn’t suggest that that we ladies are too delicate to eat a whole pie though.

...Costume Hair and Make-up took the day off.

I’ve just been reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants  in which she tells how an early boyfriend marvelled at another girl who asked for a proffered piece of chewing gum to be torn in two… because a whole bit of gum was too much for her. I was dying for Dara to adapt Tina’s staggeringly rude riposte (I can’t tell you here, this is a family blog), but he kept it all bit pre-watershed for my liking. For any unreconstructed types reading this let me be clear: (a) women can eat normal-sized pies (b) not every woman in the universe wants such tiny portions that she gradually disappears (c) not every w. in the u. is wanting to gradually disappear and (d) I’ll have that big pie please. With mash and mushy peas and a chocolate brownie for afters.

Tell you what I won’t have: one of those boxes full of ‘dog-sick’ [copyright: Lord Shugs] they were selling in Caraca’s.

So what have we learned this week?

  • Tom is disappointingly thick for someone who looks and behaves like a madcap inventor. I don’t expect him to know the line-up of the Beastie Boys but I do want him to know that Columbus was Italian and that Byron and Shakespeare did not hang out down the Globe together.
  • Helen is disappointingly thick for someone who is so efficient and has such a nice smile. I don’t want her to win any more. Not because she’s disappointingly thick but because she’s disappointingly dull. I want her to break out and do something mad.
  • Apparently the new thing in take-away restaurants is to have people greeting customers at the door. I’m not going to be pleased if this happens next time I go to McDonalds.
  • I still like Susan. I think she came out of this pretty well. If I had to sit brain-storming in a room with Natasha I wouldn’t be in the final, I’d be in Holloway. I like Susan’s rosebud lips. And while I normally despise those shlocky back-stories, for some reason hers on The Final Five made me warm to her.
  • I also warmed to Jim. I thought he looked pitiful and vulnerable, especially when he was wearing that red hat that made him look like a communist Smurf. Susan bossed him around – rightly – and he took it extremely well. And when he got through to the final he had tears in his eyes but not in a look-at-me way.
  • They’re bringing us in on the weekend because the last episode is this Sunday. Apparently we get paid time-and-a-half.
  • Margaret’s back next episode!
  • I won’t miss any of them when they’re gone.

Posted by Qwerty

6 Comments

Filed under The Apprentice

6 responses to “The Apprentice 711: Columbus at the Coliseum

  1. inkface

    Brilliant Qwerty, totally agree I felt very let down that Tom was so bloody dim last night. One thing I disagree with you about is Jim. I find him a sexist, patronising, manipulative, passive-aggressive little shitweasel.

  2. Qwerty

    Shitweasel is such a wonderful expression Inky. Really sorry everyone about
    the formatting problem around Helen’s pic; I can’t seem to sort it for some reason. Might be the Curse of the Tweedys.

  3. Tim

    That had to be the longest firing ever, as Sugar binned Natasha for being so hopeless on last week’s task and, really, most of the tasks throughout the series.

    Knowing that Helen worked for Greggs I thought it was fairly obvious that, even though it was 2 against 3, she and Tom were likely to come out on top. The key decision was Tom convincing Helen to let him do the branding and get her to focus on the menu. He did a great job there, while Helen’s knowledge of the industry paid off handsomely in the kitchens, in terms of processes and with the business plan.

    The gap between the two teams this week was so wide as to be embarrassing, especially when you consider that Venture had 50% more manpower. Although I suppose Natasha and Susan kind of cancelled each other out to reduce them to one.

    Watching Tom’s face drop when Nick innocently – but oh so knowingly – asked whether Columbus was actually English was priceless.

    Loved the way Susan thinks she is full of original ideas … like sombreros. Because that was, like, THE most original thing ever – other than naming a Mexican restaurant after the capital of Venezuela and putting an unnecessary apostrophe in it like that makes it okay. (I admit it, I’m a punctuation geek.) I know Sugar and Nick have a soft spot for her and she’s a good seller, but God bless her she is so naive and ignorant of the world in general. (“What does El mean?”) I’m pretty sure her naivety will result in her getting shredded at interviews. That, and the fact she cannot articulate an idea clearly and concisely.

    It’s still Tom all the way for me. Anyone who can turn his dyslexia into an advantage and come up with something as wacky (and really quite good) as MyPy is alright by me.

    http://slouchingtowardsthatcham.com/2011/07/14/the-apprentice-fast-food-as-easy-as-pie-or-chilli-con-carnage/

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