I’ve picked up a few things over the many hours I have spent watching these ten – TEN, god help us – series of The Apprentice. To disclose fully, I’ve actually only seen nine. I missed the first series on the grounds of being a reality TV snob, but I soon got over myself. Anyway, I believe that nine is enough to have developed a certain instinct. Not for who the final winner will be as I never get that right, but for the likely losers. I think I can tell, with a fair degree of accuracy, who isn’t going to make it to the final two, even this early in the process. I know, I know. It’s great to think I haven’t completely wasted my time watching this bilge.
I will share my insights with you here, though I am having to look up their names as it’s too early for me to have learned them. As an aside, another thing I’ve learned is that remembering the apprentices’ names is a three-stage process:
Stage 1 (Episodes 1-4) No idea who any of them are apart from the two most twattish.
Stage 2: (Episodes 5-14) Know their names as well as, if not better than, members of my family.
Stage 3: (A week after the final) Can’t remember any of their names for the life of me.
So – fanfare – here are the people who aren’t going to win this year’s Apprentice.
Tall Robert, Scottish Scot and Shifty Chiles are already gone, so I pick them not to win. Yay! I is some kind of fortune-telling genius. Not impressed, huh? OK, I’ll tell you who else won’t win:
Sarah – the tall one who advised her team in the first task to hike their skirts up and wear heels. Because all buyers are men, and all men fall apart at a glimpse of leg and buy whatever crappy cleaning materials you’re selling for £250. (NB Since when did women on The Apprentice need asking twice to wear short skirts and heels? Even their comfy slippers have heels.) Re Sarah, I feel bad about saying this, though clearly not so bad I’m not going to not say it, but is her shrill insistence on everything being ‘feminine’ due to the fact that she looks slightly like a man in drag? Sarah is either a troll who’s been put in the show to be a major irritant (evidence for this, a) she was one of the ‘secret four’ who turned up late in the boardroom as a super surprise and b) she is a major irritant). Or she is just a troll who’s a major irritant but without anyone having planted her there. Either way, she will last quite a while on the grounds of being top telly, but she will not win. Shugs will not give his wonga to another mouthy annoying blonde, never, not no how.
Steven – the black Canadian social worker guy. He was certainly on the side of right in the first episode, if anyone in this process can be said to be on that side, and I really like his accent. But he is just going to be too damn much for Shugs, who likes them less abrasive. Like Sarah, Steven will last for a few episodes because of his entertainment value.
Daniel – the market trader who said he wouldn’t wear that pervey videocam jumper in public. Fair play to him for that. I don’t know why these Essex chaps keep thinking that Shugs will pick them because they remind him of himself as a wee Romford barrow boy. Has he ever picked anyone like that? No, he hasn’t. (I can’t be arsed to check, so feel free to tell me if I’m wrong.) Like any good Chigwell socialite, Shugs likes to hang with people that make him feel upwardly mobile, not those that remind him of his roots, much as he bangs on about those roots. He doesn’t object to a bit of the old rags-to-riches backstory, but he does not want a cockney wide-boy as his business bitch. And I speak as a cockney wide-boy myself.
James – one of the stubbly blokes. He’s just not interesting enough. Though conversely, he has just been outed in the Daily Mail (lord only knows how I know this) as having a ‘violent past’ that he now ‘deeply regrets.’ Several of the candidates over the years have had violent pasts, and has Shugs hired any of them? No. (Again, can’t be arsed to check, so possibly wrong here.)
Nurun – the scarf-wearing one who got lumbered as project manager in the second episiode. While it would really be something to see Shugs go into business with a woman in a hijab, I just can’t see it. Not least because she seems a bit too nice and indecisive for him. Also, stopping in the middle of her excruciatingly bad pitch (though is there any other kind on The Apprentice?) to say ‘oh dear’ at her own ineptitude does not a winner make.
Roisin – Irish and reasonable. The one I pick at the start as a potential winner on the grounds of them seeming sensible invariably gets fired almost immediately. That’s you this time Roisin, sorry love! Also her profile reveals that she is an accountant, which means that very soon in a task she will be forced to do the finances, will make an error under pressure, and be scapegoated in the Café of Doom, before the chubby finger of fate points her back to Dublin.
Sanjay – sounds like he should be Indian but he doesn’t seem to be. Another of the stubbly men. He’s a banker. Alan doesn’t like bankers, which I know because he’s mentioned it several thousand times. Also, Sanjay looks grumpy. Also, he fancies himself, and Alan doesn’t like men who fancy themselves. I know Alan better than I know myself, I fear.
Felipe – the Colombian man who refers to himself in the third person. This will doom him, as will his tendency to kiss his colleagues whenever they perform slightly above average. Alan won’t like the kissing, nor will he like the third person thing. Who would, come to think of it? Qwerty certainly wouldn’t.
Jemma – blonde, chirpy, with specs. I’m convinced Shugs won’t go for a blonde this year, though I have no scientific evidence for this, and he won’t like the chirpiness. The chirpy ones always go early. I don’t make the rules, I merely report them.
Katie – the one with the Sunderland accent who insisted that the ‘wearable technology’ jacket have so many functions it would actually have cost about two million quid to buy. I think she’s probably a good laugh down the pub. I can’t put my finger on why not her, I just can’t see it. There is a very faint whiff of Pam Ayres about her, perhaps that’s it?
Lauren – really loads of foundation, shakes her head plenty, and is a solicitor. What is it with this lot? If I was a solicitor I would just carry on being one, counting the fivers, and not think about making a total tit of myself on telly. Still, takes all sorts. Anyway, Shugs doesn’t like lawyers any more than bankers. And anyway again, as with Katie, I just can’t see it with Lauren.
Ella Jade – long dark hair, otherwise I couldn’t pick her out from a crowd if my life depended on it. Another one where I just can’t see it. Instincts, my dear. That’s all I have. Instincts.
So, that’s the chaff from the wheat. Though chaff and wheat are fairly hard to distinguish amongst this lot, I am nonetheless calling it. The finalists will be two of these: Bianca, Solomon, Pamela, Lindsay, Mark. 10p says I’m right. Who’s your pick?
Posted by Qwerty, whose new novel, When We Were Sisters, is out now