Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Apprentice: bloody nutter dismissed

Finally the ghastly Jo is gone. This episode should have been a cakewalk for her if her CV is anything to go by - a former manager of MG Rover, used to training directors, the task of selling second-hand cars should have been within her ability. But her performance in failing to sell anything, and scaring the living bejeezus out of the poor punters looking for cars, was one too far for Sir Alan, especially the scene where she nearly killed a pair of them with her machine-gun laugh - something a bit like Janice from Friends, but Brummie-style.

As he commented about MG Rover, on her previous experience and the performance in this episode, "no wonder they went bloody skint!"

Meanwhile, everything I've been saying about Ansell finally turned out to be vindicated in this episode. He was a poor team leader, dragged further back by pairing himself with - and failing to manage - Jo, while Ruth and Samuel teamed up to good effect and made them look even worse. In fairness, he did sell 4 cars, but was also responsible for a string of cock-ups and incurred the showroom manager's wrath in doing so. All diplomatic blandness and no substance, I'm afraid. Still, that's a formula that worked for Tim last year...

Now we are getting to the thick end of proceedings, the candidates are taking out their stresses and strains on each other. Witness the winning team spoil a nice Thames cruise by having a massive barney, whilst pathetic Sharon had a teary huff for the second time in three episodes. For someone who lectures in marketing and advertising, she is pretty feeble. But then they all are - I expect Samuel and Tuan to fall by the wayside with her because of a lack of bottle, and also Syed, Ansell and probably Michelle to go because of their lack of substance.

I've been saying all along that Paul is the best of the bunch, but in this task, Ruth really excelled, and must now be a good bet. She also showed some of her less rottweiler-like characteristics in reacting to Jo's dismissal with the comment of how she would miss her around the house, despite their conflicting styles in the tasks leading to several bust-ups. This also gives confirmation of how the editing manipulates the image we have of the candidates' interactions off-camera. As Saira pointed out in "You're Fired!" (highlighted by their clip from last year of her in the Spurs canteen bawling her eyes out), they have no contact with the outside world save a 10-minute phone call each week, so must rely on each other for support, despite the rivalry.

The final moments of Jo in this series to me epitomised the best and worst of her. Her constant pestering of Sir Alan to keep her in after he had fired her was incredibly annoying. Her weird non-handshake with Samuel showed her awkwardness with the other candidates. But Saira said she cried on watching Jo's final waterworks in the cab afterwards, because - much as she grated - her honesty and integrity were never in doubt and were on display more than the rest of the bunch put together. Let's hope that's why Sugar kept her in for so long, and not because of (as Harry Hill pointed out) any secret crush, or as I suspect, because it made for good TV.

Roll on next week - still 4 tickets going spare (bad LaLa!) to come along to the preview of the show on Monday and filming of "You're Fired!", meeting at 6pm at the Riverside Studios, 5 minutes from Hammersmith Tube. Ricky Gervais and his mysterious pal Carl may be in attendance (see previous posting)...

1 comment:

Veggie Tuna said...

You're on the ball.

Although I'm not 100% in your camp about some of the stuff you say (e.g. Michelle will be in the final 4 - eventhough she is yet to prove her worth, so that is caveated), you certainly have a keen eye for whats what. They should get you on the panel for You're Fired, rather than having you in the audience.

See you later, Ansell-hater.