Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Apprentice: lightweight blown away

Ah the joy of knowing 24 hours before the rest of you that Alexa was getting the chop. We had great fun watching the panel of Adrian Chiles, Lucy Kellaway, Alasdair Jeffrey and Felicity Lee tearing lumps out of her performance. In case anyone spotted us all sitting in the front row and saw that I voted for her to be hired, I want to clarify a couple of things.

Firstly, the letters on the boards were detachable and I had actually planned to change the lettering to "DIRE" but I couldn't. Secondly, I thought that both Alexa and Syed should have gone. Yes, Alexa's management was inadequate, and she was a lightweight. But Syed sought to undermine her at every opportunity, and either lied about his qualifications or simply hasn't learned anything from 8 years in the restaurant business. So I was voting him out rather than her in.

OK, onto the task itself. As many of you know, I cater regular brunches with long, complex menus, for the world's most demanding customers (Jews), 30-40 at a time, and generally manage a pretty decent job of it. These lot had a combined experience of decades in restaurants, family business, and the pizza counter at Asda. How they failed to spot the complexity of making any pizza, let alone 500, or that they had over-ordered on everything possible, is ridiculous.

My own view on how to rescue the situation (given that they had spend almost all their budget) was to buy some decent yeast and make fresh bread instead, then use the toppings to make hot panini with the mozzarella and some delicious roasted meat sandwiches with the gammon and those 100 chickens. But then I'm not on The Apprentice because I actually have a clue about how to run a business, which is not such good TV.

Speaking of which, Mani is the biggest talker of bullshit, according to Lucy Kellaway (this bit was edited out of the show). That convergent/divergent rubbish is most applicable to the divergence of public opinion that the guy is a moron away from his own ludicrously high self-esteem, and the convergence of someone's foot and his crotch at some point later in the series if he continues.

Meanwhile, I also share Ferocious Mr Fixit Alasdair Jeffrey's view (also edited out) that the whole series is a little unfair and also weaker than the USA version, because neither we nor the candidates actually know what the job is at the end (does Sugar?!). Hence we don't know what his criteria are for how good or bad they are. Actually, I don't think that's relevant, because they have all seemed pretty lightweight so far.

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