Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Apprentice: Badger culled

I had rather a sense of anti-climax about last night's Apprentice finale. As most of you know (and could have guessed after last week), the Big Koala went all dewy-eyed over the brassy blonde from 'Ool, whilst maintaining a respectful distance from the snorting Badger. The final task was for each girl to pick 3 former team-mates and organise a party in one of Tower Bridge's pedestrian walkways. The winner would be the one who combined a great atmosphere with some sound finances and a sell-out crowd.

Whilst Michelle went down a safe but ultimately enjoyable route of James Bond themed black tie cocktail party, Ruth decided on something more ambitious and ultimately rather too complicated for the physical space - a period murder mystery evening. She did in fact sell more tickets and make more money, but her event was patently chaotic, and she reduced a poor assistant to a quivering wreck by requiring help stifling her ample bosom into a very small corset dress.

Sugar's decision appeared to come down to his preference for Michelle nicking his idea but carrying it off without a hitch and despite her team sabotaging events through their bickering (or should I say Syed being a bitter slimebag), over Ruth going against his instructions but making a more difficult concept work reasonably well. Of course, what we all know is that both candidates worked for him in different roles for the past 6 months while he made a decision.

I think this makes something of a mockery of the show - either we should be told that both finalists will be working for him for 6 months, with the cameras following their progress, and a decision made after the placement, or he should make his decision there and then. In the real business world, recruiters do not get to see several thousand candidates whittled down to the so-called "best" 14, then a 3-month process of elimination with complex practical exercises and a thorough interview session, let alone a 6-month "try before you buy" period.

Of the two candidates, I think Michelle fits much better the profile of the Apprentice, with her Cinderella background appealing to Sugar's secret sentimental side. Ruth's little speech in the boardroom, and her general demeanour, best exemplified in the interview round, shows that she clearly thinks she knows it all already.

Overall, this series has been somewhat disappointing. The candidates have all been pretty weak and/or Sugar has disposed of them for reasons seemingly unrelated to the task, the best example being Karen Bremner (whose blog is worth checking out for some insider info). Worst of all, I don't think we have seen much of the real Big Koala, his decision-making has been erratic, and we have not experienced much that has taught anything about the business world except how shockingly dishonest some salespeople can be.

Here is the final posting from Where Did It All Go Right, one of the only other decent blogs (!) I've found that provides the same weekly updates you have come to know and love here at Freedmanslife. Incidentally here are the ones from Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Eight, Week Nine, Week Ten and Week Eleven for your enjoyment.

I'll probably manage more of a post-mortem on the series at a later date - we are reaching the denouement of the American show (a zillion times better), so I may start posting on the final few episodes of that in due course.

Your reactions on this series are hereby invited...

1 comment:

Claire said...

as said, poor show this season. horrid vicious people from the start, who despite calming down gradually were still evil/annoying/pathetic/unprofessional/slimy/......
not surprising that the blond blue-eyed Beauty wins over the (personally i think) more professional Walrus.

confirmed one thing: no way do i want to be part of that kind of business world.