This week on ‘The Apprentice’, the wrong team won and the wrong person fired, all due to the flawed and quite tired formula of the show. We still got to see a candidate embarrass himself in short shorts though, so it’s not all bad.
Fans of ‘The Apprentice’ know that the team with the best business technique doesn’t always win - sometime bad luck strikes and leads to unpopular results and firings. It happens in all reality shows but with ‘The Apprentice’ it’s been becoming a regular thing.
It’s not just bad luck that caused Duane to be fired last night, it was the bad task that was set and the lacklustre contestants taking part in this year’s contest. Sure we watch for the entertainment value that is still definitely there, but the reason Sugar’s ratings-winner is different is because there’s usually a vein of good business savvy running through it.
Week five’s task was to come up with a new fitness regime, which sounds like a good task on paper, but give it to this year’s crop of demented entrepreneurs and it’s not going to work. The business principals, the figures and research behind the ideas were lost, and what did we get instead? Space hoppers.
Bug-eyed Stephen took charge of Team Phoenix, while wrestler Ricky took charge of Sterling. Both teams had good ideas initially, Stephen’s wanted a retro themed ‘80s workout and Team Sterling went for a combination of dance and mixed martial arts.
The former faltered when they decided to focus their regime on 80s-era equipment like the aforementioned space hoppers and hula hoops, when they should have stuck with the initial idea of centring it all on dance moves from the decade, like Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', as demonstrated by Adam below.
On the other side Ricky’s martial arts regime needed more focus on just that, and less on the dancing that eventually put off would-be buyers. Project manager Ricky did very well in the sales pitches however, something that Sugar cottoned on to in the boardroom and which probably saved Ricky’s skin at the end.
Yes, they did eventually lose. Stephen and co were calamitous in the sales pitches. When their ‘80s equipment was called into question they fumbled and made offers that didn’t make sense mathematically. It’s exactly this that has typified the series so far, but while the better team sat glum in the boardroom, they were out enjoying their special treat.
Phoenix were turned down flat by two buyers who were clearly put off by all of the above, and the appallingly cheesy video they came up with to sell the concept, which will embarrass Azhar for the rest of his days. The third buyer went nuts for the idea however and sent £12,000 their way.
During the filming of the Azhar-starring video, Adam set himself up as the worst candidate of the lot. Seemingly unable to shut up or do anything useful and with his team looking likely to lose his firing seemed certain, but was ultimately not to be.
In the boardroom Ricky made the worst decision of the episode, choosing to bring back Laura and Duane, the two hardest working members of his team, over the much quieter Gabrielle and the nearly non-existent Jenna, both of whom would have been more worthy firings.
Duane, the best candidate of the series so far, got the chop because of a task where the worst team won and a system that allowed Ricky to vote tactically and bring back with him one of the top contenders.
‘The Apprentice’ needs to have a think about what kind of the show it wants to be.
The show needs to balance fun and business, two things that are usually polar opposites, in the way that originally made the show a hit. Then get some quality contestants in as well, because at the moment I wouldn’t trust these lot to get wet falling out of a boat.
Nick sums it all up in one face better than I ever could.
Apprentice Week 5 verdict – Wrong team win and wrong person firedBy Ben Skipper | Yahoo! TV Features – Thu, Apr 19, 2012 11:50 BST
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