While other reality shows pile layers of glitz and glamour onto their tired concepts ‘The Apprentice’ remains confident that it has its winning formula nailed down, and that it doesn’t need to change a thing.
It’s not bravado or Snow Patrol-sponsored sob stories that make this show - it’s seeing a rag tag band of arrogant business types try to scrape and claw their way to the top of the pile. As the show begins its eighth series you might think they’ve scraped the barrel of all its insane entrepreneurs, but you’d be wrong...
One of the contestants is a “professional wrestler by night”, and he’s called Ricky Martin.
If that wasn’t enough reason to plump yourself in front of the first episode last night then this show simply isn’t for you. Those who did watch were treated to exactly what you’d expect and want from the returning series.
The hyperbole convention began with the hopefuls introducing themselves, each unleashing the best soundbites they could come up with. “I’m a master puppeteer”, “I’m the reflection of perfection” and the wonderfully baffling “I can be like an animal, I’ll roar my way to the top” being personal favourites.
Their task for week one was simple. Take a collection of blank products (T-shirts, hats, mugs, teddy bears etc) before defacing them with some kind of logo and selling them for maximum profit. It’s the kind of task a group of enthusiastic students would enjoy and have fun with. This is not the case when 16 egomaniacs are involved.
[Related story: Young Apprentice James: 'Bilyana should have shut up']
Scruffy Nick and loudmouth Gabrielle took the project manager roles and both were vocal early on as the girls focused on design at the expense of the money side of things and vice versa for the boys. By the end of day one Team Phoenix (the boys) had bags covered in red blotches and the Team Sterling (the girls) had a rather nifty animal design.
Despite this the girls struggled the next day, failing to sell a lot of their stock while the boys were doing quite well. That is until they had to refund a bulk buyer because they sold her their paint-smattered bags from the botched printing attempts. Poor form lads.
[Related story: Has Apprentice candidate taken make-up tips from TOWIE?]Meanwhile the girls, in a last ditch attempt to sell their merchandise, ganged up on a shopkeeper and shouted over one another to try and get her to buy, leading Nick to quite aptly liken them to a “pack of hyenas”.
As it turned out, focusing on finances wields better results and the boys stormed away with the win as the girls headed to the loser’s cafe. Upon their return to the boardroom Sugar quickly had the group clambering at each other’s throats with Katie in particular lying through her teeth saying she was a great team player when in fact she was pretty non-existent. She would end up back in the boardroom with PM Gabrielle and Bilyana, who wasn’t best liked by her team mates.
Gabrielle put the pedal to the metal and let loose on Bilyana, ravaging her performance. Katie meanwhile kept quiet and hid behind her team mates. Oh, and in her application she said the biggest mistake would be to hide behind others. Now that doesn’t look to good now does it?
Bilyana’s incessant talking killed off her hopes in the end and she ended up in the back of the taxi.
It's early days but we have high hopes for this series… and yes that’s mainly because there’s a professional wrestler called Ricky Martin.
Quote of the show: “There’s a daddy with a little baby over there that I want to attack.”
Next week, the girls suggest someone buys a million units and the boys invent a bin.
What did you think of the first show of 'The Apprentice' 2012? Did the right person go? Let us know…