Friday, 5 June 2009

Apprentice 5: Judgment Day

The dying weeks are my favourite part of The Apprentice. For the majority of the show's twelve week runtime we are treated to brief impressions of each of the cast. Contestants are reduced to one note caricatures: there's a loud one, a boring one, a funny one. The list goes on. There also seems to be an editorial policy in place that favours idiocy in the moment-to-moment rolling recap. Since the majority of the show is illustration and context for the eventual boardroom showdown, this makes a sense. What has been lost though is any notion that any real candidates exist for King Alan's job. They're all fools. This is what makes the last few weeks so enjoyable, they ditch the pretence and instead begin to focus on why the producers actually did cast this rabble.

During Wednesday's interview special, we started to see some real contenders emerge. Just in the nick of time eh? Thanks to a last minute push mandate, Kate finally emerged as Michelle Dewberry 2, a collected smile-face that has long since ditched emotions as surplus to requirement. Boring she may be, but her droning robo-thing speaks to methodical achievement. Just keep her away from Phillip. He's a bad influence. We finally got explanation word that Yasmina is already deep in business with a restaurant, King Alan lapping up her entrepreneurial instincts, a quality sadly lacking in the other candidates. Those two are heading off to Sunday's rescheduled final. I was sorry to see Debra bow out, her bellowing impertinence was a treat quite frankly. She was always deeply in game-mode. Willing to argue over everything. She's not colleague material, but certainly an entertaining watch.

It also became apparent rather early on that James and Lorraine were to be the fluffy comedy stuffing that keeps this show on an entertainment even keel. Achievements be damned! James had written an attention seeking CV, exactly the sort of bolshy big bollocks that gets you cast, but ends up getting you laughed out of real contention. His exit was actually rather touching, a personable exclamation rather than a boring reconsider jab. Lorraine suffered the same Mad Aunt angle Lucinda failed to weather last year. Her intuition dressed up as tea-leaf reading nonsense. Out they went. Hopping over to BBC 2 for a well earned make-over.

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