So folks – here’s my episode 1 run-down of the new season of The Apprentice. BBC1 threw a curveball at me and aired episode 2 the following night. Sweet Moses! I will post that one, most probably, tomorrow. For now, here’s this one…
The Apprentice S9 E1:
It’s always a bit stressful when you start watching a new season of The Apprentice because you have to acquaint yourself with all the characters…sorry, I mean candidates. The plus side to this is that you can make snap judgments about them and decide immediately whether you love or hate them. I already have a #1 in the Love category and I definitely have a #1 in the Hate category. Natch.
Question: why does the voiceover man always start the show by saying something about launching a business in this tough economic climate? Isn’t the recession, like, over? That’s so 2008.
So, to the contestants: we have a series of people here who look like the following celebrities – Jodie Marsh, Mel B, Janice Dickinson, Carmen Electra, Billie Faiers, Kirk Norcross and Georgina Dorsett. Yeah, the last three are all characters (sorry, I mean people) from “The Only Way Is Essex”. Uh oh, is Lord Sugar cheapening himself to appeal to the ITV2 demographic? It’s fine if he is, because ITV2 air “The Vampire Diaries” afterall, and we all love a good vampire.
Talking of vampires, one of the contestants is one. His name’s Alex and he has evidently flown, as a bat, from his gully in Wales, to be on the show, leaving his underground kingdom of vampire princesses to fend for themselves for a few weeks. I think he intends to turn Lord Sugar.
There’s also a guy called Myles who says he is “business perfection personified” but he has a voice like Mr Brittas from “The Brittas Empire” and that statement doesn’t help us in thinking that he is actually not Mr Brittas.
Things kick off in the boardroom at midnight (sounds like the set-up of a good porno). Karren’s had her hair done ‘specially. There’s a bit of banter and then Lord S says that they’re going to be sent off on an all-nighter task. He asks who is going to be Project Manager, at which Jaz, on the girls’ team, pipes up and says “I am”. We all immediately hate her. The “we” I refer to is the rest of the girls, the boys, Lord Sugar, Nick and Karren, me, my cat, and everyone else who pays their TV license. Unfortunately for Jaz, she has quite possibly just signed her own death warrant.
The posh one with the incredibly un-posh name on the boys’ team timidly says he will be their PM. I refer to Jason who then takes a stab at having banter with Lord S about Jason and the golden fleece. Whatever, Jase. Cut to all of them cramming into taxis and getting to know each other by basically talking over one another and trying to out-do each other by reeling off their lists of achievements which include being able to read and once passing a health & safety course. They are taken to the London docks where two large crates are lowered dramatically by cranes down to the contestants (unfortunately not accidentally crushing any of them). Someone says something wanky about these crates being like “Aladdin’s cave”. Yeah, if Aladdin’s cave contained toilet roll in bulk, a few ukuleles and a load of plastic cats. I know the point is to give this lot a challenge, but this stuff is really shit.
Jaz at this point looks like Mel B or Kelis. She tries to giddy up her team but they really just hate her. On her team is hot Dr. Leah who is sexy as hell because she speaks like Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud.
The boys head off to try to sell the bottled water they’ve been given. I really don’t know where they go off to but we suddenly find them sat at a boardroom table with some cockney mafia bosses who are in the market for a bit of carbonated sustenance. Vampire Alex takes the lead and sort of sits back in his chair like a twat, talking about “making a deal” as if they are negotiating the transportation of twelve kilos of cocaine out of Costa Rica. But no – it’s bottled water. Still, Alex manages to wink at the men he is selling to, which is both creepy and gay. The rest of the boys sell some plastic cats for £3.25 (their target was £12 – well done with that boys).
It’s now 8AM and the girls are all looking rough. Mascara is running and foundation is smeared. Jaz now looks like Monica in “Friends” when she goes to Barbados and her hair explodes. Luisa, who is the token slut, announces that she loves blowing (their assumptions to smithereens). There’s a cat fight between her and Dr Leah about who is going to pitch the next sell. “No offense, but you’re only a doctor,” says Luisa to Leah. Yeah, Luisa, and you do something with cupcakes – you’re basically a character from “Two Broke Girls”. We don’t like Luisa and we love Dr Leah, okay? Jaz uses the phrase “Big smiles; Show time!” in an attempt to boost morale. They go into a shop, wrangle a deal with a shopkeeper who gets lots of hugs and kisses from the girls but then announces that he has no authority to buy anything from them.
Across town, the boys are inserting batteries up the bottoms of plastic cats. Jason says something about a “cat catastrophe” which would have been cleverer if he’d said “cat-astrophe”. He doesn’t want his team to be seen as “purveyors of tat”. That ship, I think, has sailed. It’s now in, like, Sweden.
I recognize Neil and hate him more than I hate Jaz. I swear I went to school with him. And if I didn’t he reminds me of the boys who took economics for A-Level and then went out and played football at lunchtime. He also has horrendous facial hair. He has a rather heated row with Zee. Everyone’s starting to panic. Both teams want to sell their kitty litter to Battersea Dogs Home and the race is on to get there. Tim (aka Kirk Norcross) does a piece to camera after he makes a sale, and throws his head around. I am wondering if he has a condition of some sort. Back with the girls, Luisa the slut initiates a group hug (she is trying to get the lesbian vote). Jaz has started snapping, like every good PM should do. Luisa says something about a fly on shit, which, frankly, is just vulgar. But we expect that from her. Jaz asks how her “project manager-ship-ism” has been and no-one answers.
Back at Sugar Towers, we can see the faceless receptionist’s reflection in her computer screen! Surely an Apprentice first, no? The contestants are called into the boardroom. Jaz now looks like a palm-tree.
There is a bit of antler-rutting between PM Jason and hateful Neil, at which Jordan (who has been insignificant until now) intercepts and calls Neil embarrassing. Alex then adds insult to injury by calling Neil Liam. YES, boys! Send that dickhead back to his A-Level economics class. Someone then says something highly unfunny about The Vicar of Dibley.
The boys win and are told their prize is to be given a roof over their heads. They are allowed to go and check out their new pad. Tim, with the bobbing head, decides to start talking to Lord Sugar about how he has learnt so much already. It’s just hideously cringe. Lord S tells him to shut it. They leave the boardroom and start spewing crap about the “sweet taste of victory” and “team work”. Despite the fact that about 7 seconds ago they were all arguing.
The girls have lost and have to come back to the boardroom tomorrow. The boys head off to their townhouse and I presume the girls are told to sleep on tea-towels on the floor of the Bridge Café.
Back in the boardroom the next day, Jaz now looks like Winnie Mandela. Dr Leah’s lips are bigger, which leads me to think she is a plastic surgeon rather than a “Doctor Doctor”. Not being funny, but isn’t Sophie the precise same person as Susan Ma from season 7? They all start to bicker. Jaz says that she doesn’t know where they went wrong because they were selling things that everyone needs. You know, like bubble wrap and plastic cats. Slutty Luisa says that Rebecca failed “epically”. Lord Sugar then points out that she made the most money for the team, to which Luisa responds “yeah, she did really well”. Uzma turns to someone and uses the phrase “I’m a business woman, darling”. She then pops round the back with Dr Leah to discuss a discount eyebrow lift.
The upshot of all this is that Jaz is sacked. Which she deserves because she was too eager to be PM. The sad thing about her firing is that she made good TV. At the beginning of the episode she said that she has the ability “to process information at a speed that is out of this world”. It’s a shame she can’t process her hair at this speed.
Back at the house, they’re all overjoyed that Sophie and Uzma have been saved and that Jaz is out of their lives forever. Rebecca is sat on the sofa at an angle that looks as if she has her legs dangled over Jordan’s lap. Romance??? I think that’s wishful thinking. Besides, I read in the press earlier that Luisa the slag has already got to Jordan, which is weird because he basically looks like Leonard from “The Big Bang Theory” and she ain’t no Penny.
The episode closes with some pearls of wisdom from Zee: “You’re ready to do it again? So be ready for it!” Thanks Zee.
Next episode’s predictions (why not, eh?): Alex will call Jason a silly shit; Luisa will continue to piss off the rest of the girls; Karren will rock a different hairdo; Dr Leah will be seen performing Botox injections in the girls’ bedroom; A man will be fired (hopefully Neil); Francesca will perhaps speak. (Who? Precisely!); A lot of frothy mess will seep out of pipes unexpectedly – also, they’ll make beer.
– – A