Lord Sugar’s Search For An Apprentice Gets Cringy

November 15, 2018

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The reality show with more of a point than most of them is now mid-way through its 14th Series. Perhaps the toughest recruiting panel in the UK, Lord Alan Sugar and his aides, Karren Brady & Claude Littner, are back in business.

As stressful and nerve-wracking as some job interviews can be, sometimes all you can do is laugh at how ridiculous some of the contestants’ suggestions can be. That, or sat in a jaw-dropped state in front of the telly. If they’re not messing things up on the tasks, they’re giving it the biggen to try and save themselves in the boardroom. Fantastic television.

Despite many reality shows’ viewing figures dropping off after a couple of series, The Apprentice has maintained and averaged around 7 million viewers for over 10 years. Maybe it’s the completely random tasks and rash decisions Lord Sugar makes which keep the viewers interested throughout the whole series.

Fired into the z-list

Most normal people who got the sack, or failed a job interview, would pick themselves up and apply for another job. The same can’t be said for a number of previous boardroom disasters.
How do these two words make you feel? Katie. Hopkins.

Yep, we’ve got the apprentice to thank for her. Racist, rude and tells-it-how-she-thinks-it-is, she should be banned from social media and writing anything at all. But no, Celebrity (ha!) Big Brother took her on in 2015, where her controversial mouth kept on yapping and refused to give it a rest.

What is it with Celebrity Big Brother and people who’ve been fired from the Apprentice? Saira Khan from series one was on CBB as well, but at least she clawed back her stance in the public eye with a spot on the Loose Women panel. I’m pretty sure 2017’s Andrew Brady only ever went on the Apprentice to become a z-lister, to get onto CBB, and then woo Caroline Flack. Still baffling.

This year’s drama

Anyway, let’s return to this year, shall we? With a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar up for grabs, the contestants seem to be doing their best to make him reconsider his decision.

Beginning with a task that flew them to Malta, they had to race around finding a list of never-heard-before Maltese items at the lowest price to bring back to Lord Sugar at the end of the day. The list of obscure items made the first task a nightmare and created an entire cohort of losers in the first boardroom of the series. Ending up on the wrong island, buying things twice, getting the shopping list messed up in translation. Great start, eh. Week one, ex-Shameless actress-turned-businesswoman, Sarah Byrne, got the boot from Lord Sugar.

Following up with pitches for their own comic books in week two, we really saw how much people just chat absolute shite. Umming and erring in the boardroom, the majority of boys stumbled through it, jolting through answers with even David sharing negative feedback in his pitch. Law graduate Kurran particularly fell apart and forgot his team member’s name. That behaviour wouldn’t do well in court, surely. Boardroom blagger David was kicked out after word vomiting the bad customer feedback.


Week three’s highlight was Jasmine’s decision to put hot sauce on a doughnut while it was also a terrible week for Frank. Not only did he have to taste test the chocolate and chilli(!!) doughnut – and then almost choke on it – he also became the third casualty of the boardroom. Unlucky. I feel more sorrow towards the poor doughnuts, to be honest.

Suffering through a bodybuilding expo and the then tasked with the creation of a shoe, both of which were absolutely hideous, the ultimate laugh came from week six’s Airline task. A swimwear inspired, impractical and revealing air-hostess uniform which was definitely unsuitable, but ‘easy to wipe down’ was the ultimate cringe. And the brand name, Jet Pop – really!? As if people aren’t wary enough about half the airlines out there, they put ‘pop’ in the name and to top it off, brand it with a cute little…explosion. Oh dear.

You could not make it up. Is it the pressure making them stupid? Or do they just not think? That Mitchell and Webb sketch comes to mind again.

Morons, the lot of them

Kurran, the one who fractured his arm during an arm-wrestling tournament, was the sixth disaster of the boardroom. A disaster indeed, he acts like a moody teenager answering back to his mum and would not have managed a day’s graft with Lord Sugar. Perhaps he can now pursue his acting career after his blockbuster JetPop advert was such a hit. Or not. Nope, definitely not. Just go home.

Week Seven brought the Urban Gardening task which peaked when Khadija and Jackie struggled to even start up the jet wash. So instead, they just swept the mud and leaves all over the patio, making it worse than before. What about Daniel’s decision to lay astro-turf on the bar top? Never leant on a bar and got an armful of slop, Daniel? Rookie. That turf will be bin-worthy in a week.

Honestly, the sheer state of the gardens they made was pathetic. Some flimsy plants on some steps, and some singular small plants plonked on wooden benches, still in those little brown tubs they come in. They didn’t even get any plant pots! They’d be flying all over the shop within minutes. That’s if the clients kept the embarrassing displays up after the teams departed – or got asked to leave – their premises.

The Verdict

It’s hard to say who’s even in with a chance, as each week new people continue to stun us. The Apprentice odds so far have been fluctuating like the pound has today, but it mustn’t be too long until we get to revel in the torturous interviews, and by then we’ll definitely have a clearer picture on who will be the favourite. After all, they might actually start doing well in tasks and then have the most ridiculous and non-feasible business plan. That would make things a big old waste of time, but at least they’d have some rigorous interview experience.

Well then, with 9 contestants remaining, there’s still plenty of ridiculousness to come, as they tumble and stagger towards the finish line. But the real question on our minds is, with Big Brother having finished for good, which reality show are the dropouts going to end up on now?!

Here are the bookmakers offering the best Apprentice odds

Author: Laura

Laura has been sharing her opinions on all kinds of popular culture for over a year, with a strong focus on great music and questionable TV. A massive Geordie who has a love of all things Newcastle United, when she isn't sprinting across the Tyne Bridge to St James Park, we normally find her in-front of the TV watching Shrek, Coronation Street or Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

Twitter @loz_wald

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