The Apprentice Week 5


Moving into the world of the fitness regime saw the two teams of, allegedly, Britain’s brightest entrepreneurial spirit enter into the burgeoning market of the fitness regime with predictably excruciatingly embarrassing results. Set the task of creating a new fitness programme last weeks winners -Team Sterling- seemed so overawed by their win of last weeks retro challenge they decided to stick with the same recycling theme by, at project manager Stephen’s insistence, recycling all the same ideas and introducing a vintage aspect into their efforts. Team Phoenix led by Ricky Martin on the other hand went for a dance inspired routine -without a Salsa move in sight- but incorporating the least convincing combat moves known to man, known as Beat Battle. Needless to say both fitness programmes  were shockingly bad although Team Sterling’s retro programme edged ahead in the mediocrity stakes by including Space Hoppers, Hula Hoops and embarrassingly tight red shorts for lycra virgin Azher, the reluctant star of their eighties influenced video.

The introduction of the video aspect in each series of this programme is usually the one where egos rise to the surface and clashes emerge as budding Hitchcocks and Spielbergs suddenly make their presence felt and last night was no exception. Phoenix had the uncompromising Duane, one of the more promising candidates, who had a vision blinkered to any form of negotiation eventually leading to his downfall. Team Phoenix had Jade who claimed she was the creative one on the team although perma-irritant Adam, who tried to assert his alpha male attitudes, insisted all she created was problems. Actually Adam was not the only irritant last night as the whole programme was ultimately frustrating.

Despite having an awful product and pitch Team Sterling’s Groove Train routine amazingly won out in the final analysis though I am as bewildered by this result as everyone else in the process. It was then up to Phoenix leader Ricky to choose his sacrificial boardroom compatriots and in this he makes another mistake by bringing in the two who worked hardest on the project, Duane and Laura. I am still waiting for a showdown featuring Adam and human foghorn Jenna- surely her voice is a sacking offence in its own right- but they have slipped under the radar so far. Duane made the foolish miscalculation of absolving Laura of any blame thus making the fatal error of doubling his own chances of being fired which is exactly what happened. This and his unwillingness to listen made me wonder if he has ever seen the programme before as these are two fatal mistakes not to make as past series’ have revealed repeatedly. His fall when it came was swift, unexpected and unfair as surely Ricky should have taken the bullet.

This series, so far, seems to have run out of steam with most of the contestants being slightly more self conscious and less likely to blow their cool completely. It is unfortunate as this is the most entertaining aspect of the whole programme and hopefully next weeks task-set in my hometown Edinburgh- involves a fast food experience and as anything involving kitchens and food naturally induces extreme stress levels where people blow their lids I am hoping for a pressure cooker-like televisual experience followed by the explosive boardroom confrontation this series has so far lacked.

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