Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Who's Hired?

Tonight sees the final of ‘The Apprentice’ on BBC1. Normally, I can’t stick reality TV, yet in both this series and last, The Apprentice is one programme I haven’t been able to get enough of.

Thankfully, the gruesome Katie Hopkins is now out of contention. About the only thing which caused me to soften my opinion of her was Michelle Mone’s botched attempt to stick in her claws on last week’s ‘You’re Fired!’ follow up. Even then, it was still like watching Jerry Springer. Undignified, demeaning and vomit-inducing - yet still strangely compulsive at the same time.

So, the final comes down to Simon Ambrose, 27, and Kristina Grimes, 36. Simon’s a nice guy, and has been consistently entertaining. But for my money, Kristina is the one who deserves it most. She’s played it straight with all the other contestants right down the line; asks all the right questions; doesn’t mess around and seems always to just get on with the task in hand. That probably disqualifies her from an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother any time soon, but it should make her a pretty formidable prospect if she wins the job tonight.

UPDATE: Well, congrats to Simon, and commiserations to Kristina. In Simon, Alan Sugar has got someone he can mould. As Simon has just said himself, "I'm the Apprentice, but Kristina's the accomplished". When even your opponents can say that about you, you probably won't be out of work for too long!

The others:

Ghazal Asif: Had a surface confidence verging at times on brashness, but never seemed to deliver. All gong and no dinner, as one contestant was described memorably last year.

Tre Azam: Undoubted star of the show. Had an uncanny knack of being able to sum up any situation with just a handful of swear-words. Bit of a fly-by-night and therefore a risk, but always seemed to know exactly what he was doing.

Gerri Blackwood: The amount of business jargon and psychobabble she spouted seemed inversely proportionate to the common sense she displayed. Could easily have gone in the first week for her inept attempts to sell coffee at twice the price of local cafes.

Paul Callaghan: Will be remembered for his boy scout attempts to cook sausages on an upturned tin can, and for trying to sell blocks of processed English cheddar at a French farmers market. Deserved to go when he did.

Ifti Chaudhri: Left in week 2 as he missed his family. Didn’t really get a chance to show what he could do. Shame, really.

Katie Hopkins: Urgh. See above.

Adam Hosker: Didn’t really come across as being finalist material, but still performed better than most. Repeatedly singled out by less competent candidates for being ‘negative’, in an attempt to get him sent down the road in their place.

Andy Jackson: Fired in episode 1. The guys tried to stitch him up something rotten, but still lost control of the coffee-selling task when put in charge of the girls’ team. Let down by the hopeless Gerri and by not being sufficiently lactose intolerant when purchasing. Nice guy, but would probably have gone out fairly early on in any case.

Jadine Johnson: Had me shouting at the telly early on. By far the most irritating candidate in weeks 1 & 3, but seemed to calm down as things progressed. Another candidate who understandably ended up missing her family. Sorry to see her go in the end.

Dr Sophie Kain: Scuppered Andy by buying too much milk for the coffee selling task. Committed suicide in week 4 by stating in the boardroom that she had difficulty selling anything that she didn’t feel was good value. Quite hot, in a blue-stockingy sort of way, but you get the feeling that this wasn’t the job for her.

Lohit Kalburgi: Who? I can’t remember him doing anything very much, so I’ve nothing particularly good or bad to say about him. Low visibility came back to haunt him in the end.

Rory Laing: Insisted in one task that everyone else on the team remove their jackets while he retained his, to show that he was the one ‘in charge’. Twat of the first order – deservedly booted out in week 2.

Naomi Lay: Can’t really think of anything much to say about her. Mostly competent, sharp-tongued on occasions, but seemed to be liked by other contestants. Might have been a finalist with better luck, and by being given a better task than selling stuff on a TV shopping channel. What was that all about?

Natalie Wood: Got caught in a lie about Adam and was one of the ones who tried unsuccessfully to do him down for being ‘negative’. A contestant to whom I warmed greatly when she was interviewed after her sacking. Deserves to do well now she’s returned to real life.

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