Right Stuart you little know-it-all shit bag your time has come. Get up there, fuck it up and let the Big Little Man fire you. They were queueing up to say this last night. Both teams had to sell some tatty blue-screen experience to people in shopping centres. It was one of those tawdry affairs that is probably reflective of the sort of ultimately dull job they will win as their prize should they become The Apprentice.
Stuart behaves like the business books he has read have been written in Alphabeti-Spaghetti. As if once wiping his sweaty brow on a treadmill in a Virgin Active Health Club has empowered him the vision of the Great Richard Branson himself. Only Stuart is more John Caldwell and mobile phone sales, than Branson and music and travel.
Stuart is perhaps the most typical young bum wipe the series has to offer. It is brash no-nothing young fucks like Stuart that prove the lie of the narrator’s suggestion that “these are a selection of the best business prospects in Britain.” And yet.. and yet.. the fleshy no-mark with his surreal whip-crack management Pravda-speak is also typical of people who get on in some business environments. It’s an easy association to make but he is like Brent without the charm. “What do you think?” he demands before replying to answers he doesn’t like with the sort of double speak that states “I only asked you for your opinion, I didn’t want you to tell me what you think.”
Nick Hewer, Cardinal Richelieu made from pipe cleaners, was raising his eyebrows at every crass and idiotic statement the young doughboy came out with. Stuart’s own team-mates – two of whom are clearly women who have had some degree of moderate personal success in business and life – spent most of the episode with their heads in their hands or staring him out, sure this was the week the jerk was going to be dispatched.
It is brash no-nothing young fucks like Stuart that prove the lie of the narrator’s suggestion that “these are a selection of the best business prospects in Britain.”
Even Sugar himself referred to the be-suited turd as a cowboy. But if there’s one thing SAS, or LS as he is now known, likes it is making money and Stuart’s team had the audacity to win a trial against a team that pretty much looked like a super team. Alan Sugar will never sack anyone for making money and if the little cock ruffles a few feathers along the way so what, maybe he’ll even remind LS of his young self.
Stuart’s set up was poor, his pricing increased between enticing customers in and delivering their DVDs, he snapped at and belittled his colleagues and spent half a day driving a car round a race track. In short, he took the piss, infuriated everyone, ripped people off and got away with it. As such he will probably soon be running marketing at a major consumer brand that thinks it is cutting edge. That’s before someone really high up notices that he has driven the business into a serious downhill performance slope and reposition him as World Wide Head of The Brand’s Emotional Manifesto.
To those that see The Apprentice as The Generation Game sponsored by Burtons the last two weeks may have been disappointing. There were no significantly huge rows or fuck-ups and LS really did have to examine the likelihood of the final three contestants in the boardroom and decide whether he would ultimately employ them, rather than just judge them on that week’s task.
Both episodes really did just start to feel like business programmes. They had tasks to complete, there were some errors of judgement, but unlike years gone by no-one is dancing with their shoes off in front of ad creatives or fucking any of the other contestants and drowning everyone in their arrogance. It’s hard at this point to pick a clear favourite. Normally by now with a third of the losers discarded you can start to see the shape of the field.
Nick Hewer, Cardinal Richelieu made from pipe cleaners, was raising his eyebrows at every crass and idiotic statement the young doughboy came out with.
Instead we have the three fairly employable girls – Liz, Stella ad Joanna - who will give it a go and have proved themselves pretty tight at selling and cost management. Stella seems a follower rather than a leader though, Joanna is adaptable and isn’t afraid to open up and stick her gob into a situation and Liz seems the most likely winner right now off the back of selling £120,000’s worth of glowing baby grows.
We have the straight-laced, deep voiced Chris who, to quote the ace Hewer, is “as stiff as a board” but actually seems to make a lot of sense when he speaks. Pity he sounds such a knob whilst doing so. LS is probably fighting all his class prejudice to keep him in. But as he has proved in the past the Sugar Empire needs all sorts to keep LS in racing bikes and helicopters.
There’s the bumptious, over-confident Jamie who again can sell and present well but is in danger of letting his self-love deter LS from taking him on.
To me these five are the leading candidates. No-one is notably exceptional. If one them of doesn’t start excelling or Stuart doesn’t start behaving even more like he’s second in line to run North Korea then it’s going to feel less like an exciting cut throat dash to the finish and more like a long night trapped in All Bar One.
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