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Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Apprentice, BBC1


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1. (3) James. He won’t win – that’s between Debra and Yasmina – but bumbling James still seems like the only one of this year’s troop who‘s been blessed with endearing charisma. His position in the pack is current is for the others to take exaggerated offence against to embellish their own standing, as shown by Mona snapping at him for saying she was “desperate” rather than “passionate”.

If James was a spoon, he’d be a stained ladle left dripping crimson in the giant’s broth made from the bones of inquisitive souls who shinnied up the beanstalk in search of gold and smeared with phlegm.

2. (4) Yasmina. In her pitch about POD, a device that enables shoppers to affix groceries to the back of their bikes, she twittered on about “the need to be eco-friendly” with that sales accent prevalent over much of the corporate world that only started caring about ‘green’ issues when they started to affect the balance sheet.

If she were a spoon she would be all silvery and shiny and find the thought of entering someone’s mouth utterly repellent, squirming as the food was licked off her precious surface by a lingering tongue and quailing every single second that she was surrounded by the dumb gnashing teeth.

3. (9) Ben. Another mangled individual who is benefiting from the notion that despite their flaws, those flaws might just be witnessed by Sir Alan as an attribute.

If Ben was a spoon, he’d be a spoon shipped out to some improvised mess hall as an army of brave World War One soldiers prepare to go over the top. But rather than be dragged out of the pile by those mud and blood stained hands he burrows deeper into the pile in the hope that he’s never used; and as the number of casualties rise so his chances of returning home from the front to some comfortable job in a school improves.

4. (7) Debra. We might as well accept the fact that even though compassion, kindness and humility are as welcome in Debra’s consciousness as the presence of Pontius Pilate at the Last Supper, she will probably finish in the top two.

Although in this episode she encountered someone even more prosaically stubborn than herself in the shape of the hardware store owner to whom she was trying to sell dog leads. He based every single decision on his own experience, refusing to buy a dog lead for two because he’d never seen more than one person ever walking a dog.

If Debra was a spoon, she’d have a wrecking ball attached by a loose chain to the spoon so it hangs like an arid, wizened testicle that would smash through the teeth of any soul who dared to decline the offer of food.

5. (6) Mona. Effective like a buzz saw but with all the spontaneity and acumen of a gravestone. She became offended that James said she was “desperate” rather than “passionate” unaware that people who insist they are ‘passionate’ only do so because they are aware of the metal running through their veins.

6. (1) Kate. As Kate and the other members of ‘Team Impotence’ argued the toss about how the sales appointments should be divided up she uttered that “it’s a team effort”. Such emphasis on ‘the team’ is the preserve of its weaker members to distract attention from their empty effort, but to also attract favourable credit to their supposed generosity through the insistence that credit should be shared round.

If Kate was a spoon, she’d be a translucent surgical spoon full to the brim with a medicine that children are coerced into consuming that has been sugared to make its unpalatable taste bearable, but even the sweetener isn’t enough to erase the indelible impression of chemical disinfectant.

7. (5) Lorraine. As much as we’ve admired her intelligence and intuition in earlier rounds, Philip has grabbed on to her like a crocodile ambushing an unsuspecting gazelle and dragged her down to the nadir of unimaginative personal abuse. Her biggest mistake this week was choosing the cat playhouse as a product to try and flog, as observed by a pet shop owner, it was just a cardboard box with the gimmick of it being modelled on a plane or a fire engine – an affectation that a feline couldn’t possibly appreciate.

If Lorraine was a spoon, she’d be a disposable plastic spoon used to stir cups of tea so that the liquid rapidly becomes a turbulent eddy that could suck an oil tanker into its caffeine depths.

8. (8) Howard. This year, Sir Alan’s grumpiest bugbear is encapsulated in his new favourite catchphrase of “I don’t know what you do”. Next time Howard is in the board room this will be lined up against him like seven rifles sighted on his heart. His concern was shown when he pleaded with Debra that he should close a sale that she had arranged.

If Howard was a spoon he’d be a gleaming piece of the inevitable as death cutlery set as a wedding gift. But rather than being plucked from his box and used to devour the cake, he’d remain forever entombed in his tasteless cardboard sarcophagus, pinned above the archway that leads into the dining room.

9. (11) Philip. His one man act just became boring; he was like a roaring fire that couldn’t toast a potato. Bellowing at Lorraine for everything from her ‘instinct’ to her decision to choose two awful products that he fully endorsed.

“I need to have my arrogance slapped out of me,” he conceded to Sir Alan. But evidently Sir Alan wasn’t doing it hard enough as barely a minute later he was shouting, “I’ve been one of the outstanding candidates over the past few weeks!”

If Philip was a spoon, he’d be a spoon that was always complaining that it wanted to be a fork, and how, despite his lack of piercing prongs, he was so much better at skewering food than the forks in the neighbouring section of the cutlery drawer.

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