After watching tonight's episode of The Apprentice, I wanted to write a quick post about it. It's my new thing, dontchaknow, branching out into topical, er, topics. And stuff. Yeah, that.
Now, I've only recently started watching The Apprentice. I somehow managed to miss out on all the previous seasons, convinced that it was just another tacky reality television show that people loved to hate (and my quota of tacky tv was already filled at that point with The Biggest Loser, various Do You Have A Talent You'd Like To Showcase On Television For The Entertainment Of The Masses shows and of course my all time favourite, America's Next Top Model). And then, rather unexpectedly, I started watching the most recent season from the first episode. I became hooked. It was unsettling. It was constantly cringeworthy. It was like watching American Idol, if the contestants were told to simply yap on forever about themselves and their own immense talent and never actually prove it by singing.
Sir Alan Sugar does not quite possess the presence or grace of Tyra Banks (they do however share the same habit of putting down contestants with their rags-to-riches life stories, although of course only one of them knows how to Smyze) but there is something enjoyable in watching him tear down idiot after idiot. My current favourite idiot is Susan, the 21 year old who runs her own beauty company and is all a lot of respects a massively high achiever without even taking into consideration her age, but who has produced some truly amazing soundbites of lunacy, such as "Do the French like their children?" and in tonight's episode which had her team starting a Mexican-themed restaurant, "What does 'el' mean, anyway?"
Then there is my favourite oddball, Tom. He was never going to win - he lets people trample over him like he's made of rice paper and looks like he might start affixing lightning rods to the boardroom chairs and mumbling about how "they don't understand the genius of my inventions, but I'll show them. I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!" at any moment. He has been a consistent presence in the background, always lurking, occasionally coming up with good ideas but rarely speaking loudly enough to have heard.
Then, there is Irish Jim. Irish Jedi Jim, who comes across as, depending on your view, a charming and unstoppable sales machine who don't work for nobody but you, or a smarmy, slippery little wretchbasket who has somehow managed to hypnotise and blag his way into the final by any means necessary despite not knowing that 60 x 7 is 420 (basic mental math skills are worth bugger all in today's marketplace, it seems).
Finally, there is Helen. My dear, sweet, lovely-but-with-a-slightly-dark-and-sexy-undercurrent Helen, who has been on the winning team now for all but one of the ten tasks. She's managed to consistently bring in record profits, she has delivered word-perfect sales pitches and has managed to get on reasonably well with everyone so far. If Helen doesn't win, there will be one very sad otter, clutching a little Team Helen sign and sniffling at the tv.