Just over halfway through now, and The Apprentice is proving to be compulsive viewing. In my previous post on the matter I felt sheepish about admitting to watching it, but I make no such apology now; it is the best thing on the box by a goodly way.
Alan Sugar has made a few strange decisions when firing people, but his broad thrust has been right; getting shot of the pointless planners and management consultants, the people who “give good flipchart” as Adrian Chiles says on “The Apprentice; You’re Fired”. It is encouraging that he can see through the business-speak bollocks of the likes of Mani, Alexa and Samuel, and I can see the door beckoning for Sharon and Tuan in the near future and for the same reason. They may be nice enough people, but they are basically rubbish.
Despite being (or perhaps because I was) a failed salesperson in a previous life I am gradually warming to and gaining a grudging respect for those candidates who ooze sales talent. Paul and Ruth in particular can seem arrogant at times, they can be too smug and too bolshy respectively, but both are charm personified and hugely impressive once they are wooing a customer. More importantly they both appear competent, an attribute most of the other candidates lack. How it will all pan out next week though when pitching to corporate clients will be interesting to see; acting like a second hand car salesman is great when you are, well, selling cars, but Paul’s cheesy and wince-inducing presentation to advertising execs a couple of weeks back doesn’t bode well.
My main concern, though, involves Syed. He continues to act the up-himself oaf, without any obvious qualities other than his own self-deluded self-belief. Tragically, Alan Sugar looks to have a blind spot where Syed is concerned, as he did with Jo; last Friday on Jonathan Ross he was full of praise for the lad. Then yesterday on “…You’re Fired” Mark Frith went on about how the next few weeks would show us the redemption of Syed, and that the public would swing round behind him. Short of Syed receiving a personality transplant I can’t see me backing him, but my real worry is that Mark Frith has inside knowledge, and that his prescience is actually down to having viewed the preview tapes and knowing the outcome. The Wikipedia entry for The Apprentice shows Syed to be one of the few candidates who doesn’t have their own website listed; is that because he doesn’t need one, having won the job of being the apprentice months ago?
I await with breath bated and fingers crossed.
Update 10/4/06: Syed does have a website, here! Yay! Not much going on there (you can take that to be about Syed or his website) but hope springs eternal. Thanks to this comment on this post at Blogjam for the information; Blogjam is a new blog to me, but the post on The Apprentice is fantastic, essential reading if you want to know who really should win the contest. The answer may surprise you.