“The Apprentice” candidates are all washed up

May 14, 2009

The task on last night’s episode of “The Apprentice” had to be the hardest of the series so far. Sir Alan Sugar met the candidates at the O2 Arena, formally the Millenium Dome, and gave them all a lesson in the art of re-branding.

Their challenge was to use their creative and marketing skills to re-brand one of the UK’s faded seaside tourist attractions – Margate.

The teams had to choose a theme for the makeover and produce a series of posters and leaflets to attract a new generation of tourists to the Kent town and then pitch their ideas to industry experts and local residents.

Yasmina’s team, Ignite, made the sensible choice and decided to aim for the family market. Team Empire, on the other hand, decided to sell the various delights of Margate to… the gay community. It was James, who Sir Alan memorably described as being from “a village that is missing an idiot”, who suggested the idea because “these people have lots of money.”

It was a shocking performance from Empire. Their research involved walking into a local gay bar to find it almost empty – and then deciding to do a photo shoot there anyway. The posters were awful (they should contain no more than 10 words – they used 70!) and team leader Debra made a complete hash of the leaflets. After leaving half of the leaflet blank, Debra told the tourism experts that this was space for local advertisers, which did not fool them one bit.

Ignite performed admirably, taking great photos on the beach and producing a rather attractive series of promotional material. The experts liked them and so did the locals. Once again it was Kate who excelled – at the moment she is the only candidate who looks like she can win this competition.

Her team won handsomely and Sir Alan wasted no time in laying into Empire’s incredibly inept campaign, telling them: “You made a brave statement by going for the gay market and then you whispered the message!”

Debra came back into the boardroom with James and Tanzanian beauty queen Mona and it was time for the weekly back-stabbing to commence. They were all hopeless but, in the end, it was Mona who got the chop for not getting behind the campaign to target the gay market

You could hardly blame her, it was a terrible idea and it should have been Debra who went for only giving herself 30 minutes to create a leaflet and for her astounding belligerence, both during the task and in the boardroom.

Anyone who raises their voice to Sir Alan is surely not long for this reality TV world.

One comment

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The Apprentice is one of the most facile, vacuous, disingenuous non-reality series ever concieved. It’s meaningless raison detre is staggering!

That Alan Sugar – not one of the greatest or richest business czars – sits like an inscrutable yet wholly predictable (split between fantasy and reality) angel of judgement, adds to the grotesque carnavalesque quality of the whole laughable debacle.

The contestants are the usual suspects: posers, hysterics, inadequates, the stupid/silly, the vain glorious, and those severely taxed by the minimum requirements of the basic teamwork tenets.

It illustrates monumentally how NOT to run a business!

Posted by Keith M Warwick | Report as abusive