“The Apprentice” is a one-horse race

May 28, 2009

At the moment it looks as if only one person can win this series of BBC One’s “The Apprentice” – and this is Kate Walsh. The 27-year-old is the only candidate with any natural flair for business and has shone in every task. Last night’s episode was no different.

With 10 weeks gone and just six candidates remaining, Sir Alan Sugar decided it was time for “one of my favourite tasks”. In other words, the one that made the wannabe apprentices (and us watching at home) the most uncomfortable. Both teams were then told they would be thrust in front of a camera and expected to sell products on live TV.

Nice-guy Howard took charge of team Ignite, leading Kate and Lorraine Tighe while Yasmina Siadatan wrestled the captaincy of team Empire from Debra Barr and funny-man James Walsh. For once, both teams took to the task rather well.

Allowed to choose the products they would sell, Howard went for expensive items such as a chip-fat fryer, air guitar and a preposterous leather jacket while Debra’s Empire pinned their hopes on shifting bulk amounts of low-end goods, including a poncho and a remote control car.

Bossy Debra, who after raising her voice to Sir Alan and his aides in the boardroom clearly is not scared of anything, was labeled a “natural” as she gave viewers the hard-sell.

The highlight, however, was Kate playing air guitar to Led Zeppelin and “releasing my inner rock goddess.” The TV crew were in stitches, and so was I. Unfortunately for Kate, Lorraine’s attempt to sell satellite navigation systems ended in a pile-up. Comments like “it has got a safety camera for those of you who are speeding around and clocking up lots of points” and “it will save you from having lots of accidents” did not go down well with her producer.

The viewers did not like it either and Howard, Kate and Debra sold just 10 percent of what the channel would expect from their chosen items. They were outsold by Debra, James and Yasmina and would have to face Sir Alan’s wagging finger.

It looked as if Lorraine, whose hopeless performance cost them the task, would be the one to go, especially when in true “Apprentice” fashion her erstwhile teammates turned on her like a pack of wild dogs.

Sir Alan had other ideas. Turning his attention to Howard, he told him he was “risk adverse” and a “Steady Eddie.” In these difficult times, apparently, “ordinary people” are not good enough.

Next week, the candidates face a series of pressurised interviews, always a series high point. Not that any of it matters – this is Kate’s competition to lose.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I bet you a million quids that Lorraine is the next apprentice!

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

The last series winner was a surprise. While I agree with the one horse race SO FAR, Kate probably will not win and the BBC’s editing skills will surprise everyone. They are good at this and I quite like the deception.

Posted by Khatri | Report as abusive

Like Britain’s Got Talent was a one-horse race? Hmmm

Posted by Paul Harper | Report as abusive

Cash or cheque Andy?

Posted by Thom | Report as abusive