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MisterHobgoblin

The Apprentice 9

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After a couple of dodgy series, The Apprentice is back with new challenges and some particularly dim contestants. Every week brings a new horror, but watching the girls' team's faces as they unpacked their box on wheels was priceless. They might have persuaded themselves it had the germ of a good idea, but when they saw it in the flesh, they simply couldn't hide their disappointment.

 

And then we had Welsh Alex, holding up a bunch of carrots in a farm shop and asking: what are these? :banghead:

 

I'm loving Louisa, by the way. She has an opinion on everything and a particularly teenage way of amplifying her crass opinions with facial expressions.

 

Bring out the popcorn.

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Oh, I love The Apprentice! It's just about the only programme, in these multi-channel time-shifting personal-digital-video-recording days that we sit down to watch as it's broadcast.

 

Whereabouts are you up to? Episode 7 was broadcast here last week, episode 8 tonight... do you watch on iplayer? No idea if that's even available in Australia?

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We're up to date but we have to do dodgy things with poxy servers and things.
Ah yes, I lived in Spain for a year and had to do something similar for iPlayer.

 

I'm amazed that Alex survived last week. Especially as I knew it was a double-firing coming up (one of the breakfast TV shows here "trailed" that little detail, er, thanks guys!), when he was in the boardroom I was convinced he'd be going.

 

The pre-publicity for tonight's show says "something never before seen on The Apprentice" will occur - yeah, we'll see...

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Oh, I love The Apprentice! It's just about the only programme, in these multi-channel time-shifting personal-digital-video-recording days that we sit down to watch as it's broadcast.

Snap! Apart from the news I barely watch anything live now, but I nearly always do so for The Apprentice.

 

I've been enjoying this series too. I also think Luisa is great value, Mr HG. Her facial gymnastics in the boardroom as even Lord S is pointing out her shortcomings are a delight to behold. Her glorious pre-series interview boast of having "the sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit and a brain like Einstein" was glorious and frankly needs no satirical reinvention.

 

Box on wheels is probably my favourite so far - "And if you remove the lid it doubles as a laptop rest." And a chopping board, a rustic place mat, a hunk of plywood...

 

What actually amazed me is that anyone bought it at that price. The lure of appearing on TV I suspect played a greater role in the transaction.

 

Looking forward to this 'never before' event. Something happens which would actually happen in a genuine business maybe?

 

Nah, come on, David - get real.

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I'm amazed that Alex survived last week. Especially as I knew it was a double-firing coming up (one of the breakfast TV shows here "trailed" that little detail, er, thanks guys!), when he was in the boardroom I was convinced he'd be going.

Really? I thought he was the safest there. Kurt's lucky to have lasted this long. If Zeeshan hadn't been so determined only to bring back women to the boardroom after his failure Kurt and his micro-flag might have gone then. He always seems so uninterested in what they're doing.

 

And Natalie's number was up, really. Too much failure.

 

Although Alex made a mistake that week he still shows promise in some respects and achieved more than the others in previous tasks. I was genuinely very impressed with his chair design. Though of course this may simply mean he's cut out to be a designer!

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Really? I thought he was the safest there....Although Alex made a mistake that week he still shows promise in some respects and achieved more than the others in previous tasks. I was genuinely very impressed with his chair design. Though of course this may simply mean he's cut out to be a designer!
Well, I've been irrationally irritated by Alex since the beginning! Not a good reason to "fire" someone, but no worse than many of the reasons given in the past.

 

Agree about the chair. Generally on the design/innovation tasks the ideas are terrible and the product only looks decent because of a veneer of "product design" overlaid by DesignWorks or whoever. The chair though, despite appearing not to have had any additional design treatment, still looked like a usable product, and it's easy to see how with development, it could be the next Body-Rocker, and make it out into the wild world...

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Well, I've been irrationally irritated by Alex since the beginning! Not a good reason to "fire" someone, but no worse than many of the reasons given in the past.

I don't think that's irrational. He is a bit irritating, frankly, and I disliked him a lot more at the start. Though to be honest that's a common reaction for me with The Apprentice because they usually go through the first two tasks with massive ego displays to mark their territory.

 

He's particularly prone to huge over-reaction when people don't see it his way. I remember in particular his response to the rejection of sumo suits for the corporate event, when in fact after they were used Lord S chuckled at how inept it was to use such things at an event like that.

 

But I do think he's shown some more promising business characteristics. Though that's very much a comparative assessment based on the other contestants, so doesn't really mean very much.

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Well, no surprise for me that Jason went - surely his fate was sealed when he abdicated the team leadership, if their team lost it was obvious he would under a lot of pressure...

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Well, no surprise for me that Jason went - surely his fate was sealed when he abdicated the team leadership, if their team lost it was obvious he would under a lot of pressure...

Usually the rule on programmes goes that when it's been generally transmitted we don't worry about spoilers, but Mr HG may be a bit delayed so fair enough.

 

 

It was no surprise, indeed. He just wasn't tough enough to make it, but of course that means we're sorry to see him go. Mind you, I wondered whether he might ditch Luisa - I've rarely seen Nick be quite so devastating in his boardroom assessment.

 

Shame, because he really was on the money in his choice of target market. I've gone into this myself as part of my job - 'silver surfers' are the biggest growth area on both Facebook and, crucially, Match.com. But their ad was atrocious. And Luisa's approach that this was a poor choice because they had no understanding of older people was very revealing.

 

Interesting episode. I was sorry Alex didn't get the chance to lead - and it was indeed curious no one wanted him to. That surprised me, actually.

 

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Mr HG: let us know when you've seen the online-dating episiode!

 

 

Jason reminds me a little of Lucinda from series 4 - obviously intelligent with a lot of talent and ability but you could just tell from the beginning that he wouldn't make it in 'sugarworld'...

 

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I'm up to date, but don't worry about spoilers. I just won't visit the thread if I haven't seen the most recent episode. It's spoilers on Facebook and BBC regional news that grate.

 

I think Jason's abdication meant he had to go and his team would have been deemed to have lost regardless of how well they had done. If you can't run a team you can't go into business with Lord Sugar, however noble you are. As it goes, I thought the Cufflinks team was bad - wrong product, wrong market and an advert focused on bad dating site experiences would be counterproductive. Even though the F&F advert was bad (reminded me of the life insurance for old people ad with June Whitfield leaving money for her funeral and Windsor Davies getting his "handsome carriage clock"), it did feature the product up front. Normally Lord Sugar likes that and hates comedy adverts. In a normal episode, I am sure F&F would have won.

 

I am enjoying watching Louisa very much and hope Lord Sugar gives her plenty of second chances. In particular, I love her lack of self-awareness and complete self-absorbtion.

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Even though the F&F advert was bad (reminded me of the life insurance for old people ad with June Whitfield leaving money for her funeral and Windsor Davies getting his "handsome carriage clock"), it did feature the product up front. Normally Lord Sugar likes that and hates comedy adverts. In a normal episode, I am sure F&F would have won.

I was actually very annoyed by his comments about that, which reflects the fundamental weakness that it's a show about entertainment and not business. He castigated them for listening to their focus group and not instead going with their gut instincts. But in countless previous tasks when groups have ignored their focus group and gone on to do something disastrous he's been apoplectic at the stupidity of not taking heed of focus groups, because they are the market being sold to.

 

Completely contradictory messages about what to do in business. But each providing an opportunity to make the teams look like business numpties who need schooling by the Sugar Lord.

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Completely contradictory messages about what to do in business. But each providing an opportunity to make the teams look like business numpties who need schooling by the Sugar Lord.
There's another blatant example in this season. Sugar says, why didn't you do such and such? Mrs Waawo and I looked at other and basically wondered, why don't they say "well Lord Sugar, I refer you to season x episode y, where..." Alas, I can't remember x and y just now... It will come back to me though!

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Well, no surprise that Alex was fired. Certain sections of the British press have been having a field day with 'revelations' about Alex's previous businesses since Monday. It's admirable how well the secret about who won the show is kept; but a little annoying that there's obviously a media schedule of firings and associated dates at which individual candidates can be spotlighted, ie. just before they'll be contractually allowed to re-appear on social media for themselves...

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[spoilered as relates to tonight's episode]

 

 

The UK press have been running stories about Louisa much of the week. I'll be very annoyed if she goes this week after Alex last time. It just spoils the program a little bit: it could be coincidence, but if Lousia does badly, and then is in the losing team, and the boardroom, it's hard not to think that the result is inevitable.

Of course, it could be the above is totally wrong and it is just coincidence and raging cynicism and paranoia to blame! ;)

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Miles was never going to make it to the end - not quite sharp enough and too nice, frankly. However, it clarified for me the mixed impulses which go into this show. Jordan has always been fairly poor - a bit childlike, really and not a sound business proposition. This emerged big time in the boardroom with his continuing inability to see what an appalling choice the 'vase' was and the astounding revelation that he intended to renegotiate the terms of Sugar's investment!

 

Without any question his bid is doomed, but he was kept on because Lord S appreciated the interviews will make better TV with Jordan than nice-guy Miles. He saw the train wreck ahead and opted for that.

 

And I suppose we should be grateful for that.

 

To be fair to her, Luisa was quite good tonight. But she'll be great value in the interviews.

 

Can't wait to see who's on the end of Claude's "You're a parasite. This interview is terminated."

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This emerged big time in the boardroom with his continuing inability to see what an appalling choice the 'vase' was and the astounding revelation that he intended to renegotiate the terms of Sugar's investment!
Ah, I need to rewatch the boardroom section of the program, I wasn't paying proper attention and didn't realise why LS was so indignant.

 

Can't wait to see who's on the end of Claude's "You're a parasite. This interview is terminated."
Yep, brilliant trail!

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Ah, I need to rewatch the boardroom section of the program, I wasn't paying proper attention and didn't realise why LS was so indignant.

Mmmm. He suddenly revealed it wasn't just him in the proposed partnership - because it was an online business plan there would also be a programmer involved. Not employed, mind, but actually part of the investment deal, which they would be able to negotiate once Lord S had agreed to go into business with him. The evident meaning of this being a 3-way split.

 

I think everyone needed detachable eyebrows at this point.

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I have to say, I warmed to Luisa a lot more over the past few weeks.  She seemed to learn a lot, and whilst I daresay a part of that at least was strategic, her more human moments had quite an endearing quality.

 

So I went into the final expecting her to win.  After all, Lord S has a track record of favouring those whom he deems to be like him, and I suspect he was very much like Luisa to the same degree at least that he was never anything like Leah.

 

Plus Leah's business was totally out of his own experience and carried a lot of risk.

 

So, what a surprise, then.

 

Leah's cold approach, with the same unwavering belief in her own misguided business ideas which sunk Cloughie last week, only confirmed my view during the final, but what do I know?

 

I'd forgotten my own alarm bells when Lord S had raised his concerns about Luisa's other businesses being a distraction in an earlier show, and perhaps that was a decisive consideration.

 

A pretty good year, this one.  Let's hope we get another good crop next year, and maybe Alex will make a mint even yet from the Foldo - it had pretty good plugs in the "You're Fired" segment tonight!

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I have been watching The Apprentice avidly since the second series - it's the only show of its type that I watch (ie so-called 'reality') and I start looking forward to it from the New Year onwards. So why, when Alan Sugar ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL chooses the wrong winner in the final two, am I gulled into being surprised and disappointed? It happens every year, and it's happened again.

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I agree that this was a really good series - just caught up with the last two episodes last night. But having wanted for eight years to see a Northern Ireland candidate do well - having a long association with the place - it was galling to see just what a hideous winner we have in Leah. Everything about her is grotesque. She is greedy, self-obsessed, vain, patronising. But most of all, she is a venal doctor. In the UK, people are so lucky that doctors are not, by and large, obsessed with money. One of the sad things here in Australia is the conversation with doctors about money, payment plans and the like. It is jarring to hear it with a Derry accent.

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She is greedy, self-obsessed, vain, patronising. But most of all, she is a venal doctor. In the UK, people are so lucky that doctors are not, by and large, obsessed with money. One of the sad things here in Australia is the conversation with doctors about money, payment plans and the like. It is jarring to hear it with a Derry accent.

 

Mmmmm.  I'm afraid by the end I didn't like her at all.  I don't know if you saw the You're Fired show which followed immediately afterwards, but she was asked about the national resources which go into training doctors being used to help line her pockets.  She professed to be dedicated to the NHS, saying she intended to return there in the future.

 

This will not happen, obviously.

 

I also failed to see how one of her statements about the business could be followed through given what was finally decided about the name.  She said she had an exit strategy and planned to sell the business in 5 years after opening x many clinics.  But the branding is now 'Doctor Leah'.  5 years isn't long; it would be difficult to sustain the brand convincingly if she jumped ship.

 

I think he'll live to regret his decision.

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