Following slippery evil leprechaun Jim’s miraculous escape from the boot in last night’s Apprentice, I felt compelled to marvel somewhat here at the audacity of this year’s candidates, and indeed the show itself.
Pure gold in terms of entertainment value, it can’t be denied that for kicking back and watching something that requires very little brain power, and let’s face it the opportunity to snigger at the corporate-style quips and sheer gall of some of the candidates, The Apprentice really can't be beaten. Whether I held out too much hope for this year’s series , I don’t know – I certainly reckoned that as this time round it was about finding a business partner for Sir Alan rather than an executive 'on a six-figure salary', some of the candidates might be a little bit more 'normal' than the eccentric self-adorers the show usually unearths.
Helen seems like a pretty decent down-to-earth character with a preference for common sense. Though Susie does seem a bit whiny and wet behind the ears sometimes, she also comes out of most episodes well. My favourite of all is Tom - he has a kind of humble charm or something, and doesn't appear to feel the need to shout about his achievements. He's my bet for overall winner, with maybe Helen, Susie or Melody in the final with him.
These exceptions aside, I can't help but be instantly and irrationally repelled by the likes of some. I don't think it's the candidates themselves, rather the character traits they exhibit I have issue with. For right or for wrong, we live in a society of a 'survival of the fittest' mentality, but whatever happened to valuing individuals for their authentic selves, worts and all. Maybe in a boardroom, passivity and being generally agreeable aren't the most desirable of qualities, but I'd personally rather work with someone warm and generally more humble and human, than an apparent big 'I Am' like Jim or a cynical, professional put-downer like Zoe.
Fun though The Apprentice is, I say roll on the creation of a show which is as much about substance of character as it is about hailing the ever-revered ego.