Thursday, 26 March 2009

A dirty business

Oonagh Robinson on Week One of The Apprentice, Series Five

So here we go again, then. These are the 15 idiots, sorry, hopefuls we’ll be spending the next 12 weeks of our lives ridiculing and deriding.
Ah, don’t you just love reality television?
I must admit there was that familiar brief moment of doubt when I first glimpsed The Fifteen triumphantly trundling over the bridge pulling their little cases behind them.
“Oh no, this isn’t going to be as good as the last series!” I worried.
Fortunately, such concerns were swiftly put to bed as soon as Idiot Number One started waffling on about making money being better than sex.
And then Eloquent Anita made the killer statement: “I am outstanding - that’s a given!”
Yes that’s right, Anita was the one who later got fired.
I knew then it was all going to be all right.
S’ralan warned the hopefuls he wasn’t going to be taken in by people who were just good at using words.
“I know the words to Candle in the Wind,” he said, rather dubiously. “Don’t make me Elton John.”
He also revealed that one contestant - “Matey” - had already dropped out because he wasn’t up to the pressure needed to become S’ralan’s “diamond.”
The others could barely hide their glee.
Onto the task, and it was an apparently straightforward one. Go out and make money by cleaning something. Anything.
Most of the lads team, by now calling themselves Empire, headed down to a cab firm and spent what seemed like several hours pressure washing just one vehicle (with the door open).
“Never have so many people spent so much time cleaning so few cars,” said the marvellous Margaret Mountford, who was observing them.
The girls (aka Ignite), led by Mona - pronounced Monna for no particular reason - cocked the whole thing up big time by not spending their budget frugally.
Things didn’t look good when Mona at one point asked: “What’s this?”
Her colleague had to explain calmly: “A duster.”
Oh dear.
Sure enough, the girls lost and went off to get the obligatory “spanking in the board room,” as Nick Hewer would put it.
Surely it was going to be between hapless Mona, who thought she’d been a “fantastic leader” or scary Debra, who complained she’d been put in charge of a couple of puppets.
But no. Anita might as well have had “fire me now” written on her forehead as she admitted she’d made mistakes with the budget but would learn from them.
Bye bye love.
“In ten years time, he’ll think maybe I made the wrong decision,” Anita commented as she took that lonely cab ride back home.
I doubt it, love.
Like the rest of us viewers, S’ralan probably won’t even remember what you’re called in a couple of weeks when this series has started to kick off...