Apprentice Watch: Encore, Lord Sugar ... and then depart

By MichaelSophocles, June 10, 2009

Whenever I am at a party and I have drunk a little too much red wine, I find it difficult to control my short temper. It is sometimes made even harder by other guests who want to talk to me about The Apprentice and my memories of where it all went wrong, and how much they empathised with my ordeal. Much as I appreciate their concern — and I never mind talking about myself — I do not think they really can empathise. When it comes to my experience on the show — an experience which affects me to this day — the only people who can truly understand what I went through are my fellow Apprentice candidates.

And there are parts of the process that even I, as someone who fell just short of the final, make no claim to comprehend. As I watched this years’ finale unfold, I again found it very difficult to gauge what Kate and Yasmina were feeling.

One thing is certain, though — given the workload Lord Sugar (as we must call him now) saddled them with, their stamina was remarkable. The ladies were given the task of creating a new brand of chocolates, and an advertising campaign to go with it.

Yasmina and Kate have been unflappable throughout the series and they did not flinch for a moment. Lord Sugar must have agonised over his final decision and I am sure that, if he was presented with a loophole that allowed him to hire both girls, he would have gone for it. Overall however, I do think Yasmina had the edge over the mechanical Kate. She has that natural entrepreneurial ability, and, more importantly, has shown she is not afraid to take risks. Kate’s personality is unlikely to win any awards and Lord Sugar is looking for a candidate with a big heart for business, not just a head for it. He made the right choice which, by his own admission, he has not always done.

As for the series as whole, I’m already finding it difficult to remember any significant moments. This group of candidates may have been the most professional so far, but they lacked entertainment value.
With the irreplaceable Margaret Mountford already deciding to leave, and the noble lord himself starting a new job in government, there is a feeling of change in the air. When I was an aspiring actor, I was told by my director to always leave the audience wanting more — by that rule, perhaps the next series should be the last.

Last updated: 10:34am, June 24 2009