Review: The Apprentice (UK) 3.09

Hurray for the lull between the weeding out of the chaff and the final few candidates duking it out! There's only one answer: dust down one of last year's tasks...

Sir Alan Sugar in front of his car

The problem that faced Sralan Sugar in week nine of The Apprentice is that he knew, in his heart of hearts, that he couldn’t fire Tre.

Tre, of course, is becoming infamous with up-to-the-minute reports on just how great he is, and truthfully, he was never going to get the bullet come the final board room yesterday. That’s in spite of a seemingly inept stint as project manager, which involved throwing metaphorical darts and seeing where they landed. Yet Jadine had perfectly signposted the ending earlier in the programme, and the rest was just inevitable from there.

But still, those producers must have breathed out. They’ve worked out early on, which is why they’ve dominated the screen time thus far, that Katie and Tre are their key assets here. Katie could easily be a Big Brother contestant, such is the level of vitriol and dislike her sneering, stuck up manner is attracting. Tre is, however, filling the Saeed role, the wideboy who Sralan does all but admit he enjoys working with the most.

The haphazard Tre, unless hell freezes over or Amstrad profits grow, isn’t going to win The Apprentice, but it’s in their interests to let him get near the final batch.

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In fact, the Tre/Saeed crossover is just one alarming area of déjà vu that’s infesting the series. It seems that the tasks have simply been dusted off from last year, run through a thesaurus, and then we can watch different people make the same mistakes.

This week, it was selling to the trade. Make appointments, fools! Have you not watched this programme before? Instead, the vast majority of sales seemed to be generated by door to door selling, and truthfully, it wasn’t actually that interesting to watch. Norwegian air purifiers and Canadian insoles do not gripping television make.

The Apprentice throws up two to three excellent episodes a year, but this was not one of them. Too obvious, too familiar and ultimately an exercise in getting the key contenders forward a week.

Next week’s trailer seems to involve the same home shopping channel exercise we saw in series one. Still, it was fun then, and seeing as last week’s prediction was hopefully wrong, we’ll confidently say that Katie and Tre will get forward another week, leaving Lohit or Naomi in the firing line.

Unless Naomi turns out to be this year’s Michelle, where you suddenly realise in the last episode or two that they’ve been hiding the fact that she’s, like, brilliant. The cads.

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Oh, and one footnote. Any other people in charge of London landmarks might like to think twice before allowing The Apprentice cameras near them…