TV Show The Apprentice

I love The BBC show ‘The Apprentice’. I am not ashamed to admit that, despite its crass, clichéd and heavily edited nature, this primetime television series is genuinely addictive. Yet there is one element of the show that I can neither reconcile nor forgive, no matter how many times its alluring mixture of professionalism and hyperbole draws me in. This is simply the fact that Lord Sugar (I preferred Sir Alan, personally) continually harps on about his preference for integrity and for those contestants who ‘say it how it is’. He often talks about ‘conciseness’ and ‘succinctness’, always using both words and sometimes more – often in their adjectival form – to mean the same thing, thus showing himself to be long-winded and contradicting himself through the very words he is using in order to emphasise the exact opposite.

The Apprentice Contestants

What’s more, he then lets the participators give their convoluted opinions on why he should keep them in the ‘process’ (their favourite word on the show, because it somehow suggests a positive and rewarding learning curve that the combative ‘contest’ or ‘competition’ does not imply). How many times do we hear the same responses? I think I was the best seller; I have shown myself to be very competent and determined; I have performed extremely well on each task… How does he not get fed up with these repetitive phrases? Does he actually glean anything of interest from these uninspiring and clichéd answers? Every episode the word ‘passionate’ crops up almost every minute, and it strikes me that the whole idea of the dramatic boardroom scenario that concludes each instalment is rather too gaudy and tedious to be considered an accurate measure of the performance of each individual.

My Opinion on The Apprentice

During this year’s ‘Junior Apprentice’, a trend was clearly evident that involved contestants continually praising their own skills that were supposedly manifest on the errands they were sent on. Regardless of the bare facts of their achievements, Lord Sugar simply likes this so-called ‘determination’ and ‘enthusiasm’, which seems altogether vacuous to me. Countless times he kept in the participant who aggrandized his or her accomplishments whilst criticising that of his or her peers. Whilst I am not against this in the slightest, and I value passion just as much as the next person (another cliché, I realise), the eventual winner (whose name escapes me) was saved one week simply because she said something like ‘I didn’t do very well on this task, but I would prefer to get involved and make mistakes than to not get involved at all’, and then proceeded to condemn the contribution of the subsequently-fired contestant. Whilst there is a certain truth in this, it seems inane once again and it becomes apparent that blindly bulldozing your way through the programme is the most profitable approach to adopt. When Lord Sugar asks the contestants to explain why he should not fire them, the responses (for those who stay in) are always the same. Next time it’s on, take a look for yourself.

The Apprentice Finale

Having said all that, I must praise the contenders who participated in this year’s ‘Junior Apprentice’. Some of their ideas, particularly for the video game and accompanying viral video, were absolutely fantastic. Moreover, I believe that were the top half of them to be entered into the adult version of the show, they would perform admirably. I am not trying to denounce the programme completely (indeed, as I have already stated, I watch it religiously); however, it becomes much too predictable at times and Lord Sugar definitely needs to give up his absurd desire for brevity in speech, made pardadoxical by the qualities he seemingly commends in the contestants.

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