This is the place to catch up on all your Apprentice UK news. We will also be discussing The Apprentice - Comic Relief as well as previous series and candidates.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Episode #1

Wow. The Apprentice is back and in a big way.

The production values are the same, Sir Alan is the same and the usual character traits of past Apprentice candidates are all there, which will please all Apprentice purists. The show looks superb, those shots of London at night and the skyline of London all make it at home on BBC ONE. It felt like it was a BIG show tonight and that it finally made the big time but it stuck to its winning formula and it didn't sell out at all, which made me happy.

I love the shot they have of all the candidates walking across the bridge, the wind blowing in their faces, all walking towards the camera, its become an iconic feature of an opening episode of the show.

When they were deciding on naming the teams, I immediately thought back to the last series and the time it took to decide on a name (A-Team ring any bells?) and I hoped they all wouldn't decide too quickly as the naming team segment always delivers much hilarity and some conflict. You could tell Sophie was riled when her suggestion that Stealth meant slow, taking its time and that it wouldn't be a good reflection on the Girls Team and the other girls just basically didn't have any of it and still went ahead with the name.

I just knew Sir Alan would pick up on the Boys Team name when he was going to give them the brief for the first task. I love twists in the show, especially when Sir Alan sets them up. He really embarrassed Tre, when he revealed the story behind the team name - that was a company Tre used to work for. Good old Sir Alan, and I smirked when he turned around and just dropped the bombshell that the team leaders would be switched around. It was a huge development and Sir Alan did it in his own style which makes the show so good.

Would The Apprentice be as good without Sir Alan at the helm? I don't think so. He makes the show. He is the shows heart and he pumps the intensity into each and every one of the candidates. He is so intimdiating that if you were a candidate, you would just think during a task about the fear of facing Sir Alan in that boardroom as part of a losing team and that surely has to motivate you into a winning mentality.

Margaret and Nick are essential parts you have to remember. I think Nick should be used more. His reaction to the statement that 11 coffees were sold as it was a good thing was genius. Such dry wit, from one of the assistants just adds another factor. Both Nick and Margaret are not afraid to voice their opinion, and its obvious Sir Alan trusts them 100%, and it makes the operations of the show just flow really well. When a bad decision is in the process of being made, you can see both Nick and Margarets faces just show an utter look of shock and confusion. Thats when you know a bad decision has been made.

I couldn't help but laugh when Sir Alans helicopter landed on the heli-pad and all the candidates nearly went flying away due to the utter force of the wind. Adrian Chiles pointed out a cracker, when he noticed Andy wore a tie-pin and it still didn't do the job when the helicopter landed as Andy's tie nearly flew away into the Thames!

Tre Azam is quite a character. At first I thought he was going to be an absolute idiot as he couldn't shut up and he wouldn't listen but Jadine was absolutely unbearable as the episode wore on, and she was too harsh on Tre. Even though they won, Jadine should have just left the boys doing their trade in that prime spot on the high street where they were getting great sales. Jadine just created havoc between her and Tre, and she was too picky about having the Eclipse branding on top of every Cappuccino. Its only a one day task, its not like its a business starting up for the long term and they would need the product being noticable. Tre was right in what he was saying with Jadine but didn't help himself with his language. If Tre can calm down a little bit, and bite his lip when he is angered, he could go far. You can see potential clashes between Sir Alan and Tre down the line.

Jadines 'birthday performance' was quite something eh? I nearly had to walk out of the room, I was cringing so much. What was it all about?! I know you have to do some silly stuff to get those extras sales in The Apprentice but that was shocking, and laugh out loud material which the show is also famous for.

I think Andy Jackson was unlucky. He was obviously a nice bloke, and was really friendly but I don't think he had a structure set for the task. It all seemed like he was deciding on the spot, on the next move would be. I'm not sure if the editing went really against Andy. The mistakes added up, and only 1 person could get fired, and the easier option was Andy and sadly he went. There was no concrete plan, no real research, it was all too unprepared, and the project manager normally accounts for all those mistakes and thats why Andy went. Sophie made a big mistake with the purchasing but she held her hands up, her card will be marked with Sir Alan, he won't forget it, no chance. She needs an impressive performance next week.

I think the majority of the boys were too uneager to accept the project manager role - it was all too false that first discussion - they were all working each other out. I think they had witnessed what had happened in previous series and wanted to stay clear. Andy and Adam had their private chat and Andy did back down because maybe it had hit him what he might have been letting himself in for, but it would have looked good that he had offered to be the project manager. The boys then forced Andy into taking the role and you could see in Andys face that he felt threatened and that he was forced in the end into the role. The pressure then kicked in and it got to Andy. I felt so sorry for him in the boardroom as he was really genuine and on 'You're Fired!' he was good value. I hope he is stronger because of the experience and he does well in future life as he was a great bloke.

If you are reading Andy by any chance, please contact the blog via e-mail so people can send their wishes to you through the blog.

The task was a good one, but as it was the first episode, we didn't get to see much of the candidates. Rory, Paul, Lohit weren't featured that much, and for the girls, Natalie and Ghazal didn't get much screen time. Its because of the first 20 minutes was all introductions, but next week is when we get to the start of the real personalities coming out and the rivalries starting. Next week is when the real action kicks in.

I thought the episode was a great introduction and it had good, traditional Apprentice UK values. These introduction episodes are always hard to judge, but I have tried my best getting some details out of it. We'll find out more about the candidates as each episode goes by.

The dog task for next week looks fantastic and plenty of laughs are also expected. I can't wait.

The Apprentice is BACK!


JASON said...

I was hoping the UK version would be smarter than the US version, but no.

The mistakes on the part of the purchaser and the two "London Experts" could not be more clear cut.

Yet, once again, the PM takes blame for all. At some point you have to trust your team to do as you direct. You cannot be over their shoulders the entire task.

Andy even gave specific instructions on purchasing over the phone. Sophie acknowledged these instructions. Then she bought 3x as much milk, and expensive candy bars. This is an obvious mistake.

Further, you can't expect the boss to always be available, nor to tell you what you already know: The location is bad, MOVE PLEASE. They just sat there and played CYA while waiting for a phone call.

Why would anyone volunteer to be Project Manager on this show? If you win, you gain no extra bonus. If you lose, you are screwed.

Sir Sugar = Trump. Lame.

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