The Apprentice: Away Day

“If you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.”

Terry Pratchett

Another Wednesday, another hour of unpleasant people with warped priorities trying to kill each other get each other fired. This week, the teams must each stage a team-building event for a large corporate client on a £5000 budget.

Let the games begin.

Away Day begins with the requisite 6am phone call, and the winner of “Most Unnecessary Sentence Ever”: “It’s Lord Sugar’s office.” Because there are so many other people who would be calling the Apprentice House at 6 o’clock in the morning. Anyway, the Almighty Lord Sugar duly summons his acolytes (I’m mixing up my metaphors today) to the Guildhall in the City. There is a shot of the Almighty Lord Sugar walking into said Guildhall, which looks suspiciously like a church, accompanied by distinctly ecclesiastical music, out of a bright light.

I wish I was joking.

With the Almighty’s divinity firmly established and the PMs chosen (Doctor Leah for Endeavour and Forgettable Francesca for Evolve), the teams disperse to plan their team-building days. It strikes me that this is perhaps the most ridiculous task ever set on The Apprentice, given that the candidates themselves mostly have no concept of teamwork, so how the hell are they going to teach others about it? By way of example, here is Neil Clough on his PM, Doctor Leah:

If she tries to boss us around then we’ll lose.

So, basically, what he is saying here is that if Doctor Leah does her job as PM they will lose the task. Very motivational. Very cooperative. Sales Rebecca shows similar team spirit when she tells us through gritted teeth how glad she is that she’s peeling potatoes in the kitchen.

The episode proceeds with all the usual disasters and mistakes. Team Endeavour are stymied by rain, which, really, this being England, they should have anticipated. Fake Luisa (making up nicknames is getting exhausting) tries and fails to pass off cupcake-making as a valid team-building exercise. Nick, watching some corporate people trying to walk with their feet attached to a pair of planks, says, with typical optimism,

No bones broken yet, but it’s early in the day.

And so on and so forth. The only candidate who I would genuinely be sorry to see go is Lord Vetinari Jason, who, upon being told by the Almighty that “I’m sure you are a very nice fellow” (this being something of a backhanded compliment in the warped world that is The Boardroom) said, “Thank you very much, you’re awfully kind.”

Aww.

However, my favourite part of this episode was undoubtedly the revelation that Dracula Alex plucks his eyebrows. For some reason, I found that utterly hilarious.

What am I saying? It’s all hilarious. The Apprentice has become a caricature of itself, and that just makes it all the better.

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