The Apprentice: The Final

“He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

So this is it. The culmination of twelve weeks of backbiting, megalomania and dodgy business practice. Will it be Doctor Leah or Fake Luisa who takes home the £250,000 (a drop in the ocean of the Almighty Alan Sugar’s fortune, by the way)?

To be honest, I don’t care. I stopped caring a while ago. As I said to the Pragmatist earlier, I’m just watching for the laughs now.

But it did feel tonight like The Apprentice was back on form. The finalists’ task was to launch their business – which in practice meant designing the stationery and holding a launch party – with help from some familiar faces from earlier in the series. There was a definite feeling of deja vu as, true to form, market research was soundly ignored, hapless computer lackeys were yelled at – “no, I want you to move that! Over there! Now!” – and Nick came out with would-be portentous cliches like “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. It was just like old times.

Dear God, I’m getting nostalgic about The Apprentice.

The fact is that the earlier episodes are always much more amusing. There are more characters to argue with each other and to laugh at. The tasks are more interesting. The candidates have not yet learned to work with each other. It all makes a better story than that of the later episodes, which generally goes something like, “Well, you’re all competent. But who is most competent?” instead of “You’re a bloody idiot and you are, therefore, fired.” Which one would you rather watch?

So, although the returning candidates were not facing the boardroom this time around, it was still interesting to see them working together again. Creative conflict and all that.

And, no, I didn’t care who won. But I did enjoy watching series 9 of The Apprentice, which is, after all, the whole point.

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