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That’s what I’m smellin abaht!

June 12, 2008

So to The Apprentice final and I think it’s fair to say that the best man didn’t win. Again. But hey, the runners up tend to fare better in the world of show-business (did I just create a whole new industry there? I think I did – right that’s copyrighted and I have y’all as witnesses).

In the end I think Lee McQueen was a worthy and deserving winner. Even if he did bully Sara, lied on his CV and can’t do a presentation for shit (so the best of a bad bunch basically). And the final task gave us a huge insight into Lee McQueen and his life. He apparently “goes for a back, sack and crack wax and worries about ingrown hairs.” Lovely. Thanks for that, Lee McQueen.

Instead of the “put on a party” final task, the last four were asked to create a whole new male fragrance. Cue hilarity as the teams squeezed every drop of creativity out of their tiny brains in coming up with names for their products. Lee McQueen was first up, suggesting “Pssst!” Coz vats da sahnd it makes when you spway it, innit. Hmmm… Hel-En came up with Girth (which actually I quite liked: “Hello there sir, would you like a spray of my Girth?”), whereas Alex tapped into his own psyche and put forward Driven, Arrogance and Stimulate (the last of which clearly got the nation’s ladies hearts a flutter. Or not). My suggestions? Well Lee McQueen surely would wear Fong for men – that’s what he’s smelling abaht… And Alex obviously wears 24. Hel-En wear Monotone for women, and Claire wears Gobshite.

I think for the first time in the final task, the rejected candidates were more vocal in their bitterness at being fired. Obviously Jenny and Jennifer were the loudest in their backstabbing and more obvious in their eye-rolling, but Kevin chose to use the opportunity to prove to Sralan that he had been wrongly fired all those weeks ago. And to be fair, he bloody did well. He came up with the name and helped drive the concept to a struggling Hel-En. He said he wanted to inject some of his personality into Hel-En – Adam, the guy who uses Duel/Dual/Deual (and who therefore smells of chocolate curry) is “sexy, cool and playful,” think Kevin might struggle with that er… injection. Maybe he needs more Girth.

Lee McQueen and Claire’s product, Roulette, would be worn by Ryan (or Wyan, as Lee McQueen called him). He’s the new modern man but an old fashioned gambler. Lee McQueen directed two hot models, trying to coax some lust out of them. “You want me – him!” he shouted at her, as she looked blankly at some bloke who was clearly out of a catalogue. “Go on, look at him like you really want him,” he yelled as she looked bored and in need of her next hit. Meanwhile, Alex and Raef were directing their ad – Raef being an excellent choice after the whole Sian Lloyd debacle. But Raef had learned from the experience and managed to keep his Spielberg leanings under wraps.

With the stink of jealousy and pong of deceit in the air, the two teams presented to a room full of fine-smelling rich people (and Alex’s dad, who we’ll come to later). Both ads were rather good, but Alex and Raef’s was a mark of genius, causing Alex’s dad to practically orgasm in his pants over it. “What you’ve done there is truly extraordinary,” he gushed. Sralan’s ears pricked up. “It’s just a totally new concept and I think it’s marvellous.” Of course, this was before one smart cookie mentioned that the bottle would be far too expensive to produce and the sell for under £30, and later Alex admitted the team hadn’t bothered looking into costing. *Cue Nick’s rolling eyes*

Claire and Lee McQueen also managed to pull off a good pitch, with one subtle flaw. When a concern was raised over the fact that the product clearly references gambling, Claire piped up, “But it’s more a playful aspect of the product. We don’t reference gambling at all!” So the fact that the product is called Roulette and the ad campaign takes place in a casino with a bland-looking Bond-a-like betting on green doesn’t reference gambling, OK people? Next she’ll be protesting that grass isn’t green. Nick had to explain it to her in the boardroom. “80% of men’s fragrance is bought by women. Women don’t like gambling because gambling equals debt. Debt equals misery…” I half expected him to go on with, “Misery is the path to the dark side… misery leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering,” but alas he didn’t.

With Alex and Hel-En’s product an expensive gimmick it was obvious who’d be left in the boardroom. Kevin came up with the name, the designers came up with the bottle, no one bothered checking things like costings and the two bickered like an old married couple the whole time. Let’s face it, folks, it was always going to be a Lee McQueen/Claire final.

All in all, the covering of the task was rather rushed in favour of a too-long-strung-out boardroom. There wasn’t nearly enough backstabbing between the final four and when Lee McQueen was announced The Apprentice it seemed that even he couldn’t really be bothered. What bathos. What boredom. They’re touting this year’s series as the best so far. Best to watch perhaps (and that’s debatable) only because the candidates were so shit. Yes, if they got it right every time it would be dull, but surely the whole point is to take the country’s top business potentials and watch them scrap it out, not take some people with a GCSE in cooking, or who work Saturdays in Tesco and watch them make tits of themselves. If we’re going to watch people make tits of themselves at least have arseholes make tits of themselves. That’s much more interesting viewing.

I’ll leave you with winner Lee McQueen’s wise words at winning:
“To go through this wanting to win it and then try to win it and then win it… It’s just indescribable.” Well done, Sralan. Got a great one there.

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