'The Apprentice' review: 'Adam Corbally's meatball mania'
Published Apr 25 2012, 22:01 BST
By Daniel Sperling
It should have been clear to the Apprentice
candidates that they were being set up for a fall on this week's task when Lord Sugar
conveniently turned up at their house while they were flailing about on the Wii, staring down at them and asking, "What the bladdy 'ell are you doing?"
Tasks that stray into the catering industry are designed entirely to see candidates drop pans, serve up blocks of discount cheddar and generally go insane. And with the cast of 2012's most bumbling contestants Adam Corbally and Jenna Whittingham appointed project managers, it appeared that we were on to the first major mess up of the series.
OK, so team Phoenix's performance may not have been as shambolic as 100 chickens for 100 pizzas, but there were still plenty of gaffes to be made by Adam and co along the way - like ruling out sushi to sell on their street food stall in Edinburgh because "who eats sushi?"
Ultimately, Adam settles on pasta and meatballs for their gourmet business because "it's cheap [and] you can slop it out on the plate". It could have been worse though. He does at one point suggest using corn beef and has to be talked out of it by Tom Gearing, the only person who understands that anything in a tin cannot be described as fine dining. God, what else is Adam thinking of serving? Spam fritters? Fray Bentos pies, tin opener included?
Given that he considers the leftovers at the back of your kitchen cupboard to be ideal dishes, it's no surprise that Adam isn't fussed about the quality of the ingredients and instead focuses on keeping costs down. Which would be great on another task, but not when the objective is to make people's mouths water and their wallets open.
Not content with letting Adam hog all the limelight, Katie Wright, Stephen Brady and Azhar Siddique set out to prove that they're absolutely bloody useless too. Their greatest hits include trying to flog pasta to rowdy fans at a football match (though that one is pretty much just Katie's fault), pushing the ridiculously wet brand name 'Utterly Delicious' ('cause, you know... meatballs are delicious) and thinking that spouting awful pizza-based puns to a bus full of pensioners is going to send sales skyrocketing.
The problem with Phoenix this week is that they're completely clueless. Their approach to the food is wrong, their locations are wrong, their marketing techniques are wrong, Adam's use of the phrase "trolly dolly" is wrong. But most disappointing is the fact that Katie - who seemed to be on a comeback after her disastrous first few weeks - can't even comprehend that giving a speech about ethics and business strategy while dressed as a giant pizza will only earn you a seat next to Dara O'Briain.
At Sterling, Jenna's still spouting out nonsense in her nails-down-a-blackboard tones, i.e. wondering if she will be able to understand someone speaking "Scottish language". She does at least get the point of the task and chooses only the best ingredients for her 'Gourmet Scot Pot' casseroles. The thing is, she's in danger of going too upmarket and costing herself into the ground.
Thank goodness then that she has Ricky Martin prancing about in a kilt to drum up sales. Because nothing works up an appetite like stereotypes. Hoorah!
Gotta say, The Apprentice
is getting a bit smutty nowadays. The image of Azhar in those shorts last week was disturbing enough - we don't need to have 'The Fitness' flashing his legs about all over Edinburgh.
He must have won over a few people though, because in the boardroom Sterling take home the victory with a difference of £21. It's no surprise really when you stack Phoenix's catalogue of errors against "ooh, maybe Jenna splashed out on beef a bit
Some light-hearted segway-ing from the winners (in which Nick Holzherr falls off a device that is meant to be impossible to fall off of) gives way to one bitter boardroom battle from Phoenix. It's definitely the nastiest interrogation we've seen so far this year, with accusations of lying and manipulation being thrown about all over the place. No wonder Azhar wants to try and keep his head down, but that just earns him a spot in the boardroom next to Adam and Katie. Everyone knows Sugar hates the quiet ones.
As for who he fires - well, I'm not sure if it's a surprise or not. Adam clearly had no idea what was going on in this task and has made a fool out of himself pretty much every week. But Katie made quite a few mistakes too (including agreeing to wear that pizza outfit) and has had one foot out the door since episode one. Her downfall could be attributed to her merely being pigeonholed as weak, but the evidence was beginning to mount that she might be out of her depth. I'm okay with her getting the boot, if only because now Adam lives to make another 'Utterly Delicious' balls-up.The Apprentice
continues on Wednesday nights at 9pm on BBC One.What was your verdict on tonight's Apprentice? Share your views below.