'The Apprentice' Review: Lord Sugar Calls It A Shambles, And He's Not Wrong

Lord Alan Sugar was back with a group of shamelessly self-promoting candidates, each aspiring to be 'The Apprentice'.


But what was this? In a cunning twist to celebrate the show’s (first) decade, Sugar broke it to the 12 wannabes in the room that there were, in fact, 8 more for him to choose from. And this bucket load of braces-tugging cocktail-swilling greed-is-good talent meant that more than one of them would be going home on some weeks. The message was clear: no one was safe.

Sarah (right) thought that victory could be assured for the girls as long as they wore makeup and short skirts

Which can have been the only excuse for project manager Sarah’s diabolic display of postmodern sexism in the workplace. Comprehensive marketing strategy? Don’t be ridiculous. Playing each team member to her respective strengths? No time. Instead, we had the unedifying sight of a 21st century woman telling her female colleagues WITH A STRAIGHT FACE to “wear lots of make up and short skirts tomorrow, please”. And, no, she wasn’t being ironic.

It was just as well Karren Brady wasn’t witness to this spectacle, but the looks on the faces of Nick Hewer and the other girls were comfortingly sour, nearly as pithy as those lemons that would not be cut, however often Sarah tried to slip it into her non-existent sales plan.

Despite this nonsense, the girls calling themselves Decadence (“because it’s kind of like decade, isn’t it?” according to one candidate who swiftly tried to disown this equally disastrous idea in the boardroom) somehow managed to do very little other than sell very average cups of coffee and STILL come out on top over the boys’ team.

Somehow, the girls' risible coffee-making efforts got them past the boys in terms of profits

How disastrous did this make the boys? Well, pretty unimpressive. With Felipe running the shop. And Chiles. And Robert. Oh, and Steven, busy firing off a rear guard action and pursing his lips all the while. With no one telling them to wear makeup or bare their chests for the Shoreditch masses, this lot were left running around like headless chickens, not selling any T-shirts and dressing up as hot dogs. Lord Sugar looked genuinely weary, faced with them all back in the boardroom. He contented himself with calling them “a shambles” and, for once, he might not even have been hamming it up.

Have you spotted a winner in our midst yet? I'd be amazed, but do let us know...

Bianca Miller

Meet The 2014 'Apprentice' Candidates