The Apprentice 8 – Monkseal’s End Of Series Countdown

Being the annual Apprentice ranking post where contestants are ranked not by likability, or competence, or by how much their dads could beat up my dad, but by their level of SHEER APPRENTICENESS.

16. Laura Hogg

16. Laura Hogg (9th place)

OK, so firstly the elephant in the room – Laura finding out that the father of her child had been brutally murdered, somewhere between the second task ending and the third one starting. As such this isn’t a comment so much on Laura, more the complete inability of the editors to carve a coherent edit out of…any of what she did. Who can forget the episode where Laura appeared from nowhere to talk about how sexy she is, then the next episode where they kept on showing her doing sexy-hoor dancing? Because if you CAN forget that,  that’s pretty much all she did on-air, and that’s more or less why she’s ended up in 16th place on this ranking. She ended up being fired randomly for being poor at selling (like that’s anything anybody gets fired for any more) and then Dara O Brien and You’re Fired told us that even that wasn’t generally true so…yeah. Good job editors *thumbs up*

15. Bilyana Apostolova

15. Bilyana Apostolova (16th place)

I have to be honest, in the last two series we’ve been spoiled slightly for first boots. Dan Harris bully-whipping his entire team then lounging round the boardroom like he was on the beach in Magaluf, and then Ed Hunter and the long dark night of his accounting soul. And I just can’t summon up the same enthusiasm for Bilyana. Being very pretty in a Gladiators sort of way, dragging some people around the deserted streets around London Zoo and bragging about being the Head Girl of your secondary school just isn’t enough for me after those shenanigans. I didn’t even feel like I knew who Bilyana was until about 5 minutes before she got fired, and what I did know was mostly the fact that she NEEDED TO COP ON TO HERSELF AND WAIT HER TURN.

14. Maria O'Connor

14. Maria O’Connor (15th place)

I think one unmistakable thing about this series is that, from all that people claim that Katie/Jane/Bilyana WUZZROBBED, the men’s team was stronger than the women’s team from the off. And not to make Maria emblematic of that, but it seemed like every time someone singled out the women as a whole as being loud/difficult to manage/incapable/a werewolf, the camera zoomed in on Maria’s face like a homing missile. To paraphrase Katie Hopkins, Maria appears to have two speed settings installed in the factory when they made her : SHOUTING and asleep. A candidate of such extremes should be a Monkseal blog favourite, but Maria was at all times a peripheral character, and didn’t really contribute much in terms of storyline during her two episode stay. What I’ll most remember her for, as suggested in the choice of picture was her UTTER SHOCK every time she was criticised. And I mean every time. Every time she pulled that exact same face. And given that she was in a Final Boardroom, that was often. Also how she turned up on You’re Fired looking like she’d only woken up 10 minutes before air-time and just come out in her duvet.

13. Adam Corbally

13. Adam Corbally (5th place)

SHOCKBOOT! Except not really, because one episode’s worth of Redemption Arc will only get you so much. Other than that, Adam’s presence this series for me was the equivalent of Zoe Beresford’s last series – ie someone who provoked a vague sense of unease and dread in me before every episode, knowing that they would be there. Constantly whining about whatever their PM had decided to do, making several jokes that he thought were funny, and being passively dismissive towards women. And not even in a fun way. There were quite a few candidates this series who made it further than perhaps they should, but has there been anyone who’s made Final Five before who’d have to actually read a presentation off some scribbled Biro notes on their hand? Even Scribbles was above that, and surely it’s agreed her making Final Five was the most random stroke of good fortune any candidate’s benefitted from before now? He’s only even this high because his mini Redemption Arc was kind of adorable, and pissed off lots of pseudy modern artists. Which can only be a good thing.

12. Michael Copp

12. Michael Copp (14th)

Michael Copp makes it this far solely for taking the original “a contestant is sick” storyline granted to Adam Eliaz, and refining and honing it until it reached its perfect form. I have never seen a human being look less well on television, and I’m including airings of Dawn Of The Dead in that. Sweaty, green, exhausted, woozy – Michael Copp was truly the Wendell of Series 8, forever lurking in the back of shot, not really doing anything, constantly looking like he was going to throw up. That is, until Katie Wright decided to make him subteam manager during Episode Three (another amazing decision by the Blonde Assassin <3). Then, dosed up on nuclear quantities of antibiotics, he proceded to blow every single potential deal the team sourced, staring into space willing himself not to vomit last night’s prawn biryani out of his nostrils, rather than actually negotiating. Then Azhar had to step in to save him. AZHAR. In the field of dealing with PEOPLE. Amazing. Probably my favourite Michael moment was Lordalan interpreting his flop-sweat in week 1 as being fear of his Sugarness, when in fact it was just the ebola virus. Such a perfect one-joke character. May his name live in infamy.

11. Azhar Siddique

11. Azhar Siddique (10th place)

Speaking of one-joke characters, and also Azhar, here’s the man himself. Azhar’s one joke is that every single thing he did pissed somebody off, and it was GLORIOUS. What made it even better is that most of the time he was right, but he chose to express it by shoving a clipboard in someone’s face, or telling half the team that he wasn’t going to even bother to listen to anything they just spent all day doing, or just droning “STRATEGEH!” over and over again. What made this all the better was that he’d charged into the series claiming to be a master-manipulator and killer-whale who ruthlessly crushed his enemies with his skills in the Dark Arts, when instead he spent most of the series sat in a corner being utterly ignored until Lordalan fired him just solely for being unlikable. All of which makes Azhar sound like an amazing character, but he only actually appeared in about three episodes, and towards the end just fell into a boring “wears stupid costumes” gimmick so…I think this is about fair.

10. Duane Bryan
9. Jane McEvoy

10. Duane Bryan (12th place)

9. Jane McEvoy (13th place)

I’m sure that somewhere out there, in an alternative parallel universe, this series of The Apprentice was an epic twelve week war between Hero Duane and Villain Jane. A knock-down drag out brawl where they both fulfilled their potential as reality show candidates for the ages, and didn’t get unceremoniously turfed out before the show was half-over. I’m not necessarily saying it would have been a better series. But at least it wouldn’t have been one where two people got hyped up as Big Characters in a death-feud, and then ultimately turned out to be not all that important, and whose demises in both cases were absolutely nothing to do with the other. In retrospect Jane was slightly more Apprenticey, in that she was full of mad and inspired a level of hatred in Kaen that surpassed any I’ve seen before from a Viceroy to a candidate. Duane on the other hand was just kind of decent and likable and competent, until he suddenly and randomly hammered the self-destruct button harder in one episode than I’ve seen a candidate do since the halcyon days of Macro cheese.

8. Jenna Whittingham

8. Jenna Whittingham (8th place)

Every series needs a low-key background comedy character, and this series that was Jenna “Penguin Beach” Whittingham. Jenna was so suited to a background role that the one time she was Project Manager, she spent most of the episode vibrating with fear, more vigorously than that thing the Blonde Assassin found in that antique shop. As much fun as it was rooting for Jenna to win(/Adam to lose) the gourmet food task, she was most suited to playing the comedy charlady, occasionally wandering on and saying one line, getting her laugh, and then disappearing again. Whether it was wanting a FRAWN at her wedding, asking a gentleman to come over and sniff her hot-pot, bragging about how her business provided a complete beauty experience ALL UNDER ONE ROOF, shilling fake tan, or simply providing an amazing visual contrast to the effete upper-class homosexual slummers of Brick Lane, Jenna was always good for a giggle, without too much thought having to be put into her long-term prospects or relevance. Which was clearly and sadly nil.

7. Jade Nash

7. Jade Nash (4th place)

No bias here! Yes, despite Jade being nice to me on twitter, I am resolved to maintain my integrity and impartiality as a blogger. (Consider that sentence for a moment and be thankful that your life has not become as mine). And the fact remains that, whilst Jade was undoubtedly the breakout star of the end of the series (DRUNKEN JELLIES! Her domination of the luxury deals website industry complete with smug dance! DRUNKEN JELLIES!) a lot of the weeks before that, she was kind of invisible. For most of the series “under-the-radar creative-and-competent” Jade was the woman most easily forgotten, occasionally appearing to hoot “BEST SUB-TEAM EVER!” or to dig her fingernails ever deeper into her hands at having to deal with Adam pretending to be a choreographer. It’s only when Lordalan forced her at gun-point to become Project Manager for the first time that her personality really came to the fore. And even that wasn’t the most auspicious of starts. From that point onwards obviously she was a star, glad-handing urban artists, back-handing Adam, single-handedly winning entire tasks and finally producing a ham-handed business plan. If only she’d started being epic sooner…

6. Gabrielle Omar

6. Gabrielle Omar (7th place)

OK, let’s see how far I can get through this entry without mentioning how much I couldn’t stand Lucind…*shit* Ahem, anyway, for the most part, the flappy, enthusiastic, non-practical, creative female is one of my favourite species of Apprentice contestant. But unfortunately in earlier series, where being good at tasks mattered (ish), their kind was doomed to early elimination. Nowadays however, with our lax elimination laws, Gabrielle Omar was left free to run rampant right to the very end of the competition (well…7th place anyway). Gabrielle bore many of the marks of her kind – the flowing robes, the mad hair, the oral fixation, the creative flair, the complete disregard for the Holy Margins (PBUT). But most distinctive was her honing her species’ distinctive Boardroom Fighting style – the screeching, the face-pulling, the random veering from mania to depression, – and turned it into a viable strategy. Where Kimberlypuff’s meltdown got her fired, Gabrielle’s many episodes got her through two boardrooms and all the way to Week 10. Who would have thought randomly yelling about blood, at the speed and volume of someone trying to persuade her boss that they hadn’t just caught her taking a nap, could be so effective?

5. Tom Gearing

5. Thomas Gearing (Runner-up)

Let’s be honest, on paper Tom is the runaway biggest character on The Apprentice this year. A spoiled, daddy’s boy, aesthete, millionaire prodigy with expensive tastes and amazing hair, who binned off an entire task to get drunk and ultimately fell at the last hurdle, despite Nick & Kaen both being deeply in love with his intoxicating Jay Gatsby-esque aura, when Lordalan realised he was in fact Satan. I don’t think you can get better Apprenticing than that. Not unless Saira Khan does the show again. Maybe wearing a fake moustache and bowler hat. Thomas Gearing should, clearly, be one of the all time most memorable Apprentice contenders. The only reason that he isn’t, and the reason he can only scrape 5th place on this list of this year’s most Apprenticey Apprentices, if that he was played by Thomas Gearing. If he’d been played by Michael Fassbender we wouldn’t have this problem. Also that scene where he stood semi-nude fluffing his dick would have been even more entertaining. There was just really, at core, a lack of television friendliness about Tom. He did amazing things, but it just never really felt like it. Maybe if he’d smiled a bit more often [/my nan]

4. Nick Holzherr

4. Nick Holzherr (3rd place)

One of the most common observations about the US version of The Office (other than that it’s shit now, and everyone who’s anybody is watching Parks & Recreation instead OMG LESLIE KNOPE 4 LYF) is that expanding the cast between the iconic central four characters of the UK version, and deepening the characterisation of the entire cast over time, kind of left the Jim/Tim character look like a bit of a dick-head, smirking away in his rut at everyone else and assuming a false sense of security over people we’ve come to like. And I’m not saying that Nick’s journey through the apprentice was the same, but the reason he’s so high on this list is the same sort of mild curdling of personality went on over time with him. Don’t get me wrong, he was never unlikable. There was always that solid base of affability, good common sense, and self-awareness. But with every passing week it became a little more obvious that everyone else found him a bit condescending, and that he sometimes struggled to hide how much better he thought he was than the rest of the candidates. His inability to explain himself clearly surfaced suddenly, as did his lack of sales ability. He randomly went in on Jade for no real reason, he spent a few tasks doing little other than poking his calculator, and he turned that weird wooden orb in the garden into a makeshift bunker. Nick’s slow slide towards…if not villainy, then well-roundedness, gets him fourth on the list.

(Sidebar : Can people stop saying he was “The Helen”, when clearly he was “The James Max” and you all have terribly short memories)

(Sidebar : This is where I chortle that he was the designated “pretty boy” of the series when he looked like somebody threw a shredded Beatles wig at a badger)

3. Katie Wright

3. Katie Wright (11th place)

Fun fact : Katie Wright was my pre-series favourite based on her glorious audition tape.

Highlights :

“I can be your best friend…(*EVIL SIDE-EYE*) or your worst enemy”
“Every time I’ve worked for someone I’ve felt like I can do it better…so…it’s that time now for me…to…(*shrug*)…SHOW THEM! (*EVIL EYEBROWS*)”
“I’m really irritating”
“I don’t necessarily have that much time for people that…erm…I don’t…(*gives up*)…rate?
“I don’t take criticism, I fall apart”
“Yes…I’m prepared to (*eyelids flutter like Ann Widdecombe having a stroke*) STAB SOMEONE IN THE BACK! I mean…you’ve got to! (*SASSY EVIL SHRUG*)”
“Men are the weaker sex because they think women are the weaker sex and that’s what makes them weak in the first place”
“If men are stupid enough to think that…erm…(*lost already*) you’re not smart and…erm…to pick up the bill (*so lost*) and to open the…door and pull out your chair then…GREAT, I’LL TAKE THAT! (*EVIL FACE*)
“I’ve got a fantastic business idea that could make Lordalan a lot of money if he wants to come on board (*SASSY EVIL FRENCH SHRUG*) if he doesn’t then I’ll make a lot of money myself!

And let’s face it, that’s pretty much the entire tape. What I most like about the whole thing, is that normally the women who turn up for The Apprentice trying to play the hard-as-nails business-bitch role are at least a little bit qualified and prepared. Katie clearly doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. And so it continued on the show, as Katie crashed gloriously from one mistake to the next, all whilst trying to act like she was a tough-guy. And the best part is that all her mistakes are so relatable (well, most of them, skipping over “let’s charge £9 for pig-gristle and soggy dough”). Normally you look at Apprentice mistakes, like completely ignoring market-research, or not having a business plan, or putting Stephen & Jenna in charge of a classy video shoot, and wonder how it happened. With Katie, it was easy to imagine yourself choosing to hang back on the first task, or picking a mass-market strategy, or trying to sell food outside a football ground pre-match, or just throwing out “LET’S DO 80S SHIT! WITH LOTS OF PROPS!” in the middle of a barren brainstorming session. All this made Katie one of the most relatable car-crashes ever in the history of the show, as well as her obvious plus-point of being a MANIPULATOR OF MEN. (Speaking of which, if I’m highlighting Azhar claiming to be a puppet-master then getting booted because of poor social skills, then damn right I’m pointing out that Katie sold herself on the grounds of her power over men and then got done over thoroughly and effortlessly by Stephen without even noticing it was happening). Even if this is not persuasion enough as to putting Katie in the top three candidates this series, try to imagine the first month of the show without yelling some derivation of “ASSASSINING!” after every time anything happened. Lord knows I can’t.

2. Ricky Martin

2. Ricky Martin (winner)

Given that so much of Ricky Martin’s Apprenticeness hinges on his “journey”, I thought I’d run briefly through my own Apprentice journey with Ricky Martin.

  • Oh God, he’s called “Ricky Martin”, this is going to be good
  • Oh God, he’s a WRESTLER called “Ricky Martin”, this is going to be EXTRA GOOD
  • Oh God, he’s a WRESTLING BIOCHEMIST called “Ricky Martin” *faints*
  • Hey, he’s actually quite good at pitching and selling and creativity and management and stuff, I underestimated him
  • “I feel that this week, whilst technically good for his chances of survival, was very poor for Ricky Martin in terms of eyebrow action. It’s almost like he’s stopped being a Komedy Kharacter without anybody noticing. Maybe he even WINS (LOL, not really)” (direct quote, well done me)
  • OK I’m bored of Ricky Martin now, he’s stopped doing interesting things, let’s hurry up and have Nick/Tom win and give him his 3rd place “well done, we underestimated you” send-off.

So yeah, in case you were wondering, it’s the bit in between me noticing he was good and the show “proving it”, where I got bored with him, which means that Ricky Martin is only 2nd on this poll. Still, there’s no denying that Ricky Martin is a great Apprentice winner. Not only for the “I HAVE HAD A JOURNEY” stuff he built out of wholecloth but for his actual talents.

(Sidebar : In every boardroom, Lordalan has the candidates RAY-ZOO-MAY and application forms in front of him, and often draws reference to them if a candidate has hilariously mentioned they can taste success in their spit or have hypnoboobs for manipulating men with. Ricky Martin was in there four times. As shown in the final episode, Ricky Martin’s application form was the most desperate bid for negative attention this show has ever seen. He called himself Thor : God Of Business. Lordalan NEVER MENTIONED THIS ONCE. Juss sayin’)

But seriously, has any candidate dominated an aspect of any series like Ricky Martin dominated pitching? Not since Ruth Badger : Sales Goddess, I’d say. Combine that with his overacting eyebrows, his amazing boardroom skills, his campery, his constantly thwarted bids to win Phone Answering Wars, and let’s face it, his name, and you get an Apprentice candidate for the ages.

1. Stephen Brady

1. Stephen Brady (6th place)

Yes, I know you wouldn’t be your choice for number one Stephen. To be fair, I doubt you’re alone. For me? The reason why Stephen Brady finishes of this countdown? In this series of dropped threads, abandoned story-arcs, half-explained rivalries and buried blood-sister friendships, Stephen Brady’s Villain-Arc stands out as pretty much the only one truly done properly. In fact it stands out as one of the great thwarted villain-arcs in the show’s entire history. Katie Hopkins got to quit. StuBaggs got fired on a trumped up nonsense. Michael Sophocles fizzled out. Syed went down during a task that was more Ruth’s fault than his. Few are the Apprentice villains who get what they deserve at exactly the point they should receive it. Stephen’s downfall though? Was pitched perfectly from beginning to end. First he came into the competition full of piss and vinegar, and installed himself promptly into the House Dad role, with everyone deferring to him, even Nick (after a tussle). Then he buffooned around messing something up in every single episode, until everyone slowly realised that he was kind of useless and on borrowed time. Then came the Boardroom dodging. He undeservedly won as Project Manager, once. He escaped the Boardroom by calling in a Boys Club favour from his own PM, once. He escaped firing in the Boardroom with a shameless “make me Project Manager” gambit, once. And then finally, having dodged every bullet in every conceivable Apprentice way possible, he received an episode-long pumelling that finally climaxed in Ricky Martin stomping a mud-hole in him up and down the boardroom, as he desperately pleaded for his Apprentice life.

So good.

On top of that, Stephen delivered as a background villain in every episode. That “motivational speech” in Episode 1 that was basically just him saying that Nick sucked. Him crawling up to Azhar shamelessly, just because. The sinking of the Belissimo. Him buying all of an antiques worst stock, at inflated prices, then laughing up his sleeve that he could do a better job than the shop owner. The Swing-a-Ling. His amazing Tour Bus Deal. Suggesting the team’s artist do all his live painting out by the bins. Chink Wines. His entire Episode 10 meltdown. Even minor moments, like geeing Ricky Martin up to do role-play selling on the SMELLNIG WHAT SELLING task, then getting left in his dust muttering “oh, my back…erm…IT’S A BROOM!”. Stephen Brady was a veritable masterclass in how to be a twonk on The Apprentice, right down to his shiny suit and his shiny wasitcoat and his shiny shiny trousers. And for that, I salute him.


47 thoughts on “The Apprentice 8 – Monkseal’s End Of Series Countdown

  1. Carl

    Wasn’t Laura the one who came up with the splash bath? I have strong memories of this, mostly because I haven’t gotten past the first three episodes yet.

    I’m surprised they were both under Michael, although I felt sorry for him so I’m glad you spared him the indignity.

    1. monkseal Post author

      She did, then decided she didn’t really like it that much anyway. Which says it all really.

  2. Ferny

    On a slightly related note, I just saw the convo between you, Harry Maxwell and James – I love that those 2 are still friends and took what you wrote in good humour!
    Anyway, with regards to the apprentice ranking, I’m pretty sure your new friend Jade will be top (DRUNKEN JELLIES), but I’m at a loss to the order of the next few, although I’m pretty sure they’ll all be men. Can’t believe Michael is above Bilyana and Laura though lol

    1. constantmotion

      I’m seconding how absolutely brilliant it was to see that Harry 1 and James have found and loved the blogs. Harry 1’s the last person I’d have expected to take them in good humour, he got a lot of kudos for that in my book. And seeing James blaring “I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THAT” over Twitter might be proof that there is indeed a God and that He adores us.

      And ALSO seconding the amazement that Michael Copp has beaten not just Laura and Bilyana, but now Adam Corbally, of all people! Not at all the same calibre of candidate, but I’d have expected Adam to be teetering at least a little closer to the Stuart Baggs spot. On reflection, it does make some amount of sense. But… Michael’s hitting at least twelve! Don’t know what that’s a testament to. How interesting some of the candidates weren’t, I suppose.

      1. monkseal Post author

        I did briefly consider putting Adam higher just for blowing Ruby Wax off so thoroughly, but in the end I just couldn’t…

  3. Allgrownup

    I didn’t exactly love Maria, but I do love *Maria Shock Face*. Maybe a regular Monkseal party piece like Holly’s limp wrist “crack myself up” pic and that Tim ankes “eh?” stiil?

    I hope for a rather high placing for Jenna the “Queen of Fake Tan” I really liked her after a few weeks. *Maria Shock Face*

    1. monkseal Post author

      The thing with Maria’s Shocked Face is that after a while it was so (reality tv show curseword) “fake” that I can’t take any instance of it seriously. I guess I could get some milage out of it as some sort of “sarcastic shock” face but, that wasn’t really the original intent so *scales gesture*

      1. Allgrownup

        Yep, I can see what you mean with the “fake” as she did it every five seconds in that boardroom, it just looks so ridiculously “shocked” as if someone has just threatened to eat her first-born cub. *Maria Shock Face*

  4. constantmotion

    Given the recent update, totally “get” why Michael’s so high. I’d still describe Adam as more Apprenticey, but Michael does make a lot of sense in the, er, coveted #12 spot. Ruby Wax or no Ruby Wax.

    Can I ask about the pictures? Seem to remember we traditionally got multiple ones – each candidate’s “best bits.” (I used to assume it was one per episode until I actually counted.) Are you just streamlining this year, or is there a particular reason you’ve chosen not to do it?

    Not arguing, think it’s a bit slicker this way. Just wondering!

    1. monkseal Post author

      See now that you’ve called them “best bits” I’m almost tempted, but I just think it’s tidier this way. Everyone’s seen all these pictures before anyway.

  5. Neio

    I love that Bilyana’s screengrab is of her alone in a completely empty Tube carriage – probably the only situation in which she wouldn’t alienate someone.

    I’m already looking forward to Stephen’s – surely it will have to be one of his reactions to being owned by Ricky in the boardroom?

    1. monkseal Post author

      I like to imagine about 15 people squashed down the other end of the carriage, frantically waiting to be let out.

  6. constantmotion

    I’m surprised Gabrielle and Tom are behind Nick Holzherr. Quite liked all three, but I feel like both added a lot more than Nick. While the point about Tom’s least televisual attribute was being played by Tom Gearing is brilliantly observed and very true, the boat at least rocked about a bit. Nick was just a constant hum of Holzherr – pretty much static throughout the series. I usually end up nodding in agreement when I see the rationales, though, so I’ll withhold judgment ’til I see the full list. Let’s see how it goes!

    This leaves Nick, Ricky, Stephen and Katie, then, doesn’t it? What a final four. I’m guessing it’s between Ricky and Stephen for the top spot. Stephen perfected the late-game breakdown, whereas Ricky is probably the Apprenticiest Apprentice that ever did Apprentice, going by his application form. His self-awareness might let him down, though – he played the Apprenticeness down as the series continued, whereas Stephen was just that oblivious.

    Oh, it’s tricky. Could go any way. Even Katie’s got an outside shot. Needle’s going slightly to Ricky for me. Genuinely excited to find out, though. What a saddo I am.

    Also, the Jenna picture has won me over completely on the single-screencap v. best-bits front. That photo, while brilliant in any context, would not be even half as funny among a list of twelve. One picture to epitomise each candidate is tidier and funnier. Cracking.

    1. monkseal Post author

      I think partly it might be that I was paying more attention to Nick than most people (beyond the usual “because of the recaps”), because of all the people I felt could win he was my horse. I may well be attributing him with complexity that isn’t there. I do know I got very confused when people started claiming after the first half of the series that he “hadn’t done anything”. Based on the second half, maybe…

  7. Kyle Johansen

    I’m surprised that Katie is so far ahead of Azhar (they seem to fulfil a rather similar role in this series) but like everyone else I’ll probably agree with the analysis when you give it.

    Also, at the risk of sounding like a loon, did you edit the series 7 ranking post?

    1. monkseal Post author

      With Katie vs Azhar I think it just came down to, as I touched on the Azhar write-up, the fact that he was just so invisible in most of the episodes. Katie was always right at the front, messing up. I do agree that broadly, they are of the same type ie “people who made ridiculous intro statements that turned out to be 180 degrees from the actual truth”.

      I did edit the Series 7 ranking yes, just to see what a whole entry would look like with one picture per person. I doubt I tidied up my atrocious typos enough though…

  8. Carl

    I think one or two or three members of One Direction have Nick’s hair (or maybe they did – I don’t know, I can’t remember), so maybe that’s what people meant about him being the pretty boy. That look seems to be in.

    1. monkseal Post author

      It is obviously entirely the hair. I guess in terms of 1D he’s really a Louis-Harry hybrid.

  9. tabithakitten

    Anyone who is clearly the “James Max” of his series while being cute as a button (so sorry Nick, I’ve destroyed any credibility you might have claimed to have – i.e. bugger all – in one fell cliche) and still so obviously resembling “Boris Johnson joins a boyband” written by Kenneth Grahame gets my vote. That said, if Ricky Martin does not waltz away with this “title” the whole list will be proved to be a farce. The very, very competent and articulate winner was the candidate that was also the epitome of sheer daftness, idiocy and pure APPRENTICENESS. This very suggestion should be enough to punch a hole through time and yet the fact that it is not merely a “suggestion” actually makes things easier to believe.

  10. Ferny

    I’ve just seen that Adam and Stephen motivational speaking event and…I’m going to have to assume it’s a joke. Although I would sort of love to go.

    Ricky Martin must win this countdown and put Stephen in his place one final time!

  11. constantmotion

    The right man won. Still not entirely sure about Holzherr – would probably reverse the order of 4, 5 and 6 – but yeah, what a calamity. Cracking stuff. Monkies tomorrow (I’m guessing?) and we’re done for the year.

    Oh, wait, Young Apprentice. Score!

    Also, reading this gave me a thought. Eight series’ worth of candidates, with (roughly) eight boys and eight girls each… take one boy and one girl per series and you could make a Frankensteinian super-series. What a terrifying prospect. I daren’t dream.

    1. Ferny

      I suddenly imagined Katie Hopkins meeting Adam Corbally, and it would be amazing. If Adam told Katie that a task might be too complicated for her, she would have nutted him.
      (Not that Adam would be in the super series.)
      All I can imagine now is all of the baddies from the past coming back to make one huge mess …Katie Hopkins, Michael Sophocles, Jenny Celery, Syed, Alex Wotherspoon all together in a room? What carnage.

      1. monkseal Post author

        Adam and Katie would have had sex and you know it, and know you have to imagine it like I just did OH MY BRAIN.

      2. constantmotion

        Katie and Adam – brilliant and horrifying in pretty much entirely equal measure. Until monkseal said the sex thing and then it was just horrifying.

        While we’re on themed casts, though, I think my favourite would be to get the first boots from each gender back for a final task. Ed Hunter, Dan Harris, Nicholas de-Mimsy Porpington et al take on Anita Shah, Felicity Jackson, Gerri Blackwood et al in a direct sales task. It’d make for one hell of a Comic Relief special.

    2. monkseal Post author

      I shall muse on my preferred line-up, as long as I get to skip Series 4 and select two Wild Cards who are not from Series 4, because Series 4 sucked and they were all awful.

  12. FuTeffla

    A deserved win for Stephen – Ricky had entirely too much self-awareness to fully reach the heights of true Apprentice shitweasel madness. In fact, the first time I found myself liking Ricky was when he said ‘You always witness the fitness with Ricky Martin’ and then giggled in the manner of a man who realises exactly how ridiculous he is being. Even his Thor claims were charming in a way that would have been hateful in the hands of a lesser man (read: Stephen).

    1. monkseal Post author

      I did like that the show gave Ricky Martin an opportunity to use all his wrestling catchphrases in a real life context. I hope The Rock does the same.

  13. tabithakitten

    Okay, Stephen can win but if he wins then Adam at least can consider himself robbed. Because if Ricky loses top spot because he clearly plays the self-awareness game to DEATH, then Adam is robbed because he doesn’t (and you just don’t like him!).
    I still believe that Ricky’s APPRENTICENESS is enhanced by his self-awareness and the fact that he uses it to his (and the editors’) advantage (yes, yes I have been on a huge journey honestly – I have motion-sickness and everything). He should have been at the top of this list because he hasn’t just played the apprentice game amazingly, he’s won it as well. And as you so eloquently pointed out – nobody has ever done that before.
    Screw Stephen (joke).

    1. monkseal Post author

      Ricky Martin didn’t lose because he was too self-aware, it was because there were quite a few episodes where he didn’t really do anything. And really, as a character he wasn’t that amazing, although that obviously makes his winning for supposedly being an Amazing Character who became a Real Boy even more ridiculous and laudable. And he’s still second.

      Also Adam is at least a little bit self-aware, as the whole “look at me being outside me comfort zone” thing proved. He’s not Melissa Cohen.

      1. pamminxy

        i don’t think Adam actually comprehends the whole comfort zone thing – or the backhanded compliment way that Shuggsy was using it – much like choreographer and his absolute boyish (and charming in its own way when i am feeling soft) beaming delight in using the phrase trolly dolly on the train (despite them mostly being men in my experience) and getting to show off his sophisticated jet set credentials (wonder if he has tried sushi yet? or even accepted that yes lots of normal everyday folks have).
        he just took it at face value – as a compliment and revelled in it while not getting it

        but yeah much as i dislike Stephen i don’t think Ricky wuzrobbed – playing the game well, competence, succeeding AND being self aware are the antithesis of apprenticeness – being a deluded, incompetent twonk who shifts the blame and grabs the credit, having enough awareness to cover his back but not enough to know when to be honest – or to understand the whole you can fool some of the people all of the time maxim – and that the beeb and Shugs are playing you more than you are playing them IS apprenticeness and yep Stephen is yerman
        i may not like him winning but i agree with it

  14. tabithakitten

    Melissa bloody Cohen was seventh. And she appeared in about 2 episodes. Yes, she was catickysmikall disastrousness but I still think Adam should have been higher than Shamu. And sickboy. And I speak as someone who does not like Adam. At all.
    And Ricky was still robbed. I get the villain arc satisfaction, I really do. But a mirrored hero arc should trump it. Particularly when one considers that the hero arc was self-fulfilling. Ricky orchestrated it himself and the world fell for it. That’s apprenticeness (I can sense I’m on a loser here… ;))

  15. pamminxy

    btw am i the only one who wanted to punch/shout at Jade every time she wore those bloody pearls! No Jade they do not make you appear middle/upper middle class Just pretentious and you can’t carry it off – and i generally like pearls AND pretentiousness (when done well). Pretty much the only time i warmed to her was her honest reactions when she came out of the interviews – despite my abhorrence of call centre telemarketing

  16. Jen

    Haha, that’s my exact reaction to Ricky Martin (except I’d throw in another bullet point somewhere in the middle that goes: “Holy shit, did he just do mental arithmetic and come up with the correct answer?? What the f… is going on?!?”)

    I used to be all about P&R, but I’m so sick of the campaign and Ben/Leslie now. So sick of it.

    Oh, and your countdown is Belissimo. Such grandeur.

  17. Pingback: How Well Do You Know ‘The Apprentice’? | Gaza

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