Has BBC One’s The Apprentice lost its appeal?

As the ninth series of The Apprentice enters the home straight and the final draws ever closer, with only 6 candidates remaining—is it the right time to ask whether the appeal of the show has

As the ninth series of The Apprentice enters the home straight and the final draws ever closer, with only 6 candidates remaining—is it the right time to ask whether the appeal of the show has disappeared?

Admittedly I can’t stop watching the series, which would suggest questioning its appeal rather pointless, yet I’m not watching week in and week out in awe of the candidate’s brilliant business minds but instead I’m restraining myself from punching the TV screen in frustration.

The beginning of the end?

Where in previous series there has been some genuine business talent, this year’s candidates are seemingly lacking any brains as they not only mess up the simplest of tasks but in general come across as pompous and a bit stupid. There is no doubting that the candidates have always been up themselves, that seems to be a given on this show and you do hope that most of it is for added affect but this year’s bunch are on another level.

Yet you can forgive their egos for running riot, it’s their stupidity which is the real annoyance from the 9 episodes so far. You could fill a book with moments where your hand instantly covers your face and you ask yourself if they’ve really just done or said that.

Dangerous substances for children

In the last episode alone, you saw a ridiculous business decision with a skull,  a logo normally used as a warning on dangerous substances or liquids, on the front of a children’s ready meal, and many stupid questions such as ‘can you burn chicken?’

Now maybe, I’m just a little bit angry as I write this, but these are meant to be Britain’s finest entrepreneurs and business people and yet time and time again this series we’ve seen them fail at the simplest of tasks and show themselves as living apart from the real world. ‘Can you burn chicken?’ Even if you don’t cook, which was the excuse used for this candidate, that question really does beg belief.

Survival of the thickest

Elsewhere you have candidates making simple mistakes such as with numbers as Francesca MacDuff-Varley did in week 2 when she twice miscalculated the amount of rhubarb needed to make her team’s fruit beer, resulting in two kegs being unusable. The team lost but she survived, and still remains in the competition while her project manager Tim Stillwell was kicked out as a result of her cock-up.

Other calamities have seen a self-pronounced Dubai expert lose as project manager in, guess where?…Dubai, a project manager give up his position because sometimes it’s the best way to victory as Jason tried to defend it and generally a lot more back stabbing than ever before.

There are one or two with a bit of talent and in particular 32-year-old Neil Clough, who has won twice as project manager and a further four times as part of the winning team where he stood out as the outstanding candidate. Jordan Poulton has also shown huge potential and at only 26 looks to have a bright future ahead of him but apart from these two, the rest of the candidates are restricted by their egos, bitchiness and lack of connection with the most important aspect of business; the general public.

Lord Sugar starring in panto

The tasks are still entertaining, but Lord Sugar is another ingredient of the show becoming hugely irritating as his persona is becoming more and more pantomime like and while I’ll be tuning in on Wednesday, it will only be for the laughs rather than to gain inspiration.

Please note that Series 10 has been commission by the BBC so it looks like we’ll stuck with Lord Sugar for a while longer!

What do you think? Is it time Lord Sugar was fired from BBC One? Or is there something about The Apprentice that makes it a great programme? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.