The Apprentice: The Final

June 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

leemcqueen.JPGWell what can I say? The final episode of The Apprentice thoroughly outdid itself last night with shock winner, Lee McQueen pipping runner-up Claire Young to Mr. Sugar’s eminent £100,000 a year, high-powered post. The exhilarating final moments made me so happy that I actually begun punching the air in delight, much like Michael in week six. Yes, I suddenly understood the joyfully inappropriate compulsion that he must have felt to shout in the face of respectable people. Luckily my housemate, though of course respectable, is no disapproving Margaret and so joined me in my expression of glee.

A closely–run contest, the four were split into two teams and challenged to come up with a scent for the modern man. From the beginning though, it seemed fairly certain that Sir Alan had a plan in mind. Splitting up the two that many saw as the strongest candidates, Alex and Claire looked like a suspiciously cunning way to ensure one of them made it to the final Board Room.

Team Whinge aka Helene and Alex didn’t get off to the best start. Actually, they got off to a vacuously unimaginative start trying to brand the perfume – NB. When name ideas turn to references of male genitalia (Helene at one point suggests “Girth?) you’ve got to recognise that a little of the je ne sais quoi may have been lost from the product. Moreover, they both seemed to lose the power to communicate, preferring to debate the issue of who was misunderstanding the other the most and who this therefore made the calmest. The best thing of all was that this was conducted over the good old speakerphone so that everyone around them could hear including the bottle designers who were sat next to Alex in the design meeting when Helene asserted from the other end of the line, “the bottle is not important? – ouch.

Meanwhile, Claire and Lee were busy furiously directing their commercial for “Roulette?, the gambler’s choice, in which they appealed to the “man’s man? due to the extensive market research they did in a fish and chip shop (apparently a lot of vinegar went into the final scent). Lee seemed to crack a little under the pressure stuttering through the practise presentation but ever resilient Claire, whose face, incidentally, bears an uncanny resemblance to a crisp, told him to have a word with himself and by the evening they were all set to present to important industry professionals and Sir Alan himself.

So “Roulette? went up against “Dual? (or was it, “Duel??) and one cringe-worthy dance tune followed the other (played at full volume so as to alleviate the awkwardness of the less-than-grand situation) while showmen juggled/danced/duelled among the tables to celebrate the manly smells. But it was Lee and Claire who found themselves in the final Board Room and in a final twist of the game, Lee was hired. Clearly, the producers are fed up with wannabe savvy viewers (like me) smugly working out the editing technique and correctly predicting the outcome. Got me this time though Apprentice and I’ve got to say, surprises are best. Go Lee!!!

By Susan Allen