Thursday 23 November 2017

Last night's TV: The Apprentice (TV3)

The Apprentice and its spin off industry returned to TV3 last night writes Eithne Tynan

'The Apprentice' is back on TV3, along with its spin-offs, 'The Apprentice: You're Fired', 'The Apprentice: Behind the Scenes' and 'I Can't Believe It's Not The Apprentice'. There is room for another spin-off as well, based on transcripts of the show, called 'Ireland's Next Top Cliché'.

“I'm not here to make friends. This is not a friend competition,” said Brian Kirwan, a sales and marketing entrepreneur aged 29. (The friend competition was probably on another channel.) Later Brian added: “I shoot straight from the hip. If I see it I'll call it.”

“One of my mottos in life is 'second place is first loser',” said Peter Nielsen, 28, an IT accounts manager. “I am in your face the entire time,” he threatened.

“Entrepreneurs have always been the catalyst for change,” said Bill Cullen. Alright, it's not so much a cliché as a out-and-out whopper, but there you are.

On last night's show, the two teams were dispatched to sell sandwiches on the streets of Dublin. Before that they had to make the sandwiches, and before that they had to plan the sandwiches, and before that they had to order the ingredients, and before that they had to cost the ingredients, and before that they had to devise a sales strategy. Never has a simple ham and cheese looked so over-egged.

However, even before all that, they had to decide on a name for themselves. Maurice “I'm a Leo” O'Callaghan, project manager of the “older” (over-30) team, suggested the name Mercury, because he said it was precious, which will be news to old-school dentists.

It was pointed out to him that mercury is also poisonous. “But we're poisonously good,” ventured Maurice. Eventually they decided on Team Zest.

Meanwhile, the younger (under-30) team chose the name Team Spirit, in homage to Nirvana, even though they were the younger team.

Their project leader was Aisling Smith, a marketing manager with experience in “FMCG”. (It stands for fast-moving consumer goods. Keep up!) Team Spirit also included Conor Browne, a company owner aged 20, who kept shouting at everyone to read the brief.

Team Zest exceeded their budget by €5. However, they made a profit of €266. But Team Spirit made a paltry €19 profit between them.

“I want yiz to go out there now and think about where yiz went wrong, why yiz went wrong, and yiz better make sure that it doesn't happen again... Off yiz go,” said Bill Cullen.

“We're eight of the brightest entrepreneurs in Ireland,” said Team Spirit, reflecting on why they had done so badly. Conor, aged 15, believed it was because they didn't read the brief.

When it came to elimination, project manager Aisling took Chris Harold, 27, a market manager, back into the boardroom with her, along with 11-year-old Conor.

“I don't think my opinion is held as strongly or as highly as the others because at the end of the day I'm the youngest candidate ever on 'The Apprentice',” Conor, aged six, complained to Bill Cullen.

Don't play that card with me, Conor,” snapped Cullen. “I was managing director of a company when I was 20.” (Go Tyra. Go Tyra.)

In the end, Aisling was fired. Now only 15 apprentices are still in the running to win a Renault Megane and the chance to spend more time with Bill Cullen. On the plus side, the winner will also get €100,000 in cash, which seems only fair.

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