The Apprentice is set to hit our TV screens next week
and speculation is already hotting up over who will be crowned
chief underling to Lord Sugar. Check out this year's crop of
misfits and delusionals.
Alex "I'm a maverick" Epstein looks like he
tanked up on amphetamine before his audition. All that frantic
gesticulating could have someone's eye out. And, pardon Smarta's
cycnicsm, but anyone who claims to be a "universally liked… people
person" rarely is. Case and point: Epstein has the all the charm of
a bout of salmonella.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Raleigh
Addington is an intensely likeable fellow. Maybe it's
because of his stammer. He delivers his lines with all the panache
of a shy, ADD-ridden kid in a school play. And he's not far off
being a kid at only 22. "People always compare me to Boris
Johnson," he says. Any similarity is purely superficial, dear
heart. Can't see you speaking Latin.
Chris Bates says he's "extremely funny". He's
not. There's so little inflection or character in his voice that
Smarta wonders if he is, in fact, an alien. He got his job in
investment banking "at the height of the recession." Smarta tip:
Stick to banking, Bates.
Chris Farrell is a little bit frightening. He
joined the Royal Marines at 16 and became a sniper. Yes, a sniper.
Farrell says he's at his best under pressure (gulp) and likes
working to targets - preferably moving, breathing targets? "I don't
show a lot of emotion," he says. Alrite, Leon.
Where to start with Jamie Lester? He sounds
like he's swallowed a self-help manual and has been shitting out
half-digested maxims ever since. "You have to break eggs to make an
omelette… Never look back… You get what you're given in life…"
Hopefully, in Lester's case, this involves getting fired.
DR Shibby Robati is a practising surgeon. I
reckon he's inhaled a bit too much nitrous oxide. "I want to deal
with the prime minister and other entrepreneurial giants." Hear
that, Cameron? You're an entrepreneur. Who knew? Smarta tip: When
backed into a corner, Robati won't hesitate to stick the knife in.
Ba dum psch.
Did you actually just come out with the line, "People like me
intimidate me," Stuart Baggs? Baggs is, hands
down, the worst of a mediocre bunch. "I couldn't live a more
interesting life - even when I'm sleeping," he says. Um. Okay. That
just plain doesn't make sense. Here's another gem: "I'm alive. Lots
of other people are dead." Smarta tip: IQ in single digits.
Smarta favourite: Joanna Riley. Yes, she's an
entrepreneur - we never promised to comment without bias. She runs
her own cleaning business and, unlike the rest of the Apprentice
pack, has a no-nonsense, capable air about her. "Don't complicate
business," she says. "Keep it simple." Smarta tip: We like her, and
we think Lord Sugar will too.
"Entrepreneurial, off-the-wall" Joy Stephanicki
doesn't fit well into the "corporate monkey suit brigade". Er… are
you sure you want this job? That said, she seems both sane and
smart - an unlikely combination for reality TV. But she is easily
intimidated by attractive women. Smarta tip: Watch Stephanicki
quiver with fear before the gorgeous and gruff Karren Brady.
Dan Harris and Stephanicki should hang out.
Harris is terrified of attractive business women too. He says they
make him sweat. Thanks for sharing. Harris is an entrepreneur too,
apparently, but is looking for a mentor and leader. He believes he
has the personality traits to win The Apprentice.
"Ego-drive" and "Ego-strength". Sounds like a lot of ego, mate.
Smarta tip: Suralan's ego vs Harris' ego: this show ain't big
enough for the both of them.
Laura Moore can't walk into a room without
making at least three friends. Smarta can all but guarantee she'll
leave The Apprentice with none. Moore is a management
accountant by trade and claims to have brought in £0.5m of business
during her career. She's also "a man in a woman's body" who is
intimidated by no one. Let's see if a tongue-lashing from Sugar
will dent her confidence.
Liz Locke seems like a nice sort of girl. The
pretty, unassuming façade might hide a steely, well, hide, but we
doubt it. This one's a team player: "I don't want to be pushing
people out of the way." Probably a secret serial backstabber.
Smarta tip: She'll strike up a romance with a fellow contender by
the end of the third week.
Step up Melissa Cohen, AKA "The battering ram".
She confesses to being "slightly insane" and Smarta believes her.
That laugh has all the hallmarks of a textbook loon. Smarta tip:
Cohen might actually be a lot more on the ball than she seems.
Could be a dark horse in the running.
Paloma Vivanco has passion galore. We know this
because she used the word three times in 30 seconds. Joking aside,
she's got guts this one. She set up her first business at 21 - it
failed by the time she was 22, but she hasn't let this dent her
confidence: "I'm a hyper achiever. Everything I do is a success,"
she says. Apart from the example you just gave, then?
Sandeesh Samra likes Alan Sugar's ears - they
look a bit like her dad's, she says. And she 'nose' she can be a
bit "challenging". But she's got her eyes on the prize. On the face
of it, then, Samra's bound to get a-head.
Great name, Stella English. "I'm an
unpredictable, crazy risk-taker," she says. Are you married to
Johnny by any chance? Still, don't mind this one. For all of her
bonkers, we are tempted to believe English when she says, "If I
want something, I get it." Plus, she owns a red Lotus, and Smarta
wants to borrow it...
Series six of The Apprentice premieres on Wednesday 6
October at 9pm on BBC One. For all the latest Apprentice
news and scoops, stay glued to the Smarta blog.