Apprentice 2011: The Final Five

It’s the penultimate episode of The Apprentice tonight, although I can hardly believe it. How on Earth is this series over already? It seems that time flies when you’re having fun…and also when you’re biting down on your fist, cringing inwardly and weeping tears of blood in sheer disbelief at the fact any group of people could be so stupid.

So in preparation for tonight’s episode, a.k.a. the Buffoonery World Cup semi final, let’s take a look at the remaining five candidates:

Susan Ma

So what have we learned about Susan? Very little, I think. I mean, we don’t even SKINCARE know what she ENTREPRENEUR does for a living. Unlike SKINCARE many of the ENTREPRENEUR candidates, she’s SKINCARE been very reticent about ENTREPRENEUR mentioning her previous experience. Unless she’s SKINCARE simply mentioned it so ENTREPRENEUR much it’s acted almost like SKINCARE an subliminal message. It’s impossible to say for ENTREPRENEUR sure.

I was so confused, in fact, that I googled her: according to  she’s the managing director of ‘Tropic Skincare’. Well, she kept that quiet: I’d have guessed ‘travelling duvet cover saleswoman (Knightsbridge division)’. Or possibly cultural attaché to the French ambassador, with particular responsibility for advising him how to drive cars and love his children.

Helen Milligan

Helen, a.k.a. Mrs Tweedy from Chicken Run, has proved herself a formidable candidate. She’s only had one trip to the boardroom so far (for the lamentable ‘smell what sells’ task), but how she didn’t also fail the biscuit task I’ll never know as the ‘Special Stars’ idea she greenlit was the worst thing to happen to the oven based treat industry since the recent discovery that a certain well-known high street retailer of pastry-wrapped gubbins use ███ knees, ███ and horse’s █████ to make S███k Bakes

Ah, sorry about that: it seems ██████ the Bakers have taken out a superinjunction.

In my opinion ‘Special Stars: the treat for any time, but specifically for after school- you know, before kids are served the dinner they subsequently wont want to eat’ should really go down as the second worst idea in Apprentice history: after ‘Cat Size- see their light’ of course. Oh, wait: I forgot the  Slang-a-Tang app…and ‘Hip Replacement’ magazine.

Actually, scratch that: in the wider scheme of things Special Stars weren’t that bad at all.

Natasha Scribbins 

Natasha, you say? No, sorry. Doesn’t ring a bell.

I’m sure if there was a Natasha in this year’s Apprentice I’d have noticed her- especially if she’d made it through to the final five. You must be mistaken.








Tom Pellereau

Tom, a.k.a ‘Mr Notebook-Calculator, a.k.a ‘Hindsight Man’, a.k.a. ‘Nodding Hindsight Man’ (please Nick/Suralun: stick to your day jobs and leave the nicknames to me) is possibly one of the most human- and nicest- Apprentice candidates ever to grace our screens….so it should come as no surprise that he’s barely scraped through to the final round. After all if Labour peer Lord Sugar was bladdy well looking for a bladdy pal, he’d go along to the next Party Conference and pick one up there (along with a nodding Tony Blair doll and some Iraq War commemorative pens).

No, Lord Sir Alan is looking for a cut-throat business type to invest with, and inventor Tom is about as cut-throat as a pair of child’s plastic safety scissors covered in bubble wrap and encased in a rubber block. His management style- as demonstrated in the Paris task- could at best be described as ‘mauviette’* and at worst: ‘handing his testicles to Melody on a plate after losing a ‘whose balls are these’ rock paper scissors tournament’.

Still, viewers love his little adorable face and child-like ears, and that’s the main thing.

*Mauviette is defined by polite dictionaries as ‘wimp, wuss, weakling, softy or drip’. And by impolite ones as a word you’d use as a prefix for ‘cat’.

‘Jedi’ Jim Eastwood

I started off intending to write something quite negative about Jim, but for some reason after briefly looking into his eyes I find myself compelled to write nothing but glowing praise. One thing’s for sure: he most certainly isn’t the vaguely threatening, dead-eyed love child of Obi Wan Kenobi and Derren Brown.

One of Jim’s most notable successes so far was the pitch where he convinced several slightly nervous Asda representatives to order nearly a million units of ‘Special Stars’ by offering them a truly dazzling array of incentives- i.e. a million pound advertising deal, Harry Potter tie-ins, a tattoo of the Asda logo on Lord Sugar’s forehead and a partridge in a pear tree. In fact, never mind stars: he should have made the biscuits look like moons and mounted them on a little stick.

Sorry, hang on, what was I saying? I can’t quite remember. Jim is a wonderful candidate. Also, I don’t think these are the droids I’m looking for.

The penultimate episode of the Apprentice Series 7 airs on Wednesday 13th July at 9pm on BBC1, with the final airing on Sunday 17th July at 9pm


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

4 Responses to Apprentice 2011: The Final Five

  1. lee says:

    I can’t believe you’ve not noticed someone called Natasha, yeah, she’s the one, yeah, who occasionally says something mindbendingly idiotic, yeah, and then says ‘yeah’, yeah.

    I hate her with the very depths of my cold black soul, yeah.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Sorry, who? Doesn’t ring a bell.

      Seriously: she’s only in the final five because she’s so damned good at keeping her head down and staying out of trouble it’s unreal. She’s about as memorable as Gavin Winstanley. Remember him? Nope? Me neither.

  2. nancoise says:

    I think Tom’s fancied Helen for weeks now. Y’know how, when they won the fast food task then ran out into the lobby and grabbed each other and Tom said, ‘Ssshhh!’ really fast? I think something grabby and ‘Sh’ -y has been going on around the Apprentice House for a little while now. And earlier, when Helen claimed the role of Project Manager, Tom said he’d enjoy being ‘managed’ by her?

    Also, remember when, in the biscuit task when Tom manned up in the boardroom and dissed both Helen and Melody, later Helen told the winners back at the house that Tom had been ‘a bit naughty’? I noticed that Nodding Tom’s head whipped around and he perked right up at that point.

    For an Englishman, this is practically the sky-writing of love. Just my opinion.

    • KateH says:

      Helen is missing her gimp-festooned sex dungeon. Everytime she sees Tom she’s probably imagining what it must be like to zip his mouth shut. (I was going to suggest this might be more appropriate for Jim but… ewwwww!)

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