The Apprentice - airheads & over-inflated egos are not what this reality TV show used to be about
Without trying to sound like I’m over the hill, they just don’t make them like they used to - at least when it comes to The Apprentice, that is. Having gone the way of most reality TV shows these days, it seems to be less and less about the necessary qualities contestants hold and more about their ability to act up for the cameras.
While ratings must, of course, be at the forefront of every production company’s modus operandi, it seems the desire to include people who will cause controversy leaves us stuck with a boardroom largely made up of airheads and over-inflated egos who will provide ludicrous catchphrases or act like an ass at every turn.
I did give this series a try, ever optimistic it might have a return to form. Sadly, the first episode included a team leader who didn’t realise turning up an hour late for dinner would render the toad-in-the-hole inedible and another who was unable to recognise a tablespoon when it was held in front of his face.
The downward spiral for me came when they changed the format. The winning contestant used to bag a £100,000-a-year job at one of Lord Sugar’s various businesses, which I think may have helped keep the calibre of the contestant marginally higher. Latterly, the winner instead gets a £250,000 investment in their own business, which means a CV displaying your aptitude for the job is less of a deal breaker. As long as Sugar likes the business idea, it doesn’t even matter if the business plan is torn to shreds during the interviews episode.
And it doesn’t look like I’m the only one turning off. Viewing figures at their peak reached almost 9 million, but over the years these have dwindled - last year achieving only 6.5 million. While still impressive, it does show a huge number of people deciding it’s no longer worth tuning in for.
The Apprentice used to feel like something altogether more high-brow than your run-of-the-mill reality show but in recent years it feels increasingly dumbed down. If I wanted to spend an hour watching fame hungry nobodies I’d tune into Love Island. So, though it’s with regret, Sir Alan, you’re fired.