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The Apprentice – Week 10 – Sobollock’s demise



The Apprentice – Week 10

Mystery solved. 4 million screams a week of why? why? why? finally answered. The reason Sralan kept the unspeakable Michael Sobollocks on board and in the boardroom is because he was willing to do absolutely anything to win: lie, cheat, grovel, beg, plead, dupe, you name the device and Michael used it – proudly. From his own mouth on the excellent ‘You’re Fired’ follow-up programme – don’t miss it: of Raef “I love the guy but to survive I had to dupe him”; of the programme “I will screw anyone over to win The Apprentice.” I think that was what reminded Sralan of his younger self. In a young man it is the genesis of ruthlessness; the embryo of a business tyrant. And true to character, despite an apparent liking for the totally ethics-free zone that was Master Sobollocks, the cuddly, lovable Sralan immediately dismissed him on screen as a “waste of space” the minute he had ‘lost’. Lucinda should feel gratified to have received the greatest compliment in the gift of The Apprentice – Sralan doesn’t like her: so she must be doing something right.

So the good, half-Jewish boy (not sure whether half-good, half-Jewish, or half-boy) who Catholically crossed himself for luck before one of his begging bowl boardroom bow-and-scrapes; and who affected to believe that a couple of Arab Jack-the-lads pretending to bless a dead chicken would ‘make’ it Kosher, finally bites the dust. But it was a close thing – the nation held its breath as Sralan’s relish at slagging off another woman, the entirely deserving of such treatment Helene, almost made him forget the sycophantic little twerp who had to go. Am I being too tough on Helene and the causes of Helene? Well this week’s little Hellenic gem of toxic bile was the off-programme remark that she was finding it difficult because she was not “used to being surrounded by 15 gobshites.” Ah me doesn’t she have a way with words?

Just when we thought Michael could not surprise us at all he did: we were astonished to discover that not only did he not know anything about cars especially at the penis-substitute end of the range, but he didn’t even like cars. So while Lee and Alex were bonding orgasmically in the midst of a torrent of testosterone and white leather, poor little Michael looked as if Mummy hadn’t called him early enough for school or packed his PE kit. Like a couple of alcoholics swimming in a sea of single malt scotch, loud-but-lovely stubbly Lee and languid-but-lovely stubbly Alex found several equally cretinous males with more money than sense to spend £2,500 for one day’s deluded babe-magnetism in the super-car Lucinda first couldn’t remember and then couldn’t pronounce: culpable, but loveable. The on-the-stroke-of-midnight, task-clinching Cinderfella in a baseball cap booking a weekend in the sex-machine, looked distinctly dodgy as if he was about to disappear into the night with the car of men’s dreams, never to be seen again. I hope the Alpha team’s final profit was measured nett of nicked fantasy cars.

In the ‘You’re Fired’ post mortem, Masterbollocks managed the impossible, he made his real tactics even more objectionable than his apparent tactics on screen. With no irony or shame Michael did something unique in my experience, he demonstrated first that he knew himself so well that he agreed with our assessment of him as galactically stupid and then breathtakingly, took pride in being what Adrian Chiles called an ‘odious little twat’. He bragged of being chameleon-like, able to read everyone like a book and then spin and con them. With a smile, he took all insults, all disapproval, all contempt for his incompetence and behaviour, as compliments to his triumph of arse-licking over competence. In his own words he was a very good “arse-licker.” This negates the old saying, because after this kind of pride – there is nowhere lower to fall. But Michael’s greatest talent was in picking up the drift behind people’s words, especially the old Sugar-lump, blocking it, then filtering it back as his own judgement. We shouldn’t hate Michael Sophocles on the basis of his time on The Apprentice – for there is no such person: he has to know who he needs to be before he can be anyone. The Faustian bargain of the salesman.

Lucinda brings to mind a remark by the great stage musical singer of the 60s and 70’s, Georgia Brown: feisty, strong but not tough, outspoken and determined, Georgia once remarked that she hated aggressive feminists because as she said “they force me to shout and be aggressive against my nature, just to be heard.” This happens to Lucinda every week: she has an idea, so everyone, especially the lads immediately nick it and claim it as their own; she makes sensible suggestions which work out well and all pretend she didn’t make them. This week Lee’s conception of management and leadership emerged as enticing as the Alien from John Hurt’s chest – essentially “bugger-off and play on your own Lucinda – we guys will do the important work. I’d say infantile – if that wasn’t unjust to infants. The guys on the show take their dismissiveness of women straight from old HMV Sugar-lump himself. Claire has sussed it: get things done, shut the f*** up, and never display any female or womanly qualities even if they would help the task in hand.

Claire’s Sugar-control is becoming a joy to watch and I bet Lady Sugar sits quietly at home nodding and saying to herself – “yes my dear – that’s the way to do it.” Smiling sweetly, Claire intentionally becomes, in the be…… er….boardroom, exactly the kind of woman Sralan likes: outwardly to the business and customers, an aggressive grafter; inwardly to Sralan, sweetly submissive. Make no mistake, this young lady is much more than a good salesperson – she is a supreme manipulator especially with a man as transparent as dear old Sugar-lump. Give it to her now Sralan she’s got you sussed. And like us, you are never going to understand the enigmatic, but oddly successful Alex.

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