Last night’s episode of The Apprentice saw the debut of a character named “Herbert”, supposedly the epitome of a bad date, in order to advertise a dating website. He was played by Alex, the Welsh boyo with a penchant for aggressively groomed eyebrows, or, as I have re-christened him, “Visionary Eyebrows”. Due to the fact he proclaimed himself a visionary in last night’s show and, as far as I can see, the most visionary thing about him is his brow regime. “Herbert” was enough to give me nightmares. However, I can’t help but admire Visionary Eyebrows’ willingness to make a complete twonk of himself at any given opportunity. He seems to exist in perpetual readiness to make people cringe; a man always a whisker, or rather eyeshadow, hair gel and upsetting denim cut-off/socks/loafer combination away from throwing himself, eyebrow first, into lunacy. This is what you want in an Apprentice contestant. And he also seems to have a modicum of self-awareness and humour, something there is a tragic paucity of in this show.
This latest episode was a masterclass in bitchiness and rudeness, ironic when the task was about finding love. I would wager that the only love any of the contestants have ever felt is for the cold hard crackle of money in their sweaty hands. I felt for Visionary Eyebrows when the rest of his team volunteered him to play a character who advertises himself as good looking online but isn’t in person in the TV ad for their dating site. How rude! He’s not a bad looking guy, he’s just made his face look a bit like it’s imploding into itself with his shortened and unnaturally arched brows. (I consider myself something of an eyebrow expert since I gave up years of vicious plucking a few years back and embraced the shapely over pencil thin brow… Now I keep getting ID’d for fags and booze and I put this almost entirely down to having thicker brows. Seriously. I once hectored a guy I was dating on how integral brows are to the look of a face. He found it funny, but there is nothing funny about browmanship to me.) Aaaanyway, there was more rudeness with Louisa’s despicable bullying of poor, sweet, affable, non-sociopathic Jason. I hate to see people round on perceived weakness like that. The ironic thing is, Jason’t so likeable he’s bound to find some sort of career from his stint in the show, despite his abdication and departure last night. We love an affable, posh boy bozo, BoJo’s entire political career is testament to that. Jason seems his natural successor. He is also probably the most functional, non-issued human being on that show, even bearing in mind that he took his giant childhood teddy bear with him everywhere. The author Marion Keyes, on the panel of You’re Fired, described Jason as the “human equivalent of a scented candle: useless, but makes the world a lovelier place.” I couldn’t tell how this comment was intended, but if someone said that to me I’d think it the worst insult ever. But then I do have a longstanding beef with scented candles – they are not a valid gift!! I must have missed the meeting where all the world’s women decided they are delightful and calming and essential. I don’t get it.
From rudeness to the more bizarre quotes of the week: the advertising expert on the panel of You’re Fired rhapsodised about Leah to win on the grounds that “she’s got a really interesting nugget.” Hmm, I think you want to keep that to yourself pal. And finally, Myles won the award for this week’s “Statement Most in Need of Elaboration” when he smugly chuckled the cryptic slash slightly sinister: “The first time I ever saw a picture of my wife was on the internet, but it wasn’t on a dating site.”
I look forward to next week: seeing what antics Visionary Eyebrows gets up to next, whether Louisa (the human equivalent of chalk squeaking in your teeth) will finally get her comeuppance and, perhaps most importantly, what Leah will do next with her “nugget.” The Apprentice, surreal as ever.