And then there were 17 vacuous idiots.
Pass-the-buck Scott McCulloch bids farewell to the boardroom this week, as does shirker and luxury fashion retailer Robert Goodwin. Poor old Hoxtonite Robert left even before the boys got to the sad, little café.
Alan Sugar seems to be taking a leaf out of Simon Cowell’s book this year, just like X Factor, the Amstrad boss has thrown more contestants into the mix and introduced double eliminations.
Instead of adding more drama to the series, it’s turned the show into a parody of itself. The IQ level of the contestants on The Apprentice has hit an all-time low this year, by increasing the number of candidates inevitably the overall intelligence of the teams has markedly plummeted.
At least a good third of the show is now spent watching people nonsensically shouting over each other. There’s even more backstabbing and cattiness but it’s drowned out by all the yelling.
The Apprentice 2014: Meet the candidates
The Apprentice 2014: Meet the candidates
1/19 Mark Wright, 24, London
Australian-born Mark has been recognised repeatedly for the highest revenue growth in his company, where he supports internet marketing consultants.
He has been working in sales for the digital health and fitness industries for nine years and his first job was washing cars for his dad's business.
Mark says he is easy to talk to, orgnaised and ambitious. He names his business inspirations as John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan as they are all entrepreneurs who have built their own empires.
He said: 'I'm very, very aggressive. I will not leave the room without getting a sale.'
2/19 Bianca Miller, 25, London
After university, Bianca joined a major management and technology consulting firm as a human resources advisor, before launching her own business at the age of 23.
Her branding company, The Be Group, was named as one of the Startups 100 businesses of 2013. Bianca calls herself determined, ambitious and pedantic.
She said: 'I regret not becoming a scientist so I could clone myself and be more successful in half the time.'
3/19 James Hill, 26, Chesterfield
James got his start in business when he set up a hand car wash, and has since launched other businesses including supplying gaming machines to bars and clubs in the UK and Ireland, and opening a restaurant and bar.
He says he is enthusiastic and energetic with a drive to succeed, but admits that he can be a bit of a know-it-all.
He said: 'Me and Lord Sugar could build an empire together. I think I am him when he was my age.'
4/19 Daniel Lassman, 27, Essex
Daniel used to be a footballer before running his own pub quiz company - he had a year's contract with Hornchurch FC, but it was not renewed when he got injured. He has also worked as a market trader in his family business. He says James Caan is an inspiration to him in business because of his calm and collected manner.
He said: 'I will out-sell them, I will out-class them and I will perform the best just by being me.'
5/19 Katie Bulmer-Cooke, 27, Sunderland
Katie has won several awards for her work as a personal trainer. She creates and markets her own work-out programmes and DVDs and has been a health and fitness expert for Argos.
She would describe herself as honest, down-to-earth and energetic.
She said: 'In business I'm like a little stealth bomber that flies under the radar and smashes the competition before they've even realised I'm here.'
6/19 Lauren Riley, 28, London
As a family solicitor, Lauren specialises in family law, including divorce, separation, finances and property, and says she is passionate about achieving fair outcomes for her clients.
She says she is outgoing and ambitious, and wishes that she had had the idea for Facebook.
She said: 'I'm absolutely not a shrinking violet. I'm very known for speaking my own mind.'
7/19 Sanjay Sood-Smith, 27, London
Sanjay is responsible for the online sales strategy of three national banking brands and previously worked as a bank manager who improved the ranking of his branch from the 900s to 30th in the space of six months.
He was put in charge of 14 London retail branches because of his success. Sanjay describes himself as practical, enthusiastic and generous, but says he can worry too much.
He said: 'If I had to choose between friendship and profit I'd choose profit. I'm not in this process to make friends with people, I'm here to win.'
8/19 Roisin Hogan, 32, Dublin
A chartered accountant, Roisin is following her dream to start her own business. She says she is confident, driven and creative, and being a risk taker has also made her a keen poker player in her spare time.
She said: 'Manipulate, persuade and conquer. I would identify my opponent's weaknesses and pick them off one by one.'
9/19 Sarah Dales, 32, London
Sarah works as an executive assistant for a top financial firm, and previously worked at Goldman Sachs, while also running her own hypnotherapy and match-making businesses.
She describes herself as hard-working, positive and tenacious, though she can repeat herself if she feels she is not being listened to. Her proudest business achievement is setting up her hypnotherapy practice on Harley Street.
She said: 'I am the pioneer and the ground breaker, and I possess all the talents to succeed.'
10/19 Solomon Akhtar, 22, London
Solomon works at a creative agency, but also runs his own company, a social media technology business. He has created and managed student events before, including a shop lock-in and group yacht trip around Croatia.
He calls himself enthusiastic, energetic, personable and passionate about technology and travel.
He said: 'I am from the 'ideas generation'; because of my age, I understand technology and how to turn it into a business.'
11/19 Felipe Alviar-Baquero, 33, Kent
Colombian-born Felipe works as a solicitor at an international law firm and was named one of the Top 100 Columbians in 2012, the same year that he was an Olympic torchbearer. Felipe describes his biggest business achievement as designing and launching a children's play area.
He is passionate about social entrepreneurship and is a trustee for a British charity supporting vulnerable children in Colombia.
He said: 'I studied law because I wanted to change the world. But my real passion is business.'
12/19 Jemma Bird, 26, West Midlands
Jemma rates Simon Cowell as a role model. She is a trained dancer and dance teacher and passionate about the arts.
Her proudest business achievement to date has been founding an entertainment cabaret agency, for which she scouts performers, sources bookings, produces performances and markets the business.
She said: 'I'm always the girl that nearly wins, I'm hoping this time it will be different.'
13/19 Steven Ugoalah, 25, London
Canadian Steven spent a year travelling the Arctic for a community development social work project with remote Inuit communities.
He now lives in London, running his own social work consultancy as well as managing a property portfolio. Steven says he is resourceful, dynamic and a great negotiator but admits he often becomes frustrated when people do not have the same high standards as him.
He said: 'I can deliver in minus 50, I can deliver in plus 10. If we went to Mars right now, I'd find a way to be excellent.'
14/19 Chiles Cartwright,35, Shropshire
Chiles owns a consultancy business and a building materials supplier, and before that he worked in management for international consumer brands for nine years.
He describes himself as self-motivated, loyal and committed to everything he does. Chiles also has a passion for martial arts and is a black belt in karate.
He said: 'I consider myself one of the most credible candidates in this process. I don't believe that anyone has the wealth and breadth of business acumen that I've gained over the years.'
15/19 Ella Jade Bitton, 25, Hertfordshire
Ella's first job was working as a fashion studio assistant for designer Jonathan Saunders. At 16, she negotiated an interior design concession stand in Harrods for her family business. Since leaving university, she has been responsible for the marketing strategy and online presence of her family's interior design company.
She said: 'The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.'
16/19 Scott McCulloch, 24, East Kilbride
Scott started out with a recruitment company after leaving school and is now responsible for global strategic partnerships between clinical development companies. He has previously travelled the world to work with emerging markets in business development for clinical research.
Scott says he is determined, trustworthy and hungry to succeed. He admires the brands Pfizer and GSK, and businessmen such as Peter Jones.
He said: 'From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, making money and conducting business is on my mind.'
17/19 Lindsay Booth, 29, Leicester
A swimming instructor for 14 years, Lindsay is the founder of a swimming academy, which has taught hundreds of children over the past four years. She would describe herself as compassionate and ambitious.
She said: 'The other candidates will underestimate how feisty I am, and how I will fight and prove that I can get to the end.'
18/19 Robert Goodwin, 25, East Sussex
Robert is responsible for the global marketing of an international brand in sports nutrition and has managed a campaign for the company's largest ever advertising spend. His early jobs included being a tennis coach when he was 15 and working in his uncle's art shop.
Robert says he feels inspired by Harry Selfridge for creating market-leading retail services and brands such as Net-A-Porter for their luxurious, aspirational qualities.
He said: 'I'm fearless and if I don't shut up about something, you should just trust it's a well thought out decision.'
19/19 Nurun Ahmed, 36, Peterborough
As well as working full-time as a marketing officer, Nurun runs three businesses. She says she is thoughtful, considerate and a multi-tasker. Her proudest business achievement is setting up three small businesses within 18 months.
She said: 'I'm the type of person that doesn't take five hours to do one job, I do 20 jobs in five hours.'
Even the quality of the candidates is questionable.
"Are we a 100 per cent sure on what it means?" personal trainer and fitness expert Katie Bulmer-Cooke asks the others, as the girls settle on re-branding themselves “tenacity”. It was a struggle trying to grasp the meaning of “decadence” last week but this is just getting ridiculous.
The boys again are not much better. “I wouldn’t wear it in public,” the mouthy Daniel Lassman assures representatives from Firebox during his pitch to the online retailer. It’s a miracle he’s still here.
Lord Sugar must secretly be chuckling to himself after witnessing the disaster products created in this week’s wearable technology task.
Team Tenacity’s jacket looks like it was designed by a Blue Peter competition winner. Not only does it have Eighties statement shoulder pad solar panels, it re-charges mobile phones and heats up – but best of all – the lapels have LED lights for those special occasions.
While Team Summit's creepy video camera jumper that comes with the unofficial slogan “privacy is history” is marginally less absurd.
Margaret Mountford is probably glad she made her exit when she did. Now poor, old Karren Brady must be dismayed with having to work with a bunch of cretins who spout hot air and duck any sort of responsibility.
Nick is still just frowning with disapproval.Reuse content