The Twit and wisdom of The Apprentice
Follow the show on Twitter and predict the winner by the cliché count
Sunday 17 July 2011
I watch The Apprentice avidly. Not on television, obviously, but on Twitter. I don't have time for moving pictures with audio, although as an occasional visitor to the world outside the internet, I have not avoided a glimpse of Jedi Jim's stare. He was telling a fellow contestant that "these are not the droids you are looking for". Or something.
No, I enjoy The Apprentice as rich source material for a hobby of mine: collecting clichés. People on Twitter watch the programme and pass on gems mined from the mixture of business jargon and popular verbiage. Earlier in this series, a contestant said: "Don't tell me the sky is the limit when there's footsteps on the moon." Others have: talked about "capacity pockets" – I think it means spare time; said "there is no 'I' in team"; and discussed the concept of an "emergency biscuit".
Last week Natasha wanted to make peppers "iconic to our brand". No wonder she didn't survive.
This is the best way to watch the programme. It's true that you don't have a strong grip on what the tasks set for the contestants actually are, although I gather this can be quite difficult for those watching the audiovisual version, too. Last week was all to do with creating a themed restaurant, apparently, although I was a bit hazy about who was proposing what and how they were making a mess of it. There was something about Mexican fast food which made no sense on Twitter, but it must have been just as baffling to watch on TV.
I know the important parts. Natasha asked Susie: "Do you know much Mexican?" And Susie, the 21-year-old, did not. She wondered why a lot of Latin American things were called "el" something. "What does 'el' mean?" I don't know if anyone answered her.
I know that they settled on Caraca's as the name of their restaurant, which was embarrassing enough before they put an apostrophe in it. At this point, one of my Twitter pedant correspondents gave up.
But others struggled on. Tom, they told me, said that Christopher Columbus was British, and Helen, the sensible one, agreed with him. Still, he was right about "William Drake". He was British, surely. I thought the discovery of the Americas was something to do with the Caraca's idea, but later tweets suggested that this was an accidental crossover between the Mexican and British pie themes.
This is the 21st-century way to understand The Apprentice. I confidently predict that the Twitter-cliché count is the best way to predict the winner. Apart from stage-villain Jim, I don't know what the last four look like, but my method suggests that Helen, the woman with a business plan, will beat Jim, Boffin Tom and Susie to take the prize. Tune in to Twitter tonight to find out if I'm right.
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