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The Apprentice – Will Mudgee Recover From Such A Sophisticated Evening?

It was a crackerjack episode tonight as the contestants are really getting the hang of the this reality TV gig, they are negotiating harder, were slicker in the boardroom, as well as prepared to throw people under a bus more willingly in front of Bouris. And speaking of Mark Bouris he was on fire tonight.

I have two issues with the editing of tonight’s episode. Firstly you could tell from the outset who was going to be eliminated, and secondly NO more shots of John in his jocks. If you are going to do that give us Gavin for christ sake.

This week there was a team swap again so Team Pinnacle was Morello, Mary-Anne, John, and Sabrina with Mary-Anne as the project manager.

Eventus’s project manager Heather, Gavin, Blake, Sam and Carmen.

They were heading to Mudgee for the challenge which was to get as many punters in as possible to the pub with a special event. And you guess it the team that made the most money wins.
Team Eventus decided on a Mudgee Carnivale theme – I was hoping they were not going to wear g-strings to really get in on the spirit of the event.  They decided they were going to charge $85 for the food, however in the end Sam and Carmen talked her down to $60 a head. Which was just as well as the menu consisted of pumpkin soup, apricot chicken, and bread and butter pudding. Not that you could expect them to do gourmet as none of them are caterers.

Pinnacle’s theme was to use Sabrina as the attraction, as apparently Miss World Australia 2006 is considered celebrity these days. But then again so are reality TV stars. Sabrina did not even blush when Mary-Anne suggested it as a marketing strategy, and gushed to camera that it might bring the team over the line.

Their theme was an Italian trivia night, and their price was only $30 a head. Which even though their menu was  garlic bread, spaghetti bolognaise and gelato, they also included in the trivia night.

Eventus marketing was left to Gavin and Blake, and Gavin did the pitch. Now is Blake just really flying under the radar or does he not have much to say. I am still trying to get a handle on this guy at what his actual strengths are.

Sabrina and Morrello did great work with the marketing, and props to Sabrina for suggesting naming rights to the  printer, and Morello for negotiating the $800 payment fee.

Meanwhile Gavin was auditioning the “dancers” for the Carnivale night. Why weren’t alarm bells going off at this stage. They moved like tired hookers trying to entice a client for the evening. I did expect poles to be procured for them at one stage.

Pinnacle had a marketing issue with the posters, as it incorrectly said the current Miss World Australia was going to be there, not the 2006 version.

Team Eventus’s evening was an embarrassment. And some old aged pensioner agreed, he said the food was worth about $10, and then he saw the entertainment. Zero out of ten he awarded it. I hope they didn’t charge the poor bugger in the end, as he looked like he was the only one that ate a meal there.

Now the entertainment was bad, the girls danced even worse than at the audition, however why did Heather and Gavin get up there and think by joining in that it was going to improve it. I oscillated between cringing and laughing.

They did recoup money at the bar, plus they tried to make more money with some raffles.

In the board room Mark Bouris  appears to be really getting into his role now. He gave them a slapping about the stuff up on their marketing, and mentioned the ACCC to them this time – what a mentor.  But seriously how much of having a former beauty queen being there was a draw card? Did Sabrina sign one autograph that night?

Pinnacle made $3930.05 which was apparently $1000 more than Eventus.

Mark Bouris threatened to forfeit their win, but in the end didn’t because the team was all contrite particularly Mary-Ann. I think Mary-Ann is a dark horse in this competition and has been impressive when she has been in her comfort zone of the last two challenges.

Who to fire? Well Mark Bouris had a plethora of choices. Gavin for hiring the “dance company”, Blake for not making an impact with marketing, and Heather for pricing the menu to high.

The only two that should be safe were Carmen for doing a lot of the cooking, and also raising concerns about price early on, and Sam.

They all turned on Heather about the price except Blake who said it was a group decision.

Heather chose to bring in Blake, and Gavin into the boardroom with her. I liked the way the contestants are getting the hang of the board room now and Gavin was particularly good at throwing Blake under the bus. Which was a good choice as it was obvious, because of the editing all throughout the episode that Blake was the one that was going to be fired.

Kudos to Blake for giving his reason for staying as being someone who actually wanted to work with Mark Bouris in his business Yellow Brick Road, something some of the other contestants are not interested in doing.

I thought it was interesting the other contestants thought it was a strategy to take Gavin in to the board room with Blake to ensure he was fired. The theory being Gavin is a stronger contestant so he will be safe. But really who else could Heather take in?

And didn’t Mary-Anne looked pissed off when Heather walked in with Gavin, she was clearly not feeling the love for either of them. Carmen is showing why she was not fired in the first episode, as she continues to give reality TV gold, when she called out Heather for not nominating Blake because he had kids. As she said the same courtesy would not have been given to her.

Great show that is really hitting its straps, lets hope it increases in ratings so they make a Season Two.


1 Laura { 10.20.09 at 12:49 am }

Lol we just saw John in his jocks in Perth, I agree, I would much prefer Gavin!

2 CG { 10.20.09 at 2:28 am }

I still don’t understand why Mudgee? Was a reason given or just random?

Heather should have been fired. Setting the price so high – and lack of project management – were lethal. And her performance in the boardroom was cringeworthy. I hate it when these girls get out of being fired by fluttering their eyelashes and hate it even more that Bouris (like Trump) doesn’t see thru it.

I am also sick and tired of Sabrina already. I hope she goes soon. Wasn’t she introducing herself as “Miss World Australia” to the printer et al without the qualification of “2006”. I get the feeling they are going to let her (Sabrina) hang around for a while because they see some “celebrity” value in her 3-year old beauty title. Sad. I think she is sleeping with Gavin, by the way. This is not a random or malicious comment, it is based on the way they hugged at the end of the show and were sitting next to each other with Sabrina making googly eyes at Gavin.

I don’t see Mary-Anne as a dark horse. I don’t think she is very bright and has a very limited range of skills and experience (based on her performance on the show). That said, I can’t pick a winner out of the bunch of them. Need to see more. But of the ones who have played PM, none of them impress me – at all – none of them would survive three months at the executive level in “business”. If I had to bet on a winner right now I’d pick the youngster Sam for the win.

RR: Why do you say some have said they don’t want to work for Bouris’ company? Have they said this on air during the show (I’ve missed 1.5 episodes)? Or, have they said this in exit interviews.

If they don’t want to work for Bouris then why the hell are they on the show in the first place? This is a rhetorical question and links back to your other post about some contestants complaining about what is said about them on the blogs. If you don’t even want the prize, then why are you on the show? Oh, to get publicity, build a public profile, further your career? Well if this is the case and you don’t even want the prize, you have no right to complain what is said about you based on your time on the reality show. Good grief. Some of these guys must have been afraid they’d lose their “real life” job and felt they had to say they didn’t want the job with Bouris’. Maybe this is just a reaction to the GFC and how shakey employment markets have been in the last year.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Wish it wasn’t on Monday nights though. I’d enjoy it more if it were on later in the week.

3 Chuck { 10.20.09 at 7:57 am }

“I myself, miss world australia 2006 will be the celebrity guest”

The printer guy should have laughed in her face.

Morello is coming good…far more likeable than most of the others.

John has yet to do a single business-related task – seems to think he is on masterchef as has just cooked the last 2 weeks.

4 RetroGirl { 10.20.09 at 8:02 am }

I nearly threw up when Sabrina said something along the lines of ” It’s not every day they get a celebrity in this town”. Get over yourself !!! You were Miss World Australia 3 years ago and I doubt anyone on the street would have recognised you before this show, so to say you’re a celebrity is just so deluded.

I can see her having a lot of ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’ moments when she’s older – she’s still be introducing herself as “Miss World Australia 2006” when she’s 80 years old!

5 Miss Apprentice { 10.20.09 at 8:48 am }

I agree John in his jocks was completely unnecessary, boxer shorts would have been less off putting, but why did he need to go down that road in the first place – LOL !

What was the purpose of Sabrina being introduced as an attraction as never at one stage did we see her walk around in her Sash or with her Crown on her head, although they are pretty much permanent fixtures in her own mind, she just can’t get away from introducing or using her long gone title at every opportunity (!!)

She might make someone a good trophy wife one day, but would you want her in your business ?

Considering I gave Carmen such a roasting in episode 1 (garden challenge), I can see she is a very hard worker, pulls her weight when required and has a nice bitchy yet on the mark response to those getting up her nose, which makes good television and that’s why she’s most likely still on the show.

It was easy to see why Team Eventus lost the challenge, ridiculous pricing and no confirmed bookings.

For $ 85.00 a head you want the Opera House and dancers from the Lido and even for $ 60.00 what did patrons get ???

The idea was to get people in the door and keep them there and Team Eventus completely missed that point, other than saving the day with a raffle which was only an after thought by the look of it.

Gavin auditioned the dancers and thought they were “great” – WHAT ????

A bit of choreography would not have gone astray and why weren’t these dancers in Carnivale costumes or did the Samba, the Rumba or Lambada, whilst Carmen looked really colorful in her Carnivale costume, yet she was in the kitchen (!!)

It never ceases to amaze how the teams initially always think they did really well and are convinced they won the challenge, only to get ripped to shreds by Mark Bouris !!

Bring on the next episode !!

6 Wurstsemmel { 10.20.09 at 9:45 am }

This was the first week that left me wanting more, not having to wait a week. Mark Bouris is warming up to the task. He’s getting tougher. Loved the way he took on Pinnacle for the false advertising. This is what should have happened last week but he did have the decency to at least refer to the previous week’s events.

The carnivale thing was a bit of a washout. Premium entertainment pole dancers? I’m not sure how much those women got paid (one seemed to disappear) but, whatever it was, it was more than they deserved. And the meal? Granted, this isn’t Masterchef but for my $6o, I’d want something a little more exotic to go with the half-baked theme. Still, at least the team didn’t break out their g-strings and spangles. Got to be grateful for small mercies.

Pinnacle’s evening seemed much more fun, although Sabrina would have driven me up the wall. Can anyone say Z-list celebrity? Really, a former pageant queen, get over it! We DON’T care.

Pinnacle deserved the win and kudos to Mary-Anne for being prepared to cop it on the chin for the advertising error. I like the way Mark Bouris shared his own experience (guess the person behind that error paid dearly). The thing I do like about Mark Bouris is his openness to mistakes…how else do people learn…but he counters that with the important accountability factor.

7 Wurstsemmel { 10.20.09 at 9:46 am }

PS RR THREE hours of Survivor Gabon back to back tonight

8 Miss Apprentice { 10.20.09 at 9:50 am }

I feel sorry for young Sam.

In every episode he ends up on the losing team, whilst he is always pretty much the only one warning against bad tactics or pricing at a crucial stage in each challenge, yet no one takes any notice and brushes him off as they’re too engrossed in their own concept of where it’s at, but happily drag him into the Boardroom when it suits them !

Even if young Sam is not going to make it on this show, we will hear his name one day when he is a bit older !

9 Miss Apprentice { 10.20.09 at 10:25 am }

Considering Gavin is a lawyer, he doesn’t appear to have a way with words to get his point across, especially in a closing argument why he should not be the one to be sacked.

His reasoning was extremely mean spirited, blaming everyone around him instead of considering he never added any greatness or superior guidance to any of the challenges, yet tried to convince Mark Bouris he has “so much to give” and Mark “hasn’t seen his true potential yet”, so does that mean he deliberate held back on all challenges so far ??

As far as Blake is concerned, he stated how much he really wants to work for Mark Bouris as that is his dream, but can’t really think of any reasons why Mark would want to employ him and that is probably because there aren’t any !!

Too bad Mark Bouris can only sack one person at the time as he would have done us all favor by sacking them both !!

10 Scott { 10.20.09 at 10:37 am }

Do these guys even know the 4 P’s of marketing? Even Bouris mentioned them in the boardroom. This sort of stuff is studied in the first year of a business degree at Uni. I wonder just how much formal business education these guys have had. No wonder Sam is going ok…he might be young but he is probably the only one who has had a look at a marketing text book.

11 Reality Raver { 10.20.09 at 10:59 am }

CG: On the interview in gavin says “I see it as a profile and network building exercise, and obviously it is a fantastic learning opportunity,”- he says.

Also Sabrina has said in an interview or article that she is keen on a media career.

Also the way Blake said it indicated that their are others in the house who have won’t take up the Bouris job. Will Morello, Mary-Anne, or Amy leave their own businesses?

Yes the beauty queen thing was over the top, do you think the producers are encouraging this? However she did come up with the sponsorship. also think the producers may have thought of raffle, as where did they get the fruit from?

the issues with the costumes were they looked tacky when they were spruiking it on the street so when they said $60 people said no way.

Miss Apprentice – is Carmen going to go from villian to hero on the show?

Chuck – John needs to step up or he will be fired soon.

12 Miss Apprentice { 10.20.09 at 3:52 pm }

Miss Apprentice – is Carmen going to go from villian to hero on the show?


Dunno Reality Raver, People have to have likeable personalities to go from villain to hero and I don’t see Carmen being perceived as likeable by many people, in fact to date I haven’t seen any particularly likeable characters or astute business people emerge from this show at all !!

13 sourkraut { 10.20.09 at 10:31 pm }

There was a Donald Duck cartoon many years ago where Donald, a very cantankerous, crotchety old coot (look it up) decides to turn over a new leaf and become a nice guy. He says to his girlfriend Daisy in a very deep sophisticated voice ( his old voice was high pitched squeaky like a helium breathers).. Dayyssyy This is the neww mee!
Well i’ve been struck by a blinding light and will now call myself SWEET kraut. I shall say nothing but good things about the contestants and the show! (bearing in mind what happened to the newspaper in the US that printed ONLY good news)…….Here goes……
What a wonderful idea to treat the good folk of Mudgee to a Carnivale. Obviously small town folk would not have seen such high culture b4 and would thus benefit immensely.

And what a good idea to charge only $75 for said extravaganza, obviously of benefit to the Oz economy in hard times.

And more culture, An educational trivia night together with delicious healthy food. Oh and a willingness to allow local businesses to parade their logoes etc in exchange for cash, more unselfish sacrifice.

And fancy that. What if people from a small town come to see me? The self sacrifice. “I myself (me) will be appearing. Great opportunity for a small town such as Mudgee, who would never otherwise be able to avail itself of such a chance.
The costume parade in the town must also have been something to enhance the lives of the locals.
What if two people were to work together all the time? If only the rest of the world could do that.
Not very nice of the visitors to criticise a fine 3 course repaste for $60. Definitely better than some of the MC offerings? (ooopps I’m slipping back… there, got a grip on myself, …I’ll be ok now)
Trivia night was good too as it took people away from boozing on and otherwise carrying on in an unpleasant manner, Most laudable.
Support of the local artistes was a good thing too, both for the +ve scycological boost they received as well as reflecting well on the local talent, and giving them a big tv opportunity, and all for nothing as well!
Well they both made profits, and as the old saying goes greed is good and profit is better, so that had to be a plus.
Semi finally was it not pleasant to see the contestants making helpful remarks about each other at the judgment.
Also good to see the truth richly rewarded. … Stickler 123 you were right after all and I realise now I have been wrong. I apologise.
Finally Mr Bouris gave each candidate some valuable advice for the future which was quite kind.
All in all pretty good episode.

14 CG { 10.21.09 at 12:01 am }

Sour, well done!! Your solicitor will be so proud, you’ve managed to stay within the bounds and not attract any defamation claims!!

Defamation threats aside, it seems The Apprentice is not generating the volume of comments as MC. One issue I think Ch9 needs to address if the availability of replays.

As I’ve said before, Monday at 9:30pm is not a great time for a reality show that is just getting off the ground. But what I really don’t understand is why the website for The Apprentice is so crappy.

Fremantle is behind both MC and The Apprentice, right? So you would think they would have some role or influence on the internet site supporting each show. MC was brilliant in that you could go to the website within an hour of each show and watch a replay without any problems. But I still can’t get The Apprentice replays to work. Just getting to the episode and trying to load it is really difficult. And once there, I’ve tried to watch the episode I missed last week several times but the video just won’t work. It spins and spins and spins and won’t play. And yes, I’ve got all the software and very high-speed BB.

They really need to think about changing the night of the week the show is played..or show it at a couple of alternative times. Its not like Ch9 has a jam packed schedule of popular shows that are bringing in high ratings…surely Australia could deal with one or two fewer reruns of “Men Behaving Badly” which seems to play in marathons loops on Ch9 almost every day of the week.

Just sayin’.

15 Reality Raver { 10.21.09 at 11:59 am }

Wurstsemmel – I cannot even speak about the three hour episode of Survivor Gabon. I would have love to have blogged on it, because as you keep saying it is a cracker. I cannot believe that Foxtel has taken so long to get the channel feed. Just maybe I might get to see Survivor Samoa.

Sourkraut – what no comments on Carmen this episode – I actually thought she performed well, and was smart enough to say when she was backed into a corner in the board room that it was a team decision to set the price at $60, when it clearly wasn’t. Though Sam came out smelling like roses.
Sam won’t win but at this stage he will come out of the show with his reputation in tact. For someone with little life experience he has had a good gut instinct for some things.

CG – A very sound analysis. I agree I don’t think the Australian TV channels fully utilise the internet to promote audience interaction, the exception is Channel Ten, with their SYTYCD, Australian Idol, and MasterChef sites.

Seven, Nine, and even the Foxtel sites could promote a lot more interaction for very little financial input.

16 sourkraut { 10.21.09 at 1:40 pm }

On a serious note, I would now like to see Mary-Anne win, possibly against either Heather or John (if he can “up the ante”) in the final.
I don’t think that will happen.

17 sourkraut { 10.21.09 at 1:44 pm }

have they at least got a new introductory line before the survivor gets boned? I cant get that blasted fire is life …life is fire jingle out of my head….. Now there’s an idea, wot about an advert based around it? (possibly advertising my favourite Indian curries)

18 Wurstsemmel { 10.21.09 at 4:27 pm }

Srill the same old, Sourkraut, but a couple getting the boot haven’t even waited around to hear it this time.

19 sourkraut { 10.21.09 at 11:11 pm }

W Semmel
r we talking about the same thing? I didn’t know couples got the boot in the previous survivor series’s Have they developed a fiendishly clever way of cutting the show length in half?

20 pussykat { 10.22.09 at 1:07 am }

don’t bother with the Ch 9 website for past episodes.
Just watch it on youtube if you’ve missed out!

21 Sheila Black { 10.24.09 at 2:40 am }

Check out Sabrina’s video diary for episode 4 – talks herself up, beyond belief really.
Also I once read that at 20, she aspired to be a TV journalist – just me or does anyone else prefer rather listen to chalk against a blackboard?

22 Viewer { 10.25.09 at 4:14 pm }

Big fan of the show – it deserves better timeslot/ ratings than it currently has. Agree that Sabrina comes across as rather insipid – but then, I suspect that is exactly why she was included in the cast.

Bouris is great, but his “advisers” leave something to be desired. I guess it’s not an easy job to be the second-in-command, but those guys come across as lap-dogs.