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'The Apprentice' episode five review: 'They call me the fitness'

By
The Apprentice - The Boys - Duane Bryan

© BBC / Talkback Thames

One of the most under-appreciated episodes of The Apprentice, in this writer's opinion, is that series five instalment with the 'bodyrocker' and whatever the hideous box of wires created by James McQuillan was called. Remember? It had that Ben idiot slapping his behind in the middle of a pitch?

Well, it was great. So thank goodness another fitness task has been rolled out for this year's competition. This week the candidates are told by Lord Sugar to create a new exercise programme, film a promotional video and then pitch their concept to three health club chains in order to try and sell licenses.

Azhar takes part in Phoenix's fitness video

© BBC



Let's face it, this was always going to be pro wrestler Ricky Martin's episode. I'd even believe that they brought back the workout task solely to make him look like a numpty. Of course, he snatches up the project manager role on Sterling right away, smacking down horsey-type Jenna Whittingham like she was Giant Haystacks.

Disappointingly though, he does quite well. Aside from his ridiculous zingers at the beginning of the episode ("You'll always witness the fitness with Ricky Martin"), he's surprisingly restrained while leading the team, and their idea - a mixed martial arts/street dance workout called 'Beat Battle' - is quite a good one.

The Apprentice Week 5: Jade Nash, Katie Wright, Adam Corbally, Stephen Brady

© BBC / Talkback Thames



Instead it's left to Duane Bryan, Laura Hogg and Nick Holzherr to embarrass Sterling at their video shoot. Duane turns all Stanley Kubrick after being assigned director, going mad with power and bickering with the team all day as they try to stick in their two penneth.

Later a full scale argument erupts when Duane accuses them of making him look stupid. Five words mate - "Gift horse in the eye". Also, I'm not sure about Nick's potential as a business partner for Lord Sugar, but he's definitely one of the most entertaining candidates this year.

His behaviour at the street dance class made me think I was watching an episode of Peep Show ("swing style jack") and his 'well this is awkward' line in the car - which I loathe in real life - raised a bit of a titter. He's an understated comedy genius.

Project Manager Ricky steps into the ring to try out some moves

© BBC



There's bickering over at Phoenix as well, which this week is run by the dorkilicious Stephen Brady. Adam Corbally and Jade Nash aren't getting along behind the scenes of their retro dance routine 'Groove Train', with the former stating: "I don't know whether she's thick or deaf." Ever the charmer.

Most of the friction comes due to Adam growing restless with essentially being told to play in the corner on their video shoot, but to be honest I'm not sure why he's complaining. The alternative is squeezing into a pair of short shorts and doing the "funky lunge" around a horrendous '80s dance studio like Azhar Siddique. Seriously, it's a ridiculous display. But I have put on a few pounds since last summer, so hopefully Azhar's sacrifice will bring back the skintight look and save me a trip to Primark.

With their videos complete, both teams set off to pitch the routines. Ricky again does well at Sterling, though I cannot work out how nobody laughs when he opens a presentation with "Hello, I'm Ricky Martin".

Phoenix have more to worry about than being linked to a flamboyant latino performer though, as most buyers claim not to have the money or room for the space hoppers and hula hoops essential to their 'Groove Train' routine.

Stephen suggests that medicine balls can be used to bounce around on instead because they are pretty much the same thing. Er, no they are not. Try to hop on a medicine ball and you will break your tailbone. And fractures are not really that good for business.

Azhar takes part in Phoenix's fitness video

© BBC



The highlight of their pitch though is undoubtedly Azhar's performance in the promotional video. Everything about it is tragic - the stilted northern accent, the facial squinting, the shorts, the ridiculous dance moves ("bis and tris"), the fact that his masculinity is undermined even further with Flashdance in the background... everything! I'm genuinely surprised Az didn't want to strangle himself with a sweatband afterwards.

Anyway, in the boardroom Sterling's 'Beat Battle' is praised, but the concept doesn't really stand out enough. With sales of almost £13,000 to nearly £8,000, Phoenix somehow manages to pull off a victory. Turns out the sole business to order from them liked the family appeal of their workout... Stephen obviously kept his mouth shut about medicine balls during that pitch.

Team Sterling lose the task in The Apprentice S08E05

© BBC



It's the first real surprise of the series and Sterling are rightly upset by the result. With nobody obvious to pin the blame on and project manager Ricky receiving praise all round, this week's firing hinges on who failed to convey the martial arts twist and left 'Beat Battle' looking a bit limp. Does the buck stop with Laura, who performed the ambigious moves, or Duane, who directed them?

In the end, it's Duane who gets a spot in that dreaded black cab and I don't mind admitting that I'll miss him. Not just because he's given us the best line of the series so far, but also because he showed a few glimmers of brilliance along the way, like with the bin task in week two. Farewell Duane, your gift horse is saddled up and ready to take you home.

The Apprentice continues next week at 9pm on BBC One.

Watch our interview with fired Apprentice candidate Duane Bryan:

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