Was He a Reflection of Perfection? ..We Talk To The Apprentice’s Stephen

Week ten of The Apprentice saw two members of team phoenix forcibly ejected last night when they failed to come up with good bargains for a luxury deals website — basically where Alan Sugar goes to shop for deals. Poor people use Groupon. The two who were sent packing were the nice, but inarticulate Gabrielle, and Stephen, the determined Mick Jones lookalike.

Team-mate Ricky Martin gave Stephen a particularly hard time in the boardroom, so you’d imagine he’d have a few choice words to say about the man who describes himself as “a reflection of perfectionâ€? — which come to think about it, isn’t perfection, is it? It’s just a reflective surface, and that’s not good for business. Speaking to Stephen, however, his reaction to what happened in the boardroom is surprising.

“I deserved to go,â€? he says, contrary what he said in the boardroom (mostly “yeah, but you’re not listening… no, no, listen… but you’re not listeningâ€?). “And I don’t hold it against Ricky. I’m disappointed, obviously, but I did deserve to go.â€?

I speak to Gabrielle separately and her opinions on Ricky are even kinder, describing him as “the man who makes things happenâ€?. He’s like the Apprentice’s answer to Jean-Luc Picard, she feels, but with hair and all the charisma of a reflective surface that’s capable of reflecting perfection. She attributes her team’s loss instead solely to Stephen, who she believes put too much pressure on himself by asking to be made team captain.

“I already had my problems with Stephen and I knew that working with him wouldn’t be beneficial to either of us,â€? Gabrielle explains. “I should have just put my foot down from the start and asked to work alone.â€?

These words sound quite harsh coming from Gabrielle, considering she’s the one that Lord Sugar called a “nice girlâ€?.

“I don’t want a friend, I’ve got plenty of them!â€? he insisted last night (again). Well, friends, hired goons—same thing, right?

It surely must be nice to be called a “nice girlâ€? by Lord Sugar — if you are indeed a girl that is. Gabrielle agrees, though perhaps being called “niceâ€? on The Apprentice is a bit like being the world’s tallest dwarf. In any case, she certainly doesn’t believe that her niceness is to blame her being fired. She pins that down to not being as articulate as her fellow teammates.

Perhaps what Gabrielle says is true; she’s not quite as fluent in business jargon and bullshit as her teammates. She’s an ideas person, she says, and Stephen thinks this is true as well.

“We probably had our problems there at the end, but I have a lot of respect for her,â€? he admits, though he seems to struggle to say it.

Despite their problems, Stephen and Gabrielle do at least agree on one thing it seems. By week ten, they say, the fatigue was well and truly setting in. Stephen believes that he invested too much energy into the competition too early on and Gabrielle says that she just wasn’t up to the fight this week.

So are they both going to keep watching the show?

“Yeah, I think I’d like to see Adam win.â€? Stephen sighs. “But probably Ricky will win,â€? he says.

“I actually now hate the show,â€? Gabrielle says, with refreshing honesty. But she pauses for a moment and laughs. “Uh, no, I’m joking. I’ll continue watching and I actually think everyone should apply for it. It’s a great experience. In fact, I’d recommend it to everyone.â€?

Well, perhaps I’ll keep that in mind…