Bouris's Babes - Morris, Hanson, Porter, Curry, Hines, Campbell

When Channel 9 announced that they were going to not only rush Celebrity Apprentice Australia into the end of the 2011 ratings year, but were going to strip it 5 nights a week at 7pm… it smelled of desperation. There’s no question it is, however with the results from night one (Launch 1.052m; Challenge 1.352m) it’s shaping to be a very interesting series for all concerned.

Sure it’s reality television and sure people aren’t going to like the format or the contestants. That’s part of the deal. However the smartest thing that’s been done with this series is that there appears to be no kow-towing to contestants over image or reputation. All the ‘celebrities’ are gathered and presented challenges and go at it, and no one is feeding them a script. The conflict that arises from the clashing personalities, the drama that erupts from egos bouncing into each other, the amazing turn of audience support as the story plays out for us.

Pauline Hanson for one is benefitting from such a situation – she accepted the challenge to wash the Aussie Bum underwear owner’s car for $50,000 in his product, and in doing so showed her personal insecurities but overcame them for the charity fund-raising aspect of the show. This won her major brownie points with her competitors and the audience. One might say she resonotated with them.

Team Unity - Capper, Cohen, Coleman, Markson, Crawford, Sailor

The editing door swings both ways, though. Max Markson has been made to look like a loud-mouthed fool (“made to” – he did a pretty good job himself). Warwick Capper only reinforced what everyone thinks of him. Shane Crawford and Wendell Sailor got in and got the job done, while being cheeky as expected. Characters are being formed: Didier is a whiny bitch; Deni is an opinionated bitch; Warwick, unable to spell bitch, is an aggressive thug. Conflict spot fires have begun too and will be hard to contain, so blow ups in coming episodes are to be expected: Deni & Poppy/Polly; Jesinta & Pauline; Max & Shane; Lisa & Jesinta; Warwick & everyone.

Mark Bouris as key judge may be there to fire up the grocery-buyers demo, but he’s beige as a beige thing. It’s good he’s not involved other than the board room really – though the first firing in tonight’s episode may prove me wrong. His chastising of the girls for calling their team “Bouris’s Babes” (a joke Julia Morris suggested that the team liked and ran with) was underwhelming, no matter how salient his point. Even after one season of The Apprentice he still needs coaching in the tough Trump-style role.

For mine, Morris is the stand out performer. The right mix of self-deprecation, humour, tenacity and willingness to get the job done. Her opening line set the tone for the entire series: “I know that I’m going to have to do some stuff to win for my charity that I am not going to be proud of, but I am going to wear it like a badge.” Then she rounded out the challenge with a call on Jesinta’s leadership style: “Wash a car, Kim Jong-Il.”


Oh, and it’s narrated by David Reyne. I wonder what he’s been doing until now?

Celebrity Apprentice Australia – Weeknights 7pm, Ch9.