Predicting the winner of The Apprentice 2019 based solely on their promo photos
Today is content Christmas because the new crop of The Apprentice candidates have been unleashed unto the internet and world at large.
Having accurately predicted the precise type of contestants we would be subjected to this year, it's a smug, smug day for me.
Now that we have some actual faces to match to the format-heavy archetype of The Apprentice candidates, there is but one thing left to do before the series starts.
Here's who's going to become Lord Sugar's next business partner based on nothing more than their very intense promotional photographs.
Very clearly head boy at a school that legitimately wears velvet capes as part of the uniform, Ryan-Mark won't have time to wholeheartedly compete in The Apprentice because his mind will be elsewhere, giddily putting salt in the sugar pots in the school canteen and applying to universities that have no fewer than 19 royal alumni. Ryan-Mark will lose Lord Sugar's approval during the first task when he refers to Cornish pasties as "poverty vol-au-vents" and then tries to sell them for £18 because "that's just how much things cost these days and if you can't afford it, good riddance to you".
Carina can't win The Apprentice because she will simply be too busy eyeballing people that use the ten items or less checkout in the supermarket, despite very clearly having eleven items in their basket. She won't outright say anything because she prides herself on being "non-confrontational, unless someone really pisses me off", instead taking the coward's route of heavily sighing as you pack away your eleven items, brazenly pointing her finger and counting to eleven in a loud whisper that might as well just be her regular speaking voice. "Oh has it changed to eleven items or less?", she'll pointedly remark to a nearby customer. See her left hand in the above image? She's pointing to your early grave.
Big Tom will have a hard time committing himself fully to the process because he is very bad at multitasking. Lord Sugar's rigorous search for a business partner can be very demanding, expecting the candidates to perform under pressure but also knowing how to button up their suit jackets when standing and then unbuttoning before sitting down. Evidently, Tom has gotten that procedure mixed up and it's exactly the kind of behaviour that chief snitch Claude Littner will give out about behind Tom's back. In Tom's defence, he's got two jackets to button, but has fallen at the last hurdle. His button repair company can't have a button-inept leader, they'll be laughed out of the market.
Scarlett will be forced to drop out of The Apprentice prematurely because she simply can't juggle vying for Lord Sugar's attention and being your evil stepmother at the same time. She's after your dad's money and is very slowly poisoning him with salt. His sodium levels are through the roof, he's retaining hella water and his blood pressure is sky high. There's a huge strain on his organs as a result, meaning he can't really do much anymore. Scarlett feeds off this power, knowing that your dad is essentially helpless without him. She's got her eye on your old bedroom, fancying it as a walk-in wardrobe or Sudoku room. Scarlett doesn't even know how to do Sudokus, she just wants to get rid of all your shit. Also, she keeps bats as pets.
Shahin is an undercover copper from Line of Duty and he's going to expose the shady dealings that go on behind the scenes on The Apprentice. He's going to reveal himself in the explosive series finale, finally cracking under the pressure coming from all sides. Lord Sugar will call him a bent copper, then DC Fleming and Ted Hastings will burst through the door, heavily armed and sweating after taking the stairs all the way up to the top floor of the building. Steve Arnott will get there when it's too late. The Apprentice candidates will all be giving witness statements, describing how Shahin tenderly kissed Lord Sugar on the forehead before whispering "You're nicked" in his ear. It will transpire that Lord Sugar was also undercover and everyone will be confused. End scene.
Your old Geography teacher decided to get into business out of spite because Mr. Rowling, the Business Studies teacher once told her that she probably didn't even know what a spreadsheet looked like. Well, she's having the last laugh now as she's combined her love of travel and spending money into trying to become Lord Sugar's next Apprentice. Lubna somehow talked her way into being on the show after assuring the producers that she could get them free Geography lessons anywhere in the world so long as they lower their expectations and let her be on the telly. Ironically, Lubna will get fired during the international challenge week after getting on the wrong flight home.
After being mercilessly fired by Lord Sugar for being "simply too symmetrical to look at", Kenna will seek revenge in the cruellest way that he knows how. He's going to set up multiple Twitter accounts from which he will tweet "Who?" in response to every article about Lord Sugar until either of their dying days. Not content with such a long game strategy, Kenna will also produce t-shirts that say "More like Lord SALT, because that man is bitter". Nobody will buy them, but they'll still send a strong message to the businessman who has missed out on a real self-starter of a business partner. "This isn't the last you'll hear from me", Kenna will say in the taxi interview after Lord Sugar's boardroom firing, signalling the last we will ever hear from him.
Marianne can't win The Apprentice because she is too busy being the sassy babysitter in a straight-to-VHS romcom starring a young Matthew McConaughey and one of the Gyllenhaals. Initially tentative around new kids, Marianne quickly builds a touching rapport with the toddlers, bribing them with treats and low-value pieces of stolen jewellery. Once she gains their trust, Marianne will use their tiny hands to carry out a series of vending machine burglaries around the unspecified city. Their nimble fingers will clear every machine in town and Marianne will reward them with slightly more valuable jewellery items and a small portion of the loot. Lord Sugar will be livid because he invented sugar and is owed a portion of the profits.
Lewis won't be able to focus on The Apprentice process because he's too busy being that guy in your new gym who just stares at you for no real reason. He can sense that you're new and rather than offering to show you where things are, he opts for a good old aimless gaze at you instead. Lewis eats protein bars for sport, sometimes when he's not even hungry, which is actually the tagline for his business proposal. When Lord Sugar inevitably fires Lewis, the pair will get into an argument that culminates in Lewis offering him 5% equity in his protein bar company for the generous price of £2.5m. Karren Brady will choke on her water and Lewis will initially refuse to perform CPR, but eventually cave.
It's your sister's childhood friend who under no circumstances would let you play with them, despite how many times your mum forced them to include you. Lottie's all grown up now and she's still disinterested in acknowledging your existence, unless it can benefit her career in some way. She's going to fall short of Lord Sugar's standards when it gets to the 'make a new friend' task. Lottie will be so flustered by the very concept of having to pretend she's actually not not there to make friends, she will end up going too hard and inviting a very small dog to a tea party. Everyone will laugh, the dog included, and Lord Sugar will send her home with a doggy bag full to the brim with Friends Blu-ray DVDs. The ultimate insult.
Dean can't win The Apprentice because he's too busy being the most fire magician in all of Bognor Regis. It all started when he was six years old and made a crumpet disappear using nothing but mind control. "It was just sitting on the kitchen counter and I was sat there staring at it for ages. Suddenly, it disappeared. It was then I knew that I was a magician", said Dean in his interview on Good Morning Britain. Although his powers are restricted solely to crumpets, he's still selling out arenas in his dreams. "Ideally I'll get a bit of a world tour going after I raise my profile on The Apprentice. I know crumpets aren't that big in the USA, but the Crumpet Man is about to put them on the map".
Pamela will struggle to keep up with her commitments as a candidate on The Apprentice while she is also a full-time judgemental chemist. Customers pop in for a range of medicines, which always results in an interrogation scene straight out of a mafia movie. "Have you taken this before? Do you have any allergies? How do you think you're going to die?", Pamela asks loudly so that everyone in the queue can rehearse their answers to get out of the uncomfortable situation as quickly as possible. She'll bribe Claude and Karren with free paracetamol, but Lord Sugar's request for powerful horse tranquillisers will see Pamela eliminated from the process. She isn't a vet chemist, she should not have that kind of medicine to hand.
Souleyman can't win The Apprentice because he is too busy auditioning to be the new hard man on EastEnders. He is going to intimidate Dot Cotton into signing over the full extent of her hair roller collection to him in her will. Dot will resist at first, claiming that they are of great sentimental value, but eventually cave after some gentle threats made on her cigarette stash. Souleyman will ultimately prove himself to be a softie at heart, coming clean to Dot in her dying hours and revealing that he actually just wanted to be her friend all along. It was never about the hair rollers, it was about finding a genuine human connection in this godforsaken world.
Clearly an air hostess for Aer Lingus, Iasha will be torn between her passion for hassle-free air travel and becoming Lord Sugar's next top business model. She will try to juggle the two, picking up extra shifts at the airport between filming simply to feel the unbridled rush that comes with making people stuff their belongings into confined spaces and sacrificing any sharp objects to the airport Gods, but ultimately her performance in The Apprentice will suffer. One morning, she'll answer the candidates' house phone with a careless "Yes hello captain, how can I help?" and instantly get thrown out of the process. Lord Sugar will say she's "up in the clouds" and then fire Iasha. His loss, she has access to free snacks on long-haul flights.
Riyonn can't win The Apprentice because he's too busy being the fancy hotel manager who's just seen you walk into the lobby and very deliberately make a beeline for the toilets. You thought you were being mad subtle, but the darting eyes gave it away, along with your polite smile that said "I really need an emergency poo, please just let me do this". Legally, he can't force you to leave, but he'll wait outside the toilet area to follow you out of the hotel, staying four paces behind at all times. Nothing will be said, no eye contact made, just a silent understanding that you have taken a calculated risk and made a fool of yourself today. Riyonn never forgets a face, so don't you dare try that stunt again.
Jemelin is going to win The Apprentice 2019 because she is actually a 3D-printed amalgamation of every Apprentice candidate that has ever been through the process. There's a dash of everyone in there, from Raef's dead eyes to Luisa's mischievous grin, it's all gone into this superhuman experiment. Jemelin has spent the past five years underground learning human emotions and sentience by watching reruns of Malcolm In The Middle. Some of her cultural references might be a little outdated, but her thirst for triumph business is not. Lord Sugar will mould her into the perfect business partner using an app built for his handheld device of choice. He will end up creating an exact replica of himself and Jemelin will be erased from the database forever. Staying true to her learnings, Jemelin's final words will be "Life is unfair".
Images via BBC