THERE were no gimmicks this week. No flash location, no cryptic clues, no splitting into teams. All the would-be Apprentices had to do was answer a few questions. <br /><br />Unfortunately those asking the questions were Sir Alan’s infamous attack dogs, who arrived in a series of increasingly ostentatious sports cars (you could be forgiven for thinking that they were trying to make up for other, erm, inadequacies). <br /><br />As they prepared to be grilled, undermined and destroyed, the candidates boasted about their interview prowess. “I’m brilliant in every single area”, proclaimed Yasmina. <br /><br />But not, apparently, finance. Yasmina didn’t know the difference between net and gross profit, apparently having slept through the first day of her GCSE Business Studies class. At least it was an honest mistake; Lorraine was caught out for indulging in the time-honoured tactic of date-fiddling on her CV. Even with her famous intuition she didn’t see that coming. <br /><br />Flawless Kate, a Stepford Wife with a briefcase, briefly faltered when her relationship with Durham’s most eligible bachelor was brought up. <br /><br />Only Debra couldn’t be rattled, even when her references were read aloud. It seems her previous bosses found her loud, obnoxious, aggressive and rude. They went on to confirm the Pope was indeed a Catholic. <br /><br />Back in the boardroom, a last plea from James fell on deaf ears: “I know on paper I sound horrendous, I’ve lost more times than anyone…”. Sir Alan put him out of his misery. <br /><br />Next for the chop was Lorraine, fired for being difficult to work with, which is a bit like saying Henry VIII was hard to live with. <br /><br />With the candidates dropping like Cabinet ministers, the bloodbath wasn’t over. Sparing RoboKate, Sir Alan had to choose between Reading’s finest restaurateur Yasmina and Debra, the human embodiment of Munch’s Scream painting. <br /><br />Perhaps prompted by strict Health and Safety guidelines on workplace noise levels, he let screeching Debra go, somehow resisting the urge to call out, “Why the long face?” as she accepted her fate. And with that, Sir Alan had his finalists.