Can The Apprentice shine in MasterChef’s shadow?

bourisNine will be hoping to tap into some of TEN’s reality television success as production gets underway on The Apprentice.

The series features Mark Bouris (pictured) as our very own Donald Trump, just without his trademark hairwave.

The series is produced by FremantleMedia Australia, the same company behind MasterChef Australia. Casting has been completed by Kirsty de Vallance at A Cast of Thousands.

De Vallance was also behind Nine and Fremantle’s other project The Farmer Wants a Wife plus World’s Strictest Parents, Project Runway Australia, The Biggest Loser and even some audience participants for Insight ‘s forums on SBS.

Earlier this year she told TV Tonight, “Masterchef will be a really good demographic. It is something we were all aiming for. They didn’t want a whole group of 20 year olds. If you’re casting a lot of young people they haven’t always had the life experience to bring to conversations. It creates a better dynamic.”

Of course the premise for The Apprentice encourages team collusion and degrees of bitchiness, none of which was evident on the TEN hit series.


  1. I know one of the contestants – if deviousness and ‘suck up’ is part of the criteria, I would expect him to win.
    Hopefully it will be more like the UK version (very good) and not the American (over the top).

  2. $100k job offer. This show must be a joke. Which business professionals would give up their career for a measly pay packet. I read from nine’s site that this is going to be a different kind of apprentice show than the US, I can smell a flop already.

  3. I was cast as a final contestant for The Apprentice ‘Australian version’.. I must say I am quietly pleased that I was not chosen due to the calibre of person I think the casting agent was aiming for.

    An example of the type of contestant that made the Final Cut:
    -A woman who worked at a brothel!!! I couldn’t believe it either.
    -An unemployed loud mouthed woman who turned up half drunk to the second stage of auditions…..
    -An Arts degree graduate with no work experience????

    I was clearly not thinking straight when I auditioned for what I thought would be a representation of Australia’s finest business people coming together on a show for a job with Mark Bouris. I’m not sure if the best business men and women of Australia would give up their jobs for a position with a new financial planning/services company for only $100k a year, but hey you get to be on a reality TV show!!

    I was also rather shocked at the whole casting process. Two auditions, lots of paperwork and an on-line personality test that you do from home. Then an e-mail saying Congrats or Sorry you have not made it. If you were chosen you would then be flown to Sydney straight away for filming which has already started. I have no idea when the casting agent would check references, criminal record checks etc…??? Not sure how Kirsty (Director) from ‘A Cast of Thousands’ can really be that thorough with only a small team of 3 working in her business???? Very interesting….This is probably why the show could be amusing to watch by putting a group of people together who have no real idea about the business world of today!!

    I really hope this is not an embarrassment for Mark Bouris and his new business venture which will be advertised throughout the series. If only Donald Trump was somehow involved, then I’m sure the ratings might be very different for Channel 9.

  4. I have never been a bit fan of the reality tv. I saw a couple of episodes of Master Chef and found that the judges were as much a part of the show as the contestants. i thoroughly enjoyed the judges affirming people, providing positive feedback, and not degrading or putting down the contestants. I sincerely hope that The Apprentice does the same. If so I think it will be a credible show, affirming peoples ability to take on challenges and encouraging contestants to have a go, and ambition is not a dirty word. fingers X.

  5. @Ben: Thanks for posting those links and I got plenty of LOLs from some of the predictions (Ten will come 4th, this show will last 3 weeks, 600,000 viewers tops, etc etc etc! ) I guess hindsight is a wonderful thing

  6. I’m with Sean on this one. I loved Trump’s version and missed it when it was axed. I also liked the UK version even though we were only shown one series. So, if the Aussie version even comes close, I will be hooked. I love seeing how the tasks are handled, how the team members work with or against each other. I don’t always agree with who gets fired when they do – partly because they keep the interesting personalities in longer than their ability would warrant. Still, an interesting study of human nature if done properly.

  7. FreddySheppard

    Hi James – I think MasterChef was on terrestrial TV for a while, also think that the reason the UK version did not work here was due to the fact that viewers can not directly relate to the contestants, where-as here they will have an automatic connection.

  8. I will most likely watch it, even if it just for sociological reasons.

    You expect a certain type of person in the American series (i.e. Alpha males and females).

    There was one person in the British series that made it compelling viewing, just to make sure he didn’t win (he was a real tosser).

    It will be interesting to see what sort of person the Australian series throws up. Will we be unique in our business approach, or will we be a pale version of the Americans?

    I generally get some insight into business practice, especially at the big end of town, from each episode. So count me in.

  9. Ben – the biggest difference between Masterchef and The Apprentice is that the UK version or Masterchef had never been tested in primetime and the Apprentice franchise has. I doubt whether many who watched the Australian Masterchef would have have ever seen the Masterchef concept before – as I recall Channel Seven were showing episodes of the UK version at 4pm on weekdays in the afternoon and I don’t think it was that successful…or widely watched!

    I actually recall a lot of people responding fairly well when the Australian version started this year and i think many thought it was fresh, innovative and with a good cross section of people. I accept their were critics as well.

    My point about the Apprentice is that it has been tested here before. The US version was screened numerous times to dwindling ratings in this country and the UK version lasted barely three weeks in prime time before being dumped to 11pm at night…hardly a ratings winner!

    I will wait and see what this version is like but can you imagine in a climate when unemployment is on the way up and people are losing their jobs that they want to be reminded of words like ‘Your fired!!!” And who wants to see people in lucrative jobs anyway, living it up in a luxury pad and vying for an even better job when a lot of people are out there struggling to gain work. The timing is all wrong.

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