The Celebrity Apprentice Australia

Two years ago when I reviewed The Apprentice Australia I wasn’t particularly taken by its fake secretary in a fake office foyer or the awkward first steps by the local version of Donald Trump, Mark Bouris.

But as the series progressed Bouris improved a lot and viewers began to rally behind some of the finalists (Real Estate auctioneer Andrew Morello was the eventual winner). Mark Bouris told me in an interview he was keen for a second season, but it’s taken the success of the Celebrity Apprentice in the US to fire up a second shot at the franchise here.

While the US had Joan Rivers, Cindy Lauper, Sharon Osbourne, David Cassidy, Gary Busey, Meatloaf and Dionne Warwick, somehow we got lumbered with the likes of Wendell Sailor, Max Markson and Polly Porter (now you’re a celebrity just for entering another Reality series).

With any Reality series I look for an end-point, ie. does the show offer an outcome (recording contract, publishing deal etc.) or is it purely about cash? With shows like Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars I reckon the end point is about elevating your profile. It’s thinly attached to the virtues of charity of course, but that’s largely incidental. Damien Leith’s announcement as host of New Idea Test Kitchen following his DWTS final being a case in point.

Mr. Bouris is back with his two executives, Deborah Thomas and Brad Seymour.

Now with more confidence, he fires off some questions to his boisterous participants, many of whom seem to be taking it all pretty casually. I guess you can afford to relax when you don’t really have much at stake. A few egos chuck in a few bold claims. If we’re supposed to be stirred by the level of malevolence, I’m already beginning to feel like it’s either phony or there’s more than a few tossers here.

Mr. Bouris divides the teams by gender and they are assigned the task of coming up with their team names ahead of their first challenge: a car wash to raise money for charity.

Cameras focus on disagreement and comedy in these preliminary sessions. Noisy Max Markson dominates over his team with ideas, claims, gags. Warwick Capper constantly reminds us of his own vanity. Pauline Hanson is given a marketing role, but collides so awkwardly that she will probably prove a great casting choice. Her contribution to her team’s marketing strategy is a car wash sign using “Please Explain” because she is constantly asked by the public to say it. “It resonitates with me,” she insists. Gold.

The afternoon at the car wash provides much of the opening 60 minute premiere. The two teams argue, work, prank, fret, sleep, and more or less prostitute themselves in the spate of 3 hours. I felt like I watched 2 hours and 50 minutes of the thing and I didn’t even get a car washed. It’s just too long.

By the time Mr. Bouris turned up in the board-room I was happy for the change of scenery. Surmising their performance he was direct and authoritative. It resonitated with me.

By the end of the episode I wanted to slap Max Markson (or more easily, just turn the show off). At least Julia Morris provided a bit of self-deprecation, which is pretty hard amongst this lot.

After the success of The Block, Nine is stripping Celebrity Apprentice Australia across its weeknight schedule. It means after the first 60 minutes we have to come back the next night to see who will be fired. Maybe Trump would fire the story producer. Another challenge and firing will follow on Wednesday and Thursday.

But The Block introduced us to 4 unknown couples, allowing us to get to know their characters as episodes unfolded. We also weren’t stuck with several unlikeable contestants whose principal purpose for appearing “out of their comfort zone” is to be back in the media spotlight.

At 60 minutes this format normally ticks off the necessary turning points for a diverting dose of Reality television. At 3 hours I worry it will just tick me off.

Oh well. At least there’s no fake secretary this time round.

The Celebrity Apprentice Australia airs 7pm weeknights on Nine.


  1. A great show Celebrity apprentice australia.
    Good to see the faces when the axe falls you’re fired. .. oh that’s not fair lets say good to just see Mr Bouris fire them..
    last night Pauline was fired I felt she should not have been fired.
    Jason Bush was nearly in tears and pleaded not to be fired.
    Oh well Mr Bouris needed to keep it fair by sacking Pauline so there would be a 2 men 2 women for the final show.
    I think Mr S Crawford will be the winner.

  2. I know Deni should go from this show, but for her to go over Lisa Curry is a joke.The fact is Deni brought money to her charity and Lisa doesn’t says it all. Lisa Curry needing direction on what to paint is a joke.A 2 year old knows how to paint. Her approach just may be a little underhanded in acting dumb with Deni.No one else had problems except Lisa. Lisa’s association with Deborah Thomas makes the show questionable. It seems to Thomas, Lisa can do no wrong.More pathetic news stories coming up about Lisa through Thomas’s raggy magazine that requires the IQ of rat to read.

  3. Coral Campbell

    I don’t normally comment on anything like this but I can’t help but feel so angry at Deni – she is a pompous brat with no potential. She thinks she is a great singer/songwriter…what a joke – she rides off her mother’s reputation. Marcia must be so embarrassed to have a daughter like Deni who has no empathy or compassion for anyone but herself. Thankfully she is sacked as I would have not contniued to watch the show when such a rude individual with nothing to offer.

    Disgusted in your behaviour…!!!

  4. Hard to believe that Bouris is a good manager. Pauline was obviously a shocking project manager, didn’t manage at all, the beauty queen definitely demonstrated better project management, maybe that was why Pauline was so threatend. Deni is a pompous person that has ridden the coat tails of her mother & therefore has no right to complain about 5 minute celebrities. Further, if she is such a great person being in the industry forever, why didn’t she bring in contacts to donate to their charity!! Obviously Bouris didn’t get rid of Pauline or Deni, because they will keep the conflict up and therefore bring in the ratings. Polly was sacrificed for the ratings – a pretty disappointing result which has turn me off the show completely. Viewers aren’t stupid and don’t like to be played as the fool!!!!!

  5. Getting better all the time. Was so surprised they outed Polly instead of Denni , (thought Polly more endearing to the task ). Pauline got more truth in her than any of the others. Julie brings great fun antics to the show. Shane your a great guy, but please don’t make out your new at everything. Isn’t Mr Bouris , delicious!!

  6. What has Deni Hines ever done that makes her feel she is so much better than every one else? Julia is hysterical though. Disappointed he fired Polly before Deni, doesn’t he watch the tapes before he decides? I will probably keep watching, but agree 5 nights too much, so if a miss a few, no biggie. Would love Shane to win, he is so nice.

  7. nancye gleeson

    sorry tracey and karl luv u both cant understand this new show one hour a week would be enough who is mark boulis? worry debra thomas is a judge on this show a very talented lady why waste her time on something so tv predictable

  8. Well Mark Bouris is an absolute Boofhead for firing Polly. How the hell was Polly not a team player. She worked the counter did as she was told unlike Demi who refused to use her alleged talent in writiting a jingle because she did not want to damage her brand. Wake up Demi! You only got a start in the industry because you are the daughter of a legend and you did that on the back of a great band in the Rockmellons. Oh and by the way when was your last hit? 1997 or there abouts so for you to say Polly is not a real celeberity give me a break.

  9. i think some of the so called celebrities need to be careful that they are not going to sink themselves instead of raise their profile. ie Deni Hines in no way improves her profile with her behaviour and attitude, and if i was in show biz and needing a new agent I’d rather eat dirt than have Markson as my agent, what a tool.

  10. Josie. Melbourne Mum says:I liked the Project Manager of the Girl’s Team who showed wisdom, compassion and spirit in her debate with Max.

    What a load of rubbish!She was honestly as see through as a piece of glass.Not particularly bright.She had no plan except Carwash dress up that didn’t work.She tried to suck up to Bouris who saw through it and called it for what it was.She had no acumen in dealing with people (in fact childish behaviour in trying to motivate her people)and certainly no business acumen.It was gross immaturity.The triade on Max was strange to say the least beause her delicate sensitivies were challenged.I get the feeling you may be her sister?

    Reality check, if she had not received the $60k from the setup play of the swimsuit guy they would have been called in to explain why one of them should not be dismissed.

  11. bettestreep2008

    I watched one of it’s many encores the other night and thought it was utter crap!

    I don’t know half the so called “celebrities” – really Polly from the Block??? – and the whole show is just people bitching at each other.

    Oh well The Block was a huge ratings success based on this format so I guess there are enough morons that will make this show a huge hit too.

  12. Josie. Melbourne Mum

    Review of Celebrity Apprentice “Aussie” Style; Welcome back Mr Bouris. Some of David Knox’s comments made me laugh. I agree, the Show is all about the bucks for the so called ‘Celebrities’, who are famous in their own ways, some less than others… a few even totally inconsequential.
    The Reality of offering money to Charity is a Bonus and the first donation was well directed. I liked the Project Manager of the Girl’s Team who showed wisdom, compassion and spirit in her debate with Max. As for the Polly critics, give the girl a break! Polly stood up for herself when under fire, as she claimed the Celebrities could soon run out of doners and Polly would be a support at the business ” pointy end ” of the Competition. Go girl. I liked Polly and Waz on The Block, so don’t be thinking you can push that Polly of her perch any time soon! Or you’re off your block! As for Ms Hanson, she won’t be shot from a cannon before we have seen the best of her abilities.. I believe the lady is holding a few Aces and I look forard to more of her future contributions.
    The side kicks of Mr Bouris are intgelligent in their own right, but next to him they appear to be a reflection of Mr Bouris rather than maintaining thier own Identity.
    No fake secretary, but come on people, could we please have Marcello as an Apprentice for a week or his sparring partner Sam, from the first Series assisting Mr. Bouris? That would be fun viewing. Skip Deborah and Brad as executives; swap them for Marcello and Sam. In the man behind the desk, at last we have some decent T.V. ‘eye candy’ and intelligence in the one, Mr Mark Bouris. Beats the likes of horrid nasty Judges of ‘American Idol’ style…. like “Simon says”… he was the worst and sets the benchmark for worst Judge in my opinion.
    Back to reality …As for the split of nights, when the Audience is left hanging to hear the words “you’re fired” . on the second night.. it is so frustrating nearly as annoying as Murphy and Millionaire. interrupted by miles of ads and less action.. A format that breaks away from the successful original Apprentice could, by night two, find the audience elsewhere…
    Money is money. Producers are making dollar$ from the Advertisers. Bottom line; I hope the Show picks up pace and raises much deserved money for Charities. Celebrity Apprentice Australia may be bolstering the status of the Cast..and if so, who cares.. Money raised for Charity is sooo good!! Finger lickin’ good !!

  13. where do they get these rejects from, for the
    commercial networks , interviews must be conducted at the pub in happy hour.
    I would not waste my time watching another episode of this bad taste , cheaply made attempt at entertainment.

  14. After watching the show , and listening to the so called comedian Julia who ever…and Marcia Hinds daughter bitching on about Pauline Hansen , they are 2 rough unintelligent nasty types , and the only person in the show with any decency is Pauline , as for that idiot Max and the moron Warwick Capper they me feel ill just looking at them , I think Pauline too good for this 3rd rate show!

  15. Reality Check!

    Come ON people – do you really believe that Russell Crowe & Nicole Kidman would do a show like this? Russell didn’t even donate to their car wash, let alone wasting his precious ‘celebrity’ time appearing on a show that won’t been seen outside of Australia.
    Whether you like it or not, these people Are celebrities in Australia. Love them or hate them, there’s no denying you know who they are (with the exception of that Didier guy). I think they are well aware that they aren’t huge celebrities & they are taking the pi$$ out of themselves; especially Warwick & Pauline.
    I think it’s a great show. They’re raising money for charity & giving us some chuckles along the way. Lighten up critics!!

  16. Who was the silly young girl who was the project leader for the girls. Absolutely, offered nothing except childish motivation of the other women in the group and terrible baby sucking up to Bouris who, is not a stupid man and he gave her both barrels over it. The crocodile tears at the end of the show will not wash too much either, out of her depth. Not quite certain why she is there? The attack by her on Max was also over the top and lacking sense and unwarranted. Come back in about 20 years when you get some real business experience sweetie and learn how to work with people.

  17. Where was Lisa Curry during the working operations.No input at all.I thought she was marginally better than Capper.She didn’t do anything.Taking a low profile so she is not the first voted off obviously….she was the weak link.If it wasn’t for Max the disenters in his group would not have made any money at all except $5 car washes. Love him or hate him he brought the money in.He actually has a personality.Ditch the moody model bloke.Don’t remove Capper he is a gem.Makes the show watchable. The young girl who has no experience in the Business world was way out of her depth.Her immature sucking up to Bouris says it all.I must say it also, she is not that bright either and zero managerial skills. She shouldn’t last too long if they are fair dinkum. The rest of the girls with the exception of Lisa are great viewing.

  18. A Joke.I didn’t see it but it won’t fix Nine’s 7pm problems.Might I suggest once it ends they go back to either a game show/quiz show Non Eddie Hosted of course or that News/Chat show idea they were planning on starting up with Karl and Leila the minute Charlie Sheen got axed from Two and a Half Men.Although I must admit It’s a bit of an improvement over the American Gap Filler they have been relying on for the last three years.

  19. i absolutely loved it….would have liked to have seen who got fired tonight and really hope they don’t have 30 mins of drawn out firing….i really think mark bouris was trying way too much on “playing tough”. if my employees called me barries babes then i’d be happy that they picked a name for themself that made them feel part of a united team…even donald trump would have been fine with it….

  20. Moanique in Brisbane

    I gave up the 7pm Project to watch Apprentice, and was very entertained. Love Julia and Pauline, and was surprised to see Deni and Pauline getting along so well after the promo’s I had seen. Will be watching this again.

  21. hmm – ok – well i think it’s hard to stuff up the apprentice formula, so that’s at least on their side … but i had to fast forward through the first 10 mins — after that, though, it was pretty good going and easily drew u in … as i said before – i think it’s the apprentice template that is failsafe, more than the celebrities themselves, and i think it’s got staying power 🙂 looking at those tasks fall apart week after week is kinda kinda like “on purpose” train crash tv 🙂

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