The Apprentice 2012 week five review: Witness The Fitness

It's Ricky Martin's La Vida Loca-cise v Azhar's impressive package - but was the right candidate fired?


Lord Sugar calls the teams to renowned East End boxing venue York Hall. “Keeping Cockneys fit for a hundred years,” says the narrator, but I doubt that’s its official slogan.


What’s the connection to the task? Well the candidates are going to invent new fitness classes and license them to health club chains, who will potentially take them national (and I think we all know that’s not going to happen).

Stephen, a sales manager at a string of health clubs, is a no-brainer to lead Phoenix, while professional wrestler Ricky is selected by Sterling over horse-rider Jenna because, let’s face it, horses have absolutely no place in gyms.

Instead, Sterling go with Ricky’s idea of combining martial arts and dance moves, dubbed Beat Battle.

In an aside to the camera, Ricky gives us a taster of his wrestling persona: “They call me The Fitness! I’ve been the heavyweight champion of the wrestling world – I’ll be the heavyweight champion of the business world! You’ll always witness The Fitness with Ricky Martin!” 

See, it’s that last part I have trouble with. The part where he says “Ricky Martin”. It’s just impossible not to think immediately of a gay Puerto Rican pop star, rather than a bone-crushing wrestler, and that’s not going to strike fear into anyone’s heart (well, not in the way intended, at least). 

A similar situation arises later on when Ricky does the pitches for Sterling’s product. He’s very good, but when he introduces himself with “Hello, my name’s Ricky Martin,” there’s confusion among the prospective clients. Is he joking? Is this a reference to the new fitness programme they’re about to see? Is it “La Vida Loca-cise”?

After chucking out Katie’s first idea (a combined exercise and dating class where, presumably, you choose your date based on the smell of their sweat and your fondness for the particular shade of puce they turn after 30 squat thrusts) Phoenix settle for her other concept. It’s an 80s-themed programme with exercises performed to the soundtrack from Flashdance, using space-hoppers and hula hoops (no, really). 

Poor Azhar finds himself fronting the promotional video and, I don’t know, there’s just something about the combination of headband, hot pants and a broad northern accent that makes it hard to take him seriously. I blame Keith Lemon. 

Having witnessed Azhar performing his erotic “groove-press” in ridiculously tight shorts, one female gym rep says “It looks like you had loads of fun making that video – do you want to talk about the package?” 

Thankfully, they don’t discuss Azhar’s package but instead tackle the worrying fact (spotted earlier by Tom but ignored by Stephen) that the gyms would have to pay for, and store, 50 space-hoppers if they were to take on GrooveTrain (yes, it’s called GrooveTrain – they got a bit confused between the 70s and the 80s somewhere along the way). Stephen says storage of the space-hoppers is no problem because gyms already have space for Swiss exercise balls. That’s a load of balls, Stephen.

Sterling’s approach is much more straightforward. Former dancer Laura leads a Beat Battle class – and very good she is too – while Duane directs the video. 

Unfortunately, it turns out Duane is a huge control freak and any attempts at input from Laura or Nick are met with defensiveness verging on paranoia, so in the end they give up. Laura dances and Nick giggles behind his hand.

In the boardroom, Karren does her now trademark, mock-blasé, highly telegraphed, results turnaround. Ricky’s team get decent deals from the first two clients, while things are looking bad for Phoenix. But then…

Karren: Client one? “Hated it. No orders.” Client two? “Didn’t like it. Nothing.” Client three? “Didn’t like it… Well… not for the target market – but they did like it for the family market…” Oh, Karren, you tease…

Basically, one mad order has won Phoenix the task and while they head off to enjoy a spa day, The Fitness finds himself back in front of Lord Sugar with Laura and Duane.

The only thing wrong with the task was the fact that some of the martial arts moves (the routine’s unique selling point, after all) were left out. That was entirely Duane’s fault and, with a bit of coercion from Mr Hewer, Lord Sugar agrees. 

Duane takes the long, dark cab ride of the soul, while Ricky “The Fitness” Martin lives to fight another day – and the rest of us spend the night trying to get Move Like Jagger out of our heads…