“ ITV1 / Reality Show „
this is yet another business based reality tv show. with this one they give it a snappy name and push it off....and well thats about it. the contestants repeat themselves over and over again (either that or the editors are incapable of making a decent programme).
the team players put money in the kitty each week as they are given a variety of different challenges in which to try and hit high targets and add generate as much money as possible , and then the worst achievers are voted out. its a bit like the apprentice but in a different league.
the reality tv market these days is flooded with cheap imitations of great watch tv and i'm afraid to say this is just another one of these shows.
if you were debating watching this i wouldn't bother - there are much better things that you could be doing or watching.
Natural Born Sellers (decent title) was the latest attempt by ITV to mimic the BBCs most successful shows, this a blatant hybrid of the very successful 'The Apprentice. A previous attempt with Peter Jones and some young Entrepreneurs bombing badly on the same channel and so they came up with this, which to be fair was a quite enjoyable effort. Michael Grade, the head of ITV then, deploying this tactic with Dancing on Ice to bag some of the 'Strictly' crowd and the formula is clearly a desperate bid to win back falling advertising revenue by attracting that more lucrative BBC audience demographic. When the channel takes on shows like 'Dexter' then you know they are trying hard.
The basic formula here is very similar to Sugars show but having the honesty to admit their eight contestants are just cheap suited salesman (and women), and so that will be the only task involved, which is often all the jumped up types who appear on 'The Apprentice' are capable of, hence Sugar taking six attempts so far to find his successor of sorts. Who will win from the current lot is anybodys guess
The format of the show, like The Apprentice', again demanded the contestants are engaged in a long challenge and so have to get the six weeks off from their understanding (or relieved bosses) or give up their jobs, a somewhat risky strategy if your gone by week one, the grand prize go ing to who ever has earned the most commission by the end of the sixth and final episode, that payment complimented by various bonuses to make it worth their while. If all of the sellers hit their targets in each weeks challenge then an extra twenty grand was added to that final prize pot every week. The twist with this one was that each shows top dog salesman/woman not only gets a nice Lexus for the week until the next show to drive around to enhance their status but gets to vote off one of the bottom two salesmen for that week. I quite liked that harsh injection of reality to this type of show.
ITV trawled the nation to find the most obnoxious and pushy sales reps in Britain and succeeded, again all concerned encouraged to make 'power statements' to the camera every chance they have, eight Alan Partridges (and esses) jammed into an anonymous Travel Tavern.
Thea, the posh and ample breasted I.T sales girl, was first off the mark with her outrageous comment to grab early publicity. She announces: "When you're pretty it helps when you're a customer, it's easier to be sold something by someone who's easy on the eye". Thea isn't really that pretty or sexy but she is deluded. She looked like a ringer.
John Caudwell of Pones4U billions plays the Sugar role although he is merely a presence to give the show some sort of gravitas and doesn't so any hiring or firing stuff, let alone jab and point his finger at the doomed, just offering avuncular business advice at the closing big table eviction sequence. Its employee power here and the one who makes the least bucks is usaully voted out by the one who made the most bucks. The contestants do get to keep their commission though.
Week one and Danny, a typical Essex car salesman, won the first task, which was to sell household furniture for three days, earning top dog status and the keys for the Lexus with his victory, whizzing off to the next Travel Tavern with a tear in his eye for his long dead old man. Whilst the real sales staff of the furniture warehouse was sent home on full pay for the long weekend the new team was let loose under the leadership of the real boss of the business , the increasingly flustered Dave Harris. If they lost money he lost money and so was soon on their case. Whilst Thea resorted to thrusting her tits at male customers so to make her required six grand sales, the other female contestant, Kirsten, gave up on week one and headed back to the station. It looked rather contrived at the time and there seemed no real reason for her to do that, although a subtle hint was afforded by the director when another contestant was shown calling her on his cell phone from his hotel bed first thing.
Nick (nice but dim) and Gavin (Bit of a thick 'Welshy' if we are honest), finished bottom after the three days of selling beds and settees, bad paperwork the latter's downfall. But it was posh Nick who was voted off by a tearful Danny, the posh city boy clearly unable to sell to the 'proles'. Dan recognized the next challenge may suit Nick but he clearly couldn't sell to normal punters so had to go, one would presume the type the later challenges would be. Scott, who came second, was the pushy and over ambitious one for the series that most people watching on already wanted to punch in the face with a steam iron.
Double-glazing was challenge two, a family company from Leeds priding themselves on the softly softly approach, tactics that don't agree with top dog Danny early on, deciding to skip training as he has sold glass before. The target was 15 grand (4% commission) for the guys, new girl Haley joining the show after Kirsten's walkout last week. Thea dominated early on, hogging the customers with her now irritating self-deluded sex appeal to nail her 15 grand on day one. A lot of middle-aged Yorkshire man had seen plenty of her cleavage by day two. Scott, driven by nicotine, dance music and the catch phrase,' check your bad self out', nailed his 15k by day two. Danny was still in the dumps, Scot helping others with his 'spare' leads to make sure all the team made the target so to claim the 20k bonus. They would all hit their targets after Danny had an amazing third day, deploying his hard sell tactics to make his target and more. Gavin, in his ridiculous straw hat, was bottom again, joining professional double-glazing salesman Leighton. Danny saw Gavin as no threat to his status so voted off Leighton. Danny keeps the Lexus.
If you like the Apprentice then this is for you, a new series ready to go on ITV2 nest month, a no nonsense sales challenge with rather cliché reps bombing around the country ticking every stereotype. You will despise the contestants and so want them to fail, cheering for the customers every time they lose the sale. With just six shows over a month or so the run is just the right length and on at that 9 PM watershed there's plenty of 'effing and blinding' to give it a grown up twang. Where as the Apprentice and Dragons Den require some thought you can just sit back and enjoy this without engaging your brain like any other ITV prime-time show.
Thursday night, ITV2, 9pm, December...
Ruthless professionals must hit aggressive sales targets, earn maximum commission and as a result push their sales to the limit! But in the end only one person will be the top dog.