Mark Bouris keen for more Apprentice

By David Knox on November 20, 2009 / Filed Under News 28

markbourisShould it be Gavin, Morello or Heather?

That’s the question Mark Bouris has had to contemplate this week in the lead-up to the finale of The Apprentice Australia.

All three were still in the running after Monday night’s penultimate episode.

“Anyone of those three could do the job. They have the skill and ability to do the job. Which one is the right one is another issue,” Bouris told TV Tonight.

“40% of people say to me it should be Gavin, 40% say Morello and the balance say Heather. And I have one response to that: it’s a bit like the Melbourne Cup –you’ve got to watch who the bolters are at the end of the game.

“All the challenges up to Challenge #9 become irrelevant. It comes down to how they all perform when it really counts. You’re only as good as your last challenge. Their personalities all change when they know it’s right down to the wire. And the last episode is a ripper.”

Bouris will appoint one to a 12 month, six figure salary executive position in his financial advisory company, Yellow Brick Road. He has already filmed two endings for the finale, which airs on Monday night. But only one will go to air.

“There’s two people right now who think that they’ve won. I will give one of the edits the go ahead,” he says.

Bouris says he shot a pilot of the Aussie adaptation 18 months ago after being approached by FremantleMedia.

“I didn’t think much more about it, but my long-standing position at General Electric came to an end, which was an amicable arrangement. All I was doing was running Yellow Brick Road, which is my wealth business, and I had a bit of spare time. I got a call from Channel Nine to say they were interested in doing the show and Fremantle said, ‘Do you want to do it?’ so I thought ‘Why not?'” he says.

“How often do you get an opportunity to do something like that on television?”

Bouris says he didn’t dwell too much on whether to take up the role, despite it being in Reality Television.

“I prefer to say ‘Why not do something?’ as opposed to saying ‘Why do something?’ So I thought I’ll just take the consequences as they come.

“It has impacted on my life is some respects, in that it’s ramped up people’s awareness of me. But people have been pretty nice, I haven’t had any dramas with it.”

His friendship with Nine CEO David Gyngell didn’t harm the decision-making either.

“David and I have been great mates for a long time, but I don’t think that had any impact on whether he did the show or not. He took the show on its own merits. But at the same time it helps that he knows me and I’m a known entity in that regard so it’s probably a little less risk.”

With its franchises in 25 different countries, Bouris had to adhere to the structure and hallmarks of the series, created by Mark Burnett.

“You have to abide by the franchise, there are certain things whilst you may not want to do it, you have to do it, because that’s the structure of the show,” he said. “For example to say ‘You’re fired.’ That’s a big one, but it’s not all that Australian. But it doesn’t really matter because it’s part of the show, and frankly the candidates in the show know what they’re in for.”

He says an Australian boss would be a less blunt in dismissing staff.

“‘Sorry mate there’s no place here for you anymore,’ or ‘The job’s outgrown you’ or something like that,” he says.

“That’s more Australian. We sort of beat around the bush a bit.”

The winning Apprentice will work closely with Bouris advisor Brad, Head of Distribution for Yellowbrick Road. They will become Head of Business Development, opening up branches across Australia. They must understand Bouris’ strategy rollout, which he says is being tested via the Apprentice challenges.

“It’s about how to get from A to Z, having a strategy and getting it done in a hurry. If you look at the challenges there’s been a common denominator in every one of them and that’s it. ‘This is what I tell you to do, this is what I want you to do, get in and do it.'”

In keeping with the Apprentice format, Bouris has been segregated from the contestants throughout the filming.

“If I walk into the studio and they happen to be sitting somewhere they get taken away or I get blocked. I can’t even make eye contact with anybody other than in the Board Room or at the beginning of the challenge,” he says.

With the exception of one challenge, that has resulted in him watching how the contestants interact when he watches the episodes air on Monday nights. But he does admit to tuning into the TV Shopping Network ahead of shooting a Board Room scene. He got quite a shock to stumble onto the contestants giving their live to air presentations as part of a weekly challenge, trying to sell clothes accessories and carpet cleaners.

“And there in front of me on the ground is Morello with the shit stain on the carpet. I couldn’t believe it. I sat back and I watched it. It was very funny.

“But I never spoke to one candidate up until I had dinner with the remaining candidates before the final challenge. Not even eye contact or ‘G’day how you going?'”

And as for a second series, Bouris has good news for Nine.

“I’d be interested in doing it again,” he says. “I guess it depends on the ratings and whether they make any money out of it. That’s their call but it’s not really my game. I was doing it to have the experience of it and promoting Yellow Brick Road where I could, although I haven’t really done it in a cheesy way.

“If Nine came to me and said ‘Would I do it again?’ the answer to that is ‘Yes.’

“I had fun doing it and I have to say a lot of fun watching it.”

The Apprentice Australia finale airs 9:30pm Monday on Nine.

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28 Comments »

  1. Alecia Foster February 1, 2010 at 6:00 am -

    I would like to meet you 4 5 mins,az my heel iz stuck az i was minding my own walking alng yellow brick road??could you meet me half way .you wont be dissapointed If not i ll stick my head in d sand like valentines day.Since a prducer shook my hand at Narrabeen.It will be your loss if you decline my offer,lots of charisma &humility Leasha??

  2. Rosanna November 30, 2009 at 12:56 am -

    I love ‘the Apprentice’ series and loved listening to the constructive comments made by Mark Bouris to each group and individual contestants, it kept me eager to watch the next episode the following week. It was Interesting to see what really the corporate business world is all about, how they think and what marketing strategies to use etc. Personally I think Mark Bouris has charm, charisma and I agree he is sexy for his age!! but i would like to see more of him consulting with his two advisories when discussing the contestants or maybe show what he does when the contestants are undertaking their tasks, maybe like a behind the scene thing.
    I hope they will offer Mark Bouris the 2nd series of the Apprentice in 2010.

  3. SOPHIE November 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm -

    seriously loved the Apprentice Australia. There has to be another series so i can be a contestant! When do we audition or apply!??

  4. Angela Bertocchini November 25, 2009 at 9:20 pm -

    I’d like to take a walk on the yellow brick road

  5. vanessa November 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm -

    Pitty this show is just about finished. Bring back The Apprentice 2010!!!!!
    Love this show :-)

  6. nelly November 21, 2009 at 10:56 pm -

    lol !~ hmm go heather to win (i thinK!! ). :)

  7. KFed November 21, 2009 at 6:56 am -

    His “wealth” business? I still have no idea what Yellow Brick Road does.

  8. Tepee November 21, 2009 at 12:39 am -

    I do love my fair share of reality TV, and this is no exception. Have always loved The Apprentice format and the Aussie version has certainly done it justice. Hate Gavin, he’s so condescending. Morello or Heather FTW!

  9. Sarah November 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm -

    The Uk also shoot two endings. It’s done that way to ensure the winner isn’t leaked.

    The show faired pretty well in the ratings with the tough timeslot and in my opinion has really silenced its critics. It’s an easy target because it is a big brand and has been around for a while but honestly I think this is the best Aussie series of the year (yes better than masterchef).

    Nine would be mad not to bring it back

  10. Earthquake November 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm -

    I’m really enjoying the series, but I don’t know whether the novelty will continue on for another series? It depends on the contestants I guess.

    But Morello is the best of the remaining people. I’m just happy that Miss Australia girl got evicted!

  11. Mandy November 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm -

    Worked really well, i was a fan of the US version but take-it-or-leave-it on the UK version, but never miss the Aus version. Really hoping for a second series.

    Good idea to film two endings to conceal the actual result. How idiotic to think this was genuine dithering.

  12. Matt November 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm -

    “What a gutless decision to film two endings”

    I’d say it is common sense to do so when it is pre-recorded, so the result can’t leak.

  13. Jake November 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm -

    Bouris is a superior boss to trump & sugar. Much more insightful and thoughtful. Given the timeslot it’s rated fairly well.

    It would be a travesty if it didn’t return.

  14. Carissa November 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm -

    Best show on telly this year hands down.

    To me this show is turning the corner for nine back into quality programming.

    Please please bring it back!

  15. Dr. TV November 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm -

    Really enjoyed this show a lot and I haven’t been in favour of Nine reality stuff for a while, but I really hope they do a series 2.

  16. Mac November 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm -

    I’m with Belinda! I was apprehensive but ended up loving it. I knew nothing of Mark Bouris but he’s my fave out of Trump, Sugar and him.

    And yup Belinda, best since Bowler’s Mole (bring it back!!!).

  17. Des November 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm -

    What a gutless decision to film two endings.
    It makes a mockery of the whole process.
    How the hell could anyone successful not have the gumption to make a decision and stick with it is beyond me.
    If it returns for a second series I won’t be watching.
    All the credibility Bouris has earned over this series has been completely wiped out.

  18. Reality Raver November 20, 2009 at 12:28 pm -

    And we would like to see more of Mark Bouris. I think an 8.30pm start time would see it go over the magic million mark.

    Is the Australian way of saying your fired – is saying “Your boned.”?

  19. Rob November 20, 2009 at 11:41 am -

    The ratings for this show say it all and if Nine are happy paying so much money for such medicore returns then they’re fools. Everyone will say it was the timeslot (and Ch9 programming) that damaged this show but it looked quite cheap and it was poorly cast which was FremantleMedia’s failure.

  20. Edu November 20, 2009 at 11:40 am -

    Oh would love to see a second series, love this show to bits!

  21. Chris November 20, 2009 at 11:22 am -

    oh please no more! i’ve watched 1 epiosode the frist and the most recent and i can see why it was not entertaining. Mark Bouris trying to look like a hardass/badass who actually knows what he is doing.

  22. frankie lupo November 20, 2009 at 11:04 am -

    great show i hope morello wins but maybe the older guy and girl have more rat cunning in them

  23. Belinda November 20, 2009 at 9:46 am -

    This has been such a good show. Probably the best Australian version of reality format since The Mole (Grant Bowler era).

  24. Johnson November 20, 2009 at 8:53 am -

    Great interview David.

  25. Steve November 20, 2009 at 8:22 am -

    Yes!!

    Love this show. Stick with it Nine.

  26. Russell November 20, 2009 at 8:00 am -

    It’s been a great series, up with the UK version in terms of style, and the cattiness of the US series, Bouris has shown he’s a tough but fair guy, which does work well. And a girl I work with is gushing over him – the sexy older guy ;) Can’t hurt either for Mr Bouris. Bring on Series 2!

  27. john November 20, 2009 at 6:31 am -

    Why.It is sh*te.

  28. Andrew November 20, 2009 at 6:16 am -

    I too had fun watching the Apprentice.

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