1. (4) Kate. With her peculiar accent that sounds like the angular offspring of a night of passion between Birmingham and Buck Palace, Kate is perhaps the favourite to sit at Sir Alan’s right hand. She can present, she can sell and she can pose a portrait for a hundred glossy women’s magazines when she quits Amstrad in a year or two ‘opening her heart’ about why it’s time to gnaw through Sir Alan’s haggard leash.
If Kate was a hunger, she’d be the pregnant desire at a corporate function that surveys the Spartan servings forlornly for those canopies and blob portions of sauce for any food that resembles love and shatter the choking edifice of sterility.
2. (3) James. Again this week demonstrated his unique talent of making the most hopeless decision – trusting the judgement of Debra and Ben, which is like dropping off your firstborn at the palace of King Herod – and then surviving in the boardroom melee by managing to validate the decision; he claimed that he would have been an awful project manager if he’d rejected the opinions of his team.
If James was a hunger, he’d be that instinctive yearning for food that pollutes the taste buds of the infirm lying in a hospital bed with ‘nil by mouth’ scribbled above their heads in washable ink. As the tongue desperately scrapes at the walls of the mouth like an entombed miscreant seeking egress, it picks up nothing by the tangy flavours of Tuesday’s beef stew, while all around luckier patients savour the processed sprouts rinsed of nutrition that are shovelled into their mouths by harassed nurses.
3. (8) Lorraine. Ostensibly won the support of Kate and Howard unaware of their sneaky contingency should they lose, but it might have been justified the way she stamped all over Kate’s sale to a passing mother.
If Lorraine was a hunger she’d be the self-centred debauchery of self-cannibalisation; beginning with the fingernails and inside of the mouth before trespassing onto sucking the fingers, before lathering them in delicious sauce and devouring them oblivious to how this perturbs its peers.
4. (1) Yasmeena. Over the weeks we’ve noticed that she has a way of ending her sentences in such a fashion that offers the chance for the person to whom she’s speaking to respond but, such is the aggressive fist-waving belligerence of her tone, she’s threatening them not to.
If Yasmeena was a hunger, she’d be that feral desire for raw flesh that echoes in the hearts of all beasts; to shove aside kin to be lay claim to the choicest cuts or bites available.
5. (2) Howard. Since the series began, Howard has been effecting a persona as someone who is a little ineffectual and insecure, but as the other candidates have been hewn from the Oaken branches of the ‘process’ so his sneaky side has blossomed. In this episode after discovering that the push chair that Lorraine has chosen to sell at the Baby Show was on display £35 cheaper on another stand, he whispered to Kate that they would have a stick with which to beat Lorraine should they lose.
If Howard was a hunger, he’d be that haughty palette savouring the piquant decadence of a Bacchanalian feast that elevates the tongue to such transcendental heights of pleasure that it detaches itself from the throat and slither off to seek richer tastes.
6. (7) Debra. Regressed to the mentality of her seven-year-old self, while perversely maturing by about 20 years into the bargain. She became obsessed with rocking horses, demanding to James that they should be one of the two items they should sell at the Baby Show, but after failing to sell even one of them somehow managed to worm her way out of being fired, clearly indicating that Sir Alan has earmarked her for the final.
If Debra was a hunger, she’d be that dignity vacuum that enables somebody to forfeit their basest elements of pride and take part in an I’m A Celebrity…-style eating contest. Wolfing down wichity grubs, kangaroo anuses and crocodile penises would be necessary evils to achieve the aim of victory.
7. (6) Ben. Just as the hatred towards Ben was subsiding, he’s been skewered by Sir Alan’s plot to install Debra in the final, perhaps to win. Even as he shook his head as though it was a stubborn cork refusing to budge from a wine bottle, he was doomed as Sir Alan muttered some soothing platitudes about ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Before departing, Ben just had time to mutter the hackneyed valedictory of “Thanks for a wonderful opportunity” that the wonderful Simon innovated when he was guillotined last series, and when such sentiments appeared genuine, yet which is now blighted with all the emotional authenticity of Amanda Holden’s tears.
If Ben was a hunger, he’d be that ravenous, drunken desire for a burger sloshing with more impurities than Lord Byron’s sperm at the end of a night of debauchery. But as the meat gleefully but guilelessly plummets to the stomach it encounters retched bile coming in the opposite direction, and the two clash in an internal organs’ version of a fight in a pub car park.