Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates


1 Comment

Redemption Inc., episode 5: sequined berets and backstabbers

Redemption Inc. Episode 5

We’re still recovering from the insanity of last night’s elimination: Adam chooses to stay! Joe decides to go! (For reality show contestants, these guys have an awful lot of say over their fates, don’t you think?) It was a dramatic cap to an episode full of scheming, alliances and a whole lot of man-on-man sniffing. Who came out on top? Who reprimanded our man Jeff? (Hint: rhymes with Devin O’Peary.) All the answers are in our TV brief after the jump.

The producers move straight into the action this week, skipping over the introductory shots of Kevin O’Leary doing “business” activities, like holding his BlackBerry in a boardroom and taking a private jet (we actually missed seeing him pretend to read a newspaper with his sunglasses on). The ex-cons are charged with developing a line of male beauty products for Upper Canada Soap, and O’Leary picks Adam to be team leader—a pretty blatant attempt to ramp up the drama, since the other contestants are still furious with Adam for hiding his prison guard past. We’re engrossed in the tense brainstorming session (the team decides to name their line “Swag,” which is clearly a terrible, terrible name) when we’re distracted by the baffling presence of several brightly coloured sequined berets on the floor under the table. Why didn’t Upper Canada Soap clean up before the cameras arrived? And what exactly are these depraved soap execs doing with such razzle-dazzle headgear?

We manage to tear ourselves away from the beret enigma to find out that the name “Swag” is not available, according to the soap company’s lawyer. Sam and Jeff quickly regroup and come up with the name “Alpha M” (marginally better), complete with a decent tuxedo-inspired logo. Meanwhile, Joe and Adam try to rattle Brian so he’ll flub the big boardroom pitch, but Brian, Sam and Alia pull together with a presentation that reminds us of high school, but that the soap execs seem to love (except that blonde woman, whose fake smiles fail to mask her disdain). We have time for one last glimpse of the sequined berets, which are still under the table, before we head to elimination.

At headquarters, O’Leary holds back Joe, Adam and Jeff (noooooo!)—the first two for their failed attempt at manipulation, and Jeff because the Upper Canada Soap guy rates him two out of 10 (just wait till we find out where that guy lives). Our hero squeaks through, but his under-the-radar days are clearly over. Adam is kicked off, but decides to forgo his consolation package and stay, while Joe decides he’s tired of the game playing and wants to go home. What a baby!


• Number of attempted cucumber jokes: 2

• Number of cucumber jokes that were actually funny: 1

• Number of pieces of jewellery worn by Brian O’Dea: 4

• Number of times one man sniffed another: 3

• Number of phony smiles by the blonde executive: 8

• Number of times we forgot to watch because we were speculating about the sequined berets: 75

  • Just visiting

    This may be the best reality show of all time. The concept, though borrowed from ‘The Apprentice’ is very sound. But what makes this show much better is the casting. This group is outstanding television and Kevin and Brian O’Dea’s ‘No B.S.’ style just adds to it.

    Just some random thoughts on each of them in the order I see them doing.
    1. Sam is a star. May have been a bit tentative on the Mariposa task and improved slightly on the dog spa but really stepped it up on the 50/50 task and here. My new favourite to win this.
    2. Alia impresses more and more every week. And while I see her falling just short she will be successful, in a much better business than her previous one. And she’s pretty hot below the neck too, as the cameras seem to have noticed.
    3. Brian is unflappable. He handled that situation beautifully knowing he was being set up. Delivers consistently week to week, task to task. Not in any danger yet.
    4. Still don’t understand why Adam confessed to being a guard. There are just some things people don’t have to know about you in a game where you need a level of co-operation to succeed. His days are numbered.
    5. I, like the writer, like Jeff. I see him being a good businessman but just don’t see him winning this money.
    6. So dissapointed in Joe playing his hand way too early. He was my pick since week two. But he decided this week to treat the game like ‘Survivor’ and it backfired. Sure you want to weed people out but it doesn’t have to be so blatant. I had no problem with him quitting because he had backed himself into a corner that he was not going to get out of.