Undercover Boss Canada, episode 8: the makeover show (we wish)
On Undercover Boss Canada this week, we meet another sneaky CEO who slides out of participating (a schtick that’s getting old). GoodLife Fitness CEO David Patchell-Evans—but his friends call him Patch (ugh)—shows a lack of courage and an instinct for self-promotion, wondering, “How do I go undercover? I’m on the front cover of two million-selling books!” We leave Patch pondering away and meet chief operations officer Jane Riddell, who swaps her white mushroom cut for brown extensions and is ready to rock. (Actually, we thought the new hair made her look years younger. Producers take note: we’d definitely watch an Undercover Boss-Extreme Makeover hybrid show. Get to work!)
We tried to focus on Riddell’s exploits but kept getting distracted by how odd the GoodLife corporate culture is. They use Razor scooters to zip around the gym, and call what looks like an average daycare facility the “Junior Up and Coming Members Program,” or JUMP! (where did the “C” go?). The GoodLife executive team is also eerily in unison, chorusing, “Hi Jane,” as she enters the boardroom, and, “Good luck,” as she leaves. Riddell seems up to the tasks she’s given: handing out guest passes, minding screaming children, snaking a shower drain and leading a Zumba class. Her end-of-episode gifts, however, seemed more like additional job training than tokens of appreciation. Inviting employees to speak at company conventions or bringing them to Toronto for training doesn’t compare to the vacations and thoughtful gifts past execs have given (we miss you, Ellis!).
She forgets she’s undercover and introduces herself as Jane. Donna. Jane-Donna.
She looks pretty awkward on that Razor—has she never scooted before?
She actually laughs as she pulls a foul-smelling gunk of hair out of the shower drain. Even the regular technician was gagging.
She tries to quit halfway through teaching Zumba. Who doesn’t like a latin-inspired funk workout?
Her shift as a personal trainer is really just her getting a free personal training session.
We were ready to like her, but the lame gifts ruined it.
Hired. To clean our shower, at least.