The Apprentice (UK series eight)

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The Apprentice UK
Series Eight
2012 Apprentice UK candidates.jpg

Series Eight of The Apprentice (UK) was a British reality television series. The series started on BBC One on 21 March 2012, and ran for 12 weeks, with each episode lasting an hour. The series was won on 3 June 2012 by Ricky Martin, with Tom Gearing as runner-up. Nick Holzherr came in third place, and Jade Nash in fourth place.


Sixteen contestants took part in this series, and initially were divided by gender, as in every other series. The men chose the name Phoenix for their team, and the women chose Sterling. Unusually, it was not until week 10 that a project manager was fired. Three candidates - Bilyana, Maria and Michael - never had the chance to be Project Manager.

Candidate Background Original team Age[when?] Result
Ricky Martin Recruitment team leader Phoenix 26 Winner
(3 June)
Tom Gearing Director of a fine wine investment company Phoenix 23 Runner-up
(3 June)
Nick Holzherr Technology entrepreneur Phoenix 25 Third place
(3 June)
Jade Nash Business development Manager Sterling 29 Fourth place
(3 June)
Adam Corbally Market trader Phoenix 32 Fired in week 11
(30 June)
Stephen Brady National sales manager Phoenix 33 Fired in week 10
(23 May)
Gabrielle Omar Architect Sterling 29 Fired in week 10
(23 May)
Jenna Whittingham Beauty salon owner Sterling 25 Fired in week 9
(16 May)
Laura Hogg Bridal shop owner Sterling 28 Fired in week 8
(9 May)
Azhar Siddique Founder and managing director of catering and refrigeration company Phoenix 33 Fired in week 7
(2 May)
Katie Wright Editorial and research director Sterling 26 Fired in week 6
(25 April)
Duane Bryan Founder/director of drinks distribution company Phoenix 29 Fired in week 5
(18 April)
Jane McEvoy Co-founder of food manufacturing company Sterling 28 Fired in week 4
(11 April)
Michael Copp MD kitchen and bedroom furniture retailer Phoenix 31 Fired in week 3
(4 April)
Maria O’Connor Restaurateur Sterling 20 Fired in week 2
(28 March)
Bilyana Apostolova Risk analyst Sterling 25 Fired in week 1
(21 March)

Weekly results[edit]

Candidate Original team Week 3 team Week 4 team Week 7 team Week 9 team Week 11 team Application result Record as project manager
Ricky Martin Phoenix Phoenix Sterling Sterling Sterling Sterling Hired by Sugar 1-2 (win in week 11, loss in weeks 5 & 9)
Tom Gearing Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Sterling Runner-up 2-1 (win in weeks 4 & 9, loss in week 8)
Nick Holzherr Phoenix Sterling Sterling Sterling Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 12 2-0 (win in weeks 1 & 7)
Jade Nash Sterling Sterling Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 12 1-1 (win in week 10, loss in week 7)
Adam Corbally Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 11 0-2 (loss in week 6 & 11)
Stephen Brady Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Sterling Sterling Fired in week 10 1-1 (win in week 5, loss in week 10)
Gabrielle Omar Sterling Sterling Sterling Sterling Sterling Fired in week 10 1-1 (win in week 8, loss in week 1)
Jenna Whittingham Sterling Sterling Sterling Sterling Sterling Fired in week 9 1-0 (win in week 6)
Laura Hogg Sterling Sterling Sterling Phoenix Fired in week 8 0-1 (loss in week 4)
Azhar Siddique Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 7 1-0 (win in week 2)
Katie Wright Sterling Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 6 0-1 (loss in week 3)
Duane Bryan Phoenix Sterling Sterling Fired in week 5 1-0 (win in week 3)
Jane McEvoy Sterling Sterling Sterling Fired in week 4 0-1 (loss in week 2)
Michael Copp Phoenix Phoenix Fired in week 3
Maria O’Connor Sterling Fired in week 2
Bilyana Apostolova Sterling Fired in week 1
Elimination chart
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Bilyana FIRED
     The candidate was on the winning team.
     The candidate was on the losing team.
     The candidate became Lord Sugar's new business partner and won The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom.
     The candidate was fired.
     The candidate lost as project manager and was fired.


Week 1: Blank Canvas[edit]

  • Air Date: 21 March 2012
  • Sterling: Gabrielle (Project Manager), Bilyana, Maria, Jade, Jane, Katie, Laura and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Nick (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Tom, Duane, Azhar, Adam and Michael.
  • Task: To print their own designs onto souvenirs, and sell them to tourists in London.
  • Result: The men's team, Phoenix created a line of teddy bears adorned with the Union Jack, and bags featuring red buses. The teddy bears sold well once the initially very high price was reduced, though they had quality control issues with their bags. The women's team, Sterling sold customised products featuring a design by Jade, and additional messages that customers could pay for. The women's sub-team wasted a lot of time travelling to London Zoo, and while they enjoyed decent sales at the zoo, their attempt to sell off their remaining stock to a local shop went badly wrong when they intimidated the clerk by crowding around her then as they left, they were sternly talked to by the co-owner to the point of ejection. Worse still, Bilyana had led the sub-team so far out of their way that there was no time to find another shop to sell to. In the end, Phoenix scored a comprehensive victory with a profit of £616.20, while Sterling only made £214.80, which was in part blamed on overspend and the lack of a clear pricing strategy.
  • Winner: Phoenix by £401.40
  • Reward: Art-themed cocktails at the candidates' house.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Gabrielle, Katie and Bilyana
  • Fired: Bilyana, for her overly abrasive nature, for her misguided attempt to sell her remaining stock to the shop, and for repeatedly interrupting Lord Sugar during his boardroom deliberations.
  • Notes:
    • To date, Phoenix's victory is the largest for a first task.
    • Lord Sugar praised Jade's design work on Sterling's products, and said in the Why I Fired Them episode that their products were by far and away better than Phoenix's, but that it was ultimately all for nothing due to the team's disorganization and bad pricing structure.
    • It was noted that both the teams had performed practically the complete opposite of each other, with the men having a poor design but good sales tactics and the women having a very good design but very poor sales tactics.
    • After the episode aired, Lord Sugar confirmed on his Twitter feed that he was initially going to fire Katie for her lack of contribution to the task. However, Bilyana interrupted him before he could announce who was fired and then continued to interrupt him as he told her to be quiet, which caused him to alter his decision and fire her instead.
    • This was the second occasion in the UK Series that a candidate was fired primarily because of their disruptive behaviour in the boardroom, with the first being Paloma Vivanco from Series 6. Sugar actually noted that Bilyana's sales figures were relatively decent and that Gabrielle was unfairly blaming her for everything that went wrong with the task, but her constant interruptions and inability to give concise answers ultimately led to her being fired.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision to fire Bilyana. The panel and Bilyana herself agreed that while she deserved to be fired based on her bahaviour in the boardroom, Katie was the one who most deserved to be fired based purely off the task results,

Week 2: Household Gadget[edit]

  • Air Date: 28 March 2012
  • Sterling: Jane (Project Manager), Maria, Gabrielle, Jade, Katie, Laura and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Azhar (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Nick, Tom, Duane, Adam and Michael.
  • Task: To design their own household items and sell them to and Lakeland.
  • Result: Both teams came up with two designs each. Phoenix had a tabletop compost bin and a set of dishwashing gloves, and Sterling created a bathtub splash guard and a tap cozy; both project managers opted for the former items, despite the latter ones proving more popular with focus groups. Sterling were strongly criticised for incorrect costings and an unrealistically high suggested order, while Phoenix's first presentation (by Stephen) was badly received, forcing Duane, the main designer and advocate of the bin, to step in and rescue it. Phoenix got orders from both companies, totalling 13,000 units, while Sterling managed just 7,500, getting a bigger order from than Phoenix, but not getting an order at all from Lakeland.
  • Winner: Phoenix by 5,500 orders
  • Reward: Meal at The Ivy.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jane, Jenna and Maria
  • Fired: Maria, for contributing very little to the tasks, her aggressive nature, and falling asleep during an important discussion in one of the cars. While both Jane and Jenna made far more major errors, including Jane's poor presentation, Lord Sugar decided that Maria had not contributed enough in either task to remain.
  • Notes:
    • Despite Phoenix's victory, most of the men felt that Azhar had been a weak leader, and that Duane was the one who deserved the most credit for the win.
    • Prior to the initial boardroom Jane indicated that she wanted to bring back Katie, who she acknowledged had not been especially better or worse than the rest of the team, but considered to be the weakest overall. While Jane never actually named Katie to come back into the final boardroom, Lord Sugar picked up on her criticisms and told Jane that she should bring back whoever was responsible for either the product design (which was Laura) or the incorrect costings. This led to her selecting Jenna alongside Maria.
    • After Maria's departure, Lord Sugar strongly implied that he was also about to fire Jane, but she was allowed to successfully plea her case and remain in the competition.

Week 3: Condiments[edit]

  • Air Date: 4 April 2012
  • Sterling: Duane (Project Manager), Nick, Gabrielle, Jade, Jane, Laura and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Katie (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Tom, Azhar, Adam and Michael.
  • Task: To create condiments and sell them to the public and to the trade.
  • Result: Phoenix created a spicy Italian table sauce, and Sterling created a pineapple and ginger chutney. Both teams had production issues, as the first version of Sterling's chutney was so spicy as to be inedible, leaving them unable to offer a taster for a high-end grocery store lined up by Lord Sugar, while Phoenix produced only about 60% of their intended volume of sauce. The two teams enjoyed relatively decent face-to-face sales, but a significant factor was that Sterling got another appointment with the grocer and earned a large order, while Phoenix sold very little to the trade, not helped by the fact that Michael turned down a potentially large order because the price was 4p per bottle lower than what he wanted. This, combined with their insufficient production run, cost them the task. Sterling had a profit of £1,028 and Phoenix had a profit of £585.
  • Winner: Sterling by £443
  • Reward: Car driving experience at the Silverstone Circuit.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Katie, Michael and Ricky.
  • Fired: Michael, for mismanaging the trade sales subteam, and because Lord Sugar considered him to be out of his league.
  • Notes:
    • The name of Phoenix's sauce, Bellissimo, was misspelt as "Belissimo" on the bottle, which the potential buyers were quick to point out.
    • Jane maintained a negative attitude throughout the task after her suggestion for salad dressing was turned down, which despite Sterling's victory led to animosity between her and Duane during the reward. Despite her negativity however, Nick Hewer revealed in the following week's You're Fired that he actually considered her to be the most deserving of credit for the team's win, due to her excellent organization of Sterling's production line.
    • In the boardroom, Ricky was held responsible for the production run chaos which was described as the reason for the failure of the task though he vigorously defended himself and shifted the blame to Michael, stating he "undelivered" and "sold rubbish sales figures." Though Lord Sugar noted that the leftover bottles would not realistically have won the task for Phoenix had they all been sold, he ultimately felt that Michael had made too many mistakes on this task and contributed too little in the previous weeks to be allowed to stay.
    • In the You're Fired! episode, it was revealed that Michael had been ill with gastric flu during the show, and this may have been a contributing factor to him not stepping forward very much on the tasks. The audience were divided over to whether to agree with the decision, though the panel (which included Claude Littner and Levi Roots) agreed that regardless of whether or not Michael was the most at fault for the loss, he would likely not have gotten much further in the competition anyway.

Week 4: Junk Shops[edit]

  • Air Date: 11 April 2012
  • Sterling: Laura (Project Manager), Ricky, Nick, Gabrielle, Jane, Duane and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Stephen, Jade, Katie, Azhar and Adam.
  • Task: Buying second-hand furniture items and re-selling for profit.
  • Result: Tom decided to keep costs as low as possible, giving his purchasing sub-team just £200 and focusing on what he felt were quality goods. This led to their shop being somewhat sparsely stocked at the start of the day, but their items sold well and Tom sent his sub-team out to replenish their stock mid-day. In contrast, Sterling purchased much more stock, and also spent a lot of money on customising the items. This resulted in them taking more money than Phoenix, but spending more than twice as much. Phoenix had a final profit of £1,063, and Sterling's profit was £783.
  • Winner: Phoenix by £280
  • Reward: 1940s themed party and dancing lessons.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Laura, Gabrielle and Jane.
  • Fired: Jane, for contributing just £10 out of Sterling's £1,400 in sales, along with her generally very weak track record throughout the competition, despite having an excellent CV.
  • Notes:
    • While Laura blamed Gabrielle and Jenna for the team's overspending, it was also revealed that they had been the top two sellers on the team, with Gabrielle selling the most. Laura still brought Gabrielle back, but Lord Sugar quickly said that he did not consider her responsible for the loss, and that she would not be facing dismissal.
    • Lord Sugar and Karren Brady noted after the firing that based purely on her pre-series track record, Jane may well have been arguably the strongest candidate ever to appear on the show. However, they felt that she had severely underperformed on all of the tasks, which led to her departure over Laura, who it was agreed had been a weak leader and failed to adequately control the team, which had caused the inventory overspend.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Jane, with the consensus that Laura should've been fired. Nick Hewer also felt that Jane should perhaps have been given one more chance, and reflected that it was Karren Brady's comment on Jane's contribution that sealed her fate.

Week 5: Keep Fit[edit]

  • Air Date: 18 April 2012
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager), Nick, Gabrielle, Duane, Laura and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Stephen (Project Manager), Jade, Tom, Katie, Azhar and Adam.
  • Task: Creating their own workout program and selling it to gym chains.
  • Result: Sterling's workout combined dancing and mixed martial arts, while Phoenix's workout was themed around the 1980s and made use of toys such as spacehoppers and hula hoops. The three retailers gave high praise to Ricky's sales pitch but hated the accompanying promotional video, as the unique martial art selling point was not put across. On the other hand, Stephen was heavily criticised for not knowing the cost of the accessories required for their workout, and questions were raised how the equipment would be stored, but the promotional video made by Azhar got a large amount of praise. Sterling got orders from two of the gym chains, totalling £7,900, while Phoenix only got an order from one. However, that order was for £12,000, which earned them victory.
  • Winner: Phoenix by £4,100
  • Reward: Day at a spa.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ricky, Duane and Laura.
  • Fired: Duane, for directing the bad promotional video which was the ultimate cause of Sterling's loss.
  • Notes:
    • While Phoenix may have won, there was a consensus among Lord Sugar, Nick, Karren and the buyers that Sterling were actually the better team, and had made a better product. Only one order secured Phoenix's win.
    • After Duane's firing, Sugar warned Ricky he had Nick and Karren to thank for him staying, as they had given very positive feedback about his leadership despite the loss. Sugar also strongly criticised Ricky's decision to bring back Laura, as Sugar felt she had actually been the best performer on the team, and that Nick or Jenna should have been brought back (and possibly even fired instead of Duane) for not contributing ideas. Nick in particular had taken a backseat during Duane's direction of the promotional video.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Duane. While it was agreed that Duane was responsible for the poor video which cost Sterling the win, the panel decided that he had shown enough potential to continue and that of the final three, Ricky should have been fired for choosing to bring in Laura. It was also agreed that had Nick been brought back, he should have been fired.

Week 6: Street Food[edit]

  • Air Date: 25 April 2012
  • Sterling: Jenna (Project Manager), Ricky, Nick, Gabrielle and Laura.
  • Phoenix: Adam (Project Manager), Stephen, Jade, Tom, Katie and Azhar.
  • Task: Selling street food in Edinburgh
  • Result: Phoenix went with an Italian meatball dish, and Sterling decided on beef casserole. Despite Lord Sugar's instructions that the teams should focus on producing quality food, Adam elected to produce low-quality, cheap food, which they sold at a Hearts vs. Rangers football match. Jenna opted for a Scottish casserole using higher quality ingredients, which was sold in the city centre. Sterling struggled to sell at first, but sales greatly improved after moving their location, while Phoenix were cost dearly by overpricing their meatballs, resulting in far fewer sales than they anticipated, and a deal to attract customers from tour buses ended up failing to earn a single sale. Phoenix made a profit of £298.04, and Sterling made a profit of £319.78.
  • Winner: Sterling by £21.74
  • Reward: A visit to a country club
  • Brought into the boardroom: Adam, Katie and Azhar
  • Fired: Katie, for choosing the poor sales locations, attempting to over-price the meatballs, and with her generally questionable track record throughout the competition.
  • Notes:
    • The task was set on Sunday 23 October 2011. The outcome of the Hearts v Rangers football match was a 2-0 win to Rangers. Ironically, both teams would experience major financial problems in the following year; Rangers were demoted to the Scottish Football League's lowest tier just a few months after the episode aired, while a year later Hearts were given a fifteen-point deduction which eventually resulted in them being relegated.
    • After choosing to bring back Katie, Adam decided to bring back either Azhar or Jade based on the sales figures and eventually Adam chose Azhar based on lack of contribution. Lord Sugar was dubious about this choice; while he criticised Azhar's performance, he also indicated that he considered Stephen, who set up the failed deal with the tour bus company, more directly responsible for the defeat, and more deserving to be fired over Katie had he been brought back.
    • After Katie's firing, Lord Sugar told Adam that he had had a narrow escape, feeling that despite the close margin, he led the team to failure by serving sub-par food, when he had been given clear instruction not to do so. Lord Sugar allowed Adam to continue as it was generally agreed he had potential and had taken responsibility for his mistakes, as well as his far superior track record over Katie.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience combined with the panel disagreed with the decision to fire Katie. Nearly all of them felt that Adam most deserved to be fired out of the three in the boardroom, and that had he been brought back, Stephen would also have been worthy of dismissal.

Week 7: Flip It in Essex[edit]

  • Air Date: 2 May 2012
  • Sterling: Nick (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Gabrielle and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Jade (Project Manager), Tom, Azhar, Adam and Laura.
  • Task: To buy £100 worth of goods, reinvest and sell them in Essex.
  • Result: Sterling focused mainly on cosmetic products and sold in Romford, while Phoenix had a broader mix of products and sold in Ilford and Pitsea. Sterling enjoyed great success selling their fake tan, while Phoenix's product selection made it difficult for them to focus their marketing strategy, though Adam's market stall experience helped the Pitsea sub-team sell all their stock quickly. Jade re-invested in exactly the same product mix despite her team's advice to focus on toy insects; Nick instructed his sub-team to invest solely in fake tan, but the heavy traffic meant the team spent significant parts of the day not selling anything. As the day drew to an end Jade resorted to cutting prices significantly, to the point where they made very little profit. Sterling had total assets of £955.20 and Phoenix had total assets of £838.21.
  • Winner: Sterling by £116.99
  • Reward: Cocktails made by the UK's Bartender of the Year
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jade, Azhar and Tom
  • Fired: Azhar, for his lack of contribution, being the least effective salesman on the team, wasting Jade's time by constantly complaining about her decisions, and for not being able to communicate properly to his team.
  • Notes:
    • Jade was heavily criticised for bringing Tom back into the boardroom, when he had performed very well on the task. It was made clear early on in the final boardroom that Tom would not be fired. Jade herself admitted that it was a bad decision that she made under pressure. Lord Sugar hinted that Laura should have been brought back instead of Tom, but Jade was adamant that Laura had performed well and did not deserve to be fired.
    • Sir Alan had several reasons to fire Jade which included not leading her team effectively, not understanding the task rules and restocking on everything instead on the big sellers, and for bringing Tom instead of Laura into the boardroom. While the entire team had recommended that Jade be fired, and Karren specifically noted that the task would likely have been a total disaster if not for Tom and Adam's strong efforts, Jade was ultimately saved by her relatively impressive track record and her valiant defence. By contrast it was noted that Azhar had been consistently accused of being a weak contributor, even on the two tasks that he was arguably most responsible for winning (in Weeks 2 and 5) as well as being described as "quiet". Azhar did not help his case by having a lackluster defence compared to Jade.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Azhar. Although Azhar was considered the least effective member of Phoneix, the audience felt Jade easily deserved to be fired over Azhar due to her many errors.

Week 8: Street Art[edit]

  • Air Date: 9 May 2012
  • Sterling: Gabrielle (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Nick and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Jade, Adam and Laura.
  • Task: Holding an urban art exhibition, and selling artwork to customers, including corporate clients
  • Result: Both teams wanted the same artist (Pure Evil), and he chose to be represented by Sterling, citing a lack of enthusiasm on Phoenix's part. This led to Tom hastily choosing to sell pieces by artist James Jessop, hoping his high prices would deliver a victory. Despite decent sales of works by their second artist, Copyright, as well as a large corporate sale, Phoenix failed to sell any of Jessop's works, which cost them dearly. Phoenix had total commission of £4,442 and Sterling had total commission of £4,579.
  • Winner: Sterling by £137
  • Reward: "Action Painting" on a giant-sized canvas
  • Brought into the boardroom: Tom, Jade and Laura
  • Fired: Laura, for selling the least on the team, despite having the most sales experience out of the members of Phoenix, along with her generally inconsistent track record throughout the competition.
  • Notes:
    • While Sterling won, Gabrielle and Stephen were criticised for not asking their corporate client about their budget, and for being rude to them on the night of the event. This resulted in them not selling anything, and Lord Sugar noted that had they persuaded their client to spend their full £10,000 budget, Sterling would have ended up making more than double the amount that Phoenix did.
    • Tom was criticised for not getting Pure Evil as a client, and was also criticised for picking James Jessop; however Lord Sugar told Tom he respected the fact that he took a risk, and that he openly admitted it was his fault picking Jessop, though warned him to be more careful.
    • Although Jade wasn't seen as responsible for the loss, and was in the final boardroom purely because of Adam's superior sales figures, Sir Alan criticised her again for not making decisions quickly (Lord Sugar reminded her of her poor decision in the previous week when choosing Tom over Laura).
    • For only the second time this series (the first being with Maria's firing), the You're Fired audience and panel felt that Laura did deserve to be fired. Even then however, the panel agreed that Tom was actually the most at fault for the loss, and that Laura's dismissal was warranted more by her selling the least on top of her generally underwhelming track record.
    • Following Laura's firing, she revealed in an interview with The Sun that during filming of the third task, she was informed that her former partner and father of her son had been murdered, which was a secret she had kept from the other candidates. She refused to withdraw from the show and stepped up as project manager the following task, but conceded that her head may have no longer been fully in the game by the point she was fired.

Week 9: English Bubbles[edit]

  • Air Date: 16 May 2012
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager), Stephen, Gabrielle and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Nick, Jade and Adam.
  • Task: Lord Sugar challenges the teams to devise a brand and identity for English sparkling wine, including a video advert and a website.
  • Result: Sterling called their wine "Grandeur," which Nick Hewer considered an interesting choice considering it was a French word. Despite Ricky's instructions to the contrary, Jenna and Stephen decided to produce an over-the-top, humorous advert. Their website did get praise for its social network integration and Ricky was given heavy praise for his excellent pitch. On Phoenix, Tom and Adam were criticised for spending much of the first day sampling wine while Nick and Jade did the work on the website. Their video, in contrast to Sterling's, was much more serious and informative, to the point where Tom thought it was slightly boring. Their website was also considered to be too focused toward existing customers and not new ones, which the task brief specified. Despite this, the judges and Lord Sugar thought Sterling's video advert was so bad that it completely wrecked their campaign, handing victory to Phoenix.
  • Winner: Phoenix
  • Reward: A session in a Jacuzzi overlooking the London skyline.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ricky, Jenna and Stephen
  • Fired: Jenna, with regret, for directing the terrible advert which cost Sterling the task, and for ignoring Ricky's instructions on what the tone of the advert should be.
  • Notes:
    • This was the second time Ricky lost as a project manager, and the verdict on his team's performance was the same: a well thought-out execution ruined by a very bad video advert.
    • Stephen came very close to being fired alongside Jenna, for taking a backseat and allowing her complete control of the video. He only survived because of his vow to win as project manager on the next task.
    • Nick is the only candidate this series to move teams twice, and the only candidate who had not appeared in the final boardroom at this point.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Jenna. Like with Duane the audience felt Jenna had shown enough potential to continue and felt Stephen should've been fired because he had taken a backseat and allowed Jenna to mess up.

Week 10: Discount Dealing[edit]

  • Air Date: 23 May 2012
  • Sterling: Stephen (Project Manager), Ricky and Gabrielle.
  • Phoenix: Jade (Project Manager), Nick, Tom and Adam.
  • Task: Negotiating discounts with high-end London businesses for a daily deals website. Whichever team earns the most orders of their discount deals wins.
  • Result: Stephen decided to get his team out early and get multiple discount options from each business, while Jade decided to take a more measured approach and focused on higher-end businesses. On Sterling, Ricky ended up wasting the whole morning with a restaurant who after giving him a guided tour of the place and then a free meal (thinking he was to do with other business) made it clear they weren't willing to offer any discounts whatsoever, but he did secure a good set of deals at two further restaurants. Stephen and Gabrielle got a number of discounts, but not at the high-end businesses specified by the task brief. Jade on Phoenix managed to negotiate a 50% discount with a high-end spa, but had trouble getting appointments during the day and was criticised for her lack of preparation in the meetings she did get. While Phoenix only had two deals (out of 6) accepted to Sterling's three (out of 9), the deals they did get were both more popular and more valuable. Phoenix made £14,563 (with all the money made by Jade and Nick) and Sterling made £6,440 with £6,090 being made solely by Ricky
  • Winner: Phoenix by £8,123
  • Reward: Meal at a country house
  • Brought into the boardroom: Stephen, Gabrielle and Ricky (all the remaining members of Sterling)
  • Fired:
    • Gabrielle, with regret, for contributing the least to the task, and for having lost the passion she displayed earlier in the process.
    • Stephen, for his flawed strategy, not taking responsibility for his actions, and failing to deliver on the promises he made in the previous boardroom
  • Notes:
    • This is the first (and only) time in all series of The Apprentice (teenage and adult) that a team of 3 members has lost to a team of 4 members. In every other series, it has always been the exact opposite.
    • Both of the deals that Phoenix had accepted were negotiated by Jade and Nick, meaning that not one of the deals negotiated by Tom and Adam were accepted. This caused Lord Sugar to tell Tom and Adam that they were lucky to be on the winning team, implying that one (or possibly both) of them would have been fired had Phoenix lost.
    • Ricky was given praise for getting two deals at once, but in the boardroom, Sugar pointed out he should have asked for more than 100 discounts on the 7 course dinner as they completely sold out and Karren said the website stated that around 250 could have been enough for Sterling to make more money and possibly win. At the same time, he was criticised for wasting a whole morning with the non-negotiating restaurant, to which he admitted he thought they knew how the deals website worked and that he should have explained it in more detail. Ultimately, Ricky escaped being fired after Stepen's dismissal by virtue of the fact that he was responsible for £6,090 of Sterling's revenue, but was told that he was on his last chance.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Gabrielle. Sir Alan agreed both after the firing and on Why I Fired Them that Gabrielle wasn't to blame for the loss, but said he felt that she had lost the energy and passion she showed in the earlier tasks as she was worn out, though he stated that Gabrielle would be a successful business woman.
    • For Gabrielle's exit, a slower version of background music was played. The only other occasions that this has happened in is Jo Cameron, Syed Ahmed in Series 2 and Joanna Riley in Series 6.

Week 11: Affordable Luxury[edit]

  • Air Date: 30 May 2012
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager) and Tom.
  • Phoenix: Adam (Project Manager), Nick and Jade.
  • Task: Create a new luxury branded product.
  • Result: Sterling decided on male grooming products, and Phoenix created a line of alcoholic sweets and high quality chocolates. On Phoenix, Adam's leadership was weak, resulting in Jade taking over most of the key decisions, while Ricky mostly focused on creating Sterling's actual products, leaving Tom to handle the business aspects. Sterling were praised for their well-considered long term plan, but their proposed retail space was felt to be rather unappealing. By contrast, Phoenix had a much more inviting shop design, but their prices were felt to be too low, and there were questions as to whether it was really a luxury brand. Sterling also gave a very solid presentation with thought given to the business aspects, while Adam struggled through Phoenix's presentation, which was too focused on the products and not the overall plan. Sterling were agreed by Lord Sugar and the experts to be the clear winners, due mostly to Phoenix's shaky presentation, lack of product focus and unsustainable pricing strategy.
  • Winner: Sterling
  • Reward: No treat as Lord Sugar told the two of them they would be very busy now, presumably with finalising their business plans for the final.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Adam, Jade and Nick (the remainder of Team Phoenix).
  • Fired: Adam, for his inarticulate nature and lack of leadership, and having the weakest overall track record of the three Phoenix members.
  • Notes:
    • Lord Sugar considered firing Nick, feeling he also bore much of the blame for the loss and questioning whether he was too much of a backroom man, but he was saved by having the best overall track record in the contest out of the remaining candidates.
    • Prior to the final boardroom, Karren Brady spoke very strongly in Jade's defence, saying that everything good about the task was her responsibility and that Adam and Nick "got literally everything wrong." Lord Sugar did agree that Jade had been the team's strongest member, though also noted that the pricing decisions were down to her, and that she still had something to answer for.
    • Adam's loss (and Ricky's win) made him the least successful project manager from this series, with two losses and no wins.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Air Date: 3 June 2012
  • Finalists: Jade, Nick, Ricky and Tom.
  • Task: The four finalists each have to face a gruelling interview process on their own. Each candidate also have their business ideas tested, as their plans for their business with Lord Sugar were put to verification.
  • Result: Ricky fell into trouble early on when Lord Sugar couldn't grasp the idea behind his plan for an ethical recruiting agency, and there were questions as to his administrative skills and how focused on business he really was. He was also sharply criticised for making ridiculous claims in his personal statement. However, his overall plan was felt to be quite good on further analysis. There were serious doubts about Jade's plan for a telemarketing business, and even moreso the fact that she didn't offer critical financial figures, and wanted to spend the entire £250,000 investment within six months. The utility behind Nick's idea for an aggregate purchasing website for recipes was questioned, and there were suspicions about his motives for wanting to go into business with Lord Sugar, as he already had a thriving business that earned enough money for him to fund his idea without Sugar's involvement, though he did get credit for his intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit. Tom came under fire when the only reference he was able to produce was from his father, and it also turned out that the £250,000 investment would in fact just be the start, with a £25 million fund needing to be raised to get his fine wine investment business going. He was praised for being very successful for his age, though, and the overall business plan was considered to be well-written, if a little over-ambitious.
  • Final Decision: Jade was the first person to be fired, with Lord Sugar saying that while he greatly admired her work ethic, there would be too many potential PR headaches, and her financial figures were problematic. Nick was fired shortly afterwards, as he was generally agreed to have offered up the most complicated of the four business plans, and that it would require far too much effort for very little reward. Lord Sugar was left with the choice between what he saw as Tom's plan with big risks but also big potential rewards, and Ricky's safer plan, and given the age and experience of the two, he ultimately decided that Ricky would offer the better investment.
  • Fired:
    • Jade, with regret, for the negative PR that her business plan could generate for Lord Sugar, and for having a weak grasp of her projected finances
    • Nick, for having far too narrow of a target market for his potential business, and because the executives were not convinced of his reasons for wanting to go into business with Lord Sugar
  • Runner-Up: Tom, for being inexperienced and having the riskiest business plan
  • Hired: Ricky, for presenting a very solid business plan, and for sticking to the industry in which he was already an expert
  • Notes:
    • As in the previous series, the fired candidates did not make a last appearance to help the finalists.
    • All four of series seven's interviewers - Margaret Mountford, Matthew Riley, Mike Soutar and Claude Littner returned.
    • After the final, it was revealed that Nick had managed to independently secure funding to launch his online business Whisk.


Episode viewing figures from Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB).[1]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers
BBC One Weekly Ranking
1 21 March 2012 7.61 6
2 28 March 2012 7.51 7
3 4 April 2012 7.46 5
4 11 April 2012 8.05 6
5 18 April 2012 7.24 7
6 25 April 2012 7.62 7
7 2 May 2012 7.14 7
8 9 May 2012 6.96 2
9 16 May 2012 7.13 5
10 23 May 2012 7.23 3
11 30 May 2012 7.23 8
12 3 June 2012 6.99 9
Series average 7.35 N/A


External links[edit]