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[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: Print a unique design onto souvenirs, then sell them to tourists in London. Most profit made, wins.
  • Result: Phoenix created a line of teddy bears adorned with the Union Jack, along with bags featuring red buses; while the teddy bears sold well once the initially very high price was reduced, they had quality control issues with their bags. Meanwhile, 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; they were sternly talked to by the co-owner to the point of ejection, as they left. 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, while an overspend on the souvenirs and a lack of a pricing strategy further wrecked them. Phoenix had a profit of £616.20, while Sterling had a profit of £214.80.
  • 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, her overwhelming sales behaviour at the local shop, and for disrupting Lord Sugar during his deliberations.
  • Notes:
    • To date, Phoenix's victory margin in a first task is the largest seen in the show's history and has not been yet exceeded.
    • Both teams were noted to have performed in practically the complete opposite of each other; the men had poor designs but won with good sales tactics, while the women had very good designs but very poor sales tactics. Lord Sugar gave much praise to Jade for her design work, commenting on 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.
    • 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. 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. Both the panel and Bilyana herself agreed that while she deserved to be fired based on her behaviour in the boardroom, Katie was the one who most deserved to be fired based purely on the results of the task.

Week 2[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: Design brand new household items, then pitch them to both and Lakeland. Most orders received, wins.
  • Result: Phoenix's designs were a tabletop compost bin and a set of dish-washing gloves, while Sterling's designs were 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. Both teams had issues when pitching, as Pheonix's first pitch by Stephen was poorly received (forcing Duane to step in and rescue it), while Laura's to Amazon went wrong when she to sell one million units to then with Sterling receiving strong criticism for this and for incorrect costings. While Phoenix got orders from both companies, Sterling only got only orders from Amazon which, despite being larger than the other team, could not stop them from losing. Phoenix received 13,000 orders, while Sterling received 7,500 orders.
  • Winner: Phoenix - By 5,500 orders
  • Reward: Meal at The Ivy.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Jane, Jenna and Maria
  • Fired: Maria - Failure to contribute much, her aggressive nature, and falling asleep during an important discussion in one of the cars.
  • 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, since he had been the main designer and advocate for the product that, despite being less popular, still proved better than Sterling's choice.
    • Karren labelled Sterling's splash guard as arguably the worst product ever to appear on the show (Until Series 10), saying that in an emergency, it would prove difficult to help a baby in the bath. On Why I Fired Them Lord Sugar also felt that the product doomed them from the start, saying they were "dead in the water", and calling the splash guard "absolute garbage".
    • 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 considering her errors, such as her poor presentation, but she was allowed to successfully plea her case and remain in the competition.

Week 3[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: Create a new condiment, then sell it to the public and to the trade. Most profit made, wins.
  • Result: Phoenix created a spicy Italian table sauce, while Sterling created a pineapple and ginger chutney, yet both teams had production issues in creating their condiments' first version. Sterling's first version was inedible due to the chutney being too spicy, which left 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. While the two teams enjoyed relatively decent face-to-face sales, Sterling secured another appointment with the same grocer and earned a large order in the end, while Phoenix sold very little to the trade, hindered further 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, while 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 - Mismanagement of trade sales subteam, and being out of his league in the task.
  • Notes:
    • When selling their sauce, Phoenix's were pointed out by potential buyers that the name, Bellissimo, had been misspelt as "Belissimo" on the bottle.
    • Despite Nick Hewer revealing in the following week's You're Fired that he considered Jane to be the most deserving of credit for the team's win, due to her excellent organization of Sterling's production line, in the task she maintained a negative attitude throughout, after her suggestion for salad dressing was turned down, which, despite Sterling's victory, led to animosity between her and Duane during the reward.
    • While Katie was the losing project manager and this was her third straight loss, it was agreed that she was a leader and that her sub-team accounted for nearly the entire team's income, which resulted in Sir Alan giving Katie one more chance.
    • While Ricky was held responsible for the production run chaos, which was described as the reason for the failure of the task, he vigorously defended himself and shifted the blame to Michael, stating that he "undelivered" and "sold rubbish sales figures," with Katie additionally noting that Michael had openly expressed surprise that Katie's sub-team had sold all their stock when she called him at the end of the day, which in turn left Katie and Adam flabbergasted that Michael hadn't sold all his stock; even Tom, openly derided the statement as "stupid". 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[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: Buy second-hand furniture items, then re-sell them. Most profit made, wins.
  • Result: On Phoenix, 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 profit of £1,063, while Sterling had a profit of £783.
  • Winner: Phoenix - By £280.
  • Reward: 1940s themed party and dancing lessons.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Laura, Gabrielle and Jane.
  • Fired: Jane - For contributing hardly anything to Sterling's sales, along with her generally, very weak track record, despite her 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 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, and what they felt was the reason that the team overspent on their inventory.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Jane, with the consensus that Laura should have been fired instead. Nick also felt that Jane should perhaps have been given one more chance, and reflected that it was Karren's comment on Jane's contribution that sealed her fate.

Week 5[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: Create a new workout program, then selling it to gym chains. Most sales made, wins.
  • 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 by Sterling. On the other hand, Stephen was heavily criticised for not knowing the cost of the accessories required for Phoenix's workout, and questions were raised on how the equipment would be stored, yet their promotional video (made by Azhar) got a large amount of praise. While Sterling got orders from two of the gym chains, Phoenix only got an order from one but this was far larger than the total amount Sterling received, resulting in them winning. Phoenix had total sales of £12,000, while Sterling had total sales of £7,900.
  • Winner: Phoenix - By £4,100.
  • Reward: Day at a spa.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ricky, Duane and Laura.
  • Fired: Duane - For directing a terrible promo vid, delivering a bad presentation, and for his inconsistent track record in the process.
  • 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. It was only the one order, that 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, that Ricky could have been fired for choosing to bring in Laura, or Nick if he had been brought back.

Week 6[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: Sell street food in Edinburgh. Most profit made, wins.
  • Result: Phoenix went with an Italian meatball dish, while Sterling decided on beef casserole. Despite Lord Sugar's instructions that the teams should focus on producing quality food, Adam elected to have his team produce low-quality, cheap food, which they sold at a Hearts vs. Rangers football match. Jenna, meanwhile, opted that Sterling create 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 had a profit of £298.04, while Sterling had 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 poor choices of sales locations, attempting to over-price the meatballs, and for having a generally questionable track record.
  • Notes:
    • This task was set on Sunday 23 October 2011, with the outcome of the football match being a 2-0 win to Rangers. Ironically, if both teams had attempted to sell in the following year, they would have experienced major financial problems due to volume of people that would have attended both teams as a result; 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[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: Buy £100 worth of goods, sell them in Essex, reinvesting profits in good sellers. Most amount of assets (remaining stock and cash, minus purchases), wins.
  • 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, however, 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, while 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 failing to contribute, being the least effective salesman on the team, constantly complaining about Jade's decisions, and for poorly communicating with his team, as well as giving a lackluster defence in the boardroom.
  • 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.
    • Lord Sugar had several reasons to fire Jade, which included: not leading her team effectively; not understanding the task rules; restocking on everything instead of the big sellers; for bringing Tom back 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, as well as being described as "quiet".
    • 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[edit]

  • Air Date: 9 May 2012
  • Sterling: Gabrielle (Project Manager), Stephen, Ricky, Nick and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Jade, Adam and Laura.
  • Task: Hold an urban art exhibition, selling artwork to customers, including corporate clients. Most commissions made, wins
  • Result: Both teams wanted the same artist (Pure Evil); in the end, 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's total commissions were £4,442, while Sterling's total commissions were £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 minimal selling despite her sales experience, and for her generally inconsistent track record.
  • 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, which resulted in them not selling anything. 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 both his failure to secure Pure Evil as a client, and choosing James Jessop instead, yet Lord Sugar respected the fact that he took a risk, and that he openly admitted it was his fault for picking Jessop. He was warned, however, 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, being reminded of her poor decision in the previous week.
    • For only the second time this series, 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. However, following her 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 not have been fully in the game by the point she was fired.

Week 9[edit]

  • Air Date: 16 May 2012
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager), Stephen, Gabrielle and Jenna.
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Nick, Jade and Adam.
  • Task: Devise a new brand identity for English sparkling wine, including a video advert and a website. Best concept made, wins.
  • Result: Sterling decided to call their wine "Grandeur," which was considered an interesting choice owing to it being a French word. Despite Ricky's instructions to the contrary, Jenna and Stephen decided to produce an over-the-top, humorous advert for it; despite this, their website got praise for its social network integration while Ricky was given high 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, while their website was also considered to be too focused toward existing customers and not on new ones, which the task brief had specified about. Despite this though, the judges and Lord Sugar all thought that Sterling's video advert was so bad that it completely wrecked their campaign, handing victory to Phoenix.
  • Winner: Phoenix - Having an advert, despite issues, being much better.
  • Reward: A session in a Jacuzzi overlooking the London skyline.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ricky, Jenna and Stephen
  • Fired: Jenna, with regret - For directing a terrible advert, and for ignoring Ricky's instructions on the 'tone' of the advert.
  • Notes:
    • This was the second time that Ricky had lost as a project manager, and the verdict on his team's performance was just the same: a well thought-out execution that was ruined by a very bad video advert.
    • Stephen came very close to being fired alongside Jenna, for taking a backseat in the task and for allowing her complete control of the video. He only survived because of his vow to win as project manager on the next task.
    • 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 have been fired because he had taken a backseat and allowed Jenna to mess up.

Week 10[edit]

  • Air Date: 23 May 2012
  • Sterling: Stephen (Project Manager), Ricky and Gabrielle.
  • Phoenix: Jade (Project Manager), Nick, Tom and Adam.
  • Task: Negotiate discounts with high-end London businesses for a daily deals website. Most sales from orders, wins.
  • Result: Stephen decided to get Sterling out early, and get multiple discount options from each business; Jade decided to have Phoenix 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 along with 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 later secure a good set of deals at two further restaurants, while Stephen and Gabrielle got a number of discounts, but not at the high-end businesses specified by the task brief. Meanwhile on Phoenix, Jade 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, compared to Sterling's three out of 9, their deals both more popular and more valuable, earning them victory. Phoenix made sales of £14,563, while Sterling made sales of £6,440
  • 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 little, and for having lost the passion she displayed earlier in the process.
    • Stephen - For a flawed strategy, not taking responsibility for his actions, and failing to deliver on his promises made in the previous boardroom.
  • Notes:
    • Both of the deals that Phoenix had accepted were negotiated by Jade and Nick, who helped to contribute to their teams win; however, 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 almost all of Sterling's revenue (Ricky contributed £6,090 to his team's total), 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[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. Best concept made, wins.
  • Result: Sterling decided on male grooming products, while Phoenix created a line of alcoholic sweets and high quality chocolates. On Phoenix, Adam's leadership was weak, which led to 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 - For a concept that was well designed and well presented.
  • 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, lack of leadership, and for having the weakest overall track record in Phoenix.
  • 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 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, while Jade had been the team's strongest member, she was responsible for the pricing decisions, and that she still had something to answer for.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Air Date: 3 June 2012
  • Finalists: Jade, Nick, Ricky and Tom.
  • Task: Each finalist has to face a gruelling interview process on with the following - Margaret Mountford, Matthew Riley, Mike Soutar and Claude Littner. Each has their business ideas tested to be verified for Lord Sugar, who decides based on feedback.
  • Result: Ricky fell into trouble early on; Lord Sugar couldn't grasp the idea behind his plan for an ethical recruiting agency, questions were raised on his administrative skills and focus on business, while he was sharply criticised for making ridiculous claims in his personal statement. However, his overall plan was felt to be quite good on further analysis. Meanwhile, there were serious doubts about Jade's plan for a telemarketing business; she didn't offer critical financial figures in her plan, and wanted to spend the entire investment within six months in addition. The utility behind Nick's idea for an aggregate purchasing website for recipes was also questioned in interviews, while there were suspicions about his motives for wanting to go into business with Lord Sugar; he was found to already have a thriving business that could help fund his idea without Sugar's involvement, although he did get credit for his intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit. Tom came under fire heavily in interviews; while he was praised for being very successful for his age and for having a business plan (in fine wine) that was considered to be well-written, his only references came from his father, while he was over-ambitious in his plan by how much investment he would need (Lord Sugar's investment would be part of a fund of £25 million that he needed to start with). As a result, Jade was the first person to be dismissed, as Lord Sugar felt her plan was flawed badly with problems for him to invest in. Nick was next to, 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. This left Lord Sugar with a choice between Tom's riskier but potentially lucrative plan with big risks, and Ricky's less rewarding but safer plan. In the end, given the age and experience of the two, he ultimately decided that Ricky would offer the better investment.
  • Fired:
    • Jade, with regret - For a business with plan that would generate negative PR, and for having a weak grasp of her projected finances.
    • Nick - For having a narrow target market for his potential plan, while having unconvincing reasons for wanting to go into business with Lord Sugar.
  • Runner-Up: Tom - For being inexperienced, and having the riskiest business plan of the finalists.
  • Winner: Ricky - For presenting a very solid business plan, and for sticking to the industry in which he was already an expert on.
  • Notes:
    • Although there were many potential PR headaches in Jade's business plan, along with problematic financial figures, Lord Sugar did greatly admire her work ethic.
    • 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]