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), a British reality television series, was broadcast in the UK during 2012 from 21 March to 3 June on BBC One. Sixteen candidates took part, naming their teams Phoenix and Sterling, with Ricky Martin winning the series. This series was the first to have the final episode and it sister show's final episode, dubbed You're Hired, merged together as a two hour, special episode; the first half consisting of the final itself, and the second half consisting of the interviews with the finalists. In addition, two specials were aired alongside the series in its final weeks, and included the return of a new edition of "The Final Five" on 29 May, and the return of "Why I Fired Them" on 2 June.

Candidates[edit]

Candidate Background Age Result
Ricky Martin Recruitment team leader 26 Winner
Tom Gearing Director of a fine wine investment company 23 Runner-up
Nick Holzherr Technology entrepreneur 25 Fired in Finals
Jade Nash Business development manager 29 Fired in Finals
Adam Corbally Market trader 32 Fired after eleventh task
Stephen Brady National sales manager 33 Fired after tenth task
Gabrielle Omar Architect 29 Fired after tenth task
Jenna Whittingham Beauty salon owner 25 Fired after ninth task
Laura Hogg Bridal shop owner 28 Fired after eighth task
Azhar Siddique Founder/director of catering and refrigeration company 33 Fired after seventh task
Katie Wright Editorial and research director 26 Fired after sixth task
Duane Bryan Founder/director of drinks distribution company 29 Fired after fifth task
Jane McEvoy Co-founder of food manufacturing company 28 Fired after fourth task
Michael Copp MD kitchen and bedroom furniture retailer 31 Fired after third task
Maria O’Connor Restaurateur 20 Fired after second task
Bilyana Apostolova Risk analyst 25 Fired after first task

Performance Chart[edit]

Task Number
Candidate 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Ricky IN IN BR IN LOSE IN IN IN LOSE BR WIN HIRED
Tom IN IN IN WIN IN IN BR LOSE WIN IN IN RUNNER-UP
Nick WIN IN IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN BR FIRED
Jade IN IN IN IN IN IN LOSE BR IN WIN BR FIRED
Adam IN IN IN IN IN LOSE IN IN IN IN FIRED
Stephen IN IN IN IN WIN IN IN IN BR FIRED
Gabrielle LOSE IN IN BR IN IN IN WIN IN FIRED
Jenna IN BR IN IN IN WIN IN IN FIRED
Laura IN IN IN LOSE BR IN IN FIRED
Azhar IN WIN IN IN IN BR FIRED
Katie BR IN LOSE IN IN FIRED
Duane IN IN WIN IN FIRED
Jane IN LOSE IN FIRED
Michael IN IN FIRED
Maria IN FIRED
Bilyana FIRED

Key:

     The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
     The candidate was the runner-up.
     The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
     The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
     The candidate was on the winning team for this task.
     The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
     The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
     The candidate was fired in this task.
     The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.

Episodes[edit]

Week 1: Blank Canvas[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 21 March 2012
  • Phoenix: Nick (Project Manager), Adam, Azhar, Duane, Michael, Ricky, Stephen and Tom.
  • Sterling: Gabrielle (Project Manager), Bilyana, Jade, Jane, Jenna, Katie, Laura and Maria.
  • Task: Print a unique design onto souvenirs, then sell them to tourists in London. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Phoenix created a line of teddy bears adorned with the Union Jack, along with bags featuring red buses. Although the men sold the teddy bears for a very high price, they soon enjoyed better sales with them after reducing the price, yet faced quality control issues with their bags. Sterling, who sold customised products featuring a design by Jade and who offered to add additional messages to the product for a fee, suffered serious issues in their execution of the task. Although Bilyana's sub-team enjoyed decent sales at London Zoo, time was wasted travelling there, with the team unable to sell off remaining stock to a local shop after they intimidated a clerk and earned a stern talking to by the co-owner, with Bilyana having led the team too far out of their way to find another shop by the deadline of the task. These factors, along with the team's overspend on their souvenirs and the lack of a pricing strategy, consequently meant that their overall profit was just over one third that of the men's team.
  • Result: 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 poor leadership of the sub-team, her overly abrasive nature, and for repeatedly interrupting Lord Sugar during his boardroom deliberations.
  • You're Fired Panel: Thea Green, Trevor Nelson and Jo Caulfield
  • Notes:
    • When both teams were compared, it was noted that while the men had had poor designs but good sales tactics, the women had been the complete opposite. Lord Sugar gave much praise to Jade for her design work, but commentted on Why I Fired Them that, while their products had been far batter than Phoenix's, it could do nothing to counter the disorganisation and bad pricing structure that Sterling had on the task.
    • Following the episode, Lord Sugar commented on his Twitter feed that he was initially going to fire Katie for her lack of contribution on the task. In the episode, he felt that Gabrielle was unfairly blaming Bilyana for everything that went wrong as she had provided decent sales figures, but her repeated interruptions in the final boardroom changed his mind and sealed her fate.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision. While both the panel and Bilyana herself agreed that she deserved to be fired based on her behaviour in the boardroom, they felt that Katie deserved to be fired instead based on the results of the task.

Week 2: Household Gadget[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 28 March 2012
  • Phoenix: Azhar (Project Manager), Adam, Duane, Michael, Nick, Ricky, Stephen and Tom.
  • Sterling: Jane (Project Manager), Gabrielle, Jade, Jenna, Katie, Laura and Maria.
  • Task: Design brand new household items, then pitch them to both Amazon.co.uk and Lakeland. Most orders received, wins.
  • Task Review: Phoenix came up with designs for a tabletop compost bin and a set of dish-washing gloves, and went for the former, especially when concerns were raised on the gloves after Adam gave misleading information on their popularity. The team faced problems with their pitches, with Duane being forced to step in and rescue their first one after Stephen was poorly received, yet managed to secure orders from both companies. Meanwhile, Sterling came up with designs for a bathtub splash guard and a tap cozy, and went with the former idea after raising concerns on the ease of creating the cozy. Like the men, they also had issues with their pitches; in particular Laura proved to be bad, while the team received strong criticism for incorrect costing and Jane's bizarre attempt sell them one million units. In the end, the women only got orders from Amazon, yet despite it being larger than the men's, it could do nothing to prevent them losing the task.
  • Result: 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 - For her sub-par contribution in both tasks, her aggressive nature, and falling asleep during an important discussion in one of the cars.
  • You're Fired Panel: Grace Dent, Rob Law and Hugh Dennis
  • Notes:
    • One of the rules for the task that both teams had to adhere to, was that they were not allowed to designs products for the same section/room of the house, meaning that a section/room couldn't be used if the other team communicated their decision to design products for it first. Although both teams initially wanted to design products for the kitchen, Sterling had to settle for the bathroom after Phoenix secured the kitchen for themselves.
    • Despite their win, most of the men felt that Azhar had been a weak leader and that Duane deserved the most credit for the win, since he had been the main designer and advocate for the product that proved better than Sterling's, with Nick Hewer openly wondering why he had not been assigned to the pitches from the start after having to rescue Stephen's pitch.
    • Karren labelled Sterling's splash guard as arguably the worst product she had seen on the show, saying that in an emergency it would prove to be an obstacle with assisting a baby in the bath. On Why I Fired Them, Lord Sugar felt that the product was "absolute garbage" and had left the team "dead in the water" the moment it was selected, yet expressed surprise that Amazon had placed an order, let alone a larger one than they did from Phoenix.
    • Prior to the initial boardroom, Jane indicated that she wanted to bring back Katie, as she considered her to be the weakest team member overall. Lord Sugar, despite not being told this, picked up on her criticisms and told Jane that she should bring back whoever was responsible for the team's two major flaws - the product design, which Laura provided, and the incorrect costings, supplied by Jenna - which led to Maria being joined by Jenna in the final boardroom. After Maria's departure, Lord Sugar allowed Jane to remain due to her defence, but strongly implied that he had been close to firing her for her errors.

Week 3: Condiments[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 4 April 2012
  • Phoenix: Katie (Project Manager), Adam, Azhar, Michael, Ricky, Stephen and Tom.
  • Sterling: Duane (Project Manager), Gabrielle, Jade, Jane, Jenna, Laura and Nick.
  • Task: Create a new condiment, then sell it to the public and to the trade. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Sterling created a pineapple and ginger chutney, yet their first version of the condiment was found to be inedible due to excessive use of chilli, leaving them unable to offer a taster for a high-end grocery store lined up by Lord Sugar, but secured another appointment with them and earned a large order as a result, with the team enjoying decent face-to-face sales. Meanwhile, Phoenix created a spicy Italian table sauce but only produced around 60% of their intended amount. Although they too enjoyed similar face-to-face sales, they sold very little to trade, which was hindered further by Michael turning down a potentially large order because the price was 4p per bottle lower than what he wanted. Overall, these issues and their insufficient production run, proved costly mistakes for Phoenix.
  • Result: 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 - For mismanaging the trade sales sub-team, turning down the trade offer despite it being close to his target price, poorly defending himself in the boardroom, and because Lord Sugar considered him to be out of his league.
  • You're Fired Panel: Levi Roots, Jenny Eclair and Claude Littner
  • Notes:
    • During the task, Phoenix learned that a spelling mistake had been made for the labelling on the bottle, which was pointed out to them by potential buyers. What should have been "Bellissimo" on the bottles, had actually be spelt as "Belissimo" instead.
    • Throughout the task, Jane maintained a negative attitude after her suggestion for salad dressing was turned down, which led to animosity between her and Duane during the reward. During his appearance on You're Fired the following week, Nick Hewer noted that, despite this, he considered her to be the most deserving of credit for the team's win, due to her excellent organisation of Sterling's production line.
    • In the boardroom, Michael found himself heavily criticised for his performance on the task. Despite being held responsible for the production run chaos, Ricky called him a "passenger" who had "underdelivered" and "sold rubbish sales figures", while Katie noted he had been surprised that her sub-team had sold out by the end of the task, which accounted for nearly the team's entire income, when he had failed to sell anything; even Tom, who was part of his sub-team, openly derided his surprise. Though Lord Sugar noted that selling the leftover bottles would have done nothing to prevent Phoenix losing, he ultimately felt that Michael had contributed too little to be allowed to stay.
    • On You're Fired!, most of the audience disagreed with the decision, but the panel noted that Michael would likely not have gotten much further in the process, regardless of whether or not he was most at fault for his team's loss. While Michael was not shown to be fired with regret on the main episode, it was revealed on You're Fired! that he was, while it was also revealed that he had been ill with gastric flu during the show, and this may have been a contributing factor to him not stepping forward very much.

Week 4: Junk Shops[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 11 April 2012
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Adam, Azhar, Jade, Katie and Stephen.
  • Sterling: Laura (Project Manager), Duane, Gabrielle, Jane, Jenna, Nick and Ricky.
  • Task: Buy second-hand furniture items, then re-sell them. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Phoenix focused on keeping costs low per Tom's instructions, who gave 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, with Tom sending his sub-team out mid-day to replenish their stock. In contrast, Sterling purchased much more stock, but spent a lot of money on customising the items they bought. While this resulted in them making more income, their expenditure was much higher and thus effectively lost them the task.
  • Result: 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 selling very little, along with her generally very weak track record throughout the process despite her excellent CV.
  • You're Fired Panel: Kelly Hoppen, Nick Hewer and Sean Lock
  • Notes:
    • Although Nick Hewer was notably critical of Tom's minimalist strategy and of Phoenix's product selection, their strong sales led him to later apologise to them. On You're Fired!, he noted that while Adam had been the top seller on Phoenix, he would have been less successful than Tom if he had been the project manager.
    • In the boardroom, Laura blamed Gabrielle and Jenna for the team's overspending, and brought the former back with her despite it being revealed that the pair had been the two best sellers on Sterling. Lord Sugar quickly assured Gabrielle that she would not be fired, telling her that he believed she had been unfairly picked upon after he had fired Jane.
    • Although Jane had been arguably the strongest candidate in the process, both Lord Sugar and Karren noted that she had severely under-performed on all of the tasks. While this overruled Laura being fired, both of them agreed that she had been a weak leader, and that her failure to adequately control her team had been, in their opinion, the main reason that the team overspent on their inventory. On You're Fired, the majority of the audience disagreed with Jane leaving, believing Laura should have been fired, with Nick Hewer feeling that Jane should have been given one chance, but that Karren's comment on her contribution sealed her fate.

Week 5: Keep Fit[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 18 April 2012
  • Phoenix: Stephen (Project Manager), Adam, Azhar, Jade, Katie and Tom.
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager), Duane, Gabrielle, Jenna, Laura and Nick.
  • Task: Create a new workout program, then sell it to gym chains. Most sales made, wins.
  • Task Review: Sterling created a workout program that combined dancing and mixed martial arts. While the three retailers gave high praise to Ricky's sales pitch, they disliked accompanying promotional video as it failed to put across the unique martial art selling point, with only two making orders. Meanwhile, Phoenix's workout was themed around the 1980s and made use of toys such as spacehoppers and hula hoops, yet while their promotional video earned a large amount of praise, questions were raised how the equipment would be stored, with Stephen heavily criticised for not knowing the cost of the accessories required for their workout. Despite these issues, they received a large order from one gym chain that ultimately clinched victory.
  • Result: 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 the poor promotional video, the ultimate cause of Sterling's loss.
  • You're Fired Panel: Fred Turok, Katie Price and Simon Evans
  • Notes:
    • Although Phoenix won, Lord Sugar implied he would given the win to Sterling, due to the consensus that they had been a better team and made a better product, had the task been based primarily on his overall opinion rather than profit.
    • Ricky was strongly criticised by Lord Sugar for bring back Laura, feeling that either Nick or Jenna should have been brought, as neither contributed any ideas for the workout program, while Nick had taken a backseat during Duane's direction of the promotional video. After Duane's firing, Sugar warned Ricky that his survival had been purely down to the positive feedback he had received on his leadership in the task.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Duane, with the panel believing that while he had been responsible for the poor video that cost his team winning the task, he had shown enough potential to continue. Of the other two, they felt that Ricky should have been fired for bringing back Laura, and that Nick could have gone if he had been in the final boardroom.

Week 6: Street Food[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 25 April 2012
  • Phoenix: Adam (Project Manager), Azhar, Jade, Katie, Stephen and Tom.
  • Sterling: Jenna (Project Manager), Gabrielle, Laura, Nick and Ricky.
  • Task: Sell street food in Edinburgh. Most profit made, wins.
  • Task Review: Sterling opted to create a Scottish beef casserole, with Jenna using higher quality food to make it. Although they struggled at first to make sales, things improved after moving from their location within the city centre. Meanwhile, Phoenix went with an Italian meatball dish, though Adam elected to use cheap, low-quality ingredients, rather than produce quality food as had been mentioned in the instructions. Although they took advantage of a football match that was taking place during the task to drum up sales, the overpricing of their meatballs proved a costly mistake that resulted in fewer sales than they anticipated, while a deal to attract customers from tour buses ended up failing to earn them anything. The overall execution of the task ultimately cost them.
  • Result: 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 picking poor sales locations, attempting to over-price the meatballs, and for her generally questionable track record throughout the process.
  • You're Fired Panel: Fred MacAulay, Tracey MacLeod and Gino D'Acampo
  • Notes:
    • In the boardroom, Lord Sugar was dubious about Adam's decision to bring back Azhar over Stephen or Jade. While he sternly warned Azhar that he needed to speak up more in the boardroom, Sugar indicated that Stephen should have come back, as he felt that he was directly responsible for Phoenix's loss due to setting up the failed deal with the tour bus company. Jade was held responsible for the poor marketing, after Adam secured permission to have one of Edinburgh's top chefs lend his name to their brand, only for Jade to insist on going with a more generic brand.
    • Although Lord Sugar did not fire Adam, as he did not approve of him going against his instructions by serving sub-par food, he informed him that he had been lucky, since his survival had been down to the fact he took responsibility for his mistakes, and that his track record had been superior to that of Katie's.
    • 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 for his errors, and that Stephen had also been worthy of dismissal, had he been brought back.

Week 7: Flip it in Essex[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 2 May 2012
  • Phoenix: Jade (Project Manager), Adam, Azhar, Laura and Tom.
  • Sterling: Nick (Project Manager), Gabrielle, Jenna, Ricky and Stephen.
  • 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.
  • Task Review: Sterling focused mainly on cosmetic products and sold in Romford, and enjoyed great success in selling their fake tan, with Nick instructing his sub-team to invest solely in it. Despite their success, the team's only issue was from heavy traffic, which meant they spent significant parts of the day not selling anything. Meanwhile, Phoenix went for a broader mix of goods that they sold in Ilford and Pitsea, however their selection made it difficult to focus on their marketing strategy, despite Adam's experience helping the sub-team in Pitsea sell their stock quickly. Most of the main problems came from Jade, who re-invested in exactly the same product mix despite her team's advice to focus on toy insects, and then cut prices significantly to the point where they made very little profit, which effectively cost them victory.
  • Result: 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 being the least effective contributor to the task, poorly communicating with his team, and for wasting Jade's time by constantly complaining about her decisions.
  • You're Fired Panel: Stephanie Flanders, Oliver Tress and Russell Kane
  • Notes:
    • Jade was heavily criticised, not only for her poor leadership, but also for not understanding the message of reinvesting in big sellers, and for bringing Tom back into the boardroom instead of Laura, when he had performed very well on the task; while she admitted herself that it was a bad mistake, after it was made clear that Tom wouldn't be fired, she was adamant that Laura was not deserving of dismissal. While her Lord Sugar felt Jade had issues, her team recommended her to be fired, and Karren had noted that Tom and Adam had ensured that the team's performance had not been a total disaster, she remained due to impressive track record and her valiant defence in the boardroom.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Azhar. Two of the panellists felt that Jade easily deserved to be fired over him, although it was noted that Azhar gave weak boardroom defence and had shown a lack of enthusiasm, along with being described as "quiet" and being accused of being a weak contributor, even on two of the tasks he had helped to win. On Why I Fired Them Lord Sugar called Azhar a "nice enough fellow but someone no-one wants to listen to".

Week 8: Street Art[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 9 May 2012
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Adam, Jade and Laura.
  • Sterling: Gabrielle (Project Manager), Jenna, Nick, Ricky and Stephen.
  • Task: Hold an urban art exhibition, selling artwork to customers, including corporate clients. Most commissions made, wins
  • Task Review: Sterling managed to secure the right to represent the artist Pure Evil, and enjoyed good sales despite Gabrielle and Stephen causing minor issues. Phoenix, who missed out representing Pure Evil due to a lack of enthusiasm, went with Tom's hasty choice of James Jessop, and later securing the right to represent Copyright. Despite decent sales from the second artist and a large corporate sale, the team failed to sell any of Jessop's work, which cost them dearly.
  • Result: 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 selling the least amount of items despite her sales experience, providing an unconvincing argument as to why she should stay, and for her generally inconsistent track record throughout the competition.
  • You're Fired Panel: Alvin Hall, Sarah Millican and Lawrence Alkin
  • Notes:
    • Although Sterling won, both Gabrielle and Stephen were criticised over their performance on the task; neither made any sales, while they also demonstrated rudeness during the event and failed to ask their corporate client crucial questions, particularly about their budget. One notable factor that Lord Sugar pointed out, was that the team would have made double what Phoenix took in, had the pair persuaded the client to spend their entire £10,000 budget.
    • While Tom was questioned on his failure to secure Pure Evil as a client and thus chose James Jessop, Lord Sugar respected the fact he took a risk and that he took responsibility for it, though he was warned to be more careful in future. In addition, while Jade came under fire for being indecisive over whom she thought deserved to be fired, Sugar felt she was not responsible for the loss, and was mainly in the final boardroom because of Adam's sales figures.
    • For only the second time this series, the You're Fired audience and panel agreed with Lord Sugar's decision to fire Laura. Even then however, the panel agreed that Tom was actually most at fault, and that Laura's dismissal was warranted more by her selling the least on top of her generally underwhelming track record.

Week 9: English Bubbles[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 16 May 2012
  • Phoenix: Tom (Project Manager), Adam, Jade and Nick.
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager), Gabrielle, Jenna and Stephen.
  • Task: Devise a new brand identity for English sparkling wine, including a video advert and a website. Best brand concept, wins.
  • Task Review: Phoenix focused on making a brand called "ESW" - short for English sparkling wine. Their advert had issues despite being serious and informative, while their website was deemed poor as it focused towards existing customers rather than targeting new ones. Meanwhile, Sterling decided to brand their wine as "Grandeur", based on Stephen's recommendation and being considered an interesting choice owing to it being a French word. Although their website got praise for its social network integration and Ricky provided an excellent pitch, their campaign was wrecked by Jenna and Stephen, who supplied an over-the-top, humorous advert that was deemed bad by the judges and Lord Sugar, who effectively handed victory over to Phoenix.
  • Winner: Phoenix - Having an advert that, despite issues, was much better overall.
  • Reward: A session in a Jacuzzi overlooking the London skyline.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Ricky, Jenna and Stephen
  • Fired: Jenna, with regret - For ignoring Ricky's instructions and directing a terrible advert which cost Sterling the task.
  • You're Fired Panel: Lucy Jackson, Sara Cox and Andy Parsons
  • Notes:
    • To balance out the teams for this task, Phoenix were invited to choose someone from Sterling, leading to Nick being brought into their team.
    • Stephen came dangerously close to being fired for taking a backseat and allowing Jenna complete control of the video, and for his blatant attempts to scapegoat Gabrielle into being brought back instead of him; Lord Sugar commented on Why I Fired Them that it had shown a side to Stephen he was starting to dislike. In addition, Nick Hewer commented that his suggestion of the brand name had been only one of his "few contributions" on the task. However, Sugar decided to let him remain when he vowed to win as project manager, assigning him the role for the next task before sternly warning him that he expected him to uphold his promise.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience disagreed with the decision to fire Jenna. As with Duane, the panel felt that Jenna had shown enough potential to continue, and that Stephen should have been fired instead for taking a backseat on the task.

Week 10: Discount Dealing[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 23 May 2012
  • Phoenix: Jade (Project Manager), Adam, Nick and Tom.
  • Sterling: Stephen (Project Manager), Gabrielle and Ricky.
  • Task: Negotiate discounts with high-end London businesses for a daily deals website. Most sales from orders, wins.
  • Task Review: Sterling were focused onto getting multiple discount options from each business per Stephen's strategy. Although Ricky wasted a morning to find out that a restaurant would not be willing to offer any discounts whatsoever, he later secured a good set of deals at two further restaurants, while his colleagues also managed to get a number of discounts, though despite these being not from the high-end businesses specified, left the team having 3 of the 9 deals being accepted. Meanwhile, Phoenix took a more measured approach, with Jade focusing them on higher-end businesses. Although she managed to negotiate a 50% discount with a high-end spa, she had trouble getting appointments during the day and lacked preparation in the meeting she set up. However, while the team had only 2 of 6 deals accepted, their proved more popular and more valuable, effectively earning them victory.
  • Result: 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
  • Fired:
    • Gabrielle, with regret - For making the least contribution, and losing 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.
  • You're Fired Panel: Tobias Tschoetsch, Karren Brady and Ed Byrne
  • Notes:
    • Lord Sugar noted that Tom and Adam had been lucky that their team had won, pointing out that none of the deals they negotiated were accepted, compared to those by Jade and Nick, implying that had Phoenix lost, one or both of them would have been likely fired because of this.
    • Although Ricky was not fired, and given praise for getting two deals at once along with being responsible for almost all of Sterling's revenue, Lord Sugar and Karren pointed out that he should gotten more than the 100 discounts he arranged for the 7 course dinner, adding that if it had been 250 discounts it would have been enough for his team to win. In addition he was also criticised for the wasted morning at the non-negotiating restaurant, to which Ricky admitted that he had thought the proprietors knew how the deals website worked and thus should have explained it in more detail.
    • On You're Fired!, the majority of the audience and one panellist disagreed with Gabrielle's firing. Lord Sugar himself admitted after firing her and on Why I Fired Them that Gabrielle was not to blame for the loss and that she would be successful, but thought that she had lost the energy and passion that she showed in the earlier tasks. For her exit on The Apprentice, a slower version of the background music was played during her dismissal.

Week 11: Affordable Luxury[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 30 May 2012
  • Phoenix: Adam (Project Manager), Jade and Nick.
  • Sterling: Ricky (Project Manager) and Tom.
  • Task: Create a new luxury branded product. Best brand concept made, wins.
  • Task Review: Sterling decided on a brand of male grooming products, with Ricky focused on creating them while Tom was left to handle the business aspects. Their presentation of the brand was considered to be solid due to attention to the business aspects, along with earning praise for the long term plan, though their proposed retail space was felt to be rather unappealing. Meanwhile, Phoenix created a line of alcoholic sweets and high quality chocolates, however many of the key decisions were handled by Jade. While their shop design was inviting, the team's presentation was hampered by Adam, who focused on the products rather than the overall plan, with question raised about it being a luxury brand due to agreed opinions that the prices were too low. The shaky presentation, lack of product focus and unsustainable pricing strategy, ultimately led Lord Sugar and the experts to name Sterling as the clear winners.
  • Winner: Sterling - For a concept that was well designed and well presented.
  • Reward: No reward – the following task was the Interviews stage, so Ricky and Tom were sent to the house to prepare.
  • Brought into the boardroom: Adam, Jade and Nick
  • Fired: Adam, with best wishes - For his inarticulate nature, lack of leadership, and for having the weakest overall track record in Phoenix.
  • You're Fired Panel: Kelvin McKenzie, Angus Thirlwell and Ruby Wax
  • Notes:
    • 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," though while Lord Sugar agreed she had been the strongest member on Phoenix, she was responsible for the pricing decisions and still had something to answer for. In addition, he also 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 decided against this due to having the best overall track record in the contest out of the remaining candidates.
    • When Adam was fired he left Lord Sugar a parting remark of "If you ever need a salesman, you know where I am", to which Lord Sugar exhorted to him to "keep in touch". In addition, a slower version of the background music was played to his dismissal from the process.
    • The majority of the You're Fired! audience and one of the panel agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, with Adam himself admitting on the show and in a BBC interview, that it was his time to go and he was happy to leave. The two panellists who disagreed, however, felt that Nick should have been fired instead.

Week 12: The Final[edit]

  • Original Air Date: 3 June 2012
  • Finalists: Jade, Nick, Ricky and Tom.
  • Task: The five remaining candidates undergo a gruelling interview process from four interviewers - Margaret Mountford, Matthew Riley, Mike Soutar and Claude Littner. Lord Sugar decides on who wins based on feedback on their CVs and business plan.
  • Candidate Reviews: Ricky faced considerable scrutiny over his plan, his administrative skills and his focus on business, with Claude sharply criticising him over ridiculous claims made in his personal statement, yet his overall plan was felt to be quite good after further analysis. Although Nick was credited for his intelligence and entrepreneurial spirit, his ability to focus and his business proposal were questioned, with Matthew believing he should concentrate on running his existing business rather than starting a new one with Lord Sugar. Jade fared no better, as serious doubts were raised on her plan as she didn't offer critical financial figures with it and wanted spend the entire investment within six months. Finally, while Tom was praised for being very successful for his age and for having a well written business plan, he was found to have references only from his father, and for being over-ambitious about how much investment he would need when it was revealed that Sugar's capital would be part of a £25 million start-up fund for Tom's fine wine business.
  • Initial Decision: As a result of feedback received, Jade was the first person to be dismissed, as Lord Sugar felt her plan was too badly flawed for him to invest in. Nick was next to go, 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.
  • Fired (Before final decision):
    • 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.
  • Final Decision: Lord Sugar was left with a choice between Tom's riskier but potentially lucrative plan, 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.
  • Runner-Up: Tom - For having the riskiest business plan of the finalists.
  • Hired: Ricky - For presenting a very solid business plan, and for sticking to the industry in which he was already an expert on.
  • Notes:
    • Although Lord Sugar noted that Jade's business plan had many potential PR headaches in it, along with having problematic financial figures, he admitted that he greatly admired her work ethic.
    • During the interviews, Mike told Jade that he owned one of the web addresses she claimed to own. It later transpired in the boardroom that he had bought it, after he had investigated her business plan and found it was still available.
    • After the final, it was revealed that Nick had managed to independently secure funding to launch his online business, "Whisk".

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Laura Hogg[edit]

In an interview with The Sun following her dismissal from the show, Laura Hogg revealed that she had been informed of the murder of her former partner and father of her son, but kept this a secret from the other candidates, while also refusing to withdraw from the show and stepping up as project manager for the fourth task. She conceded that by the time she was fired, her head may not have been fully in the game by that stage.[1]

Maria O'Connor[edit]

It was revealed after her firing following the second task, that Maria O'Connor had been arrested by the police when she was 17, after they raided her house as part of a drugs bust along with her boyfriend, who was a drug dealer; after being released without charge, she later broke up with them.[2][3] Although she later entered a new relationship with another, rumours circulated that she had entered into a relationship with Duane Bryan, but these were denied by O'Connor, who stated:[4][5][6]

"Duane and I get on really well but he's just a friend, there's definitely nothing going on. I'm in a steady relationship with someone else and although it's early days I'm very happy."

Ratings[edit]

Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.[7]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
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

Specials[edit]

Episode
no.
Airdate Viewers
(millions)
BBC One
weekly ranking
The Final Five
29 May 2012 N/A N/A
Why I Fired Them
2 June 2012 N/A N/A

References[edit]

External links[edit]