The Apprentice 2012 Results: Who was fired? Maria O’Connor…after falling asleep!

MARIA’S BUBBLE IS BURST AS THE GIRLS LOSE THE TASK TWICE IN A ROW

After a creative task that sees both teams devise a new household gadget and pitch to two retail giants, it’s back to the boardroom to find out who will be fired after task two.

Lord Sugar gets straight to business and addresses Sterling. After they all back Jane as a good Project Manager, they explain the thinking behind their product and Lord Sugar observes that it seems more like a toy than a gadget. He also questions the quantities that were offered in the Amazon pitch, “I don’t think there’s a product in history where a million pieces have been ordered initially by one single retailer.”

Over on Phoenix, the boys are less supportive of their team leader, with Azhar being forced to defend himself, “unfortunately if I didn’t agree with individuals in the team they felt as though I wasn’t supporting them.” Adam sticks the boot in saying, “I think there was a communication failure made by Azhar which created two groups rather than one group.” After Lord Sugar examines their product asking if it was so small because it was meant for “vegetarian dwarfs,” Adam explains that he didn’t like the product and informs Lord Sugar of his rubber gloves idea. Tom tells Lord Sugar that the sub-team felt neglected after the first day and that from then on the group was split and Lord Sugar declares that this is a bad trait for a Project Manager.

Next it’s time for the all important results:

Sterling received an order of 7,500 from the online retailer and 0 from the high street retailer so total orders of 7,500

Phoenix received an order of 3,000 from the online retailer and 10,000 from the high street retailer so total orders of 13,000

Whilst the boys celebrate around him, a stony faced Azhar is reluctant to join in with his mutinous teammates. The boys are then treated to dinner in a private room at The Ivy restaurant.

After Lord Sugar highlights the fact that the girls have lost for the second time, they head to the Loser’s Cafe to try and dissect what went wrong.

Back in the boardroom, Lord Sugar reminds the girls that he told them at the start of the task that the strength of the product would determine who won before telling them, “the product is not very good. You’ve totally misread what I asked you to do.” Laura defends her involvement with the product, “I put the product idea forward but when we were all running with the product I don’t think anybody can put their hand up and say that they didn’t think it was a good idea.”

Katie brings Lord Sugar’s attention to the tap cosy idea, which the market research favoured, but Jane defends her decision by saying that it would have been too difficult to make it work. Lord Sugar then addresses the issue with the figures in the online retailer pitch, with Karren stating, “Let’s face it, it was a mess in there.”

Going on contribution to the task, Jane explains that she feels Maria O’Connor and Katie were the weakest on the team, highlighting Maria falling asleep in the car, which causes bickering between the girls. Lord Sugar reminds Jane that the decision on who she brings back to the boardroom has to be rational and not emotional, resulting in Jane selecting Maria and Jenna, and Lord Sugar tells them, “I’ve got a wide berth in this place and it doesn’t necessary need to be only one person that goes.”

After reiterating his disappointment in the girls to Karren and Nick, Lord Sugar summons the three candidates back to the boardroom.

Jane elaborates that she brought Jenna back due to the fact that Lord Sugar had made it clear he felt the figures were a key reason they lost the task, and that she’d therefore had no choice. An emotional Jenna responds that she feels Katie should have been brought back instead of her for not getting involved in anything stating, “I might not be good at it but I’ll still have a good go at it. I will never shy away from anything.”

Jane reveals that she brought Maria back due to her lack of contribution to the task and defends her own role declaring, “not one person in here could say that I did a bad job.”

Maria informs Lord Sugar that Jane should be fired despite being a good Project Manager because she had made the final decision to change the product, to which Jane snaps back, “no it wasn’t, it was a thought out discussion and you were asleep!”

Lord Sugar reprimands Jane for the fact that despite her business experience, on this occasion, “basic business principles went right down the drain,” before outlining his disappointment in all three girls, “all three of you have got your own businesses and all three of you have made fatal errors here and I’m sitting here thinking which one of you has got the ability to run a business in which I’m going to invest in. You should have all known better.”

Lord Sugar then delivers his final verdict:

“I am disappointed with all of you to be honest. Jane – you say that you are a good businesswoman and started a business on your own, I put you in a little business and you let it go and you screwed it up. Maria – I’m not clear what in fact you did in this task, Maria – You’re Fired.”

Lord Sugar turns to Jenna and Jane and tells them, “I’m bitterly disappointed, you’ve both got businesses, I’m terribly disappointed”, before sending them back to the house.

As she is driven away in a black cab, Maria reflects: “I was there to achieve a business investment, I didn’t get it, I’ll get it someone else or I’ll make my own money and do it myself.”

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