Apprentice contestant Danny Grant accused show colleague Charles Burns of playing a game after he became the first to be booted from the show.
The pair both ended up in front of Lord Alan Sugar in the boardroom at the end of the BBC One series opening on Wednesday night, following their team’s loss of more than £100 on their first task.
Grant, who owns an online retail store, was named project manager for the challenge of creating and selling a line of healthy burgers, but he faced criticism from the beginning as he struggled to be decisive.
Tensions ran particularly high between him and Burns, who at some points refused to follow his instructions.
Grant, 32, told the Press Association: “It’s hard to say because I was only there for a week but I think Charles is definitely playing some sort of game and I think that’s why we maybe didn’t see eye to eye.
“He definitely should have been fired, I should have stayed.”
But he said that the contestants were still in contact after filming the pre-recorded show, adding: “(Charles) is a nice boy… outside of that we did get on well.”
However, asked how he felt to be the first one to hear the dreaded “you’re fired” from Lord Sugar, he continued: “It’s pretty disappointing to be honest, it was hard to take.
“I think I saw it coming, but you can’t roll over and die, you’ve still got to fight your corner. I never expected to go out that early.”
He added that he had found it difficult to lead the team without having worked with them long enough to know their “strengths or weaknesses”.
Lord Sugar also made his disappointment with the men’s team clear, branding their performance of the day as “diabolical”.
They also frustrated mentor Claude Littner by taking too long just to come up with their team name, Vitality.
He warned Burns about being “a little bit disruptive” but said he would give him the “benefit of the doubt”, after the first round.
Burns and Grant shared a make-up hug after they left the room, but Grant later said: “The biggest mistake I made was trusting Charles as sub-team leader.
“It shouldn’t be me sitting here, it should be Charles, because the reality is that a personality like that, he’s going to get sacked within the next couple of weeks anyway.”
Meanwhile, there were some conflicts throughout the day among the women’s team, but their efforts to produce a range of luxury chicken and beef burgers and sell them to hungry workers in London’s Canary Wharf earned them a profit of £236.78.
While mentor Karren Brady was far from impressed with their product, their victory also won them a boozy vegetarian feast, cooked by the UK’s youngest Michelin star chef Tommy Banks.
The Apprentice will continue next week when the 17 remaining hopefuls battle it out for the coveted £250,000 investment and business partnership from Lord Sugar.