Jade English and Harrison Jones have both said they are “gutted” at being given the boot in a double firing on The Apprentice and missing a chance to be in the top five.
The pair – who formed team Vitality in the latest challenge along with Sarah Lynn – have also said they thought they were doing well in the task, and were surprised to have lost to team Graphene.
The latest episode saw the seven remaining candidates tasked with becoming fashion agents and having to sell a range of garments from up-and-coming designers while taking a commission.
The teams had to select their designer, plan and organise a catwalk show while also putting together a magazine cover to amplify their sales campaign.
But project manager English failed to impress with her choice of high-end designer, and she was also criticised by her team mates and Lord Sugar for not managing to get more than a 10% commission agreement on sales and for missing out on a discount for buyers.
Jones, who was fired first in the boardroom, was described as merely an “assistant” by Lord Sugar’s aide Karren Brady, and the Apprentice boss himself said he could not see what the business hopeful had done throughout the task.
Vitality ended up with a commission total of just £1,101.50 compared to Graphene’s £4,362.80 for their ethical fashion range for men.
English said she thought the task had been “going quite well” throughout – despite getting in a muddle over the designer’s name – and that it was only when she went into the boardroom to face the music that she realised she might be in trouble.
She told the Press Association: “I knew there had been a few things here and there, but generally I thought it was going pretty well.
“Then I got into the boardroom and it was like… ‘OK, this happened and that happened’ and I was thinking, ‘oh, this isn’t looking great’.
“Before I went into the boardroom there were two people that definitely had to leave, because you have the final five, but then he fired Harrison and waited for a little bit with me and I thought that maybe there’s a final six this year, maybe I’ve got away with it.
“But then Lord Sugar was like, ‘Jade you’re fired too’.”
PR and marketing manager English said that she hopes “everything happens for a reason”, although winning a chance to become Lord Sugar’s business partner was “so close, yet so far”, and that she is “gutted”.
Jones shared a similar sentiment, and said that while he is also disappointed to be out of the running, “loads of good stuff has happened, so I’m happy”.
He defended his part in the challenge, despite being criticised by Lord Sugar, Brady and his team mates for not taking part in the negotiations or selling, and said: “I didn’t think that (it was my time to go), everything I had to do, I did do.
“When they first said what the task was, I knew that either Jade or Sarah should take the reins when it comes to picking something or talking about women’s fashion, that they’d probably be able to do better than me.
“But I never thought during the task it was my time to go, I thought we had a chance at winning – so it was still a shame and a shock when we didn’t, and when I got fired.”
The sales executive said he knew that Lynn would continue through to the final five because she is “a very strong candidate”.
Lynn joins Elizabeth McKenna, Joanna Jarjue, James White and Michaela Wain in the next episode, which will see them face the brutal interview round.
:: The Apprentice continues on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday.