It’s back and as cringe and ineloquent as ever – and that’s just Lord Sugar spouting off things that scriptwriters clearly wrote to troll the fuck out of him. He should really take that up with his HR firm “Diddums” and “Don’t Care”… and then there’s the contestants including a self titled “Mumpreneur” (not a thing), a “Duracell Bunny of Business” and “Willy Wonka drinking an Espresso Martini” (drunk and insane?) We’re in for a WILD ride this series.
We’ll update this list as they’re eliminated ranking them from worst to best so ONWARDS TO MEDIOCRITY!
Rick “The Loafer” Monk
Fired Week 5
It didn’t take Rick long at all to establish himself as this Misogynistic Wank Stain – in fact it only took him 9 minutes and 42 seconds to proclaim that the women would lose the first task because “they would be too fashion-conscious, concerned about their makeup and doing their hair” and from there he only drove the point home by either shouting at or sleazily talking to any female he came into contact with – whether it be arguing with a Maltese fishmonger about the difference between an octopus’ nose and its hose (they have neither) or offering female bodybuilders of they were “looking for something to make them warm”.
It was then perhaps a moment of divine justice that Rick was essentially crushed beneath the heels of women’s shoes that he had so reviled in the first episode. I’m a screenwriter, I love a narrative call back. He spent most of the task hovering in the background attempting to wrap prosciutto ham around breadsticks – a task which he could barely manage and had to have Jasmine show him how to do it. He further incurred Jasmine’s wrath when he kept telling possible customers to stop wasting his time – she basically told him to stop embarrassing her and if he could just stop talking to people while she tried to smooth over his mistakes like the mother of a terribly behaved manchild. Meanwhile Karren stood behind him trying her best not to rip his spine out with her biro. Unsurprisingly he didn’t manage to sell anything – I’m not even sure he managed to give away his breadsticks.
His firing was doubly hilarious because for some reason he wasn’t actually called back to the boardroom by PM Jackie but The Sugar could obviously feel Karren’s very palpable hatred for Rick and so called the entire team back in and promptly fired him.
Alex “The Featherweight” Finn
Fired Week 4
It was a real race to the finish to being the one to be fired for “doing nothing” between Alex and Sarah Ann but when Sarah Ann decided to actually exist and be PM while Alex ran around looking like Will from W1A, his fate was sealed. The point was just pushed home by his inability to sell work out equipment to bodybuilders because he is literally constructed out of 5 twiglets – his lack of gym experience led him to asking the equipment brand owner “are the items insured in case they get lost?” and he was VERY concerned about this, presumably because he was once burned by Amazon, (we’ve all been there mate) and then this led the brand owner to bitch about Alex to Sabrina in a phonecall THAT ALEX WAS LISTENING IN ON, like a threeway phonecall in a 90s teen comedy – you could pinpoint the precise moment it dawned on Alex that he was DOOMED. But by God did he try to sell – it was just that nobody is buying weights from a guy that can’t lift… and once Sabrina realised this and tried to move him over to the spray tanning team (by replacing him with Khadija LOL) he had a hissy fit because he “can’t sell girl things”… IN THE BIN.
He had very few standout moments and honestly I don’t remember him actually doing anything in the first few episodes beyond getting an astonishing 1 cent discount on some wine in a Maltese supermarket and watched on in absolute silence as Daniel and Sabrina were eviscerated by 2 hipster café owners over their shitty doughnuts. Truly a King of Dull Boot Apprentices.
Kurran “The Thespian” Pooni
Fired Week 6
I have no doubts that Kurran’s only motivation for entering the show was an attempt to forge a career as a ~thespian~ – and theatrical he was; with his mane of black hair, his calculated expressions and his slightly affected speech pattern he was basically Scar from The Lion King. Kurran started off as quite the character and was the driving force behind The Octopus Incident in Malta. It was the comic book task where Kurran truly tested his acting chops (badly) as he provided the voice of the super mundane Wonder Boy Benji – although he didn’t take direction very well and couldn’t move and talk at the same time – essentially Kurran is Zoolander. It became quite apparent over the course of his remaining episodes that Kurran was not very good at multitasking and once he became The One Armed Bandit after he broke his arm in an arm wrestling contest (that I am still entirely sure was with Khadija – you can tell she has a good throwing arm) he became even more prone to just standing there looking slightly pretty but very gormless.
His broken arm was such a pity because I feel we could have gotten a moment to rival Pantsman in the advert challenge but unfortunately he was relegated himself to director and had to rely on everyone to make his weirdly high concept airline advert a success. It didn’t go well, and I’m sure his dad WHO SET UP AN AIRLINE BUSINESS was very disappointed to see Kurran fail so gratuitously at creating an airline. Although it could have been worse – Jackie and Camilla could have called it Straw Paedo. Not that Jet Pop was *much* better.
David “The Author” Alden
Fired Week 2
The self described teddy bear who will “knock your stuffing out” but in reality he very much looks like a Michael Gove action figure who has such catchphrases as “DEATH TO BADGERS!”, “This is just like Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom!” and “I’m a prick!”. Poor David was just a bit too meek for the competition – he had no standout moments in Malta because he completely failed to buy anything and then in the comic book challenge all he wanted to do was write his Ben 10 fanfiction and be left in peace but when he found out that it was for children and he couldn’t include all the shameless smut that his readers crave he was left high and dry for both creating the most lazy, vanilla story but for also telling the buyers of WH Smith that his comic was the most lazy vanilla waste of paper you’re ever likely to see AND THEY’RE SELLING JOHN NIVEN’S LASTEST NOVEL.
Sarah “The Honey Monster” Byrne
Fired Week 1
The writing was really on the wall for classic First Boot Sarah – she didn’t even get a cringe opening statement to camera moment and our introduction to her was her inability to form a concise sentence when Sugartits asked her about how she would translate caring for children to winning this competition. It’s an easy joke set up and still she fumbled it. Although she was saved from being The Cringe Queen when Kayode mentioned he had fleas.
The rest of Sarah’s very short run was spent running around Malta screaming “HONEYCOMB NUM NUM NUM NUM NUM” at poor unsuspecting Maltese locals like The Honey Monster on vacation and asking them about their “bots” while giving Khadija the headache of a lifetime. She may also have mentioned that she “raight northern and not posh at all” a couple of hundred times in an attempt to illicit some sort of empathy from fellow working class start up and potato scrubber Lord Sugar. That worked well.
Frank “Hot Sauce” Brooks
Fired Week 3
Frank’s only *real* crime was the fact he dared to show even the vaguest signs of having human emotions so having soulless Autobots Jasmine and Tom in the boardroom with him, the cinnamon roll on the verge of tears was always going to get the axe from Alan. Granted he was the one that instigated the putting of a pint of sriracha sauce on a chocolate doughnut that promptly resulted in his near death and later the near death of an innocent woman it was Jasmine who watched his choking fit, struggle to breathe and watering eyes and said “Let’s make this happen!” but no, Frank was fired for not being able to shift enough of these culinary monstrosities at £5 a pop (fucking Shoreditch). But he was also on a bit of a warning from having project managed the losing team the previous week – although to say he “managed” that project is arguable because I think his main contribution to it was… ripping his pants?
I truly believe Frank had more to give – he was a bit of a wet blanket which made him an easy target for the Hysterical Woman/Gay edit that this show so loves to roll out every year. He was at least sensible which is more than you can say for a lot of the others and he was clearly very good at pitching because we wangled himself the project manager job in week two when David looked like he was about to cut his own arm off to get it.
Tom “The Duck’s Arse” Bunday
Fired Week 9
Not going to lie it took me about 3 weeks to realise Tom and Rick weren’t the same person and even then Tom only sort of existed in a half state of grim LADSLADSLADS BANTER selling techniques and hair gel. I wouldn’t credit him with many great moments of insightful business savvy – when handed the gardening task which he absolutely should have won he seemed to try and use it purely to throw Sabrina under the mower and left her and Jasmine to attempt to makeover an entire garden ON THEIR OWN. He somehow evaded being fired and in the next episode attempted to ascribe deep meaning to a statue of an upturned duck’s arse. “I think it says a lot about the human existence – you just don’t know where it begins, where it’s going and where it ends.” Which seems appropriate given that Tom’s Apprentice run ended extremely abruptly as he was fired as soon as it became apparent he had managed to lose the very next task.
Sarah Ann “The Drunk” Magson
Fired Week 10
Sarah Ann was such a background player that I think it got to Week 10 and Alan suddenly realised she still existed and should have been fired in week 3 for failing to have more personality than a magnolia wall. I can’t name one thing she did prior to being dressed up in Chad Michaels’ Safari Cougar outfit for the airline challenge AND THAT WAS IN WEEK EIGHT. Sure the Daily Mail briefly had a fixation with her eyebrow piercing but even that lasted all of 2 days because they discovered Sabrina’s bikini photos on her Instagram. Poor Sarah Ann, always the bridesmaid. She did at least manage to maintain professionalism at all times, and on this show that really is something to be admired, fair enough she did get mildly bladdered during her final chocolate challenge but who could blame her – it was free alcohol and her only company was Karren and The Guy Who Might Have Been a Murderer. She at least didn’t stoop to the lows of Jackie and Camilla gleefully riding bus after bus over Jasmine, Kurran and Sabrina. She just had a good time and that kind of counts for something – it also really helped her get through the QVC challenge relatively unscathed – or I can’t remember anything particularly cringe inducing because most of my memory of that task is Tom brushing his teeth ad Khadija drowning in a vaginally shaped inflatable chair. And she absolutely should not have been fired for this particular task because all she did was create mediocre chocolate and Kelly Conway the customer feedback. It’s not like she stuck an actual online porn game mascot ON THE PACKAGING.
Kayode “The Daffodil” Damali
Fired Week 7
A bit of shock that the obvious viewer favourite would go out this early and if I’m honest I’m a little stumped as to why he was eliminated when Bricky McChinstrap managed the task so cataclysmically and Karren and Claude themselves were so fond of Kayode. In the end he was probably just a bit too much of a millennial for Old Man Sugar with his victory flossing, his fleekies and hashtags but I found him quite charming – his little sulky face when he wasn’t allowed to be project manager again for the second time in three weeks despite not having to prove himself because he won the Malta challenge in the first week – although largely by forcing a poor cashier to use his store discount to buy cheap wine. Kayode did have some rather alternative approaches to dealing – conducting an entire business deal dressed as a daffodil possibly being the oddest. What I think I’m just most relieved about is that they didn’t lump him with The Angry Black Man edit that would have been quite easy to do with his confident personality and unwillingness to not stick to his guns. And we’ll always have his airline advert so PARTAAAAAY!
Jasmine “L’artiste” Kundra
Fired Week 8
Jasmine started the series off a bit rockily by losing the first challenge after being gooped into being made PM by Jackie she then failed the grasp the basic geography of Malta and sent her subteam off to the wrong island to buy salt. She managed to survive though and proceeded to play the rest of the series off quite safely. Her approach was very calculated and corporate – all too aware she was making a TV show and imaginably petrified of bring made into a cringey soundbite. This is by no means a bad thing – it just makes for mediocre television and so she was essentially an expendable character – she’s still a very good businessperson and arguably one of the most professional of the lot (her bitter exit moment aside…). It did mean most of her time was spent pulling her hair out and grinding her teeth like a WineMum who has to look after the kids for the afternoon. Which she mostly managed to do and was frequently the only one with a sensible suggestion.
The only times she ever cracked was when she was within 5 feet of Sabrina and it was hard not to side with Jasmine in these moments because Sabrina was behaving a bit like a highschooler making their PowerPoint presentation about sex education (MORE GIFS! MUSIC! SPARKLE TEXT!”) This “rivalry” (it was more just a case of 2 people not gelling to be honest) was ultimately Jasmine’s downfall as she relegated Sabrina to the backroom and locked her there after she tried to sell a customer a £12 tea towel instead of the £1200 owl statue and then refusing to let her out when the corporate clients that Sabrina and Sian had already built a repour with arrived to look at the art.
Jackie “The Face” Fast
Fired Week 9
Jackie loved to push: whether it be buttons, ideas or other people into being project manager for a task they were not equipped to lead. She was truly the puppet master of the series – it’s just a pity that her marionettes decided to lead a French style revolution and destroy her and convinced Sugar that he couldn’t work with her because she was too good???? I’m going to be pondering that one for a while. I think people far too easily overlooked Jackie’s ability to have fun and not take everything so seriously, I mean have you ever seen someone get so much joy out of dressing like a Jetsons stripper? The airline task in general was a delight for Jackie because she took so much glee from basically making Kurran fail – with the aforementioned Jetson’s erotica uniform and the popburst logo – she was quite the unsubtle assassin. In the end this was her downfall as she had unabashedly made rather a lot of enemies and they had no qualms in calling her ruthless, waspish and a bit of a bitch. And she did it all wearing Space Pants. Truly one for the Apprentice Hall of Fame.
Sabrina “The Backhand” Stocker
Fired Week 11
Sabrina was an odd one – she seemed to wildly flip fop between hard-nosed business and vacant giddiness ala Karen from Mean Girls. And I think this is why she tended to rub the other contestants up the wrong way and why they tried to stitch her up so badly at the mid-point where they realised that she’s actually quite business savvy – a plan that ended rather disastrously for Tom when he made her decorate a garden on her own despite the fact she told him several times that she was not suitable for that particular job and he should do it because his business proposal is literally commercial landscaping. She was accused of “not showing any authority” during the competition despite having won a task as Project Manager. Her response to this criticism was to the try and make the most sales in the next task by any means necessary. ANY MEANS. Which she did by trying approaching a woman who was considering buying the £2500 owl statue and offering her a £15 tea towel with a picture of the owl statue on it. I had honestly expected Sabrina to make it to the finals but she and Camilla were always an interchangeable duo and I am still very interested in what exactly Sabrina’s Easter Tennis Extravaganza actually involves
Camilla “The Nutter” Ainsworth
Fired week 12
I spent the entire series thinking “Camilla must be making these terrible decisions to rely on overt sexualisation in marketing the products or business.” AND THEN OH NO – the interviews came and it turns out that she has been equating her nut milk to jizz, or nut milk if you will. So yeah, she just thought backlot porn waitress was a good uniform and that free online porn game characters was a good mascot. I think the best thing about Camilla was that at least she always had fun – she genuinely seemed to enjoy the tasks and being a part of the show but unfortunately this led to her taking her eyes off the ball quite a number of times – the aforementioned incidents and the teabagged doughnuts being key examples. Despite having the upperhand in terms of team mates for the final task, by which I mean she didn’t have Kurran, the combination of Jackie and Kayode directing a video proved to be toxic. However, I think her abilities to brand and create her product is top notch – I really like the packaging and by all accounts the drinks tasted good – I’m just not fire £3 for 200ml is worth it. She also wasn’t as natural and confident in front of the bigwigs and crumbled a bit when they began to probe and it’s this ability to hold your own that Sugar really makes his decision and Camilla just fell that little bit short.
Daniel “The Hungover” Elahi
Fired Week 11
He certainly marked himself as one to watch right from the first episode when he showed he actually knew how to do the Buy Things In Foreign Countries task by phoning the tourism board – how has it taken this long for them to realise that this is how to do the task? He then proceeded to show he was quite the business chameleon – easily transforming from douchebag gym-bro (a possible sign of things to come) to floppy haired art hipster by way of suave pilot. And with what may be one of the strongest track records of any Apprentice candidate in the UK series it was quite the moment when he became so undone in the interviews that he just let his Fuck Boy Flag fly high. Because as it turns out Daniel’s master plan is to sell pseudo-sciency hangover cure that he wants to remarket as an energy drink because UK advertising standards wont let him market it as a cure because the claim is unproven… But guys he sells loads of hangover cures in the Saudi Arabia. That famously dry state. He also fudged the figures but as we all know Sugar has no issues with fraud and his main hang up was that Daniel was promoting heavy drinking. Which wasn’t the case because in Daniel’s own words “I’m trying to rebrand as an energy drink for the fitness sector”. Also congratulations for being the hottest male – which is truly the prize everyone wanted anyway.
Khadija “The Unimpressed” Kalifa
Fired Week 11
Icon. Queen. Business Dragon. Khadija’s slow descent into completely not giving a fuck was one of the more enjoyable storylines of the series. It became pretty clear in the first week that she has a very low tolerance for nonsense as she constantly stood in the background making a face to camera that Jim Halpert would be jealous of every time Sarah opened her mouth. She proved that she had every right to feel annoyed by everyone else by winning the very next episode (for a comic that taught you how to ask for a croissant in a swimming pool). Then they started fucking with their sleeping patterns during the doughnut task and Khadija descent into madness really sped up – climaxing in the week 7 gardening challenge where she just proceeded to not give a shit because Jackie was going full Evil Plan. Khadija’s entire journey culminated in a spectacular series of interviews where she basically had a shouting match with Linda Plant, rolled her eyes at Claude’s misogynistic belittling of her career and business, snarkily rebuked every single one of Mike Soutar’s observations and had a low blood sugar meltdown in front of Claudine Collins.
At the end of it all Khadija suffered the fate of many of the Apprentice women: being too forthright and having all the traits that they laud in the male candidates and that’s their loss because I can almost guarantee you that Khadija will now clean The Shard with her own bare hands just to spite Claude.
Sian “The Fashion Assassin” Gabbidon
Right from the outside I couldn’t help but notice Sian’s clever playing of the game – and not to mention the fact she constantly dressed like she was about to assassinate someone. Fabulously. She knew when a task wasn’t hers and to take a backseat and be a minor team player – doughnuts, comic books and gardening being the obvious ones. But if she knew when she had to be more of an active participant in tasks such as Shoes, GVC and Airlines. It’s a shrewd mindset that may seem obvious but so many of the contestants fall fowl to thinking they have to show up and play the big roles in every episode. Jackie, I’m looking at you. And honestly, I think Sian is the only one that got through this whole process without embarrassing herself at any point – I mean her shoe design ended up looking like an axoltl and as ugly as it was – I do think there is a market for it just not the market the intended and she realised that, regrouped and rebranded in the space of about an hour. She also largely seemed to play well with the other contestants, well… up until the moment she began getting a little personal during the Interview round firings… But she wasn’t wrong. It did feel a bit like she was on the backfoot during the final task – none of her teammates, bar possibly Khadija, really seemed to understand and get her brand. And putting Kurran in charge of the advert was, well, we saw the results. He just really liked the yacht. It was her pitching that really sealed the deal for her – she seemed really natural and confident in front of the industry moguls and as able to answer their purposefully prickly questions without as much as a flinch.