I’ve always been a fan of The Apprentice, it’s been my guilty pleasure. Series 11 has probably been the most controversial series yet, mainly due to the characters that have featured. Who could forget when Scott Saunders become the 1st ever contestant to quit despite being on the winning team. Interestingly enough Lord Sugar & Baroness Brady have also come under fire from viewers due to their harsh boardroom manner. Anyway, with the final around the corner, I thought I would look back on past series and comment on who I think have been the worst Apprentice candidates ever.
11. Rory Laing (Series 2)
For having an appalling, dictatorial management style. A classic moment which will never be forgotten is when he took center stage to assert himself to Tre Azam, projecting the words – “I am your Boss, I AM YOUR BOSS!” To which Tre replied – “You’re nothing to me!” Of course, he was fired for his bad management and his stupid dog walker utility belt invention.
10. Laura Hogg (Series 8)
For her stroppiness & rudeness, especially towards fellow contestant Duane Bryan in episode 5 who tried to stick up for her despite her showing him no respect all day. She still then had the audacity to slag him off despite his best efforts, once he’s been fired when he didn’t even deserve to go in many people’s opinions. She was fired in week 8 for failing to sell anything & not showing any real spark.
9. Sarah Dales (Series 10)
Labbeled as one of the most ludacris contenders. In the first week of 2014, she tried to sell a bucket filled with a few cleaning products & rubber gloves for £250! She then angered her fellow team and feminists across the nation by suggesting that women need to don plenty of make-up & high heels to sell. Finally, she had the not-so-bright idea of chopping up a lemon and wrapping it in cling film in order to sell it by the slice. Sarah failed to show any business acumen during her 4 weeks in the contest.
8. Syed Ahmed (Series 2)
This presumptuous charmer, narrowly escaped a firing several times; despite showing some sparks of genius. His two most idiotic moments were; ordering 100 chickens for 100 pizzas blowing the whole budget, meaning no amount of sales would help them recover. And in the property task, he lost the keys to a house. He would just about say anything to stay in the process. A classic boardroom moment, being when asked by Lord Sugar why he shouldn’t be fired he said “Because Sir Alan, I’m a winner” to which he replied “You’re not a bloody winner you lost!” How was he not fired sooner?
7. Luisa Zissman (Series 9)
Runner-up Zissman claimed to have the “Sex appeal of Jessica Rabbit, the energy of a Duracell Bunny and a brain like Einstein.” Yet got a C, D, & E at AS level. Despite being a shrewd business woman, during the process, Luisa came across as arrogant & extremely pushy. In week 8, she bullied Project Manager Jason Leech to give up his position as PM. They went on to lose the task. Lord Sugar & Nick Hewer were not happy. Despite this, he allowed her to stay in the process. She said she had “learned to keep her mouth shut”.
6. Zoe Beresford (Series 7)
Sour-faced Zoe came to the fore in week 3 when she was brought into the boardroom by Gavin Winstanley for disruptive behavior. In week 4 after taking the role of Project manager for Venture in the beauty treatments task, they lost & Zoe blamed this on the industry expert Susan Ma. On the ‘You’re Fired!’ show that followed, Felicity Jackson thought Zoe had been setting Susan up as a potential scapegoat. Zoe was extremely argumentative. In week 6, she took on the role of PM but lost. Zoe often came into conflict with Susan who perceived Zoe as unpleasant and negative. Zoe’s survival was mostly a result of her admitting fault. In week 9, she was PM for the biscuit-making task, something similar to her day job before the series. However, her decision to manage the marketing rather than the factory led to a biscuit design that was deemed to be a poor a quality. Team Logic suffered the worst defeat in the show’s history, her firing followed as she never presented her strengths.
5. Kevin Shaw (Series 4)
This Matt Lucas lookalike provided brief entertainment with his cocky but stupid demeanor. He claimed his chef skills was amazing in week 5, despite several customers complaining that the food was terrible. The public was annoyed when Jenny Celerier enslaved him to use her idea of environmental waste paper cards then when they obviously lost he brought back Sara instead of Jenny. Sugar later said he was “too, arrogant” At least, he went out at the right time, and his humble attitude afterwards is his saving grace.
4. Michael Sophocles (Series 4)
This egotistical man, became mostly known for his ability to survive, despite being in the boardroom three a number of times. Viewers were angered when series favourite Raef was fired instead of him. He was given chance after chance and often failed to deliver on the things he boasted to be good at. He appalled former ‘eye’ – Margaret Mountford with his wild outburst when his team won task 6. Despite calling himself “a good Jewish boy”, he didn’t know the term ‘kosher’ and during the Marrakesh task in week 7 along with Jenny C, they went to an Arab butcher and asked them to make a prayer over the halal meat thinking that would then be Kosher… Oh dear indeed. Lord Sugar called him a “disaster zone.” And right he was.
3. Runner Up
Katie Hopkins (Series 3)
Dubbed as ‘Britain’s Biggest Bitch’ & ‘an insufferable snob’. She is undoubtedly one of the most despised candidates ever. She entered the process purely because she ‘wanted to win’ she had no intention of taking up the job with Lord Sugar hence why she quit just before the final. Hopkins launched a planned boardroom attack on Adam Hosker that got him fired. Going as far as to suggest he was an alcoholic. Hosker has stated that: “She and Paul (Callaghan) was offended at my northernness and my working class background. “She didn’t think I had any right to be there and saw me and Kristina as a threat. “Katie thinks Sir Alan is thick. She told me that in the car on the way back from a task. She doesn’t rate Sir Alan, she’s there to publicise herself.”
Katie would stop at nothing to get what she wanted – admitting in the interviews that she stole someone’s husband she wanted, rating it only a 8 out of 10 for ruthlessness. When video clips of her comments about other candidates were shown on ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired!’, Hopkins thought that they were “quite funny”. Michelle Money a guest on the panel, verbally attacked Hopkins, calling her “exceptionally selfish” and made remarks such as “You’ve given businesswomen a bad name”. In June 2007, Hopkins lost her job at the Met Office, which confirmed that her performance on The Apprentice and confessions about her private life were a factor in her dismissal. She made a claim of hypothetical victory in an interview with Fiona Phillips stating that she would have won, although Sugar had said he would have fired her. The controversial opinionated monster we know today was created. Shame.
2. And the winner is…
Jenny Celerier (Series 4)
A fiery redhead with a more fiery temper. Jenny, almost as if not more despised as Hopkins, became a sort of pantomime villain. Celerier victamised and bullied fellow contestants Lucinda Ledgerwood & Sara Dhada. Reducing Lucinda to tears twice and instigating a house attack on Sara during week 6. She had the audacity to blame Dhada for the failure of the ‘Greetings Card’ task despite it being her railroading the nonsense ‘environmental awareness’ concept. Surely it would make more sense to send an e-card? She even admitted during a pitch, that she sends fewer cards due to environmental impact. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! She had a clever way of manipulating the boardroom to go her way. A technique that ultimately cost her the competition. In week 7 due to her; behavior, mediocre track record, refusal to take responsibility for her actions, and her parts in the losses of Weeks 2 & 6, Sir Alan decided not to even wait for the final boardroom to fire her. When team Renaissance was sent out, he had a brief discussion with Nick and Margaret, who agreed that while she had appeared a contender at the start, her dishonesty & poor attitude had changed their opinions. Upon their return, Jenny instantly tried to change her story on the Kosher chicken incident, hoping to shift the entire blame on Michael, but Sir Alan interrupted and fired her. Sugar went as far as to call her ‘snake’. Apparently during an interview a year after; she didn’t seem to show much remorse, saying she believed she should have been in the final. Says it all really.
Here’s a mention of some other candidates that narrowly missed the list:
Jenny Maguire (Series 4) Described as “a wannabe Ice Queen” and came across as quite cold. Her most idiotic move was describing herself as probably the best saleswoman in Europe.
Claire Young, Lee McQueen & Alex Wotherspoon (Series 4) Even though they all made the final 5. I think their aggressive attitudes, attacks towards other candidates and blaming of other at times left a lot to be desired and shouldn’t be forgotten just because they were successful.
Adele Locke & Saira Khan. (Series 1) Miserable looking Adele quit in week 4. It was clear her heart wasn’t really in it yet all she did was make excuses and alienate people. Whilst Saira was runner-up and excellent at sales, she was never really a team player and just too loud and forceful for her own good.
Paul Tulip (Series 2) He was obnoxious & king of arrogance. So confident he would turn up to the boardrooms with an empty suitcase. Even after just missing the final he was reported saying – “Yeah I was fired, but I’m Paul off the telly now.”
Of course, they’re worse candidates, but we’d be here all day!