Despite the writing being the wall for Katie Wright, it was Bilyana Apostolova who Lord Sugar fired on tonight's first Apprentice 2012 episode in a shock boardroom result.
Tonight's task saw the 16 candidates split into boys and girls, sent out on their first task to make a profit on £500 of start up cash.
Their task was simple: Buy blank stock such as T-shirts, mouse mats and mugs, create and print designs on them, then sell them to the public.
In the boardroom, Lord Sugar was interested to hear that none of the boys were willing to put themselves forward for the Project Manager role on Phoenix and was impressed with Nick for stepping forward. However He was less impressed with the boys’ designs stating, “you can have the greatest margin in the world but in the end if the punter doesn’t want to buy your product its meaningless isn’t it?”
Lord Sugar next moved his attention to the girls, and was bewildered at Jenna’s explanation of the origin of the team name Sterling, “I actually dreamt it the night before, my friend gave it to me in a dream.” The girls’ designs went down well however [tag]Gabrielle Omar[/tag]’s management style is questioned by Jane who explains that she had taken charge of the finances after nobody else did, “it just needed to be done.”
Then it was time for the all important numbers:
Sterling had total sales of £690.60 with a total spend of £475.80 so a total profit of £214.80
Phoenix had total sales of £1015.60 with a total spend of £399.40 so a total profit of £616.20
Phoenix were treated to an art inspired reception with canapés and cocktails at the house whilst the girls were left to battle it out in the first showdown of the series.
After Lord Sugar started to question the girls' trip to London Zoo that resulted in few sales, Nick Hewer informs him of their behaviour to the retailer, “the shopkeeper was so affronted by their sales approach that she wouldn’t buy anything, she couldn’t stand being cornered by a pack of baying hyenas.”
Attention was then drawn to [tag]Katie Wright[/tag], with questions asked about her involvement in the task and Nick Hewer commenting, “I thought you were missing really.”
Gabrielle decided to bring Bilyana and Katie in for the final boardroom exchange and back in the boardroom she explained her reasons, “Katie because maybe you did pull your weight but I myself did not see that and I’m just going on what everyone else has told me, and Bilyana for making everyone waste a lot of time.”
Lord Sugar then delivered his final verdict.
He told the trio: “Gabrielle – you did work hard and you showed a lot of passion but there’s been lots of talk from the other people about the lack of direction and this task was deliberately designed to be simple, it’s not rocket science.
"Katie – people have been in this boardroom many times telling me 'I don’t want to override that one”' and sometimes those people’s actions cost them dearly.
"Bilyana – you have clearly got the capability of doing something but you have not given anybody any credit for doing anything."
He went on: "It is a difficult decision to make in this first task so the person leaving today may feel that they haven’t had enough time to show themselves but that’s tough, that’s what this process is about. I did say in my introduction that I didn’t want anybody to hide and on that basis..."
But before Lord Sugar was able to reveal his decision, Bilyana interjected again, much to his annoyance, seemingly talking herself into getting fired.
“You don’t do yourself any favours, Bilyana – You’re Fired," he said.
As she was driven away in a black taxi, [tag]Bilyana Apostolova[/tag] reflects: “I feel the decision wasn’t fair and I don’t think that my performance cost us the task. But my business plan is excellent so I’ll just move on straight away.”