Michael Copp became the latest victim of the boardroom on The Apprentice 2012 tonight, kicked off the show by Lord Sugar of a shambles of a task.
The two teams had been challenged to create a new condiment and sell it to both trade and the public, but it quickly descended into chaos in both groups.
Katie led Phoenix’s team, where a problem in production had left their low cost, high volume product with just 300 units to sell.
On Sterling, led by Duane, Lord Sugar addressed the issue with the sample batch, with Nick Hewer referring to it as a “dangerously poisonous concoction,” and adding, “to be in the same room was to be in danger.”
But despite the cocks ups from nearly all of the candidates, from spelling errors on labels to pitches without products, the results were clear cut.
Phoenix sold 305 bottles with a profit of £585.56
Sterling sold 607 bottles of table sauce with a profit of £1028.68
At the Losers Cafe, Phoenix reflected on their loss, with Ricky making his opinion clear, “the good things that happened were thanks to me, the bad things were the other guys.”
Back in the boardroom, Ricky informed Lord Sugar that the reason that they lost the task was because they didn’t make enough product so didn’t sell enough and didn’t have the right profit. Lord Sugar highlights the problem with the production process, stating, “it seems to me that the production was all screwed up here.”
Karren Brady however pointed out the huge difference in sales between the public sub-team which sold 252 bottles and the trade sub-team which sold a measly 53 bottles and Lord Sugar outlines the significance of this, “the margin that’s come out of the [trade] sub-team is a joke. It’s a total joke.”
As usual, Lord Sugar asked Katie who she believes should come back to the boardroom and she quickly selected Michael due to the sales issue but wa less clear on who to blame for the production failures, eventually choosing a peeved Ricky.
After arguments from all three as to why they should stay, and why one of the other two should go, Lord Sugar gave his final verdict.
“Ricky – you were put into the factory and the lack of volume of this thing meant that the project was doomed because it was a low cost item," the boss began.
He went on: "Michael – I don’t know what you were doing really. You didn’t do your trade selling properly but then again you’re a man that started your own business and you’ve got some credibility there.
"Katie – this is the third week you’ve been in the losing team and the second time you’ve been sat in this last three. I don’t know whether there’s some kind of message coming to me already about you. The only glimmer is that you did recognise there was an error once you realised you only had 300 to sell and you tried to sell something for a higher price than what it’s worth.
"Ricky – I think that the failure of this task was absolutely down to the factory, that not enough was produced. But I also have to use an instinctive gut feeling of whether the candidates that I have in front of me are going to be able to hack it and on that basis, I’ve got to say to you, Michael – You’re Fired.”
Lord Sugar warned Katie that he doesn’t want to see her in the last three again before sending her and Ricky back to the house.
As he is driven away in a black cab, Michael reflected: “I’m feeling a little bit frustrated with myself that I didn’t represent myself to the best that I could have. At the end of the day I’ve got a successful business outside of this so I know what I’ve actually achieved already in life. The future’s bright for me.”