Lord Sugar fired his fifth candidate on this week's episode of The Apprentice, and the person on the receiving end of the big finger was... Duane.
He told Duane, "You put yourself forward to product the video, I personally believe that the video was the main cause of the failure of this task, and therefore, Duane – You’re Fired.”
Team Sterling had had problems selling their Beat Battle fitness routine, and Lord Sugar decided the cause lay, not with Ricky Martin's pitching techniques, but with the feel of the video, which brought him to Duane.
During his time with teammates in the Sad Cafe, Duane remarked, "I'm going to stand by the fact I don't think it went wrong."
Ricky answered, "Well, it did."
Drinks distribution entrepeneur Duane had been charged with directing the video for the pitch of his team's Beat Battle martial arts routine, but had taken things into his own hands, to simplify the moves for the sake of easier filming. This had caused problems with him and his teammates Laura and Nick, with Lord Sugar even leading the witnesses, "Did you think Duane might have lost his way slightly?"
Lord Sugar said the biggest complaint was that the routine was watered down in terms of martial arts elements, but Ricky Martin defended the original concept, and Lord Sugar agreed that the video - the product's "shop window" - cut out some of the unique selling points. Nick Hewer reported that Laura had delivered these moves, and Duane had delivered them - so where did the blame lie?
Lord Sugar and Co agreed that the presentation of the video was the root of the problem - not Ricky Martin's price-setting, not Laura's dancing - and Duane's fate was sealed.
He said afterwards, “Lord Sugar knows what he wants and unfortunately this time it wasn’t me. That’s not going to take away from me, I’ve got a lot to give, a lot to prove and I’m going to go out there and do that. I’m hoping that you’ve not seen the best of me yet.”
Some of this week's candidates in proper action...