“If I’m honest, I think there was an injustice done,” he tells HuffPostUK. “As far as the two products go, (Beat Battle and Groove Train), Beat Battle was the better product, it was more realistic. Groove Train was fun, it was a funny video, but was it a fitness video?
"Team Phoenix got lucky, a big chain bought into their product for the reason that they weren’t intending. They got quite lucky, if it wasn’t somebody approaching it that way, we would have fun and I wouldn’t be in this position.”
CANDIDATE PROFILE: Duane Bryan
But even within his team, Duane as sub-leader charged with directing his team’s fitness video, admits there was a big falling out.
“I felt they allowed me to take responsibility for managing the video, and then they didn’t let me manage it. If I’d been Laura or Nick, I’d have supported them. I always stood behind my leader or sub-leader. They let me take responsibility and then they talked me down.”
Are there happier memories during his experience on the show?
I was very proud of my eco-press, it was modern, something you could sell in real life, and it was my idea, but again I felt like they (team-mates?) were just being difficult. They were on side with the product when I was there, so it was surprising to see what they really thought when I wasn’t there (when Ricky was caught on camera reflecting, “Basically we’ve just invented the bin”).
“It was interesting to watch, I look forward to seeing it every week, because you just don’t know what the others get up to.”
What were his impressions of Lord Sugar and his two standover people?
Nick is someone I’d like to spend a train journey with, he’s like the perfect grand-dad, he’s got so much to say, so much experience, and he’s razor-sharp, I really liked him.
But he and Karren did intimidate me. You realise what power they’ve got, and it’s difficult to get away from that when they’re in your presence.”
“I still have every respect for Lord Sugar, he’s self-made, he doesn’t owe anyone any explanation, it’s his programme, it’s his money. It would have been nice to have got his investment, but if I’m not the person he’s looking for, that’s his choice.“
What’s next for Duane?
“I’ve got it all to do,” he enthuses. “Lord Sugar has got to choose his apprentice, and I want to go against them next year, with my own team, and prove myself with the result. Whatever they set up next, I want to come back and show I can do more than the person he ultimately goes into business with.”
And who’s he pegging for the eventual winner?
"I like the look of Nick, he is a genuine businessman, he wants to learn and do more, I like Tom as well, only 23 years old, and with great skills, the definition of an apprentice.
"From the girls, if I’m being honest, Gabrielle is the best of a bad bunch. I thought the girls were much stronger in previous years.
There are lots of hiders in the candidates at the minute, and Lord Sugar said he didn’t want to have hunt Lord Lucan, and play, “Where’s Wally?” when looking for his winner.”
Well, no one could accuse Duane of playing Wally during his time on the show, and the following weeks will be poorer without him.
Some of this week's candidates in proper action...
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