Azhar Siddique was surprised to be Lord Sugar's seventh person to be fired on The Apprentice, after he threw his customary enthusiasm into the task of shifting market products to the punters of the mogul's native stomping ground, Essex.
Azhar had fallen out completely with his Team Phoenix project manager Jade, during their attempts to sell wholesale products on the south-eastern county's market stalls, with his constant questioning of her "strategy" of choosing different types of products. It was a fair enough question, as Jade dillied and dallied between goods, while Team Sterling got on with the comparatively smooth process of shifting one product only, which just happened to be fake tan.
Azhar remarked that he thought the word "strategy" was out of team manager's depth. Ouch!
The third person in the call-back was Tom, responsible for pricing the goods too highly. However, he made the point that the girls had advised on the costs for the beauty products, an area he was unfamiliar with.
But Jade argued her corner strongly, pointing out that "“when someone is not being constructive... not coming up with a solution, it actually hinders what you are doing and it actually wastes time”.
And she even beseeched Lord Sugar to look at her business case, mentioning her business contacts and all. It seemed she went into job interview mode, but Lord Sugar soon brought her back to the case in hand.
And Azhar's case wasn't helped by Lord Sugar's sidekick Karren Brady, who noticed that Azhar "huffs and puffs his way through tasks".
Eventually, Lord Sugar decided that, "Azhar – people are saying about you that you’re just standing around, moaning all the time that this is going wrong, that is going wrong, you don’t seem to come forward with any solution to what should be done."
Lord Sugar had equally derisive comments about Jade's management, but he remained more impressed by her enthusiasm, so it was Azhar who had to take the bullet.
Azhar dashed off in the cab, remarking that, “I do feel robbed, I was wrong to be fired... I think there are people in this process who are playing a game, playing a strategic game, and I think they wanted me out of the process because they saw me as a threat, they saw me as one of the stronger candidates, and obviously they’ve got their way.”
Action stations in Essex for this week's Candidates: