The Apprentice 2012: Go, go gadget flop – Lord Sugar fires second candidate

A failure in the product invention task saw week two’s victim shown the exit

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Maria O’Connor became the second casualty of Lord Sugar’s firing finger last night when she was booted off The Apprentice after girls’ team Sterling lost out in a gadget invention task. 

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Among the highlights of Maria’s performance this week were eardrum-busting outbursts, a range of brilliantly over-dramatic facial expressions, a penchant for lurid outfits and a tendency to doze off during the task.

“Maria’s got lots of energy, she just doesn’t know how to channel it,” said Lord Sugar’s aide Karren Brady. 

“She’s very shouty,” countered Nick Hewer. “She’s just a noisy young woman.” 

Lord Sugar was disparaging of all three of the Sterling team members who eventually lined up to face him and seemed torn between firing O’Connor, project leader Jane McEvoy and Jenna Whittingham, who was blamed for failing to get a grip on the team’s figures.  

“All three of you have got your own businesses and all three of you have made fatal errors here and I’m sitting here thinking which one of you has got the ability to run a business in which I’m going to invest.

“You should have all known better,” he said.

The girls sold just 7,000 of their Splish Splash children’s bath-time aids, with one of the two retailers failing to place an order at all. Boys’ team Phoenix, winning for the second week in a row, took total orders of 13,000 for their eco-bin concept.

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O’Connor, who runs her own restaurant, remained defiant following her firing. “I was there to achieve a business investment, I didn’t get it,” she said. “I’ll get it from someone else or I’ll make my own money and do it myself.”