Natalie Hughes is the second candidate to leave The Apprentice 2016

The salon owner didn’t make the cut as Lord Sugar took both teams to task following a dreadful advertising challenge

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This week’s episode of The Apprentice saw a shock final result, with Lord Sugar so disappointed in both teams’ jeans advertising campaigns that he refused to declare either of them the winner.

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“Normally, in this task, I make the decision as to which of those were the best,” the businessman told the chastened candidates.

“Well I tell you what, I am not putting my name to either of those advertising campaigns. They’re useless, both totally, absolutely useless. I feel so angry that not one of you geniuses came through and ran this thing properly.”

“There’s no winner here,” he concluded, before telling project managers Jessica and Mukai to bring in two teammates each for a super-sized final boardroom.

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In the ensuing moments “loose cannon” Karthik, “struggling” Alana and the “fatal errors” of Mukai all came in for censure, but Lord Sugar eventually made his decision. Despite his choice of six candidates to give the old heave-ho to, he’d only fire one of them – hair and beauty salon owner Natalie Hughes (above), who was criticised for failing to step up during the first two weeks of the process.

“The one that I am finding very difficult to come to grips with is you Natalie,” Lord Sugar said. “Someone who, as I’ve understood, from the last two weeks has not done much.

“For a potential business partner of mine, Natalie, you’ve been a bit quiet, you’ve not been pushing yourself forward.”

He concluded: “It is regretful that this is only the second week, but Natalie… you’re fired.”

Oh dear – at least next week’s task couldn’t possibly go worse for the remaining candidates…right?

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The Apprentice continues on BBC1 next Thursday 20th October at 9.00pm