The Apprentice Finalists Revealed
SPOILER ALERT: Three contestants culled at interview stage...
SPOILER ALERT: This story reveals which candidates were fired in last night's show.
It's possibly the toughest task The Apprentice contestants have to face - a grilling from Lord Sugar's formidable 'advisors' - and it proved particularly savage for some of this year's entrepreneurs.
Francesca MacDuff-Varley and her exercise class idea fell upon a serious stumbling block in the form of figures, after it emerged that she struggled to differentiate turnover from profit, and admitted to Claude Littner that her projected £5 million turnover for the business was in fact "just a number that came into my head".
Leah Totton's beauty business plan turned out to be a better proposition, but she did herself few favours by declaring that she was "more glamorous than all the other candidates" with "more voluminous" hair.
Long-time Lord Sugar favourite Neil Clough quickly found himself in trouble as all four interviewers tried in vain to persuade him to change his business plan - which involved a website were people could sell their own houses. The idea that estate agents would advertise on the site proved to be his downfall.
Luisa Zissman appeared to relish the challenge, and though her business plan was criticised, her baking equipment brand idea went down well.
But without doubt the highlight of the show was the rapid demise of Jordan Poulton - whose first mistake was to tell interviewer Claudine Collins: "From the earliest age I can remember I always felt I was more intelligent than everyone else."
As it turns out, the Oxford graduate brought very little to the investment table. His technology business plan revealed that he was neither a founder nor a stakeholder in the business, and had only "a gentleman's agreement" from the man who was - and was only offering a 15.39 per cent share to Lord Sugar.
"That's not the deal!" Claude Littner advised, before letting loose with: "You've got no right to be here because you're feeding off somebody else's idea, somebody else's business!
"You're a parasite! This interview is terminated!"
So it was hardly surprising that Jordan barely had time to sit down at the boardroom table before Lord Sugar pointed the finger, and "with regret", Neil was also shown the door.
In the end, with worries about Francesca's ability to "scale up" her business, it was Luisa and 'Doc' Leah Totton that made it through to next week's final.