Sunday 15 July 2018

Third Apprentice candidate to be fired ‘did not see it coming’

The dashed hopeful said he did not feel responsible for the boys third round of failings.

The Apprentice Series 2017
The Apprentice Series 2017

By Francesca Gosling

The Apprentice hopeful Elliot Van Emden confessed that he “did not see it coming” as he became the third candidate to receive the dreaded firing from Lord Alan Sugar.

The 32-year-old lawyer said he still does not feel he was in any way to blame for the mistakes that led to another disastrous week for the boy’s team.

Their third consecutive failure on the BBC One competition saw them struggle to sell robots that they had programmed to provide household support to elderly people.

ipanews_2a03827b-91f1-4b26-a73a-47497d4a3bee_embedded233155341
The Apprentice 2017

They struggled to pitch the innovative product after changing the name of the machine from Jeffrii to Siimon and printing an obvious grammatical area on their branding board.

The dashed contestant ended up in the board room for a second time opposite project manager Michaela and Harrison, where he was criticised for his lack of useful contribution to the team.

Van Emden told the Press Association: “I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t feel that I was responsible for the failures.

“When I did the pitch, I was talking about humanising robots and linking it to society, so I felt that I had done enough to stay in.

“When it came down to it at the end, the other two are obviously very big characters and Lord Sugar decided that Elliot’s not for me. I think he saw potential in me, but based on my performance he couldn’t keep me in the process.”

He continued: “I thought Harrison should have got fired and that he was the weakest link. In task one he was in the boardroom and talked his way out of it, fair play to him, but in task three he messed up.

“No-one is my enemy, but it’s dog-eat-dog in that boardroom.”

“Going forward, I am sure the boys will win the next task – they have to win sometime – but it’s just a shame that I wasn’t there for a win.

“My key skill is negotiation, so I would have loved to be project manager for the overnight task, where you have to barter for items.”

Van Emden said that he “loved the experience”, and had already received investor interest for his business plan to develop an online group tutoring platform to help struggling school pupils meet minimum government education standards.

ipanews_2a03827b-91f1-4b26-a73a-47497d4a3bee_embedded233015478
The Apprentice Series 2017

The boys team made a profit of just over £5,785 in the third task of the season, compared to the girls impressive sum of £57, 827.55, even after Van Emden told prospective buyers about his friend’s grandmother, Doris, who would benefit from the helpful robot.

But he confessed: “There is no Doris – I got the name from a Harry Potter character.”

As Van Emden left the show, the victorious team Graphene were treated to an evening of robot combat to work out their growing differences, which had started to threaten their strength as a group.

The Apprentice continues on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday.

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment