Fruit seller Adam Corbally's dream of winning The Apprentice went pear-shaped after his team lost a luxury product task.
The market trader missed out on a place in the final after his high-end chocolates and jellies failed to sweeten Lord Sugar.
Corbally, who runs a wholesale and retail fruit and vegetable firm, admitted he was disappointed.
"I believe I can bow out gracefully. I did what I said I'd do at the start of the process, which was be the best salesperson the process has ever seen, and I've stuck to that," he said.
"I'm very grateful for the experience, and the opportunities it's now put on the table for me are life-changing so I'm very, very happy."
This week's task involved devising a new luxury product and pitching it to industry experts as well as Lord Sugar.
Corbally, from Derbyshire, took charge of Team Phoenix, who came up with a confectionery product range called Sweet Thing.
But rival Team Sterling's Modern Gentleman male grooming products were deemed more professional.
"Our pitch was very sloppy but I think that was down to the team," said Corbally (33).