The Apprentice's latest reject Michael Copp has blamed his downfall on gastric flu.
Copp (32), from Barking in Essex, was fired by Alan Sugar after the hopefuls on the BBC1 show were ordered to produce and sell condiments.
Team Phoenix was plunged into hot water after an overcooked batch of their Mediterranean table sauce forced the group to hike their sale prices.
"I had gastric flu, and it really affected me. When you're in a stressful situation like that it just made it twice as hard. I didn't harp on, but the contestants knew about it, so maybe that was a tactical thing," he said.
Copp also said project leader Katie Wright, who dragged him back into the boardroom, should have done a better job.
"Katie didn't do a good job. She should have briefed us and said, 'we need to sell this product as cheap as we can'.
"If everyone had known this from the start, I think everyone would have been a little more conscious of it. She was running the task, and she should have directed it a lot more," he said.
After finding himself on the receiving end of a boardroom attack from teammate Ricky Martin, Copp warned future contestants to be vigilant.
"You need to be wary of people in there who can dress things up or sugar-coat things," he said.