Series Thirteen of The Apprentice (UK), a British reality television series, began broadcasting in the UK during 2017 from 4 October to 17 December on BBC One. The scheduling for this series was purely done to match previous series which had been moved to Late Autumn, in order to avoid major sporting and political events being broadcast within the UK. Eighteen candidates took part, naming their teams Vitality and Graphene, with James White and Sarah Lynn both winning the series together, the first time in the show's history when more than one candidate won a series.
Two specials aired alongside it towards its final weeks, both being new editions - "The Final Five" on 8 December, and "Why I Fired Them" on 14 December.
- 1 Candidates
- 2 Episodes
- 2.1 Week 1: Burgers
- 2.2 Week 2: Hotel Redesign
- 2.3 Week 3: Robots
- 2.4 Week 4: Stadium Sales
- 2.5 Week 5: Lord Sugar's Birthday
- 2.6 Week 6: Bruges Tour
- 2.7 Week 7: Advertising - Cars
- 2.8 Week 8: Doggy Business
- 2.9 Week 9: Food Boxes
- 2.10 Week 10: Fashion Show
- 2.11 Week 11: Interviews
- 2.12 Week 12: The Final
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Ratings
- 5 References
- 6 External links
|James White||Recruitment firm owner||26||Joint-Winner|
|Sarah Lynn||Confectionery company owner||35||Joint-Winner|
|Michaela Wain||Construction business owner||33||Fired after the Interview stage|
|Elizabeth McKenna||Florist chain owner||39||Fired after the Interview stage|
|Joanna Jarjue||Digital marketing manager||23||Fired after the Interview stage|
|Jade English||PR & marketing manager||25||Fired after tenth task|
|Harrison Jones||Sales executive||27||Fired after tenth task|
|Bushra Shaikh||Clothing company owner||34||Fired after ninth task|
|Charles Burns||Management consultant||24||Fired after eighth task|
|Anisa Topan||PR fashion agency owner||36||Fired after eighth task|
|Andrew Brady||Project engineer||26||Fired after eighth task|
|Sajan Shah||Event company owner||24||Fired after seventh task|
|Sarah-Jayne Clark||Clothing company owner||25||Fired after sixth task|
|Ross Fretten||Digital product consultant||29||Fired after fifth task|
|Siobhan Smith||Wedding company owner||34||Fired after fourth task|
|Elliot Van Emden||Legal firm owner||31||Fired after third task|
|Jeff Wan||Business analyst||28||Fired after second task|
|Danny Grant||Online retail store owner||32||Fired after first task|
- Template:Color box The candidate won this series of The Apprentice.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate won as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate lost as project manager on his/her team, for this task.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate was on the winning team for this task / they passed the Interviews stage.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate was on the losing team for this task.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate was brought to the final boardroom for this task.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate was fired in this task.
- Template:Colorbox The candidate lost as project manager for this task and was fired.
Week 1: Burgers
- Original Air Date: 4 October 2017
- Vitality: Danny (Project Manager), Andrew, Charles, Elliot, Harrison, James, Jeff, Ross and Sajan.
- Graphene: Sarah (Project Manager), Anisa, Bushra, Elizabeth, Jade, Joanna, Michaela, Sarah-Jayne and Siobhan.
- Task: Make unique luxury burgers, before selling them to customers either packaged or cooked. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality decided on making burgers from buffalo and turkey, but spent considerable time manufacturing these, causing the market team to miss out on getting any lunch-time trade in Brixton. The trade team were then late leaving the kitchen, due to altering the labels on the turkey burgers, while Danny forced both sub-teams to change locations, all of which effectively reduced the number of sales that they made. Meanwhile, Graphene decided on making burgers from beef and chicken, though opted to make these with cheaper meat, while using luxury garnish and high quality buns for their cooked burgers that they sold in Canary Wharf. Although they had a slight mishap with manufacturing their burgers, and the trade team sold some of their products too cheap, both sub-teams managed very good sales, which secured them victory.
- Result: Graphene made a profit of £236.78, while Vitality made a loss of £114.17.
- Winner: Graphene - By £350.95.
- Reward: A vegetarian dinner cooked by Tommy Banks
- Brought into the boardroom: Danny, Charles and Elliot
- Fired: Danny, with regret - For his indecisive leadership, his poor time management that lost his team trade, and for being unable to handle the pressure of his role.
- You're Fired Panel: Mike Soutar, Matt Edmondson and Holly Walsh
- Prior to the conclusion of the task briefing in the boardroom, Lord Sugar brought in the previous winners of The Apprentice who became his business partner - Tom Pellereau, Ricky Martin, Leah Totton, Mark Wright, Alana Spencer - to demonstrate to the candidates just how important his investment would be to them and their business plans; Joseph Valente, winner of the eleventh series, was not part of this line-up, owing to a decision he made earlier in the year.
- Although Graphene won the task, neither Karren nor Sugar considered their burgers to be of luxury quality, due to the girls opting to use cheaper varieties of meat to make them. In addition, Karren remarked during the task that customers would be expecting luxury varieties to be made with premium meat, adding that serving their cooked burgers with a high quality bun and toppings did nothing to make them appear luxurious.
- Initially, Danny intended to bring along Charles and Harrison into the final boardroom, but the latter argued that he had been the best seller on the team and that he didn't deserve to be brought back, and continued to argue on this. Danny thus changed his decision and went for Elliot and Charles, when Sugar asked him a second time on who he was bringing back.
- Although Charles was not fired, Lord Sugar stated he was being given the "benefit of the doubt", as he considered him to be a disruptive element for refusing to accept most of the negative criticism the rest of the team gave him in the boardroom, and that he doubted he would improve his attitude in later tasks. While Elliot was also not fired, Sugar remarked during the final boardroom that he was "worried" over his lack of contribution on the task and was worried over this, particularly after Claude pointed out to him that he had made sales totaling just £9.
- On You're Fired, both the audience and two of the panel agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. Only Matt Edmondson disagreed, stating that Danny had taken a lot of guts to assume the role of PM, and that Charles had been more deserving of being fired for failing to get along with him and the others.
Week 2: Hotel Redesign
- Original Air Date: 11 October 2017
- Vitality: Ross (Project Manager), Andrew, Charles, Elliot, Harrison, James, Jeff and Sajan.
- Graphene: Bushra (Project Manager), Anisa, Elizabeth, Jade, Joanna, Michaela, Sarah, Sarah-Jayne and Siobhan.
- Task: Create a brand new look for a room at a five-star hotel, and then pitch it to the manager and a leading interior designer. Best design, wins.
- Task Review: Graphene opted for a room with a golfing theme to match what the hotel offered, with the team focusing on keeping costs down by buying cheaper furniture within a strict budget. Despite reasonable negotiations on purchases, the team's decorating was poorly conducted, with the manager and leading designer disliking their choice of furniture and having issues with the room's theme. Meanwhile, Vitality opted for a room with a "British destination" theme, but despite having no issues with decorating their room, they spent a considerable amount on furniture despite some negotiations. In addition, they also made a poor design for their wallpaper, chose a prop piece that would be disliked by guests, and delivered a poor pitch for their design. While profit margin was a criteria for the task, the final decision was made by Lord Sugar after both the manager and designer disliked both designs, who decided that Graphene had done enough to win the task.
- Winner: Graphene - For achieving a higher profit margin and providing a good design despite it having some flaws.
- Reward: Drawing Caricatures with Gerald Scarfe
- Brought into the boardroom: Ross, James and Jeff
- Fired: Jeff - For his lack of contributions in tasks, and for ducking out of his responsibility on the team's figures.
- You're Fired Panel: Juliet Kinsman, Grace Dent and Hal Cruttenden
- The hotel chosen for this task was Stoke Park. Although the best design was the main criteria for winning, both teams were told that profit margins would also be monitored, with it determined by the amount of money they each had left from their £13,000 budget.
- During the first day of the task, Elizabeth frustrated the decorating team by constantly measuring and re-measuring various areas of their room and asking if there was anywhere she hadn't measured yet. She then caused her sub-team further issues when putting up the wallpaper, as she had given wrong measurements for its size and struggled to figure out where to put in the first piece. In the boardroom, Claude remarked that her handling of the sub-team's decorating had caused it to be "chaotic".
- Although Graphene won the task, Lord Sugar criticized the team for setting their furniture budget at £5,000, which was justified upon him seeing photos of their room and remarking that the room looked quite sparse, and that their choice of furniture did not suit the luxury quality guests would be expecting of it. He thus stated that they should have spent more money, as they had made "too much profit" to his liking; the team made a 56% profit margin, compared to Vitality who made a 12% profit margin.
- Vitality's theme was firmly disliked by Lord Sugar, who felt that the paint scheme didn't match the "British" element of the theme, that their chosen prop wouldn't have been liked by hotel guests, and that the wallpaper had been poorly designed - it mainly featured an image of a suitcase against a line-art sketch of Tower Bridge and the London Eye. However, the overspend on furniture was considered to have been a key issue in the team's failure, as there had been no focus on margins; although he didn't fire either man, Sugar commented that James had been "delinquent" with his purchases, and that Ross should have been on his sub-team to see what furniture was being bought.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision, as it was felt that Jeff had been robbed of his chance to continue and that there had been others who had been more deserving of being fired. In addition, Grace Dent commented that Jeff's suggestion for an "Elton John" themed room during the brainstorming on the first day, would have had a better chance of success, as the theme Vitality went with on the task had made little sense to her.
Week 3: Robots
- Original Air Date: 18 October 2017
- Vitality: Michaela (Project Manager), Andrew, Charles, Elliot, Harrison, James, Ross and Sajan.
- Graphene: Jade (Project Manager), Anisa, Bushra, Elizabeth, Joanna, Sarah, Sarah-Jayne and Siobhan.
- Task: Brand a prototype robot with a unique concept and then pitch it to retailers, while selling a new line of toy robots to smaller stores. Most sales made, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality opted for their concept focusing on caring for and socialising with the over 60s, with the prototype branded as "SiiMON", after Michaela disliked the initial choice of branding, "JEFFRii" and changed it, and programmed to display different yoga positions and provide vocal reminders on things such as when to take medication, while securing a line of balancing robot toys to sell. Despite the toy team making reasonable sales, the prototype team failed to secure any orders due to their pitches being poorly handled, including bringing along a poorly designed pitch board with serious errors to their first pitch that they then had to bin, along with both retailers disliking their concept. Meanwhile, Graphene opted for their concept to be focused on educating young children, with their prototype branded "e.bot" and programmed to teach children through karate moves and vocal lessons, while they went with a line of flying robot toys after losing out on their initial choice. Despite in-fighting between a number of team members and some issues with their pitches, they secured good sales from their toys and large orders of their prototype from both retailers, effectively securing them victory.
- Result: Graphene had sales of £57,827.55, while Vitality had sales of £5,785.60.
- Winner: Graphene - By £52,041.95.
- Reward: Fighting with Remote Control Robots
- Brought into the boardroom: Michaela, Elliot and Harrison
- Fired: Elliot - For falsely claiming credit for his team's choice of toy robot, his minimal contributions in tasks, and for making lacklustre excuses in the boardroom.
- You're Fired Panel: Kavita Oberoi, Michelle Ackerley and Russell Kane
- For this task, Michaela was moved over to Vitality. In addition, both teams were given the same model of prototype to work with, with the toy robot lines they could choose from consisting of: a flying robot shaped like a piranha; a balancing robot that could also carry things on a small tray; and a construction robot that took on the form of a penguin.
- Although Graphene won the task, Siobhan was notably criticised by Sarah-Jayne for her negativity during the second day, as it caused issues within the toy team and led to a row, following their failure to sell to their first small retailer; while Karen remarked during the task that the sub-team was suffering from the "bad blood" within it, Sarah later stated that if the team lost, she would nominate Siobhan to be brought back for her poor contributions on the task. Prior to the results being given, Lord Sugar advised the girls that they needed to "sort themselves out", after Siobhan attempted to argue against the criticism towards herself.
- The beleaguered Lord Sugar was yet again disappointed by the argumentative contestants' lack of business acumen. He inevitably exploded with anger, rage and frustration in the boardroom yet again over this season's lackluster contesters' endless failures, cock-ups, bust-up and screw ups-by week 4 of the process.
- Lord Sugar was also concerned about Siobhan uncontrollably weeping, Elizabeth's uncontrollable drooling (hence the bib), Joanna's body odor issues, Michaela constant hysterical and raucous laughter, Sarah's lack of fiscal self control during the tasks, Anisa's extreme sleepiness (probably a form of narcoleptic), Jade's aggression issues and Sarah-Jayne's scruffy hair style.
- Bushra was praised by Lord Sugar for having a higher business skill set than Elizabeth.
- While Michaela was not fired, Lord Sugar heavily criticised her for changing the branding on her team's prototype, stating that this had been a "fatal mistake" and one of the key reasons for Vitality's loss. During the first day, Harrison's sub-team opted for the name of "JEFFRii" for their concept, only for Michaela to have concerns over it and later changing it to the branding they used on the task, per a suggestion by Sajan, despite the initial name already being programmed into the prototype's sentences. After the team's first pitch ended in failure, Claude remarked that the two names that had been used in it had effectively "confused" the retailer. On Why I Fired Them, Sugar later admitted he should have fired her for this mistake.
- During the final boardroom, Harrison argued that Vitality's concept may have sold well with the retailers, if their pitch board had been designed as well as Graphene's; as Michaela spent what little time they had left on the first day to focus on the logo and the board's color scheme for its writing and background, she failed to include any key points of their concept on it, and allowed it to be laden with spelling and grammatical issues. However, Lord Sugar completely disagreed with this, pointing out that a better pitch board could do nothing with the heavy flaws in their robot's programming, after Karren remarked before the final boardroom that "someone with a brain" could easily tell that its functions truly did not work well with each other.
- On You're Fired, both the audience and two of the panel agreed with Lord Sugar's decision. Russell Kane, the only one to disagree, strongly felt that Michaela should have gone because of her mistake with changing the name and her failure to inform her sub-team about this, adding that he felt that Elliot would have likely "bloomed" if he had been kept in and that he backed his business plan for an online tutoring plan, upon Elliot being asked about it.
Week 4: Stadium Sales
- Original Air Date: 25 October 2017
- Vitality: Andrew (Project Manager), Charles, Harrison, James, Michaela, Ross, Sajan and Sarah.
- Graphene: Siobhan (Project Manager), Anisa, Bushra, Elizabeth, Jade, Joanna and Sarah-Jayne.
- Task: Run a corporate box at Wembley Stadium during the Women's FA Cup Final, while also selling snacks to the masses attending the match. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Graphene opted to offer excellent customer satisfaction for their corporate clients, but their negotiations with them were hampered by Elizabeth having no costing information and thus offering them whatever they wanted. While their snack team offered candy floss to the masses and had good sales, the corporate team managed to keep their client's party satisfied, only to have the profit they made cut down by the unlimited drinks they provided. Meanwhile, Vitality opted to focus on keeping costs down while satisfying their corporate clients, including having entertainment provided by Harrison. Despite different prices being offered by the snack team, who sold popcorn to the masses, and the corporate team having to restock on drinks and making a slight mistake with the number of canapes they required, their performance was far better due to Andrew's good strategy, which earned them a significant profit that won them the task.
- Result: Vitality made a profit of £1,215.70, while Graphene made a profit of £984.36.
- Winner: Vitality - By £231.34.
- Reward: A visit to The Oval, and a cricket game with Kevin Pietersen.
- Brought into the boardroom: Siobhan, Elizabeth and Joanna
- Fired: Siobhan, with regret - For not having a proper strategy for the task, overspending on drinks, not giving any costing information for the client negotiations, and failing on a task that she was qualified to lead on.
- You're Fired Panel: Frances Dickens, Sally Lindsay and Tom Allen
- Towards the end of the briefing, both teams were warned that their clients could ask for refunds if they were not satisfied with what the team offered in their corporate box. After the briefing, Lord Sugar evened out the teams by allowing Vitality to choose someone from Graphene, with the boys opting for Sarah to join them. Both the selling of snacks and the handling of each team's corporate box took place within the six hours before the kick-off of the Women's FA Cup Final.
- During the task, Vitality had been informed that a member of their client's party was pregnant and thus could not drink anything alcoholic, but made the mistake of offering her a champagne glass with tap water in it. Karren remarked that the team should have been embarrassed by this, especially when Andrew realized what they had done and tried to correct this, only for one of the party's hosts to correct the mistake themselves. Despite this issue, Vitality's client did not ask for a refund and neither did Graphene's. However, Andrew redeemed himself with his strategy of keeping costs down; had the team opted to hire a magician for their client's entertainment, instead of having Harrison sing for them, the team would have had to pay a hiring fee of £700 and thus would have lost the task as a result.
- In the boardroom, Lord Sugar noted that Graphene's overspend on drinks was fundamentally down to Siobhan's failure to convey any clear costing information to Elizabeth during a phone call before her sub-team conducted their negotiations with their client, which led to her stating she had "no clue what that conversation was about"; part of the issue came down to Bushra being put in charge of numbers and giving different figures. Although she was not fired, due to Karren and Claude complimenting her contributions on tasks, Sugar criticized Elizabeth for not calling back Siobhan to get the necessary information, and blamed her for thus opting to promise fulfilling whatever the client wanted.
- Although Joanna was not fired, Lord Sugar commented that he found her "an argumentative person" due to her attitude, and could not stand the aggravation she gave for constantly blaming everyone and not giving any compliments. He therefore told her before she left, that she would be made the project manager for the next task, regardless of whether she wanted to or not.
- On You're Fired, both the audience and two of the panel disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision. Tom Allen felt there had been others more deserving of being fired, adding that he felt that James had been more in the background on the task, while Sally Lindsay remarked that she had been quite surprised that Vitality had won considering the mistakes they had made along with Graphene. In addition, while Siobhan stated that she felt she had done a good job on the task, she admitted that the overspend had been a big mistake, and that she should have handled the numbers instead of Bushra, adding that Elizabeth probably didn't deserve to be brought back to the boardroom.
Week 5: Lord Sugar's Birthday
- Original Air Date: 1 November 2017
- Vitality: Sajan (Project Manager), Andrew, Charles, Harrison, Michaela, Ross and Sarah.
- Graphene: Joanna (Project Manager), Anisa, Bushra, Elizabeth, Jade, James and Sarah-Jayne.
- Task: Purchase a set of nine items that mark milestones in Lord Sugar's life and career, negotiating for low prices. Least amount spent, after addition of fines, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality opted to stick to the outskirts of London to find what they needed, and managed good negotiations on the items that they purchased. Despite returning to the finish line on time, the team only secured six items, as Sajan failed to properly focus on items with high values, while Harrison took a gamble on securing one before the other team, that caused them to not focus on anything else and which ultimately backfired in the end. Meanwhile, Graphene held a quick meeting and opted to research items they didn't know about whilst on the move. Despite paying a little more on some purchases and arriving back late, the team performed far batter and managed to find all nine items, with the fines their opponents received effectively guaranteeing them victory.
- Result: Graphene spent £310.70 (including fines), while Vitality spent £430.03 (including fines).
- Winner: Graphene - By £119.33.
- Reward: Drinks and entertainment at a 1940s-themed bar.
- Brought into the boardroom: Sajan, Harrison and Ross
- Fired: Ross - For his lack of contributions on the task, and for not demonstrating any business skills throughout the process.
- You're Fired Panel: Linda Plant, Jenny Eclair and Ed Gamble
- For this task, Lord Sugar evened out the teams by having James move over to Graphene.
- The items that the teams had to get focused on key milestones in Lord Sugar's life and career, and included: An item from 1947 (his birth year); 100 bricks and mortar (his property empire); a 70th birthday cake; a monogrammed handkerchief (to bear his initials); an Amstrad computer (his first commercial computer); 70 Rugelachs (his Jewish heritage); a Tottenham Hotspur scarf (the football club he was chairman of); a TV aerial (his involvement with YouView); and some scarlet doeskin cloth (day he became a Lord).
- Although Graphene won, Lord Sugar was not impressed with some of their negotiations, pointing out that Vitality had gotten some of their purchases for far less, even managing to get a piece of scarlet doeskin for free. In addition, he commented upon the fact that Bushra had rows with Jade and Elizabeth; while both were vocal on opinions, Bushra notably criticized Elizabeth during the task for being problematic and behaving almost like a "cartoon character", with Karren disapproving of the time she wasted pushing for an even bigger discount on one purchase, despite it being successful in the end.
- While Sajan and Harrison both escaped being fired, despite the rest of Vitality blaming them for their loss, Lord Sugar was heavily critical of both for not focusing on the high ticket items that left the team receiving fines totaling £347. Sajan was further criticized by Sugar over his poor leadership and planning on the task, while Harrison was further criticized for having yet to impress him and having been back in the boardroom a few times. Before they left, both men were told that they were lucky to still be in the process.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience agreed with Lord Sugar's decision, with Ross admitting that in hindsight, he should have contributed more on the task despite "dreading" it, with Ed Gamble commenting that deciding to wait for the right moment to prove himself, had been a fatal mistake. However, Linda Plant felt that Sajan should have been fired as well for his mistakes as project manager, as she found them to be inexcusable in her opinion.
Week 6: Bruges Tour
- Original Air Date: 8 November 2017
- Vitality: Sarah-Jayne (Project Manager), Andrew, Anisa, Charles, Jade and Michaela.
- Graphene: Elizabeth (Project Manager), Bushra, Harrison, James, Joanna, Sajan and Sarah.
- Task: Give a group of up to 16 cruise ship passengers a tour of Bruges, Belgium, including a special activity and souvenirs. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Graphene focused on giving a tour of the city's modern aspects, with their group having a tasting session of Belgian chocolates and using Segways for the final stage. Despite some refunds, due to Elizabeth's strict schedule for the tour and the team misleading their customers into believing the Segways were for the whole tour, the team enjoyed good ticket sales, and the choice of high quality bags for souvenirs proved a successful gamble, providing them further sales. Meanwhile, Vitality focused on giving a tour of the city's historical aspects, with their group having a beer tasting session and using a horse and trap for the final stage. However, while the team achieved far better ticket sales and spent less on the task, their tour was poorly planned and panned as boring by their passengers, with their sales of souvenir keychains doing little to counter the refunds they had to make, ultimately causing them to lose the task.
- Result: Graphene made a profit of £803.06, while Vitality made a profit of £660.36.
- Winner: Graphene - By £142.70.
- Reward: Drinks while punting in Cambridge.
- Brought into the boardroom: Sarah-Jayne, Andrew and Charles
- Fired: Sarah-Jayne - For her laid-back leadership, her poor strategy with the tour, and for barely contributing to tasks.
- You're Fired Panel: Allyson Stewart-Allen, Claude Littner and Nish Kumar
- For this task, both teams were mixed up. As Lord Sugar had given a pre-recorded briefing, Karren was instructed to have Anisa, Jade, and Sarah-Jayne move to Vitality, and Harrison, Sajan, and Sarah move to Graphene, with Claude stating that both aides would be monitoring the other's respective team.
- Despite Graphene winning the task, Claude was notably critical of Elizabeth's handling of the tour, describing it as "a school trip" due to her tight time schedule, while disapproving of James mis-selling their passengers that Segways would be used for the entire tour, and not stating anything else about it. However, while discussing Vitality's loss, Lord Sugar praised the team for making a commission deal with the chocolatiers for any purchases their passengers made with them, and for their decision to gamble on the bags they chose to sell to the passengers.
- During the task, Karren commented that Charles was being "stupid beyond belief" after leading the tour group in a circle for thirty minutes, whilst trying to find an entrance into the building housing Old St. John's Hospital, believing it was the hospital itself. Karren also had to inform Anisa, who struggled to give out coherent facts, that she couldn't be heard when they were on the horse and trap. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar commented on these issues, while also criticizing the poor choice of souvenirs, the handling of negotiations with the brewery, and Andrew for over-promising on the quantity of beer the passengers would drink at their tasting session.
- Although Charles was not fired, Lord Sugar criticized him for being "Mr Hindsight" due to his nature of telling everyone what went wrong after a task was done, and for not showing himself as a businessman despite what his CV stated. While Andrew was also not fired, Sugar criticized him for his attitude and for having likely come into the process too soon, and after having him stay behind to give a reason for being kept in the process, warned him he was being given one last chance.
- On You're Fired, while the audience disagreed with Lord Sugar's decision, all of the panel were in agreement. Claude remarked that the decision had been a "close-run thing", due to other members of Vitality having "disgraced themselves" during the task, while Allyson Stewart-Allen felt Sarah-Jayne could have gotten her team to make more money than they actually made. Although Nish Kumar felt that Sarah-Jayne's allocation of team members had been a poor decision, he also commented that Charles had been lucky not to be fired.
Week 7: Advertising - Cars
- Original Air Date: 15 November 2017
- Vitality: Michaela (Project Manager), Andrew, Anisa, Charles, Jade and Sarah.
- Graphene: James (Project Manager), Bushra, Elizabeth, Harrison, Joanna and Sajan.
- Task: Create an advertising campaign for a new car, including a TV commercial and a digital billboard. Best campaign, wins.
- Task Review: Graphene opted for a campaign focused on selling their car to families, under the brand name of "Expando", but faced serious issues throughout the task, including no co-ordination between the team, a mistake over their filming location and a poorly delievered pitch. As a result, their campaign received negative feedback from the experts, who disliked the brand name and tagline they used, found the TV advert confusing, and considered their billboard to be useless. Meanwhile, Vitality opted for a campaign focused on selling their car to young women, under the brand name of "Miami". Despite some issues with their digital billboard, tag line and brand name, and Michaela sturggling to do the pitch and Anisa not helping by being honest on the issues raised on their campaign, the experts felt their TV advert was much better, ultimately leading Lord Sugar to name them the winners.
- Winner: Vitality - For creating a campaign that was more focused and had fewer mistakes.
- Reward: Sliding down the tallest, longest tublar slide at Orbit Tower.
- Brought into the boardroom: James, Elizabeth, Joanna and Sajan
- Fired: Sajan - For his poor creativity on the task, displaying limited business skills, and for his poor defence in the boardroom.
- You're Fired Panel: Zaid Al-Zaidy, Gaby Roslin and Katy Brand
- For this task, Sarah was moved over to Vitality, while both teams were given the same model of car to promote in their campaigns.
- One of the issues Graphene had from their TV advert, came down to the location that they used for it. James mistakenly chose a recreated Norman village for the film site, thinking it was a real English village that he had wanted for their advert's story, leaving his sub-team no choice but to use it. This became a key factor in Sajan's firing, as Karren countered his claims he was creative during discussions on the final four, by pointing out that he failed to adapt their advert's story as a result of James' mistake.
- While Vitality won the task, Andrew was notably critical of Anisa's contributions to the team's pitch, as he and the others not taking part in it found themselves wanting her to stop talking when she openly admitted to various flaws in their campaign that the experts pointed out, including their brand name causing some confusion and their billboard appearing to promote a car rental and not the sale of the car itself. Meanwhile, Lord Sugar made comments on Michaela's efforts to handle the pitch herself, after she struggled through it and admitted in the boardroom that she hardly remembered anything from it after it was done.
- Although James chose Joanna and Sajan to return to the boardroom with him, Lord Sugar felt that Elizabeth was a key reason for Graphene's loss, and so had her return. While Sajan was ultimately fired, Sugar warned Elizabeth over her behaviour in the task and to not repeat it again, criticized James over his leadership and for allowing others to take over from him, and voiced concerns over Joanna's confrontational nature towards any negative feedback she received.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and audience disagreed with Sajan's firing, with both Zaid Al-Zaidy and Gaby Roslin believing that James should have gone due to his poor leadership on the task and for the mistakes that he allowed to happen.
Week 8: Doggy Business
- Original Air Date: 22 November 2017
- Vitality: Charles (Project Manager), Andrew, Anisa, Jade, Michaela and Sarah.
- Graphene: James (Project Manager), Bushra, Elizabeth, Harrison and Joanna.
- Task: Provide a service for the care of dogs - one half runs a mobile service, while the other half operates a facility at a dog care centre. Most profit made, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality managed to secure the care centre's spa facility for their use, while their mobile team secured a poop scooping contract and spent the rest of the first day securing additional work from passerbys, offering them photography and scooping services. On the second day, while house-to-house services had no issues, the mobile team took on more work for their contract than they could handle and thus reduced the amount they received, while the spa team secured very few appointments and thus not earning much money as a result. Meanwhile, Graphene was forced to opt for the care centre's canine agility course, while their mobile team secured a photoshoot contract for a canine charity. Despite the mobile team canvassing for additional work during the first half of the second day and not giving the charity adequate photos than required, the team performed far better, with the training team earning more money from selling canine products, despite some partial refunds to some of their clients, increasing their overall profit and securing them victory.
- Result: Vitality made a profit of £814.75, while Graphene made a profit of £1,277.92
- Winner: Graphene - By £463.17
- Reward: A 24 carat gold facial treatment at a Thai luxury health spa
- Brought into the boardroom: Charles, Andrew and Anisa
- Andrew - For his unprofessional behaviour on the task, providing services at very cheap prices, and for failing to heed Lord Sugar's warning to improve his attitude.
- Anisa - For making no significant contributions throughout the whole process, getting overwhelmed too easily, and inspiring no confidence within her team to be a leader.
- Charles - For his poor leadership and contributions on the task, taking no accountability for his mistakes, and for his overall dismal track record.
- You're Fired Panel: Stuart Livingston, Karren Brady and Hal Cruttenden
- For this task, the teams took charge of two facilities at the Elmtree Doggy Day Care Centre in North London. The contracts focused on poop-scooping at Forty Hall, and a photoshoot for a line of sweatshirts promoting the canine welfare charity, Wild At Heart.
- During the task, Elizabeth opted to sell training sessions for £25, but this price was later increased to £35-40 by James when his sub-team sought out further appointments for the sessions, in order to make up for Graphene's failure to secure the spa facility. In the boardroom, Lord Sugar considered this to be a big mistake when it was revealed that these clients had been given partial refunds by Elizabeth and Joanna, when the clients they secured revealed how much they had paid to James' clients.
- All three fired candidates received notable criticism over their performance on the task - for Andrew, Lord Sugar disapproved of his unprofessional conduct with their contract's client, including swearing in front of them, and not heeding his warning to him; for Anisa, both Sugar and Karren felt she hadn't demonstrated anything in the task, despite her arguing that she had done so, including the mobile team's photography sales, and that they had questions over her suitability to work as a business partner to Sugar; and for Charles, Sugar disapproved of him not doing much on the task, and for not securing additional appointments for the lucrative spa treatments.
- On You're Fired, the majority of the audience agreed with all three firings, yet while the panel were unanimous in agreeing with the decision on Charles, they were split on the other two. Hal Cruttenden disagreed with Andrew's firing, despite the other two believing his unprofessional behaviour was the key factor for his dismissal, while both he and Stuart Livingston felt Anisa shouldn't have gone and that she should have been more forceful in wanting to be project manager.
Week 9: Food Boxes
- Original Air Date: 29 November 2017
- Vitality: Harrison (Project Manager), Jade, Joanna and Michaela.
- Graphene: Sarah (Project Manager), Bushra, Elizabeth and James.
- Task: Create a brand new type of recipe kit, and pitch it to leading experts. Most votes secured, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality opted for a healthy meal kit consisting of a chicken curry, with the brand name "NatroFuel". While they had no problems making the recipe and then presenting their product to the experts, the team had some issues, as Joanna and Jade struggled to agree on ideas for their brand, while the experts questioned the healthy aspect of their kit and its correlation to the branding, and the lack of photos to compliment the recipe's step-by-step guide. Meanwhile, Graphene focused on a gourmet meal kit involving salmon rissoto, with the brand name "Gourmet Crusaders". While the team designed a more completed meal and provided a reasonable recipe with good photos to compliment its step-by-step guide, they gave a poor presentation to the experts, who hated the branding and had questions over the prepared meal made per the recipe they used. As a result, the team secured fewer votes, and ultimately lost the task.
- Result: Vitality secured 12 votes from the experts, while Graphene secured 10 votes.
- Winner: Vitality - By 2 votes.
- Reward: A meal at a circus restaurant, with entertainment by circus-styled performers.
- Brought into the boardroom: Sarah, Bushra and Elizabeth
- Fired: Bushra, with regret - For being responsible for the team's presentation that was panned by the experts and for her lack of meaningful contributions throughout the process.
- You're Fired Panel: Claudine Collins, Andi Oliver and Ed Gamble
- To balance out the teams, Harrison and Joanna were moved over to Vitality, and Sarah was moved over to Graphene. In addition, Lord Sugar had Harrison be PM for his team, due to his business plan being involved in the food market, while having Sarah as her team's PM, due to her business plan being in the same area despite not being involved with food specifically.
- Although Vitality won the task, Claude was critical of the team's performance, and notably pointed out that Harrison had lacked proper management on the task. Apart from supplying only one photo for the branding, meaning their recipe had no adequate shots for the step-by-step guide, his decision to pair Jade and Joanna together to work on the kit's brand, led to arguments between the two that eventually led the latter having to step outside for a few minutes, after a heated moment between the women. In the boardroom, Claude further pointed out that the team's win was purely down to their pitch saving them towards the end of the task, as their kit had several issues with it.
- During the task, Graphene opted for a fun and engaging presentation of their product, including having James and Bushra dressed in condiment costumes. However, this decision backfired as the experts hated their pitch, including the decision to give out poor food-based jokes during it, and the slight aggression displayed between Bushra and Elizabeth. When reviewing the team's loss, Lord Sugar stated that he had been "embarrassed" by the feedback he got from the experts, and felt their presentation hadn't been professional; when the results were given out, Karren remarked that their pitch had been "toe-curlingly bad".
- Although neither woman was fired, Lord Sugar was critical of Elizabeth over her controlling nature in the task, despite being warned about it, and was now finding it difficult to tolerate her enthusiasm to contribute, while he was critical of Sarah for not noticing the issues with the team's branding and for failing on a task that she was capable of doing. While James was not brought back, Sugar advised him to "man up" after he allowed Elizabeth to take full control over creating the team's recipe kit.
- On You're Fired, only one of the panel agreed with Sugar's decision alongside the audience, though Claudine Collins felt that James had been lucky not to have been brought back. Of the other two that disagreed, Andi Oliver felt that Elizabeth should have gone, as she believed that Bushra had been more honest and straight-forward on the task than she had previously shown.
Week 10: Fashion Show
- Original Air Date: 6 December 2017
- Vitality: Jade (Project Manager), Harrison and Sarah.
- Graphene: Joanna (Project Manager), Elizabeth, James and Michaela.
- Task: Sell a designer's line of clothing, promoting it with a catwalk show and a magazine cover. Most commission made, wins.
- Task Review: Vitality focused on a collection of expensive, cutting-edge dresses by Helen Wollams, with them negotiating a 10% commission for each sale they made. While the team performed reasonably well and secured an magazine endorsement for their collection, they secured less sales due to Jade's failure to negotiate volume discounts, her confusing information she gave out during the catwalk show, and some of the customers being somewhat put-off by the high price of the clothes offered. Meanwhile, Graphene focused on a collection of affordable, ethical contemporary clothing by Zara-Mia Ava, with the team negotiating a 17% commission for each sale they made. Despite their magazine cover being poorly designed, and Michaela using slightly aggressive sales tactics with customers, the team secured large amounts of purchases, meaning that their commission was far higher and ultimately secured them victory.
- Result: Vitality made commissions of £1,101.50, while Graphene made commissions of £4,362.80.
- Winner: Graphene - By £3,261.30
- Reward: A session of indoor sky-diving.
- Brought into the boardroom: Jade, Harrison and Sarah
- Harrison, with regret - For not making any sales or significant contributions on the task, along with his questionable performance throughout the process.
- Jade - For her critical roles that led to the task's failure, which included her choice of designer, poor negotiations, and a poor presentation during the catwalk show.
- You're Fired Panel: Patrick Grant, Angela Scanlon and Dane Baptiste
- For this task, Lord Sugar had Joanna and Michaela move over to Graphene, and Sarah move over to Vitality. Furthermore, he had Vitality focus on women's fashion for the task, while Graphene were given men's fashion to handle.
- During the task, Jade made the mistake of failing to inform her sub-team that their designer had an established brand, Hellavagirl, thus causing them to create a new brand using the designer's real name, which they used part of their cover's tagline, along with creating a balloon display to showcase it during the catwalk show. Although the team attempted to get around the issue upon learning of their mistake, they were forced to ditch the balloons after the designer voiced concerns they weren't promoting her actual brand. In the boardroom, Karren disapproved of this, while Lord Sugar compared their mistake to someone promoting a concert under a musician's real name and not the stage name they wished to promote.
- While Graphene won the task, the team's only serious mistake was on the poor design of their magazine cover. The magazine editor they pitched it to pointed out a number of flaws, including the poor pose taken by James, who modelled for the image, the poor tagline they used, and the choice of colour scheme and background they went with. In comparison, while Vitality secured an endorsement for their collection, Karren pointed out that their magazine cover was not what secured it, but the photograph that was used in its design.
- Although Sarah was not fired, Lord Sugar was notably concerned by the fact she had been in the losing team for the past three tasks, and criticised her for not being vocal when someone was making a mistake when she complained about Jade's mistakes with the negotiations, after Karren pointed out that she lacked the ability to confront difficult people when discussing the final three.
- On You're Fired, both the panel and the audience agreed with Harrison's firing, with the panelists believing that despite him having some good moments, his overall performance in the task had let him down. However, both the audience and the panel disagreed with Jade's firing, with Patrick Grant commenting she had been one of the stronger candidates, while Angela Scanlon remarked that she had been unlucky in the end.
Week 11: Interviews
- Original Air Date: 13 December 2017
- Semi-Finalists: Elizabeth, James, Joanna, Michaela and Sarah.
- Task: The final five candidates undergo an interview process from four interviewers - Mike Soutar, Claude Littner, Claudine Collins and Linda Plant. Lord Sugar decides on which two proceed, based on the feedback on their CVs and business plans.
- Candidate Review: Elizabeth received serious criticism, both over her business plan being too simple and lacking a USP, and for her confrontational attitude, which raised doubts she would be suitable as a business partner. Despite James' background impressing interviewers and his business plan, based on his previous employment in recruitment, being reasonable, questions were raised over the plan's figures that he gave and whether he could handle running his first business on his own. Although Joanna gave good responses to questions, admitting to mistakes with her attitude, and providing a unique aspect to her business plan that won over interviewers, all of them questioned the feasibility of her plan to set up in the fashion business, after she demonstrated to them that she had no experience in this area. While Michaela was found to have done well in setting up successful businesses from scratch, concerns were raised on whether she would remain focused to her business plan while still running her other businesses, while Mike had doubts over her reason for wanting the investment for her plan. Finally, Sarah received praise on demonstrating a number of good qualities, yet raised notable concerns over her slow, cautious manner in business, along with it being found she found products that were not unique as she claimed them to be.
- Decision: Heeding the words of his interviewers, Lord Sugar first fired Joanna, after deciding her plan would never work until she got some proper experience in the fashion business, before firing Elizabeth next on the grounds, despite her enthusiasm, her confrontational attitude would likely cause serious friction between them if they went into a partnership, along with her business plan lacking potential to be scaled up. Of the remaining three, while James and Sarah each had some issues with them, Michaela was fired last, as Sugar needed someone to be 100% committed to their proposal and thus had concerns her other businesses would distract her.
- Joanna, with regret - For lacking the needed experience to make her business plan feasible within the fashion industry.
- Elizabeth, with regret - For offering a business plan that lacked the potential for scaling up, along with her confrontational attitude and bossy nature that made her unsuitable to be Lord Sugar's business partner.
- Michaela - For some of her confusing responses to the interviewer's questions, and for raising questions over her ability to be fully focused on her proposed plan.
- You're Fired Panel: Mike Soutar, June Sarpong, Hugh Dennis
- During discussion about her interviews, most interviewers criticised the attitude that Elizabeth gave when making answers to their questions; in Linda's interview, she was deemed arrogant when she requested if she could restart the conversation because she didn't like the confrontational tone that it taken on. Apart from this criticism and concerns over her plan's potential for scaling up, both Claude and Mike seriously questioned if she would be a suitable business partner due to the bossy nature she displayed in business, to which Sugar responded to this by joking that she "might try and fire me".
- The key factor behind Joanna's firing, came down to her lack of experience in the fashion business, which both Claude and Linda witnessed when she demonstrated how she would handle contact with wholesalers and a customer's returns; neither were impressed, pointing out that her approaches were unrealistic and completely infeasible at all. Before firing her, Lord Sugar advised her to get a job in the fashion business in order to earn some experience, but added that she shouldn't give up on her dreams, before she left.
- Apart from confusion over Michaela's participation in the process and some of the answers she gave in the interviews, including a claim that she "lacked confidence" to build up a business to a larger value, Lord Sugar ultimately felt that the large number of businesses she ran would become a serious issue, in that they could distract her focus on her new business if they required her attention. Despite being fired, she was commended for being a natural entrepreneur, with Sugar wishing her the best of luck as she left.
- Despite James and Sarah making it through to the finals, both had raised some concerns with the interviewers and Sugar's aides. James, despite being praised for his experience, was noted as being an amateur with what he had shown, with Karren remarking that with him there was a fine line between "enthusiasm and delusion", in regards to some of the figures he had given. While Sarah was praised for taking it steady and not taking too many risks, there were concerns over her inability to handle confrontational moments, having products that were not original and unique, and that she lacked a proper website to sell her products which thus raised a question on the online proposal in her business plan.
- On You're Fired, both the audience and the panel agreed with the decision on both Joanna and Elizabeth, with both Mike Soutar and June Sarpong commending them for getting into the final five, but that the flaws picked up in Joanna's plans and Elizabeth's business manner ultimately sealed their fate. However, two of the panel disagreed with Michaela's firing along with the audience, as Hugh Dennis and June felt she should have gone on into the final, but both they and Mike felt she still had the potential to make a name for herself in the future.
Week 12: The Final
- Original Air Date: 17 December 2017
- Finalists: James and Sarah
- James's Team: Anisa, Charles, Elizabeth and Joanna.
- Sarah's Team: Andrew, Harrison, Michaela and Siobhan.
- Task: Finalists prepare a pitch for their business plan, including campaigns and branding, before presenting it to a panel of experts. Lord Sugar decides on who is his business partner, based on feedback on the plan and their overall performance.
- Task Review: James worked to pitch his business idea for an IT recruitment firm called "First Tier Talent", aimed at being able to stand out amongst other firms in the same field. Despite taking a risk with having Elizabeth involved in the creation of his website and the digital billboard, his presentation was good and aided by a decent TV advert, yet the experts were concerned over the stand-out aspect of his brand and how well he would fare against a competitive IT recruitment market he would be entering despite his enthusiasm he showed. Meanwhile, Sarah worked to pitch her business idea for an online sweet business called "Sweeteze", offering customers the ability to personalise gifts of candy with messages and photos on the packaging. Despite having to change the brand name after disliking the initial choice some of her team created, and the digital billboard lacking any relevance to her product and thus receiving negative feedback, her pitch was well received and supported by a good TV advert was reasonably well made, with the experts, despite questioning some aspects of her proposal such as the ability to scale it up, notably agreeing that her the unique concept in it had potential.
- Decision: Lord Sugar, having heard each finalist's proposal and finding it a tough decision between them, due to the risks that each would involve yet the potential that each had, felt that both were too good not to invest in, and thus made both of them Lord Sugar's new business partner.
- James - For his proposal being situated in a market that he had previously invested in before and that he had witnessed being a success.
- Sarah - For her proposal offering a unique concept that had the potential to be a success.
- You're Hired Panel: Karren Brady, Claude Littner and Russell Kane
- Due to the live broadcast of the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year overrunning its timeslot, the Final was broadcast later than had been originally scheduled.
- For this task, each finalist received advice to help them with setting up their pitch. For James, he was given Series 8 winner, Ricky Martin, to advise him in regards to his proposal's intended market, while for Sarah, she was given Series 12 winner, Alana Spencer, to advise her in regards to her proposal's intended market.
- Karren was notably critical of the sub-team handling James' TV advert during the prep work before the pitches, for forgetting the storyboard that James had created for it by leaving it behind at the filming location they went to. Because it contained the lines he wanted to be used in the advert, Charles, who was part of the sub-team, was forced to ad-lib the lines in the final edit, but made a slight error by his final line not matching the tagline of the brand which couldn't be corrected by that point.
- Initially, Sarah's business had the brand name of "Sarah's Chic Sweets", a suggestion made by Harrison, but this was disliked by Sarah the day after it was made and led her to changing it to the one she eventually used in the Final. In addition, Claude had notable concerns over the members tasked to make the billboard - Andrew, Michaela and Siobhan - due to the lack of creativity with each member, which later showed when Sarah disliked the concept of their design upon seeing it. After receiving negative feedback from passerbys about it, Andrew attempted to sugarcoat this for Sarah, only for Siobhan to point out that this was not what she wanted from any feedback she needed for her pitch.
- For the first time in the show's history, Lord Sugar decided to invest in both finalist, giving each £250,000 to support their proposals. On You're Hired he revealed that his decision to invest in both, apart from being a gamble, came down to the fact that he had been genuinely torn between the two due to their plans being too good not to invest in only one of them. In addition, both Claude and Karren complimented both for winning the series, having seen many good qualities in them over the series - Sarah, for being composed, finding ways to avoid conflicts, and looking for an "elegant, yet direct solution"; James, for being ambitious, being well involved in tasks, and for having extensive knowledge of the business he wanted to set up in.
Criticism and controversy
Four days after the series began broadcasting, Michaela Wain stirred controversy when it was alleged by The Sun that she had entered the programme while owing around £103,000 in taxes, all of which came from a debt from a business venture she began in 2010 that she was forced to shut down when it failed to remain profitable.  Further controversy later arose when it was revealed that she had been previously convicted in 2014 for obstructing a policeman, which resulted in her receiving a fine of £1,000. The Sun notably alleged that Wain was "increasingly apprehensive" about letting this come to light, especially due to the show's researchers doing background checks on candidates applying for the programme to ensure they are suitable for taking part.
Prior to the first episode being aired, rumours began to circulate that two of the candidates had been involved in a "fling" during filming of the series, despite the programme's rules forbidding sexual relationships between candidates. A source for these rumours reported to The Sun that the relationship was between James White and Jade English, stating that:
"Tension had been building between James and Jade during filming. There was clearly an attraction from the beginning. They're both young and attractive people and they really got along during the process. They couldn't resist getting to know each other that bit better during their time in the house. Afterwards they kept things going for a while, but relations have cooled off between them since filming ended."
The same rumours later stated that both candidates had been involved with long-term partners who they have since broke up with, following them uncovering about the affair between White and English.
A few days after the first episode had aired, a similar story emerged in The Sun, in which it alleged that Anisa Topan had cheated on her fiance before they were engaged, by having an affair with Andrew Brady following filming of an episode. A source for this allegation commented about the matter by stating that Andrew was a "bit of a playboy", further adding:
"There was a lot of sexual tension between them for days and one night they ended up exploring their feelings for each other. It’s natural for people to connect after living together. But bosses impose a strict ban on sexual contact between candidates. It is in their contracts."
Official episode viewing figures are from BARB.
|Air date||7 day viewers
|28 day viewers
|1||4 October 2017||6.49||6.67||6|
|2||11 October 2017||6.90||7.10||3|
|3||18 October 2017||6.73||6.95||6|
|4||25 October 2017||6.79||7.00||4|
|5||1 November 2017||6.81||6.95||5|
|6||8 November 2017||6.76||6.84||7|
|7||15 November 2017||7.19||7.31||4|
|8||22 November 2017||6.57||6.70||7|
|9||29 November 2017||6.29||6.44||9|
|10||6 December 2017||6.34||6.44||10|
|11||13 December 2017||6.74||6.80||6|
|12||17 December 2017||7.99||8.09||2|
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