The Apprentice 2011 results: Zoe Beresford is fired!

After a task manufacturing, branding and pitching biscuits, it’s crunch time in the boardroom as the teams wait to find out which way the cookie has crumbled.

Lord Sugar is unusually quiet whilst perusing the results, only uttering: “Bloody hell.”

Shockingly, Logic receive absolutely no orders.

But even more surprisingly, Venture receive an order of an incredible 800,000 units, on the basis that they would be exclusive to them, from ASDA.

Lord Sugar is astounded: “We are back in business here… Helen, you have got yourself an order for 800,000 units. That’s unbelievable, I’ve never seen anything like that. That is the launch of a mega product, they must have loved this product.”

After nine-time winner Helen and her team go off to a luxury hotel to indulge themselves, Lord Sugar tells Logic: “No orders from any of the three retailers. Something has gone fundamentally wrong here… At least one of you will be leaving this process.”

Back in the boardroom, it quickly becomes clear that the product itself wasn’t premium enough to match the packaging, and Tom is quick to defend himself by explaining he would not have chosen the digestive option if he’d know they were going for such a market. Lord Sugar says: “At the end of the day, packaging, marketing… is superficial if what’s in the box is a load of rubbish… All the glitz is added on afterwards.”

Lord Sugar also criticises the packaging in terms of target market: “There was no clarity on who you were trying to reach.” Tom explains: “The concept was snap and share, but the packaging was very much girls’ night in and didn’t communicate the snap and share. We had to change our pitch to suggest it was snap and share between women.” An argument ensues between Melody and Zoe over target market, during which Lord Sugar grows increasingly tired of the bickering and Zoe exclaims: “I do feel that you disturb the team a lot… when you realise the ship’s sinking you’re like ‘woah, I don’t want to be on that ship.’ You’ve got a reputation for it. ”

Warning her that her decision on who to bring back should not be anything to do with personality, Lord Sugar asks Zoe who she is bringing back in, and she decides on Melody and Tom.

When the three return, Zoe appears to get caught out. After giving Tom a chance to explain himself, in which he reiterates he wasn’t aware the team were making a premium product, Tom is interrupted by Zoe saying he should have known due to the price point, and gave the product a “common, horrible taste.” With just a hint of sarcasm, Lord Sugar says: “And you spotted it straight away and said ‘we’re dead in the water here’.” To which Melody replies: “She said it was good.”

Melody then goes on to explain her contribution to the task, by coming up with the snapping and sharing concept, and reiterating that “Before anybody, I said we needed to agree on a clear target market.” Lord Sugar asks her who should go. “Zoe,” she replies, “as she does this for a living and yet we went in there with no clear target market, we went in there with a disparity between the product and the packaging,” with which Tom agrees, but Zoe argues: “It’s a scapegoat (sic), why are you just choosing the project manager?”

Lord Sugar addresses the candidates. “Tom… I don’t see you asserting your authority, if you have any at all. As I said earlier on, you seem to always be talking about what we should have done, what we could have done, and what we would have done, and that, you know, is no good to me at all. Melody, I’m thinking about this business partner I’m going to be in with and it’s giving me lots of concerns. There’s too many arguments… you seem to be always saying that nothing’s your fault. Zoe, you are a good contender in the sense that you have a business, you manufacture something and you’ve brought it to market already. But as team leader, you should have been in the factory.”

He then delivers his final verdict, “Tom, it’s regretful that… I haven’t seen much from you, and this has fallen down on the product. But Zoe, I’m looking for someone to come into business with me and someone that can’t actually perform in the business that they’re in is not going to be able to perform with me. Zoe – You’re Fired.”

As Zoe is driven away in a taxi she says: “The product wasn’t good enough, if I could go back and change it I would go back and I would be in the factory but I was swayed by them, and I went against my gut instinct. I shouldn’t have done.”

Next episode: Wednesday 29th June, 9pm on BBC One