Entertainment & Arts

Website glitch reveals Apprentice finalists

Spoiler warning: This story contains details of this year's Apprentice finalists, which you may not wish to read.

The Apprentice candidates
Image caption This year's series began with 20 candidates, with Lord Sugar often firing more than one person per episode

The finalists for this year's series of The Apprentice were apparently revealed before Wednesday's episode, due to a glitch on the show's website.

On Tuesday night, the BBC's "meet the candidates" page said three people remained in the process - despite five appearing in Wednesday's semi-final.

The site was later updated, restoring the contestants to "un-fired" status.

The BBC declined to comment on the website glitch. And, in the end, Lord Sugar only selected two finalists.

Among those leaving the show was bookmakers' favourite Roisin Hogan.

The 32-year-old chartered accountant from Ireland had impressed by inventing a successful, geography-based board game and convincing leading supermarkets to buy 25,500 tea-infused cheesecakes.

But her business plan - a low carbohydrate ready meal - failed to impress Lord Sugar and his advisers.

Image caption Roisin Hogan had kept a level head throughout the process, but fell at the final hurdle

Hogan said she did not regret giving up her job to take part in the TV show.

"I've taken Lord Sugar's advice on board, and his advisers' advice on board and I've scaled back my ambition somewhat," she said.

"I've partnered with a industry expert and we are going to bring the product to market hopefully in early 2015."

Fumbled pitch

Solomon Akhtar was also dismissed from the boardroom, having submitted a flimsy business proposal that amounted to just eight pages - with pictures.

"I think I was too ambitious for Lord Sugar and too outgoing," said the 22-year-old, after being fired.

"He's not a fun person. He's very boring, he wears a suit, he's very money-orientated. He just doesn't get life.

"I think that's probably why I got shouted out of the room because I actually have a personality and I'm not boring."

Pub quiz company director Daniel Lassman also left the competition, after suffering a series of blunders and awkward moments.

During the 10-week interview process, he drafted a set of baffling, misogynistic questions for a board game called The Relationship Guru and sabotaged the sale of a high-tech sweater by telling potential buyers: "You wouldn't go in a public place with it."

Image caption Bianca Miller and Mark Wright survived the semi-final

After getting the chop, he suggested he would be interested in taking part in other reality series.

"If it just so happens that a particular show puts up a lot of money for me to go on, we'll cross that bridge when I come to it."

But he added: "It's not something you go on to a show like this for. I think it's highly documented that I turned down an offer from Towie [The Only Way Is Essex] when I was younger. If I'd wanted to go down that route, I could have."

The two remaining contestants are Bianca Miller, whose business proposal for Lord Sugar is a hosiery company for women with different skin tones.

Sales manager Mark Wright, whose plan is to launch a digital marketing company, is also in the running, having excelled at selling tasks during the TV show.

In one week, he sold seven hot tubs to a single customer - but he also fumbled a crucial sales pitch in the quarter-finals.

The pair are fighting for the chance to win a £250,000 investment.

The winner will be decided in the final episode on Sunday 21 December.

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