June 5, 2008 / 2:30 AM / 10 years ago

Sugar sets up unique "Apprentice" final

LONDON (Reuters) - Alan Sugar has taken the unusual step of allowing four candidates to fight for the 100,000-pound prize money in the final of “The Apprentice”.

Handout picture shows Lucinda Ledgerwood. REUTERS/Handout

Usually just two go through in a head-to-head final, but four remain to battle it out next week.

The only candidate to be fired was Lucinda Ledgerwood who proved “too zany” for Sugar.

Despite having the most wins among the candidates, Sugar questioned her ability to work with others.

“Interestingly enough, your colleagues said you were very good, yet it seems that when you’re not in charge it falls apart,” Sugar told her in the boardroom.

“In my company I’d be in charge. Are you going to fall apart or be despondent?”

The 31-year-old risk manager who was frequently at the centre of bickering among the candidates, had been upbraided in her interviews with Sugar’s trusted business colleagues in this week’s episode.

“Clearly you’re a very bright individual, but you look to me to be unemployable ... you’re a contractor because no one can employ you ... your job does not have anything to do with teamwork ... is there a something in your character that gets up people’s noses ... I just find it really hard to deal with you Lucinda,” one tells her.

The other candidates do not escape criticism.

Alex failed to “come alive” during his interviews, while there was a discrepancy on Lee’s CV.

Claire still came across as loud and abrasive despite warnings from Sugar, while Helene still failed to show “that magic moment”.

But despite that, he told them: “I’m going to let you all stay. And the reason is because you’re all very good candidates. You’ve all got something about you. All four of you are in the final.”

Lucinda, who has said her greatest regret in life was once turning down the role as a body double for a Bond Girl, said in the taxi on the way home: “I feel that throughout the process I haven’t been myself and I’ve struggled.

“I certainly wasn’t one to scream and shout about how good I was.

“I wasn’t liked, my accent wasn’t liked, my approach to life wasn’t liked, what I wore wasn’t liked. I am who I am: I don’t need to answer to them.”

Editing by Steve Addison

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