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You’d think some of the Apprentice contestant might have learned from the mistakes of its predecessors, but countless contestants have entertained viewers with a series of toe-curlingly embarrassing moments during their time on the show.
As candidates vie to show off their business acumen in a series of challenging tasks and win over Lord Sugar’s approval, a series of hilarious gaffes have entertained viewers across the nation for 16 entertaining seasons.
From awkward cake gaffes, Claude’s infamous Segway ride, and that famous awkward hug, check out some of the funniest, oddest and most cringe-inducingly awkward scenes from the BBC One hit series
Marianne – Season 15
Tasked with running corporate hospitality away days on steam trains, the California-native left many viewers scratching their heads when she made the odd choice to pipe the word ‘yo’ next to a piece of sponge cake.
As Marianne and her team tried to offer up a luxury experience to guests, she did her best to plate up a slice of sponge cake, but to viewers surprise, she spent an obscene amount of time piping the random two-letter word on to the plates.
Some fans believed she may be trying to pipe out ‘90’ or ‘4n’ although neither option made sense. The blonde was the second to be axed as part of a double-sacking.
Thomas – Series 15
Smart and streetwise mattress salesman Thomas Skinner won over audiences with his cheeky charm on the show, but it wasn’t enough to spare his blushes during multiple tasks.
The confident cockney made fans cringe when he bragged about winning tasks before ending up in the firing seat on multiple occasions.
In one task, Thomas confidently said "How can we lose?" moments after their first team meeting began.
"If we lose, I'll eat my hat," he said. The team suffered a loss a ultimately faced the wrath of Alan Sugar.
On another week of the show, he did it again.
Thomas proudly announced that his team 'got this one' only for them to once again find themselves in the dreaded boardroom.
Camilla – Series 14
Lancashire-born candidate Camilla was mercilessly mocked for her bizarre description of herself she she told fans was an “extremist”.
It was barely a minute in to the first episode of the series when the contestant had her moment to explain why she had what it takes to go all the way and win the £250,000 investment from Sir Alan Sugar.
The budding nut milk enthusiast announce: “I'm an extremist. My goal is worldwide domination and I'm not going to stop until I get it.”
At the time, fans found the comment hilarious and took to Twitter to mock her choice of words.
“Can’t believe someone introduced themselves on the Apprentice as an extremist who’s looking to achieve world domination!” said one viewer. A second added: “Apprentice candidate outing herself as an extremist is a fun twist on the format.”
Jessica – Series 12
Tasked with creating an advertising campaign for jeans, Jessica left fans speechless when she made the ultimate faux pas and showed up to the photoshoot without any of the product.
The project manager turned to the photoshoot and told the photographer that they didn't have the jeans, causing a series of baffled reactions as Jessica stumbled her way through an emotional explanation.
Baroness Brady asked: "So you're doing photographs for your jean campaign without your jeans?"
She immediately paused and started tearing up while trying to explain herself.
"Go outside, go and take a breath. Calm yourself down," the Baroness had to say while Jessica got overwhelmed about the situation
Solomon – Series 10
It’s one of the most important parts of The Apprentice – yet nervous candidate Solomon Akhtar made a huge blunder when he failed to grasp a basic understanding on a business plan.
Unable to present anything viable to Lord Sugar, he infamously gave him what fierce interviewer Claude Littner described as “pictures of sale boats”.
Flustered was an understatement as the interview was cut short and viewers watch him nervously stumble towards a window instead of a door in search of the exit. Yikes.
Michael – Series 4
After dubbing himself a “nice Jewish boy” on his CV, Michael stitched himself up when tasked with finding Kosher chicken while in Marrakech by confusing halal meat with kosher.
Michael consequently got a lecture from Jewish Lord Sugar, who asked: "In your CV, what's the first thing you wrote on it?
"What did you say in there, you're a good Jewish boy? Is that right?". He managed to hang on until week 10 when he was fired for his extremely poor track record.
Sugar later admitted that he gave Sophocles too many chances and should have given him the boot much earlier.
Rory – Series 3
Rory Laing offered up arguably the most cringe-worthy moment in the show’s history whn he offered up a savage phrase that left everyone reeling.
Posh candidate Rory managed to get on the nerves of his fellow teammates with his uptight management style when he was project manager.
As tensions came to a head, Rory told teammate Tre Azam: "I AM your boss," to which Tre took him down a peg, responding: "You're not my boss, you're the project manager. You're nothing to me."
Other moments included him demanding teammates take off their blazers when brainstorming and putting a ban on swear words.
He ended up losing the task and was fired by Lord Sugar
After being booted from The Apprentice viewers had to endure possibly the most awkward hug in history of television.
Fans of the BBC series were gripped as Siobhan Smith and Elizabeth McKenna locked horns over a corporate hospitality task in front of Lord Sugar.
As Siobhan received her marching orders and pouted outside the boardroom, an emerging Elizabeth tried to bury the hatchet and offer up a hug to her rival.
Viewers were in stitches as Elizabeth approached with her arms outstretched, clearly going in for a hug, as Siobhan awkwardly fobbed her off with a handshake.
Many posted messages on social media saying how uncomfortable the whole scene was.
"OMG SAVAGE. The handshake. The hug. I'm shaking," one person wrote on Twitter.
"I've not seen a more awkward hug between two people since Voldemort and Draco Malfoy," said another.
Claude Littner’s Segway Ride
The sight of Lord Sugar’s stern right-hand man powering his way through the streets of the quaint Belgian town on a Segway made telly gold as fans fawned over the hilarious scenes.
Fans were in stitches as the serious businessman held a straight-faced impression leaving fans unable to tell if he was even enjoying the ride.
The official Twitter account for the show joked that footage of Littner on the Segway could rival Blue Planet 2.
Viewers agreed with one saying Littner had “won” the show, while another hailed the clip their “new favourite thing ever”.
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- The Apprentice
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