Elliot Van Emden didn't think he was to blame for exit

The Apprentice hopeful Elliot Van Emden confessed that he “did not see it coming” as he became the third candidate to receive the dreaded firing from Lord Alan Sugar.

The 32-year-old lawyer, the latest from the hit show to be booted out, said he still does not feel he was in any way to blame for the mistakes that led to another disastrous week for the boy’s team.

Their third consecutive failure on the BBC1 competition saw them struggle to sell robots that they had programmed to provide household support to elderly people.

The Apprentice 2017
Apprentice fired Elliot (left) had already been in the board room once before


They struggled to pitch the innovative product after changing the name of the machine from Jeffrii to Siimon and printing an obvious grammatical area on their branding board.

The dashed contestant ended up in the board room for a second time opposite project manager Michaela and Harrison, where he was criticised for his lack of useful contribution to the team.

Elliot told the Press Association: “I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t feel that I was responsible for the failures.

“When I did the pitch, I was talking about humanising robots and linking it to society, so I felt that I had done enough to stay in.

“When it came down to it at the end, the other two are obviously very big characters and Lord Sugar decided that Elliot’s not for me. I think he saw potential in me, but based on my performance he couldn’t keep me in the process.”

He continued: “I thought Harrison should have got fired and that he was the weakest link. In task one he was in the boardroom and talked his way out of it, fair play to him, but in task three he messed up.

“No-one is my enemy, but it’s dog-eat-dog in that boardroom.”

“Going forward, I am sure the boys will win the next task – they have to win sometime – but it’s just a shame that I wasn’t there for a win.

“My key skill is negotiation, so I would have loved to be project manager for the overnight task, where you have to barter for items.”

Elliot said that he “loved the experience”, and had already received investor interest for his business plan to develop an online group tutoring platform to help struggling school pupils meet minimum government education standards.

The Apprentice Series 2017
Karren Brady, Lord Sugar and Claude Littner judge the teams for a third week (Jim Marks/BBC/PA)


The boys team made a profit of just over £5,785 in the third task of the season, compared to the girls impressive sum of £57, 827.55, even after Elliot told prospective buyers about his friend’s grandmother, Doris, who would benefit from the helpful robot.

But he confessed: “There is no Doris – I got the name from a Harry Potter character.”

As Elliot left the show, the victorious team Graphene were treated to an evening of robot combat to work out their growing differences, which had started to threaten their strength as a group.

The Apprentice continues on BBC1 at 9pm on Wednesday.