After switching teams from Phoenix to Sterling, Duane Bryan did an excellent job of establishing himself as a potential winner of this yearâs Apprentice. But then, in the fifth week, that was all taken away from him when he faced his biggest challenge to date: fitness/dance fusion workout videos.
Sterlingâs fighting meets fitness video, Lord Sugar felt, paled in comparison to Phoenixâs unashamedly cheesy retro dance promo, complete with hula hoops and vacant, awkward half-smiles. Duane, the one ultimately responsible for the editing the underwhelming video, was eventually the one given the chop. His teammates Laura and Ricky (team leader) were quick to point the finger.
Speaking to him today, Duane defended his creation, maintaining that the video that he was fired for had been green-lighted by his team. âIt was only when I got into the boardroom,â? he says, âand it started to get questioned by the powers that be, that the people on my team started to criticise it.â?
But while Duane remains enthusiastic about the video, he does have regrets. âI think I would have been in the video, rather than directed it,â? he explains. âI feel that if I had been in the video then perhaps it would have put the fighting element over a little better, and maybe we would have done a better job overall.â?
Surprisingly, the 29-year-old director of a drinks distributor is quick to talk up Ricky and Lauraâs contributions, the two contestants that effectively threw him under the wheels of the bus. âMyself, Ricky and Laura did the best jobs,â? he suggests, âeven though we were ultimately the ones in the firing line.â?
He isnât completely at peace, however, with his two team mates. âI think that Lord Sugar and his aides liked them a lot. And it became apparent in the final scenario because Ricky was protected by Karren. The same goes for Laura. Honestly, I donât know what I did wrong to them.â?
Remaining positive, Duane is excited to talk about the business venture that he had hoped to set up if he had won series five of The Apprentice. âIt was going to be called âDrinks Designerâ,â? he explains. âItâs a service where the user can choose their own drink, the size of the bottle, its shape and design.â?
Duaneâs even looking forward to hopefully competing against the winner of The Apprentice, although he regrets missing out on the opportunity to work with Lord Sugar. âI would have looked forward to him getting the breakfast for me each morning,â? he jokes. âBut seriously, it would have been really interesting. I still have a lot of respect for him.â?
Finally, Duane names his team mate Nick as the contestant heâd most like to see win The Apprentice. âI really respected and trust his judgement. And that says a lot coming from me,â? he explains. âHeâs genuinely there for business reasons. Iâd also like to see Tom and Gabby in the final. I think Gabby is by a long way the best girl this year. Sheâs done a great a job.â?