Interview with Duane Bryan, fired from The Apprentice 2012
Interview with Duane Bryan
MSN had a chat with Duane about being selfish, gym routines and Ricky Martin.
What was your highlight and lowlight on The Apprentice?
I think my lowlight, naturally, is getting fired. I was absolutely gutted. I wasn't ready to go at all; I had more to give. There were a few highlights, a few funny moments such as: looking a gift horse in the eye, rather than the mouth, and choking on chilli peppers. I really enjoyed leading Team Sterling to their first victory - I took that quite personally. I really wanted to motivate them and get them there and I enjoyed when we got the result.
Sum up how you think you were managed by Ricky Martin?
I was pretty much left to my own devices. He didn't really give much input as to what he specifically wanted; it was a case of look after the video. That was his management technique, I suppose.
What did you think of your fellow contestants? You appeared to clash with a couple of them.
It's not that I clashed with anyone... or maybe I did. I was there to win and perform; I really wanted to focus on winning the tasks, but I felt some of the candidates wanted to speak rather than do. They didn't always focus on the end goal - which was winning the task - and I found that frustrating at times.
Do you think you were fairly edited?
To be fair, from episodes one to four, I do think I was fairly edited. They were able to put across some of my strengths and some of my weaknesses. It was a good edit from one to four, but in episode five, they were quite harsh. They put a lot of emphasis on the video and made me look more confrontational than I am.
Looking back, what would you have done differently on this task if you were project manager?
I would've put myself in the video; I am quite fit, I do keep myself in shape and I would've been comfortable giving and delivering the class. I think that's where my strength would've been, in hindsight.
What did you think of the Groove Train?
It was a funny video to watch. However, I don't think it was a real gym class. I can't imagine people that go to the gym for serious body combat or Zumba would do Groove Train.
You did a nice thing sticking up for Laura in the boardroom, but surely it wasn't a smart move? Isn't it every man/woman for themselves?
Looking back, it was suicide! Laura and Ricky are both experienced in that boardroom scenario, but it was my first time in there and I was very much overwhelmed, and I think that came across. I was intimidated by Lord Sugar, Nick Hewer and Karren Brady because it was all new.
One thing I should've been aware of is that when you're in that scenario, being honourable and being yourself doesn't really stand for much in there. Don't defend the people you're up against. I was a bit mad to do that, but it's my nature. You've got to remember that it's every man for himself and if someone deserves to go, then let them go. I don't think it should be a case of winning based on how good you talk, it should be based on how good you perform or what you bring to the table.
Team Sterling, including Ricky Martin and Duane Bryan, lose the task
Lord Sugar's judgement is that you were ultimately responsible for the failure of the task because of the video, is that a fair assessment?
I admire Lord Sugar; I think he's a legend and I hold him in high regard, but I don't think it's that fair an assessment to fire me because the video was believed to be the basis for the failure of the task. There were so many more elements to consider; two out of three of the buyers liked the video and liked the campaign. It was just that the bigger buyer saw some use for the Groove Train.
If you look at the result, I think we did get a lot of it right. It's just that one out of three, unfortunately, the biggest one, saw more of a use for Groove Train. It wasn't even the specific use it was intended for! I don't think Lord Sugar took on my whole contribution to the process because in weeks one to four, I was heavily involved and I was getting results. To pin me down for failing the task on just the video was pretty harsh.
What did the other people in your team do?
Exactly! It's difficult to say. I know that Ricky gave a good pitch, but the other people in the team didn't contribute that much to this task, in my opinion.
Was your Apprentice experience everything you thought it would be?
It was everything and more. I'm the type of person that would watch every year, screaming at my TV: 'are you stupid? Are you crazy? What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?' I applied because I wanted to prove myself better than that. It was a chance to compete against 15 good people, however they may come across. To get that far, and to get onto the process, you do have something about you.
It also allowed me to challenge myself; I didn't think I could get up at 4am and work until 12am, days and days and days on end. Obviously, when you've got to do it, you've got to do it. The Apprentice is a brilliant experience and I invite anyone that thinks they can do better to try it out for themselves.
Who's your tip to win?
I still think I'm going to win for some strange reason! They're going to invite me back in the final as the winner. But if that doesn't happen [laughs], Nick Holzherr and Tom Gearing are my favourites among the boys; I'd very much like to see them in the final.
For the girls, Gabrielle Omar. She does contribute and get stuck in - which is more than I can say for a lot of the candidates we've seen so far.
That must really burn you, knowing that you're out and they're still in.
It does! It really does. But I can tell it burns you too.
Yes; you lost me a tenner. I was so sure you'd win.
So was I!
What would you have done with Lord Sugar if you'd won?
I had a few ideas, but the one I would've gone with first was something called Drinks Designer; it's a gift product that allows the user to personalise and create their own alcoholic drink gift.
Alcohol's something we like to give for any kind of celebration so I got the idea, take something that's good and make it better. Take an alcohol gift, personalise it, put a good, modern message on there in a classy-looking bottle and get it sent to them online.
What's next for you? More in the line of business, or are you looking at TV work?
Whatever opportunities come my way, I'm prepared to listen and take them all board now because I've learnt so much being in the process. I realise now that an entrepreneur isn't an individual, an entrepreneur is a team so I'm hoping to build a team and basically, follow through with some of my projects.
I want to compete against Lord Sugar and his Apprentice; I want to do more and achieve more than whatever they create next year because I've taken it personally that they've fired me so soon! [laughs] But I've really enjoyed working in the media - I think media people are so intelligent, they've got so much to offer. It would be good to get involved and do some more media work. I'm prepared to listen to or consider any opportunity.
Episode five: recap
This week, Lord Sugar challenged the teams to come up with a new fitness regime. Team Sterling, led by amateur wrestler Ricky Martin, devised Beat Battle, a keep fit class combining martial arts with street dance.
Team Phoenix, led by Stephen Brady, devised Groove Train - a retro regime complete with hula hoops and space hoppers.
Although Beat Battle picked up some orders, Groove Train snatched victory courtesy of a huge final order. Duane Bryan was fired by Lord Sugar after his team's poorer performance was blamed on the promotional video, which he directed. It starred bridal shop owner and self-professed dancer, Laura.
Duane defended Laura's involvement in the task to Lord Sugar, insisting project manager Ricky should be fired instead. But Lord Sugar pointed the finger at Duane.