the apprentice
The Apprentice candidates during episode eight, series 12 BBC

He may be getting older, but Lord Sugar isn't getting any less ruthless as The Apprentice nears the end of its 12th series.

It's almost as though he set the remaining candidates up to fail as he appeared to them on virtual reality headsets while they lounged around the house in their pyjamas in Thursday night's (1 December) episode.

The business hopefuls pushed their imagination and design skills to the limit in order to create their own virtual-reality games, and then pitched them to enthusiasts and industry experts at the world-famous London Comic Con exhibition.

And tensions were no doubt higher than ever as the eight remaining individuals come closer to bagging Lord Sugar's £250,000 investment into their business ideas.

Team Titans project manager, Sofiane Khelfa immediately clashes with Dillon St Paul, with the latter stating in the episode: "Sofiane sold a few headsets in a leading department store and now he wants to be project manager. I don't know why the team didn't back me."

And it all turned sour for 32-year-old Sofiane's losing team as they found themselves at loggerheads in the boardroom under the watchful glare of Sugar and his minions, Karren Brady and Claude Littner.

And it so happened that both Sofiane and his warring teammate Dillon got the boot from Sugar, with both candidates speaking exclusively to IBTimes UK in a Q&A about their experience on the show.

Sofiane, who is a senior sales executive in technology and deals with high profile clients, was the first to divulge why he was fired and his true thoughts on Lord Sugar. See below.

Why do you think you were fired last night?

Sofiane, The Apprentice BBC

Obviously being the project manager on this task, a lot of responsibility lies with me. I think one of the factors of losing the task was the decision I made putting the wrong people in the wrong places based on their individual skills.

Do you think Lord Sugar made the right decision?

Lord Sugar is a very successful businessman and I guess he knows what his looking for in a business partner. Based on the people in the boardroom, I do feel I should have had the chance to go further in the process and not have been fired based on nine weeks performance.

Do you have any regrets from your actions in the task – what was the hardest thing about it?

As a project manager I like to lead from the front. I think I went a bit too far by setting the wrong people in the wrong teams right at the beginning of the task and stuck to my guns throughout.

If I was to go back I would have had me and Grainne building the game and Dillon and Alana would have worked on the branding, which would have made us by far a stronger team than the others.

Ultimate business tip for budding entrepreneurs?

In the world of business a lot of entrepreneurs are afraid to fail. You have to accept failure in order to succeed and achieve your goal, as the most successful entrepreneur has failed in their path of business. What made them successful was their ambition to keep going and believe in themselves after failure.

Who do you think will win the show?

I think Courtney stands a big chance of winning.

Has your opinion on Lord Sugar changed?

No not at all, I still admire his business achievements and really look up to him. He's someone who's trying to give back as he started from nothing, and it goes to show that anyone can achieve their dreams.

What more could you have offered if given another chance?

I think I gave every task 100%. I don't regret anything I did but my enthusiasm and energy was sometimes mistaken for going and doing my own thing. If given another chance I would have listened more to the advice given to myself by Karren, Claude and Lord Sugar.

The Apprentice continues next Thursday at 9pm on BBC1.