The Apprentice’s Ross Fretten Was “Too Academic” For Lord Sugar

The latest casualty of the boardroom was still disappointed not to make the final five.

Ross, Saj and Harrison on The Apprentice.
Ross, Saj and Harrison Left to right Image BBC

Ross Fretten, the latest casualty of the boardroom on The Apprentice, has no regrets about highlighting his genius-level IQ just minutes before Lord Sugar decided to fire him.

Sugar picked on Fretten’s claim, made in his initial application, that he is usually the smartest person in any given room during their boardroom confrontation with Ross noting that his IQ did put him at genius level.

He has no regrets about making the claim in his application though or responding in the way he did on the show.

“It was something I said in the audition,” Ross told loaded. “In 99% of those, the claims put in these applications turn out to be bullshit and people crumble when quizzed on then. At least with mine, when he challenged me on it, I was able to qualify the statement.

“Having seven million people know you’re a genius isn’t the worst thing in the world, but having seven million people see you sit there and get ripped apart for saying something that is total dog shit is a whole lot worse.”

Team Vitality on The Apprentice.
Vitality The losing team yet again. Image BBC

Though Ross has nothing but respect for Lord Sugar, he does feel that their parting of ways was probably for the best. “Lord Sugar just saw a compatibility problem. By the end, I couldn’t see myself working for him and vice versa.”

“I never went into the process expecting to win – I’m too academic. I’m no Del Boy. I’m well spoken and a bit of an intellectual. Lord Sugar didn’t respond well to that. He has a notion in his head that if you are academic you lack business acumen but that’s just not true at all.”

And while Ross reckons he knows exactly where he went wrong on this task, he still doesn’t necessarily feel he was to blame for the failure of it.

“I just didn’t contribute very much to this task. It wasn’t a conscience decision; it was just circumstance. I kept trying to be proactive throughout the day, nudging our team leader Saj asking him what I could do.”

“In the end, there were three or four substantial tasks with my name next to them that didn’t end up happening because of Saj’s leadership. He lost sight of what was important on this task. All of the derailment of the day meant a lot of the stuff I was meant to do fell by the wayside.”

“Saj employed a fundamentally flawed strategy that quickly unravelled on the day but I think I contributed positively over the course of my five weeks on the show.|”

“I was just more focused on winning in this final task than trying to have my own ‘hero’ moment.”

Once they lost, however, Ross quickly realised Saj was going to be bringing him back into the boardroom. “Saj knew that I was the only way he was getting out of that boardroom. Harrison wasn’t going to go. I was his best chance at staying because I hadn’t contributed much.”

Things might not have panned out as Ross would have hoped but, to his credit, he never backed down from a confrontation with Lord Sugar and did have some advice for anyone going on the show.” If you’re not a liar or a prick, you should have every reason to be confident and stand your ground. I know to my core that I’m an authentic person and I believe in my own abilities.”

The Apprentice airs Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC1

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