Interview by Sinead Garvan
Newsbeat entertainment reporter
Sir Alan Sugar launched his biggest cull of the series on Wednesday night by axing three of his apprentice contenders. Lorraine Tighe, Debra Barr and James McQuillan all fell at the last hurdle and explain why they got the chop, who they think will win and what they're doing next.
For the five remaining contestants, last night's task was the toughest yet and called upon every interviewing skill they could muster.
Lorraine has already hit the headlines with claims that she lied on her CV - something which also came out - but she puts it all down to a clerical error.
The 36-year-old mum said: "I had been out of the workforce for almost 10 years so to get on the Apprentice and beat 30,000 people I have to jazz up my CV somehow.
"I didn't actually lie. I typed that CV up three minutes before I sent it over and had no idea I was going to get as far as I did in The Apprentice 2009 and didn't realise they were going to use the same original CV that I submitted months previous to that.
"It genuinely was a typo. Instead of putting 2008 down I put 2007, which in the grand scale of things is no big deal, I just think they were picky."
James found the interview task equally gruelling and likened it to waiting outside the headmaster's office.
The 32-year-old from Surrey said: "This was like bad cop, worst cop. It wasn't like anyone was on your side in any of it. It was horrendous. Unless I get lifted for something and I'm getting interrogated by Gene Hunt off of Ashes to Ashes, I think this is probably the worst interview I'll have."
James McQuillan found the interview process hard work
"I definitely didn't think I'd make it to the interview round, largely you can tell that because I wouldn't have written so many ridiculous statements on my application form which then came back to bite me on the backside."
After falling at the final fence, the trio have had time to reflect on what went wrong. Debra puts it, in part, down to her age.
"Looking back on it, I was tenacious and ballsy, which I don't take back but I think being young and a bit tempestuous sometimes can work against you because it can make people think you're aggressive when maybe you're not," said the 24-year-old.
"I think all in all I start one way and finish The Apprentice another and that's something I'm quite grateful of, that I went on a bit of a learning curve."
Lorraine also questions whether her aggression was too blame for her downfall.
She said: "I think for me it was probably a lack of self-esteem in myself, in my own personality. I think some of the candidates picked up on that very early on and hence I was backed into a corner a few times.
Lorraine Tighe says she's become a more confident person
"And then when I finally did come out of my corner it was seen to be a bit aggressive because it was a change in character."
However, Lorraine says that professionally she's a lot more confident after the experience - even if the newspapers haven't been so kind.
She said: "The media coverage of me has been extremely negative, of both myself and my family. It's not been nice and it's something that I've never had to deal with before.
"Nothing can prepare you for it. I'm very disappointed in the British media, I think they've been quite mean to me for no reason."
James, on the other hand, always gave the impression that he didn't take the challenge as seriously as the others, and thinks maybe this was part of his failure.
He said: "My downfall was two things. Firstly, playing up to being too much on the joker side of things. Maybe I gave Sir Alan the impression that I wasn't as keen on business as he thought I was.
'Time of my life'
"The second part of my downfall was my track record because I had the worst record on there. Do you know who I'm like? There's a footballer Alan Shearer - he's a good footballer, he just doesn't have any medals. I'm the Alan Shearer of the Apprentice."
"I had the best time of my life on there. When you do something that challenges you that much - once you've finished it you feel ten times stronger."
Debra Barr thinks she would have made a good Apprentice
So who do the outgoing contenders think will fill Sir Alan's position? At least two seem to agree.
James said: "My tip for Sir Alan's next Apprentice is going to be Yasmina. I think she's got exactly what Sir Alan's after in that she's a bit of a risk-taker which I think is more what he's looking for. He doesn't want the textbook approach."
Lorraine added: "I would tend to agree
although on a personal level, I love Kate to pieces."
As usual though, Debra begs to differ: "I think he should fire both of them and give me a call," she said.
As for the future, Lorraine says she'd quite like to get into charity work on a professional level.
James is writing a book which he describes as a jokey-guide aimed at fathers-to-be on how to cope when their partners are pregnant.
So it seems like the only one who wants to "keep going", as she puts it, in the corporate world is Debra. And, of course, Sir Alan's Apprentice.
The final episode of The Apprentice is broadcast on Sunday 7 May at 9pm on BBC1.