Fired Apprentice hopeful Liz Locke has claimed Lord Sugar axed her to keep rival Stuart Baggs in the competition - because he sees him as a "mini-me".
The glamorous investment banker had been the bookmakers' favourite to win a job with Lord Sugar but has become the latest contestant to be booted off.
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She was on the losing team, led by Baggs, in a task to sell bus tours of London.
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Speaking about her experience on the show, Locke said: "In that boardroom I felt a sinking feeling as I felt Lord Sugar looking at Stuart with a kind of admiration - a bit like he saw him as a mini
Sugar. It was really bizarre."
She added: "But fair play to Stuart, he had fantastic boardroom strategy which has got him through to the interviews, so I can't really knock him for that.
"I think his main attribute has been schmoozing Sugar in the boardroom. He seems to have pushed the right buttons and know what the right things are to say to tug on his heart strings."
Locke was pictured out on the celebrity party circuit earlier this week at Michael McIntyre's Charity Christmas Show.
But she denied she had been actively seeking the limelight.
She said: "I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I didn't expect cameras to be outside. They obviously weren't there waiting for me, but I just happened to be at the same event as some huge names and got caught in the headlights.
"So I wouldn't say it's like looking forward to five minutes of fame, I'm looking forward to pursuing a successful career."
Locke insisted she applied to be Lord Sugar's apprentice to get ahead in business, not to achieve celebrity status.
But she added the experience had made her realise she had creative skills and was now considering new career opportunities.
She said: "I went on the show for a job, I have always been very focused on having a successful career.
"I'm open to all opportunities.
"I was very good at maths and science at school and went down that route through university and accounting. But I learnt that I've got a few more strings to my bow.
"The creative side of me - I really enjoyed getting involved in more creative tasks - so I'm looking forward to cracking on and developing a successful career for myself."
Locke admitted she would be open to pursuing a career in television, like last year's runner-up Kate Walsh who is now a presenter on Live from Studio Five.
She said: "It's not something I really considered to be honest. I went on there to win a business show and get a job in the business arena.
"But I don't knock it, and she's done fantastically well. It's not something I'd completely rule out."