Roman Wilson came to the competition taking pride of his grit in the gridiron.

But that intensity from the American football player-turned-investment banker could not rub off in the boardroom as he was one of the first two players to be given the pink slip in The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.

“I’m not surprised about the double-elimination, but I’m surprised that it ended up being me. I am disappointed in myself,” he admitted as he and Team Conquest peer Alvin Ang were the first candidates to be eliminated.

It was a stunning turnout for Wilson who wasn’t even one of the two names project manager Eugene Chung wanted to go with him in the final boardroom.

But ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong overruled Chung that led to the outcome.

Yet the writing was already on the wall the moment the teams made their presentations.

Making the pitch in front of Sityodtong, ONE Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategy Niharika Singh, and Catcha Group co-founder and group CEO Patrick Grove, Team Conquest’s presentation hardly did justice to its proposal for Andaz Singapore.

“I really felt you guys did a solid job with that seven-day execution plan, but I was very disappointed by Eugene’s delivery, and Roman, the PowerPoint was a disaster,” observed Sityodtong.

Wilson, who was tasked to take care of the deck, had spacing issues and misalignment with the texts on the presentation, issues that deeply hampered their pitch. “You bombed because the presentation sucked. I expected more [from an] Ivy League graduate,” lamented Sityodtong.

“A lot of the fault is on me for not having a deck prepared,” rued Wilson in the boardroom as he pleaded his case, before arguing that Chung could have made a bigger impact in the overall product. “I feel like we need to come together as a team and have a better core strategy from the very beginning. And I think that’s the PM’s fault.”

Chung, however, defended his side and said that as the project manager, all he could do is to delegate the other team members and trust in their abilities. “I started delegating tasks to get the presentation done. It was very hard to put it together with everyone doing different fonts, different templates. I can say that there should have been improvements for sure.”

Nevertheless, it truly was a subpar performance for Wilson, one that the judges noticed.

“I’ve been observing Roman since the past two weeks hoping he will play a less passive role. If he has come here just to sit back and observe, I don’t think he’s at the right place. I’m very disappointed,” said Singh.

To which Chatri responded: “Here’s the thing: I do see either passive behavior or incompetence, but I also see a spark and each one of them, and they’re given their all, but unfortunately, that’s not enough to win this competition.”

It wasn’t long before Wilson was shown the door.

In retrospective, the 29-year-old American admitted that he could have done better things to improve his position after just two episodes in The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.

“I think that I could have been more proactive,” he said. “I wanted to compete against the best and the brightest, and that’s what I did even though I didn’t get that top spot.”

Wilson came as one of the 16 contestants fighting for a chance in this high-stakes game of business competitions and physical challenges – all for the prize of a US$250,000 job offer to work as Sityodtong’s protégé at the ONE Championship Global Headquarters in Singapore for a year.

Unfortunately, he’s not the chosen one.

“Ever since I was young, sports has been a very important part of my life. And then my passion for business, I love learning about company and I love learning how to be a leader within a company. And I think being [Chatri’s] protege, we’re given the best training and platform to do so. But I’m very grateful for the time that I had and I will never forget it next time.”

The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is showing across Asia on AXN, the show’s official Asian broadcast partner, with markets to include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition is also be available on other platforms and TV networks across Asia, including MediaCorp (Singapore), Abema (Japan), KompasTV (Indonesia), Amarin TV (Thailand), LINE TV (Thailand), TV5 Network (Philippines), and HTV (Vietnam).