O'Connor's snoozing and lack of effort in the household invention challenge, combined with a bumbling girls' team who are better at squabbling than costing, ultimately resulted in the 20-year-old getting the chop from Shugs.
Digital Spy caught up with Maria to find out where it all went wrong.
You're not going to fall asleep on me I hope, Maria.
"I am actually. I've had too many interviews and I'm going to fall asleep right away! Ha ha."
You were only on the second task. Why were you falling asleep?
"I just had a nightmare, didn't I? The problem is that I'm used to working in restaurants and I'm very much a night person rather than a day person."
Nick Hewer described you as a "very noisy young woman"...
A fair description?
"I think so. *shouts* I think that's a pretty spot on assessment of me, Alex."
Were you disappointed with your performance on the show? Sugar described the girls as "diabolical"...
"I don't think I came across the way that I am at all. I think I came across seriously and I guess that's the nature of the show, but I'm a bubbly, fun person. I like to have a laugh. Across the whole process, we had a hell of a lot of laughs, but that isn't what they have tried to portray."
Did he make the right decision firing you this week?
"I don't think it was a fair decision. The failure of the task was blamed on me falling asleep. But to be honest that is just crap. I fell asleep because they were talking crap and I certainly didn't miss anything. They were not talking about anything interesting and decisions were not being made. It was just really boring. They were wittering on and talking crap all the time."
Who should have gone?
"Jane should have gone. She was the one person responsible for the task and she didn't do what she was supposed to do."
Did Jane pick the right people to come back with her?
"No. I think Katie should have been in the boardroom as well just because of her contribution on that task."
Everyone appears to hate Katie...
"Actually, I really liked Katie. I was one of the few who did. I thought she was a really lovely girl."
What was your assessment of Splish Splash?
"What a load of crap!"
Should the girls have gone for the tap cosy?
"I don't think the other idea was any better, but Splish Splash, oh my God, what a load of crap."
Why didn't you voice your opinions more about these products at the time?
"I did stand up quite a lot, but you just didn't get to see that. I was pointing out problems with the final product, sticking my hand in the air, but that was just the way that it went."
Jenna seems like a pain in the neck...
"She is quite irritating."
What was she like to work with around the clock?
Her voice is rather grating in the boardroom...
"If she had a nice voice it would have been alright, but she was just so loud."
Who are you rooting for and who did you hate?
"Gabrielle and Katie were my favourites. They are my favourites. They are my girls. They are so lovely, they are unreal. The only person I didn't really get on with was Jane. She's not my type of person, she comes across as a bit heartless and I just got fed up with it."
Are the boys much stronger than the girls this year?
"Yes, they are. I gladly and openly admit the boys were a better bunch. If I'd worked with the boys, I would have come across a lot differently. I would rather work with boys all the time. I would always work with boys."
Your eye make-up was fabulous. Any plans for a cosmetics brand?
"No, I have no plans for a make-up range. I just think you should always match your clothes with your make-up. You've got to stand out a bit, haven't you? There's 15 candidates in that room, you need to make a big first impression."
What are your plans now that you've left the show?
"I'm sticking with the restaurant business. I want to open another four restaurants in four years, so I have big ambitions and big plans."
The Apprentice continues next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One.
> 'Apprentice' Lord Alan Sugar fires candidate after invention task flop
> 'Apprentice': Maria O'Connor falls asleep during Lord Sugar's task