Boston may be having a great year — the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, the Red Sox took home the pennant and the World Series — but when it comes to The Apprentice, Beantown has struck out twice. First, guitar-strumming goofball Danny was played off the show. Then last week, Michael Tarshi was banished back to Back Bay. The 25-year-old real estate developer rubbed his Magna Corp. cohorts the wrong way when he all but refused to promote their massage-in-a-trailer idea. In turn, the "Book Smarts" gang boiled him in oil during the boardroom. Here, he predicts they'll suffer without him, and defends his womanizing attitude and lazy ways.
TVGuide.com: Were you really slacking off during all the tasks?
Michael Tarshi: No. It was, when in doubt, blame Michael. That was the whole concept of the last three shows. Whether I am lazy or not, I think I come up with a lot of decent ideas and I can get the job done.
TVG: You didn't really answer my question if you were lazy or not.
Michael: Well... I thought I worked hard, but maybe my work style is a lot different than others.
Michael: They wouldn't stop. I don't know why. I was the default. The legal trio [Alex, Bren and Erin] kept on ganging up on me.
TVG: You must have irked someone early on and we didn't see it.
Michael: I thought the team got mad at me during the third task because they thought I slacked off and abused my exemption. But I think I made a good turnaround. I apologized to my team. I admitted my faults.
TVG: Was Danny right in bringing you into the boardroom for not pulling your weight?
Michael: I don't think he was necessarily right because technically, it is against the rules of the game. You can't do that.
TVG: But Trump has a rule-breaking rep.
Michael: Yeah, I love Danny like a brother, but I don't think [starting] that was his best move. It was like me interrupting Donald Trump last week. They were both on parallel as stupid moves.
TVG: Do you really think you are like Donald?
Michael: I'm a little bit younger.
TVG: Younger, and with better hair.
Michael: My hair can be a little funky at times, but I think I am almost a mini-Donald Trump. I am thinking of all different ways to brand myself. I have my own chocolate bar — the Tarshi bar. I am coming up with a lot of fun stuff.
TVG: Whose idea was the photo gallery on your website? Doesn't that conflict with your professional image?
Michael: It was mine. I'm like a rock-star businessman. I have a good time with my business. I am very successful. You can't be cookie cutter. I am myself.
TVG: Do you really only date Eastern European women?
Michael: My girlfriend is actually from Eastern Europe. I gave her a little plug. She's a cutie.
TVG: What did she think of your ladies' man attitude on the show?
Michael: She doesn't mind. She knows I am a good guy. I just like to tease. I am playful and I joke a lot. Does it hurt to be friendly? Is chivalry dead?
TVG: So you aren't completely girl-crazy and obsessed?
Michael: No! I am a normal guy.
TVG: Did you find any of your female teammates attractive?
Michael: I think they are all... special in their own way. But it is one of those things you don't want to get across the country in the paper... get me?
TVG: The veggie porn...
Michael: Oh, my god! Can you believe that they did that? I was the only one with the common sense to say, "What are you doing?"
TVG: A week before, the Magnas got on your case for wanting models to give away coffee, then they made that commercial.
Michael: Isn't that interesting? If they had listened to me half the time, we would have won all the tasks.
TVG: Then what was your suggestion for the commercial?
Michael: If we did something so basic as having a woman washing herself in the shower, we would have won. That is how bad that other commercial was. We could have done anything. I had the idea of having someone like Donald Trump coming out of a trash barrel and have him use Dove soap. That would have been good, but it wasn't received or played out. You'd be a little agitated as well if every good idea that you had got shut down by a bunch of lawyers.
TVG: Do you really think the Magna team will fail miserably without you on board?
Michael: To be honest, the only way my team is going to do good is if they start mixing with the "Street Smarts" people. I was the only person with both book smarts and street smarts on the entire team. I do think that a great businessperson has to be both to really, truly succeed.
TVGO: Would you ever do another reality show?
Michael: Knowing what I know now, absolutely. The first day, you are a little nervous with the cameras watching, but other than that, it is fine.
TVG: Even though you were portrayed as not pulling your weight?
Michael: There is nothing wrong with being lazy. Has anyone ever really been hurt by being lazy? Is that the worst thing you could be? I thought I did a great job.
TVG: Would you ever get a massage from a guy?
Michael: Probably... if he was strong. [Laughs] But it is a hard sell, you have to admit. I am 6-foot-3, 260 lbs., walking around the streets of New York asking people if they want a massage. Be realistic here. Am I a nutcase? It doesn't look right. I almost got punched.