The real-estate developer is fired by Trump, who didn't like being compared to him

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 18, 2005 08:00 AM

Michael Tarshi may have misinterpreted the wink he received from Donald Trump. “He likes me,” exclaimed the 25-year-old Boston real-estate developer. “The only thing separating me and Donald Trump is a few billion dollars.”

And a bit more. When all was said and done on Thursday night’s edition of NBC’s The Apprentice, Trump announced, “Michael, you’re fired.”

This week’s task: After being given a 28-foot Airstream trailer, access to Airstream technicians and a $5,000 budget, the two teams were to create their own mobile service business. The team that made the most money would win.

The street-smart Net Worth team was led by project manager Tana, who took up Tara’s suggestion to turn the Airstream into a mobile casting unit for aspiring actors, offering workshops and access to a professional casting director for a $25 fee.

The book-smart Magna team, led by Bren, fell short on coming up with creative uses for their silver beast. Michael warmed to the idea of a mobile massage business, and the team went with it – despite objections by Stephanie.

Once patrons for both businesses were found (actors arrived very slowly to the mobile casting office) Jill reported back in the boardroom that Magna’s mobile spa earned $918.50. Then George announced that Net Worth’s mobile casting business took in $991.

So what torpedoed Michael? After Bren brought Michael and Stephanie into the boardroom, Stephanie was slammed as having a negative attitude, while Michael was criticized for not doing the necessary work for his team (he had complained that, as a man, he couldn’t sell massages). The excuse didn’t sit well with Trump, who bristled at Michael’s comparing himself to the mogul – and he promptly fired him.