bret-michaels-cowboy-hatIt was the tensest Celebrity Apprentice finale ever. After nearly dying of a brain hemmorhage a month ago, and then landing back in the hospital with a small stroke, Bret Michaels was slated to appear on the show live. Which meant that the question on fans' lips wasn't so much "Who will be theCelebrity Apprentice winner 2010?" but was, "Will Bret really make it?" Also: "How's he look?" and "Can he handle the stress of a live finale?"
How about if we let the newCelebrity Apprentice winner-and runner-up Holly Robinson Peete!-answer in their own words?
Yes, Bret Michaels made it to the show. When Donald Trump noted that Michael's doctors had urged him to stay home, the rocker responded, "Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life. I've become like the rat boy, the medical experiment over here…it's been a rough go, but I'm glad to be here."
In fact, he seemed positively jazzed. So how'd he look? Thinner than usual, and he walked stiffly, with what appeared to be a limp. Yet despite all of that, he seemed ecstatic. He warmly greeted each of his fellow 2010 Celebrity Apprentice competitors. When Trump noted that Holly Robinson Peete, Michael's rival for the championship title, was cring at the sight of Michaels, she said, "Well, who in America isn't?"
And who in America was surprised to hear Donald Trump say, "Bret Michaels, you're hired!" No one. He was the clear winner. He won America's hearts…and happens to have done a kick-ass job on the finale's final task.
As the title holder, Michaels won $250,000 for his charity, the American Diabetes Association. Michaels himself was diagnosed with Diabetes when he was six years old, and during this season's Celebrity Apprentice, his daughter Rain, 6, was told that she is now a borderline diabetic. When Rain visited him during the final task (creating and marketing a new iced tea for Snapple), Michaels went bonkers in the most loving, fatherly way. "This is the whole reason that I'm here," he said.
In great news for charity, Snapple will be matching the prize money by giving $250,000 to Peete's charity, the HollyRod Foundation. Founded by Holly and her husband Rodney Peete, the group aims to help lift the financial burden on families dealing with diseases like Autism and Parkinson's. And while Peete's own son has Autism, she said during last night's Celebrity Apprentice, "My son will be fine. I'm fighting for families that don't have the resources the Peete family has."