The following is from the Associated Press:
Bret Michaels made it to the finish line Sunday of “The Celebrity Apprentice” despite life-threatening illness and was rewarded with victory and $250,000 for charity.
“You’ve done an amazing job in every single way,” Donald Trump said before announcing his choice on a live segment of NBC’s reality show. “A little flaky, but that’s OK. … You’ve also proven … to be very brave. I appreciate that.”
The other finalist, actress Holly Robinson Peete, has been “amazing,” Trump said, and then rendered his decision.
“Holly, I have to tell you, we all love you. And Brett, I have to tell you — you’re hired,” Trump pronounced, drawing a lusty “whoop” from Michaels.
Michaels’ appearance on the finale, which included live and taped segments, had been in question after he suffered a brain hemorrhage in April and was hospitalized again recently after suffering what doctors called a warning stroke. He faces surgery for a hole in his heart.
Trump didn’t downplay the drama involving Michaels’ health, asking the 47-year-old rock star of Poison fame if he was risking his life by coming on the finale against his doctors’ advice.
“Lately it seems like me just standing me up is risking my life,” Michaels replied, lightly, adding that it was worth the risk and he “came to win.” He walked haltingly and with a slight limp.
His presence brought a moment of honest reality to a carefully constructed TV genre.
Robinson Peete, 45, said she and Michaels had become close during the series and there would be none of last season’s animosity — a reference to finale fireworks between winner Joan Rivers and runner-up Annie Duke.
Robinson Peete teared up when she and Michaels took the stage before a studio audience in New York.
“Holly, that’s so beautiful. You’re crying,” Trump observed.
“Well, I mean, who in America isn’t?” she replied. Trump said that he’d never cried for his opponent.
“My 5-year-old son woke up this morning and said, ‘Mom, I love you, but I’m kinda pulling for Bret.’ How do you beat that?” Robinson Peete responded.
Both celebrities, who were playing to raise money for their favored causes, came out on top. Michaels, who as a child was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, claimed the winner’s prize for the American Diabetes Association, and Peete learned that her charitable group would receive a matching amount.
Trump said the maker of Snapple beverages had agreed to give a matching $250,000 to HollyRod Foundation, whose mission is to support families who have a loved one with a serious medical condition. The actress has a son diagnosed as autistic.
The final challenge for “The Celebrity Apprentice” had required Michaels and Robinson Peete to each create a new flavor of Snapple and a marketing campaign for the soft drinks. Their versions are being sold for a limited period and highlight work their causes.
This season of “Celebrity Apprentice” began airing in March with 14 contestants, each competing in business-oriented tasks around Manhattan to raise money for and publicize their favorite causes.
The following is from Bret Michaels’ Facebook page:
Celebrity Apprentice winner Bret Michaels will be appearing on the following TV shows this week. Be sure & tune in or set your DVR to record. Check local listings for exact time & channel in you area.
‘LIVE with Regis & Kelly’
‘Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno
In addition, due to Bret’s recent recovery period, the release date for his upcoming album ‘Custom Built’ has been moved to July 6th.
Samples of tracks from the album, as well as preorder information can be found by visiting:
Your support is greatly appreciated.