Bret Michaels Wins Celebrity Apprentice After Illness
May 24, 2010
Brian Stelter of NYTimes.com reports: One month after suffering a brain hemorrhage and just days after being re-admitted to the hospital for a warning stroke, the rock musician Bret Michaels won the “Celebrity Apprentice” contest on NBC.
Donald Trump’s announcement — “you’re hired,” he said to Mr. Michaels– came on the live season finale of the series, shown on NBC Sunday night.
Mr. Trump said on the broadcast that he had spoken to Mr. Michaels’doctors, and “they didn’t want you to be here tonight. At all. Believe me, not at all.”
Mr. Trump asked, “Are you risking your life being here? This is a lot of pressure.”
“Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life,” Mr. Michaels said, garnering laughs from the audience. He had flown to New York from Los Angeles for the finale.
Mr. Michaels beat the other finalist on “Celebrity Apprentice,” Robinson Peete. For winning the reality show, $250,000 will be donated to the charity of Mr. Michaels’ choice, the American Diabetes Association. Mr. Trump said that one of the companies that was featured on the show, Snapple, had decided to donate $250,000 to Ms. Peete’s chosen charity, HollyRod.
“On the live part of Sunday’s finale, Michaels walked with a limp and appeared to have slight drooping on the left side of his face (which, earlier this week, his representative attributed to the hemorrhage as well as his medications),” TVGuide reported. “But Michaels was back to his old self, as he bumped his fists against his chest to thank the crowd and walked over to personally thank every one of the fired contestants on stage.”
The business challenges on “Celebrity Apprentice” had all been taped before Mr. Michaels, a diabetic, had an emergency appendectomy in mid-April. A week later, the brain hemorrhage was discovered after he came down with a severe headache. He was in critical condition for several days, his doctors said at the time.
Mr. Michaels entered rehabilitation in early May, and he said he would re-start his concert tour at the end of the month. But he was readmitted to the hospital last week “after suffering numbness on the left side of his body,” according to his Web site, and doctors found a hole in his heart. The condition is treatable.
“No doubt these recent medical complications have been tough but he wants to continue to live his life, enjoy every day and get back on the road,” aspokeswoman for Mr. Michaels wrote on his Web site last week. “He is taking all the medications and steps to insure that he can do that.As his friends and staff we are all making sure that he is not taking any undo risks and we are certainly taking every precaution possible to insure his health and well being.”
The assurance that no undo risks were being taken would seem to contradict Mr. Trump’s statement about the doctors’ opposition to the New York trip.
Mr. Michaels is the lead vocalist for the band Poison. He is also well-known for hosting a slew of dating reality TV shows. He has a new album coming out next month.
His role as one of the final two contestants led to “speculation that the series closer will get a ratings rise,” AdvertisingAge reported.
He will be back on television soon, first in a series of interviews to celebrate his “Celebrity Apprentice” victory. Next Sunday VH1 will preview a forthcoming reality show, “Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It,” that is supposed to debut in fall next fall. But the cable channel said last week that production on the show had been “temporarily halted,” with “Bret’s health as our primary concern.”