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.