“The Masked Singer” fans, don’t feel too bad for Bret Michaels. Even though he was just eliminated as the Banana on Fox’s wild and wacky reality TV show, he won another competition series exactly 10 years: “Celebrity Apprentice.” That’s right, the rock star was famously “hired” by Donald Trump on May 23, 2010 in the Season 3 finale of NBC’s celeb spinoff of “The Apprentice.” Michaels’ prize? A whopping $640,000 for his charity, American Diabetes Association. Watch his winning moment in the flashback video above.
The ultimate choice came down to Michaels vs. Holly Robinson Peete. “We all love you,” Trump told a nervous-looking Peete before turning to Michaels and proclaiming, “And Bret, I have to tell you … you’re hired.” See the complete list of “Celebrity Apprentice” winners.
Upon hearing the announcement, Michaels’ mouth opened in shock as pounds of confetti started falling from the ceiling. Peete gave Michaels a warm hug while Trump’s advisors, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., applauded their approval for their father’s decision. It’s a good thing Michaels was able to make it to the finale, because a serious injury had threatened to keep him bedridden.
“His doctors did not want him to be there,” Trump explained on the red carpet after the finale. Just weeks earlier, Michaels experienced a brain hemorrhage which led to doctors discovering a hole in his heart. Trump continued, “They told him don’t go. The cabin pressure in airplanes, the pressure of a two-hour live show. But he’s a brave guy. I mean, he really turned out to be a brave guy. And I knew that a long time ago.”
Michaels alluded to this 2010 injury while on the 2020 season of “The Masked Singer,” during some of the Banana clues videos. Winning “Celebrity Apprentice” was “such a great feeling,” Bret declared at the time. “It’s been a little bit of a rough last month and a half for me, but I gotta be honest with you, I feel great right now. Even though I know I’m a little beat up inside … I was gonna do anything I could to get here.”
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