During a dramatic two-hour finale, Bret Michaels was named this season’s winner of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
Michaels (who beat out fellow finalist Holly Robinson Peete) raised his arms in celebration when Trump told him, “Bret, you’re hired.” Regardless, both received $250,000 for their charities thanks to Snapple’s generous donation to match the grand prize.
The episode began with a montage of the ups and downs of the season’s original fourteen-strong celebrity cast. The competition heated up by the end of the recap, chronicling the duo’s final challenge: creating a new flavor for Snapple.
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Michaels showed his much-talked about creativity, calling himself a “Rock and Roll MacGyver” when problem solving for the ad for his flavor “Trop-a-Rocka Blend.” Judge Ivanka Trump questioned his decision to do two commercials instead of one (he later went with one after forgetting his script when it came down to edit the footage). As for team Holly (whose flavor was. “Compassion Berry”), Ivanka was underwhelmed by what she saw during her initial visit.
Before the drama continued, Trump invited the other twelve celebrities from the season back for some funny moments like asking the audience how many of them thought disgraced politician Rod Blagojevich was guilty of his alleged crimes.
Michaels got a surprise before the Snapple launch event when his daughter Raine (who is borderline diabetic and was the inspiration for Bret’s flavor) stopped by to bolster his spirits. “I’m going to fight even harder now,” Michaels said afterwards.
Holly was the first to present her powerpoint and commercial about her flavor and her foundation which supports families with autistic children. Michaels once again found strength in Raine, who was in the crowd, to make it through the presentation with a heartfelt and comedic approach. Trump cooled the warm mood when he took a poll asking the crowd whose presentation they liked better (result: they liked Brett’s better!). Despite the setback and shaken nerves, Holly pledged to forge ahead. The Snapple heads favored Bret, though they admitted they would put Holly on their board any day. In the end, Bret’s personality and commercial was favored while Holly’s label, brochure and concept shined. “It’s really close to a draw,” one of the executives concluded.
After the challenge, Bret (with helpers Summer Sanders and Darryl Strawberry) and Holly (with Curtis Stone and Maria Kanellis) faced off in the boardroom. Things got awkward when Trump put Sanders on the spot to choose between her project manager Bret and her friend Holly. Former contestant Joan Rivers favored Bret as the popular winner for emotional reasons, despite giving a nod to Holly’s talent and fundraising abilities. Former The Apprentice winner Bill Rancic chose Holly for her business savvy.
Near the end of the show, Michaels made his triumphant return, joining Holly in front of the live studio audience. Another rocker then had her moment: Cyndi Lauper performed, even writhing across Trump’s boardroom desk.
In her final plea, Peete revealed that her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer after the third challenge. Michaels also made a strong bid, echoing his earlier statements of being there to win.
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