Published May 23, 2010
SPOILER ALERT: The following story reveals the winner of Celebrity Apprentice.
The live two-hour season finale was especially momentous for Michaels, who, since filming the reality show, suffered a brain hemorrhage April 22. Michaels was in critical condition for a week after the hemorrhage before his release from the hospital in early May.
The 47-year-old rocker suffered another setback May 20 when he was hospitalized with a stroke. Michaels' appearance on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice finale was his second since his brain hemorrhage and his first since his subsequent stroke. But despite his three hospitalizations, including an emergency appendectomy April 12, Michaels was determined to make it to New York for the live finale.
The finale was emotional for both Michaels and Robinson Peete because of their respective charities. Michaels suffers from Type 1 diabetes and played for the American Diabetes Association. Robinson Peete raised money for her foundation, HollyRod, which helps those whose quality of life has been diminished by disease or disorder. Robinson Peete's 12-year-old son, RJ, suffers from autism.
Michaels and Robinson Peete began the final challenge, to create and market a new flavor of Snapple Iced Tea, in the penultimate episode. With the help of fired contestants Darryl Strawberry and Summer Sanders, Michaels launched the Trop-A-Rocka flavor of Diet Snapple. Robinson Peete created Compassionberry tea with recently fired contestants Curtis Stone and Maria Kanellis.
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 rep attributed to the hemorrhage as well as his medications). 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.
Talking with Trump, Michaels said his doctors advised him not to travel to New York for the finale. "It's been a rough go, but I'm glad I'm here," he said. Speaking about Michaels' illness, Robinson Peete acknowledged the great public support for her opponent (which she dubbed "Michaels mania") and said that even her 5-year-old son was rooting for Michaels to win.
Michaels joked about getting the sympathy vote, saying, "I'll take a vote any way I can get it" and argued he didn't travel this far (from Arizona) to lose.
In the end, Donald Trump chose Michaels to become his latest apprentice — meaning $250,000 will go to the American Diabetes Association. Just before announcing his decision, Trump said Snapple had matched the grand prize so $250,000 will also go to HollyRod.
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