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Why Bret Michaels Will Win 'The Celebrity Apprentice'

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 22nd 2010 3:42PM
Bret Michaels on 'The Celebrity Apprentice'Last October, NBC invited a bunch of us TV critic types to meet and interview the cast of the current season of 'The Celebrity Apprentice.' This was before an episode had even been shot; in fact, this was the first time many of the contestants had met each other.

Even then, I knew that Bret Michaels had what it took to win the whole thing.

And now, it's coming to pass. He's only one of two men still left in the competition (the other being Curtis Stone). He's either led or taken over three of the tasks so far, and has done a very good job each time.

But what led me to believe that Michaels was going to win it all was what he told me that morning in New York. "After 22 years of running Poison's business, that's out on the road handling 48 people on the road crew, I think that people are going to see that there's this other side of me that brings, not only these people skills, but my ability to work hard and play harder," he told me.

But it's not just the business skills and people skills that are going to keep Michaels going deep into the game. There are three factors at work here:

1. He knows how to deal with reality-show drama. In the very beginning of the series, that was almost seen as a detriment, as he wanted to be sure, during the show's second week, that he wasn't edited into looking like he has a screw loose. That's what having experience in reality TV will do to you.

But think about it: the only other contestant who has had that experience is Sharon Osbourne. And she only had an erratic husband and a couple of rebellious kids to deal with, not a couple of dozen horny and drunk women who are fighting each other tooth and nail so they can sleep with a rock star. That, of course, is what Michaels was exposed to during his three seasons of 'Rock of Love.' Compared to that bevy of skanks, 'The Apprentice' must seem like a cakewalk to him. "Because there's no alcohol (on this show)," he said, referring to the fact that no one gets drunk, "I think I have a better chance of watching people and reading them."

One thing he did learn from the 'Rock of Love' experience, was to stay calm. "I think when you keep your cool, that's when you can learn stuff," he told me. And besides that early fritziness and his daughter's diabetes diagnosis, he's mostly stayed calm, friendly, and non-confrontational. That's more than can be said about a lot of the contestants -- Holly Robinson Pete and Cyndi Lauper come leaping to mind here.

2. People are still underestimating him. "Truly, no doubt I'm the underdog in this," he said to me back in October. "Everyone here is looking at me, they're being cordial, but they're thinking, like, 'that guy might be able to smoke a joint or drink a beer and maybe party with some girls, but there's no way he knows any business.' And I think that's going to be my advantage."

And, even to this point, he's still being looked at as a bit of a goof, despite the fact that he's done well either as a project manager or when the PM tasks him to produce. Both Stone and Michael Johnson complained that Bret took a million years to get his thoughts in order, though when he finally gets to his big idea, it's pretty good. For instance, he told Johnson to keep the LifeLock/Norton advertorial simple, and was ignored; one of the big reasons why the men lost that task was because the advertorial was too wordy.

Michaels has never stood on the sidelines, like Darryl Strawberry did, or delegate all the responsibility, like both Rod Blagojevich and Bill Goldberg did. He's gotten his hands dirty and has generally produced good, if not always winning, results.

3. His charity hits way too close to home. This could be said about many of the contestants, like Peete, whose son is autistic. And no one who is playing for a charity that they're not passionate about. But since Michaels himself is diabetic, and now his daughter seemingly is as well, he's going to have all the incentive in the world to keep trying to get as much money for the American Diabetes Association as he can.



Who do you think is going to win 'The Celebrity Apprentice?' Let me know in the comments.

[Follow @joelkeller on Twitter.]

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sandy

I really liked watching Bret on the Apprentice.
I don't really care for the gal that is now his
competition. I have only one thing to add; take off that scarf on your head.

May 23 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dan

Not sure what will happen with the final episode, but I'm quite sure Bret will not be ready or up for that. Just get well as all I can say. I don't thint Sharon is the biggest threat. I think Holly has the edge. I expect Sharon and Holly to duel it in the end. Go Sharon. Holly is not nice.

I am also one of those who assumed Michaels was a spoiled brat before the show began, and a bit stuck on him self to boot. Now he has grown on me and I seem to be rooting for him every week. All the best Bret!

April 27 2010 at 8:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andi

Bret Micheals did surprise me; he's doing better then I expected however, Sharon Osborn will give him a run for his money. The only thing Cyndi Lauper's got going for her is her name. I can't believe she hasn't been fired yet. For the Donald, it's all about the money and she's not there half the time and when she is she's whining, I don't know that many people with alot of money. She knows that loser, Rosie O'Donnell. Ask her for money!

April 26 2010 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joyce N.

Celebrity Apprentice was filmed last summer. Dave, I caught that "champion" remark from Trump, too, and wondered the same thing.

April 24 2010 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Joyce N.'s comment
Summer

It was filmed a while ago but the final show is live, I wonder if Bret made it to the fina 2 how they will air the last live episode? This could be interesting!

April 26 2010 at 12:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

This is so, so sad. I really hope Bret gets better for his family and also for his fans. It is never happy to see anything like this happen. While we pray for Bret's health, we offer an insight into what this means for his career and for the Celebrity Apprentice, which he's been such a big part of this season. Our thoughts go out to him! http://thesmogger.com/2010/04/23/every-rose-has-its-thorn/

April 23 2010 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

When asked to comment about Brett's condition, Trump said "He's a great competitor and champion, and I hope he will be fine." Could this be a hint that Brett won?

April 23 2010 at 7:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pam

I met Bret a couple of times and what comes off first and foremost is how down to earth he is. He is a people person and he's been successful keeping the "Poison" and "Bret Michaels" brand in the public eye.
He's successful because he's creative, energetic, smart and listens to people. He's not arrogant. He's not rude.
He may take awhile to get his point across but that's what artistic people do...look at Cindi!!!

What I like is that the men are not catty like the women, boy those women annoy the heck out of me.
Best of luck to Bret and especially now, he's in my prayers with this brain hemorrage he's going through.

April 23 2010 at 6:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeannethedemocrat

bret had an anyuerism this afternoon . it breaks my heart.

April 23 2010 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jeannethedemocrat

bret get well soon.

April 23 2010 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ann

Well Bret, you have my vote! You are a pleasant surprise in a world of white shirts and boring ties. You rock, in more ways then one! Donald is still tripping out, though his daughter see you for what your are, a winner!

April 23 2010 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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