Rock star Bret Michaels was "hired" as NBC's Celebrity Apprentice during the show's live season finale Sunday night, winning an additional $250,000 for his charity of choice, the American Diabetes Association. Michaels, the front man of the glam metal band Poison, appeared on the show despite hospitalizations for a brain hemorrhage in April and a mini stroke just days before the finale.
According to an update on bretmichaels.com, Michaels, 47, is receiving outpatient treatment for a hole in his heart that doctors discovered last week. "The condition is operable and treatable, and for now he is taking two additional injections daily of a blood thinner," said his manager, Janna Elias. Michaels was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 6 years old.
Michaels won a total of $390,000 for ADA on Celebrity Apprentice, a season-long competition among a dozen celebrities judged by billionaire businessman and show host Donald Trump. Michaels beat out the other finalist, actress and author Holly Robinson Peete, who also received a $250,000 donation to her charity, the HollyRod Foundation, which provides support to families dealing with autism. As part of the competition, both candidates developed new teas for the bottled drink brand Snapple. Michaels named his drink Diet Trop-A-Rocka. It is an artificially sweetened blend of green and black teas with pear, cinnamon, and mango flavors. The label bears the ADA logo and will be available in stores for a limited time.
ADA will also receive half of the funds raised through NBC's online auction of this season's Apprentice memorabilia, as well as money from the sales of bandannas created by Michaels in collaboration with ADA.
ADA Chief Executive Officer Larry Hausner congratulated Michaels today in a press release. "Nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and an additional 57 million are at risk," Hausner said. "If current trends continue, 1 in 3 children will face a future with diabetes. We are proud of Bret's win on the Celebrity Apprentice, which will truly help the American Diabetes Association change the future of this disease."
Michaels is scheduled to appear this week on The Today Show, Live With Regis and Kelly, Access Hollywood, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. When Michaels was first hospitalized in early April for an emergency appendectomy, he had been touring to promote a new solo album, Custom Built, that was due out in June. According to his website, the release date has been pushed back to July 6. There was no word on when or if Michaels would resume his tour.
Click here to read Forecast's recent interview with Michaels.