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The Celebrity Apprentice season finale recap: Bret is Back! But is He a Winner?

Poison singer makes a dramatic return at the live finale, and finds out if he has what it takes to beat Holly

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Celebrity Apprentice
Ali Goldstein/NBC

The Celebrity Apprentice

TV Show
Current Status:
On Hiatus
Reality TV

”I’m a problem solver. A rock ‘n’ roll MacGyver.” —Bret Michaels

An apt comparison, considering Michaels and MacGyver both have truly spectacular hair. But Bret is more than a rock ‘n’ roll MacGyver. He’s a Celebrity Apprentice champion! It was a result that was never really in doubt once Bret made the finals. Since Donald Trump was making the decision live, there was no chance he was not going to award the Poison frontman the victory after Bret’s recent medical struggles. The Donald knows a great story line when he sees one, and there was no way he was going to put himself in the role of villain by firing a guy who almost lost his life a few short weeks prior and then had a warning stroke mere days ago. Wasn’t gonna happen. (Hell, even Holly Robinson Peete said her five-year-old was rooting for Bret!) The good news is Bret delivered on the final task, sparing us all the awkwardness of Trump struggling to find a reason to make Bret the victor even though he didn’t deserve it. (Much like last year when Joan was awarded the victory because ”she worked hard” though villain Annie outplayed her the entire season, even while being dubbed ”Hitler” and a ”whore pit viper.”) Bret’s commercial was better, his presentation was better, and I thought his pamphlet was better. Maybe Holly gets a slight nod on the label, but that was about it. Taking all emotional/medical stuff out of the equation, I still score this final task for Bret.

You know what I just realized? I’m breaking down strategy and game play on Celebrity Apprentice! How absurd is that? Elsewhere on EW.com, Doc Jensen is busy weighing in on the mythological implications of every single nuance and sideways glance of the epic Lost finale, while I’m here doing play-by play on a battle royal between an ’80s glam rocker and a 21 Jump Street star not named Depp. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Look, I LOVE Lost, but did the Lost finale feature former World Series champion Darryl Strawberry dressed in a purple beret and scarf inquiring about pears? Did the Lostfinale include one person abandoning another in their ultimate hour of need to go watch ”one of my best mates from Australia” propose to his girlfriend? (Since when did proposing becoming a spectator sport anyway? Unless you’re proposing on a Jumbotron at a sporting event, in which case I feel deep sympathy for your spouse.) And did the Lost finale amount to two straight hours of incessant Snapple promotion that made you never want to drink another iced tea in your entire life? No, no, and no!

Lost may have time-traveling, parallel universes, and a hunky blonde guy who repeats the phrase ”son of a bitch” ad nauseam, but I’m telling you, the most shocking revelation on all of television Sunday night was Ivanka Trump displaying a not-so-subtle crush on Bret Michaels. When the teams entered the boardroom, there was Ivanka pointing out how Bret was at a disadvantage because his drink was diet and therefore less likely to taste as good. There was Ivanka pointing out how Holly had a huge advantage having chef Curtis on his team because of his knowledge of flavors. And there was Ivanka pointing out how ”effective” Bret was putting himself in the campaign as a celebrity spokesman and how much she ”loved” the description on the side of the label. If I didn’t know any better I’d say someone was getting some extra ”hands on” training in the form of private one-on-one lessons on proper Tour Bus Thrust technique. And you know what? I don’t know any better!

NEXT: The Donald delivers the best line of the night