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Bret Michaels Says "Celebrity Apprentice" Run Was "Insane"

of the Oakland Press

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Bret Michaels’ advice to fans tuning into the new season of “Celebrity Apprentice”?

“Tune in early,” the Poison frontman says with a laugh, more than hinting that those two special words — “You’re fired!” — came relatively soon for him on the Donald Trump-hosted NBC reality series, which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, March 14.

“No one wants to hear them,” acknowledges Michaels, 46, whose designated charity was the American Diabetes Association’s Camps For Kids With Diabetes. “Let me just tell you, in episode one there are a lot of people coming after me, and you’ll see what I mean. It wasn’t a lot of fun.

“But I stuck to my guns and stuck my chin out there. I’m one of those guys that, the more the challenge is put on me the tougher I get. It was frustrating at times, but I did my best.”

Michaels is one of 14 participants in this year’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” joining a lineup that includes disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, retired baseball star Darryl Strawberry, Michigan-born comedian-actor Sinbad, former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg, Sharon Osbourne and fellow singer Cyndi Lauper. It was a formidable group, Michaels says, and he thinks he stood out for more than just making sure his bandanas and suits matched — which he says was “the toughest job I had.”

“It was insane,” he says of the experience. “It was exciting for me to go in there with other celebrities; I knew none of those people were quitters. You’re going up against people that really wanted to compete and win. At the same time, some of them I was excited to see and meet, like Daryl Strawberry and Goldberg. And of course I’ve known Sharon Osbourne, and I knew she would be tough.

“I know they were all thinking, ‘This is a rocker guy’ or ‘This is the ‘Rock of Love’ guy.’ And I run on a much different time than Mr. Trump does. I run on sort of musician time or rocker time, and he runs on a little more structured business time. But we’re both extremely passionate people, and I think he got that from me.”

Despite his early dismissal, Michaels isn’t worried about keeping busy. Though Poison is taking the year off and preparing for its 25th anniversary celebration in 2011, he’s busy recording his next solo album, “Custom Built,” which is due out later this year. The project is already courting attention with its first single, “Nothing to Lose,” a duet with Miley Cyrus in exchange for Michaels’ allowing the “Hannah Montana” star to cut Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” for her next album.

“Miley’s first concert ever was Poison in Nashville at the arena down there,” Michaels says. “She told me it got her excited and sort of turned her whole life into wanting to be a musician. So it’s a great feeling to sort of pay it forward.”

Michaels has just kicked off his Roses & Thorns solo tour and plans to be on the road most of the year — including he says, multiple performances in the Detroit area, including one “for sure” at the DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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