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Bret Michaels wins 'Celebrity Apprentice' with a limp and a smile

May 24, 2010 | 10:04 am

After a dramatic week leading up to Sunday's finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice," rocker Bret Michaels made it to Donald Trump's last boardroom meeting of the season -- and won.

Besting actress Holly Robinson Peete, Michaels scored $250,000 for the American Diabetes Assn.

"Lately it seems like me just standing up is risking my life,” Michaels joked to Trump, who asked if Michaels was putting his health in jeopardy by appearing at the New York finale. 

Just a month prior to the finale, Michaels was rushed to the hospital after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was listed in critical condition for 10 days, then released to out-patient rehabilitation. Though his rate of recovery was considered rare, Michaels was back on his way to "Apprentice."

Then he suffered a small stroke.

In a statement posted last week on his website, Michaels said he was diagnosed with patent foramen ovale, or a hole in the heart, after experiencing numbness on the left side of his body.

So Sunday came as a victory for the resilient singer, who defeated Robinson Peete in a challenge to create and market a celebrity drink for Snapple. Peete's HollyRod Foundation, however, scored its own $250,000 from the iced tea makers.

The singer was in good spirits but appeared to walk with a limp and exhibited some slack in the left side of his face, a report said.

The "Apprentice" farewell saw the reunion of fired contestants like Cindy Lauper, Selita Ebanks and Rod Blagojevich. Sharon Osbourne was inexplicably absent, as was wrestler Bill Goldberg.

— Matt Donnelly

Photo: Michaels said his thoughts were only of his children when his brain troubles hit. Credit: Peter Kramer / AP Photo/NBC

Bret Michaels Related dispatches from The Ministry of Gossip

Bret Michaels hospitalized -- again -- with 'warning stroke,' hole in heart

Out of the hospital, Bret Michaels says he feels 'lucky to be alive' 

I think he'll outlive us all,' Bret Michaels' sister says

Minor setback' for Bret Michaels during treatment 

Bret Michaels in critical condition after brain hemorrhage

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