Bret Michaels and Holly Robinson Peete make 'Apprentice' finale
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/17/2010
Former Rock of Love star Bret Michaels and actress Holly Robinson Peete were revealed as The Celebrity Apprentice's final two third-season contestants during Sunday night's episode of the NBC reality competition series.
Wrestler Maria Kanellis, Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone, and America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne were all fired by The Apprentice star Donald Trump earlier in Sunday night's broadcast -- setting up the final task battle between Bret and Holly.
The Celebrity Apprentice's penultimate third-season episode began following the previous elimination of singer Cyndi Lauper.
"I hate that Cyndi had to go, but I felt she was kind of a lose cannon for a while now," commented Holly. "So I felt it was the right decision."
The five remaining celebrities were then called back into the boardroom, where Trump congratulated them for making it to the Top 5 before revealing he was going to fire one of them on the spot.
Trump added the Top 4 would then be interviewed by The Celebrity Apprentice second-season winner Joan Rivers and original The Apprentice champ Bill Rancic that night.
"Then I'm going to fire two more people," said Trump. "So we're going to end up then, after tonight, with two people who will go head-to-head in the final task."
Holly said she shouldn't be fired because she's "focused, dedicated and committed" and Bret said he should stay in the game because he's "worked hard" and is "extremely passionate" about his charity cause. Curtis said he's a "natural leader" and Maria said she's "not afraid" of working hard to reach the top.
Trump asked Holly who the weakest player was, and she singled out Maria because she "comes from the least purest place sometimes."
"Sometimes I've seen in the boardroom Maris stick up for herself at the expense of someone else just to do it -- without any provocation," added Holly. "In my eyes, it's a weakness."
"I never say anything that isn't supported. There is support for everything I say," responded Maria, adding she feels bad for Holly's "tough" past of raising a child with autism.
Trump then asked Sharon who the weakest overall player was, and -- after some pushing by Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump -- she singled out Maria. Sharon then said Holly's "tough because she's good at everything she does."
"Holly has a heart this big, and there's nothing like a mother fighting for her child," added Sharon.
"Will you be able to beat Holly?" asked Ivanka.
"I don't know if I'd want to," responded Sharon.
Trump asked Curtis who he felt the weakest was, and he also singled out Maria.
"He's just jumping on the bandwagon, that's okay," said Maria.
"She made some really unfounded comments about me last week in the boardroom," said Curtis. "Of course I haven't forgotten that."
"It was founded," responded Maria. "The reason why I said you were so arrogant is because you came in our dressing room and you took a crap and left the stench in the room. That is the whole purpose I was upset."
Curtis thought the comment was a "good depiction" of Maria's character -- "below the belt" -- and Trump agreed.
"Maria, do you regret having said that?" asked Trump.
"I don't regret anything," she answered.
"Isn't it sort of gross bringing that up? It's disgusting," said Trump. "This is my boardroom. It's not a locker room. Maria, you're fired."
Maria then exited the boardroom.
"This experience that I've had on The Celebrity Apprentice was amazing up until 10 minutes of it," she said. "It wasn't even like, 'Oh, you screwed up a task.' It was like, 'Oh, I didn't like your comment.' It's laughable."
The finalists then each met with Joan and Bill separately, who then reported back to Trump.
Bill said Curtis "knows how to build a brand" and Joan added he's "very secure" in what he does but is "also very limited."
"He's a one-trick pony," said Bill. "I'm sure he's a very nice guy, but I don't think he's got what it takes."
Joan said she could sense Sharon wants this more than anything else she ever wanted in her life.
"I think she's out of gas," added Bill, aware that Sharon had been sick. "I don't think she can go the distance to bring this thing home and deliver in the finale."
Bill said Bret has a "fire in his belly" and was "upfront" about having made mistakes, which said a lot about his character.
"Bret I think is very creative. He's an artist -- there's no question about it," said Joan. "I know he wants it and he feels it, but I didn't see the fire in him."
Joan said Holly is "living this" because her son has autism, which has made her "focused." Bill called it a "big problem" that she previously lost two tasks but called her an "ass kicker."
"I'd like to see her go against Sharon," said Joan to Trump. "That's two strong, connected women that care about their charities."
"But I think Bret is connected," said Bill.
Trump then met with the four remaining finalists in the boardroom. Curtis denied Bill's comment that he's a one-trick pony but Trump didn't care.
"Curtis, you're fired," he said. "I have no choice. [Bill and Joan] really were very strong in that way. Get the hell out of here."
Curtis said he'd never been fired before in his life.
"I was really disappointed because I wanted to raise a whole lot more money for Feeding America," he added. "That being said, I think I played a pretty good game and I represented myself quite well. If you're going to be fired, you mine as well be fired by Donald Trump, right?"
Back in the boardroom, Trump asked Holly who'd she fire and she answered "probably Bret."
"Only because I just feel like Sharon's passion has really come out in the last couple tasks," she added. "I feel like she's a real strong player."
Trump then asked Bret the same question, and he answered Holly.
"I think she is a strong player..." began Bret before Trump cut him off.
"Sharon, why are you crying?" he asked. "Don't cry! You're doing so well, there's no reason to cry. You should be proud of yourself. Why are you crying?"
"I don't want to be a loser," she said through tears.
"It's a tough ordeal," answered Trump, who then asked who she'd fire.
"I can't," she said. "It's just that the three of us are so emotionally involved because it directly affects us."
"That makes it tougher for me," agreed Trump before he asked Sharon if she could compete with either Bret or Holly. "Do you think you have the energy?"
"I'm strong enough," she answered. "I'm a fighter."
Trump then revealed Bill felt Sharon couldn't compete with Bret or Holly, and she said it was "his opinion." Unfortunately for her, Trump agreed with Bill.
"Sharon, I love you. You're really a special woman. But Sharon, you're fired," he said.
The next morning, Bret and Holly met Trump, Donald Jr. and Ivanka. For their final task, Bret and Holly would be creating a new flavor Snapple tea and extend their advertising with a new television commercial and print ad. In addition, they would launch their new flavor at an event featuring Snapple employees, distributors and customers.
Bret and Holly would be judged on originality, creativity, incorporating their charities' mission and message, and maintaining the spirit of Snapple -- which would eventually sell the winner's product. The winner would also receive $250,000 for their respective charities.
Bret traveled to the Snapple mixology headquarters and immediately began to organize. He was eventually met by previously-ousted participants Summer Sanders and Daryl Strawberry, who would help him for the final task. Holly's was eventually met by her team, Maria and Curtis.
"At this point, I'm just happy to have help," opined Holly, who was hoping for Summer.
The teams tasted the flavors they had to work with so they could negotiate which ones they wanted. Bret wanted to make sure he had the diet brand due to his diabetes. It quickly became clear that both teams wanted passion fruit as their top priority. Holly sent Curtis in as her negotiator against Bret.
"Bring me back the passion fruit!" she shouted as Curtis left the room
Michaels expressed his desire for passion fruit, cinnamon, vanilla and black pepper.
"I've got a bit of a problem," said Curtis, asking for Bret's second and third choices.
Curtis countered by asking if he could get passion fruit while giving Bret everything else he asked for. Bret wasn't biting and also wanted passion fruit.
"If you take my passion fruit, you took my A game," Bret bluntly told Curtis. "You kicked me right in the nards."
Curtis lied and said everything of Holly's list was also on Bret's list in an attempt to land passion fruit.
"It's taking my A game away but I need to get on with my game," said Bret. "I'm going to give you this. Take that passion fruit."
Curtis said he thought Bret gave passion fruit up "a bit easy." Holly was happy Curtis landed all the juices they needed and wanted.
"I sent the right man up there," she said.
Summer was disappointed Bret didn't hold firm for passion fruit.
"We ended up very vulnerable," she said.
Bret eventually ended up developing two drinks -- "Diet Pear Plum Nutty" and "Tropi-Rocka." He sent Daryl to the mall for a taste test. Holly also made two, but was mostly excited about "Compassion Berry." Maria thought it needed a spice so Holly put sweet basil in it, which she thought improved it. They eventually went to the mall with samples that included and didn't include sweet basil.
"I really wish we could have come up with two completely types of tea so the public would be able to tell us which one they liked," said Maria. "But Holly does this. Holly gets something in her mind and then that's it. You're not going to change her mind. It could be a huge mistake."
As Bret and Summer worked on their labels, Donald Jr. arrived to see how they were doing. He eventually visited Holly as well.
At the mall, Daryl taste-tested Bret's flavors while Maria and Curtis tested Holly's flavors. The "Diet Pear Plum Nutty" didn't go over so well for Bret, as Maria also thought it was "absolutely disgusting."
"Most of them picked Tropi-Rocka," said Daryl.
He relayed the message to Bret, who was surprised since their whole creative was around the other flavor.
"I always feel that the people know what the people want," said Bret. "Of course I made the artwork for all the other stuff. So we flipped it all around."
That night Holly got a jump on the next day by having Curtis call the prop shop after hours -- but it was fine since he used his charm. Daryl and Summer liked Bret's creative, and they also began to prepare for the next day of shooting the commercial and putting the three-page ad together.
The next morning, Bret said he was "feeling a lot of pressure" because he didn't know how to mix humor with the diabetes messages. He suggested shooting two commercials, which was a lot to take on. Summer thought the idea was "insane" since it would take too so much time.
Holly said things were starting to come to her creatively and she was ready to shoot after some casting, while Curtis and Maria went to the prop shop. Holly had a problem rejecting certain actors after auditions because an actress, she sympathizes. She had Curtis do it instead.
Bret was having a problem with his casting as he needed to have good-looking girls, which Daryl thought was a "major distraction" for the former Rock of Love star.
"You have to try to keep him on course," said Daryl.
"I can't pull Bret away. I have a lot of questions," added Summer.
With casting in the books, Curtis began to arrange the props for the print ad -- and Holly was happy to have his ambitious help.
"Time pressures are so intense right now," she said.
While Curtis worked on the print ad, Holly worked on the commercial and decided to go a funny route while also plugging that Snapple was supporting a good cause.
Summer helped Bret write both his funny and serious commercial scripts. While Bret wanted to use a dolly track for the serious commercial, there wasn't one available.
"I'm trying to keep my cool right now. It's ridiculous that we'd not have a dolly track," he opined. "When I got in there and didn't have the proper equipment, the first thing I thought is, 'This is bad and I need to fix this problem right away.'"
However Bret was having a hard time fixing it, because even once he secured a dolly they needed insurance for it -- so he canceled the order. Summer noticed Bret was in "panic mode."
"If I don't get this dolly, we have screwed this up so bad," said Bret. "We are going to lose."
Meanwhile, Holly finished both her print and commercial ads to begin the editing process.
The Celebrity Apprentice's two-hour finale broadcast will air live on Sunday night at 9PM ET/PT.