It was a tough road for me leading up to last night’s first episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ The week before taping, I was in New York on business for my own solo tour and then I flew across country to see my daughters for a few hours and then got back on the jet and I flew into Leon, Mexico to play a sold-out solo at their stadium.
The morning after the show, I had to be back in New York at 7 a.m. to start ‘Apprentice’ so I figured I would just sleep on the plane, no problem. Well, there was a problem: customs! You get a tattooed rocker and they assume there are drugs, so they took everything, and I mean everything, off the plane to check it and had their drug-sniffing dogs out too. We spent almost three hours on the tarmac, so by the time I got back on the plane I was so nervous about being late that I only got maybe one hour of sleep. I thought, “I am so screwed.” I knew I was going up against some of the most A-type personalities in the world. This can’t be good. I couldn’t have started off worse, but I’m a rocker and I’m used to running on fumes.
The best thing that could’ve happened was Maria Kanellis ripping up my photo because that got me fighting mad. It made me want to work even harder. It really pissed me off. I was going for the throat after that. No more “How you doing?’ I was like, “You’re going down.” What they didn’t show on air was that Maria didn’t just rip my picture once. She ripped it up in several bits and pieces and kind of chucked it on the floor. It went on and on and some of the other women were cheering. And, I looked over and said, “Now, you’ve pissed me off.” It was a bigger deal than they showed. I looked over and I said, “You just f*cked up because, I’m a rocker, I may be late but I can run on a fume.” I’ve played shows where I haven’t slept in two days and went onstage and played great. I get the job done.
I know there was some confusion over whether Team Rocksolid chose Cyndi Lauper as the women’s team project manager because we thought she was strongest or because we thought she was weakest, so let me explain my decision: I wanted to get rid of the strong people in New York right away and Cyndi has a lot of New York connections. But also, she’s a musician and it’s early in the day and she, like me, was tired. I looked over at her and thought, “She’s as tired as I am.” Musicians don’t work these early hours.
And, the other reason to choose Cyndi was to throw Sharon Osbourne, who we all know is very strong, off her game. Here’s some of Team Rocksolid’s brilliance: We purposely did not choose Sharon because we knew it would rub her the wrong way. We decided to divide and conquer. Saying to her, “Sharon, you’re not the strongest. Cyndi is,” was a brilliant move. We already threw a dagger into their machine. We sat down, and they didn’t show this, but we said that if we made Cyndi the strongest, obviously Sharon would take that as a diss and it get a cog stuck in their machine. And, we think that worked.
And, I understand their choice to have me as the men’s PM. I mean, I don’t know what I would think of me either as an outsider knowing I’ve done three seasons of sucking face and drinking booze on ‘Rock of Love‘ and 20 years as a party rock band. So, I would be weary of me as well.
I was really proud of Team Rocksolid. Everyone rocked it out. Here’s how I break it down:
Bret Michaels: I was the CEO. And, as CEO I knew how to delegate and putting Curtis in charge of the restaurant and food was the obvious choice. I trusted him.
Curtis Stone: He was a superstar and he truly shined. He was our COO.
Michael Johnson: Very calm. He didn’t lose his cool. He stayed at the front in charge of the money. He was our CFO.
Goldberg: I’ve never seen anyone work as hard as he did. I’m a huge wrestling fan, so it really made me feel good. He was a workhorse. He was carrying stuff that would’ve taken five of us to carry. I’m not kidding! He was our Office Manager/Enforcer.
Darryl Strawberry: He was our people person. He knew everyone in New York. He was our Human Resources person.
Sinbad: He was our VP of Marketing.
The thing about Sinbad, out of everyone, here was some awkward tension. But it’s on his part. I really like Sinbad. He’s one of the people I was really excited to meet. I think he’s a funny guy and he has a lot of energy. But for some reason, I think he might have liked me, but he surely didn’t love me. But I busted my butt and whatever I did worked. We won.
And, whether he loved me or not or respected me as PM or not, Sinbad got me the soda that saved my life. Here’s what happened: I took my insulin, but I forgot to eat and it made my blood sugar drop rapidly. Two things happened: I let my pissed off emotions of what the girls said and Maria ripping the picture affect me. I got angry and I just wanted to work and I was working, working, working and just forgot to eat. So I started to feel dizzy and for a minute I didn’t know where I was. Your lips go numb, you get faint, and confused, and you feel your body starting to shut down. It’s kind of like when people are dehydrated, your body functions are shutting down. I had to stay at the counter for 10 minutes. The room started to spin a little bit. I wasn’t kind of in trouble; I knew I was in trouble. Whether Sinbad loves me or doesn’t love me, respects me or not, he’s entitled to that opinion. And I respect him for that even if he didn’t respect me as project manager. The soda helped bring my blood sugar back.
But, the toughest thing for me, I have to admit, out of the whole ‘Apprentice’ experience was sitting across from Ivanka Trump because she is smart, funny, witty, charming, and beautiful. The hardest part was to not sweat profusely sitting in front of her. I kept thinking, “Could we just have one last episode of ‘Rock of Love’ in the boardroom?”
Kidding aside, I wish they showed more of how hard our team was working. When I watched the show back, it seemed like they showed the women’s hard work more. One thing I wished they showed was at one point our line was so long that I was feeding the customers in the line. I would have people sit on the floor to eat and then I would take their wallet and if they’d offer $100 for a burger and I’d go, “I see another $100 in your wallet” and whip it out and say, “Thank you. Diabetes loves you!” It was funny and it worked. And, I don’t know if you could tell on the show, but the women’s restaurant was larger than ours, so for a moment I thought they might win because of that.
I was really upset when Joan Rivers picked the women’s team as their favorite. Curtis did a great job with the food, but we did get the food to her late. The food may have been cold, but it was unbelievably delicious. In the heat of the moment, I was not mad at Rod at all [for not picking up Joan’s food when it was hot]. He was doing what Rod does. He was talking to the customers. He was nice. So I wasn’t mad. I don’t get mad at people; I get motivated. So I’d hit him on the back and say, “Rod, stop talking. You gotta get over to the counter. There’s food over there.” But his personality brought people in and he got a lot of money out of people.
But it did upset me in the boardroom and when he [Donald Trump] announced that Joan picked Team Tenacity, I thought I was going home. Now, I’m not a big self-pity guy and I’m not a crier. But when I get emotional, I get a little lumpy and I get a little glassy in the eyes. The lump in the throat comes and then I fight the tear, but you’re not going to see me balling. I’m not a baller. I’m not a crier. But I do get a little emotional and the emotion in the boardroom for me was twofold: First the fact that I won as a project manager and won all the money for diabetes got me. And, second, and what made the throat tight as well, it was a combination of thinking, “Oh my God. I’m not going to be the first one leaving this show.” But I was also thinking how much I did not want to have to pack up all my sh*t! I brought everything, and I mean everything, from my tour bus.
And, I stand by what I said. If there was a weak link, it was my lack of sleep, me running on a fume, and my low blood sugar. I said it straight up, if we had lost and someone had to go, it had to be me. I would throw myself on the sword. That said, I do not think Carol Leifer should’ve gone home. I thought it was funny when she called me a “man-whore,” actually. I think she’s brilliant and she worked hard and that it was a mistake to let her go.
Next week is a good one. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my early morning punctuality is a little off. I can’t fall asleep until two or three in the morning even if I try. And, when you start a day at 5 or 6 a.m. that is going to run until 12 or 1 in the morning, it’s hard. In defense of the Team Rocksolid, in episode two as you’ll see, I was late and I have to eat that bullet. But the fact that they left me behind pissed me off because another thing they did not show you in episode one was that Rod Blagojevich was late. And, as a project manager, I would not let our team leave. I went up in the elevator, pounded on his door, and brought him down. So the fact that they leave me in episode two next week does piss me off. I don’t agree with it. But that is what makes the show amazing. It gets a little tense for me next week…very tense.
The first show rocked and Team Rocksolid kicked ass! Take that, Tenacity! See you here next week….