Apprentice finalist Bret Michaels back in hospital in advance of Sunday’s live finale

Bret Michaels’ doctors discovered he has a hole in his heart after he was hospitalized again after having a mini-stroke sometime this week. There’s no clear information at this point about whether or not he’ll attend Sunday’s live finale of The Celebrity Apprentice 3.

In a statement posted to Facebook and elsewhere, his representatives said he “was readmitted to the hospital this week after suffering numbness on the left side of his body, predominately his face and hands which doctors described as a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or warning stroke,” and an ultrasound discovered he has “a Patent Forum [sic] Ovale (PFO), a hole in the heart.” (It’s actually “patent foramen ovale,” which the rest of the post uses correctly.)

His doctor, identified only as Dr. Zabramski, said, “I realize Bret wants to make a full recovery so that he can be active with his family, attempt to attend the finale of Celebrity Apprentice and especially get back on the road to continue making music. … However, Bret’s brain and body are not quite 100% yet, especially with the hole found in his heart” His representative Janne Elias said, “He is up, walking, talking, continuing his daily rehab and very happy to be alive but he has made it clear he is sick and tired of being in the hospital and is ready to rock again.”

Bret is one of the final two contestants left on The Celebrity Apprentice, and he’s competing against Holly Robinson Peete in a challenge that involved creating and launching new Snapple flavors.

While Trump had to start firing actual celebrities over the past few weeks–Cyndi Lauper and her televised awesomeness was the first to go, while Sharon Osbourne ended a weak season with a teary and funny but unsuccessful plea to stay last week (“nobody gives a shit about anybody’s colon because it’s up your ass”; “I don’t want to be a loser”)–Trump ended up with two strong and surprising competitors.

They’re surprising because no one knew who Holly was and because everyone expected Bret to be a fuck-up. But instead, he’s been very effective, though in this final task, the editors have been playing up how easily he’s distracted to create some tension. On Sunday, they’ll each launch their new flavors, which are now available: Holly created Compassionberry for her charity, the HollyRod Foundation, while Bret’s flavor is Trop-A-Rocka, and he is playing for the American Diabetes Association.

And then Donald Trump will decide who wins the $250,000 for their charity, and though he’ll do that live, he might be without Bret, and it’s unclear how the show will handle that. However, when Bret was in the hospital and in bad shape at the end of last month, Trump did say, “forget the show,” so it’s good to know he places Bret’s health over that of his reality series.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.