Michaels, who defeated actress Holly Robinson Peete on the two-hour season finale episode, was determined to overcome his physical challenges and make it to the live finale.
"I came here to win," he said. Looking visibly frail, the Poison front man walked with a limp onto the live set, but immediately went back to his charismatic old self as he cracked jokes and greeted each fired contestant.
Both Michaels and Peete were drawn to the game for personal reasons.
Michaels is a life-time Type 1 diabetic and played for the American Diabetes Association. Peete was competing to raise money for autism research through her non-profit organization, HollyRod. Her 12-year-old son, RJ, suffers from autism.
The two competed in the final task that consisted of creating a new flavor for Snapple, formulating a 30-second commercial, and a three-page advertorial.
Michaels, with the help of fired contestants Daryl Strawberry and Summer Sanders, launched the "Trop-A-Rocka" flavor of Diet Snapple. Peete created Compassionberry tea with recently expelled contestants Maria Kanellis and Curtis Stone.
The Snapple executives enjoyed both final products. They thought Michaels' was very creative and said it was smart of him to integrate himself in the ad campaign.
Their comments for Peete were just as positive. They enjoyed her presentation and appreciated her professionalism. This came as no surprise, as Peete has been a strong player with a no-nonsense business sense from the beginning. She made "Apprentice" history by raising more money than any other contestant in previous seasons.
But, the decision ultimately came down to Donald Trump. In the end, he "hired" Michaels rather than Peete. Trump called Michaels "popular, imaginative and brave."
"Everyone loved you," he said.
Michaels, who suffered a potentially fatal brain hemorrhage on April 22, was re-hospitalized last week after experiencing a stroke.
He's made it clear the setbacks can't stop him from pursuing what he wants. "I'm a problem solver - a rock-n-roll MacGyver."