The first two Rock of Love ladies weren't a match for Bret Michaels, but the rock star is about to give love (or lust) another whirl as he chooses between Mindy and Taya on the season finale of Rock of Love Bus (Sunday, 9 pm/ET, MTV). The Poison front man explained why he decided to put his dating life on display, why he thinks his show is different than other dating series, and how it's going with the woman who won his heart this season.
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to do Rock of Love when it started?
Bret Michaels: When they first asked me to do the show, I was reluctant. So I sort of passed and said do this Rock of Love concept, but it's not for me. I had just come out of this relationship, have two daughters and like my privacy. I'm not a recluse, but I like time with my kids. Three months later, VH1 came back and said you're the one we want to do it. You throw a good party, you can hold half a conversation and still got a few brain cells left [Laughs].
TVGuide.com: With two young daughters, do you have reservations about doing such a risqué show?
Michaels: The one thing I can say is I'm a good father. I realize they are young, but their mom — my ex — and I are really great friends, and it's clear to them their mom is their mom. They know daddy is on a dating show and that he's a crazy rock guy. I bring them on the road all the time and they love it. They get prepped for the show and get done up and bring their guitars up to the side of the stage.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think it became such a hit?
Michaels: I think [the franchise succeeded because] I've had years and years of great fans who tuned in to watch the show and then it blew up from there. Because I didn't know what I was doing, it became more original. It didn't just become, "Here's your rose, I love you, let's get married tomorrow even though we've only been dating a few days." I'm honest with the girls. I tell them I'm here to date. What I'm looking for is someone to like, to lust, and, possibly over time, fall in love with.
TVGuide.com: So you don't think love comes as easily as it does on shows like The Bachelor?
Michaels: Love takes time. You got to go through the flu with somebody, a family member passing away, a broken heart, a broken leg — and then see if they still want you. After a month-and-a-half of filming, you might fall in lust, but love is a little different.
TVGuide.com: Then how do you gauge if these girls have love potential?
Michaels: I would throw them in a Super Mud Bowl motocross race or a grease pig challenge. These are great things to find true love. You learn about peoples' characters by putting them into odd situations.
TVGuide.com: How would you sum up your experience with this season's girls?
Michaels: I don't know where they got the girls, but they were fun and crazy. The big flip of the show is I went in there to be the rock star who dates these girls, but in some sick twist, I became the voice of reason — which is really scary! It's almost like I was the therapist and the girls were crazy rock stars.
TVGuide.com: So can you say if there was a solid connection with the winner of this upcoming finale?
Michaels: I definitely felt love at the end of all three seasons. Or, I felt lust and a lot of like. It was the same feeling I had at the end of the first two seasons. I go into these relationships with the same intention, but whether or not they last is a whole different ball game.