"There were some fierce competitors, but I came here to win," the 47-year-old told TVGuide.com after being named the winner at the live finale. "I came here to show Donald Trump I could rock and that I could hold my own and work hard."
Second-place finisher Holly Robinson Peete admitted she underestimated Michaels in the beginning. "We all thought Bret was a rock 'n' roll guy who couldn't get to work on time, but in the end ... Bret was just phenomenal and it was hurricane Bret," she said. "I couldn't win against Hurricane Bret."
Holly added that even her family is full of Bret fans: "My own kids are wearing Bret Michaels bandanas at the after-party; you can't compete with that!" she said.
Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders was also blown away by the Poison front man. "Rock of Love guy shows up and I'm thinking, 'Okay, who is this kid?'" Summers said, noting that her perception changed while working with Michaels on the final challenge. Summers said she told Michaels, "You just proved so many people wrong; you've just shown a whole new side of Bret Michaels and people are going to love it."
Even the Donald said that on Day 1, he probably would not have gone with Michaels as a contender for the finale. "You can never tell," Trump said, adding that he was impressed by Michaels' drive to show up to the finale despite medical issues. "He did not listen to his doctors who didn't want him to fly, didn't want him doing two hours of live television," Trump said. "He's a brave guy."