How do you make the lead singer from an '80s hair-metal band fall for you? Two women fighting for the tan hand of Poison frontman Bret Michaels in Season 2 of VH1's Rock of Love (Sundays at 9 pm/ET) think they've found the answer: scissors. They crowd around a mirror, slicing ordinary tops into shredelicious garments of rocker seduction. "Does that look too slutty?" a blonde asks, attacking her white tank. A brunette hacks three inches off her own black fishnet shirt: "Yeah, but that's a good thing!" The fishnet scrap is wrapped around a lamp, and cleavage bounces as everyone points and laughs in delight: "Look, now the lamp looks slutty, too!"
Michaels, appearing quite self-possessed for a guy who celebrated Season 1 by nearly drinking himself into a diabetic coma, lounges in his bordello-like lair, taking it all in. His blue eyes are knee-weakening enough to distract from any hair issues his signature bandanna might be hiding. "Attraction isn't all about sex and hair color. Challenges reveal character," he says. So is "character" what he's fishing for when he ends almost every contestant interaction with a round of tonsil hockey? "Obviously," Michaels says, "I'm looking for chemistry, too." Obviously.
Michaels' chemistry lab is a six-bedroom McMansion tucked into a tropical grove in a well-to-do section of Los Angeles' smoggy San Fernando Valley. It's massive and tacky — a perfect reflection of the late '80s/early '90s hair-metal culture in which Michaels, now 44, was a key player. Flames lick their way up the dining-room walls. A stripper pole bisects the enormous living room that's essentially a giant bar. A custom chopper lounges in the foyer. Despite the hard-rocker surroundings, throughout our visit Michaels keeps reminding us of one thing: This bad-boy crib is more than just the centerpiece to another VH1 "celebreality" hit. It's also the launching pad to what the never-married rock star hopes will be a new chapter in his life. "I am absolutely looking for love," says the father of two girls, Jorja, 2, and Raine, 7 (both from a previous relationship). "And I am looking for someone who gets along with my daughters."
As they've done all season, today's Mrs. Bret Michaels wannabes are working hard to be his babies' stepmamas. They've been tasked to stage a patriotic revue for Michaels and a band of randy war veterans. One contestant wrinkles her pretty face, confused. "Which one is 'The Star Spangled Banner'?" she asks. She's informed that it's the one that starts, "Oh, say can you see." Nearby, two contestants hula-hoop while reciting the preamble to the Constitution. The winners of this competition will get valuable VIP, one-on-one time with their dream man.
As innocent as it all sounds, the battle for Michaels' love is cutthroat. When front-runner Kristy Joe got a date with Michaels, they'd barely touched their steaks when dark-horse Destiney sashayed in, toting her free pass for private time. Michaels professed annoyance at the intrusion but seemed to have a change of heart when Destiney straddled him. After Destiney came Daisy, also trying to cash in a pass. And also hoping to straddle him. At any rate, the dates were, uh, a bust. Yet Michaels remained philosophical: "At first I was hoping there'd be a naked catfight by the pool while I continued to eat," he said.
So far, one of Michaels' "girls" has been sent home for getting so drunk she passed out before the elimination round. Another claimed to have done the show on a dare. A third committed a Rock of Love no-no when she failed to use her VIP pass. (The women must demonstrate total dedication to Michaels.) The remaining hopefuls learned from their competitors' mistakes, and they've been doing whatever it takes — lap dances and stripper-pole work included — to win his attention. Once they get it, do any of them sample what Michaels refers to as "the real rock of love"? When asked, Michaels gets that bad-boy look in his eyes and says, "I don't want to kiss and tell, but so far, there might'a been a couple, two or three."
Check out Rock of Love clips in our Online Video Guide.
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