NEW YORK — Even though Bret Michaels endured two seasons worth of conniving, drunken debauchery, bad weaves and cat fights on his reality show “Rock of Love,” he admits that he still may not have found that one special woman.
On this month’s season two finale of his hit VH1 show, Michaels chose TV host Ambre out of the pack. While the two may not be head-over-heels in love, Michaels says he has found someone who is “nice and cool.” That’s a big improvement for the former lead singer of Poison: He and his season one pick, Jess, didn’t even date once the show ended.
Michaels spoke with The Associated Press about relationships and lessons learned from reality television as “Rock of Love: The Complete First Season” is released to DVD this month.
AP: Is this just a show for entertainment, or did you really go into this thinking that you were going to find true love?
Michaels: I said this from day one: I went into this to have fun and maybe find someone to like. True love is not going to be found instantly on a TV show. That is only for scripted shows. Scripted reality, they give someone a show. It is the reason “Rock of Love” has been the No. 1 show. It has been kept as real as possible. Anyone thinking they are going into a TV show finding love, they might find someone that they like and eventually learn to like them more. I think finding true love, I never went in with that intent.
AP: Did you find true love this time?
Michaels: I found someone who is really nice and cool and gets rock ’n’ roll. We can see when it goes from here.
AP: Do you feel that doing a reality show hurts your credibility as a rocker?
Michaels: I am a rock star/musician who has had, with a lot hard work, a continuous and long career with or without reality TV. When I went in and they came after me when I was going to do “Rock of Love,” they gave me this novelty concept. They were trying to go back to ’86. I lived ’86. I loved ’86, but I live in 2006/2007. I love my spandex and cowboy boots from ’87. I thought it was fantastic. (But) I didn’t want my show to be a novelty. I have generations of fans. I think the show has been a plus for this reason: it has exposed my solo act. It has exposed that this is really me.
Slideshow: Celebrity Sightings
AP:What are the most important lessons you learned from being in a house with a bunch of women?
Michaels: One good lesson that I have learned is patience. Even if you are not listening, act like you are listening. Even if you are in the background watching ESPN, listen or pretend to be listening. If you are going to use the same nice charm and jokes, try not to take three women on a date at the same time so that each of them does not know you’re using it.
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AP: Isn’t it every man’s dream to date three women at once?
Michaels: The date is the dream because it looks good for your image. However, saying lines while the other ones can hear it and then turning to another and saying the same line is not a smart move.
AP: Did you get overwhelmed dating three women at once?
Michaels: No, I was thinking it was actually awesome. It is a lot like the tour bus. It is like backstage. I had years to prepare me for the show.
AP: On the first season, you picked Jess. The relationship did not work out. What went wrong?
Michaels: No one explains to you in the world of reality TV that when you are done, you spend five or six months a part. This is told to you at the end of the show. You get done — there are months where you can’t be traveling and doing stuff (together) because they don’t want anyone to take a picture of you. If I get out at LAX, they have the TMZ people there. If someone gets a picture of you on vacation together with a cell phone, it’s over.
AP: Did you have a conversation with Jess about breaking up?
Michaels: When she came back from the show, she was cold as ice and angry. I put her on the spot. I said, “Listen, if it is for show, why would I be inviting you to dinner?” At the reunion, they never showed this, but I said, “How long have you been with your boyfriend?” Her boyfriend and her sell shirts in Chicago. Maybe you should ask her who is for show. I thought she was a pretty girl and intelligent and funny. All the other girls told me she has a boyfriend who sells shirts in Chicago and that was the shirt she was wearing the whole show.
AP: How difficult is it to find out the truth about these women?
Michaels: Therein is the challenge — getting to the bottom of what the truth is. You know if anyone goes on a date it is the face of a stranger. The true colors (eventually) come out. I am what I am. I tell them, “I play flag football with my friends on the weekends. I like to race motorbikes. I have muscle cars.” I am not saying change is bad. You can look and see what I have been doing for the last 20 years.
AP: Will there be a “Rock of Love 3”?
Michaels: I don’t know ... We are looking to do a show called “Bret Michaels Big Rock Road Show” which is just rockers gone wild on the road. I never say never. Right now I am not mentally there. I am having fun doing it and I am thankful to the fans that made the show number one. The girls made the show great.
AP: What are you hiding under that bandanna?
Michaels: My hair is combined of my hair and the finest extensions Europe has to offer. I do the show without it on all the time and they wont film me. They are like, “Put your bandanna back on. It is your image.” It is my signature thing.
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