'Celebrity Apprentice' Finale: Where Was Bret Michaels?

Bret Michaels
Adam Olszewski/NBC

The rocker is the only past winner returning this season as a competitor rather than an adviser to Donald Trump. During airing of season three, he was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage and later was readmitted for a warning stroke, with doctors finding a hole in his heart, but he returned for the live finale days later to beat out Holly Robinson Peete for the crown. His charity is the Life Rocks Foundation-National Philanthropic Trust.

The rocker -- and past winner -- wasn't present at Sunday night's live finale.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Sunday's finale.]

Donald Trump has a new Celebrity Apprentice.

Trace Adkins was hired as the first "all star" winner on Sunday night's live finale of the NBC reality competition. He beat out Penn Jillette to take the win.

PHOTOS: 'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice': Meet the Contestants (Again)

Among those present were the season's other competitors, in addition to past winner Joan Rivers, who served as one of Trump's advisers this season.

But noticeably absent was Bret Michaels, a past winner who returned to compete this season but was fired by Trump in the first episode (thanks in no small part to Omarosa's efforts). He later told Jimmy Fallon on NBC's Late Night that his firing was "horrible" and that he thought Trump wasn't serious.

"I thought they were punking me," he said. "I looked around to see what they were talking about."

So where was he? Michaels told followers of his Twitter feed and Facebook page on Sunday, "Unfortunately I won't be able 2 attend tonight's ?#celebapprentice finale due 2 a private event & my daughter's b-day."

He added, "Best of luck to ?@pennjillette & ?@TraceAdkins ?@ApprenticeNBC finale tonight! ?#celebapprentice is a great show."

VIDEO: 'Celebrity Apprentice': Bret Michaels Reacts to His 'Horrible,' Shocking Firing

Michaels is currently touring and performed in Orlando on Saturday night.

This week, he's actually in New York, where the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice finale aired live, to promote his new line of Bret Michaels Pets Rock merchandise at Petsmart locations in the city as well as doing press for his new Travel Channel series, Rock My RV, which debuts May 26.