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Among the talents playing on the new season  of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, is Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath. He spoke to OK! exclusively earlier about why he is so excited to be a part of the cast — and how Bret Michaels factors into it!

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“I’m not sure why [I was picked], but I certainly am honored,” Mark said. “I think that I’m willing to put myself out there. I wear my heart on my sleeve that type of thing so maybe that had to do with it a little bit. But I’m not sure why. I am honored to be here.”

He confided in OK! why he was so eager to participate: “I wanted to step out of my safety zone. We live our lives and we don’t challenge ourselves too much. To get with a group of people you really don’t know, to be involved in intimate situations and work together under extreme conditions it’s a challenge.”

Who does he think is his biggest competition?

Richard Hatch. Richard’s a big threat.” He also feels he needs to watch out for John Rich, even though they’ve become friends! “He’s a cool guy, good man, good father, and a real threat too.”

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Mark also told OK! about why Bret run last season really inspired him.

” I love Bret Michaels. I love Bret,” Mark. “Bret and I come from the same world. I actually put a call in and he called me back. I just wanted to get some advice! I liked the essence of who he was. I didn’t know who he really was and then a show like this brings out your personality. I just think Bret’s a really cool guy. “

Mark is playing for VH1’s “Save the Music” foundation.

“Basically it’s just trying to keep music in America’s public schools,” he explained. “With all the budgetary cutbacks the first thing that goes is the arts. In schools that even do have music programs now, they’re losing them so it was such a huge part of my development, my growth as as a person, my creativity to have music in public schools. It’s like not having math to me.”

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