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Sarah Palin, The Biggest Celebrity?; A Look at Bristol Palin`s Boyfriend; Sarah Palin`s Style and Image; Britney Spears at the VMAs; The Comeback of New Kids on the Block; Lily Allen Versus Sir Elton John

Aired September 4, 2008 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the biggest celebrity in the world revealed. Not Madonna. Not Brad Pitt. But Sarah Palin.

SARAH PALIN (R), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.



HAMMER: Tonight, the Republican vice president pick wows them. But now that she`s a big star, how does she need to look and act. And is the media treating her unfairly because she`s a woman? Tonight SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with the controversy over Sarah`s style and image.

Plus, Bristol Palin`s baby daddy. Today, a revealing look at the boyfriend of Palin`s pregnant daughter. Just who is Levi Johnston?

Also, big Britney Spears surprises. One good, and one not so good. Is she prepping a big MTV-VMA comeback? Plus, big news that Britney may have to stand trial in court.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.


Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: Hi, there, everyone. I`m Brooke Anderson, coming to you from Hollywood. And move over Madonna, Britney and Angelina, the biggest celebrity in America right now is Sarah Palin.

HAMMER: Yes, Brooke. She`s being called Sarah the star. But tonight with her new fame, the vice presidential nominee is being scrutinized like never before after a big speech at the Republican National Convention. And because she`s a woman and a former beauty queen, people are talking about the kind of stuff they would never talk about if she were a man. And what do we really know about the teenager who will be the father of Palin`s teen daughter`s baby? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT leaving no stone unturned as we begin with the fascination of Palin making news right now.


PALIN: I will be honored to accept your nomination for vice president of the United States.

HAMMER (voice over): It`s primetime Palin. Alaska governor and John McCain`s vice presidential pick Sarah Palin brought her compelling story to the national stage with her fiery speech at the Republican National Convention.

PALIN: They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.


HAMMER: And her performance was the talk of the nation. Especially on morning gab fests like "The View."

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Whatever your view is, she was just wonderful.

HAMMER: Nearly a week after Palin`s entry into the presidential campaign shocked the world and days after we all learned that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is pregnant, the Palin story is now front and center in every celebrity magazine out there.

AMY ARGETSINGER, "WASHINGTON POST": If the producers of "West Wing" had made up a character like this as a candidate for national office, everyone would have said, "You guys are desperate to keep the show on the air. This is ridiculous. This could never happen."

PALIN: I have the privilege of living most of my life in a small town.

HAMMER: And now that Palin`s unlikely saga has gone primetime, it`s clear the moose-hunting ex-beauty queen governor of Alaska is now the star of campaign 2008.

ARGETSINGER: She comes across like the heroine of a chick flick - you know, peppy, spunky, bright eyed, vivacious.

HAMMER: Palin`s entrance at the convention had a rock concert quality complete with "Hockey Moms for Palin" signs toted by her adoring Republican fans, and buttons touting her as "the hottest VP from the coolest state.

ARGETSINGER: They know what they`ve got here. They`ve got a good-looking woman on the number two spot. There are a lot of Sarah Palin crushes out there.

HAMMER: And with the spotlight on her, Palin fired back at the media that`s been covering her family`s troubles.

PALIN: Here`s a little news flash for those reporters and commentators, I`m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I`m going to Washington to serve the people of this great country.

HAMMER: But Palin`s primetime TV debut was about more than settling media scores. It was also about introducing the family we`ve heard so much about over the last few days. Hours before Palin`s speech, TV viewers got their first look at the young couple of the moment, pregnant teen Bristol Palin and her hockey-playing fiance Levi Johnston.

ARGETSINGER: They, you know, stood out there holding hands. John McCain gave hugs to both Bristol and Levi. Two years ago, Bristol was a teenage girl whose mother was not famous. A week ago, she was a teenage girl whose mother was not very famous. This is a lot to hit a couple of kids very fast.

HAMMER: And once on stage, Palin was sure to highlight her and husband Todd`s newly famous family of five children, including an infant son with Down syndrome.

PALIN: Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges, and the same joys.

ARGETSINGER: Frankly, they come across as adorable, good-looking kids. The seven-year-old Piper holding her little baby brother Trig and at one point licking her hand to smooth his hair down.

HAMMER: And whether they`re ready or not, this compelling family and intriguing candidate reached a whole new level for celebrity.

ARGETSINGER: I think they`re in for a wild ride.


HAMMER: Yes, you think? I think the ride has begun. So with Sarah Palin now a full-fledged celebrity, is it going to come back to haunt her in the campaign?

Joining me in New York, Maggie Gallant - she is the founder of Spotlight Communications. Also with me in New York tonight, Lisa Bloom, the host of "Lisa Bloom: Open Court."

All right, Maggie and Lisa, celebrity, as we now know, has been tossed around - that word tossed around in this campaign like it`s a dirty word, especially with those McCain ads that got so much attention featuring Britney and Paris. Sarah Palin, now on the cover of four celebrity magazines this week alone.

Maggie Gallant, over to you. The shoe is really on the other foot as far as celebrity is concerned now, isn`t it?

MAGGIE GALLANT, FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT COMMUNICATIONS: It truly is. I mean, celebrity is really somebody in our culture that we`re celebrating. Everybody is talking about her. She had one of the biggest moments we`ve seen in a very long time in politics last night. She wowed most people whether you`re for her or against her. She was powerful. She was present. And of course, she`s going to be gracing the covers of many different kinds of magazines including the celebrity ones.

HAMMER: Yes. We know celebrities transcends the movies and television. And in fact, in our question of the day that we asked on air, online and in our brand new "Showbiz On-Call" phone line - here was the question: "Sarah Palin: Is she now a bigger celebrity than Barack Obama?"

We got an overwhelming response including one call from Troy in Iowa. Listen to what Troy says.


TROY, CALLER FROM IOWA: I think Palin has definitely become a bigger celebrity than Obama. I mean, she was a beauty pageant queen at one time. She`s all over the news, and McCain`s wife is definitely a celebrity, too, with her high-priced glamour and glitz.


HAMMER: Yes. So you heard it there. Troy has been paying attention. Sarah is a former beauty queen. Cindy - she is admired for her polished style. But Lisa Bloom, is that a good or a bad thing?

LISA BLOOM, HOST, "LISA BLOOM: OPEN COURT": Well, I think the Republicans threw stones on the celebrity issue and now they`re living in the glass house. I mean, either it`s OK to be a celebrity or it`s not. You know, she decided to go on those four magazine covers. This is all a very calculated decision, so is it OK to be a celebrity or isn`t it? I think the Republicans just can`t have it both ways.

HAMMER: Yes. And those stones were thrown as I mentioned in the form of that ad originally featuring Britney and Paris to make a point in their minds Barack Obama is the world`s biggest celebrity. Well, Wednesday night, former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joined in the fray. He used Madonna to make a point. Listen to what Mike said.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`d like to thank the elite media for doing something that quite frankly I wasn`t sure could be done. And that`s unifying the Republican Party and all of America in support of Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin. The reporting of the past few days have proven tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert.


HAMMER: All right. Now, first of all, I don`t really get that because I`ve never viewed the changing of costumes at a Madonna concert as being tacky. I guess Mike Huckabee has a different view with all the Madonna concerts he`s been to.

Maggie, what do you think? Was this whole Madonna inclusion just revenge for Madonna`s concert video where she suggests McCain is somehow like Hitler?

GALLANT: Absolutely. I mean, he could have picked any pop star out there. He could have said Britney Spears. He could have said Cher. All of them have a lot of costume changes in their shows. He picked Madonna for a reason. And throughout the convention there`s been this like little digs at comments that have been made in the past. That`s exactly what that was, and he threw Madonna`s name back in the ring.

HAMMER: Nice going, Mike Huckabee. You know, as has been said so many times, let`s talk about the issues. Let`s not talk about Madonna.

What really stood out for me - you see this button here? This is what was going on last night. There were a lot of shots of buttons. During Palin`s speech, right there at the convention, and amidst all of the celebrity bashing, you have members of her own party, her constituency right there wearing these buttons calling her everything from "the hottest VP from the coolest state" to some other things you saw last night.

What do you think, Lisa? Are her own supporters just feeding the frenzy that Palin was perhaps picked as much for her style as her substance?

BLOOM: Well, I think they`re just having a little fun with the fact she is an attractive woman. There`s no doubt about it. I don`t have any problem with that, and we`re a little dazzled by how great she looks and what a fiery speech she gave. But when the stardust settles, she`s going to have to answer tough questions from reporters which she hasn`t had to do yet about her views, like why she doesn`t think American women should have the right to choose even in the case of rape and incest. She`s got some very extreme views. Right now, she hasn`t had to answer any hard questions.

HAMMER: Yes. I think a lot of it is being glossed over by, you know, the afterglow if you will, from what was a terrific speech. I don`t think anybody is denying that. But now, let the issues come to the forefront, please.

Maggie Gallant, Lisa Bloom, thanks for being here tonight.

Now, we want to turn it over to you. Here`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of day - "Sarah Palin: Is she now a bigger celebrity than Barack Obama? You can vote by going to You can also E- mail us your thoughts at

And I`ve got to tell you, I`m very excited about this new way that we have for you to get in touch with us and be on TV. Brooke, it`s "Showbiz On Call."

ANDERSON: That`s right, A.J. And it is very exciting. Our viewers can actually give us a buzz so that they can tell us what they think about all this Sarah Palin stuff or anything else they want to get off their chest.

HAMMER: Let me give you the number. It is 1-888-SBT-BUZZ. That`s 1-888- 728-2899. Leave Brooke and me a voicemail. We`re going to play some of your calls right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

ANDERSON: Yes, we are. A.J., I know a really heated debate is going on about Sarah Palin. But some are not talking about where she stands on the issues so much but talking rather about her image, her style.

HAMMER: Yes. That`s why, Brooke, a lot of people are saying she`s only getting that because she`s a woman. That`s why she`s getting this kind of attention.

ANDERSON: Yes, A.J. We`ve got a passionate group ready to go off about this, coming up.

And also Bristol Palin`s baby daddy, a revealing look at the boyfriend of Palin`s pregnant daughter, Levi Johnston. That`s next.

Oh, I can also tell you Britney Spears is up to something big. Is she about to make a huge MTV Video Music Awards comeback? And is Britney about to be hauled back into court to stand trial? That`s straight ahead.

HAMMER: Now, wait until you see this. The Elton John star smackdown caught on tape. Why Elton is going after a huge star for her drinking.

ANDERSON: And don`t forget, you can watch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT video anytime you want. We`re always posting new stuff for you to watch. That`s at our Web site Among the videos now playing, the "90210" scene that suggests sex. Did the new CW show cross the line? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is back after this.


ANDERSON: Tonight, a revealing look at the boyfriend of Sarah Palin`s teenage daughter. Just who is Levi Johnston?

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood.

A lot of people are calling him a hunk, but other than his good looks, we really don`t know too much about the father of Bristol Palin`s baby, Levi Johnston.

CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll is with us tonight in New York with a revealing look at Levi and what we can expect as the future son-in-law of a vice presidential candidate. Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brooke, as you know, there`s been a long tradition of the media keeping their distance from the children of candidates. But I can tell you all the rules have changed.

Now, Levi Johnston, an unknown hockey player from Alaska, is making national headlines for his role in the presidential race.


(voice over): Sen. John McCain warmly greeted 18-year-old Levi Johnston and his 17-year-old pregnant bride-to-be Bristol, daughter of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Levi Johnston`s introduction to the national spotlight not nearly as welcoming. His face and opinions previously known to just a few now plastered on tabloids nationwide.

LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I can`t speak for Levi but I can speak for many women across the country who feel it`s appalling that this poor child is being dragged into a political fistfight.

Kristen Cole is from Johnston`s hometown in Wasilla, Alaska, about 40 miles from Anchorage. Her daughter is friends with Johnston.

KRISTEN COLE, JOHNSTON FAMILY FRIEND: He is taking this relationship seriously. These two young people have been dating for quite some time. And again, I think the decisions that they`ve made are honorable. And I`m going to do everything I can to support the Palin family and their family.

CARROLL: On his MySpace page, now taken down, Johnston said he was in a relationship and calls himself a redneck, "I live to play hockey. I like to go camping and hang out with the boys, do some fishes and shoot some (EXPLETIVE DELETED). He also wrote, "I don`t want kids."

ANN GERHART, LAURA BUSH BIOGRAPHER: I`ve been really struck by how this is one more example of our incredibly speeded-up, logged-on, plugged-in culture.

CARROLL: Author Ann Gerhart wrote about President Bush`s twin daughters whose episodes of underage drinking drew media attention, something in which Johnston, she says, is getting a crash course.

GERHART: This young man plunges into, by accident in some ways, a mess.

CARROLL: Historically, the press has respected private boundaries around the children of politicians and their friends, but now the lines seem blurred. Sen. McCain`s daughter, Meghan, blogged about it, writing, "It`s a rough go being the son or daughter of a politician." Saying, "You can`t fully understand it unless you have lived it. " Levi Johnston, who is not even the son of a politician, is beginning to live it.


CARROLL: And, Brooke, as we mentioned, Bristol and Levi plan on getting married, but so far there has no word on when. Brooke?

ANDERSON: CNN`s Jason Carroll, thank you so much. We appreciate it.

HAMMER: All right. Did you see this? There`s already a funny spoof out there - no big surprise - about John McCain`s VP pick, Sarah Palin. The folks over at decided to take the big hit, Katie Perry`s song, "I Kissed a Girl" and do a little mixing up with the words. Now, here`s a quick look at the original.


KATIE PERRY, SINGER (singing): I kissed a girl and I like it, the taste of her cherry Chapstick.


HAMMER: All right. That`s the song as we know it. Now, the McCain-Palin "Funny or Die" version. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: My friends, this was never the way I planned, not my intention. My teen got scared Barack`s a young man and I`m a geriatric. It`s not what we`re used to just want to try you on at the old white boys club at the convention.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: He picked a girl to be VP.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Hope Mitt Romney don`t kill me.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We hope you`ll mistake me for Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Which isn`t too darn likely

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I can shoot a moose, kill your right to choose, mesmerize you with my up-do.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I picked a girl to be VP.


ANDERSON: A.J., very funny stuff. But I`m not so sure that they got Palin`s look or McCain`s for that matter right.

HAMMER: Palin was all right.


HAMMER: But you know, all those talk about Sarah Palin style and image, that is causing a lot of controversy, Brooke.

ANDERSON: Very true, A.J. A lot of people are asking, how should she look? How should she act? And you know, I want to know, is she facing all these questions because she`s a woman? We have an enthusiastic panel ready to debate Sarah`s style and image. Straight ahead.

I can also tell you Britney Spears has got some big surprises. Will she make a stunning MTV Video Music Awards comeback? Will Britney be dragged back into court to stand trial?

Also this -


DONNIE WAHLBERG, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: We want to sort of write the final chapter of the New Kids story and not let, you know, history write it or, you know, some where-are-they-now TV show.


HAMMER: The New Kids on the Block are back on the block. But what`s the real reason they decided to get back together? It`s my interview that you will see only right here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, and that is coming up.

But first, anytime at all that you`d like, you can go check out the free, ever-changing SHOWBIZ TONIGHT podcast. Where do you find it? That`s easy - right there on our Web site You can also download it on iTunes if that is your method of choice. Do a search for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.


ANDERSON: "On Call," Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin totally stole the show at the Republican National Convention. She really wowed them. She hit a home run with that speech, and she`s no longer unknown. She`s a huge star now.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson. And we`ve asking you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of day - "Sarah Palin: Is she now a bigger celebrity than Barack Obama?"

About two-thirds of you actually say no, she isn`t. And now, we`re getting a huge response in our "Showbiz On Call" voice mailbox.

Here`s Joanne from Atlanta, Georgia.


JOANNE, CALLER FROM ATLANTA GEORGIA: I think we just really need to fix the issues at hand, not the popularity of Obama and Palin. I think that they`re both good candidates regardless of what the press is saying. So let`s just get back to the real issues.


ANDERSON: Thank you, Joanne. And remember, you can always give us a call and tell us what`s your mind about anything. Dial 1-888-SBT-BUZZ. That`s 1-888-728-2899.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, for better or worse, we know, a lot of people are going to be talking about Sarah Palin`s style and image.


PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.



HAMMER: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) There`s going to be a lot of comments about what shade of lipstick Sarah wears, how she carries herself, her style, her image. But is she getting these questions because she`s a woman? A fired- up debate not to be missed, next.

ANDERSON: Tonight, I can reveal that some big surprises are coming Britney Spears` way. Is she about to make a big MTV Video Music Awards comeback? Is she about to be hauled into court to stand trial?

HAMMER: Elton John`s star smackdown caught on tape. Why is Elton going after a huge star for her drinking? That is coming up.




PALIN: I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Sarah`s image and style. Tonight, Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin brings down the house at the RNC. So now that she`s a big star, how does she need to look and act? And is there a double standard because she`s a woman? It`s a fired-up debate.

Britney Spears` big surprises. One good, one - no, not so good. Tonight, is Britney planning a huge MTV Video Music Awards comeback? And will she have to stand trial in court? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues right now.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson coming to you tonight from Hollywood.

HAMMER: Well, tonight, the style of Sarah Palin. She is the biggest star outside of Hollywood. And the Republican vice presidential pick not only wowed them with what she said at the Republican convention, but for better or worse, she`s also making some waves with what she wore and how she handled herself. And tonight, we`re breaking through that glass ceiling with some straight talk of our own about Sarah`s style. And man, we`ve got a fired-up panel - they are ready to go.

Speaking of style, Katrina Szish is the national correspondent for "In Style" magazine. She joins me here in New York. Also helping us get to the bottom of Palin`s image battle, Maggie Gallant, the founder of Spotlight Communications. And also in New York tonight, Lisa Bloom who is the host of "Lisa Bloom: Open Court."

Gang, I appreciate you being here. I`ve got to start off with a terrific sound bite. This is what Joy Behar had to say on "The View" today about the impression that one of her male friends got from Sarah Palin after her speech at the convention. You`ve got to watch this.


JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": She`s a hot-looking babe. And one of my friends, a guy - he said she looks like the kind of woman who, like a librarian, who has the ponytail and the glasses. And then she takes it all off and she`s like, vavavavoom!


HAMMER: Now, to be fair to my friend Joy, she did follow that up that by saying that she knows it sounds sexist. But she also acknowledged that it`s true. I`ve got to tell you, I`ve heard that from a couple of people.

Lisa Bloom, let me start off with you. Did the alarms in your head just go off that Palin is already being portrayed as a sex kitten who happens to be smart?

BLOOM: They sure do. And isn`t it sad that we always judge women by how they look? Here`s a woman who`s up for the number two spot in the country. We`re not talking about the issues like the fact that she doesn`t believe in global warming or sex ed. We`re talking about her hair, her makeup, her clothes and how she`s sexy to some men. I think that`s sad.

HAMMER: Yes. And maybe her supporters aren`t helping her out all that much, because I have to say it wasn`t lost on me and a lot of people if you were watching carefully the coverage last night. Look at these buttons, her convention supporters right there wearing these buttons on their lapels like "The hottest VP from the coolest state." And "hoosiers for the hot chick."

Maggie Gallant, PR expert, her own constituency not exactly doing her any favors with this, are they?

GALLANT: Look, when you`re a public figure, you have both style and substance that you really need to portray. She really wanted to do both. But the more you emphasize, the style takes away from the substance that she really wanted to get out there.

And she`s been in the press talking about the fact that she doesn`t want beauty and fashion to take away from what she brings to the table. And I really hope that her fellow supporters don`t work against her.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, guess what? Let`s look at reality now, because we know that Sarah Palin`s sense of style, like it or not, is going to be dissected right down to, you know, those glasses that she`s wearing. In fact, there are also already some write-ups, I was noticing, about a demand for these glasses.

Katrina, this is your business from "In Style" magazine. Do you think that there is going to be a frenzy over the Palin style even if maybe there shouldn`t be?

KATRINA SZISH: The glasses already are her biggest style statement. And there are these rimless glasses that are a shade of gray and by a Japanese industrial designer. And the vision industry has already said that they`ve gotten tons of calls demanding these exact glasses. So she`s already been setting trends, like her style or not. As her style evolves, which I`m sure it will, there will be more hot Sarah Palin items that everybody is going to want to get their hands on.

HAMMER: Lisa, is it just making you nuts that we know this much about her glasses already?

BLOOM: It really is. It reminds me of Monica Lewinsky`s lipstick and how after her Barbara Walters interview everybody wanted to know what shade that was. It is very unfortunate to me that we`re not talking about the issues, the things she stands for. Pit bull and lipstick - I think she`s Rush Limbaugh in a skirt. Her views are so right wing. But nobody`s talking about that today. Instead, it`s all about what she looks like.

HAMMER: And let`s be very realistic about this conversation we`re having. You know, if it were a male and female celebrity we`re talking about, we`re all very well aware we wouldn`t be talking about the man`s sense of style, because, again, for better or worse, that`s what our culture does.

Now, we all saw the big sound bite of the evening at the convention. Palin drew a lot of attention with this one-two punch and what she had to say about being a hockey mom. We`ve got to roll that, Charles.


PALIN: I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA. I love those hockey moms. They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.



HAMMER: OK. First of all, let me just come right out and say, I take exception to that statement on behalf of my pit bull Mix. Moving along though, Palin, you know, right there not playing down the fact that she is a woman, a mom and wears lipstick.

Lisa, let me go back at you. We wouldn`t talk about her style and fashion if she were a man as I pointed out. But this is our reality, isn`t it?

BLOOM: Well, it doesn`t make it right. I mean, look, a female politician has to do everything a male politician does, keep up with current affairs, study world affairs, be knowledgeable about what`s going on at home. And in addition, it`s the Ginger Rogers syndrome. She has to care about her hair, her makeup, her clothing, her jewelry, her nails. It goes on and on. She has to do twice as much as men do. I just don`t think that`s right.

HAMMER: I don`t think it`s right either. I completely agree with you. However, as I`ll continue to point out, it is the double standard, the sad double standard of our society, and it has been for a long time. I don`t know, by having these conversations, we`ll foster some change.

Maggie, is she fair game, and if people want to talk about her style, they shouldn`t be criticized for doing so now that she`s, you know, coming out and embracing it?

GALLANT: Well, I don`t understand why we can`t talk about both the style and the substance. She`s a public figure. She had a very major moment last night, all eyes all over the world were looking at her. And it`s curious to know what someone would want to wear in that moment.

But I think there`s plenty of articles out there talking about the points that she raised as well. We can talk about both. And frankly, it`s a lot of women that are looking at what she`s wearing as well. Women like to look at other women and dissect what they`re wearing and sometimes get ideas.

HAMMER: I guarantee you there are more women talking about the glasses and clothes today than men. In fact, I`ll tell you right off, first hand, that`s the case.

All right. Katrina, let`s break it down, then. You work for a magazine that is all about style. What does Sarah Palin need to do in terms of her style, or perhaps is it already mission accomplished with her?

SZISH: Sarah Palin already has a very distinct personal style, and I think she`s made that point. She`s heard people talk about that she needs a haircut or that shouldn`t be wearing those glasses or she needs new suits. And well, I`d love to see her get a glamorous makeover, because she`s so beautiful, absolutely. But she`s trying to make a point that she is a woman and can still have long hair, can still wears suits that perhaps aren`t the most fashionable thing on the racks. But she can play the game with the men in a typical men`s world. And I think that that`s something that she`s really embracing by not being too focused on fashion.

And I think if she did suddenly go for a brighter color or she got her haircut or she changed her makeup or lost the glasses and got contact lenses, that would be an even bigger brouhaha than what we`re hearing today.

HAMMER: Sure, calling even more attention to it. Katrina Szish, Maggie Gallant, Lisa Bloom, I thank you all for being here tonight.

ANDERSON: Shifting gears now to Britney Spears, A.J., will she open MTV`s Video Music Awards?

HAMMER: You know, Brooke, obviously, that would be pretty interesting especially after the huge debacle last year.

ANDERSON: Yes, I know. I, for one, can`t wait to see what she does. Coming up, big Britney news. What exactly is she planning to do for the VMAs?

Plus, Britney`s legal troubles aren`t quite over yet. Could she head back to court? The dramatic developments are still ahead.

HAMMER: And talk about dramatic. An Elton John smackdown caught on tape, why Elton publicly snapped at pop star Lily Allen over her drinking. And you`re not going to believe what she said to him.

We will also have this -


WAHLBERG: We want to sort of write the final chapters of the New Kids story and not let, you know, history write it or, you know, some where-are- they-now TV show.


HAMMER: I went one-on-one with New Kids on the Block. They`ve got a brand-new album. They`re getting ready to go out on tour. But what was the real reason they decided to get back together now? It`s the interview you`ll see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


ANDERSON: Hey, welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m Brooke Anderson.

Tonight, there`s big Britney Spears news. Good news and maybe some potentially bad news. The good news, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can now tell you that Britney will be opening the MTV`s Video Music Awards this Sunday. But after her train wreck performance last year, what will she do this time?

Also the bad news. Britney might be headed to trial in court. Call the lawyers.

And Hollywood tonight, Rachel Zalis, who is a senior editor at "Life and Style." Also in Hollywood tonight, our good friend, Michael Yo. He`s the host of "Yo on E!" heard on Sirius and XM Satellite Radio.

Rachel, Michael, Britney Spears now saying that she is really excited about returning to the MTV VMAs. She told "," quote, "MTV has played an important role in my career. How can I not be there to kick off their 25th VMAs? I`m excited to open the entire show, to say hi to my fans and to be nominated."

Now, MTV, I want to make it clear, says that she wouldn`t be performing. So Michael, what should she do? A skit maybe, poking fun at her disastrous performance last year, or not even go there?

MICHAEL YO, HOST, "YO ON E!": Yes. You know what? I was at last year`s performance and let me tell you, I wanted her to do so well, but after the performance, everybody was just like what just happened? I think this time what she`s going to do is she`s going to go on stage and make fun of herself.

I wouldn`t be surprised if she came out with a bald head, you know, and then make fun of herself driving around picking up random paparazzi. This is the thing that everybody wants Britney Spears to win. Everybody has her back right now. And if she pokes fun at herself and thank her fans for supporting her, she`s going to score huge, and it`s all planned out, so she can`t look bad like in a performance.

ANDERSON: Yes. Maybe be self-deprecating. I think that`s a good approach as well.

But hey, it`s not just about her opening the show. Britney also nominated for three VMAs this year, including video of the year for "Piece of Me."

Rachel, is it smart, do you think, for Britney to go back to the scene of the crime, so to speak?

RACHEL ZALIS, SENIOR EDITOR, "LIFE AND STYLE" MAGAZINE: Absolutely. I mean, the VMAs are responsible for skyrocketing her to superstardom, whether locking lips with Madonna or writhing onstage with a snake. And you know, she has never looked better. She`s at the top of her game. She has three nominations and she doesn`t want her legacy to be overshadowed by her train wreck performance last year. And I think we are all ready for Britney to make a comeback from her comeback and genuinely say, "Give me more."

ANDERSON: Give me more. Make a fresh start. I think we are all ready to see that for her. But you guys, even though - even as she tries to put her past behind her, comes some bad news. A judge has just refused to throw out the case against her for driving with an invalid license, and she may have to go on trial.

So Michael, I want to ask you, should Britney be worried that this will turn into another spectacle as we`ve seen in the past? That`s really the last thing that she needs right now. I understand the judge`s position, but should Britney be worried about a public spectacle so to speak?

YO: As far as the media right now - we`re bored because Britney Spears is not doing anything bad. So we have to cling onto anything that`s left out there. And this invalid license is the thing we`re clinging onto. It will be over regardless in October, and if that`s the only thing we can cling onto as the media, then she`s doing a really, really good job.

Before, we were talking about her picking up random people and everything like that. So this is all we have left, and we`ll see about her performance on the VMAs. Maybe we can have another news story to talk about, but right now that`s all that`s out there. She shouldn`t be worried about it at all.

ANDERSON: Yes, hopefully, she can tie up all those loose ends tightly and really well. And you know, the VMAs, it`s clear those are her - that`s her opportunity for a redemption, at least in the public`s eye. So we wish her well and I know that she`s thrilled for the opportunity. I can understand that.

Rachel Zalis, Michael Yo, we`ll leave it there for now. Thank you both.

HAMMER: Well, if anybody knows about the intense media scrutiny that today`s young stars have to face, it`s New Kids on the Block. I mean, come on. The early `90s teen pop phenomenon are now reuniting after a decade and a half much to the delight of 30-something women around the world. They perform songs from the new CD "The Block" on the "Today" show this week to a crowd of adoring fans.

And I had the chance to asked Donnie, Danny, Jonathan Jordan and Joey why it took 14 long years to give it another go?


WAHLBERG: I think all of us were sort of ready. I think we`d been away for a while and we did other things. We had a chance to really not only do other things but to really engage and become parents and have private lives and businesses and careers.

And you know, quite frankly, I think the fans need time away, too. I mean, you know, the fans couldn`t chase us around for the last 14 years. They had to go off and have families and get jobs and careers and start their own lives. And somehow this whole thing is sort of allowing us to come back.

And it`s kind of doing the same thing for the fans. They`re reliving an experience, but they`re grown now. Instead of sleeping outside of the hotel, they get a room inside the hotel.

HAMMER (on camera): But boy, 15 years ago or so, were the fans something to behold. Could you imagine, guys, what that would have been like if the paparazzi were constantly after you in the extreme way they are out there today, and you had to deal with the gossip bloggers and sites like Perez Hilton and TMZ tracking your every move?

DANNY WOOD, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: We`re pretty resilient. I think we would have adapted to it. You know, definitely - I think back then there wasn`t, you know, all the Internet stuff, but the stories came out. They had longer life spans. So you still had to deal with, you know, the press and, you know, some paparazzi here and there. Now, there`s so many outlets that sometimes a big story is one day, because there`s a different story the next day.

HAMMER: You know, you look around today at the younger groups that are coming up. It`s hard to ignore that perhaps the Jonas Brothers are dealing with a bit of what you went through with the mass fandom. If you had the opportunity, got in a room with them and could sit them down and give them a heads-up about anything that you went through, what would you tell them?

JONATHAN KNIGHT, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: Tell them, don`t listen to our advice.

JORDAN KNIGHT, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK MEMBER: Enjoy yourself and don`t take it too seriously. You know, have fun with what you do, and there`s going to be a lot of critics. And you know, don`t listen to them and don`t so much listen to all the praise either. Just kind of like know who you are, basically, is what I would tell them.

HAMMER: You`ve all had in some way or another had to maintain that delicate balance of family and career. Joey, you`ve been married now or was it five years?


HAMMER: You have your baby son. How do you make your relationship work with all of that pressure?

MCINTYRE: You have to have an amazing wife, number one. And, you know, I`m just really fortunate that I can take my baby and my wife on the road. I`m going to have the family bus on the road, but it`s going to be fun. And like we`ve been saying, on stage, we`re single.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re all single.

HAMMER: Guys, I`ve to say, it`s great to see you all back together, and you know, congratulations on everything.




HAMMER: It`s nice to see them back together for all the right reasons too. New Kids on the Block`s new CD is called "The Block" and it`s in stores now.

ANDERSON: It is nice to see those guys working together again. And you know what? I`m guessing Elton John and British pop star Lily Allen won`t be working together anytime soon. They were co-hosting a huge awards ceremony when things went downhill fast. Straight ahead the Elton John- Lily Allen smackdown caught on tape. Why did Elton publicly call Lily out? And Lily`s shocking slam back. You have to see it to believe it.

But first a look at what`s new at the movies this week. It`s brought to you by Fiber One Yoghurt from YoPlait, "Cardboard no, delicious, yes."

Oscar winner Nicolas Cage stars in "Bangkok Dangerous." He stars as an assassin who travels to Thailand`s capital to carry out a series of contract killings.

"Everybody Wants to be Italian." It`s a new romantic comedy that centers around two people who pretend to be, what else, Italian, all in a ploy to win each other`s heart.

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is coming right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Tonight, an Elton John smackdown caught on tape. Elton John and British pop star Lily Allen butted heads as the two were co-hosting Britain`s "GQ Man of the Year" awards. Well, John snapped at Allen over her drinking during the awards and that`s when things got personal. Here`s ITN`s Nina Nannar for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


NINA NANNAR, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It`s an awards ceremony that salutes style and sophistication. And when Lily Allen arrived, she did indeed look the part in Dolce and Gabbana ready to co-host the night with Sir Elton John, and hopeful it might lead to other joint ventures.

LILY ALLEN, POP STAR: That would be lovely, who wouldn`t want to collaborate with Elton John?

NANNAR: Now, but judging from his face during the ceremony, she could forget that. The problem was the free champagne was flowing and the 23- year-old singer was taking advantage. Her fellow presenter persevered.

SIR ELTON JOHN, MUSICIAN: Our next award is for the woman of the year.

ALLEN: Oh, it`s me.

NANNAR: She appeared steadily more drunk and attached to her glass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I phoned Al Pacino who`s also -

NANNAR: Finally, her 61-year-old co-host had had enough.

ALLEN: Now, we reach a very special point of the evening.

JOHN: Are you going to have another drink?

ALLEN: (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I`m 40 years younger than you. I`ve got my whole life ahead of me.

NANNAR: Has the veteran superstar met his match? It used to be you didn`t mess with Elton. Remember, this time with the photographers? Having put Elton in his place, Lily Allen then proceeded to put her foot right in it.

ALLEN: Please welcome, my very soon to be sister-in-law Jamie Winston.

NANNAR: Unfortunately, actress Jamie Winston`s engagement to Lily`s brother was supposed to be a secret.


JAMIE WINSTON, ACTRESS: Shut up. No one`s supposed to know.

NANNAR: Shut up, no one`s supposed to know, she tells Lily. The star famous for her hit song "Smile" perhaps grimaced when she woke with a sore head this morning.


HAMMER: Wow. That`s ITN`s Nina Nannar for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: Thank you so much for watching everybody. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood, take care.