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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Reality Show Dangers; Jon Versus Kate: Whose Side Are You On?; The Battle of Superstar Comebacks; How John Travolta is Coping

Aired June 5, 2009 - 23:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, a SHOWBIZ special investigation - Reality Show Dangers. Susan Boyle, Jon and Kate, Blago. The brutal pressures of fame. The ripping apart of family. Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with an explosive special investigation, reality dangers.

The brand-new bloody, knock-down, drag-out Jon and Kate battle. Who do you think is winning? TV interviews. Magazine spreads. TV`s most controversial couple fights for the hearts and minds of the public. Team Jon. Team Kate. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks, whose side are you on?

Plus, the battle of the superstar comebacks. Whitney Houston versus Michael Jackson. Who will be fabulous? And who will flop?

TV`s most-provocative entertainment news show starts right now.

(MUSIC)

Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer, broadcasting tonight and every night from New York City. And tonight, danger, danger. Reality shows. Yes, tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is breaking news revealing just how dangerous reality shows can be to the people who are in them.

Case in point, Susan Boyle - look at her. She just got out of the hospital today. That`s following her breakdown after losing on "Britain`s Got Talent."

But it does not stop there. Jon and Kate, anybody? Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT with a must-see, eye-opening reality check that is making big news right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HULK HOGAN, REALITY TV STAR, "HOGAN KNOWS BEST": Every day, it`s drama.

HAMMER (voice-over): It destroys marriages -

KATE GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": I have a lot of anger.

HAMMER: Lands you in a mental hospital. And once it sucks you in, it doesn`t let you go.

JON GOSSELIN, REALITY TV STAR, "JON & KATE PLUS 8": It`s not what I chose, you know. It was kind of chosen for me.

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can tell you reality show stardom isn`t just about money and fame. It`s a dangerous game that can literally eat you alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will be eating a tarantula.

HAMMER: Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT presents to you the top dangers of reality show stardom. The first danger of reality show stardom - instant fame.

SUSAN BOYLE, "BRITAIN`S GOT TALENT" FINALIST: It`s like a dream come true.

HAMMER: Former "Britain`s Got Talent" contestant Susan Boyle once told Oprah she was delighted by her super-fast rise from a frumpy small-town woman to international sensation.

(MUSIC)

HAMMER: But then, unflattering headlines and losing "Britain`s Got Talent" sent Boyle into an emotional tailspin that landed her in a mental health clinic.

JUDY KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Psychologically, very few people are prepared to go from, "I`m a real person doing my real life," to all of a sudden, "I`m a superstar."

HAMMER: Clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Boyle proves that overnight fame is not what`s it`s cracked up to be.

KURIANSKY: Super-instant stardom takes somebody out of their real life and their simple life and their honesty into performing for others, having a lot of pressure, and then potentially having a breakdown.

HAMMER: The second danger of reality show stardom, exposing your family.

J. GOSSELIN: Kate and I obviously have been going through a lot of stuff.

HAMMER: Let`s be frank. With their celebrity magazine feuds and their on- air iciness -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the status of where you guys are right now?

K. GOSSELIN: I wish I knew.

HAMMER: Jon and Kate Gosselin appear dangerously close to joining Hulk and Linda Hogan, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson and Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown in becoming reality show couples would became ex-couples.

GRETCHEN BONADUCE, REALITY TV STAR, "BREAKING BONADUCE": Well, what I think is that reality shows don`t ruin marriages -

HAMMER: Gretchen Bonaduce`s marriage to former child star Danny Bonaduce fell apart right before the cameras on their reality show, "Breaking Bonaduce." Still, Gretchen tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT she doesn`t blame the reality show experience for her divorce.

BONADUCE: I really feel like your life is going on no matter what with - the cameras are rolling anyway. You know, they`re just documenting what`s happening.

HAMMER: But Dr. Judy tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT living on camera is devastating to marriages and families.

KURIANSKY: They`re under the picky lights of all their problems, not paying attention to making it better, but making it more dramatic so that people will watch.

HAMMER: And the final danger of reality show stardom, desperation. Patty Blagojevich, the wife of disgraced ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, actually wolfed down a spider on the reality show "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here."

FMR. GOV. ROD BLAGOJEVICH (D): Eating that tarantula, like she had to, is an act of love.

HAMMER: On "LARRY KING LIVE," Mr. Blagojevich said his wife is doing it for their kids.

R. BLAGOJEVICH: It`s a way for us to make a living as we rebuild our lives, keep our kids in the same school that they`re in, stay in the same home -

HAMMER: Octomom Nadya Suleman, as well as Jon and Kate Gosselin, also say they pursue reality show fame for their kids.

J. GOSSELIN: We originally did the show to document our kids` lives. And - I mean, it`s become a business, just like anything else.

HAMMER: The result? These stars are trapped in a desperate quest for fame that never ends, even if it destroys them and their families in the process.

KURIANSKY: People stop behaving normally in order to continue getting that attention they desperately want and it becomes an addiction.

HAMMER: So it looks like reality show stardom is an "enter at your own risk" proposition. But no matter the danger, it appears to be a risk plenty of people seem willing to take.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

The dangers of reality shows really are astonishing. Our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT investigation into reality show danger continues right now.

Joining me tonight in New York, Cooper Lawrence, who is a psychologist and author of this fine book, "The Cult of Celebrity." Also in New York, Ben Widdicombe who is celebrity editor for "StyleList.com."

And really, there is no better example of how reality shows can be dangerous than Susan Boyle. She is a victim of instant fame. Well, just today, thankfully, she got out of a mental health care clinic. She`s reportedly been invited to possibly sing for President Obama on the fourth of July. That would be something.

Cooper what do you think? Is this a bad idea for Susan Boyle to jump back into the fame game so quickly?

COOPER LAWRENCE, PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, let`s look at it. Why do people have breakdowns? They have breakdowns because there`s an inordinate amount of pressure. And then, there`s a lot of their life that`s out of control.

So I think right now - I`m hoping that she feels a little more in control. I think one performance at the Obamas should be fine for her. But I think, in general, not everybody is cut out for fame. And in my opinion, I don`t think Susan Boyle is somebody who should be famous. Just because you can doesn`t mean you should.

HAMMER: And if she`s going to stay in the fame game and get back into it, separate perhaps from an appearance for President Obama, I think she should take things very slowly.

LAWRENCE: Very slowly, yes. Absolutely.

HAMMER: Well, I want to show you what Amanda Holden, a judge on "Britain`s Got Talent" told CNN`s Larry King about what she thinks instant fame did to Susan Boyle. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA HOLDEN, JUDGE, "BRITAIN`S GOT TALENT": I think she was quite upset by all the exaggerated stories and the kind of falsehoods that were being written about her. And I think that, you know, everybody gets upset about bad press when you`re in this business.

And she`s somebody that`s gone from anonymity to absolute worldwide, you know, phenomenon. So how is she expected to handle that? Nobody can handle that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes. So Ben, assuming she gets back into the game as she says she wants to do, the danger for Susan isn`t over yet, is it?

BEN WIDDICOMBE, CELEBRITY EDITOR, "STYLELIST.COM": No. One of the reasons why the Susan Boyle story has been so compelling is because there have been so many twists and turns. She`s gone from never been kissed to Amy Winehouse`s grandmother in six weeks.

But you know, if she does want to pursue a career as a performer, I think there`s so much good will for her among the public in the United Kingdom that if she wants to take that route, there will be some support for her.

Remember, you don`t have to come first in a competition like "Britain`s Got Talent" to have a career. Clay Aiken famously came second and he`s far more successful today Ruben Studdard who won that season. So I think that she doesn`t have to win to have a career and that she has a future ahead of her.

HAMMER: All right. Let`s move on now to the current king and queen, I would call them, of reality show dangers, Jon and Kate. They are caught in an alleged cheating scandal. They`re publicly struggling with their marriage. They`re trapped in another reality show danger which we call exposing the family.

Jon and Kate argue all of what they have done is to support their family. But now, they`re really paying the price for exposing their family. Cooper, we`ve seen this before. We saw the Hogans go through this. We`ve seen the Osbournes go through this. Reality shows are really a danger to families, aren`t they?

LAWRENCE: They are, because here`s what happens. In the real world, you have an experience and it`s really your impression of it and your feeling about it. Then you walk away from it. In a reality show, it`s not just your impression of it. You get to see what actually happens.

Now, sometimes that`s very different than what your impression was. And now, you have to reevaluate. Plus, they pull your husband in a room and the husband is asked to say what he really felt in that moment. And it`s very damaging because things that you thought were maybe not such a big deal now become a very big deal.

HAMMER: Yes, certainly. And of course, there`s the enticement of the all- mighty dollar. Some, including Jon and Kate say, "Reality shows - hey, you know what? They`re good for income." Rod Blagojevich sent his wife out to appear on NBC`s "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" because of another reality show danger, desperation.

Take a look at what he told CNN`s Larry King about why his family just had to be part of this reality show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. BLAGOJEVICH: In spite of what they wanted me to do, I was willing to do it because you have to sacrifice sometimes for your children and your family.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: OK. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. Ben, for people like Rod and Patty Blagojevich, is the danger worth the risk?

WIDDICOMBE: Well, I think the key to that question is for people like Rod and Patty Blagojevich - listen, there are people all over this country right now who are having to downsize things like houses and private schools to reflect changed circumstances.

And sometimes, you don`t have to have the money, you know. You just need to have your life and your family around you and to conduct yourselves with dignity. I don`t think that Rod and Patty are saying, "Well, we have to do a reality show. We have to eat tarantulas to survive," really makes any sense.

They chose to put themselves out there. You know, why couldn`t they have just led a smaller and more conservative life to reflect where they are?

HAMMER: Yes. You know, I`ve got to tell you, Rod Blagojevich`s reputation pretty severely damaged already. I don`t think his wife eating tarantulas on TV is going to do anything to help them bring that around at all. Maybe that`s just me.

Cooper Lawrence, Ben Widdicombe, I thank you both for being here.

Now over to you. Here`s our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Jon Gosselin Versus Kate Gosselin: Whose side are you on?" Pick your team at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight or E-mail us if you have more to say. The address is showbiztonight@cnn.com.

Well, this is going to be a wild one, the brand-new Jon and Kate smackdown. Who`s winning the war for the hearts and minds of the public? They`re doing interviews. They`re on the magazine covers. You`ve got team Jon. You`ve got team Kate. I want to know, whose side are you on?

Hey, I`ve got another explosive smackdown for you tonight. It is the battle of the superstar comebacks. You`ve got Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson. Whose comeback`s going to be a blockbuster and whose will bomb?

Also, the stars are speaking to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about how John Travolta`s doing after the death of his son.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENZEL WASHINGTON, ACTOR: I talked to him about three weeks ago. And you know, he`s trying to work it out. You know, it`s a tough situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there at the premiere of John Travolta`s first movie since his son died. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Shia Labeouf and Michael Douglas to star in follow-up to 1987 movie "Wall Street." Fox developing a show where brides will not meet their husbands until wedding day.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go, Patty!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Hey, pass the ketchup. There you have Rod Blagojevich`s wife eating a tasty tarantula on the NBC reality show, "I`m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here." Although I`m not sure it`s ketchup that goes with tarantulas. Maybe soy sauce? I don`t know.

I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Here is what I do know. On CNN`s "LARRY KING LIVE" impeached Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich said his wife`s eating bugs and all kinds of things because she loves her kids.

Yes. They`re both out of work. They`ve got to pay the bills. Here`s what I think they ought to do if they`re so desperate for cash right now. Maybe Blago needs to sell locks of his hair, right? And he`s got plenty of it.

But the question is, how does he get it so smooth, so shiny and so full of body? It blows me away. Maybe it`s Blago shampoo that he`s using. Here now is CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MOOS (voice-over): Now, you, too, can have hair like this man. Introducing Blago volumizing shampoo and conditioner for really big hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Smells clean. Smells like peaches.

MOOS: You may quibble about the style of Former Governor Rod Blagojevich`s hair -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a haircut.

(BOOING)

MOOS: But you can`t boo the quality celebrated even in song.

(MUSIC)

MOOS: Seeing that luscious hair on the news took root in the mind of this shampoo manufacturer.

DENNIS FATH, CREATOR OF BLAGO SHAMPOO: I literally woke up in the middle of the night and thought, "We should do a shampoo for big hair."

MOOS: Blago`s shampoo slogan?

FATH: "It`s bleep`n golden."

MOOS: It`s taken from the former governor`s own tape-recorded words. And the shampoo is golden. Sure, it sounds like a joke, and on Chicago`s WLS, "The Don and Roma Show" treated it as one.

DON WADE, CO-HOST, "THE DON WADE AND ROMA MORNING SHOW": I laughed at first, but then, I decided I`m going to give this a try.

MOOS: Don`s before and after picture -

WADE: I felt like Elvis.

MOOS: But we decided to give Blago a real workout on a volunteer guinea pig.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I love his hair. I`ve always wanted to have his identical hairstyle.

MOOS: The president of Delta Laboratory(ph) says Blago has vitamins, botanical extracts and protein to make hair look and feel thicker.

(on camera): Have you tried the product yourself? You look like you could use a little volumizing.

FATH: Well, I did use it, this morning, actually, so that`s not a good testimony. It`s not going to work miracles.

MOOS (voice-over): Don`t tell Matt Harvey(ph) that. After Bertha(ph) shampooed, conditioned and blow-dried his hair -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My hair feels more full. It really does.

MOOS (on camera): For now, Blago shampoo is only available on the Web, "BlagoHair.com." It sells for $8 a bottle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I`m going to run for governor now.

MOOS: Though the blow-dried styling may have helped, behold the before Blago and after Blago photos. No one even had to bribe our guinea pig to get him to say Blago works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. You are ready to be governor.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: I heard a rumor it tastes good too. That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Well, I`ve got to tell you the "Showbiz on Call" phone lines not letting up one bit with calls coming in about "Jon & Kate Plus 8." A lot of people are speaking out. Are they on team Kate or team Jon?

Well, we got a call into "Showbiz on Call" from Faith in Arkansas. She thinks Kate should chill out.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

FAITH, CALLER FROM ARKANSAS: I think Kate has just lost her way. She has become more of a celebrity and Jon is a quiet man. I just think she needs to tone it down a bit, look back at herself from the early shows which were really, really great.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Thank you, Faith. We also heard from Tina calling into "Showbiz on Call" from Florida. And Tina is on Kate`s side.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

TINA, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: I`ve watched the show of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" from the very beginning. And I`ve always felt Kate was a little hard on him. But this past week, I have to say I`m for Kate. I mean, she`s at home getting the job done. She`s even celebrating her own birthday with the kids by herself.

And where`s Jon? He`s off skiing on a mountain? He`s being a little selfish now. He needs to come back home and do what he`s supposed to be doing.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: All Right, Tina. We appreciate your opinion. Naomi from Oklahoma also called in to "Showbiz on Call." And she wants Jon and Kate to just stop fighting and get on with the show.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

NAOMI, CALLER FROM OKLAHOMA: I just want to put an end to the Jon and Kate thing. You know, she`s not perfect. She treats him like one of the children. And I think - he is just a down-to-earth person. And she`s just too far out there. She`s not the girl she used to be. But I love the show and I think they ought to keep it right on the air.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: We appreciate that, Naomi. You can call us at "Showbiz on Call." That way you can let us know what you think about this or anything else. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open at 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888- 728-2899. Leave us a voicemail so we can play your call on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The calls in to "Showbiz on Call" are also now online on our homepage. We post them at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight.

So whose side are you on? I mean, both Jon and Kate are in this nasty battle for the hearts and minds of the public. They`re doing interviews. They`re doing magazine spreads. You`ve got team Jon. You`ve got team Kate. Whose side are you on? It`s a SHOWBIZ smackdown, coming up.

And the battle of the superstar comebacks. In one corner, you`ve got the beautiful, the talented Whitney Houston. But you can`t forget that whole crack is whack thing, right?

In the other corner, you have the one-time king of pop, the gloved wonder, Michael Jackson. And I`m sure you don`t need me to remind you about all of his weirdness.

So whose comeback will you be rooting for? Whose will be fab. Whose will flop? Whitney versus Michael, coming up. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Clint Eastwood`s Nelson Mandela film starring Morgan Freeman out December 11th. Mandela Day concert, featuring Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, set for July 18th in NYC.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Tonight, we`ve got big baby news for Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France winner is a father again to a baby boy.

And what a bright kid, too. Minutes after he was born, Lance`s son even sent out his first message on Twitter. Let me read his tweet, "Wassup, world! My name is Max Armstrong and I just arrived. My mommy is healthy and so am I."

Mommy is Lance`s girlfriend Anna Hans. And Armstrong also has three other children with his ex-wife.

And Lance Armstrong is not the only one celebrating. We have got big SHOWBIZ TONIGHT baby news as well. Our own Brooke Anderson is a proud new momma.

Look at this gorgeous little girl. She and her husband Jim are parents of this little baby you are looking at. It`s Kate Victoria. She weighed in at 8 pounds, one ounce. She was 20 inches long at birth. We`ve gotten so many E-mails from people writing in with well wishes for Brooke.

I want to read a couple. Here`s Nancy in Texas, "Brooke`s baby is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the pix with us. We miss her on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, but I`m sure she`s enjoying Kate too much to even think about work."

I`m sure she is. We also got an E-mail in from Diane in Washington. Diane writes, "Congrats to Brooke on her beautiful baby girl! Please tell her we miss her."

Now, I`ve got a chance to speak with the brand-new mom. She`s been very busy but she took some time out to talk about her brand-new baby. And I had to ask Brooke how mommy-hood`s going for her. Here`s what she said.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BROOKE ANDERSON, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT CO-HOST: I knew it would be wonderful. But I never imagined just how amazing it could be. It really is the most pure unconditional love I have ever experienced and probably could ever experience. I really just feel so, so blessed.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: And a special shout-out to Joy Harmon-Prouty Wildflowers Photos who took those absolutely amazing pictures. If you do want to see more of little Kate, just go to our Web site. We`ve got them posted for you at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. Congrats again, Brooke.

Well, Brooke doesn`t have eight kids yet. But Brooke, if you do, do us all a favor, stay away from reality TV.

Here comes your SHOWBIZ lineup. This is what`s up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

The brand-new Jon and Kate smackdown. They`re fighting for the hearts and minds of the public. Whose side are you on?

Also, the battle of the superstar comebacks. You`ve got Whitney Houston taking on Michael Jackson. Who is going to be fab? And which one will flop?

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there at the premiere of John Travolta`s new movie. His co-stars speak out to us about how John is doing after the death of his son. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Lionel Richie confirms reunion with band The Commodores is in the works. CBS will use Black Eyed Peas song, "I Gotta Feeling" in its summer ads.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, the brand-new Jon and Kate smackdown. Who`s winning the war for public sympathy? The TV interviews, the magazine covers. Team Jon, team Kate. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks, whose side are you on?

Whitney Houston versus Michael Jackson. Whitney`s got a new album coming out. Michael Jackson`s coming back to the stage. It is the battle of the comeback superstars.

And tonight, new revelations about John Travolta`s struggle after the death of his son.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WASHINGTON: I talked to him about three weeks ago. And, you know, he`s trying to work it out, you know. It`s a tough situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Denzel Washington reveals how his friend is coping. Plus, more stories breaking from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker."

TV`s most provocative entertainment news show continues right now.

(MUSIC)

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

Tonight, the Jon versus Kate smackdown. There is a brand-new bloody, knockdown, drag-out Jon and Kate battle. And tonight, we`re asking the provocative questions. As the most controversial couple on the planet fights for the hearts and minds of the public, who do you think is winning?

Take a look at this. The couple competing for magazine cover stories. Jon on the cover of the brand-new "People" just out today. Kate even did her own round of TV interviews solo. But their public battle is definitely causing some bruises.

Who`s winning the battle for privacy? Both Jon and Kate have been saying they want it, but do they actually mean it?

They both say everything they do, it`s for the kids. Is that theory falling apart right before their eyes? And have Jon and Kate now lost the distinct difference between reality and their reality show? It`s team Jon versus team Kate. Whose side are you on?

Joining me tonight in New York is Cooper Lawrence, psychologist and author of the fine book "The Cult of Celebrity." From Hollywood tonight, Carlos Diaz, who is a correspondent for "Extra."

Let the games begin. Jon and Kate have been battling it out over the airwaves and in the magazines for their privacy, of all things. These guys are on a reality show. Now, they`ve both gone on the record to say it`s private.

Carlos Diaz, may I begin with you. Is that just completely unrealistic?

CARLOS DIAZ, CORRESPONDENT, "EXTRA": It`s totally unrealistic. I`m team kids, by the way, OK? That`s the team I`m on. But how can you say it`s completely private when your entire life is a reality show, when you`re making $75,000 a week because of that reality show? You have no privacy. You`re all about public consumption.

HAMMER: Yes. And a big part of what got them in the public eye on the wrong side is the alleged cheating scandals. And Kate Gosselin told Larry King that she had a plan to deal with those alleged cheating scandals. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

K. GOSSELIN: The situation is the tabloids are going crazy again. You know, it`s a result of our situation, our very public lives. And so we are dealing with it privately. We are handling it one step at a time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: OK, then in her "People" magazine cover story, Kate opened up about how she and Jon were not only not on the same page, but they weren`t even in the same book or the same library for that matter. Cooper, what do you think? Is she possibly winning the battle to maintain privacy?

LAWRENCE: I think the show finally just got interesting. It`s the reason why we`re all watching it now. I agree with Carlos. My god, Carlos and I are agreeing for the first time.

Yes, they don`t get any privacy. This is a reality show. They want us to watch it. She can go on "LARRY KING" and all the shows she wants and pretend that this is a private matter. She doesn`t want us bothering her. But believe me, she wants it all the way to the bank.

HAMMER: Well, for Jon`s part, at least for a while, he was keeping mum about his alleged cheating scandal. He only released a statement when everything first broke. He apologized to his family calling it bad judgment.

Bu he never admitted that he cheated. Then, lo and behold, the brand- new cover story for "People" magazine just out. Jon says he has had enough. Jon complains about the paparazzi following his every move.

On one hand, he is demanding privacy. On the other hand, he does this cover story for "People" magazine. So Carlos, he is not winning the privacy battle at all. And it`s really his own fault.

DIAZ: Yes. And when he`s asked, "Do you still love your wife?" he says, "That`s a private matter. That`s private." No, when anyone asks you if you love your wife, I don`t care what kind of problems you`re going through, you always say, "Yes, I love my wife. Yes, I do."

So you lost there, Jon. And you`re losing by the fact that no one`s believing, or very few people are believing that you didn`t have an affair. So if you want people to believe you, you`ve got to be more convincing. Do whatever you can to convince us that you did not have an affair with this woman. That`s the way you`re going to win this battle.

HAMMER: Yes. No question about that. And Carlos, you mentioned you`re on team kids. Well, let`s move on to battle number two where they say it`s all for the kids.

Both Jon and Kate have said from the very beginning that everything they do is for their kids. In fact, Kate told Larry King that doing the reality show in the first place was an answer to all her prayers. Take a look at that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

K. GOSSELIN: And I feel that that is the best thing because when I was pregnant with sextuplets thinking, how in the world are we going to provide for these kids? How do you afford day care for eight kids and all of those thoughts. This has answered that problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes, and look at the price that they`ve paid. Things have really changed so much. Cooper, is she winning the battle over being all for the kids? Or is she really the biggest loser now when it comes to that?

LAWRENCE: She`s the biggest loser when it comes to this, because it`s amazing. You know, she`s engendering people to come forward and say things about her off-set. And we`re seeing that she`s not the best mom off-set.

She might be great on camera. But off-camera, we`ve been hearing terrible things about her. Plus, if you watch old episodes, you see her saying nasty things about her young son Joel. Who says those things about their own child and then expects us to think you`re a good mom? No. Losing, big time.

HAMMER: Yes. And if you all notice that no matter where you go, everybody is talking about this so much more than - and then so many stories we`ve done in a long time. Literally, thousands and thousands of calls are coming in to "Showbiz on Call."

And people are definitely taking sides. Some are on team Jon. Some are on team Kate. And they all have very passionate feelings about who they feel is winning.

We heard from Mareeta in Texas. And Mareeta watches "Jon & Kate Plus Eight" and says Kate`s treatment of Jon on camera is exactly what created this mess.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

MAREETA, CALLER FROM TEXAS: I`ve always loved Jon and Kate`s show, but from the get-go, she needs some counseling for her control issues. I think she kind of created this mess, putting Jon down all the time, constantly humiliating him on camera and yelling at him.

And I think all the kids kind of pick up screaming and yelling and hitting from how she acts. I just think if they got counseling, it would help. They can`t quit the show. They have a million dollar house and would have withdrawals if they quit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: They certainly would. I think the kids, however, would win if they quit. Mareeta, we appreciate your call. It`s very harsh, but we`ve been getting these kinds of calls from so many people who have a lot to say about how Kate treats Jon.

Carlos what do you think? Is Kate losing in the court of public opinion because people really seem to resent how she treats Jon?

DIAZ: Yes. I mean, people are saying - and the caller makes a good point. I mean, she was treating him so badly. But no matter how badly somebody treats you, Jon, it doesn`t give you the right to allegedly cheat.

So I don`t follow that train of thought where people say, "She treated him bad. And that`s the reason they`re having these problems." No, the reason they`re having these current problems is because of the cheating allegations.

HAMMER: Right.

HAMMER: But the ironic thing is, because of the cheating allegations, the numbers - the ratings are going through the roof. And now, they`re getting paid more. So there`s the irony.

HAMMER: This is a great vicious cycle, isn`t it, really? And we do have some people who are defending Kate. We heard from Barbara in Florida. And Barbara called in to "Showbiz on Call" saying that it`s Jon who needs to walk in Kate`s shoes. Listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BARBARA, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: I would like to see Jon take over Kate`s role and let Jon prepare everything and let Kate sit back and watch Jon take care of everything. Because it seems like everybody thinks Kate`s being so hard. However, Jon doesn`t do anything, it seems like, when it comes to taking care of the kids.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HAMMER: Well, some would disagree with that. But Cooper, let me get your take on this. Jon has really been taking a hit as well. Who do you think is winning in the court of public opinion between the two?

LAWRENCE: Barbara makes a good point, actually. I hate to defend Kate in any way, shape or form because I`m not a fan hers. But I will say that - we still live in a society that it always falls on the mother. It`s always the mother who has to parent more than the father does.

And granted, he`s around, what he does for a living is this show. So he is around, but you see that she still takes charge. She still is mothering these children. So I kind of agree with Barbara.

HAMMER: Carlos, break it down for us. In the end, are they kind of both big losers here?

DIAZ: Well, they`re both - you know, it`s tough though. Because, yes, they`re both big losers because they can`t realize, "OK, we`ve got, A, a family, B, a financial fortune to look after and, C, millions of people across the country that are rooting for us.

Why, with all that going for us, can`t we sit down in a room and try to work things out.

HAMMER: Yes, it`s unfortunately not that simple. And it is a complex situation. Carlos Diaz, Cooper Lawrence, thank you both for being here. We really appreciate it.

We would love to hear from you about what you think about this debate. Here`s what we`re asking in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day - "Jon versus Kate Gosselin: Whose side are you on?" Name your team at CNN.com/ShowbizTonight. You can also E-mail us at showbiztonight@cnn.com.

Well, let me be clear about this. We`re not just picking sides with Jon and Kate. There`s a superstar music battle brewing as well - Whitney Houston versus Michael Jackson. Whitney`s got a new album coming out. Michael Jackson`s coming back to the stage. Who will win the battle of the superstar comebacks?

Tonight, new revelations about John Travolta`s struggle after the death of his son. Denzel Washington, who co-stars with Travolta in his first movie since the tragedy, reveals how his friend is coping.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WASHINGTON: I talked to him about three weeks ago and, you know, he`s trying to work it out, you know. It`s a tough situation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT right there at the premiere of Travolta`s brand- new movie. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: Angelina Jolie writes article about genocide in Darfur for "Time" magazine. Woman who attacked Simon Cowell`s ex pleads guilty to battery charge.)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer. Hey, did you se this? Last month, pregnant "View" co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, got hit by a bike in New York City. Now, Elisabeth was trying to get into a cab when a delivery person slammed into her.

Well, on "The View" this morning, Joy Behar revealed who may have been behind this hit-and-run.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Well, you know, Elisabeth, thanks to our surveillance camera at that intersection. We caught on tape exactly what happened. OK, there`s Elisabeth walking down the street. There comes the person on the bike, knocks her over.

OK. Can we freeze that for a second? OK. Wait a second, Mark. Pull that up a little bit. Let`s see. Who is it? Let`s see. Come on. Come on. Come on. A little more. A little more. A little more. A little more. God, who is this person? Who is this? Oh, my god, never mind. Push it back! Push it back!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Yes. That`s pretty good. The blur of course, former "View" co- host Rosie O`Donnell. You know how Rosie and Elisabeth always went at it on "The View." I think that`s pretty funny. And by the way, Elisabeth and the baby were just fine after that incident.

Well, tonight, get ready for one of the biggest celebrity comeback smackdowns ever. We all love the `80s all over again. Whitney Houston versus Michael Jackson. It`s one of two big stories that are making news right now.

Whitney Houston`s just revealed her long-awaited comeback album is coming out in September, just after Michael Jackson is scheduled to start doing some concerts again.

Also making big news right now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT at the Hollywood premiere of John Travolta`s first movie since the tragic death of his son Jett. John did stay away but his co-stars revealed to us how Travolta is doing.

Joining me tonight in New York is Joe Levy. Joe is the editor-in- chief of the fine "Maxim" magazine. And in Hollywood tonight is Rachel Zalis who is the contributing editor for the fine "Life and Style Weekly."

Let`s get started with this comeback smackdown that`s going on. May we put this up please? Because in the left hand corner, we see Michael Jackson, the king of pop, gearing up for his first concert series in more than a decade. Unbelievable. In the right corner, Whitney Houston. This is her first album coming out since 2002. Obviously, two massive music icons. But they have made headlines really for everything but their music in recent years.

Joe Levy, who do you think among the two has the best shot of coming out on top here?

JOE LEVY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "MAXIM": Well, I actually think when you`re asking who`s going to come out on top and one of the two participants is Michael Jackson, you can be sure it`s the other one.

You know, Whitney has a chance. This is her first record since her divorce from Bobby Brown. I saw her perform in February at this Clive Davis pre-Grammy party. She`s in good voice. If she`s got the songs, she really has a chance to make a good record.

On the other hand this is 50 - count them - 50 days for Michael Jackson. If he actually makes it through all of them, it will be amazing. And it will be a kind of event that no one can top. 50 concerts?

HAMMER: Yes, it`s true. And I have to say, I know people are pulling for both of them, but certainly for Michael Jackson who we`ve seen go through all kinds of trouble over the past couple of decades.

And one thing that Michael really has working against him, I think, as he gets set for a big comeback - everybody has concerns about his health. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how he looked when he made his big announcement of the concert dates back in March. Let`s look at that.

MICHAEL JACKSON, POP STAR: These will be my final show performances in London. This will be it. This is it. And when I say this it, it really means this is it. I love you. I really do. You have to know that. I love you so much. Really, from the bottom of my heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: And let me clarify something. When I say I was impressed with how he looked, I meant he looked healthy. Rachel, what do you think? Can Michael pull it off? Can he possibly top Whitney`s comeback?

RACHEL ZALIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY": You know what? Whitney, I will always love you. But Michael Jackson is the king of pop, master of the moon walk. He is freak show extraordinaire and also one of the greatest selling artists of all time. Who would not want to see those concerts? I mean, sign me up right away. Sorry, Joe, I have to disagree.

HAMMER: All right. You want to rock with Michael Jackson. I understand. In the last year, by the way, Whitney Houston`s been slowly making her way back into the public spotlight since her battle with drugs, her ugly marriage to Bobby Brown.

And just in case people have forgotten what a music icon Houston is, well, her record company`s helping us out. They put together a sizzle reel to promote the announcement of the new album. Take a look at this.

(MUSIC)

HAMMER: And by the way, look at this picture - 45 years old. I think she looks amazing in this photo. Joe Levy, Michael Jackson looks healthy but maybe not so amazing.

LEVY: That`s a fair way of putting it. Yes, Michael looks OK in that he still walking, he`s still talking. Of course, there are concerns. Can he actually make it through 50 concerts? Let`s remember, these are scheduled to start in July and end in March of next year.

HAMMER: Yes.

LEVY: There are also other concerns that he`s postponed the first few. And there`s a rumor out there that he may be contractually obligated to appear on stage for only 15 or 20 minutes.

HAMMER: No kidding. Yes.

LEVY: Yes.

HAMMER: We`ll have to wait and see what unfolds there. All right. Let`s move on to our other story making big news right now - John Travolta. Travolta noticeably absent from the red carpet of the premiere last night of his new movie, "The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3." This is his first since his son`s tragic death.

His co-star Denzel Washington was there along with the director of the film. Listen to what they told us.

WASHINGTON: I talked to him about three weeks ago. And you know, he`s trying to work it out, you know. It`s a tough situation.

TONY SCOTT, DIRECTOR, "THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1, 2, 3": John`s gone under the radar. And I honestly - I don`t know how you recover or if you ever do recover from something like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: Rachel, you certainly can`t blame Travolta for skipping the limelight and keeping a low profile right now.

ZALIS: Absolutely. I mean, he`s obviously a big famous movie star. But at the end of the day, he`s a parent grieving the loss of his child. So it is absolutely no surprise that he wasn`t ready for the red carpet, and we should all respect his privacy.

HAMMER: What a tough road. Yes. We continue to wish him the best. Joe Levy, Rachel Zalis, thank you both.

Moving on now, Will Ferrell is the reigning king of totally twisted spoof movies. But can he work his magic on dinosaurs and monkey people? Will`s new flick "Land of the Lost" - should it get lost or be found? Our no-holds-barred movie picks and pans, coming up next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.

And now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news right now.

(CAPTION READS: "Entertainment Weekly" names "Survivor" best reality show ever. "Entertainment Weekly" names "The Swan" worst reality show ever. Nine-year-old "Slumdog Millionaire" star Rubina Ali to write a memoir.)

It is time now for "Making It Work." This is where we reveal the secrets of how stars make their relationships work in Hollywood and beyond.

And tonight, Craig T. Nelson, star of the hit `90s show, "Coach" has been married for nearly 30 years. Well, Craig is back in the big screen in the new movie, "The Proposal." It`s about a phony marriage.

But there is nothing phony about being in love for nearly three decades. So when SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with Craig and his wife on the red carpet, we had to ask them their secret to making it work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DORIA COOK, WIFE OF CRAIG T. NELSON: We wanted to stay best friends. When it really gets rugged, we go, "Is this my best friend or not?"

CRAIG T. NELSON, ACTOR: But we have other things that we do that are just as important and vital. And that keeps us together. It keeps us - what it does is keeps us honest. Well, you`ve got to have a lot of trust and loyalty in a relationship and a lot of compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

You can catch Craig in "The Proposal" which stars Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds when it opens on June 19th.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Thank you and welcome back, Wegman(ph). Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer.

And I`ve got your first look at this weekend`s brand-new movie. Bradley Cooper stars in "The Hangover." Will Ferrell goes back in time in "The Land of the Lost." And "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" star Nia Vardalos returns in "My Life in Ruins."

I sat down with "People" magazine film critic Leah Rozen. I had to get her take on all three.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(on camera): We`ve got to start with "The Hangover," Leah. It looks really, really funny.

LEAH ROZEN, FILM CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: It is really, really funny. This one is a slam-dunk-to-be, this summer`s version of "The Wedding Crashers." A couple guys - several guys go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, lose the groom, a lot of stuff you don`t see coming happens, inventive plot and jokes that will have you laughing. Completely inappropriate for the kids.

HAMMER: OK.

ROZEN: Only for adults.

HAMMER: I`m looking forward to it because I can relate. In fact, can we take a shot of this, Charles? Look what happened to me. Very similar situation. I had one of those nights when I was in Vegas. And that`s all I`m going to say about that.

ROZEN: That would be Heather Graham, one of the co-stars.

HAMMER: Let us move on to "The Land of the Lost." Will Ferrell - did they need to turn this classic TV show into a movie?

ROZEN: Oh, they so didn`t. They clearly spent a fortune on this, lots of special effect - forgot a little thing called plot and characters.

This one, 13, 14-year-old boys maybe will find it funny. Anyone else will just be going, "When will it be over?" Again, do not take the little kids. Inappropriate language, lots of sexual innuendo. What were they thinking?

HAMMER: And what I remember from the TV show is the special effects. Boy, were they terrible.

ROZEN: The special effects are much better here.

HAMMER: OK -

ROZEN: It is just the characters, the plot and the jokes that go wrong.

HAMMER: It`s too bad. I like Will Ferrell a whole lot. But let`s talk about Nia Vardalos. Of course, she had a huge sleeper hit, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." She is back with "My Life in Ruins." Is this going to be the same kind of a smash that the other movie was?

ROZEN: Probably not, although it shares the same sort of sitcom-y jokes you can see a mile coming a lot. So it`s a - this is for die-hard Nia Vardalos fans only. But given a year when no one can afford to take a vacation other than to your neighbor`s garage, it is shot on location in Greece. And there`s beautiful, beautiful scenery.

HAMMER: And essentially, what happens in a nutshell?

ROZEN: She is a tour guide, and she`s taking a group, a disparate group of tourists around Greece. And she falls in love with the bus driver on the tour.

HAMMER: Leah Rozen, we appreciate your candor, and we appreciate your reviews. Thanks for being here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

And as always, for more "Picks and Pans," you can get your copy of "People" magazine on newsstands right now.

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And you can always catch SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on the 11:00s - 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And weekday mornings at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on HLN.

END