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Is There a "Blind Side" Curse?; "American Idol" in Crisis?; Hollywood`s Hottest Golden Girl; Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott`s Dramatic Move; Alexa Ray Joel`s Stunning Depression Confession

Aired May 10, 2010 - 23:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HLN HOST: Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT - "The Blind Side" curse, big drama hits big stars connected to the movie. Sandra Bullock`s marriage in ruins. Lawrence Taylor arrested, accused of rape. Tim McGraw`s city devastated by floods. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT asks today, is there a "Blind Side" curse?

"American Idol" in crisis? The show makes a shocking move today to pump up ratings. Is it a brilliant idea or just a sign that the show could be on its way out?

Hollywood`s hottest golden girl.


BETTY WHITE, COMEDIAN: At my age if I want to connect with old friends, I need a Ouija board.


HAMMER: Eighty-eight-year-old Betty White rocks "SNL." Should she replace Simon on "American Idol?" Should she replace Oprah? Plus, the shocking connection revealed today between Betty White and Sarah Palin.

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


HAMMER: Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today. Is there really such a thing as the curse of "The Blind Side"? Well, today we`re investigating the explosive connection between the stars of the hit movie and their unbelievable jaw-dropping personal dramas.

Sandra Bullock, of course, won the Oscar for her role in the "Blind Side." But now, her marriage is in ruins, her husband outed for allegedly cheating. She filed for divorce. And now, she`s forced to address rampant false reports that are floating around saying that she`s quitting Hollywood.

Football legend and "Dancing with the Stars," Lawrence Taylor`s real- life story, made up the first 10 minutes of the Blind Side. Now, L.T. is charged with statutory rape, accused of having sex with an underage prostitute.

And Tim McGraw who played Bullock`s husband in "The Blind Side" is reeling from the massive flooding in his hometown of Nashville. Just today, in fact, McGraw announced plans to throw a big benefit concert to raise money and help flood victims.

Right now, in Los Angeles, Tony Potts who is the weekend co-host and a correspondent for "Access Hollywood." And with me in New York, Midwin Charles, who is a legal contributor for "In Session" on HLN`s sister network, truTV.

See, at first, it was Sandra. And then, it seems almost one by one, stars linked with the movie, "The Blind Side," have had to face massive drama. Tony, let me start with you. And to be clear, I don`t want to minimize what any of these people are going through. But can you understand why people would think there has got to be a curse of "The Blind Side?"

TONY POTTS, WEEKEND CO-HOST AND CORRESPONDENT, "ACCESS HOLLYWOOD": Well, as Betty White would say, this is Ouija board stuff. I don`t believe - two of the stories are two ding-dongs who cheated and did bad things. The other one`s a natural occurrence, a horrific thing happened in Nashville.

So I don`t think so, but it makes for good TV. I mean, you can connect all the dots. You also have the college coaches who played in the film and represented their schools - they`re no longer at those schools as well.

So it`s kind of Ouija board stuff, but you know, the other thing with Sandra, what have you, that was somebody who, you know, was not doing the right thing and he did the wrong thing there and kind of, you know, went about America`s sweetheart and really went behind her back. So I don`t think there`s a curse. I hope not.

HAMMER: I don`t know. I love a good conspiracy theory when there`s on around. Now, Lawrence Taylor facing some serious charges here, charged with rape because, allegedly, he had sex with a 16-year-old prostitute and told him she was 19.

This is obviously a huge blow for Taylor who kicked a very public drug addiction after he retired from football and then made a huge comeback when he did "Dancing with the Stars."

But Midwin, he may have been able to reinvent himself up until now, but really, how is he possibly going to get past this if he doesn`t have a complete vindication in court. I don`t see it.

MIDWIN CHARLES, LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR, "IN SESSION" ON TRU TV: It`s going to be really, really hard, A.J. I mean, for starters, he`s going to have to get a really good publicist and an extraordinary good lawyer.

But at the end of the day, this is an athlete who has tripped and fallen several times. And each time he has gotten up - and who knows what the facts will bear with this one, but it does not look good, I`ve got to tell you that.

HAMMER: No. And everybody is sounding of on this. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did catch up with the cast of "Dancing with the Stars." We wanted to get their reaction to Taylor`s shocking arrest.

Well, dancing pro, Louis van Amstel tells us that people need to slow down about all this.


LOUIS VAN AMSTEL, DANCER AND CHOREOGRAPHER: All I can say is that people, before they make their judgments, wait until the facts come out, because oftentimes, what happens is things that are not true are turned into a story and then everybody believes it. And then it`s the end of his career. If it`s true, on the other hand, then people make their own judgments.


HAMMER: Yes. Now, a lot of people are already convicting this guy in their minds. Tony, we have all seen it. There`s a lot of very damning information out there. Is it too much to expect for people to reserve their judgment in this case?

POTTS: Well, you should - let`s forget about that for a minute. Forget about the charges for a minute. What is Lawrence Taylor doing? He`s a married man in a holiday - in a motel room at 9:00 at night with some individual.

I mean, that`s the bigger picture here. Lawrence Taylor was high on crack the day that New York Giants retired his jersey. He admitted that on "60 Minutes." He`s had a laundry list of things that he has done wrong, bad judgment, and what have you. It will make a monumental PR move to resurrect his career if he even has one left, A.J.

HAMMER: Yes. For sure. For sure. Well, another "Dancing with the Stars" contestant riling up some big controversy today, and it`s Erin Andrews. Everybody`s wondering - is she going to be able to forgive Elisabeth Hasselbeck?

Now, last week, Elisabeth criticized Andrews, who, of course, was the victim of a peeping tom. Hasselbeck slammed Andrews for dressing in costumes that she thought were too sexy for someone who had been through a stalking ordeal.

I thought that was ridiculous. Well, the following day, a crying Hasselbeck went on "The View" and she said that she called Andrews to apologize. Today, Andrews tells "Extra" this, "I heard what she had to say on `The View` and I listened to everything she said. She called me. I didn`t speak with her. I`m just going to leave it at that and move on."

So there she goes. She`s going to leave it at that. It doesn`t sound to me like Erin Andrews is going to be forgiving Elisabeth Hasselbeck any time soon. The question is, Midwin, do you think she should? Because I kind of let Elisabeth off the hook after she had that tearful apology.

CHARLES: I didn`t and I agree with Erin. Move on girl, forget about it. I think Hasselbeck was over the line. It wasn`t just a criticism of the outfit. Rather, if you listen to the entire statement, she said that this guy should have waited to watch "Dancing with the Stars" in order to kind of be that kind of voyeur and peek in on her. So I thought that was a little rude. It was almost as though she was saying that Erin Andrews invited this guy to peep on her and that`s horrible.

HAMMER: Oh, yes. No, it was totally rude. It was absolutely wrong.

CHARLES: Yes, it`s horrible.

HAMMER: I guess what I`m saying is when she went on TV the next day and realized, "Oh, I messed up pretty good, so I better, you know, make this right," which she attempted to do. But apparently, Erin Andrews, not at all interested in that.

Now, "Dancing with the Stars" co-host Brooke Burke tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she thought Elisabeth`s comments were dumb and that her apology was just damage control. Watch what she told us.


BROOKE BURKE, CO-HOST "DANCING WITH THE STARS": I just thought that was a really, really dumb comment to make. But I think that there`s been some damage control. And I actually commend Erin for having the courage to not be vulnerable enough and brave enough to get back out there considering what she went through and put herself out there and not be afraid.


HAMMER: Yes. As I said, I actually got the impression that Elisabeth was genuinely remorseful when she apologized to Erin. Maybe she was just sorry because she said something that she got a lot of flak for.

Tony, what do you think? Is Brooke right? Was Elisabeth was just doing damage control here?

POTTS: I think she`s half right. She was doing damage control. But you know, at other times, Elisabeth has this puritanical kind of rant. If she`s so concerned about Erin`s outfits, why is she watching with her five- year-old daughter if it`s too sexy?


POTTS: That`s the big question there. Erin could actually question her parenting ability. But I think Erin has been in the media spotlight long enough. She`s going to move on. You know, she doesn`t care about Elisabeth Hasselbeck and what she has to say, really.

HAMMER: Yes. And as I said from the beginning of this little controversy that, you know, what Erin Andrews wears on "Dancing with the Stars," not a whole lot different from what anybody wears on "Dancing with the Stars" -

POTTS: Right.

HAMMER: In terms of revealing various bodily parts. Let`s just leave it at that and move on to another big late-breaking story making big news today - Tiger calls it quits.

Yes, he announced today he`s not going to finish his latest tournament because of a sore neck. Now, he held a press conference today. He said all of the media scrutiny over his personal life - well, it`s not making his golf game any better. Watch this.


TIGER WOODS, GOLFER: There`s a lot of things going on in my life period right now. And just trying to get, you know, everything in a harmonious spot and that`s not easy to do.

And I`m also trying to make, you know, life changes as well and trying to do that under the microscope of everyone asking me and watching everything I do doesn`t make it easy.


HAMMER: Yes. You`ve made your bed there, literally, Tiger. Tony, I`m thinking everyone who said this guy returned to golf too soon was right. Maybe Tiger has finally cracking under the pressure of his return, his sex therapy and the shaky marriage. Is that how you see it?

POTTS: I think so. I think Tiger`s so competitive. He doesn`t see it that way initially. I think he tries to say the neck has nothing to do with my stress or what have you. But I think 25 years down the road, he`ll look back and say, "You know what? There was no way I could play golf the way I used to be able to play golf."


POTTS: He`ll see it much clearer down the road. But also, remember, this guy went from having sex a lot apparently, all the time, to probably have been none now.


POTTS: That`s the thing. That probably may have something to do with it as well, just saying.


HAMMER: Let me just say this - karma. Tony Potts, Midwin Charles, thank you, guys.

Let`s move on now, because I love Betty White on "Saturday Night Live" over the weekend - sweet and so funny.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nana, make me the happiest grandson on the face of the earth. Will you marry me?

WHITE: Are you out of your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mind?


HAMMER: One of the many hysterical sketches right there. Eighty- eight-year-old Betty White rocked "SNL." What`s next for her today? Should she replace Simon on "American Idol?" Should she replace Oprah? I`m also going to reveal a shocking connection between Betty and Sarah Palin.

And about "Idol" - is the show in crisis today? The show makes a stunning move to pump up its ratings. But is it a brilliant idea or just a sign the show is in deep doo-doo.

And Barbara Walters makes a dramatic announcement on "The View" today, why she may be leaving the show. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Oprah has a case of Bieber fever! Justin Bieber to appear on "Oprah" Tuesday. Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood to perform at Tennessee flood concert.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Now, Barbara Walters` heart surgery shocker out of nowhere today on "The View." Barbara surprised everyone by revealing she`s going in for surgery to repair a bad heart valve. Watch this.


BARBARA WALTERS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Later this week I`m going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve. Now, lots of people have done this and I have known of this condition for a while now.

And my doctors and I have decided that this is the best time to do the surgery. And since the summer is coming up, I can take a nice vacation. Earlier this morning, I told my wonderful and supportive pals here.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Which you kept the secret very well, Barbara.

WALTERS: Yes, I kept it a secret. Yes. And you`ve kept it a secret until this minute. And I`m now telling it will be a surprise to many friends and to our loving viewers, at least, you have been.

But I felt it best not to talk about it too far in advance. I love you all and that`s my hot topic for this morning.


HAMMER: Well, Barbara says she`s going to be out of commission for at least a month, possibly three or more, but is she scared?


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I know this is a dopey question. But are you scared?

WALTERS: No, no, no. You can`t ask a dopey question.

GOLDBERG: Are you scared?

WALTERS: Oh, only you would ask that question. Well, am I scared? Look, nobody wants to have this kind of surgery. It`s not elective, let`s say.

GOLDBERG: Right. Right.

WALTERS: It`s not like having your - I don`t know what - your face lifted, you know. But it`s an operation that`s done so often and I have very good doctors and I have the support and love - my daughter, of course, is coming in. So I don`t think I`m really scared. I`m glad it`s going to be over with.


WALTER: I do know I`m - it`s going to be taken care of.


HAMMER: Well, Barbara, of course all of us here at SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wish you well. And we want you to have a speedy recovery.

Let`s switch gears now. Whitney Houston`s ex, Bobby Brown is engaged. And "Iron Man" has a record-breaking weekend. It`s all making news in "The Buzz" today.


HAMMER (voice-over): "Iron Man" strikes gold. "Iron Man 2" just had a record-setting opening weekend at the box office. The superhero-sequel raked in more than $133 million over its opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada, giving it the fifth best opening weekend of all time. When you add the international box office, "Iron Man`s" total jumps to more than $300 million.

Bobby Brown`s engagement shocker. The once troubled performer proposed to his girlfriend during a concert in Florida. Brown brought Alicia Etheridge along with their 11-month-old son. Then, he dropped to one knee and popped the question.

Etheridge said yes and the crowd cheered. Brown was married to Whitney Houston for 15 very tumultuous years. So we all hope it goes better for him this time around.

Betty is white-hot for "Saturday Night Live." At 88 1/2 years old, Betty White became the oldest person to host the show. And her appearance gave "SNL" a much-needed ratings boost. White joked about the Facebook campaign that pushed producers to book her for the role.

WHITE: When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host "Saturday Night Live," I didn`t know what Facebook was. And now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.


HAMMER: NBC probably doesn`t see it that way. The show had its highest ratings in a year and a half.


And I think Betty White has knocked it out of the park on "SNL." She did such a great job. So the question is, can "American Idol" learn a thing or two from Betty White? I`m also going to reveal the surprising connection between Betty White and Sarah Palin. That is coming up in just a bit.

Right now, I want to find out from you in our exclusive SHOWBIZ TONIGHT poll what you think about this - "Betty White rocks `SNL`: What should she do next?" Should she replace Simon on "American Idol?" Should she replace Oprah with her own talk show maybe? Or perhaps should Betty White compete on "Dancing with the Stars?"

Get on line to vote at You can also E-mail us if you`ve got more to say,

The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines have been ringing all weekend long - today, too - all about the Sandra Bullock adoption controversy.

I`ve got to tell you, this debate over some people criticizing Sandra for adopting an African-American baby, has led to the most phone calls, the most E-mails and Facebook comments it`s ever gotten on one single story.

Laura called from Arizona and she is fired up.


LAURA, CALLER FROM ARIZONA: I think it`s disgusting that people are giving Sandra Bullock a hard time for adopting a black child. Who cares if the baby`s purple, yellow, black, blue - who cares?

She gave him a home and she`s giving that child an opportunity in life that he may not have had. He will go to the best schools. He will have the best things in life. He will be happy. And he will be well taken care of.

And if you look at that picture on "People" magazine, she looks the happiest she probably has ever been in her lifetime.


HAMMER: Thanks, Laura. I`m right there with you. We also heard from Lisa in California who agrees that race should have nothing to do with it.


LISA, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Why does race have to be an issue? A baby is a baby. And if she loves this child and can take care of it, why not? I don`t think anything else should be an issue.


HAMMER: Thanks a lot, Lisa. You can call us at "Showbiz on Call" to sound off on this or anything at all. The "Showbiz on Call" phone lines are always open - 1-888-SBT-BUZZ; 1-888-728-2899.

So is "American Idol" in crisis today? The show makes a stunning move to pump up ratings. We`ll tell you what it is, but is it brilliant or a sign that the show is in deep trouble?

Are Jon and Kate making up and playing nice today? Is that possible? It`s their sextuplets sixth birthday. Kate reportedly gives Jon a big present.

Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott - all kinds of reports that their marriage is in trouble today. Their dramatic new steps to prove they are rock solid. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Now, the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - it`s more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Singer Vanessa Carlton bit by a pit bull while jogging in Pennsylvania. Katy Perry tops "Maxim`s" 2010 hot list, Angelina Jolie drops to number 38.



HAMMER: Wow, what an amazing voice! How does that not put a smile on your face. That, of course, is the legendary Lena Horne. The singer and actress died Sunday at the age of 92.

Lena Horne was really a trail blazer in many ways. Her most famous song was "Stormy Weather." Of course, you know that. Onstage, offstage, Lena broke new ground in the civil rights movement.

She was the first African-American to sign a long-term movie contract with a major Hollywood studio when she joined MGM. That was back in 1942 and she refused to be typecast. She never wanted to be a, quote, "an imitation of a white woman" in her roles.

Lean Horne died at New York Presbyterian hospital in New York City. No other details were made public. She does have a son and a daughter from her first marriage that ended back in 1944. Lena Horne was 92 years old. Obviously, a sad, sad loss but, wow, what a life.

Moving on now - is Ellen Pompeo leaving "Grey`s Anatomy?" Ellen plays Dr. Meredith Grey on the ABC show and she tells "Extra" that she may want to call it quits after her contract is up in 2012.

Now, Pompeo hasn`t come out and said she`s definitely moving on. But she does say that after season eight, she probably won`t renew her deal. Two other original cast members have already left the series, of course, Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight. Now, Ellen says she thinks she has told all of the stories that she can with her character.

So many of you writing on our Facebook wall about Katie Holmes sexy dance with Tom Cruise at a benefit in Los Angeles. Look at these two go.

The debate today, was this dance hot or not? And does it totally shoot down all of those reports that Tom and Katie`s marriage is in trouble.

Tari L. loved it, "OMG. They aren`t dancers. It was for a fundraiser and supposed to be fun. Remember that word? Fun."

Now, Cita C. didn`t think that Tom-Kat dance was anything special writing, "I am not impressed. It`s not sultry or seductive. She needs more moves."

You can join the debate on Facebook. You can always go behind the scenes of SHOWBIZ TONIGHT and get breaking entertainment news alerts on Twitter. You can call us at "Showbiz on Call" and then there`s always our old friend E-mail. It`s "Showbiz Connects." You`ll find it all at

Now, it`s time for the SHOWBIZ lineup. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Not to be missed - is "American Idol" in crisis today? The show is making what I think is stunning move to pump up its ratings. But is it a brilliant idea or a sign that the show is in deep doo-doo.

Tori Spelling, Dean McDermott - all the talk their marriage in trouble. Their dramatic move today to prove to everybody they are not splitting up.

And Alexa Ray Joel`s stunning depression confession today. Today, the daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley admitting to a drug overdose. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: They got the beat one more time. The Go-Gos planning summer farewell tour. "Real Housewives of N.Y." star Bethenny Frankel, welcomes a girl, Brynn Hoppy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grandma, make me the happiest grandson on the face of the earth. Will you marry me?

WHITE: Are you out of your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mind?


HAMMER: Now, on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, Betty White, rock star. The 88- year-old kills on "SNL." Today, we`ll reveal it - the shocking connection between Betty White and Sarah Palin.

"American Idol" in crisis? Today, the extreme measures "Idol" is taking to save itself. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT dares to ask, could this be the beginning of the end of "Idol?"

Lindsay Lohan slammed by talking babies again, the nasty name-calling, the battle over Lindsay`s good name today. Hide the kids. These babies are playing dirty.

Plus, more stories breaking today from the "SHOWBIZ news ticker - big music news today about Bret Michaels` new song and the "Twilight" movie soundtrack.

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


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer, coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today, the Betty White factor. The unbelievable reaction today to the 88 1/2-year-old hosting "Saturday Night Live."

Think Hollywood`s hottest golden girl totally rocked the show? You`ve got to watch this.


WHITE: I really have to thank Facebook.


When I first heard about the campaign to get me to host "Saturday Night Live," I didn`t know what Facebook was. And now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.


HAMMER: And that was just the beginning. Wait until you hear the shocking connection also between Betty and Sarah Palin.

Joining me right now from Hollywood, Rachel Zalis who is a contributing editor for "Life and Style Weekly." Also from Hollywood, Michael Yo who is the celebrity correspondent for "E!"

All right. Are you ready for it? I can now reveal to you the startling connection between Betty White and Sarah Palin.

Now, according to "Variety" magazine, Betty White drew the highest ratings for "Saturday Night Live" since the 2008 November pre-election show which featured presidential nominee John McCain and Tina Fey who, of course, was doing her Sarah Palin impersonation.

I`ve got to tell you, I thought Betty just knocked it out of the park, Michael Yo, are you with me that Betty White is "SNL`s" new saving grace?

MICHAEL YO: Absolutely. I mean, I haven`t watched "SNL" from beginning to end for like two or three years. And that night, Saturday night, I watched the complete show. She rocked it from beginning to end. She`s just so lovable and at 88 1/2 years old, she has so much energy. She`s so vibrant. I loved every single minute of "Saturday Night Live" this week.

HAMMER: Yes. I was with you. You couldn`t stop watching. You really wanted to see what she was going to do next and it was all good.

I`ve got to show you the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT iReport that we got from Julio in New York City. Can we put this up, Charles? Because you don`t really see this typically during the week at "Saturday Night Live."

This is a massive line outside of the "Saturday Night Live" studios at Rockefeller Center that began forming on Thursday. This is not normal, my friend. Clearly, Betty is sparking brand-new excitement. Rachel, I`m thinking Betty (AUDIO GAP) is the new 40?

RACHEL ZALIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "LIFE AND STYLE WEEKLY": I totally agree with you. I actually think she should hook up with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and do like the Cougars of Comedy" tour, because these are the ladies that are rocking it in the comedy department right now.

There`s no up and coming young star, and that`s why all this attention is being paid to Betty White. I mean, starting with her scene-stealing performance in "The Proposal" opposite Sandy - so that`s a big deal and we love her.

HAMMER: Yes. How can you not be inspired by this woman? I thought that the ladies of "The View" made a great point today about Betty`s allure. Take a look at what they are saying.


BEHAR: Funny is funny, no matter what the age is the truth of that. She`s got the timing down.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": She`s been doing this all her life. Remember at the SAG Awards, she was so funny. She talked about who she slept with.


HAMMER: Yes. And I`m sure, right now - and look, Betty has never been wanting for work. But after this weekend, she`s now fielding a whole new level of offers. They`re coming in from all over the place, I`m sure.

And I was thinking about "American Idol." Now, her me out on this. Obviously, we know American Idol is having a pretty rough season. But Michael, don`t you think, Betty White on "Idol," even if it`s a one off, one week, it would be a great shot in the arm for that show.

YO: You know, I think first of all, she should co-host the Emmys with Jimmy Fallon. I think that would be genius for Betty White to do that.

But yes, I think her on "Idol" for a one-off would be amazing. But for her to be a judge on the show, I don`t know if that will work. But I would love to see her critique some musicians for one episode. I think that would absolutely hilarious.

HAMMER: Rachel, what about that? Or what about, you know, maybe the idea that she replaces Simon Cowell when he`s out of there at the end of this year?

ZALIS: I agree. I think she`s great for a one-off. I`m not sure if Betty White is ready to step into his tight t-shirts, I might say. But I think that woman will bring, you know, great ratings and fun and joy to anything she does right now. She could write her ticket.


ZALIS: And "Idol could definitely benefit right now from an appearance from her.

HAMMER: Well, yes. American Idol has got to do something. In fact, let me get right now to this brand-new poll posted by the producers of "American Idol" to their fans. I think it`s pretty wild that they actually did this. It is a first-ever fan survey.

And "American Idol" is actually going right to the viewers asking them to agree or strongly disagree with statements that they`re posting about the current judges, the format of the show. There are even some questions. I think it`s wild that they did this.

They posted questions about ex-judge Paula Abdul. Take a look at what they`re asking their fans to weigh in on. "I miss Paula on American Idol. I do not enjoy American Idol as much now that Paula has left."

Houston, we`ve got a problem here. Michael, what do you think? Are "American Idol" producers actually shoot themselves in the foot by posting this survey showing signs of desperation? Or do you see that maybe is a brilliant move?

YO: You know, I don`t think it`s a brilliant move. I don`t think it`s a bad move. But they just want to know what the public is thinking. And there`s nothing wrong with that, because their show has been getting beat by total viewership by "Dancing with the Stars" and that`s never happened before.

But I think people really miss Paula Abdul. The thing about Paula is that Simon and Paula made a great couple. You know Paula would say something crazy and then Simon would pick her back and forth.


YO: Well, that was a connection on the show. That`s why people watch the musicians to see what they`re going to say after. They don`t have that now because everybody - every judge makes sense when they talk where Paula didn`t.

HAMMER: Yes. No, I`m hearing when I talk to people and reading online, the biggest complaint people have as to what`s wrong with "Idol" this year - no Paula Abdul.

And you mentioned the ratings. Viewership in 2009 is down about 7.5 percent compared to last year. Obviously, "Idol" has lost its edge. But this could actually be a smart move because "Idol" fans obviously made the show the hit that it is.

Rachel, what do you think? I mean, it may be a big publicity stunt, but do you think it`s a smart move that they`re doing this?

ZALIS: No, I think it`s desperate. I mean, it`s true, what he was saying - Paula and Simon were like Ricky and Lucy. It was so much fun to watch. And I think they brought in Ellen thinking that was a big coup. But really, we want crazy not comedy on "American Idol." You know, it`s really lacking that.

HAMMER: The dysfunctional Ricky and Lucy.


HAMMER: Well, we did our own survey on the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Facebook page. We wanted to ask fans if they had their say, what changes would they make to the show? And I`ve got to say the comments kept pouring in all day.

Let me get to a couple of them right here. Carmen C. writing on our wall, "Bring back Paula. Ellen out, and Simon needs to stay. I have been a fan since Kelly Clarkson won but now, it`s going all downhill."

We also heard from Hillary M. - Hillary M. writing on our wall, "Bring back Paula, keep Simon," and then number three, she writes, "Bring back Paula." Obviously, Michael, we`re seeing a running theme here - Paula, Paula, Paula. I`d love to see her back on the show. It really would be the saving grace for "American Idol," wouldn`t it?

YO: Well, not necessarily. If they brought back Paula and Simon still goes to the "X Factor," which he`s going to do, I don`t think she`s going to save the show, because you don`t have that bickering back and forth.

One thing that Paula does give out is those crazy comments, I go back to David Archuleta, when she told him she wanted to rip his head off and hang it from her rear view mirror. I mean, only Paula would say something like that. But without Simon Cowell there, Paula is not going to save that show.

HAMMER: Yes. It`s such a yin and yang. I mean, how can you have one without the other? I guess you`re right. Well, it`s going to be interesting to see what comes out of this survey.

You know, I have to believe they`re doing their own research behind the scenes. I thought it was a little odd that they posted in for the fans online. Michael Yo, Rachel Zalis, thanks, guys. I appreciate you being here.

As we move on tonight, I`ve got to tell you, I almost feel bad for Lindsay Lohan today which is not really normal for me. She just can`t catch a break. Her career, a disaster. Now, she`s getting bashed by babies again. It`s the nasty name calling in the battle over Lindsay`s good name today. And these babies - they are playing dirty.

Tori Spelling`s marriage jinx. Tori is a newlywed all over again today. She renewed her vows with her husband, Dean McDermott. But will this actually put a lid on all those reports that they`re heading for divorce? Did they take their second trip down the aisle for love or possibly for publicity?

Hey, Jon and Kate filed for divorce less than a year after renewing their vows, I`m just saying. But today there are actually signs these two are making nice. Jon and Kate making nice - I`m serious. This is the unexpected birthday gift that came just as their sextuplets turned six. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

Time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: New "Batman" film, a sequel to "The Dark Knight" to hit theaters July 2012. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" soundtrack hit stores on June 8.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that milkaholic Lindsay wasn`t over?




HAMMER: The Lindsay Lohan baby battle heats up again. You remember Lindsay filed that $100 million lawsuit because of this e-Trade commercial where a baby named Lindsay is called a milkaholic. Well, now, e-Trade is firing back today calling the real Lindsay some names far worse than that.

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

Lindsay and the baby battle. In a brand-new stunning move today, e- Trade has taken on Lindsay Lohan by using her reputation as a Hollywood bad girl against her. In a brand-new legal claim, e-Trade is using hundreds of nasty comments that they found on the Internet slamming Lindsay`s party girl ways. So I`ve got to ask, is it time to call the wahmubulance(ph) on Lindsay? Or is e-Trade the bigger crybaby?

Right now in New York, Steven Smith who`s the host of the MySpace Music Feed. Also right now in New York, Midwin Charles, a legal contributor for "In Session" on truTV.

I`ve got to say, it always seemed ridiculous to me that Lindsay Lohan even filed this lawsuit over what I thought was a terrifically funny ad.

But in this claim today, e-Trade actually surfed the Net looking for comments slamming Lindsay which the company actually included in brand-new legal documents. One of the comments calls Lindsay "a pot-stirring, lazy, irresponsible disrespectful little drama queen."

Another, in a legal document, says, "She is the classic child star, a little success at a young age and then she thinks she`s the poo."

Now, let`s remember, Lindsay claims that e-Trade knowingly used her name in this milkaholic ad. But now e-Trade is going after Lindsay using her reputation against her. Midwin, it is just insane to me that this massive company seems to be picking what feels like a schoolyard fight with Lindsay Lohan.

CHARLES: It does seem to be a bit much, right? I mean, I understand all this stuff is already out there and it certainly made their job easy when they had to look for this stuff.


CHARLES: But I`m surprised they actually went there with Lindsay.

HAMMER: Well, I have to mention the reason this documents are even out there is that e-Trade filed the documents because they wanted to change venue for the location of the battle that they`re doing with Lindsay.

Now, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT did reach out to Lindsay`s attorney today. Late this afternoon, she released this statement, "As an attorney, I`m going to vehemently oppose their motion to change venue. As for all the comments attached, I`m still trying to figure out what the relevance is. I can`t attach any relevance of those comments to a change of venue. We`re going to move forward with our viable case."

So they think they have a case here. Of course E-trade just wants the whole thing dismissed. Steven, they say in life, pick your battles. Is this one just a stupid one for Lindsay to have picked?

STEVEN SMITH, HOST, "MYSPACE MUSIC FEED": About as stupid as being in "I Know Who Killed Me," most likely. The relevance thing - that`s the best part. Her attorney just summed the whole thing up. I`m trying to find the relevance in all this for changing venues.

I`m trying to find the relevance in her actually suing them to begin with. The ad is hysterical. Yes, Lindsay is a milkaholic. It`s also a very common name. She`s just being absolutely ridiculous. But if she wants to keep her name in tabloids for doing something stupid, she`s done a really great job.

HAMMER: Yes, and at the end of the day, who knows? Maybe she`ll walk away with $100 million.

Let me move on to more big news. Just in today, Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott say "I do" again. Yes, Tori and Dean tied the knot again over the weekend in Beverly Hills amid all the nasty speculation that`s been going on that they were headed for a split.

Now, we just saw on the reality show that their marriage seemed to be on the brink. Midwin, do you get the sense that renewing their vows will actually put those rumors to rest once and for all? Really?

CHARLES: I doubt it. I mean, renewing their vows comes about a week after everyone was commenting about this fight that they had on their show. What I think it will do is keep us talking about them.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, to that point now, I`m actually thinking Tori and Dean took a page from the playbook of Heidi Klum and Seal. They also renewed their marriage vows for the fifth time, just this past weekend on Saturday.

And that actually got the ladies of "The View" talking about this new - what seems to be like a Hollywood trend today. Listen to what Elisabeth Hasselbeck had to say about that.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I used to say and I think I`ve said on the show that I thought there was no need. You make the vow once. You caved to it.


HASSELBECK: You stick to it. Why make it in the first place if you can`t keep it?


HASSELBECK: And the more I hear it and the longer I`m married, I understand almost the need to renew. It`s almost like a reminder.


HAMMER: Yes. So Elisabeth obviously having a change of heart there. I`m actually happy to hear that they are sticking together. But I`m also sure that they`re happy we`re talking about them. To Midwin`s point, Steven, I mean, how much of this is about publicity?

SMITH: I think quite a bit of it about publicity. The fact that it`s timing-wise, right on the reality show that shows them having problems. Then, they renew their vows. It just seems a little too calculated for me.

That being said, if it is indeed for love, if it`s something they both want to do together to renew their vows and show, yes, we are happy in matrimony, then by all means, do that for each other.

HAMMER: Yes. I don`t want to discount it, but it does feel a little suspect, doesn`t it? Another couple, by the way, that renewed their vows a couple of years ago - Jon and Kate Gosselin.

We all know how that turned out. Today, things are actually looking up for the Gosselins. Their sextuplets turned six years old. And in a brand-new report out today, Kate reportedly gave Jon total access to the kids for their birthday.

The kids were happy. Jon and Kate actually seemed to be playing nice. I`m thinking, you know, well, it`s hard to know what`s real between these two anymore. Maybe they`re learning a lesson and they`re going to be able to co-parent with all drama.

Steven Smith, Midwin Charles, thank you both for being here tonight. I appreciate it.

Well, for the first time today, Billy Joel`s daughter reveals the intimate details of her apparent suicide attempt. This is wild. Alexa Ray Joel opening up what really led to her emotional meltdown and why Alexa says her mom, Christie Brinkley, wishes she was just like her.

It`s time now for the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker" - more stories from the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsroom making news today.

TEXT: Bret Michaels releases song, "Wasted Time," recorded before brain injury. Christina Aguilera kicks off "Bionic" tour July 15th in Connecticut.

HAMMER: Right now, Jennifer Lopez reveals her secret to balancing family life and life on Hollywood`s A-list. Jennifer just took some time off from working to give birth to her twins, Amy and Max.

Well, Jennifer is back to work now, starring in "The Backup Plan."

Jennifer brought her kids on set when she was working on the film. So When SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with her at the movie`s premiere, we had to ask if was really tough juggling the movie star thing and the mommy thing while on set.


JENNIFER LOPEZ, ACTRESS AND SINGER: It`s a balancing act. I wouldn`t say it was tough. I actually really enjoyed it. One of the best days of my life was the first day that I brought them to set and I was working.

And it was like my whole life, you know, was merging together and it was just total happiness for me. It was just a real feeling of wholeness and completeness.


HAMMER: It does seem like J. Lo can do it all. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.


HAMMER: Thank you, Charles. Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley`s daughter, Alexa Ray Joel, reveals her painful battle with depression today.

Alexa tells "People" magazine that her heartbreak over losing her first love sent her spiraling out of control last December. That`s when Alexa turned to drugs and was rushed to the hospital after an overdose.

Alexa says, "I felt like I was in a black hole and I couldn`t see out. I hit rock bottom that day." Well, Alexa`s now in therapy. She denies reports that the real reason she turned to drugs was because of a fight with her mom over her weight.

Alexa tells "People" nothing could be further from the truth, saying, "Nobody is more supportive of my physical appearance than my mother. She tells me that she wishes she looked like me that I`m so much more unique than her."

Let`s remember, her mom is Christie Brinkley. Well, Alexa is following in her mom`s modeling footsteps, starring in Prell shampoo ads 25 years after Christie Brinkley was the face of the brand.

Right now Heidi Montag`s sister lashes out, and SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is right there. Holly Montag, who was on the MTV show "The Hills" with her younger sister, has now taken on all of those people who slammed Heidi for getting those 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day.

You remember Heidi`s big reveal to her sister and her entire family on "The Hills" wasn`t exactly all warm and fuzzy kind of a family reunion. But now, that the bruised egos and surgically-altered body parts have healed, Holly tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that she has got her sister`s back and she`s got a message for all of those critics.


HOLLY MONTAG, HEIDI MONTAG`S SISTER: The thing is this is very difficult because I don`t see personally the right to judge between one tiny little shot of Botox or like 20. I mean, really, where`s the line? Who`s the judge? Who is to say anything?

So it`s almost an impossible, I think, conversation to have because there is no right answer. There`s no right answer because everybody`s their own person.


HAMMER: OK. Well, even though Heidi made her big plastic surgery reveal right there on the cover of "People" magazine under a headline that proclaimed that she was addicted to plastic surgery, Holly says she doesn`t believe Heidi is addicted at all.

OK. So on Friday, we asked you to vote on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive poll. Just moments ago, I got the final results. I will now share them with you.

"Betty White on `Saturday Night Live:` Are you surprised by her renewed popularity?" I am not surprised by these results. Look at that. Eighteen percent said yes. So 82 percent of you say you`re not surprised.

Here are some of the E-mails we got. Phyllis in Virginia writing, "Betty White is wonderful! She brightens up the room when she walks in. I`m not surprised that she is on top of the world."

And Marie from Arizona writes this, "Exactly when was Betty White unpopular? I`m almost 31 and have never seen it." Now, Betty White`s been working pretty much non-stop since 1945, and I think she has always been popular.

That is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT now live at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday. And we are still TV`s most provocative entertainment news show seven days a week at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific.