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The Power of Pia Toscano; Charlie Sheen Takes New York; Karina Smirnoff`s Big Naked Mistake?; Lindsay Lohan Versus Betty White; Ashley Judd`s Confession Regrets?

Aired April 11, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- the power of Pia. Today, for the very first time, since her outrageous boot from "American Idol," Pia Toscano tells all to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

I am one-on-one today with Pia in a headline making SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview. Plus, what Pia told me about wild reports today that she`s hooking up with Mark Ballas from "Dancing with the Stars."


(on camera) You set the record straight on that?


And our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint -- will Pia be as big a star as Jennifer Hudson?

Charlie Sheen takes New York. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s undercover staff is right there. The stories you haven`t heard before. Is Charlie Sheen really begging CBS for his job back?

Karina`s big naked mistake? New revelations today about "Dancing with the Stars`" Karina Smirnoff`s upcoming "Playboy" spread. A big SHOWBIZ TONIGHT debate today -- great move or big mistake?

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


Hello. I`m A.J. Hammer, coming to you from New York City with big news breaking today and breaking today from Pia Toscano.

Today, for the very first time, Pia opened up to me about the "Idol" exit heard around the world. Yes, you know, it was just last Thursday that there was shock and awe at the decision to vote Pia off of "American Idol." Frankly, it`s something I still don`t understand.

Well, this afternoon, I sat down with Pia for an explosive SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview right here in New York City.

And there were so many burning questions I had to ask her about that mind-boggling moment when she was tossed off the show, about reports today she already has a record deal, even about a possible romance with one of the stars of "Dancing with the Stars." Let me tell you, I was so impressed by how open Pia was with me today and you will be, too.


(on camera) How are you even able to process, Pia, the fact that, essentially, an entire nation is outraged by something that happened to you?

PIA TOSCANO, FORMER "AMERICAN IDOL" CONTESTANT: It`s overwhelming. When I was on that stage on Thursday night, I`m thinking to myself, "It`s over. It`s coming to an end. I mean, it`s so soon. I`m not going to be able to perform this next week. I`m going to miss my friends." I had no idea was going to get this support. No idea.

HAMMER: Wow. It was a tense moment when the announcement was made that you were voted off. Let`s take a look that that.


RYAN SEACREST, HOST, "AMERICAN IDOL": The person who leaves us tonight after the nationwide vote is Pia. Stefano, you are safe.

JENNIFER LOPEZ, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: No idea. I have no idea what just happened here. I`m shocked. I`m angry. I don`t even know what to say.


HAMMER: OK. So obviously that was very, very intense. But take me back to inside your head at that exact moment. What was running through your mind?

TOSCANO: I had so many mixed emotions going on. I mean, I was sad because I thought, you know, my parents were sitting in the audience. And I was just so sad that it was, like, all coming to an end.

And really, I was just trying to stay just up about it. You don`t really -- it`s all such a blur. I was just trying to breathe and just be present and all that stuff, but, you know, it was overwhelming.

HAMMER: We saw the elimination. You did the performance and I think, admirably. Considering everything, I thought it was a terrific performance.

TOSCANO: Thanks.

HAMMER: Curtain comes down. Show`s over. You walk off stage. What happens at that moment when you`ve walked off stage?

TOSCANO: You know, I was going through a bunch of things at that moment. I was really anxious. When I was performing, I was having trouble just, you know, breathing a little bit.

You know, I was just trying to get through everything. Everything was happening so quickly. So I wasn`t feeling great when I got off the stage and, you know, I had some help.

HAMMER: A little scary moment. And some medical assistance, I think?

TOSCANO: Yes, I had some medical assistance, but I was OK. You know, it happens. You know, you`re in shock a little bit. So much is going on. Your life is changing by the minute. So it was OK.

HAMMER: I`m sure everybody was rallying around you.


HAMMER: And to see the judges` reaction when it was announced that you were leaving -- you don`t see that a lot. For all the years "American Idol" has been on the air, we`ve seen that a very few times.

I mean, really, you`re one of a couple. And in this case to see, you know, Jennifer Lopez breaking down in tears -- Randy Jackson looked like he was about to swear when the camera caught him. Have you seen that clip?


HAMMER: Yes. And I think he probably did swear. And Steven Tyler was in shock himself. And you heard from the judges themselves -- have you spoken with any of them since that day that you left the studio there?

TOSCANO: No. Jennifer had tweeted that she was going to miss me, which was the best feeling because she was so amazing, so nurturing.

And all three of them -- they were just so supportive and they wanted the best for you. And every critique they gave you, they did in such a positive way. They really wanted to help you grow, so I really appreciate their time.

HAMMER: Now, obviously, a lot of people have been talking about the voting system and the fact that the voting changed this year. People can vote online so it shakes things up a bit.

We just did a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT exclusive poll where majority of people responded, particularly in reaction to what happened to you, saying, "I think the system needs to be changed." Do you think it needs to be changed?

TOSCANO: It may have -- it may need to be changed. It may -- I really don`t know.

HAMMER: Not for you to say?

TOSCANO: No, it`s not for me to say.

HAMMER: So Wendy Williams --


HAMMER: Was on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on Friday night. And she had a lot to say about you. But in particular, she had some words of encouragement.

TOSCANO: Oh, I love her.

HAMMER: And I`ve got to show you what the great Wendy Williams had to say about you being eliminated from "American Idol."


(on camera) Were you shocked by what happened on "Idol" with Pia getting tossed?

WENDY WILLIAMS, HOST, "THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW": Well, you know, I`m not shocked and I understand what people say that the system is flawed. But you know, Jennifer Hudson was kicked off "Idol" also, and look at her career.


WILLIAMS: You know, Clay Aiken was kicked off and look at his career.

HAMMER: Yes. Daughtry, too.

WILLIAMS: That`s right. This is a gorgeous, talented woman. It might have been one of the best things that could have happened to her, because now, she`s free to come back to New York and land that record deal. And she`s got the sympathy vote right now and lots of talent.


TOSCANO: She`s so sweet. I met her in the elevator at CBS because they were filming "Dancing with the Stars," and I`m such a huge fan of hers. So to have her support means everything.

HAMMER: And Wendy Williams mentioning now you`ll get a record deal. And of course, the reports have been rampant you actually immediately signed to a record deal. Can you set the record straight about that? Is there actually one in place right now?

TOSCANO: Well, these past couple days have been so crazy so I haven`t had a chance to do anything. You know, but I`ll anything that comes my way, really, any opportunity. And I`m just focusing on --


HAMMER: So I can sign you to my label then.

WILLIAMS: But you`re not going to --

HAMMER: So you haven`t signed on the dotted line?

WILLIAMS: Just really focused on the tour right now, you know --


WILLIAMS: And getting some rest.


HAMMER: And she could use that rest. She is running around like a mad woman. So Pia may not have the record deal yet. She is loved by so many hardcore American Idol fans.

Everyone, as we mentioned, from Daughtry to Clay Aiken to Jennifer Hudson lost "Idol" and they made it big. That leads to our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint -- will Pia be as big a star as Jennifer Hudson?

Right now, from Chicago, is Kelli Zink who is the host of In Hollywood, Hyla, who is the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show, "The Hollywood 5." I have no idea why I`m saying your name, Hyla.

But Kelli, I want to start with you. Jennifer Hudson -- obviously, we know she didn`t make the final cut on "American Idol." Look at her now.

I mean, her career is bigger and better than a whole lot of "Idol" winners. So to our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, Kelli, could Pia become as big a star as Jennifer Hudson?

KELLI ZINK, HOST, "CELEBTV.COM": A.J., absolutely, especially since the creator of "Idol" said, "I didn`t see her going all the way." So this was a brilliant move by them to yank her early, create all this controversy and buzz.

Even people who don`t watch "Idol" say to me, "What`s up with this Pia girl? She`s really hot." All these celebrities are talking about her. So now, she`s this girl who is in a position to succeed.

HAMMER: Yes. You`re referring to Nigel Lythgoe, the creator of "American Idol." He had suggested he didn`t see her going all the way.

But the truth is, she had the fan support. She had the judges` support. I actually really think she could have gone all the way. She really wowed me today. She`s smart. She has great energy, good head on her shoulders, not to mention of course super, super talented.

Hyla, to our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, could Pia be as big a star as Jennifer Hudson?

HYLA, CO-HOST, "THE HOLLYWOOD 5": I don`t know about that. Jennifer Hudson -- she made waves by, you know, going the movie route. She was winning an Oscar, so I don`t know what her acting chops are.

But the reality is, once you go on "American Idol" now, it`s really not about winning. I mean, look at all the winners, and how much success have they had? I mean, it was Simon who has been talking about Kelly Clarkson being the only person who`s really had huge international success.

So I think a lot of these people go on now. And just want to get that quick little 15 minutes because winning "Idol," I think, takes on a lot more responsibility that you don`t want or you don`t need. This girl can go off, do her own record deal and be successful.

HAMMER: Well, in my incredible one-on-one today with Pia Toscano, I did ask her a question that we`ve all been dying to know the answer to. Watch this.


(on camera) You`ve seen the reports. You and Mark Ballas are an item from "Dancing with the Stars." Can you set the record straight on that?


Yes. I mean, the rumors have been floating around. She knows she`s ready and has to answer the tough questions about her personal life all of a sudden. Wait until you hear what Pia Toscano told me about that. That is coming up in just a bit.

But we move on to more big "Dancing with the Stars" news today. Karina`s big naked mistake? Karina`s upcoming "Playboy" pictorial. Was it a great move or is it a huge mistake?

Also, Oprah Winfrey, of course, was a huge support of Barack Obama back in 2008 when he was running for the office of president. And now, there are startling reports today that this time around, Oprah may not publicly endorse the president for reelection.

And aren`t you as confused by all of this royal wedding stuff as I am? I mean, don`t be embarrassed. I`m not able to figure it all out. Who is a prince? Who is a princess? Who is invited? Who is not invited?


RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The people I feel sorry for in a really sort of odd way, those who are invited just for the abbey. Think about it. You`ve got to be there really early. You`ve got to hang around waiting for hours.

You probably can`t nip out if you have to go another cigarette or go to the loo. And worst of all, you don`t get to go to the reception afterwards.


HAMMER: We have got some awesome royal wedding CliffNotes today that will get you very excited for this thing, coming up next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: "Jersey Shore" stars get a big raise, will make $100,000 each per episode. John Travolta and cast of "Welcome Back, Kotter" reunite at TV Land Awards.


JOHN TRAVOLTA, ACTOR: It`s timeless. It still holds up. I had my kid watch one of the many episodes that we did. And she flipped over it. She said it was just like everything else today. So we`ve created a classic.



HAMMER: Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton -- take a good look at these two because you are not going to see them for a while. William and Kate made their very last public appearance today in Lancashire, England before their big wedding on April 29th.

Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. Right now, it`s a SHOWBIZ special report -- explain that royal wedding stuff to me. I`ll admit it, there`s a lot of things about the whole deal that I just don`t understand.

Don`t get me wrong. The prince and princess, king and queen stuff -- it`s all pretty cool. But why the heck is this royal wedding really such a big deal? Here`s CNN`s Richard Quest for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


QUEST: These events don`t come along very often, big royal weddings. The last one was in 1981.


Of course, April the 29th -- it`s a Friday and it could be like any other Friday, except on this particular Friday, Prince William marries Kate Middleton. Now, why is this any more significant than any other royal wedding?

Well, you know, he is the heir-apparent. In the fullness of time, he will be the king and she will be his queen-consort. The first thing is she will become HRH, Her Royal Highness. That`s a given.

Thereafter, it all depends on whether William accepts the dukedom from the queen or whether he just continues to be Prince William for the unforeseeable future. If that`s the case, then she will be Her Royal Highness Katherine Princess William.

It sounds a bit sexist. So to all intents and purposes, she will be Her Royal Highness Princess Katherine or Princess Kate.

It`s not a church. Please, please -- it`s an abbey, all right. It`s a bit bigger than a church, but it`s huge. There will be nearly 2,000 people in this particular one.

The fundamentals, "To love and obey till death do us part, for richer or poorer in sickness and health," all that will still be there in some shape or form.

They will do their vows. There will still be the moment of "I now pronounce you man and wife." I think they`re going to kiss at the altar. There will be no X-rated material. It will be a kiss on the cheek or kiss on the lips, or whatever.

And yes, I cannot see that they won`t kiss on the balcony in front the hundreds of thousands of people who will be waiting outside.

Prince Charles actually forgot to kiss Princess Diana at their wedding at St. Paul`s Cathedral. That was just something that happened. Apparently, he forgot to give her a kiss.

So again, when they were on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, there was that moment when one said to the other, "They want to us kiss," and the other one said, "We`d better do it then." And it was a one-kiss wonder.

Think about this as "Royal Idol." You start with a big list -- 1,900 people invited to Westminster Abbey for the event itself. And then, you start cutting it down to 600 people.

They`re the ones that will be invited to the palace for a reception by Her Majesty the Queen. That would include obviously heads of government, those from commonwealth countries.

The real ticket is the 300 people who will be invited to the evening party being held by Prince Charles, William`s father.

The people I feel sorry for in a really sort of odd way, those who are invited just for the abbey. Think about it. You`ve got to be there really early. You`ve got to hang around waiting for hours.

You probably can`t nip out if you have to go another cigarette or go to the loo. And worst of all, you don`t get to go to the reception afterwards. But on the plus side, you can say, "I was there the day William married Kate."


HAMMER: You know, now, I get it. Thank you, Richard Quest. We have been getting so many of your iReports about the royal wedding. There have been a lot of great entries for our contest to be the official CNN royal wedding iReporter, like this one from Katie in Massachusetts.


KATIE, IREPORTER IN MASSACHUSETTS: Do you, CNN, take me to be your royal wedding iReporter? While I`ve never walked down an aisle, I`ve walked all over Boston reporting on everything from politics to pillow fights.

Some people are pounding their pillows and going back to their house in (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

I even ran the Boston marathon with a camera on my head. I can shoot, write, edit and upload within hours and still have time to find the perfect gown.

So no one really knows exactly what Kate Middleton will be wearing on the big day, but we do know that every detail of the royal wedding will go down in history.


HAMMER: Katie, thank you so much. Great production values there. Look for the big announcement of the royal wedding iReporter soon. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Brooke Anderson, of course, is going to be right there covering all the excitement at the royal wedding beginning on April 25th.

You do not want to miss more of my explosive SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview tonight with "Idol" finalist Pia Toscano.


(on camera) You`ve seen the reports, you and Mark Ballas are an item from "Dancing with the Stars." Can you set the record straight on this?


Wait until you hear what Pia told me about that, coming up.

Charlie Sheen takes New York, or does he? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s undercover staff is right there, of course. The stories you haven`t heard before. Plus, is Charlie Sheen really begging CBS for his job back?

And did you see this? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT cute video alert -- a cat playing with dolphins. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Liam Neeson`s cameo in "Hangover 2" gets cut. Reese Witherspoon tells "Vogue" magazine that she may run for office!



OPRAH WINFREY, MEDIA MOGUL: I believe that change has already come, California.


HAMMER: Oprah Winfrey was a big Barack Obama fan back in 2008. She really pushed to get him elected president. She is still on team Obama. But this time, though, she may not be so public about it.

Well, there is a surprising new report out today from "" and it claims that Oprah, who, of course, got criticized for being so vocal for then candidate Obama back in 2008, will campaign to help him get re- elected, but you won`t see her doing it so publicly.

PopEater says Oprah is concerned that doing too much for the president could actually hurt her own network, which is not doing so hot in the ratings right now.

Late today, however, Oprah`s people told us this, "It`s too premature to say what her plans will be. Right now, she`s focused on wrapping the final season of the `Oprah Winfrey Show.`"

Well, there`s huge star reaction to Donald Trump`s birther questions about President Obama. Trump, of course, has been toying with the idea of running for president. And he has just been going full throttle on Obama.

Specifically, he`s questioning whether or not Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen. That, of course, is a Constitutional requirement to be president of this country.

Well, when we caught up with the stars on the red carpet at the TV Land Awards, they were really fired up about Trump.


MALCOLM-JAMAL WARNER, ACTOR: I think that`s really -- I think it`s starting off on a bad foot. And I don`t think it`s representing the kind of American spirit that we would want, you know, any future president to have.

PAUL REISER, ACTOR: I think he`s just being silly. That`s what I think.

REGIS PHILBIN, CO-HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY": I wish it could get over with. I wish there was some piece of paper that could put people like Trump to rest over it.

But apparently, he`s hired some people and you know the story. They`ll get to the bottom of it. And I`m hoping Obama is what he says he is, you know, an American citizen. I don`t know what to think anymore.


HAMMER: Well, Donald says he will decide whether or not he`s going to get into the presidential race in June, which is about the time the current season of "Celebrity Apprentice" wraps up.

Moving on to the showbiz lineup, here`s what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

Ashley Judd`s confession regrets?


ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: How old were you when you thought about suicide?

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: I am so uncomfortable right now, I can`t even see straight.


HAMMER: Does Ashley now think she shouldn`t have opened up about claiming to be sexually abused or about wanting to kill herself?

Lindsay Lohan versus Betty White? Lindsay Lohan in a nasty war of words with the 89-year-old star.

Karina`s big naked mistake today? New revelations about "Dancing with the Stars" performer, Karina Smirnoff`s upcoming "Playboy" pictorial. A big SHOWBIZ TONIGHT debate -- great move or big mistake? This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Kelly Clarkson to return to the "American Idol" stage Thursday. Sidney Lumet, director of "Serpico," "Network," dies at 86.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want to you get up right now and go to the window, open it and stick your head out and yell, "I`m as mad as hell and I`m not going to take this anymore!"




(on camera) You`ve seen the reports. You and Mark Ballas are an item from "Dancing with the Stars." Can you set the record straight on that?


Big news breaking today on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT -- from "American Idol" heartbreak to a new heart-pounding love? Pia Toscano tells all today in a SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview.

Karina`s big naked mistake? Karina Smirnoff of "Dancing with the Stars" taking it all off for "Playboy," sparking SHOWBIZ TONIGHT debate today -- great move or big mistake?

Charlie Sheen torpedoes into New York. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s undercover staff is right there. The stories you haven`t heard before. And is Charlie really begging CBS for his job back?

Plus, breaking today from the "SHOWBIZ News Ticker," Britney Spears and Rihanna`s "S & M" connection. And the Osbournes in debt?

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


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It`s 30 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer coming to you from New York City.

We`ve got big news breaking today -- Charlie iWitness news. Sheen`s "Violent Torpedo of Truth" road show just hit New York City.

And of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there, front and center, to watch all of his shenanigans up close and personal. We sent eyewitnesses to both Charlie`s shows in New York City, including SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s own phenomenal associate producer, Brittany Kaplan, who was at Friday`s show.

Also at Friday`s show, Marlaina Schiavo, who is a senior editorial producer on HLN`s "NANCY GRACE SHOW." And there was an eyewitness for Sunday night`s show as well, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s fantastic associate producer, Anisa Husain.

Marlaina, I do want to star with you. You were at Charlie`s very first show here in New York City. I`m thinking Charlie Sheen at Radio City Music Hall -- this can`t go well, and it didn`t. He got booed practically off stage. Was the show an absolute bomb from your perspective?

MARLAINA SCHIAVO, SENIOR EDITORIAL PRODUCER, "NANCY GRACE SHOW: It was. It started off really strong, A.J., and I had high hopes for him. We talked to some fans before the show. They were really excited to go in.

And once he started, he got a lot of cheers. And then, eventually, it went all downhill. He started talking about tiger blood. And some heckler screamed "Boring!"

And at that point, people were heckling him and booing. People were getting up and walking around. They never really settled in their chairs.

They were getting beers. It sounded like a really rowdy Friday-night crowd that just really wanted to let Charlie have it.

HAMMER: So they pretty much got let down.


HAMMER: Speaking of the hecklers, I want to throw up this photo, Charles, if you would. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT associate producer, Britney Kaplan, snapped this photo from inside Radio City Music Hall Friday night, a stern warning, as you see, to hecklers, "If you`re going to boo Charlie, you`re out."

Now, Brit, you told me earlier today, you just hated this show. You thought Charlie was terrible. Did you see hecklers actually getting escorted out of the building?

BRITTANY KAPLAN, ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: I did. And A.J., I have to tell you, as you know, I`m a huge Charlie fan.


KAPLAN: I have to preface it by that. So you know, it hurts me to say that it was the worst show I`ve ever seen. And I wasn`t the only one that felt that way.

People were walking out. They were booing. They were getting escorted out. And at some point, it seemed like security just gave up.

HAMMER: Now, let me ask you this because we happened to pay for the tickets. Would you have asked for your money back? Was it that bad?

KAPLAN: I absolutely would have.

HAMMER: Was it that kind of deal?

KAPLAN: Charlie had to actually ask the crowd to stop booing just so he could finish his little monologue at the end. He couldn`t talk over the boos.

HAMMER: That`s a New York City crowd. What do you want? But Anisa, you were at the second show on Sunday and you absolutely loved it. I do want to take a look at what was one of, I believe, your favorite moments from the night.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Charlie, what`s your favorite curse word?



HAMMER: Now, Anisa, I know you and Brittany have some similar tastes. You both have this love for Charlie Sheen. What made you love this show so much? What was so great about it?

ANISA HUSAIN, ASSOCIATED PRODUCER, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT: It was just so raw, so real. I love the profanity. That`s what I loved. It`s just -- it`s everything that I thought it would be. I wasn`t let down at all.

It`s really just like I was sitting down hanging out with Charlie Sheen. And I don`t know -- I just loved it so much.

HAMMER: So Brittany, you went in with probably the same expectations. You weren`t getting that?


HAMMER: I`m sure there was raw profanity and all of that stuff.

KAPLAN: Well, I think it`s important to note that Anisa and I saw very different shows.


KAPLAN: It seems he really put on different shows between the two nights. But when I went in, he was incoherent. He was rambling. And he`s telling stories about an eight-month pregnant --

HAMMER: But isn`t that what you expect from Charlie Sheen?

KAPLAN: Exactly.

HAMMER: I mean, you know, that`s what I`m hearing from so many people who are disappointed, right, Anisa?

HUSAIN: Yes, that`s what --

HAMMER: I mean, you got pretty much what you think he`s going to do, ramble on about nonsense.

HUSAIN: Exactly. Exactly. And look, I understand, you know, you didn`t like what he was talking about. But like I said, it`s Charlie Sheen. What else are you expecting from Charlie Sheen? You know, we`re not going to see like a Celine Dion concert. It`s Charlie Sheen.

HAMMER: I`ll tell you what. Brittany wanted a sophisticated concert-going experience, knowing her.

KAPLAN: No, I didn`t --

HAMMER: Hold on a second. I want to get to one highlight I believe you guys told me was from both shows. Charlie told the audience that he wants his "Two and a Half Men" job back. Let`s look at that.


SHEEN: How do you guys feel about "Two and a Half Men"? Do you want to see me back on it?


SHEEN: You need to all write to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) studio, to the network and say, "Bring the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) back." I will get back on that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) show and continue to deliver some (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

"Two and a Half Men" home-cooking into all of your wonderful homes. As you know, I`m a man of my word because I speak the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) truth.


HAMMER: Now, Marlaina, he`s making a point of talking about this at all of his shows. Did he seem desperate to you about wanting to get back on CBS?

SCHIAVO: Well, I mean, it`s kind of a loaded question. He seemed desperate throughout the entire show in general. He threw out a lot of catch phrases, saying "winning" and "tiger blood" just to get applause.

But yes, he did say that, you know, "I did not quit my job. I was fired." And you know, "I want to go back." And he even invited Chuck Lorre on stage to have a full-on debate.

HAMMER: Oh, yes, that will happen. I don`t see that happening. All right, guys. Well, we appreciate your inside eyewitness report to this big "Torpedo of Truth" tour report. Marlaina, Anisa, Brittany, thank you all for being with us tonight.

HAMMER: Well, there is more big news breaking right now from my headline- making SHOWBIZ TONIGHT newsmaker interview with Pia Toscano.

Just days after we were all shocked by Pia getting voted off of "American Idol", I said down with Pia this afternoon. Now, she wouldn`t confirm reports that were floating around today that she`s already signed a record deal.

But what about those stories today that she`s now dating one of the stars of "Dancing with the Stars"? And you may be surprised to learn this was actually Pia`s fifth time trying to be named "American Idol."

This is just the first time she actually made it on to the show. Pia tells me how this time around has been different.


(on camera) Why was this so important for you to be the "American Idol"?

TOSCANO: I mean, this is -- I`ve been a fan of the show since season one and I`ve auditioned so many times. And I would get sent home. And I would think, you know, "Why did I get sent home?"

And it was all preparing me -- I`d like to believe at least it was all preparing me for season ten. This is my moment. And you know, I practiced so hard, and, I mean, you cannot give up. You just have to keep going.

HAMMER: And I know it`s been overwhelming, all of the celebrity reaction to you getting booted off.


HAMMER: They`re outraged, too. You know, you`ve seen the tweets from Tom Hanks and Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson. Of past "Idol" contestants, is there anybody that you`ve heard from? Because Jennifer Hudson has been through the same thing.


HAMMER: Has anybody reached out to you directly yet.

TOSCANO: Jennifer Hudson tweeted. Katharine McPhee reached out to me, Chris Daughtry --

HAMMER: Did you speak to any of them directly?

TOSCANO: Well, we just, you know, through tweets and stuff like that.

HAMMER: Just through Twitter?

TOSCANO: Yes. But so sweet and so supportive. And it`s nice to know that they they`ve gone through what I`m going through --

HAMMER: Right.

TOSCANO: And to have them say -- look at their careers. I mean -- -

HAMMER: Any of those guys you look to in particular as either a mentor or an inspiration, "I`m going to try to follow that path"?

TOSCANO: Chris, Jennifer -- definitely, Katharine McPhee as well. I mean, just to know that they went through what I`m going through right now.

HAMMER: Got to ask you, because this is where you`re headed now. Are you ready for the fact that -- OK, here we are talking about your career and all the great thing.

But the fact is, you are now a bona fide celebrity in your own right. For better or worse, people are going to want to know about your personal life.


HAMMER: Number one, are you prepared for that? Because, hopefully, you have a good support system in place.


HAMMER: And to that end, I`ve got to ask you, you know, this is going to be the first thing everybody`s going to be asking you about. Of course, you`ve seen the reports. You and Mark Ballas are an item from "Dancing with the Stars." Can you set the record straight on that?

TOSCANO: Well, we just went out with a bunch of people -- you know, just friends really. And you know, we had a good time. We went out with a group of people.


HAMMER: And there you have it. Nothing to the romance. But Pia also told me all those stories about her dating her fellow "Idol" contestants are not true.

I did warn Pia, I felt this responsibility, that the possible romances are not going to stop anytime soon. If she goes out to dinner with somebody, they`re going to be dating in some of the magazines.

Moving on now to Karina`s big naked mistake? Karina Smirnoff of "Dancing with the Stars" taking it all off for "Playboy." That`s sparking a coast-to-coast SHOWBIZ TONIGHT debate today -- great move or big mistake?

Lindsay Lohan blasts Betty White. Really? Lindsay going after the 89-year-old golden girl.

And from a new war to peace. It`s the most heartwarming video I have seen in a long time. You`ve got a cat and a dolphin kissing and hugging. You`ve got to see this, and you will, next. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne owe $1.7 million to IRS, IRS places lien on their home. "Facts of Life" cast reunites at TV Land Awards.


CHARLOTTE RAE, ACTRESS: I thought our show at the time was very dear and it is. It was very sweet and thoughtful and sensitive and -- I don`t know. They use a lot of rotten language now in these sitcoms and they`re kind of crass.



HAMMER: This is unbelievable. Did you see this? A cat and dolphin becoming fast friends in this amazing YouTube video that has gone viral today. This cat and dolphin appear to be hugging and kissing and playing together.

It`s got a lot of people wondering if they can look past their differences, why is it often so hard for humans to do the same? Kind of makes me sad.

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

Now, no one really seems to know the origin of this heartwarming video, but nobody seems to care. People just can`t stop watching it. The thing has got nearly one million hits on YouTube already. And here`s some more.






UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is harder to train, the cat or the dolphin?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no other way. We`re going to be traveling 10:00 o`clock from that dolphin over here. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).


HAMMER: It`s my favorite thing ever. Just incredible. All right. Moving on now to "Playboy" founder, Hugh Hefner who is spilling new details today about Karina Smirnoff`s "Playboy" pictorial. John Travolta`s new revelations today to us about his classic show, "Welcome Back, Kotter." And Lindsay Lohan blasts Betty White. All that is making big news in "The Buzz Today."


(voice-over) Lindsay`s Betty blowback. Lindsay Lohan has just blasted Betty White for calling her and other celebrities terribly ungrateful.

Here`s what White told London`s "Daily Mail," "I cannot stand the people who get wonderful starts in show business and who abuse it, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen, for example."

But Lindsay just scratched back at the 89-year-old golden girl, telling "E! Online," "It`s just a bit strange when people feel they must speak out publicly about others, especially a grown woman."

Sweathogs reunion. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as John Travolta, Vinnie Barbarino, reunited with the cast of "Welcome back, Kotter" at the TV Land Awards in New York City.

Travolta tells SHOWBIZ TONIGHT even his young daughter loves the `70s sitcom that gave American the catchphrase, "Up your nose with a rubber hose."

TRAVOLTA: It`s timeless. It still holds up. I had my kid watch one of the many episodes that we did and she was -- she flipped over it. She said it was just like everything is today.

HAMMER: TV Land Awards show airs on April 17th.

Centerfold confessions. Hugh Hefner has just revealed new details about Karina Smirnoff`s upcoming "Playboy" pictorial. Hef tells "" the "Dancing with the Stars" pro wears little but a few red ribbons. Hef calls Karina`s spread unforgettable.


Yes. How often does Hugh Hefner actually call a centerfold shoot unforgettable? Karina Smirnoff says she`s posing to test her limits. That leads us to our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint -- is Karina making a big mistake?

With me from Chicago is Kelli Zink, host of "" And it`s Hyla from Hollywood. He`s the nationally syndicated radio host of "The Hollywood 5."

So Hyla, let me start with you. Is Karina ultimately going to wish she could forget about this unforgettable spread? To our SHOWBIZ Flashpoint, big mistake, do you think?

HYLA: No, not at all. Come on. She`s a reality star. She`s a dancer. She`s comfortable with her body. She`s also European. This fits her perfectly.

You know, I know her in social settings. We have some mutual friends, and this is perfect for her. I think she`s enjoying this a lot.

HAMMER: Kelli, let me get your take on this. Is Karina making a big mistake? Hyla obviously doesn`t think so. But you have to keep in mind her regular paycheck is coming from a family show, so maybe doing the "Playboy" thing not such a good idea in so many people`s minds?

ZINK: Oh, yes. ABC, the same network that invited Chris Brown back? I mean, this is one of the best moves Karina could make. Let`s face it. She works out for a living. She has a perfect body. The only ones sorry that she`s doing this are her ex-boyfriends.

HAMMER: Yes. OK. I can see that. I understand. OK. Let`s move on right now. There`s another story just in today. I`m still trying to wrap my head around this one. Lindsay Lohan is slamming 89-year-old Betty White. I`m talking about beloved 89-year-old Betty White.

And that`s for Betty`s kind of slam of Lindsay Lohan. There`s a brand-new interview that`s out today where Betty is going after stars like Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen for not appreciating their success.

She was asked a question about today`s stars, so it was response to something she was asked. So Lindsay pushed back by saying, "It`s just a bit strange when people feel they must speak publicly about others, especially a grown woman."

I don`t know. Maybe it`s just me but perhaps Lindsay could have said, "You know what? Betty White, very wise 89-year-old woman, I`m going to listen to you. America seems to love you."

Hyla, do you think that Lindsay should have kept her mouth shut? I mean, slamming the beloved Betty white? Is she nuts?

HYLA: This is bigger than anything she`s going to face in court, right? No, it`s not smart for her. Listen, the girl`s in so much trouble. The reality is they are both kind of right.

I mean, Betty is right. Lindsay has been a mess and hasn`t taken advantage of the success that`s been given to her. But at the same time, Betty, you know, came up in a different generation.

So some of the quotes I was reading, you know, about her not firing back at critics -- you know, this is what we do in this day and age. So yes -- but at the end of the day, Lindsay, keep your mouth shut.

HAMMER: Yes. But Hyla, if you`re going to -- yes, exactly. If you`re going to be asked about two of today`s stars, or if you`re going to be asked about today`s stars, you know, I think Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan are perfect examples of how not to go about it, right?

HYLA: Exactly right. Lindsay doesn`t need to be talking trash about Betty White and Charlie doesn`t need to be going on torpedoes of nonsense tours.

HAMMER: So Kelli, listen. I couldn`t agree more with Betty White. Lindsay has more wealth and fame at 24 than a lot of stars will experience in their entire lives.

I`m thinking that if Lindsay were smart, she`d be taking notes instead of giving stupid quotes. What about you?

ZINK: Lindsay is lucky she`s on Betty White`s radar. Betty White right now is red hot. She`s legendary. And the fact that she has her finger on the pulse of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay are the hot topics -- that woman is amazing. We polled people on "CelebTV" today and it was 100 percent with Betty White --


ZINK: Although I will say Lindsay`s response was eloquent. It was eloquent for once.

HAMMER: It was probably the best for her. I was trying to get applause for Betty White. Help me out. Kelli Zink, Hyla, thanks, guys.

Moving to Ashley Judd`s confession regrets. Ashley making some remarkable revelations about a rough childhood in her new book. But is she wishing she could take it all back today?


CHO: How old were you when you thought about suicide?

JUDD: I am so uncomfortable right now. I can`t even see straight.


HAMMER: You`ve got to see what happens next in our explosive SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview. This is SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN news and views.

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

TEXT: Jessica Simpson chosen by Michelle Obama to sing for troops at Colorado show. Britney Spears on remix of Rihanna`s song, "S & M."



HAMMER: Ashley Judd`s confession regrets? Ashley has just revealed some horrifying memories of her childhood -- abuse, neglect, violence, all in her new book "All That is Bitter and Sweet."

She writes about thinking of taking her own life in very graphic detail. But as Ashley now faces tough questions about the past, she seems to have some regrets about her very intimate confession. Here`s CNN`s Alina Cho with Ashley`s explosive SHOWBIZ newsmaker interview.


JUDD: Well, I didn`t necessarily want to talk about it. It was never my intention. Some folks I really trust encouraged me to become willing to share part of my story because, otherwise, it doesn`t necessarily make sense why I love visiting.

And it sounds peculiar to say, but why I love and it`s so important to me, to spend time in brothels and refugee camps and slums and holding the dying who, for 25 cents, could have not gotten a preventable disease or for $5 could have been cured.

CHO: Meaning there was something about your childhood that shaped you and wanted you to give back. So what was that?

JUDD: In my strange capacity for emotional extremes, my strange tolerance for emotional extremes. And I grew up with some really extreme situations and that`s why.

CHO: You do talk about being diagnosed with depression earlier on in life. And you talk about in the book that you used to play with your mother`s gun, pondering whether, quote, "It would be worth it to shoot myself." How old were you when you thought about suicide?

JUDD: I am so uncomfortable right now I can`t even see straight.

CHO: We don`t have to talk about this if you don`t feel comfortable.

JUDD: I think it`s a distraction. I mean, I feel like --

CHO: But you wrote about it in the book.

JUDD: I did. And happily so, and the book is 400-some odd pages and that stuff is like 40 or 50. So really, the book to me is the 350 pages which is about what`s going on in the rest of the world, not necessarily how painful it was growing up in my household.

CHO: But people are very, very interested in this and your childhood because you haven`t spoken about it really before.

JUDD: And I`ve been wholly unprepared for it. I really have been.

CHO: But let`s talk about your work then, because obviously, your childhood, as Nick Kristof said in the foreword, shaped your philanthropic work. What do you get out of taking those trips and spending so much time in country, if you will?

JUDD: I get out of myself, which is one of my favorite places to be, and into relationship with other human beings. I get to really live my spiritual values and principles and faith.

No one is disposable, everyone matters. I`m very honored to be entrusted with the secret narratives of people who, for whatever reason, just open up to me and tell me everything.

And I get to hold them literally and metaphorically. I have the opportunity to let them know that they`re not alone.


HAMMER: That`s CNN`s Alina Cho for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT live at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Monday through Friday and still TV`s most provocative entertainment news show at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on HLN.