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Mind-Boggling Mysteries in the Manti Te`o Girlfriend Hoax; Scandalous Inaugural Moments Popular on Social Media; Paula Deen Family`s Dramatic Weight Loss; Reality TV Wives` Secrets Revealed

Aired January 24, 2013 - 23:00   ET



A.J. HAMMER, HOST: I have to imagine there are a lot of guys in the mob who are not crazy about the idea that you`re doing the show.


HAMMER: Have any of them come to you and said, "You know what? Please, don`t put this on TV. In fact get the heck off TV"?

RENEE GRAZIANO, REALITY TV STAR: Some people really are against it.

HAMMER: What...

GRAZIANO: My father didn`t talk to me for two years.


HAMMER: Tonight on the SHOWBIZ Countdown, "Secrets of Reality TV Wives" from the wives themselves, like the stars of "Mob Wives." The fury, the friendships. What`s the real deal when the cameras aren`t rolling? But which scandalous revelations will be No. 1 on the SHOWBIZ Countdown, "Secrets of Reality TV Wives"?

Hello and thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer.

Our SHOWBIZ Countdown of secrets revealed by reality TV show wives is coming up. But we begin with our first big countdown of the night. It`s the top three "Mind-Boggling Mysteries" that we saw Manti Te`o reveal just this afternoon to Katie Couric.

It`s the Notre Dame football star`s very first TV interview since the world learned that the heartbreaking story of his girlfriend who supposedly died of leukemia was all a hoax.

Manti Te`o apparently scammed by someone who made her up in cyber space and even called him, pretending she was real. Let`s get right to it and kick it off with No. 3.

This is our No. 3 Manti mystery revealed this afternoon. Was he really duped into thinking that he had a made-up girlfriend?

So on "Katie" today, Manti stuck to his story that he was duped, even though he admits he falsely told everyone, the media and his family, that he`d actually met her.


MANTI TE`O, FOOTBALL PLAYER FOR NOTRE DAME: I didn`t lie. I never was asked, "Did you see her in person?" And so through the embarrassment and, you know, the fear of what people may think, that I was committed to this person who I didn`t have the chance to meet and she all of a sudden died, that scared me. And so to avoid any further conversation I kind of wasn`t as forthcoming as I should have been.


HAMMER: Well, it is good to hear from him finally.

Sportswriter Jackie Pepper of is with us tonight from Hollywood. And Jackie, after you`ve now heard Manti and Katie Couric`s show, are you in any way convinced that he definitely was duped?

JACKIE PEPPER, PEPPERONSPORTS.COM: I think he was duped from the beginning, which as the story unfolds, that seems like the highest likelihood, was at first he did think he was involved in a relationship with a real woman he met on the Internet.

But the thing I just keep going back to, which is what a Notre Dame player told me when this story first broke, was that this -- he really grabbed hold of it and kind of went off the deep end. He played up the actual relationship he had with this woman, as -- as we`ve seen a Notre Dame student write an article, saying that Manti has relationships with other women on campus. So people thought that this whole mystical magical love of his life, that that was a bit of an exaggeration.

And I think that`s the case now. I think he got a little too deep into this line. It spiraled out of control and bit him.

HAMMER: So he did what ball players do: he took the ball and he ran with it. And he was joined on "Katie" today by his parents. You saw they got very emotional as they backed their son up. Let`s watch a little bit of that.


BRIAN TE`O, MANTI`S FATHER: I`m proud of this guy. I really am. And nothing that has happened in the last couple weeks is going to take that away. He`s not a liar. He`s a kid. He`s a 21-year-OLD kid trying to be a man.


HAMMER: Well, clearly his parents believe him, and they are backing him up, as I said. But Jackie, you mentioned that you spoke with some of his fellow students and teammates at Notre Dame. Do they universally believe that he was being duped until last month?

PEPPER: Well, in a college football locker room that has about 100 players, you`re going to have a pretty diverse group of opinions.

So the people I have talked to, no one seems to think that he was in this from the beginning. I was told just last night by one player, "I don`t care about this anymore." This young man was totally over it.

Another player I spoke with, he still thinks that Te`o was duped from the beginning, but at some point along the way he realized this online woman wasn`t quite kosher; but he went with it anyway, because the media had already taken hold of the story and he was gaining so much attention from it.

So I think most people at this point feel that he was duped originally at the beginning but that even once he figured it out, he just allowed the lies to continue as the media kept paying attention to him and made him into the biggest story in college football this year.

HAMMER: And somebody was calling him on the phone. So the question is who was it that actually called Manti Te`o on the phone, pretending to be this girlfriend? This is No. 2 on our SHOWBIZ Countdown tonight of Te`o mysteries.

We heard that voice for the very first time today on Katie Couric`s show on voicemails that his fake girlfriend left for him. Fascinating to hear this for the first time. Roll, that Charles.


"LENNAY KEKUA" (via phone): Hey, babe, I`m just calling to say good night. I love you. I know that you`re probably doing homework or you`re with the boys or -- but I just wanted to say I love you and good night and I`ll be OK tonight. I`ll do my best. Yes. So get your rest and I`ll talk to you tomorrow. I love you so much, hon. Sweet dreams.


HAMMER: The girl, the woman who doesn`t exist. Who was that voice? Well, we actually may finally know tonight.

Former reality star Mark Long is joining us from Hollywood. Mark`s also the co-creator of "Pocket Protein."

So Mark, "The New York Daily News" reported today that the suspected mastermind of the hoax, this guy, named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is admitting he disguised his voice. That was a male voice, disguised as a woman, making these calls. Does this sound plausible to you?

MARK LONG, FORMER REALITY TV STAR: First of all, I just want to -- is this really A.J. and Jackie that I`m looking at? I don`t want to be catfished here live on television.

HAMMER: Be clear about that. We`re for real.

LONG: But I am -- I am shocked that this guy could pull off this voice. I mean, he needs a career in voice-overs, because he sounds exactly like a female to me. I would have been hook, line, and sinker.

But it just gets more odd by the day, A.J. I can`t wait for the two-hour special for this thing to come out. And was he duped? I think he was duped. But he is a kid. And he`s going to play football. Let him play football. If I was a coach, I wouldn`t even care that much.

But he is going to get hazed by the veterans in the locker room like you would not believe. I wish I was part of that, A.J.

HAMMER: Yes. Man, what a TV movie this is going to make, huh?

Ronaiah helped masquerade as Manti`s fake girlfriend by also swiping photos from a former high-school classmate`s Facebook page and then passing them off as this mystery girl. Well, that ex-classmate`s name is Diane O`Meara.

And as she told Anderson Cooper on his talk show today, she was totally surprised at Ronaiah`s claim that he faked the voice of Te`o`s make believe girlfriend. Let`s watch that.


DIANE O`MEARA, PHOTO USED IN HOAX: To me it doesn`t make sense. And when Ronaiah contacted me a couple of days before the story broke to confess to me and tell me that he, in fact, was stealing photos from my profile and created this alleged girlfriend, his voice was nowhere near high pitch.


O`MEARA: Mm-hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So what were his motivations?

O`MEARA: Still unclear to me, as well. I mean, you have to think that there`s some imbalance that causes someone to make this hoax a reality.


HAMMER: Yes, this is a great point. Let`s talk about the motivation for a second and kind of get down to it. And Jackie, I want to go to you on this, because Diane`s suggesting there that the hoax during this bizarre story may have had some kind of imbalance, which certainly seems plausible to me.

But you`ve done so much reporting on this story. Help us understand the possible motivation here, because it is lost on all of us.

PEPPER: Well, it`s interesting because Ronaiah Tuiasosopo had allegedly been doing this to many young men, also from Hawaii, some allegedly even in the NFL at some point.

So I don`t know why someone would run a scam like this. I think you should have a therapist in here, because I`m sure they`d have some great examples of what could push somebody in this direction.

But this is a young man who`s extremely active in his church. He sings in a band. He, in fact, was a contestant on "The Voice." Interesting you said he should have a career in voice-overs. Because apparently he does sing, as well.

So I don`t know. I mean, maybe he`s a lonely guy, and he`s reaching out to celebrities or he`s looking for friends. I think, for any rational person, it`s how can you even come up with an answer for that? It`s just too bizarre.

HAMMER: Yes. Yes, Mark, what do you think -- what the heck`s going on? I mean, really, at the end of it, as an observer from your perspective, what do you think is the motivation here for him?

LONG: It`s hard to think what the motivation is. I know that over 100 of the calls were over an hour. So you have to have just an immense amount of time on your hands to even live up to this fraud on your end. Yes. And it`s cell phone minutes. I mean, imagine the overage costs.

But you have to have so much time and be so invested into this fraud, so to speak. That I mean, I`m sure it was even stressful for the actual person doing the fraud. Who remembers that he`s juggling all these guys on phone calls? It`s just so weird, A.J. I don`t even know how to wrap my head around it.

I just -- the news breaks day by day. I can`t wait for the next treat.

HAMMER: Yes, exactly. And I assure you more are coming. But that all takes us to the No. 1 Manti mystery on the SHOWBIZ Countdown tonight.

Why would a Notre Dame football star fall in love with a girlfriend that he`d never met, when you`d probably think this guy would have no trouble at all getting a girl that, you know, he could actually see in person?

Well, this afternoon we heard Manti tell Katie Couric how he fell in love with that fake girlfriend. Please watch this.


M. TE`O: There are so many similarities. She was Polynesian supposedly. She`s Samoan. I`m Samoan. She loved her faith. And she knew a lot about -- and I`m Mormon. She knew a lot about that.

I found a lot of, you know, peace and a lot of comfort in being able to talk to somebody, and they knew my standards. They knew my culture. They knew what is expected of me, and I knew what`s expected of her.


HAMMER: OK. I mean, he definitely, genuinely seems and sounds like a guy who thought he was in love. And Jackie, you mentioned that he was seen on campus with other women. So he certainly could get other women.

But does listening to him there convince you that this guy was really catfished, as people are calling it?

PEPPER: You know, I do think he probably was from the get-go at the beginning. I think he was a victim of a good old catfishing trick. But at the end of the day I think he let this one get out of control.

How can you call someone the love of your life when probably thousands of Notre Dame students have seen you on campus with other women? I mean, you can`t -- you cannot tell me that you are totally in love head over heels with someone while you`re partying with other chicks on campus.


PEPPER: So that I don`t buy. I think that was his mistake. He took it too far on the whole lovey-dovey aspect of it.

HAMMER: Hard to imagine what`s in store as life moves on for Manti Te`o, but Jackie, Mark, we appreciate you both being here tonight. Thank you so much.

And we move now to Bethenny`s husband, who is strike back. Yes, got big, bbigig breaking news about reality star Bethenny Frankel`s split. Now her husband is reportedly demanding their $5 million apartment and custody of their child. I`m telling you, the knives are out on both sides here.

Plus, "Secrets of Reality TV Wives." Like the stars of "Mob Wives."


GRAZIANO: Some people really are against it.

HAMMER: What...

GRAZIANO: My father didn`t talk to me for two years because of it.

ANGELA "BIG ANG" RAILOA, REALITY TV STAR: Some people don`t let us in their restaurant or club.


HAMMER: Are the "Mob Wives" really being shunned for sharing their mob secrets? Wait until you hear Big Ang and Renee`s revelations as we count down the top three secrets of reality wives.




REGGIE BROWN, BARACK OBAMA IMPERSONATOR: I think we can all agree that an event like this needs a voice from Washington. A voice of reason. A voice of hope. And someone who`s going to look you right in the eye, give you a big hug, and let you know everything`s going to be OK. Unfortunately, Michelle couldn`t be here.


HAMMER: Ah, yes. The always self-effacing president of the United States, Barack Obama, with a twist. Trust me: go with me on this.

Tonight, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is taking on two of the most scandalous inaugural moments burning up social media and getting in the thick of things to put the big mysteries to rest.

So who better to break through the noise and tell it like it is than the man who would be Obama? And thank you for joining us, sir.

BROWN: Hey, A.J., how are you doing?

HAMMER: I`m terrific. And I really appreciate you being here after what was such a great inauguration on Monday.

But I`ve got to say, despite the fact that you gave this fantastic inaugural speech, everybody is still talking about whether or not Beyonce lip-synced the national anthem.

Let`s you and I watch her in action together and relive that moment.


BEYONCE, SINGER (singing): O, say, can you see by the dawn`s early light...


HAMMER: The first scandal of your second term, Mr. President. They`re calling it Lip-sync-gate. So you were right there. Did she sing or didn`t she sing?

BROWN: Well, it looks to me like she did lip-sync. But you know, that`s OK. I lip-sync to my speeches all the time.

HAMMER: Yes. Well, some people have actually accused you of doing that.

Mr. President, I`ve got to ask you to set the record straight about the other big scandalous inaugural moment on Monday. The first lady, Michelle Obama, appearing to be rolling her eyes as she sat here between you and House Speaker John Boehner chatting at this luncheon. Why did she do it, Mr. President? Why?

BROWN: Well, you know, she still hasn`t told me. But if you heard half the stuff that comes out of John Boehner`s mouth, you`d roll your eyes, too.

HAMMER: Yes, well, we do hear quite a bit of it, and I think a lot of people roll their eyes every day. I`m just saying.

I think we need to give a big round of applause to actor and comedian Reggie Brown. Reggie, it`s great having you here. Reggie has become famous as one of President Obama`s greatest impersonators.

And as I`m looking at you here, Reggie, we all know that President Obama began his first term with a full head of very dark hair, and we`ve watched it go gray through the course of his first term in office.

So I have to ask you, looking at your hair here, did you grow -- did he grow into your color? Did you have to dye yours? What`s the deal there?

BROWN: Well, you know, thankfully for me it`s just a little bit of powder that goes in there, and I touch it up, more and more gray he gets in his hair. But yes, it`s a hard time keeping up with him in the aging process for my makeup right now. He`s got to slow it down a bit.

HAMMER: You`ve got to roll with it.

There must have been a time when I imagine you were heading to a gig, you`re dressed as the president, and somebody had to think you were actually Obama. What`s the weirdest thing that`s ever happened to you in those terms?

BROWN: It happens all the time. And there`s people that have fainted. There`s people that they -- their bodies, I mean, they start convulsing. They don`t know how to react. Shaking. They go to hand people their cameras. The cameras fall out of their hands, you know. And it`s just unbelievable.

People who pull up beside me that are on their cell phone drop their cell phones. People that don`t -- aren`t on their phones, they`ll pick them up and start saying, "You`ll never believe who`s next to me." It`s just -- it`s such an amazing reaction I get from people all the time. It`s -- I love my job.

HAMMER: It`s stunning. And really, just watching and listening to you as really one of the most sought-after Obama impersonators, it`s easy to understand why people would be dropping their cell phones when they encounter you.

Reggie, I really appreciate you being here tonight. Thanks so much.

BROWN: Thank you, A.J.

HAMMER: Well, as we move on tonight, "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrienne Maloof confirms she`s dating Rod Stewart`s son. Now, she`s 51; he`s 32. But why was their relationship a big secret?

Also Atlanta "Housewives" star Kandi Burruss tells me about her secret onset relationship.


KANDI BURRUSS, REALITY TV STAR: At first we were, you know, just going to see each other in places where we didn`t think we would run into anybody else.


HAMMER: It is Kandi`s clandestine hookups. But will her "Housewife" confession top the SHOWBIZ Countdown? We`ve got the "Secrets of Reality TV Wives" tonight.



HAMMER: You`re taking a look at TV chef Paula Deen, better known as the butter queen, on the brand-new issue of "People" magazine. Deen is dishing the details about her entire family`s dramatic weight loss and how her bombshell health scare led them all to get in shape.

SHOWBIZ bringing you new revelations tonight from Paula Deen, including how she was stuck in denial when they are doctors diagnosed her with Type 2 diabetes. We all remember that. But that diagnosis eventually motivated her entire family.

And look at them now. They`ve lost a total of 178 pounds. Pretty amazing. But how did they do it?

Let`s find out right now from Raha Lewis. She`s a staff writer for "People," and she`s with us tonight from Hollywood.


HAMMER: Great to see you. So the doctors tell Paula, "Paula, you`ve got to change your diet." But of course, she`s part of this big family of foodies. So Raha, what did she reveal about how she got her husband and sons to go along with this major switch in their lives?

LEWIS: Oh, look, the first and foremost thing is that they encourage each other. She encouraged them. They encouraged her. And they really held each other`s hands through it. And that was a big deal, to have that sort of family support. Because it`s really hard to do things on your own, especially something as big as this.

She -- but for her it`s moderation. She said, "I know now that I can`t have mac and cheese all day every day." You have -- you know, she said, "I treated myself to half a piece of bread tonight." You know, half a piece of bread as a treat?


LEWIS: That`s very different to how it used to be before.

HAMMER: Yes. You can`t have mac and cheese all day every day. But wow, wouldn`t that be a good thing if you could?

And there is one thing that really stood out to me.

LEWIS: Wouldn`t it?

HAMMER: They each did it a different way. They chose a different weight- loss plan that really was tailored to their own needs. And you guys run it down.

Paula chose to switch to eat smaller portions, as you said, at meal-time. Her husband took a different approach. Michael used the doctor-supervised "Our Skinny" diet to shed pounds. Son Jamie stopped eating after 6 every night, which is a really important thing to do. And her son Bobby is now eating mostly fish and vegetables.

So it`s really fascinating to me, Raha, because obviously, those individual choices were key to all the weight loss, but it sounds to me, from what you`re saying, that the real secret to them losing 178 pounds was doing it together as a family unit.

LEWIS: Hundred percent, when you have that sort of support going forward. I mean, how much easier is it to train when you have someone with you as opposed to getting up alone and going to the gym? You know?

And then to have your whole family like that, it`s an incredible motivation to keep going and keep moving. And their success motivates you. And I think it`s the same for them.

It`s amazing, though. You know, Jamie said, "I ate like a 6-year-old, because 6-year-olds have the right portions." And when you think about that...


LEWIS: ... you think sometimes we don`t know how much we should eat.

HAMMER: Well, it`s true, you know. But it`s going to be very interesting for people who followed Paula for so long. Her fattening recipes are what made her famous. Now that she`s changed her ways, I don`t know. Are we going to get a Paula Deen weight-loss cookbook in the future?

LEWIS: I don`t know. That might be on the cards. But I think what she`s trying to say is you can still have a fattening meal; you just can`t have it all the time. So I think this is a great lesson in yes, if you want to indulge, you know, for a Christmas dinner...

HAMMER: Right.

LEWIS: ... or Thanksgiving or a birthday that`s totally fine.

HAMMER: But no mac and cheese all day, every day. Although the seafood mac and cheese...

LEWIS: I wish.

HAMMER: ... I can`t get enough of that. Raha Lewis, thank you so much.

For the full story grab your copy of "People" magazine. It`s on newsstands tomorrow.

Well, Paula Deen is not the only person revealing big secrets tonight. Oh, no. We`ve got "Secrets of Reality TV Wives" like the stars of "Mob Wives."


GRAZIANO: Some people really are against it.

HAMMER: What ...

GRAZIANO: My father didn`t talk to me for two years because of it.

RAILOA: Some people don`t let us in their restaurant or club.


HAMMER: Are the "Mob Wives" really being shunned for sharing their mob secrets? Well, wait until you hear Big Ang and Renee`s revelations tonight. And will their adventures top the SHOWBIZ Countdown?


Time now for "SHOWBIZ Say What?" All right. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger posing for photos on a hotel room just outside the kremlin in Moscow. Now, when he was doing this, he was promoting his new film "The Last Stand." But what do you think is on Arnold`s mind? Here are some of your thoughts.

One person writing, "Russian, I barely speak English." Here`s another good one: "Terminator 5, here I come."

Well, keep your great thoughts coming. Send us your "SHOWBIZ Say What?" thought bubble suggestions at


HAMMER: Right now the SHOWBIZ Countdown, "Secrets of Reality TV Wives" from the wives themselves.

"Mob Wives" confessions. What does the mob really think about having its secrets exposed on TV?


GRAZIANO: Some people really are against it.

HAMMER: What...

GRAZIANO: My father didn`t talk to me for two years because of it.

RAILOA: Some people don`t let us in their restaurant or club.


HAMMER: "Mob Wives" stars Big Ang and Renee Graziano are right here tonight, and they are telling all.

Plus, secrets from "Real Housewives" star of Atlanta Kandi Burruss. Why did Kandi have to hide the love of her life from her own reality show? It`s a battle royal of reality TV wives` secrets. But whose explosive secrets will top the SHOWBIZ Countdown?

SHOWBIZ TONIGHT continues right now.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer. And we are going to get to that countdown in just a moment. But first, there are so many reality TV wives breaking news today that my head is spinning. Did you see it?

First up, former "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel, her split from her husband Jason Hoppy is really heating up. Hoppy is reportedly countersuing for primary custody of their young daughter. He`s asking for child support and to live in their apartment, the one they once shared.

For the record, Bethenny has asked for the very same things in her filing. From a divorce battle to a post-split fling. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrian Maloof confirms she is casually dating Rod Stewart`s 32- year-old son. She`s 20 years older. And a brand new war of words in the ongoing battle between "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Brandi Glanville and her ex`s new wife LeAnn Rimes. Brandi did not hold back one bit talking about Rimes on Andy Cohen`s show.


ANDY COHEN, TV HOST: Do you think that now she is ...



COHEN: Do you think -- do you think that?



HAMMER: Wow. Of course, LeAnn didn`t waste any time firing back on her own Jimmy Kimmel.


LEANN RIMES, SINGER: There comes a time when you`re just like screw you. That`s it.


RIMES: And then that`s all you want to say and you`re like I`m done with this now for another like three months.



HAMMER: Yeah, another three months. Exactly. Because it will come up again. Joining me right now from Hollywood, Michelle Buteau. She`s a comedian and cast member on VH1`s "Best Week Ever." And Michelle, I want to congratulate you also for being the new pop culture correspondent on the new Jenny McCarthy show. Well done.


HAMMER: So, which of those housewives stories shocks you the most?

BUTEAU: You know, I have to say, I had no idea Adrienne Maloof was going to get her cute and sexy back and just head out to town with her new weave and her new young boyfriend. I mean, the episode hasn`t even aired yet about her and Paul like thinking about getting a divorce, and she`s like you know what? I`ve got to live my life, I`ve got to get it anywhere I fit it in. And hello, who hasn`t dated Stewart in Hollywood, OK?

HAMMER: Well, yeah. I guess that has happened many, many times. 20 years her junior. I don`t think that`s really a big deal, particularly in Hollywood anymore. But let me bring in Mark Long. Mark is the co-creator of "Pocket Protein." And you may remember mark from MTV`s "road rules" back in 1996. Which story shocked you the most here, Mark?

LONG: I`ll agree with the Maloof story. My take on it is this. Obviously, she`s a cougar and she just got out of probably an overbearing relationship. And younger boyfriends kind of act like puppies. When you need emotional support, you pet and you hug a puppy. It`s kind of like a younger guy. And because he`s a Stewart, he gets some benefits as well. I don`t think he has a permanent job. So he gets to crash at a millionaire`s house and doesn`t have to pay rent. So it`s a win-win perfect situation. I see these two married within six months, A.J.

HAMMER: Gets to crash at a millionaire`s house and doesn`t have to pay rent.

BUTEAU: There`s no way.

HAMMER: He`s probably very comfortable with that situation.

LONG: It`s beauty, beautiful.

HAMMER: Oh, you don`t think it`s lasting even six months?

BUTEAU: There is no way. Let me tell -- Adrienne is not going to get married unless it`s going to be one of the Trumps because she is a very smart businesswoman, even when it comes to affairs of the heart. OK? If anything, she is going to marry up.

HAMMER: All right. Well, there is money in that Stewart family. Let`s be realistic about that. But this leads us all to our big countdown tonight. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT counting down the top three secrets of Reality TV wives. We`re getting them from the wives themselves.

Firing it up at number three, a secret onset romance goes public on "Real Housewives of Atlanta." Now, Kandi Burruss spilled the beans to me about how she kept her relationship with one of the show`s producers a secret.


KANDI BURRUSS, REALITY TV STAR: It was kind of crazy because, you know, he did work on our show and at first, you know, we were, you know, just going to see each other in places where we didn`t think we would run into anybody else. But then after a while when we decided to take the relationship serious and go to the next level ...


BURRUSS: Then he was going to resign from the show and, you know, not work there.

HAMMER: No H.R. issues there. All right. Now, I have to ask you this because I`m a little concerned. I`ve seen what happens when couples involved with reality TV get married. Sometimes things implode. Are you at all concerned about that? Are you going to take precautions so it doesn`t happen to you?

BURRUSS: Well, I mean, I don`t know if there`s any precautions to take. You know, he didn`t really even want to be on the show. You know, it was like, you know, they were like Kandi, you can`t keep your relationship secret because that`s just going to be weird if you are taped every day for this show and we have to avoid shooting him.

HAMMER: Right.

BURRUSS: And so he finally, you know, opened up a little bit. But this is not really his thing, to be on TV. And -- but so far, you know, it`s been cool for us.


BURRUSS: And I just hope that it continues to be so because I feel like we get a lot of support from the fans of the show. They show us a lot of love.


HAMMER: Well, that`s important. All right. So you know, they`re engaged now. I`ve got to imagine that secret romances like Kandi`s are pretty common on reality TV. But Mark, let me ask you because you`ve been on reality TV. Is this the kind of thing that goes on, we just don`t find out about it until they`re ready to reveal it?

LONG: A.J., I`ve seen this situation a lot. A producer or someone on the staff falls in love or secretly starts dating one of the cast members. It`s usually more juicier the topics, than the actual show because everyone whispers behind the scenes. But I see this relationship as being doomed. This guy`s getting suckered into being on a reality show, and reality characters in general, they`re not hired because they`re completely sane. They`re hired because they`re completely crazy. This thing is a train wreck waiting to happen, A.J.

HAMMER: For present company excepted, of course.

LONG: Of course. I`m the exception.

BUTEAU: Oh, come on. I love -- I love me some Kandi booboo. I love Kandi. She is a smart businesswoman.


BUTEAU: But don`t get caught up in that if he doesn`t want to be on TV. The same thing happened with Bethenny and now look what`s happening there.

HAMMER: Yeah. Big -- big mess.

BUTEAU: I mean come on, girl.

HAMMER: All right. Well, let`s just move from Kandi`s secret romance revealed to brand new reality TV wives who are making a big splash in church. I love these ladies.

At number two, I just spoke with the cast members Ivy Couch and Dominique Scott from TLC`s new reality show "Sisterhood." It follows five preachers` wives, known as first ladies, as they`re dealing with the church, their marriages, and even their sex lives. So I had to ask them, why did they decide to put it all out there? Here`s what they told me.




SCOTT: No. I felt there`s no greater way to preach the word than to preach it this way. So.

HAMMER: Really?

SCOTT: I just have -- Yeah.

HAMMER: OK. Well, let`s give people an example of how you`re preaching the word. I don`t know if this really accomplishes it. But I want to take a look at the bit of the show where your husband, Ivy, the preacher, gave you a gift that, well, we might not have expected from a man in his position. Let`s look at it.

SCOTT: Right.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better watch yourself, girl.


COUCH: I know people don`t expect a preacher and a preacher`s wife to have a good sex life. But honey, me and Mark got a good thing going.


COUCH: Mm-hmm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to put that on. With nothing else.

IVY COACH: OK, honey. That`s kind of sexy. We can do that.

I will oblige the handcuffs, and I will do it with a smile. I`m trying to have a wonderful sex life with my husband.


HAMMER: That, I`ve got to say, is not something we expect to see from a man of the cloth, Ivy. And look, you know there are critics who say that reality TV is just not the place for preachers` wives because, you know, maybe it will reveal too much, maybe it will reflect poorly on the church. Do you get why there has been so much pushback, particularly when you`re showing a gift of handcuffs from the preacher?

COUCH: I do understand the pushback. My husband is a jokester by nature. So I think it`s an exaggerated way for us to show the world that a pastor and a first lady who are newly married can have a wonderful intimacy, enjoy themselves, and we shouldn`t be ashamed of, you know, being in love with our husbands or vice versa.

So, it`s really a healthy exaggerated way to say that. And second of all, we decided to do the show because I think it`s -- we`re moving into a place with christiandom in the world where we have to be more transparent and I think they have to understand that even as Christians we are works in progress. We are not perfect. We are all saved by grace.

And so this show reveals that we have regular struggles just like everybody else. But how we deal with them is what separates us as first ladies or as pastors. So it`s really interesting and it`s funny. And I think we need some more humor in the church.

HAMMER: Well, I think what`s very interesting is, look, we all know that institutions like churches often put out perhaps an image that doesn`t really reflect what`s going on. I mean, you know, that`s not necessarily so real. Dominique, was that part of the motivation for you? And I`m actually curious. Was your husband easily convinced to do this or did it take a little push to get him to step into the spotlight?

SCOTT: I would definitely say it took my husband a shove ...


SCOTT: ... because he`s a very private person. Background is Baptist born, Baptist raised, Baptist bred. So it was definitely a push. But definitely we got involved with this project because we wanted people to see that we are people too and, you know, we have the same issues and the same struggles, the only thing that separates us from them is how we deal with it.


HAMMER: Yeah, I have to tell you, though, a preacher`s wife getting a set of handcuffs, I really didn`t see that coming. Michelle, are you surprised that these ladies are putting it all out there for the world to see?

BUTEAU: Oh, my god. I love reality television. But this is just too much. It`s like my parents getting it on. It`s like I don`t want to even hear about it. And I feel like they`re kind of contradicting themselves. They`re saying spreading the word, they want to spread the word. They want a check. OK? They want a check to pay the bills. Let`s call a spade a spade if we`re going to be honest with yourself and with God and everybody else. I mean, I`ll still be watching, but I`ll still be judging.

HAMMER: And it`s really easy to see why some people, particularly in their church, might take issue with what they`re doing. But they`re terrifically entertaining ladies. So it will be a wildly successful show, I`m sure.


HAMMER: But if the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kandi Burruss on-set love confession and those racy confessions from the pastors` wives in "The Sisterhood" are not enough to grab the top slot in our countdown, but what is? I can tell you it`s startling secrets from the "Mob Wives."


ANGELA "BIG ANG" RAIOLA, REALITY TV STAR: Some people really are against it.

GRAZIANO: Well, my father did not talk to me the two years because of it.

RAIOLA: Don`t let us in their restaurant or club.


HAMMER: Well, there you have Big Ang and Renee Graziano, and they`re about to reveal what the mob really thinks about them exposing the family`s business on TV. This is "SBT," SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN.


HAMMER: Welcome back. We are counting down the top three secrets of reality TV wives from the wives themselves. And here`s where we are so far. In at number 3, "Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kandi Burruss spilling the beans about her top secret relationship with a producer on her reality show.

In at number 2, the wives of the new TLC show "The Sisterhood" sharing everything about being a preacher`s wife, including their sex lives.

And that leads us to our number 1 on the countdown, the wives of "The Hot Mob Wives" certainly know how to keep a secret or two, but in my interview with Big Ang and Renee Graziano, I got them to talk and reveal some very big secrets of being married to the mob. Watch this.


HAMMER: Big Ang, two uncles from the Genovese crime family --

RAIOLA: But they`re dead.

HAMMER: But still, you know, that`s as connected as it comes, I think.

RAIOLA: Oh, yes.

HAMMER: In this area in particular. Has anybody -- I have to imagine there are a lot of guys in the mob who are not crazy about the idea that you`re doing the show.

RAIOLA: They`re not, yes.

HAMMER: Have any of them come to you and said, you know, what, please, don`t put this on TV, in fact get the heck off TV?

RAIOLA: Right, a lot of people. Not too many.

HAMMER: Well, what have they said to you?

RAIOLA: A lot of people condone it because they`re saying you`re not bothering anybody, your uncles are dead, what`s done is done. But we want you to make money, you deserve it. And some people really are against it.

GRAZIANO: My father didn`t talk to me for two years because of it.

HAMMER: So this kind of drives my point, Renee. Why aren`t you afraid to put that out there on television? It seems like pretty intense stuff, and mob-related stuff.

GRAZIANO: Well, I think that`s my insurance right there. If something should ever happen to me. Because I would never tell on anybody. But that just -- OK.

RAIOLA: That`s threatening.

GRAZIANO: First, let me say this. The women and our show, we don`t leak, we don`t talk nothing about this business. The snitches are the ones that have discussed the business behind the mob. So if anybody`s responsible for it, I`m going to blame the men for it, not the women.

HAMMER: Not all the secrets on "Mob Wives" are necessarily related to mobsters or what goes on in crime families. In fact, you have a situation going on right now that I want to talk to you about with mob wife Carla. Now, she came at you with some pretty strong accusations that you are a drug addict. You accused her of sleeping with other women`s husbands. And everything just kind of exploded on the show. I do want to take a look at how that played out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You say what you said. I say what I said. Shut the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up.

GRAZIANO: Put it down! Put the knife down! You (EXPLETIVE DELETED) understand me? Do it.

If you`re going to pick up a knife, bitch, you better pick up a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) steak knife and you better (EXPLETIVE DELETED) stab me with it. Because if she doesn`t, I`m going to stick it up her (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bony ass.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re (EXPLETIVE DELETED), but when you call me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) whore and I spread my legs to the area, that (INAUDIBLE).

GRAZIANO: You have the mentality of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gnat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have the mentality of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) junkie.

GRAZIANO: There you go again with the junkie.


HAMMER: OK. I`m looking at your face and you`re getting a little uncomfortable even watching that. First of all, is that all for real or is it heightened a little bit for the cameras?

GRAZIANO: No, it was not heightened. Actually, that was pretty much toned down, I think.

HAMMER: Really?

GRAZIANO: Yes. I`m not going to speak on anything that Carla does, because I`m just not going to. As far as my addiction, yes, I am a recovering addict. I was recovering in that scene. So I think that is why I was as calm as I was. And to be quite honest, and I`m not trying to sound threatening, but I thank God for her, I was as calm as I was, because the word junkie I think is very disturbing to anyone.

One, it also is related -- and I`m not saying that my -- I`m a prescription pill -- my addiction was Xanax. I`m not saying that -- junkie is related to heroin. And in our lifestyle growing up, that was like the worst thing in the whole entire world, that stigma of that word.

So for me, that was even -- I`m thinking my lifestyle way, and I`m also thinking you just insulted about tens of millions of people that are suffering from addiction. And I don`t take addiction lightly anymore. I`ve learned a lot about it. I was one of those people at one time that did not believe it was a disease.

HAMMER: Right. Or that somebody who`s taking prescription pills --

GRAZIANO: Pills. Could be --

HAMMER: I think it`s pretty common that you don`t think that could apply to me.

GRAZIANO: Well, it does apply to me 1 million percent.


HAMMER: There you have it. Well, from a mob wives addiction to the brand new addiction to stupid weather tricks. Did you see this?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took less than ten minutes for it to completely freeze over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It only took six minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which we can now hold upside down because it is frozen solid. That took two, three minutes.


HAMMER: Hey, you`ve got to make fun where you can, right? When the weather`s like this. The country`s coast-to-coast deep freeze is now setting fire to Youtube. Put on your gloves, put on your hats, because SHOWBIZ TONIGHT is going to reveal to you the cold weather tricks that are burning up the Internet.

I`m talking about everything from frozen bubbles to snow-making water guns. Maybe you`ll get some ideas out of this thing. You will definitely not believe the stupid weather tricks that people are coming up with. And there are a lot of them.



HAMMER: Tonight, getting creative with the deep freeze. Now, of course, if you`ve stepped outside at all, in really almost any part of the country, you know it`s really cold. I mean, really, really, really cold. Look at that snow. You can almost feel the wind chill coming out the TV. Even the bright sunshiny days of California and Florida are extra chilly right now.

But instead of complaining, people are finding ways to have fun with the subzero weather. And we have the video to prove it. Tonight, CNN`s Jeanne Moos asks, did you see this?


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Why just trudge through the cold when you can use it to experiment? It used to be civilians posting their weather tricks online. These days, actual weathermen are demonstrating what happens when you throw boiling water in temperatures below zero.



MOOS: We`re calling these stupid weather tricks. The kind we can`t resist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water into vapor. Minus 40. A beautiful day!

MOOS: But anyone who plans to try this when it`s warmer than, say, 20 or 30 degrees below zero better bring an umbrella to avoid risking second- degree burns.

Floating around the Internet, you`ll see giant bubbles crystallizing in the cold. You`ll see what a super soaker does subzero.


MOOS: But the most popular stupid weather trick this season seems to be the frozen wet t-shirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take a look. It took less than ten minutes for it to completely freeze over here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It only took six minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which we can now hold upside down because it is frozen solid. That took two, three minutes.

MOOS: If frozen t-shirts leave you cold, how about a frozen banana? Instead of a hammer. Or a frozen egg in Minnesota, where it was 20 below. Of course an egg freezes. It would be news if it didn`t. But it looks funny. Or if it`s egg on your face you prefer, show up on TV in a funny hat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is a serious piece of business and it --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I like it like that. That`s best like that, Kevin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, I may look like a bank robber tonight, Scott.

MOOS: Just last week, Jimmy Kimmel was making fun of Southern California news anchors for freaking out when temperatures dipped into the 50s and lower.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cold, cold, cold coming our way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have team coverage on this freezing cold weather.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The extra blanket, the heater, the dog, anything you can do to keep warm. Snuggle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long will this Arctic blast last?

MOOS: Long enough for us to beat the frozen t-shirt into the ground.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll confirm. It`s frozen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look like Mickey Mouse.



HAMMER: That was CNN`s Jeanne Moos for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. And now that you know all of the things that can freeze, you can have a little fun of your own. By the way, there are exactly 55 days until the first day of spring.

Well, I`ve got to say those weird weather videos are pretty awesome, but this picture even more awesome. Robin Roberts there back on the set of "Good Morning America" for the first time since her bone marrow transplant. This is our pick for the most awesome SHOWBIZ moment of the day. I`ll reveal what Robin`s co-hosts are saying about her big return. SHOWBIZ Awesomeness next.



HAMMER: It is time for SHOWBIZ Awesomeness. This is where we name the most awesome SHOWBIZ moment of the day. And tonight, I am so happy to be putting the spotlight on "Good Morning America`s" Robin Roberts. This morning she made her very first visit to the GMA set since taking medical leave back in August to fight a rare blood disorder. The visit was basically a trial run for Robin to help get her back in the swing of things. And her co-hosts at GMA, they were smiling from ear to ear. Watch the awesomeness of this moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you could see the smiles in our eyes this morning, the extra smiles in our eyes, it`s for a very good reason. We`ve been keeping a big secret here. Robin Roberts has been here all morning long. Practice run for her returning to GMA. There she is right there. Smiling. Got up early. Came in. Said hello to all of us, been behind the scenes all day long, and how great has it been to have Robin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She looks amazing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A smile on her face never left.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look amazing, is amazing. So great to have you back, Robin.


HAMMER: Definitely amazing. Great to see Robin looking so good. I`m glad to hear she is back on set and Robin expects to be back on air by February.

Well, that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Thanks for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer. You can catch us Monday through Thursday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific here on HLN.