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Game Show Madness: `The Price is Right,` `Wheel of Fortune,` `Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?`; The Life of Miley Cyrus

Aired December 4, 2013 - 23:00   ET


JOHN QUINONES, ABC NEWS: I`m John Quinones with ABC News. Please join us next time for another edition of "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" on HLN.

A.J. HAMMER, HOST: Right now on a special edition of SBT, "Game Show Madness," I get to fulfill my childhood dream and take the stage on "The Price is Right."


GEORGE GRAY, ANNOUNCER, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT": A.J. Hammer from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, come on down to "The Price is Right."


HAMMER: Come on down as I take you behind the scenes of one of the longest-running TV game shows. We`re also spinning the wheel with Pat and Vanna and getting secrets from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" host Cedric the Entertainer. SBT starts right now.

Thank you for watching. I`m A.J. Hammer.

I am so excited to bring you with me on location to TV`s biggest game shows. And I figure what better way to start off than with the show that really inspired me to be on television in the first place? "The Price is Right." And this is something I will definitely never forget. I had the chance to play model on the show. It was such a blast. So please, come on down. We`re the next contestants on "The Price is Right."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Price is Right."

HAMMER: It is the show that started my love affair with TV: "The Price is Right." And the day came when I got to live a lifelong dream.

GRAY: A.J. Hammer from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, come on down to "The Price is Right."

HAMMER (voice over): Oh, to hear those words. Unbelievable. I got to spend the day at "The Price is Right" as a guest model. But would I be as poised as their everyday models?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And thanks for coming.

HAMMER: It is clear from the moment I arrived at "The Price Is Right" set, I`ve got an awful lot of work to do to get into modeling shape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got all the moves?

HAMMER (on camera): I like it.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is big. P.T. Barnum`s house (ph).

HAMMER (voice over): Yes! A lot of work to do. My dream temp job at the "Price is Right" begins with a chat with Adam Sandler.

ADAM SANDLER, ACTOR: The price is wrong, bitch.

HAMMER: No. Not the Adam Sandler who got beaten up by the show`s original host Bob Barker in "Happy Gilmore." I`m talking about the Adam Sandler who happens to be the director of "The Price Is Right."

SANDLER: It`s going to be you here with this laptop computer.

HAMMER: Adam tells me the finer points of modeling prizes.

(on camera): Do you play to the camera or do you play to the -- more to the audience?

SANDLER: Ninety-five percent of the time playing to camera.

HAMMER (voice over): As the day goes on there`s a lot to remember.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me tell you your blocking.

HAMMER: A lot of choreography.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what? Get to this corner right there.

HAMMER: A lot of rehearsing.

(on camera): I hope you`ll welcome me aboard.

(voice over): And a lot of walking and talking and posing. Yes, the models on "The Price Is Right" make it look so easy, but trust me, it ain`t.

SANDLER: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stay on your side, because we`re trying to shoot that stuff.

HAMMER: Oops. I`ve got to remember not to block the merchandise. Rookie mistake. After a quick run through makeup, another reminder...

SANDLER: Just do not step in front of the prizes.

HAMMER: ... and a final wardrobe consultation, I`m ready for my "Price Is Right" debut. And the whole time I just can`t believe how lucky I am.

(on camera): It`s one of those full circle moments in life from the moment I was nine wanting to be Bob Barker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, to actually -- did you ever pretend with the microphone?

HAMMER: I took an antenna from a walkie-talkie.


HAMMER: Popped it out radio, put a Ping-Pong ball on the top and colored it black so it looked like Bob`s stick mike.


HAMMER: And I would walk around.


HAMMER (voice over): But enough nostalgia. It`s show time. Before I know it, "The Price Is Right" host Drew Carry is starting the show. Hope I remember not to block the merchandise.

DREW CAREY, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT" HOST: Let`s kick it off to the first five with the first prize today on "The Price is Right"!

GRAY: Drew, we`re going to start things off with a new computer!

Offering ultrafast performance, this 13-inch Mac book Era comes with 129 gigabytes of flash storage and 4 gigs of RAM.

CAREY: Everybody, say hello to our special guest today. It`s A.J. Hammer from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT on HLN. Welcome to the show.

HAMMER (on camera): I`m thrilled, and I`m so excited for all these people to win lots and lots of stuff today.

CAREY: Flew all the way from New York City just to be here.

Thanks for coming on, buddy. Nice to have you here. All the way from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, New York City.

HAMMER (voice over): That went well. And I didn`t block the computer. Fortunately, it will be very hard for me to block the next prize I give away.

GRAY: A brand-new car!

It`s the 2014 Ford Focus SE. This five-door hatchback comes with a 2.0 liter engine, remote keyless entry, cruise control, plus six-speed automatic transmission and rear carpet floor mat. It`s the Ford Focus.

CAREY: Thanks, A.J. I think A.J. Hammer was a car modeler before he was a host of a show.

HAMMER: Exactly. That was me.

CAREY: Nice job, man.

HAMMER (voice over): Did you hear that? Drew said I look like a pro.

Spoiler alert. I also make an appearance in the showcase. And during a commercial break I got to live out another fantasy. I spin the wheel.

Oh, well. Still I am very happy to say my "Price is Right" prize-modeling debut was successful.

GRAY: He was a pro. He was an absolute pro.

HAMMER: I get high fives from announcer George Gray.

GRAY: You stuck it. You stuck the landing. You nailed it.

HAMMER: And Drew Carey gives me a good review, as well.

(on camera): I can`t begin to tell you what a blast I had.

CAREY: Oh, good, nice having you.

HAMMER: But really for me, it was this pure joy. It`s the smile on my face. I`m not putting on a smile because they said smile really big. It`s how you feel when you`re on this stage and in this room.

CAREY: Yes, everybody is in a good mood here. That`s why I try to tell people, you have to really come here to feel it. But everybody is in a good mood. The audience, the staff. The people backstage. Like there`s nobody really like grumpy walking around. It`s really a joyous, happy place to work.

HAMMER: I can totally tell, watching you out here working, and even behind the scenes when the cameras weren`t rolling, you are truly having a great time. You are not putting on a show.

CAREY: Oh, no, I`m having the time of my life. It`s the time of my life. It`s fantastic. And, you know, I watch you on your show. And you look like you`re having the soul sucked out of you.

HAMMER: That is not true! He didn`t mean that!

Thank you for making me a part of this, really. It was an honor and a pleasure. Please invite me back. But really, so great to be here.

CAREY: I will. Thanks. Thanks, everybody.

HAMMER (voice over): And as I leave, the one thing from the whole day that keeps ringing in my ears even now. The words I thought I`d never hear, but did.

GRAY: A.J. Hammer from SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, come on down to "The Price Is Right."


HAMMER: It was so great being there. And as excited as I was to be on "The Price is Right," I know I will never be the show`s most excited visitor ever, because that title is held by a guy who went on to become a big-time Emmy-winning TV star.


AARON PAUL STURTEVANT, ACTOR: Your scum bag brother-in-law is finished.


HAMMER: Yes, Aaron Paul certainly had some tough times playing Jesse Pinkman on the dearly departed show, "Breaking Bad." But before Aaron broke big on "Breaking Bad," he was a contestant on "The Price is Right" 14 years ago, back when Bob Barker was the host. I know I could barely contain my excitement at being on "The Price is Right" stage. But Aaron, he didn`t even try. You`ve got to look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron Sturtevant, come on down. You`re the next contestant on "The Price is Right."

STURTEVANT: You`re the man, Bob. You`re my idol.

BOB BARKER, FORMER HOST, "THE PRICE IS RIGHT": Aaron, what do you bid on that?

STURTEVANT: Twelve-hundred bucks.

BARKER: Twelve-hundred bucks. Michelle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seven-seventy-five, Bob.

BARKER: Seven-seventy-five. Carolina.


BARKER: Eight hundred dollars. Tracy (ph).


BARKER: Her bid is 850. Actual retail price, 1797. Aaron. Aaron is the winner. Let`s get him over here. Right here, Aaron. Congratulations.

STURTEVANT: I`m touching Bob barker.

BARKER: Aaron.


BARKER: Aaron. Believe it or not I have another one of these. A new car.

Let`s find out, does Aaron win the car? Light up the second number, please. Light up the third number, please. Give us a number higher than three. Yes. Give us a number lower than four. Aaron, I`m sorry.

STURTEVANT: Oh! I get to spin the wheel right?

BARKER: That`s right. He`ll spin the wheel.


HAMMER: Yes. So great. Aaron did go on to the showcase showdown in the showcase, but he lost. It is safe to say that things worked out pretty well for him, I would think.

Well, "Game Show Madness" is spinning into a whole new dimension on the set of "Wheel of Fortune."


HAMMER: Hello.


HAMMER: There she is.


HAMMER: Great to see you.

WHITE: How are you?

HAMMER: Finally. I get to see the lair.


HAMMER: Yes. I`m in Vanna White`s dressing room. And behind the scenes with Pat Sajak. And they revealed their secrets to the show`s long run.

Also this.


HAMMER: Cedric the Entertainer, and the crowd goes wild.


HAMMER: Million-dollar "Game Show Madness" on the set of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." You`re going to find out exactly how the show`s amazing host, Cedric the Entertainer, gets the crowds roaring.

This is a special edition of SBT on HLN.


HAMMER: Right now, on this special edition of SBT, "Game Show Madness." So we are taking a spin behind the scenes of "Wheel of Fortune."

"Wheel of Fortune" debuted back in 1975. And all these years later, it continues to be one of the top game shows in television. With Pat Sajak and the lovely Vanna White turning the letters, "Wheel" has proven to stand the test of time. So how do they do it?

Well, I had a rare chance to go behind the scenes of the game show that is still spinning, one jackpot after another.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Man, the wheel is tough here.

HAMMER: That wheel. The puzzles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a momentous occasion.

HAMMER: And those prizes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wheel of Fortune"!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wheel of Fortune"!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wheel of Fortune"!

HAMMER (voice-over): "Wheel of Fortune" is an American institution. So I had to go personally experience the wheel.

(on camera): I want to buy a vowel.

(voice-over): And when I was done playing around, I went to visit the real "Wheel of Fortune" set at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, and I spent the day with Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

(on camera): Let`s see if Vanna is home. Hello.


HAMMER: There she is.


HAMMER: Great to see you.

WHITE: How are you?

HAMMER: Finally, I get to see the lair.

WHITE: Welcome. Come on in.

HAMMER: Beautiful.

WHITE: Thank you.

HAMMER: The dressing room is very Vanna White. This is what I would expect, the marble. And the chandeliers.

WHITE: Of course.

HAMMER: And the gowns, of course. And this is just for today.

WHITE: It is. Yes, I`m wearing all these today. And I have shoes in here. I have shoes down here.

HAMMER: Will you decide which shoes you wear today? Or does somebody sort of coordinate it for you and tell you?

WHITE: Somebody does it for me.

HAMMER: Because really, who wants to work that hard? Have to pick the shoes to go with the outfit?

WHITE: Exactly.

HAMMER (voice-over): As you`d expect, Vanna is a super gracious host. She takes me through her closet.

WHITE: My bathrobe that I`ve had forever. This is a classic.

HAMMER (on camera): It is a classic. Do you know what that would fetch at auction?

WHITE: Oh my God, it`s disgusting.

HAMMER (voice-over): And her fridge.

(on camera): No tequila.

WHITE: I have chicken salad I`m going to have for lunch. And Kathy (ph) usually brings a dessert, which is in there.

HAMMER: Which would be what?

WHITE: I think -- I think today it`s apple pie.

HAMMER: Nice. Every day?

WHITE: She brings something every time we tape. It`s terrible. And then she expects me to get into those dresses.

HAMMER: I can tell it`s causing you all kinds of problems.

WHITE: It`s hard. I go back and forth. Should I have some? Should I have some? No, yes. And I do eat it.


(voice-over): Well, I`ve got to leave Vanna to get ready for the show. So it`s time to go spin my wheels, literally.

(on camera): It`s tougher than you might think to spin this thing, but I`ve been in training.

(voice-over): I don`t want to wear out the wheel before the show. So I`ve got to find another way to kill some time. Fortunately, Pat Sajak stops by, and we get to catch up.

(on camera): Last time we spoke, which was back in the spring, you had the best job on the planet, really. I just want to check in with you and make sure that`s still the case.

PAT SAJAK, HOST, WHEEL OF FORTUNE: It is. You know, I was thinking not only do I have the best job now, but before I had this job I was a weatherman, TV weatherman in Los Angeles, where there`s no weather. So that was the best job. I just go from job to job where I have nothing much to do.

HAMMER (voice-over): On the contrary, Pat and Vanna have a lot to do once the show starts. Pat, of course, keep things moving.

SAJAK: No vowels left. Spin it or solve it.

HAMMER: And as always, Vanna is the queen of letters. And in the control room, that team is a well-oiled machine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three, two, one...


SAJAK: There comes a point in the life of a show where it kind of takes on a special life of its own or becomes more than a TV show for people. It becomes part of their daily ritual, almost. I mean, it`s a nice spot to be in. And I often liken it to the, you know, a beautiful sunset. You don`t go out every night and watch it, but it`s nice to know it`s out there. That`s kind of the way it is with "Wheel" now.

HAMMER: And after all these years, Pat and Vanna look like they are still having a whole lot of fun. Maybe this "Wheel" gig is something I`d like to try.

(on camera): I`m not aiming to push you out. But of course, I`m here, available.

SAJAK: You`re available should the need arrive.

HAMMER: In the meantime...

SAJAK: Should I clutch my heart in the next 10 minutes and fall to the ground and you happen to be here.

HAMMER: I`m ready. I`ve got the makeup on.

SAJAK: We`ll get you a tie and you`ll be fine.

HAMMER (voice-over): Or maybe I could be the next Vanna.

(on camera): Everybody thinks Vanna has it so easy. All she has to do is tap some letters on the board to make them appear. First of all I can`t figure out what the heck this puzzle is, but I`m going to try to get it right and reveal this letter. I actually did it. Thank you. I am A.J. White.


HAMMER: This is all so cool. And there`s so much more to love on this special edition of SBT, "Game Show Madness."


HAMMER: Cedric the Entertainer, and the crowd goes wild.


HAMMER: Coming next, I take you on the set of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? And I reveal exactly why the show`s amazing host, Cedric the Entertainer, has already got crowds roaring.

Plus, a little later we`re also investigating the life of Miley.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went to a private evangelical school, a Christian school for a year. She was asked to leave after a year.

COOPER (voice-over): Stunning revelations about Miley Cyrus before she was famous. Was she always a rebel at heart? This is an SBT special report that may change the way you see Miley Cyrus forever.

This is a special edition of SBT on HLN.




HAMMER: Cedric the Entertainer, and the crowd goes wild. Does everyone want to be a millionaire?


HAMMER: Right now on SBT "Game Show Madness," I am bringing you on set to the ever-evolving show that gives everyday people a shot at big money. And this was a special treat for me. I got an amazing look at what it really takes to host "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" courtesy of its fantastic host, Cedric the Entertainer.


CEDRIC: Let`s play "Millionaire."

HAMMER (voice-over): The times, they are changing at "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" It`s the syndicated game show`s 12th season and the first with its new host, the always unpredictable Cedric the Entertainer.

CEDRIC: Sassy little thing. Who are you?

HAMMER: He has quickly put his own stamp on the chair previously occupied by Meredith Vieira, who left at the end of last season.

(on camera): What`s happening Cedric?

(voice over): And when I meet up with Cedric during one of his marathon "Millionaire" tapings, he tells me what it`s like being the new guy.

(on camera): The ratings are good.


HAMMER: Tough shoes to step into, though.

CEDRIC: Exactly. Oh, man, I mean you talk about two very -- from the very beginning, I mean iconic, Regis Philbin and then Meredith who, you know, who carried the show for nine, ten seasons, to have that -- these two great iconic figures hand me the baton.


CEDRIC: Just got to, you know?

HAMMER: You got the blessing.

(voice over): And from watching him work, I see Cedric has really hit the ground running with his new gig. Cedric definitely hypes the drama and lightens the mood.

And I noticed that offstage monitors actually tell Cedric the correct answers.

(on camera): You learned them along with everybody else.

CEDRIC: Exactly. Yes. Yes. That`s the great thing about the show, too, is that I literally am in the dark, you know, like everyone else.

HAMMER (voice over): Yes, it`s all a tough day at the office for Cedric. For 35 days, he tapes five episodes a day, five days a week. 175 in all. Enough for a whole season.

CEDRIC: I miss a lot of fun. I`ve got to, you know, keep the voice kind of rested. That`s the big thing. So I can`t go out and just, you know, party. Playing out the limos. What`s up? I can`t do that at night.

HAMMER (on camera): So, I`m standing backstage, watching you out here and it is true, what we see on TV, how much fun he appears to be having, he`s actually having that much fun out here.

CEDRIC: Yes, man, this is great. I mean this is such a -- you know, as a stand up, to be able to have the opportunity to, you know, interact with a live audience. It`s fun, man. And I`m having a great time with this. This is a good job.

HAMMER (voice over): I`m thinking it would be great to see Cedric answer some questions.

(on camera): Question No. 1, my friend. "TV Guide" recently included "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" on its list of the 60 greatest games shows of all time. Where did "Millionaire" rank? Was it No. 1, No. 9, No. 6 or tied with "Double Dare?"

CEDRIC: "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?"

HAMMER: Of all time.

CEDRIC: Of all time was number six.

HAMMER: You got it.

CEDRIC: Have a million dollars.

HAMMER: Number two, peaking of money, over the years how much have "Millionaire" contestants won since its daytime debut in 2002? Was it 70 million? Eighty million? Ninety million? Or a gazillion?

CEDRIC: That number should be around $80 million.

HAMMER: And again, you got that, as well.

CEDRIC: I know. I`m good, man.

HAMMER: Got one more for you here.

CEDRIC: All right, here we go.

HAMMER: Even though contestants can no longer phone a friend, you guys have evolved the show you`re doing...


HAMMER: ... to the great cool new things, let`s pretend the hosts still can. You run into a little trouble during the taping. I`m wondering who you`re calling. Here are your choices.

Would you be calling the producer? Would you be calling Guy Smiley from "Sesame Street"? Would you perhaps call a fellow king of comedy like Steve Harvey or maybe D.L.? Or would you call me?

CEDRIC: You know what, just because you know, you have to know so many things with your job, you have to be up on the know, I think the real smart thing to do here would be to call A.J. Hammer.

HAMMER: And again, the correct answer.


HAMMER: Well, we`re going from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" to a bona fide mega-millionaire. Stay with us for an SBT special "Life of Miley," as we bring you new revelations about Miley Cyrus before fame.


MILEY CYRUS, ACTRESS/SINGER: I`m Miley Cyrus. I`m with CED. And I`ll audition for the role of Zoey and Hannah Montana.


HAMMER: It`s the story you haven`t heard about Miley until now. And it`s from the people who knew her growing up.

This is SBT on HLN.



NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, a special edition of SBT, "The Life of Miley." Miley Cyrus is making waves and enjoying every minute of it and even killing off the character that made her famous.

CYRUS: I`m so mad!

TURNER: A Disney character living a double life.

But if her recent appearances have made anything clear, it`s that Miley isn`t Montana anymore.

CYRUS: I can give you an update on what she`s been up to. She was murdered.

TURNER: Now, "The Life of Miley."


TURNER (on-camera): Welcome to this special edition of "SBT." I`m Nischelle Turner in for A.J. Hammer. Tonight, "The Life of Miley." Miley Cyrus is on top of the world today, literally. Her new album "Bangers" just debuted number one on the billboard 200. Certainly, it hadn`t hurt that she`d been in the headlines just about every day since her racy twerk fest at MTV`s video music award last month.

Miley herself even calling the performance a strategic hot mess. And it`s clear her strategy has paid off. So how did Miley get to this point? Even as a toddler she had a spark that stole the spotlight from anyone around her. And from that point, it`s been pretty clear that stardom was her destiny. Right now we`re taking a revealing look back at Miley, the early years.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What in the world does she have?


NISCHELLE TURNER, ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: It was 1994, the first time the world met little Miley Cyrus, just two years old on a country music interview show. She was already a show stopper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do your eyes, Miley. Do your eyes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very talented child.

TURNER: Perhaps a sign of things to come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, this is very dangerous. You`re teaching her to flirt at a very early age. You`re going to be in big trouble when she`s about what - 12, 13.

SHIRLEY HELPERIN, MUSIC EDITOR, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": You could almost see that little twinkle in her eye. You know, that little like I`m going to do something with myself.

TURNER: Shirley Helperin is the music editor of the "Hollywood Reporter." She`s followed Miley`s career from the beginning.

(On camera): Even when she is being, you know, mischievous, there`s this little look in her eye. I see and it`s kind of like OK, Miley, what are you doing next kind of thing?

HELPERIN: Right. Whenever the camera was on, she was on. And you could also see that from a very early age.

I always got the sense that she was calculated, but like in a good way.

TURNER (voice over): Calculated and destined for big things. Not entirely surprising for a little girl who was originally named Destiny Hope Cyrus.

BILLY RAY CYRUS: I`ve given her that name before she was born because I felt it was her destiny to bring hope to the world. You know, I do think that she - this is her purpose, her path. You know, I think she`s a natural born singer/songwriter/entertainer.

TURNER: And it didn`t hurt that her father was a hit maker.

HELPERIN: The fact that he had, you know, one big hit with "Achy Breaky Heart" you know, puts him in a level where he had access to, you know, musicians and producers and record company people that she probably would not have met were it not for her father.

TURNER: What could be better than having a famous father? Having a music legend like Dolly Parton for a godmother. In fact, later in life Miley recorded her own version of Parton`s classic "Jolene."

HELPERIN: I think looking to Dolly, looking to the sort of eccentric showmanship of a Dolly Parton, you know, it really helped find her own style.

TURNER: She was just a toddler back in 1993 when she was on the stage with many of music`s biggest names.

BILLY RAY CYRUS: We`re doing a tribute to Elvis Presley at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. And she broke away from the nanny, waddled out on the stage during the finale, which was a Blues version of "Amazing Grace." She came out on stage with some of the biggest stars in the world. And she just kind of became one with every singer and everybody was holding her. And she had her hands up. She was singing. And the last guy to hold her at the end of the song was Tony Bennett. And Tony Bennett came as the song ended and he said you have got a special little girl here.

TURNER: Yet despite being surrounded by fame, Miley had a normal childhood. Raised a southern Baptist. Home was the small town of Thompson Station, Tennessee on a 500-acre farm.

BILLY RAY CYRUS: I love being outside. And we`d build big fires up on top of the hill and sat out and looked at the stars and roasted marshmallows and wieners. I was good with those types of things with my kids. I wasn`t good at sitting them down and saying, you know, let`s do your algebra now.

TURNER: But he was good at watching out for his little girl who even as a toddler had her eyes on bigger things. Producer Steve Peterman.

STEVE PETERMAN, PRODUCER "HANNAH MONTANA": They were doing a video thing of him down at the farm and Miley was out there and she was two and a half, maybe. And they were at a barn on the property. And Miley was standing up on some landing and Billy said be careful, honey. And she put her hands on her hips and she said I`m not afraid of anything. And that`s two and a half.

TURNER: Fearless and bold. Two traits that continue to define her as she grew up, went to school and became a cheerleader.

JOSH EELLS: She went to a private evangelical school, a Christian school for a year.

TURNER: "Rolling Stone" editor Josh Eels had rare access to Miley.

EELLS: She was asked to leave after a year. She has a couple of different versions of why. I`m not sure which one is really the one. In one version she told the class all about what French kissing was and in another version her teacher was, I guess, an older woman who got around on a little motorized scooter and Miley stole it at one point and was cruising around the classroom on her teacher`s scooter. Whatever the case was, it was not the perfect fit.

TURNER: What was the great fit for Miley? Music.

RENEE GRANT WILLIAMS, MILEY`S VOCAL COACH: Miley was a good student. She worked hard and she didn`t fight your advice.

TURNER: Renee Grant-Williams was Miley`s voice teacher when she was 12.

GRANT WILLIAMS: She had an ingenious way of getting what she wanted by being charming and lovely and enthusiastic and willing to take the work on as well.

TURNER: And by 2001, what Miley wanted became crystal clear when the family left Tennessee for Toronto where Billy Ray was filming the TV show "Doc."

BILLY RAY CYRUS: Miley, she kept saying, Daddy, can they write something in for me. And then - so they wrote her in one episode. And from the time she did that episode, she was - can they write me in next week? Can they write me in next week? A few weeks after that she and I went to see "Mamma Mia" in Toronto. And I`ll never forget it - it was that combination of acting and the performance on stage of the singers and she said that`s what I want to do. I want to be a great actress and a singer songwriter - this is what I want to do.

TURNER: And Miley went for it.

MILEY CYRUS: I`m Miley Cyrus and I`m auditioning for the role of Zoey in "Hannah Montana."

TURNER: In 2003, against her father`s wishes, she auditioned for the role of a lifetime.

HELPERIN: I think you could see the sort of long range plan when you look at her Hannah Montana audition. You could see that she knew exactly what she was doing. She knew what the world required and she knew that the role would be a steppingstone to other things.

TURNER: Now, Miley may have known she was born for the spotlight, but it wasn`t until her alter ego Hannah Montana came to light that the rest of the world would know it too.

MILEY CYRUS: I`m Miley Cyrus. I`m with CED and I am auditioning for the role of Zoey in Hannah Montana.

TURNER: It seems so far away now, but it`s been only two years since Miley Cyrus left Hannah Montana for twerking and provocative videos. So, how did Hannah shape the Miley we know today? Our special edition of "SBT" continues with an in-depth look at Miley`s transformation into Hannah Montana and the character that forever changed her life. This is "SBT" on HLN.



CYRUS: I`m Miley Cyrus. I`m with CED. I`m auditioning for the role of Zoey and Hannah Montana.

TURNER: Miley Cyrus was just 11 years old when she first set her sights on becoming Hannah Montana. It was a role that now defines her, but you can`t believe this. She nearly missed her cut.

Welcome back to this SBT special edition: The Life of Miley. Miley Cyrus auditioned several times for "Hannah Montana," but producers weren`t so sure she was the one. Still, there was something about her that kept her in the running, and eventually she snagged the role that cemented her rise to super stardom.

In 2003, 11-year-old Miley hoped this audition was her ticket to Hollywood.

STEVE PETERMAN, "HANNAH MONTANA": The truth of the matter is, she was the least likely person to get this job.

TURNER: Producer Steve Peterman was part of the casting team.

PETERMAN: She was an 11 that looked nine. Way too small. Way too young.

TURNER: Miley, dead set on becoming a star, wouldn`t give up.

CYRUS: I`m Miley Cyrus and I`m 12 years old.

It`s so good for you. It is like a fruit and vegetable. You know, like a fregetable?

PETERMAN: She read for us and she read for us over and over again. She would do some lines fabulously, wonderfully, and she would miss other lines by a mile.

CYRUS: Oh, my gosh. I know. I`m an idiot.

PETERMAN: But I couldn`t take my eyes off her.

TURNER: Two years later producers still weren`t convinced. They gave Miley one last shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your friends with us - as now that you know, this is your final audition for this project.

CYRUS: Only my three bestest friends know.

PETERMAN: And it ultimately came down to Miley and one other girl. With Miley there was something about her that was so alive and so fearless, and all of us finally agreed to take the chance.

TURNER: At 13, Miley Cyrus became Hannah Montana.

MILEY CYRUS: You`re so gross.

TURNER: And was living her dream.

CYRUS (SINGING): I`m a lucky girl whose dreams came true.

TURNER: Miley auditioned her own dad for the part of her TV dad. .

BILLY RAY CYRUS: Get set, don`t go.

One of the episodes called "Ready, set, don`t go." I wrote that song as Miley left for California.

No daddy ever wants to see his little girl grow up.

The series was picked up. I knew that her life and our lives as a family was going to change.

TURNER: The show and Miley were a smash. "Hannah Montana" became one of Disney`s highest rated TV series, and Miley shot up to teen idol status. In 2007, she released "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus." The soundtrack to her TV series. And debuted under her real name. Her second album, "Breakout" with hit "Seven Things" went platinum. Miley`s next conquest: a film career. She landed a part in "High School Musical 2," and then the voice of Penny in the animated movie "Bolt."

CYRUS: Bolt is lost. He could be anywhere by now.

TURNER: And in 2009, Miley brought her TV character to life on the big screen in "Hannah Montana" the movie.

CYRUS: It`s all about the publicity.

HELPERIN: 31 million in its opening weekend. It really just cemented her as more than a singer, more than an actress. She was an all-around performer.

TURNER: And she was white hot. But Disney`s billion dollar baby would soon get her first taste of controversy. It all started with a provocative Vanity Fair photo shoot, 15-year-old Miley barely dressed. No longer the girl next door. Then Miley shocked fans when she spiced up her performance at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards by poll dancing to her hit, "Party in the USA." The video went viral and parents postal. But Miley was unfazed.

CYRUS: I think that the media always tries to kind of overdo it. It`s really no one else`s business how my parents raised me or how I`m being raised.

TURNER: Yet even her parents were concerned when a video surfaced of Miley taking a bong hit.

CYRUS: I`m about to lose it now.

BILLY RAY CYRUS: I was alarmed for my daughter`s safety.

TURNER: Miley downplayed the video saying it wasn`t pot she was smoking and apologized for the Vanity Fair spread. But her image was changing. Her 2010 album and single said it all.


HALPERIN: Just look at the album title, "Can`t be tamed." I mean she put it right out there. I feel like we saw it play out in front of our very eyes. This person breaking loose of the Disney character.

TURNER: In 2011, the split became official when Miley quit the show that made her a global phenomenon. "Hannah Montana" was no more.

So who is Miley now after killing off Hannah Montana for good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think she just likes doing, you know, she`s kind of like pushing the envelope right now.

CYRUS: Right now I`m at a point in my career where I can just be exactly who I want to be. Just go for what you want to do.

TURNER: She truly can`t seem to stop. Her musical career is skyrocketing, she`s grabbing new headlines every day. So are her wild ways a strategic hot mess like she says, or is the new Miley really just spinning out of control? Next, more of my special report of the life of Miley with my revealing look at the superstar after Hannah Montana. This is "SBT" on HLN.


TURNER: And now Miley after Hannah Montana. She`s twerked her way to the top of the billboard charts, killed off the childhood persona that made her so famous in the first place, and seems to spend more time with her clothes off than with them on. But just who is the new Miley Cyrus, party girl or an amazing young singer with a voice that`s nearly impossible not to love? I`ll let you decide as we continue my special report on the life of Miley after Hannah Montana.


CYRUS: I`m about to jump out off of a [EXPLETIVE DELETED] plane.


TURNER: Two years after "Hannah Montana" ended, 20-year-old Miley Cyrus is on the edge. She`s skydiving with Josh Eells of Rolling Stone magazine. Extreme, unafraid, and ready for reinvention. This is the new Miley Cyrus.

CYRUS: What a landing.

JOSH EELLS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: We were both kind of terrified, I think. There`s a situation where neither of us really wanted to back down. I think she just likes doing, kind of like pushing the envelope right now.

TURNER: With her first single, "We Can`t Stop," she released a video full of sex, drugs, and in her words.

CYRUS (singing): Shaking it like we`re at a strip club.

DEREK BLASBERG: It was the first glimpse into the post Hannah Montana Miley Cyrus. And we saw a woman with a shock of white shaved hair rolling around in a bed playing with plush toys.

TURNER: Derek Blasberg interviewed Miley for "Harper`s Bazaar."

BLASBERG: She knew it was her make or break moment with the record label, and I think she told the record label, look, if you give me this one chance to do it my vision and it goes belly up and it`s a bust, I`ll do whatever you want.

TURNER: She risked it all and it worked. Breaking records, going viral on Vivo and reaching over 10 million views within 24 hours of its release.

Now, Miley could do exactly what she wanted to, and what she wanted was a memorable performance at the MTV Video Music awards, where millions of Americans would get their first look at the new Miley.

EELLS: She was a little nervous because this was the big rollout of, you know, this is who I`m going to be now.

TURNER: On stage with Robin Thicke, Miley stripped down to nothing but nude underwear, grinding with a giant foam finger, and she twerked. It was hot, but was it a mess? Her critics thought so. Even Brooke Shields, her mother on "Hannah Montana," told the Today Show.

BROOKE SHIELDS, ACTRESS: I feel like it`s a bit desperate. I mean, I just sort of want to know who is advising her and why it`s necessary.

TURNER: Then there were the more than 150 FCC complaints.

EELLS: Some of them are pretty humorous. Someone said that it was like watching a brothel. Other people complained about child pornography, which, you know, she`s 20 years old.

TURNER: Miley`s reaction.

EELS: She laughed the whole thing off. It didn`t seem to faze her.

TURNER: The controversy only fueled her confidence. In her next video, Miley was sometimes naked while riding a wrecking ball and licking a sledgehammer. And this time she wanted to show something different, her vulnerability.


EELLS: Two-thirds of the way through the song when the bridge hits and you really, you know, you see her shed a tear.

TURNER: A tear over a tortured romance rumored to be about her fiance, Liam Hemsworth. Soon after its release, "Wrecking Ball" became the number one song in the country. Miley and Liam announced they were breaking up for good. And SNL invited her to host the show.

CYRUS: Who are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you mean? I`m old you.

TURNER: On everyone`s mind, what will the wild child do next? But surprisingly, Miley was pretty tame. There was no nudity, no twerking and no apologies for the VMAs.

CYRUS: If I owe anybody an apology, it`s the people who make the bottom halves of shirts. The mild-mannered performance kept the focus on the music.

HALPERIN: She`s showing, you know, the different sides of Miley Cyrus, the performer. And the one thing that you can`t deny even going back to Hannah Montana, she has a really good voice. She knows how to sing, and "Wrecking Ball" just puts it out there.


TURNER: It is a great song. Think about this one, Miley is just 20 years old, and "Bangerz" is now her fifth number one album. Amazing. Thanks for watching. I`m Nischelle Turner. Watch "SBT" Monday through Thursday at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. HLN continues right now.