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SHOWBIZ TONIGHT

Special Edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," Showbiz Reality Secrets

Aired December 21, 2011 - 23:00:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

A.J. HAMMER, HOST (voice-over): Now, on a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets. Reality fight club. Body slamming, in your face, all out wars when reality cameras are on, the claws come out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to hit me? You want to hit me, tough guy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will snap your neck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Nobody`s touching anyone.

HAMMER: "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" goes to the source to find out why seemingly normal adults resort to schoolyard fights on reality TV.

Real housewives of Beverly Hills co-star Kyle Richards shares the secrets of the Beverly Hills smack down.

And Kandi Burruss of the real housewives of Atlanta reveals how she stays some calm surrounded by such explosiveness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It really is sometimes, are you friends with her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I too, threat --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?

HAMMER: Plus, a fight on "Jersey Shore" because they love each other?

"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" goes behind the scenes and reveals the real reason those crazy kids from jersey fight so darn much.

A special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. And this is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets, reality fight club.

Yes, tonight, we`re revealing the secrets behind all of those wild over the top fights between reality stars that we see all of the time from the real housewives, the jersey shore, the cursing, the insults, the fistfights.

So how much of it is real? And how much of it is staged to make you think it`s all real. Well, wait until you see what we found out.

"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" investigates the reality fight club secret.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to fight club.

HAMMER: In the movies, fight clubs come with rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.

HAMMER: But in the essential fight club known as reality shows.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to whoop that piece of ass and I mean it.

HAMMER: There are no rules. For instance, in the movie fight club.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone yelled stop, the fight is over.

HAMMER: But there the reality fight club, stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop it.

HAMMER: Just means keep fighting. In the movie fight club.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only two guys can fight.

HAMMER: But in the reality fight club, two women are free to go at it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will take you out.

HAMMER: So, now, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" breaks all the rules.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not talk about fight club.

HAMMER: And we do talk about the secrets behind the reality fight club.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why?

HAMMER: Jersey shore has featured more jersey style whacking than the sopranos.

NINA PARKER, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: Jay Wow and Sammy had a fistfight in the kitchen. Snooki fought Angelina in the living room. It was like a jersey shore episode of clue. Who fought who in what room and what weapon was used, who are the police were looking for.

HAMMER: The situation even once fought a wall and the wall won.

JOE PIAZZA, AUTHOR, CELEBRITY INC.: No one has to be around to get a fight at the jersey shore. It`s you versus in a mat and the male object and that`s a mouth.

HAMMER: Jwoww tells "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" why the "Jersey Shore" gang is so slap happy.

JENNI "JWOWW" FARLEY, CAST, JERSEY SHORE: We become a family, but just like brothers and sisters, we fight like a family.

HAMMER: "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" can also reveal the fight club secrets behind the real housewives franchise.

No one is safe from real housewives cat fights, even the furniture.

PIAZZO: The real housewives, particularly in jersey and Atlanta, just get down and dirty.

HAMMER: But the real housewives of Beverly Hills get down and dirty, too. Brandy Glanville clashed with the Richard sisters.

BRANDI GLANVILLE, CAST, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS: I`m just me. And if I say it, I have to own it. And there`s no -- there`s no going -- I mean, it is what it is.

HAMMER: And Brandy shares this secret with "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", how they choose the housewives to make for a very volatile mix.

GLANVILLE: I think they pick women that are all very strong personalities. And when you put really strong personalities in a room together and you are very different, something bad is going to happen. People are going to clash.

HAMMER: No doubt reality show fights are entertaining, especially the one often described as the best ever.

When the spit hit the fan on VH1`s flavor of love.

But as entertaining as the reality fight club can be, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" has got to ask.

Is it all for real? The guys on the discovery channel`s "carfellas" have been known to have fights that look like they`re going to punch each other out.

The "carfellas" reveal to me they don`t fake anything.

MIKEY D, CAST, CARFELLA: It`s as real as you can get. And I mean that. You know what it is, there`s so much chemistry between him and Mario. And it`s just that`s us. We`ve been doing this for years.

HAMMER: That`s good to know because in a reality show world where love isn`t always real, at least we can count on reality show smack downs to keep it real.

PIAZZO: When you`re pulling a leg off it doesn`t seem like it goes in the script.

HAMMER: And unlike the movie fight club-

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do not talk about fight club.

HAMMER: The reality fight club is something we can`t stop talking about.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: And you know it`s true. We can`t stop talking about these fights because, quite frankly, they are so entertaining. So what`s the secret to being able to hold your own in these reality fight club situations?

Well, I sat down with Kyle Richards who famously fought with her own, sister and co-star in the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And I asked her if there was ever any concern about opening up her family to everything that reality shows cameras capture including all the scrutiny and conflict. Watch what she tells me.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Wow. You and your sister Kim have had your share of ups and downs. Obviously, that happens in every family, sisters, brothers, whatever. But yours was caught on TV for everybody to see. So, I have to ask you if you could go back now, knowing what you now know, would you make the same decision to appear on the show?

KYLE RICHARDS, CAST, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS: I don`t know if I would do that. I mean, there are so many negative things that do come with being on a reality show. But there are a lot of positive things, too. You know, you have the opportunity to bring awareness to your charities. I`ve lost a lot of families to cancer. So I try to make sure that I bring attention to my charities in each of the episodes or each of the seasons, I should say. One of the charities I was involved with the lollipop theater network, after being in my episode, their donations went up 200 percent. So, it can have an upside but there are a lot of draw backs as well.

HAMMER: And this is what I`ve heard from many of your costars. We had them right here on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" talking about the fact that yes, it`s great exposing my charities and getting much needed funds to these excellent.

But the other thing that I also hear from many of your co-stars is you know what, I watch the show back and that`s not exactly how it went down. That`s not how it really happened.

Do you ever feel like you`re a victim of the creative editing that`s often done to present the greatest drama and conflict?

RICHARDS: Well, I can tell you in season one in the finale, the fight with my sister, as difficult as that was, because so many people were angry about our fight. It was what I was feeling, you know. It was a lot of emotions that were built up over the years. So, as much as I took heat for that, I had to own it because that is how I felt, you know. I couldn`t explain the back story to everybody watching.

But like the fight at gang night with Brandy, I do look at that and think that is not me. I look like a mean person and my sister does. We`re not mean people, we`re nice people. But I think it`s a combination of being caught up in the moment. And there`s a little tongue in cheek, you know. I mean, I did help Brandy. I offered to help Brandy down the stairs with her crutches. But that part wasn`t show. And I don`t know if that`s because they can`t fit everything in an hour or what. But, you know, you got to come and take what gravy and sauce.

HAMMER: So is there a potential upside the opportunity to get, I don`t know, a kind of a therapy you couldn`t otherwise get where you can take a look at yourself and say hey, you know, I`m seeing some kind of behavior that I need to work on here?

RICHARDS: Yes, absolutely. I do think that you can learn about yourself and I really thought that going into this, I knew going into this that it would be difficult working with my sister at times. But I think that in spite of our big blow up at the end of season one, that it actually ended up helping our relationship in a lot of ways because we both had so much -- we held in for so long. It just kind of came to a head that night. And I don`t think we would have ever gotten out, otherwise.

HAMMER: There you go. Something that I`ve heard often from people, particularly about the real house wives shows, you look at the various franchises. And quite frankly, it often looks like a glorified version of high school. Mean girls and all. They are all there.

Do you watch the show regularly and cringe at your own behavior or, by enlarge are you pretty please with the way you`re portrayed?

RICHARDS: I think, for the most part, it`s, you know, fair. And there are a lot of times I watch and I see my husband and my kids, you know, do my bike ride in Nappa to raise money for cancer with my husband, I do enjoy watching those episodes.

When I look at that and I think that was just not me. I don`t know how I got to that point. I`m very disappointed when I see that. I feel sad. I actually cried. You know, a lot after watching that episode. Just being disappointed in myself and the whole night, disappointing anyone, feeling like I`d let people down.

HAMMER: So, for as much drama as there is going on with what we see on the show, there`s a whole lot of drama going on behind the scenes and you`re well aware of it. But you know the New York franchise of "Real Housewives" is a major turmoil. They were all fired from the show. There are some questions being raised about the New Jersey show imploding, "the real Housewives of D.C." didn`t come back after one season.

Do you think the franchise is winding down? Or do you think it is more time than it would appear to at this time?

RICHARDS: I think that the ratings are still very strong, so that`s pretty indicative of people still being interested and watching the show. I think everybody likes to be a fly on the wall. And, you know, I think people want to look back and see that, you know, OK, you know, I`ve got a lot of problems going on in my life or whatever it is that they want to see what`s going on in other people`s lives. So I think that people are still watching. The numbers prove it.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Champagne and smack down. Yes, it`s all in a day`s work for "the Real Housewives of Atlanta." They fight because they love each other?

The cast of "Jersey Shore" tells us the real bizarre reason why they`re always tearing it up on their show. The stores of "jerseyliciuos" are right here. They`re going to share the secrets behind their on camera blow out.

This is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets, reality fight club.

Right now, "Real Housewives of New Jersey" co-star Teresa Gudice turns a nice Italian family dinner into a table-throwing, free for all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP

TERESA GUDICE, STAR, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY: They just have not arrested me. There has to be something else.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While you were stripping?

GUDICE: You are (bleep)? You stupid (bleep). (Bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow. Teresa was like a caged animal at the zoo. Tables need to be thrown at me because I had a book written about me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York and you are watching a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets. Reality fight club.

It`s a cocktail that makes for the best kind of reality TV. Add reality housewives and drinks then throwing that dash of couture and bwalah! Let the fights begin.

But one show, that certainly takes the cake when it comes to giving a smack downs is the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The lovely and talented Kandi Burruss filled me in on some of the secrets behind the drama. And I just had to ask her, what`s up with all the fight.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: We see these conflicts all of the time. Does it surprise you, though, when they erupt?

KANDI BURRUSS, STAR, REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA: Hmm, no, not at all. Because the thing about it is, with our show, they have all of these women with big personalities, you know. And when you have like a lot of strong personalities and you`re making them being around each other a lot, you know, things are bound to happen. Especially when everybody is, you know, already having little beeves here and there.

Certain times, you know, people have issues before the season even starts taping. Like say for instance with Cherei (ph) and Mimi (ph). Like last season I think, you know, they didn`t really have many issues. But off season, they had something happen. I don`t know what happened. But by the time we came back for taping this year, they weren`t really talking.

HAMMER: So it`s been happening all along. And it been probably you got them. Snap those cameras on, put them in some conflicts at situation and let them go.

BURRUSS: Exactly.

HAMMER: But what`s your secret to keeping such a cool head through it all. Is that how you`ve been throughout life? Because for some reason, you seem to, you know, keep it real cool. Everybody is at war with one another.

BURRUSS: Normally, I`m pretty laid back. So, nothing that anybody has to say is going to face me most of the time. But I`m not going to lie. I do have moments, especially during the season where people kind of get under my skin a little bit. You know, but I try not to go too crazy.

HAMMER: Do you ever feel compelled though because you know the drama is what sells to sort of step it up a little bit.

BURRUSS: No. I just say I always told -- I said to myself when I even joined the cast that I was just going to be true to myself. I want to do me and, hopefully, everybody likes it. If they don`t, oh well. It`s like, whatever.

HAMMER: It`s working out so far.

BURRUSS: Well, thank you.

HAMMER: Thank you Kandi.

BURRUSS: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: I love that Kandi keeps a level head by taking things in stride.

Now, up in jersey, not so much. It seems like Tracy Dimarco and Olivia Blois Sharpe use their styling scissors to stab each other in the backs more often than cutting their hair.

So I had to ask, is there something in the air in New Jersey that really feeds into the fighting frenzy?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Obviously, it`s a formula that people have hit on that seems to be working. There, of course, is your terrific show, "jerseylicious." There are of courses "jersey Shore." There is "the Real Housewives of New Jersey." And it always seems like the women are getting into these massive fights on the shows, your show no exception.

I just want to roll a little bit of this in the background right here if we could. You go at it. From what I understand, you`re going at it again this season. And, yet, you sit Tracy and Olivia, and everything seems to be just peachy fine, OK between the two of you. How are you able to move passed all of that or the moment you walked out of the studio, you turn away from each other, don`t speak?

TRACY DIMARCO, JERSEYLICIOUS: No, we haven`t moved passed it. We just -- we know how to come to -- we just met you. If we had known you for a couple months, maybe you`d see a different side of us. We don`t know. But we have to do our business. We know we have to come and act professionally I guess. But I work it hard because it was going to act everything all day.

HAMMER: So only tonight it`s peaceful as it may appear here on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" right now?

OLIVIA BLOIS SHARPE, JERSEYLICIOUS: No, no, no. We know when we need we`re mature and we know when we need for being like, you know, business oriented.

HAMMER: Ok.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Jwoww versus Sammy. The situation versus Ronnie.

You know, the fights on "Jersey Shore," they`ve truly become legendary. But today, really fighting because they love each other?

The cast of jersey shore tells us the bizarre reason why they are always at war on their show.

This is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." showbiz reality secrets, reality fight club.

Right now, who can forget the situation facing all with a wall?

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

HAMMER: Screaming! Screaming! Name calling! Hair pulling! Good time. This happen under the "Jersey Shore" charter members of the showbiz reality fight club in a barely a week goes by without someone taking someone else down. But you have got to hear why they fight. They do it because they care? Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know, I mean, I guess because just the environment that we`re in, we`re kind of cut out from the world. All we have is each other 24 hours a day. We have to deal with each other 24 hours a day and heads clash sometimes. Just when you think that every conflict that could possibly happen has happened already. Like two people will form another conflict. It just happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I love it. I sit back and watch it. I bring popcorn and watch the whole thing. I stay away from the drama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We try not to be in the fights. But just like watch the fight. It`s great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At the end of the day, I love this. They`re like a family to me no matter what. I can fight one day and love them the next. At the end of the day, it`s fun. I miss it when I go home. Like truthfully, I love doing this. They`re all wonderful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s weird for us to be like we hate each other during it and we`re sick of seeing each other. But the day we get home, we`re like where are you in.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s like a family. You got to stick with your family members. Sometimes, it`s like I just can`t deal with you today. Like, just go walk away from me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: But then there are the times when those crazy kids don`t want to walk away from each other. That`s when the shore stars go from fighters to lovers. Hey, who doesn`t love a good make up hook up? And even though what happens in the share house doesn`t exactly stay in the share house, the ever eloquent situations say sex is bound to happen. And they have nothing to be ashamed of.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No regrets at all. At the end of the day -- at the end of the day, I mean, people have either done it or, you know, are or are going to do it. If you`re in your 20s and you`re dating or not dating or about to date, you know, you`re in a relationship, you`re having some sort of relationships or something, you`re doing something. You know what I`m saying? It just so happens that there`s hidden cameras in the house.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You do sex also.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You do sex all the time. Nympho.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I did it a lot because I have a boyfriend since he was always here. But you know, the cameras, like we`re so used to it, I mean we just hide under covers. Sometimes the boobs slips out or any (inaudible). But they can`t show that because this is not important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAMMER: And now, the showbiz line up. Here`s what`s coming up at the bottom of the hour on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets. Play it to win.

"SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," blowing the lid off the secrets to winning the biggest reality competition shows on TV.

One on one with HLN`s Nancy Grace. Nancy reveals to me just what it took for her to stick around so long on "Dancing with the Stars."

Plus, "America`s got talent" winner, Landau Eugene Murphy Junior, tells us how he played to win on one of the biggest reality shows on TV.

This is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Now, on a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets play to win.

One on one with CNN`s Piers Morgan. Piers reveals to me what it took for him to win the very first season of celebrity Apprentice?

PIERS MORGAN, WINNER, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: Going into it is going to be incredibly hard work. You`ve got to have stamina. You`ve got to have guile. You got to be funny. You`ve got to be ruthless.

HAMMER: Piers, step by step plan for winning big on reality TV`s hottest shows.

HLN`s very own dancing queen. Nancy Grace is revealing to me how she nearly made it all the way to the semifinals on "Dancing with the Stars." And she`s not holding anything back.

Plus, Nick Lachey reveals how to win big-time competitions like "sing off."

A special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Hello, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York. This is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets, play it to win.

Yes, we`re revealing secrets from inside the reality TV winner circle. Tonight, Piers Morgan tells us about the tricks to winning big. And if anyone knows what it takes, it`s Piers.

He`s a former judge on America`s got talent. And, of course, he won it all on the first season of "Celebrity Apprentice."

So if you`re ready to sing, dance or race around the world for a shot at the big time, you`ll want to listen up.

Tonight, Piers is revealing everything that he knows.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: If you`re a contestant on any show, whether it`s "celebrity Apprentice," it`s "America`s got talent", "American idol", there`s never any harm in having a connection to a judge and putting them in.

DONALD TRUMP, HOST, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: You`re tough, you`re smart, you`re probably brilliant.

MORGAN: What I`ve done was I read Donald Trump books particular, think big and kick ass. By the time I finished that book, I had more Trumpism on my sleeve to unload solid decision in the show. It`s that he probably came out with himself.

As you know, Mister Trump, business in the end comes down to the bottom line.

Like I see he nodded. And I came out with these great statements about "thinking big and kicking ass Mister Trump."

TRUMP: Do you think so?

MORGAN: You know I like this guy. I`m not surprising. I was quoting back at him, his own line.

I was in the apprentice with some of the biggest egos that America`s ever seen. You know, too much Gene Simmons, you know.

GENE SIMMONS, CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: We can never be killed and we are immortal.

MORGAN: And my point of view was these guys are used to having entourage, big entourages, fan trigger, trimming them. You know, make up girls, lawyers, managers, accountants. On their own, mano to mano or mano to womano, they were going to struggle. That was my strategy. When they were struggling, kick them when they`re down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe we succeeded and the client didn`t recognize it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you`ll never get credit for that. Not here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, if you`re way out of this --

MORGAN: There`s a very fine line on these shows with contestants between arrogance and confidence. And if you cross it too often, the public will hate you. The public, in America, wants to like you.

(Inaudible) is a great example. Not the best singer in the world but he won America`s got talent because America fell in love with him.

I`ve heard contestants who never get to do their big stuff and got kicked out. If only they can unload their big guns. Critical, strategic error.

That was a million dollar performance tonight.

Above all, you`ve just got to treat every aspect of this competition step by step and have a game plan. Whether you`re a contestant on "America`s got talent" where you`ve had five or six performance performances, you`ve got to think, when do I unload my big guns? When do I bring out the big star?

Go into it knowing it`s going to be incredibly hard work. You`ve got to have stamina. You`ve got to have guile. You`ve got to be cunning. You`ve got to be ruthless. You got to be competitive. Never lose track of why you`re there. You`re there to win. And if you don`t really with every core possibility of your being want to win, then don`t enter.

TRUMP: Piers, you`re the celebrity apprentice.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: As it appears, he`s going to be alright.

Well, we go now from a former judge of "America`s got talent" to the host of the show who`s got a very different take. It`s a block buster showbiz reality secrets news maker with Nick Cannon.

Nick`s own shocking behind the scene secrets about playing to win on reality TV. And Nick is even confessing to me about what scares him about being the host of the show.

Tonight, Nick Cannon`s new reality revelations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: You`ve been getting rave reviews as the host of "America`s got talent." And I know that is one tough job. You do make it look so easy. What is the secret to doing that for you?

NICK CANNON, HOST, AMERICA`S GOT TALENT: It`s all about having a good time for me. That show is a very family-friendly show. So we don`t have to deal with a lot of the drama and even though there`s a million dollars at stake, it`s not portrayed in a way where it`s ever a very serious competition.

So I get a chance to just be myself. And I say everything that I would say if I was sitting at home watching the show. And I think people can kind of relate to the realism that I bring to it.

HAMMER: Yes, definitely does look like you`re having a good time. Alright. I want you to share with me and the "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" audience, one secret about hosting the show that you just think would blow people`s minds. If only they knew what happened at that show.

CANNON: I would have to say the real relationships between myself and all of the judges. I think Sharon Osbourne is just off the chain. That`s how I explain her. Everyone thinks that Howie is the one pulling the pranks and everything. Sharon is the one that she says whatever comes to her mind. She`s the one pulling the gags, making fun of Piers, everything. So I`d have to say the relationship -- we can have our own reality show after the show and before the show because it`s just crazy.

HAMMER: Yes. You should get that into development right now. Hey, look, you look so comfortable up there. I know you`ve been performing on various stages throughout your life, but hosting this kind of a TV show is an entirely different kind of gig than anything you`ve really done before. Did you always feel so comfortable? Or were you a little nervous when you were first starting out. ?

CANNON: The first season, I was definitely nervous. I had never done live television before. I mean having an ear piece in my ear and people screaming three or four voices at once and having to control the show and having to keep the judges in line and remember the time and prompter, all of that stuff was definitely overwhelming. But after a while, it becomes a second nature. And now it`s just like there`s nothing you can really throw at me that I won`t be able to handle on that television. So it`s been a great training ground.

HAMMER: So, what can you reveal to us about how you prepare for the show? Do you actually get into a preparation mode or do you just kind of fly by the seat of your pants?

CANNON: Lots of prayer before the show starts. Just give it all to God. It wouldn`t happen yet. I think that`s the beauty of the show, though. You never know what`s going to happen. And you have to play it out like how it would play out. And I think even my background and stand up and performing live lends to that. Because no matter if a light goes out or a contestant faints, or something goes wrong, I`ll always know how to handle it. And I used my umpire skills to the best of my ability.

HAMMER: Yes. And you do it very well. And look, I know you say that you would say the same thing on the show if you were sitting at home on your coach with the same stuff. But let`s be honest now, Nick. We see a lot of really good talented people getting kicked of "America`s got talent."

So please, reveal to me and everybody what goes through your head sometimes. Do you ever want to yell at viewers who vote off these excellent, most talented people and tell them what the heck were you thinking?

CANNON: You know what I`ve learned? America doesn`t like immediate mediocre. They like things that are really, really bad or really, really good. If you`re just in the middle -- and there are so many really talented people and their stories might not be a remarkable or, you know, they still need a little bit more development. America never really gives those people a chance.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAMMER: Thanks again to "America`s Got Talent" host, Nick Cannon.

We have more showbiz reality secrets, play to win. HLN`s very own dancing queen, Nancy Grace, is still in the secrets tonight. Winning a battle for "Dancing with the Stars" coveted mirror ball trophy.

Plus, the secret to winning a show like "America`s Got Talent". A sea of talented people and an unforgiving audience.

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HAMMER: Just how do you rise to the top like season six winner Landau Eugene Murphy Junior? He`s right here with the secret formula for victory.

This is a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." Showbiz reality secrets play to win.

And right now, Padma Lakshumi, the host of the smash hit, "Top Chef". Showbiz secrets behind the winning the top chef title.

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PADMA LAKSHUMI, HOST, TOP CHEF: Well, in our show, it`s doing the best that day in relation to what everyone else is doing. You know, the best team in major league baseball doesn`t necessarily win the World Series. It`s how you played or performed that day.

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HAMMER: Welcome back to "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT." I`m A.J. Hammer in New York and you`re watching a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets, play to win.

You`ve got big celebrities and virtual unknowns going on camera every week to compete with big money and often big fame. They`re dancing, they`re singing, they`re surviving, they`re winning.

Name the challenge and the other TV contestants are pushing the skills to the very limits. But exactly how can they play to win? Well, HLN`s own Nancy Grace played it hard competing in "Dancing with the Stars." And she fills me in on some of her secrets to stay in the game.

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HAMMER: Everybody obviously has a different strategy for playing to win. For you, what was the most important thing to try to make it to the end or at least as far as you could take this thing?

NANCY GRACE, HOST, NANCY GRACE SHOW: It wasn`t about winning. I know that`s hard for a lot of people to believe. It was about doing the absolute very best that I can. Giving it all that I can. Every single day, every single night, every single dance, every single step, and to show my twins that if you believe hard enough and you work hard enough, a dream can come true. And to remember when the chips are down, you keep your chin up.

HAMMER: When you`re looking back at this thing, whatever it is, a couple of years from now, or twenty years from now, what`s the singular memory that you`ll always take with you? The one thing you`ll always remember from the experience?

GRACE: I will remember the joy. Just the pure joy of dancing. Ever since my fiance was murdered, I`ve been all about getting into law school, getting through law school, being a prosecutor, putting the bad guys away, representing victims. This was truly joyful for me, for me, for Nancy to do. And CNN and HLN and you were behind me.

HAMMER: With everybody watching, Nancy, I`ve said it to you privately, but truly I am so proud of what you accomplished and what you allowed yourself to experience and put yourself through in this whole thing. You and I, as we`ve said, we`ve known each other for a long time. I`m so pleased with how much closer this brought just the two of us. I say that purely from a selfish, personal perspective. But it`s been a great ride for me as well sitting on the sidelines.

GRACE: Me, too. And I love you so much. And I`m so grateful for everything that you`ve done for me. Thank you.

MORGAN: See you in New York, Nans.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAMMER: Did I make Nancy Grace cry? I think I may have.

Well, Nancy`s dancing strategy certainly took her very far in her competition. But, now, I`ve got a guy who played to win and did, taking it all the way to the winner circle.

So what`s the secret to winning a hit show like "America`s Got Talent" so many talented people?

A piers audience and they will boo you at the moment noticed so much pressure.

Who better to give us the inside scoop than, Landau Eugene Murphy Junior, the season six winner of "America`s Got Talent?" It is a pleasure and an honor to have you here on "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT".

LANDAU EUGENE MURPHY JUNIOR, WINNER, AMERICA`S GOT TALENT, SEASON SIX: Thank you.

HAMMER: And I`m happy to hear you watch the program, I thank you very much.

MURPHY: Yes, I watch your program a lot.

HAMMER: So you swept America off its feet with your amazing swoony Sinatra style. I think we`ve got to re-visit a little bit of you in action right now.

Charles, will you roll out some Landau?

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HAMMER: All right, so Landau, anyway, what was your play to win strategy so you can win in such a high stress, competitive environment where you`re on America`s stage? You`ve got millions of people watching you.

MURPHY: It was -- I just had to realize that it was a reality show. And just go out there and be myself. Just have fun and entertain America. That was it is all about.

MORGAN: So, in the back of your head, you just kind a kept to the mind, it`s a TV show, we`ll have a little fun.

MURPHY: Yes.

HAMMER: Maybe, we`ll take it-- so you really didn`t go in and say I`m going to necessary win this thing.

MURPHY: Right.

HAMMER: But let`s see what we can do?

MURPHY: I mean my basic strategy was just to get on television, sing in New York, which is the gateway to America.

HAMMER: Sure.

MURPHY: You know? And if I could do it there without getting booed, I figured I have a good chance.

HAMMER: Yes. And look, we cannot deny you have an incredible story. I mean, you were homeless at 19. When you first appeared in "America`s Got Talent", you were just 37 years old, you were washing cars, took an order to support your family.

Now, you`ve got a million bucks as a result of winning the show. You`ve got a contract in Vegas and you`re really turning this into some major success. What is your secret now to playing to win even more success with what you accomplished on "America`s Got Talent?"

MURPHY: Basically, just staying humble. You know, keeping my feet on the ground, keeping God first, welcome my faith at my side. You know, all the flashy thing cans distract you and told you on your own path. My wife has been a great support, my family and friends. A lot of the fans have really opened their arms to me. So I just want to continue to give back as much as I possible lid can get.

HAMMER: I`m so happy to hear you say that because it also really comes down to the people around you who might be encouraging you to try a different lifestyle by those flashy things.

We often see people who get fame and money so fast and furious. Quite frankly, I`ve seen it a lot. It really screws up them up. You`ve seen it too. It seems that hasn`t affected you.

So, what is your strategy to maintain that now that you`ve played to win and won? How are you going to keep your feet on the ground? Because you see the pressure, don`t you?

HAMMER: Yes, sir. I see it every day. But you`ve got to just remember where you come from. You know, I was homeless, so I learned to appreciate things that I get you know, and not just take every day for granted because just because you have it, go out there and throw it away, no. I am not going to do that. I`m going to focus on my health, you know, focus on my kids` education.

HAMMER: Does it scare you sometimes when you see the temptation that comes your way?

MURPHY: Yes, it makes your heart flutter a lot because you really want that new Bentley.

HAMMER: What have you done? Have you indulged?

MURPHY: No, all I bought a pair of Jordan`s.

HAMMER: Got a pair of Jordan`s. Alright.

MURPHY: Yes, I got a pair of Jordan`s. And the other day I went in the mall and I bought the Jordan sweat suit. But I haven`t done anything. I`ve just been investing my money the right way so I can have a long term standing.

HAMMER: What a great example. So great to meet you. What a great story.

MURPHY: Thanks, man.

HAMMER: Best of luck to you. Landau Eugene Murphy Junior, appreciate you being here.

Be sure to pick up a copy of Landau`s album "that`s life."

From the play to win secrets of "America`s Got Talent" to the inside scoop of winning big time on shows like this thing off.

Tonight, we`re revealing all the stunning secrets behind winning TV`s hottest reality TV competitions. How do you ace the audition? What are the judges really looking for?

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out blazing. You know, trust yourself. Trust your sound. Trust your instincts on this because that`s what got you to this point.

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HAMMER: I`ve got one on one with the "sing-offs" Nick Lachey for all the secrets.

This was a special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets playing to win.

And right now, "Dancing with the Stars" Cheryl Burke reveals the secret behind winning that coveted trophy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL BURKE, WINNER, DANCING WITH THE STARS: If you make it to the finals, it`s all about your free style dance. And so, the free style always wins. You can forget about the last nine weeks and like 30,000 dances you`ve done. You come out with the best free style you normally won the competition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAMMER: Tonight, winning big on reality singing competitions.

You know, thousands of people try to make the cut. Yet, their shot at millions most never even make it passed the first audition. So, what do the judges really want?

Well, I spoke with Nick Lachey, the most NBC`s "Sing Off" one of the TV`s hottest singing competition. You`ve got to watch what he revealed about playing to win on his show.

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NICK LACHEY, HOST, THE SING OFF: I think its blend. You know, A cappella music, there`s so many terms that especially that the judges throw out there, you know, blend and intonation. But as a group, you have to -- when you sing a cappella, you have to sound like one voice. And that all comes down to blend and how well you blend together. So, blend is crucial on "the Sing Off."

HAMMER: Have you ever seen an act that they really seem to be doing everything right, the group is up there singing their hearts out, hitting every mark, blending perfectly, doing everything you need to do but they got booted off anyway?

LACHEY: Yes, I mean, it comes down to I think -- especially when you`re dealing with a recording contract and how do we take this group and bring them into the music world and into the music business, you know, can we see them selling records?

You know, are they are marketable? Are they commercial sure? A lot of factors that into the decision that the judges are making each in every week.

HAMMER: Yes. So, when you don`t agree, I want to know what happens after the show. Do you, you know, pulp in pulled at the side and say hey now, what the heck were you thinking?

LACHEY: No, it`s -- you know, those guys, they do their job and I fully support what they do. In fact, I`m not even privy to that decision-making process. You know, I`ve kind of steered clear of that. My role in this is to host the show. To try and support all the groups, you know, evenly and equally. Encourage them.

And no matter who gets kicked off or kept on, I try to be a friend to all f o those groups the same. But I respect what they do. They have their reasons for making the decision they make and I have to just kind of let that go.

But, in many ways, I`m like spectators and viewers at home who are watching it, I don`t necessary I would understand it or agree with it, but that`s the way this thing works.

HAMMER: And, obviously, before you can play to win, you first have to get to play. And of course, we know where ever there are auditions for any talent placed shows, whether it`s yours `The Sing Off,` whether it`s "America`s Got Talent" or "American idol", any of them, you have thousands of people ling up just hoping to get passed that first round.

What in your mind is the secret to playing to win in that first round, beside, of course, having the talent that is requisite?

LACHEY: Well, I think you`ve got to go with what got you there. That`s what I always try to tell the groups. You know, come out blazing. You know trust yourself. Trust your sound. Trust your instincts on this because that`s what got you at this point. And if you can walk away from the competition no matter what is you`re doing, if you can walk away from the competition knowing you gave everything you had, you left it out all on the stage and you were true to yourself, I think you can walk away with your head held high. And that`s what I tried to tell to this groups to do (inaudible).

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HAMMER: All very good advice from Nick Lachey.

So, if you`re planning to audition for one of those shows, take his advice with 8:55.

And this is it for this special edition of "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT," showbiz reality secrets. Thank you for watching, I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

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