An Exclusive Chat with the Ladies of “The Talk”

Idina Menzel on the Talk Courtesy CBS

Idina Menzel on “The Talk” – Courtesy CBS

This week, I had the opportunity to visit the set of “The Talk” while they were filming their shows from Rachael Ray’s studios in New York City. The studio holds a very special place in my heart because my very first real job, as a junior publicist on “The Maury Povich Show,” was in that building. Sure, nothing looks the same and my old office, which used to be in the basement, probably doesn’t even exist anymore. But either way, when I walked up to the entrance of 221 West 26th Street, tons of talk show memories starting flooding back.
But I digress. I was a blogger on a mission. On Monday, I got the opportunity to sit down with hosts Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne and Sheryl Underwood where I turned the tables on them. The conversation flowed like most do with a group of hilarious and super smart women. We effortlessly switched from one topic to another and the laughter was non-stop.
From their morning beauty regimes, to their favorite guests to engaging with fans to Barbara Walter’s retirement, the ladies of “The Talk” definitely had a lot to say.
Take a look…
The Morning Beauty Routine…
Sheryl Underwood: I would say that by the time I get into the chair, it takes beyond a village. I really have to be spackled and cut and contoured and then the hair. Then I have to make sure that I don’t eat too much salt because that swells me up. People think that darker skin is easier but we can look ashen and washed out. And I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – whoever is lighting us is lighting the most diverse team in talk. That I believe. They deserve an Emmy…I look 35!
Sharon Osbourne: I think for me anyway, I’m always a work in progress. I’m trying to change a lot now. As I’m getting older, this year, I’m trying to wear less make-up and I’m trying to pull it back. When you get to a certain age, the more make-up you wear, I think it makes you look older. So I’m trying to change it up a bit and look a bit more current. I took a look at my hair a few months ago and I felt like I looked like a soccer mom. There’s nothing wrong with looking like a soccer mom, but it’s just not my style.
Julie Chen: My beauty process starts at about 8:27am at our morning meeting. I start by putting on my fake eyelashes because it takes a while for the glue to dry. Then after our meeting, I stay behind to write the show with our writer and our executive producer and we have a blow dryer going and we’re writing and we’re screaming over the noise. We have to multi-task because we have a live show and from there, I head to the make-up chair. The great thing is, I don’t really pay attention to what is going on and I don’t have to because I trust everyone that I work with that I’m doing my job and they’re doing their job and we all kind of co-exist. It all seems to falls into place.
Favorite Guests…
While I got the chance to see Idina Menzel who taped a segment that will air this Friday, I have to say, the hosts totally put guests at ease. I’m not going to share what happened on the show, but let’s just say Idina shared secrets from her past that involved Billy Joel plus she shared the best way John Travolta can pay her back for mangling her name at the Oscars.
Julie Chen: We’ve never had a bad guest and people come here and once they walk through the door, the last person who was here was our favorite person. I feel like we walk off the set every day and say that was a great show. Have fun with us. We’re not going to ask you that humiliating question. We’re here to make you feel good and have a few laughs.
Sharon: When you can turn around and you say ‘Oh my goodness we’ve interviewed Jane Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, Tom Selleck and little Selena Gomez comes on and so cute. It goes across the spectrum. I mean we are just so lucky to meet amazing people.
The Twitter Effect
The hosts say they love engaging with fans in real time and host Sheryl Underwood shares that she loves that “The Talk” features online chats with fans right after the show airs. Sharon Osbourne says she uses social media as a way to take the temperature of her fans.
Sharon Osbourne: I kind of use it as a barometer because you say certain things and instantly somebody will make a remark about your comment. So it’s a very good barometer to check what you’re saying and to keep yourself in line and to know what your audience is feeling because they will instantly come back and tell you.
On Barbara Walter’s Retirement…
We also talked about Barbara Walter’s retirement from broadcast journalism and the ladies shared their heartfelt thoughts:
Julie Chen: I’m sad. Barbara is the whole reason why I got into broadcasting. My mother and I would bond when I was growing up watching her specials. My mom loved her and was like – wow she’s an inspiration to all women, this is something maybe you should consider getting into. She has paved the way for every female broadcaster who has come after her and will continue to do so for the things she has done. So I wish her well but I wish she wasn’t stepping down because I can’t imaging turning on a TV and not seeing Barbara Walters.
Sharon Osbourne: You know what it is? It’s like an impossible shoe to fill. You cannot replace somebody like Barbara with her years of wisdom. It’s like there’s certain music that you grow up with and it becomes part of your life. And it’s like Barbara is a part of everybody’s life. We all grew with Barbara. For me, I look at Barbara like an inspiration and she defies the odds. Look at her. She’s in her eighties and she’s quick, smart, gorgeous, totally into pop culture. She is an iconic figure that cannot be replaced. Nobody can replace her because nobody has that breadth of experience that she’s got in life and in broadcasting. She’s an amazing woman.
Sheryl Underwood: She’s a visionary and a trailblazer. If she had not put her concept together then it wouldn’t be a concept for us. Where would you put women together at a table. But we wish her good luck and God speed. Sometimes it’s good to get your rest and enjoy what you’ve achieved. We hate to see her go but when does she get to take some other types of journeys that she’s always wanted to do? You read the things that she’s accomplished and the people that she’s met and I still believe that Fidel Castro is still pining for her. Look at the life that she’s lived. The doors that she’s opened. The people that she’s interviewed. I’m just an old country girl from Arkansas who never thought I’d be on TV, but look at the door that she opened for a lot of people, especially for women.
Tune into “The Talk” Monday-Friday at 2pm ET and check out this sneak peak of Friday’s show featuring Idina Menzel! Check back tomorrow when we share our behind the scenes visit with some of our favorite bloggers.

“The Talk” Confessions

After a brief summer hiatus, CBS’s “The Talk” is back and better than ever! The new season of the hit daytime talk show premiered with a bang this week as all of the hosts confessed their deepest secrets! Check out their secrets here:
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1. Aisha Tyler revealed that after years of saying she didn’t want kids, she had a change of heart and recently underwent fertility testing. Unfortunately, Aisha found out that the odds of her conceiving are minimal, and decided that it’s too late for her to have children of her own. As moms, I think we can all relate to Aisha’s struggle. Click here to see more of Aisha’s confession.
2. Julie Chen admitted that years ago she had cosmetic eye surgery after a local news director told her she looked bored during interviews and would never make it big because of the way she looked. This caused controversy in Julie’s family, but Chen says she’s still very proud of her Chinese heritage. Check out the before and after photos…what do you think? Does Julie’s confession say something about our society’s standards of beauty? To see Julie’s entire confession,click here
3. Sara Gilbert discussed how she came to terms with her sexuality after dating her “Roseanne” co-star Johnny Galecki. Gilbert admitted she realized that she was a lesbian while kissing her Roseanne costar and boyfriend, Johnny Galecki who kept her secret private and has always been one of her closest friends ever since. She also revealed that being on “The Talk” helped her overcome her fear of being publicly gay, but that she’s also still afraid there will be repercussions when she discloses personal information, such as her recent engagement to girlfriend Linda Perry. Yet Gilbert ended her confession with some inspirational words:
“I want to live a true life. Beyond that, we do often say things like “it gets better” – and it does get better. I have an amazing life, but there can still be a struggle with it, and that’s ok. There can be a part of you that doesn’t want to be different or feel scared. And that is more important than any of it.”. To see the whole video, click here.
Click here to check out Sharon’s secret! And click here to watch Sheryl’s emotional revelation about her childhood.
What do you think of “The Talk” confessions? Do you have any confessions of your own?
Don’t forget to tune in to the new season of “The Talk” – Weekdays at 2 PM ET and tweet along @TheTalk_CBS.

Behind the Scenes at “The Talk” in NYC

Today started like any other average day…
Wake up at 6:30 am.
Return emails.
Wake up my kids.
Get dressed.
Make lunches.
Zip the kids off to school.
Work, work, work.
Race into Manhattan while singing showtunes from my iPhone.
Tweet from the set of “The Talk” in NYC
While most of my day was pretty status quo, sometimes, I get to inject a bit of entertainment into my day and this week, I got to spend an hour tweeting live from the audience of “The Talk” on CBS. I even got a really nice shout out from host Julie Chen and was featured in the same segment as Andy Cohen from Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live.” Sure, I was just tweeting from my seat and Andy was weighing in on the latest “Real Housewives” drama, but it still was fun being the show’s officlal blogger for the hour.
The one thing I can tell you about sitting in the audience of a live talk show is that you do a lot of laughing, a lot of smiling and a lot of clapping. Our audience warm up guy, Joey Cola was a riot. He even tried to confiscate my phone before the show until he realized that I needed it to tweet some great one liners from the hosts. And l have to say that between Sheryl Underwood, Aisha Tyler, Julie Chen, Sharon Osbourne and Sara Gilbert, the jokes are plentiful, the conversation is totally relatable and the laughter is non-stop.
Today’s guests included “Smash” star Angelica Huston, Taraji P. Henson from the CBS drama “Person of Interest” (she is adorable, btw) and the winners of “Amazing Race.” I have a special place in my heart for any Amazing Race participant since I was a publicist for that show when it first launched. What I loved most was that I was able to engage with viewers in real time while sitting right in my seat. Plus, when I tweeted “Amazing Race” host Phil Keoghan, he tweeted me right back — as did Pier 1 Imports which gave away an amazing $250 gift card to each audience member in time for the holidays. Favorite moment of all…when the fabulous Sheryl Underwood grabbed my hand after the show and asked me if I had fun. How much do I love Sheryl? Let me me count the ways…
If you’ve never attended a talk show, I’d highly recommend it for anyone feeling down in the dumps. By the time you leave the studio, you’ll have a smile plastered across your face and a little spring in your step. No need for a gym membership to get those endorphins going…just head to “The Talk,” sit in the audience and get ready to be thoroughly entertained! If you live in the Los Angeles area or if you live in New Orleans (or nearby),
“The Talk” will be shooting a week’s worth of shows from the Superbowl. Visit their website to find out how you can be an audience member and trust me, you’ll have the best time!
Check out my shout out and please ignore the part where I scrunch my eyes — even my kids call me out when I do that uncomfortable move!

Celebrity Valentine’s Memories

As I sit here wearing the special heart necklace my son bought for me this year from his Valentine’s Day boutique, the ladies of “The Talk” share some priceless memories:
Q. What was the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received from your kids?
Sharon: When my kids were about 10, 11 & 12 years-ole they made me these beautiful hand-painted hearts and wrote on them all the reasons why they loved me.
Q. What was the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received from your husband, Ozzy Osbourne?
Sharon: A ruby ring.
Q. Describe your most romantic Valentine’s Day?
Sharon: On one particular Valentine’s Day, Ozzy took me to Fatburger hamburger stand in LA and afterwards gave me the ruby ring.
Q. What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year?
Sharon: My husband will be away so I will be spending Valentine’s Day with my children.
Q. What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day event:
Leah: The most memorable Valentine’s Day is when I made plans for me and my family and three other couples with kids and we went to a restaurant all dressed up and celebrated with them.
Q. Best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received from your husband?
Julie: An unexpected watch one year cause we don’t always exchange gifts for this day.
Q. What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year?
Julie Dinner for 2 at a new restaurant that we haven’t been to yet.
Visit “The Talk” website today and enter to win a treasure trove of Valentine’s goodies. And make sure you watch the show tomorrow and join us at 2pm ET for Twitter Tuesday on #TheTalk.