Summer Break for 'Idol,' Showtime for 'Talent'
May 22, 2006

The final countdown for "American Idol" has begun, and it has all of Hollywood abuzz. Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Love Hewitt and "Entourage's" Adrian Grenier will be among the star-studded fans in the house for Taylor and Katharine's final TV showdown.

On Wednesday night, the fifth "American Idol" will be crowned, but "Extra" found out that there's life after "Idol" for Mr. Mean, Simon Cowell.

The normally opinionated Simon is keeping his lips sealed about his predictions for the big finale. "I have no idea," he insisted. But one thing Simon wasn't so tight lipped about was his new reality show, NBC's "America's Got Talent."

"Talent" will put another TV titan, Regis Philbin, at the forefront of primetime reality TV. And Simon, who is the creator and executive producer of the series, handpicked the famous host himself. But the admiration is mutual. "He knows show business," Regis said of Simon. "He knows what the audience wants."

"Extra" got the first glimpse of the bizarre lineup of contenders vying for the million-dollar prize, including a 76-year-old male stripper.

"Baywatch" legend David Hasselhoff will be seated at the judge's table, and he's preparing himself for anything. "It's 'American Idol' meets 'The Gong Show' meets 'Let's Make a Deal,'" Hasselhoff said. "Anything goes. It was like visiting Hollywood Blvd. on acid; the weirdest, freakiest people I've ever seen in my life."

Although David is in awe of the show's oddities, Regis is in awe of David! "He's the tallest living white man. I've never seen anything like The Hasselhoff," Regis joked.

British TV host Piers Morgan and pop star Brandy round out the judge's table, and Brandy revealed that she won't model herself after "Idol's" sweetest judge. "I'm not going to be Paula. I'm going to be Brandy," she said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it because that's not what I'm here for."

"America's Got Talent" debuts on NBC this June.

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