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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Ryan Seacrest Interviews 'Idol' Finalists, Judges

Aired May 27, 2005 - 21:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN SEACREST, AMERICAN IDOL HOST: The winner of "American Idol 2005" is, Carrie Underwood!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEACREST: Tonight, an exclusive, the first live, prime-time, in- depth interview with the American Idols themselves. Winner Carrie Underwood and runner up Bo Bice since Wednesday's grand finale.

Plus -- guess who else -- Paula Abdul is here, Randy Jackson is with us, Simon Cowell will be on the show.

(LAUGHTER)

SEACREST: Oh, gosh.

RANDY JACKSON, MUSIC PRODUCER: That picture, Ryan.

SEACREST: My name is Ryan Seacrest. All of us taking your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Hi, everybody. Ryan Seacrest here in for Larry King.

Tuesday and Wednesday night, Carrie and Bo faced off to see who would be the next American Idol on one of TV's top rated shows. It is "The Idol" and a big, big finale in May. Barely 48 hours after the big moment, Bo and Carrie are officially stars.

The CD of "American Idol: Season 4" "Showstoppers" is debuting on the "Billboard" charts at No. 6. And they're gearing up for a two- month concert tour that takes them to 43 cities.

Are you guys ready to work?

CARRIE UNDERWOOD, AMERICAN IDOL WINNER: Heck, yeah.

BO BICE, AMERICAN IDOL RUNNER UP: Oh, yes, excited about it.

SEACREST: So, Carrie, let me start with you. As the new winner, what have the last 48 hours been like for you?

UNDERWOOD: Oh, they've been a total whirlwind. I mean, interviews and talk shows and just everything. It's just been completely -- I haven't had time to take it all in, honestly. SEACREST: Have you had a chance to actually go back and watch the show and watch that moment?

UNDERWOOD: I've seen little clips of it. I've seen like little clips of it, but I haven't seen the show.

SEACREST: And when I looked over at you and made eye contact, and looked over at Bo and made eye contact, and then said the winner is Carrie Underwood, what went through your mind right then and there?

UNDERWOOD: I was just -- you know, I was just sitting there holding my breath waiting for cah or a bah sound.

SEACREST: One of the consonants.

UNDERWOOD: Yes. I don't know. I just immediately so much relief and excitement and just every emotion that I could possibly have was running through me.

SEACREST: And a very, very tight race this season. Bo Bice, the runner-up, a fantastic contestant. We all think great our television show.

What was it like that night for you? Were you -- you're always so relaxed and poised. Were you nervous at that moment when we read the name?

BICE: Not really. You know, I've had faith in Carrie for a long, long time. In the top 12, you know, I thought that she was going to bring it all the way to the top. I expected her to win.

She's wonderful. I think America did do the right thing. They picked the right idol. And I think she's going to carry the crown well and make us all proud.

SEACREST: Bo really didn't watch our show. You know, before he was on our show. I kind of learned that as we got to know him this season. You weren't like a die hard American Idol fan, right. Paula takes offense to that. Randy is offended by that as well that you weren't a dog fan.

JACKSON: No, no, come on.

SEACREST: Why was it that you wanted to audition for this television show, one you really didn't watch?

BICE: Well, you know, truly I didn't really follow American Idol a lot. But also I loved the finale with Reuben and Clay. I saw that. I saw some of the next season.

And, you know, partially I was out playing gigs most of the time. You don't get a chance to be home and watch TV. It was something that was really -- I mean, I can remember the night so vividly that I was on the couch and it came on the news that they had upped the age limit. And I had to call my mom. Everybody knows the story. Well, you know, should I go? I've got one year left. SEACREST: And you guys made a bet.

BICE: And it was a bet. So as many times as I tried to talk myself out of it, though, I'm so glad that I'm here.

SEACREST: You know, Paula, these two contestants in our finale very different. Why was that important for the evolution of our show?

PAULA ABDUL, SINGER: It just brings the show that much what it's all about. You know, each season it evolves into a bigger competition filled with so much diversity. And these two are complete diversified artists.

SEACREST: Randy, when did you sit back and say, I think these two are going to go a long way on the show?

JACKSON: I think I loved them both when we first saw them. But when we got to the top 12, I was like, this is going to be really interesting. And I think, we go away after we do the auditions and we do the welcome back to Hollywood round.

And I think what happens is we go now, OK now, who can we remember, you know, out of all the kids that we see? And I mean, I think these two clearly, definitely stood out.

ABDUL: These two were like standouts from the word go.

JACKSON: Yes.

SEACREST: You know, I think what's great is that it wasn't your conventional pop competition. It wasn't what people might have expected. And that spontaneity and that being unexpected this season makes the show that much more compelling and interesting, doesn't it?

ABDUL: Absolutely.

JACKSON: Well, that's what I think is good. Because, I mean, before "Idol," as Paula was tell you, was kind of deemed as like the pop show. You had Kelly was more of like the pop rocker. You had some like urban Reuben and Fantasia and you had some pop with Clay. But I think to have country and rock represented, it just broadens the base so much.

And that's what it's really about. It is called "American Idol" it's about every facet of music that you can find.

SEACREST: And you also have a younger contestant and a more mature contestant.

ABDUL: Don't you dare say old.

JACKSON: Very good, Ryan. Very good.

SEACREST: I was told by the judges not say old.

But Carrie, was there more pressure on you because you were on the younger end of the age group?

UNDERWOOD: There were people much younger than I am that made it very far, too. So, I mean, if I ever felt out of place or something because of it, I just thought of those people that -- you know Mikaela and Jacqueline Crumb (ph) whenever she was on the show who were so great and so young.

SEACREST: And Bo, obviously, you wouldn't have made the cut age- wise, as you said, prior to this year. When you look back and think about the fact you were on stage with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Even though, look, you guys both household names, your on stage with your idols. Pretty incredible, huh?

BICE: It's amazing. You know -- and I've said this in other interview before and I hate to be so cliche with repeating myself over. But "American Idol" truly, without a doubt, just gave every dream that I've ever had to me within a four-month period.

It's one thing to be really working hard and out there and you know playing the gigs and doing the stuff, because you do that because you love it. And it's not hard when you're doing that. You just have this dream that one day it's going to pay off.

And, you know, it pays off so gradually that sometimes you don't ever notice the big payoff in the end. And this has given me like the instant gratification ticket just so quick.

And, you know, I guess I expected, you know, after about the top six or so, OK, well, I'll get some recognition out of this. is cool. Then it got more and more. But then when I heard that Lynyrd Skynyrd was going to be there and I was going to perform with them.

SEACREST: Paula said to me the other day, she said, that was like the best part of the show, watching you guys on stage with these artists. You loved it, didn't you?

ABDUL: It was fantastic. I think this season finale was the best we ever had. I think the producers did an amazing job.

And actually seeing you guys up there with your idols, it was like a bit like a glove to the hand. You guys looked like you belonged up there with them. They were equally excited to be up there performing with you which was thrilling.

JACKSON: How cool is that?

ABDUL: We were up there just jamming with you.

JACKSON: We were just having a good time. It was like a great free concert.

SEACREST: Two of the judges were up there.

ABDUL: You know.

Simon just sits there like this. JACKSON: I think his shirt's too tight to stand up.

SEACREST: Oh, you think? Amazing. That's profound, Randy.

These two contestants sort of have a clean slate as they leave the finale of "American Idol." They have the opportunity to be as successful as a Kelly Clarkson or even more successful. What advice do you give them, Randy, from this day forward?

JACKSON: I think it is really about just staying true to who you are. And really it is about the records from here on, Ryan. It's like, you know, the thing that's great about this season that I think is better than any of the others is I know what kind of record that Carrie will love to make in her heart. She wants to make a pop country record. I know that Bo wants to make a southern rock record. So, if they stay in those lanes, and make great songs in that direction, they will win. They will win.

ABDUL: Always just keep in mind that America grew to love you by the songs that you performed on that stage. That's what you got to keep reminding you and our people at your record labels. And that's -- just remind them that that's what America loves about you guys.

JACKSON: Stay true.

SEACREST: If you just tuned in, this is not "American Idol." This is LARRY KING LIVE. I'm filling in. We'll be right back. And in a second -- Paula I have to bring up some of the drama that we endured...

ABDUL: Drama?

JACKSON: Drama? What kind of drama?

SEACREST: We endured drama this season. We'll be right back live. Hang on.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC "SWEET HOME ALABAMA")

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEACREST: Welcome back.

"Idol" chat, Carrie, Bo, Randy, Paula. And before the break I mentioned some of the drama that we endured this season on "American Idol." When a former contestant made these accusations about you, Paula, what first went through your mind?

ABDUL: Well, I first of all, I couldn't believe it. I started laughing.

SEACREST: Really? ABDUL: Well, it was outrageous. And it was ridiculous.

JACKSON: Lies are never good, Ryan, you know that. You know, you know, that. Come on.

SEACREST: No, I do know that.

JACKSON: As if.

ABDUL: Last week.

SEACREST: You hear what he's doing and you think to yourself -- which I've said before -- here is a guy who is just trying to create a name for himself and just trying to do anything he can to get recognition. And that's making stuff up.

ABDUL: Well...

JACKSON: Well, let's see, you wait two years later. And you also have a record and a book coming out? Hmm. I guess it's not to hard...

SEACREST: Coincidental timing.

JACKSON: Coincidental timing, two years later.

ABDUL: I think you did a good job on the spoof. The sparkle in the tooth did it.

SEACREST: That's true.

ABDUL: Very good...

JACKSON: You like the sparkle?

SEACREST: That's true. I mean, the pattern we've seen in the past with various celebrities is when something like that happens is to defuse it just by having fun with it. As a matter of fact I'm going to set up this clip and run it. This is "Saturday Night Live," NBC's "SNL" they got in on the act poking fun at the accusations against Paula Abdul, take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a reading in the sky for our love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Corey, that was beautiful. You really blew me away. It's just like I rolled over and said to you this morning...

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... you have real star quality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEACREST: We have a shot of Paula and Paula on the air. JACKSON: I love that.

SEACREST: What do you think when you watch them play you on a show like that?

ABDUL: Actually, it's -- this show -- each season, they get better at parodying the whole -- they get -- you got even hand.

SEACREST: They have me down, come on?

ABDUL: They have guy that does you is pretty good, too.

SEACREST: His hair's way too spiky.

JACKSON: Yes, way too dude.

SEACREST: He's way too...

ABDUL: He's just -- Constantine came up to me and said, why did the guy have the shoulder up like this? Do I really look like that?

SEACREST: When they play me, they're too animated. I'm not that animated.

ABDUL: Oh, really?

JACKSON: I like that she had the clap down, though.

ABDUL: Not yet.

JACKSON: Almost.

SEACREST: Hold up -- we need to change -- we need to change the clap. Do this. Season five, Paula Abdul claps like this.

ABDUL: I'm not going to wear any more rings.

SEACREST: Is that what it is?

JACKSON: She's wearing red (INAUDIBLE), Ryan.

ABDUL: It's the rings.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: I always wanted to ask that you question, why do you clap like that?

ABDUL: Because of the rings.

SEACREST: OK, so you don't want to make the noise.

JACKSON: It hurts.

ABDUL: No -- it -- I swear -- look what happens if I don't -- it hurts. And I get blood clots. JACKSON: I do same thing, I have to clap like this.

SEACREST: Don't we have blood clots.

ABDUL: It's the truth.

JACKSON: No injuries on "Idol."

ABDUL: Normal clap. Normal clap. Clap, clap, clap. I can clap normal.

SEACREST: Speaking of continuing to do this show, we're going to go out on tour again this summer and look for more people who could be the next "American Idol."

JACKSON: Different cities?

SEACREST: Yes, different cities. Randy, what are you looking for that's different or not? I mean, what is your expectation as we go out and search for another "Idol?"

JACKSON: I don't know if we're looking for anything different. I think, still like some unbelievable talent with that whole charisma thing, you know, what I mean. It's look if you look at the two of them, we're proud now every finalist.

SEACREST: All right, the second Carrie walks in the room when we were on the road, what went through your minds, Paula?

ABDUL: Immediately, great voice. Incredible voice.

JACKSON: As soon as she opened her mouth.

SEACREST: Did you feel that intangible, that star intangible.

ABDUL: Beautiful girl, and unassuming.

JACKSON: As soon as she opened her mouth, you were like woah.

ABDUL: Unassuming. Unlikely place to come from and...

SEACREST: Humble, modest?

ABDUL: Yes.

JACKSON: But that was attractive too, for us.

SEACREST: I know.

JACKSON: Yes.

ABDUL: But the best part about it was...

SEACREST: Stop it.

JACKSON: No. SEACREST/JACKSON/ABDUL: Stop talking about me.

SEACREST: Why don't we talk about me.

ABDUL: Look at the face.

UNDERWOOD: I was terrified, by the way.

ABDUL: And you sang my favorite song.

JACKSON: Great song.

SEACREST: Randy, what did you think when she first walked in?

JACKSON: When, you know, she opened her mouth. You just never know. You saw this beautiful girl, and I was thinking oh, my God she opened her mouth and woah, what's this? Because you know, sit there all day -- you know you see us, we sit there all day and we go through audition after audition. And get bored and you're like...

SEACREST: They look so bored after the first hour on the first day.

ABDUL: They were...

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: You know what is so refreshing when both of you guys were in the room. it's so refreshing on the outside of the room to hear cheers and to hear Paula go, touchdown or you made it or you're going to Hollywood.

ABDUL: You know, after Bo was in the room, though, we took a break. Because it -- he left us speechless.

SEACREST: Oh, man.

ABDUL: But let me just tell you something, we will get to the point where Randy and I tell you the real deal.

JACKSON: Exactly. Well, we'd seen a couple fake rockers, of course. We'd never seen a real rocker.

SEACREST: Fake meaning they just wanted to be on TV.

JACKSON: They came in acting like they were rockers, they really weren't.

ABDUL: One that came in with long hair, they just did everything like this.

JACKSON: No, they really weren't rockers.

SEACREST: But they believed they were.

JACKSON: This kid was trying to act like he was in Metallica or something like -- come on. You know, I mean it's like -- he was the real deal, and the same thing with her.

ABDUL: We also know something that -- you and I know that some else doesn't know.

SEACREST: Can we tell everyone?

ABDUL: Not yet.

JACKSON: No, no, no.

SEACREST: Well, we're going to do it when he...

(CROSSTALK)

ABDUL: When someone...

SEACREST: When the eagle has landed?

ABDUL: The eagle has landed.

JACKSON; The eagle, I like that. The "E."

SEACREST: But Carrie, you said -- you said that you were terrified when you walked in the room.

UNDERWOOD: I was terrified.

SEACREST: Why, because you've recognized them? You've seen what Simon says?

UNDERWOOD: It was the first time I'd seen them, you know. And I thought, all of this, this could be in front of everybody. And if they tell me that I'm horrible, then all my friends are going to see that. And everybody I know and everybody on the planet is going to see it. So I was terrified.

SEACREST: And Bo, you were cool, right? You're always calm. You always say -- you would say calm cat.

BICE: I'm cool. He's the dog, I'm the cat.

JACKSON: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BICE: We get along.

SEACREST: The two of you on stage doing a duet. We'll take a look at that. We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE with the idols.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BICE/UNDERWOOD: (SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

SEACREST: It was a unique and bold move, especially at the end of the season, singing that song a cappella. I don't think anybody's ever done it at this stage.

ABDUL: No one has.

JACKSON: No one's ever, no one's ever done it.

SEACREST: That was, I mean, just a couple of weeks before the finale, or was it the week prior? Just -- was it the Tuesday before the show prior, right?

BICE: Yeah.

SEACREST: Why did you decide to do that song a cappella like that?

BICE: It was actually something I think that was just fate, you know. I loved the song. I've used that song for mike checks since I was probably 14, 15, started playing in clubs. You know, instead of going check, one, two and hitting the mike, you know, like everybody else, I was like, you know, just singing that, give the soundman something good.

But as far as actually picking the song, I did it for an audition. I don't think they ever found it and got it cleared or anything, because it was so obscure a song. And then one day it ended up in my packet. And so I was like, wow, this cleared, can I do it?

SEACREST: But you were aware of the high-risk, high-return opportunity in that song, right? I mean, you knew that if you nailed it, it was going to score big time in terms of votes?

BICE: I don't know.

UNDERWOOD: We don't think like that.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: I can't believe that the two of you, who have done so well in this competition, don't actually have strategy. And I know we've talked about it a little during the season, but we're out of the competition now. Do you have strategies when you go into these shows so that you can stay on the show?

ABDUL: Don't you love it?

BICE: Yeah.

UNDERWOOD: Me, like, if it's like, if I were -- if I sang like two slow songs in a row, I would be like, OK, I really need to do a fast one this week. That was about the extent of it.

ABDUL: Is it funny for you to hear Simon talk about how strategic you were and how smart?

JACKSON: Yeah, what a smart move (INAUDIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

ABDUL: ... that's true. That was really good. That was strategic.

JACKSON: Oh, no, I don't think Bo really thought it was strategic. I just think that was a song you loved and you go like, you know what, I'm just going to do this.

BICE: And it was definitely, even in the fact of when I had to sing it, you know, when I had to sing the song, no one had still even heard it. The week before, they were like, OK, well, at least sing the song, because we can't find it. So you know, with them not being able to find it, they wanted to try to maybe, you know, put a little music or something. I was like, no, a cappella. And then they're like, but nobody's going to know the song.

ABDUL: It was the bravest move, though.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: But it was the highest risk. Because it could have completely fell flat.

SEACREST: I know. I know.

JACKSON: I mean, it was so risky to do this.

SEACREST: I was nervous. I remember in rehearsal, hearing that, and without the audience in, it was one of those things -- and the show is live. I mean, people have to understand. You don't get a retake. There's no do-over on this program. Whatever happens, happens. And then you vote based on that.

ABDUL: I thought it was the best move. I thought I was so proud of you. And you know what, it was something that you've done for years and years, and it just fit you perfectly.

JACKSON: I'm just proud that you took that big of a chance. Because I think everyone sitting (INAUDIBLE) let's see what he's going to do.

SEACREST: Carrie, Simon would say that contestants who are watching someone like Bo take that risk and do that song, that they're upset. That they don't want them to succeed in it, they want them to fail. Is that true? Simon, you know he would say that. He's going to be on in just a second, but you know he would say that to you?

UNDERWOOD: If we would like think about that, like oh, gosh, you know, that's kind of a weird choice, like that's a big risk, you know, it would just be because, honestly, because we were concerned about it. Like I don't think anybody this season was hoping anybody would... ABDUL: If I was Carrie, I would be sitting over there saying I'm going to go over there and sing an a cappella song myself.

JACKSON: And be throwing daggers.

SEACREST: Did you guys for the most part gel? The final group, the final 12, final 10?

JACKSON: Oh, Simon hates hearing that.

SEACREST: He doesn't like to hear that...

(CROSSTALK)

UNDERWOOD: Especially like towards the very end. Like the last five or six, really.

BICE: Because definitely the last five or six. But you know, it got down to Vonzell and Carrie and myself. And you know, Carrie and I have been friends for a very long time. Everybody knows Nikko and I have been friends for an extreme amount in this contest.

SEACREST: So you're happy for each other.

BICE: Oh, we're ecstatic for each other.

JACKSON: I don't see how they couldn't be. I know Cowell hates that. But how couldn't they be?

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Support each other. Come on.

ABDUL: This has been such a high-caliber level of talent.

SEACREST: And class.

ABDUL: And class. It really has. I mean, when you have voices like Vonzell, when you have voices like (INAUDIBLE), like Nikko, like Scott, I mean, Constantine. You have these voices. These kids are talented.

SEACREST: All right, I'm going to pull a Larry and take a call here.

Let's see if I can figure this out. Line one, Boston. You're on, go ahead with the idols.

CALLER: Hi. This question is for Bo and Carrie. And I was just wondering, what's the weirdest experience that's happened to you guys this season?

BICE: The weirdest thing?

UNDERWOOD: Oh, the recognition, I think, has just been crazy.

SEACREST: People know your name.

UNDERWOOD: Yeah.

SEACREST: They have an opinion about you.

UNDERWOOD: (INAUDIBLE), and like everybody is always -- I'll be walking with Bo, no matter where we're at, no matter what -- I'll be walking with him and everybody would be like, Bo, Bo, Bo, like run right past me, and be like, oh, my God, we love you! Like everywhere we went. And finally, I was like, I'm going to make myself a shirt that says, "I'm on the show, too."

JACKSON: That's good. That's good. I like that.

UNDERWOOD: It's so weird that people know us and that, you know, we're doing shows like this. It's just great.

SEACREST: How about for you, Bo?

BICE: The craziest part, without a doubt, was playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd. You know, that was -- that was truly just the epitome of the best moment in my life. So that's got to be it.

SEACREST: We'll be right back. More "Idol" chat in a moment. And Simon Callous.

JACKSON: Yeah, Slime-on Callous.

(CROSSTALK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEACREST: Whoever lands face up will choose whether or not they want to sing first or second. That's the choice. Ready? Here we go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One night just before the show, we managed to get this secret footage.

SIMON COWELL, "AMERICAN IDOL" JUDGE: Oh, this is no use. I have to tell you something, I have fallen totally and utterly in love with you. I want to take you home. I want to take your clothes off. And I want to do -- get out of here. Leave us alone. Leave us alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Simon Cowell has been having an affair with himself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SEACREST: That's the only pretape he's ever done in one take.

JACKSON: Oh, my god.

SEACREST: Nailed every line. Simon is with us right now.

COWELL: Hi, Seacrest.

SEACREST: Thanks for making the effort to come join us.

COWELL: Any time, you know that. Anything for you.

SEACREST: He's about 100 yards from us.

JACKSON: I know. Why aren't you here, dude?

COWELL: I'm in the car park.

SEACREST: You're not here because I'm asking questions.

COWELL: Exactly.

ABDUL: You can't handle...

SEACREST: You can not handle it when I'm in control.

JACKSON: Can't take it. You can't take it.

COWELL: You know what? I actually would have thought that yes, maybe I would have. But I didn't realize it was happening until yesterday.

SEACREST: Well, that's when we all found out.

COWELL: Oh, OK.

SEACREST: Nevertheless, I'm here with Bo and Carrie.

What would you like to say to them, because you haven't really spoken since the show ended.

COWELL: How are you, Bo? How are you, Carrie?

BICE: Hey, Simon. What's up, man?

COWELL: You must be bored with doing interviews.

BICE: No, it's wonderful.

COWELL: I mean, you've done about a million interviews.

SEACREST: What's the one thing that you have been dying to ask Carrie and Bo, Simon?

COWELL: Did you kiss?

UNDERWOOD: What?

JACKSON: What? BICE: I gave her a kiss on the cheek.

JACKSON: What you are talking about, man?

COWELL: Did you even look at each other on the show and think, I want to kiss you?

JACKSON: What?

UNDERWOOD: No. Oh, no.

SEACREST: The follow-up to that is...

COWELL: I tell you why, because it looked to me like there was some sort of chemistry going on there.

SEACREST: There's a great friendship.

BICE: I've got a lot of love for her.

SEACREST: Did you ever look at randy and want to kiss him, Simon?

COWELL: Daily.

JACKSON: Oh, yeah. Every hour.

COWELL: Daily.

SEACREST: How would you sum up season four of "Idol," Cowell?

COWELL: Surprising. Interesting. Worth it in the end. Exhausting.

SEACREST: You work two days a week.

JACKSON: Come on.

COWELL: It's what you put into those two days, Ryan. You know that.

JACKSON: Oh, yeah. Sure.

SEACREST: Lots of effort.

COWELL: You know, when I look back. You know when we were sitting there on Wednesday and we were showing the clips from, you know the auditions and stuff, I tell you what was running through my mind. I don't want to go through this again.

SEACREST: Is there breaking news that you're quitting "American Idol?"

COWELL: I don't want to go through this again. It looked exhausting.

SEACREST: Yes. But listen, we know that's the most difficult part.

JACKSON: It is hard.

SEACREST: But when you think about what you found.

ABDUL: You get this.

SEACREST: The result is all worth it.

COWELL: I agree. It's just rather like saying, you know, to have nice teeth you've got to go through hours of torture.

JACKSON: Huh?

It's not that bad.

SEACREST: Some how, happy...

COWELL: You know what it's like on the road. It's hell.

ABDUL: It is hard.

JACKSON: It's hard on the road. I agree with you, it is hard.

ABDUL: It is hard for you guys to wait in line, sleep overnight. It is hard for us to listen to hours and hours.

COWELL: I'd rather be a contestant.

JACKSON: OK, listen. Try out next season. Try out.

SEACREST: Listen, Simon. I mentioned before you came on what a cynic you are about the relationship between the contestants. Did you happen to hear that or see that?

COWELL: Yes, I saw it.

SEACREST: What's your reaction to it?

COWELL: Well, maybe these two are the exception. But there's no question that there's an awful lot of contestants, in particularly in the past seasons -- you know who I'm talking about -- who are ultracompetive.

SEACREST: Actually, I don't know who I'm talking about.

COWELL: Yes, do you.

SEACREST: Would you like to tell us?

COWELL: No, I'm not going to say who it is. And, you know, they're desperate for other people to fail so they can do well. I mean, that's how it happens.

SEACREST: How do this two, coming out of this -- I asked Randy and Paula about this earlier. How do they -- I guess you can't guarantee it, but how do they set themselves up best to succeed with the momentum? Because I think there's truly a small window of opportunity to use the momentum of the television show. What would your advice be to them?

COWELL: Well, pretty much what Paula and Randy said earlier on which is the good thing about these two are is that they know who they are. And that's why it was good that they were the finalists. And you've just got to stay true to what you did on the show, because that's the reason so many people voted for you. I would always say, don't compromise. If you feel uncomfortable, don't do it.

SEACREST: Now that the show is over, what is your involvement with Bo and/or Carrie?

COWELL: They're handed over now to Clive Davis.

SEACREST: Do you know all this? This may be news to you.

COWELL: They know that. And Clive, you know, he knows a thing or so.

SEACREST: Bo, why do you have that look on your face?

BICE: Oh, I'm just listening.

ABDUL: Bo is happy.

SEACREST: So, they're handed over to Clive Davis. What's after that?

COWELL: Well, Clive, you know, he's most successful guy in the music industry, in probably the world. They've got to sit down with him individually and Bo and Carrie have got to tell Clive the kind of record they want to make.

SEACREST: Have you done that yet? Bo? Bo, there's something you're holding back from us right now.

COWELL: Come on, bo.

SEACREST: Come on, what have you got?

BICE: What am I holding back?

JACKSON: Bo's not holding back, man.

ABDUL: Why don't you just be happy for him?

SEACREST: I do want to know the answer to this. When do you think you'll have something out for people to buy or listen to?

COWELL: Are you asking me?

SEACREST: No. I could care less about that.

BICE: It'll be very soon. I personally -- I know I'm looking forward to whatever is to come. And I know Ms. Carrie Underwood has a very, very successful career ahead of her.

COWELL: Listen, Bo, Carrie, what I would say it is better to wait a bit longer and do something great than to rush something out.

SEACREST: That's true. Randy's made that mistake.

JACKSON: That's definitely true. Oh yea. Cowell makes that mistake all the time.

SEACREST: Listen, before we go to break, Simon, any truth the to the rumor in the tabloids this week?

JACKSON: Tell us about the tabloids?

COWELL: Tell me what this week's rumors are.

JACKSON: Ryan, break the news to him. Break it to him quickly.

SEACREST: Apparently, you're not being romantic anymore.

COWELL: What does that mean?

SEACREST: Well, apparently you're not fulfilling the needs of your...

JACKSON: Oh, It's shocking, Ryan.

COWELL: Is this you talking or what is in the paper?

SEACREST: Some would say this is what they're reporting.

JACKSON: It's horrible.

SEACREST: It is my job just to ask the questions. I don't pass judgment, I just ask.

COWELL: But are you asking me?

SEACREST: I'm asking you. What we're saying is do you need us, do you need the support unit the we are for you with anything in your personal life? Because we're here for you.

JACKSON: Is everything OK at home, Simon?

COWELL: I can't carry out a relationship any longer unless you're all there.

SEACREST: I know.

JACKSON: Oh, no.

SEACREST: He depends on us.

We'll be right back with the idols on LARRY KING LIVE. Hang on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COWELL: You look like my chemistry teacher.

JACKSON: And that's a good thing.

COWELL: No, it's not a good thing.

JACKSON: I saw you mixing those things man.

COWELL: It was a very dreary song. And I've got to tell you are going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that tonight to walk away with this titles, Bo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNDERWOOD: (SINGING)

COWELL: OK. That was very good. Carrie, you're through to the next round.

JACKSON: Welcome to Hollywood, girl.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SEACREST: Bo and Carrie, Randy, Paula -- Cowell not making the effort, calling in from just down the street. I mean, Ryan Seacrest in for Larry King. And Carrie watching that clip back said, oh, my gosh, I've aged. Have you lost your mind?

UNDERWOOD: No, when we were watching the package the other night, like of the journey kind of thing. I thought everybody looked so much younger.

SEACREST: It's been eight months!

UNDERWOOD: I know. It's been...

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: ... it's not long.

SEACREST: You're including everybody, don't group us into that...

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: We think we look the same.

UNDERWOOD: Every other contestant. SEACREST: Really, women today. He's approaching 30, he doesn't want to hear that.

UNDERWOOD: We've grown.

BICE: I just haven't had a haircut. That's my (INAUDIBLE).

UNDERWOOD: His hair was like up to here.

ABDUL: You're hair grew a lot though.

BICE: It did.

JACKSON: It grew a lot dude.

SEACREST: Hey, Simon, what's next for you now that "Idol's" over?

COWELL: For me?

SEACREST: Yes.

COWELL: I'm going back to London tomorrow. I start, whoopee, a new show on Tuesday in England, which is called the "X-Factor."

SEACREST: This is a show you created, isn't it?

COWELL: Yes. Then I've got to make a new El Divo album for Christmas.

SEACREST: And I understand they're doing quite well.

COWELL: Number one in 16 countries.

SEACREST: I told you should have signed them. Did, I tell you.

JACKSON: Yes. Yes. Yes.

SEACREST: I told you sign them Simon (ph).

COWELL: Ryan, you are an inspiration. And I have to say, haven't you -- why Larry King let on the show, it is like having a cuckoo in the nest, isn't it.

JACKSON: What!

SEACREST: Why did he? Probably -- I guess because he's very sweet. And he figured I could ask a couple of "Idol" related questions.

COWELL: Mind you if it was my show, I'd always put somebody in who's not a threat.

JACKSON; Oh, oh, listen, Ryan.

SEACREST: Do you have a show? Yes, that's what I thought. JACKSON: No, he doesn't have a show.

SEACREST: But you're always -- you're always a great guest on my radio show, and I appreciate it. And when I get tired of him, I just hit the off button.

JACKSON: Yes. Yes.

COWELL: (INAUDIBLE) if he does that.

SEACREST: I can't find it here, though. I don't think they have it.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: Unfortunately, we don't have it here. All right, Let me Take line eight.

Is is this Saskatoon? Are you with us.

CALLER: No. This is California.

SEACREST: Oh, OK. Well, it was Saskatoon, sorry. Go ahead. You're on. Do you have a question?

CALLER: Yes.

SEACREST: OK, go for it.

CALLER: Hi. I want to say congratulations to Carrie.

SEACREST: Yes, Carrie the new idol.

CALLER: Yes. And also I want to ask Bo if he has been approached with a recording contract, and I will be the first person to buy his CD.

UNDERWOOD: No, I'll be first person to buy his CD.

JACKSON: I'll be first. I'll be with Carrie.

BICE: You guys are wonderful.

JACKSON: In line.

UNDERWOOD: So, Bo, she's kind of putting you on the spot again here.

BICE: We -- I don't really know what all is going on exactly. But we've got some things in the work.

SEACREST: Liar, liar.

BICE: Things -- things are on their way. They're looking good.

SEACREST: Good things are happening. BICE: That's right.

JACKSON: He'll be making records, definitely.

ABDUL: Definitely.

SEACREST: Would you -- would you say that, Bo, made it cooler for men to admit that they watch "American Idol." You've got guys coming out of the closet saying, all right, I watch that show, I vote on it. I like that show.

JACKSON: Yes, definitely. I mean, he made it edgy. You know, he's in the dog pound now and stuff.

SEACREST: Guys like Constantine, Bo being a part of the program.

JACKSON: Yes.

SEACREST: You wouldn't have seen that on seasons one and two, would you?

ABDUL: It was great seeing Ben Stiller in the audience.

JACKSON: That was great.

ABDUL: Huge fan of his

BICE: He was really...

(CROSSTALK)

ABDUL: Huge fan. Huge fan of...

SEACREST: What did he say to you, Bo, when you met Ben?

BICE: He just came up, and you know we just kind of talked for a second. I was -- I was stunned just to be meeting him, you know, because I obviously love Ben Stiller, all his movies...

SEACREST: Movie out this weekend for Ben Stiller, check it out.

JACKSON: Yes, check it out.

UNDERWOOD: There you go, nice little plug.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: Shameless plug.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: You're getting good.

SEACREST: Do you know I'm obligated to do it by my contract? He and his wife, huge fans of "American Idol." But what's great about this show, and we've said this before in different interviews is that everybody can watch and everybody can be a part of it.

JACKSON: It's great family entertainment.

ABDUL: It's the best, best family entertainment show on television by far. And there's nothing that comes close to it.

SEACREST: Simon, are you still with us or did they just...

(CROSSTALK)

COWELL: Well (ph) for once I can be an observer.

SEACREST: Well, that's shocking.

All right, let's go to Naples, Florida, right now.

ABDUL: Miss you, Simon.

SEACREST: Are they there in Naples?

CALLER: Yes, we're here.

SEACREST: OK, go ahead.

CALLER: Yes first of all, huge "Idol" fans. Best of show, best season yet. And congratulations to both Carrie and Bo. Now, we're only about half an hour away from where Vonzell is from.

SEACREST: Baby V.

CALLER: Yes, Baby V. And so, obviously she got to the top three. But it's really hard being from her home town to get a perspective on what everybody thought of her around the country. What the judges thought of her, and where they think she can go in her career?

ABDUL: I think we both -- we all three thought that she was the -- by far the most improved seasoned performer from the beginning up until the -- it proves where she ended up. She's the most well liked. She's the most lovable. She just exudes warmth. Her voice is the sweetest voice. I can't say enough.

JACKSON: She's a -- no, she's amazing to me. And I think she's got a great career ahead of her, too. I think that she really proved that she's definitely meant to be doing this. I mean, I just love the story with all these kids and especially hers. You know, carrying mail every day, and you're probably singing on your route and trucking and the whole thing, and you go like, yo, man, I really thought I could sing a little bit. She did and she comes in top three.

ABDUL: Singing Whitney Houston songs, Barbra Streisand songs. And then seeing her with Billy Preston on that piano, she was a star. JACKSON: It was great.

ZAHN: Thanks for the call. We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE with the Idols. Hang on. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BICE: (SINGING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: First half of it was definitely really pitchy for you. There was some really -- I don't know, you weren't connecting quite with the song. But the good news -- OK, the good news is in the end, just like Bo, because you're a great singer and I think we got the two best left in this competition, you both deserve to be here, you brought it home in the end. I mean, you can really, really sing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JACKSON: She can.

ABDUL: Really.

JACKSON: She can really, really sing.

ABDUL: What a revelation.

SEACREST: The problem I have with watching that clip is I'm distracted by your shirt. And I am again tonight.

COWELL: Randy's changed isn't he.

SEACREST: He has changed. And by the way, Simon, bad news for you. I heard that Viagra could cause loss of sight.

COWELL: I mentioned that in the break. Don't steal my line.

SEACREST: We'll be over after the show to talk about it. Let's go to line seven in Kentucky. Go ahead, you're on with us.

Are you with us in Kentucky?

CALLER: Yes.

SEACREST: Hello. Say hello to Randy, Paula, Bo, Carrie and Cowell.

CALLER: Hello. Carrie, I have a question for you.

UNDERWOOD: Yes, ma'am.

CALLER: I need to know what is going to happen with you now? Are you going to try to stay country or are you going to go big in Nashville or what you're going to do with Oklahoma.

UNDERWOOD: I'm definitely -- you know, country's where my heart is, and I know that. And that's where -- that's where I fit. So you know, I want definitely to do a country album, and I want to stay in Oklahoma. I mean, that will be my permanent address just because I love it so much.

SEACREST: Thanks for the call. Isn't that great how you connect with these people? It's like I need -- I have to know what you're doing ...

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: ... and when I can listen to you again. You know, I think it's fantastic.

Let's go to Vancouver. You're on with us. Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, Bo, I'm on dialysis, and I listen to your music that I've downloaded off the Net. And you've really helped me get through my dialysis sessions. And I appreciate it so much. And I was wondering, if you're not going to shave or get rid of your mustache soon, are you?

BICE: I don't plan on doing that. But you know, first of all, that really means a lot to me. I thank you very much. And bless you, man. You know, I'll say a prayer for you for that. You know, that's really cool. That means a lot to me.

Being a songwriter and someone who their love and their passion goes into that, and into every word and every note, you always wonder what people think, because I know that throughout the years how much music has had an influence on my life, and not just listening to the performances but really being a part of the songs and bring you the stories. Me being brought into the stories from my favorite singer. So that means a lot to me. Thank you so much. That really touches my heart. Thank you.

SEACREST: Thank you very much for the call. Those are the amazing moments. You're about to embark on a lot of different stories from people around the country.

ABDUL: And changing people's lives. And change people's lives. You already have.

(CROSSTALK)

ABDUL: This show has changed people's lives. We change people's lives on Wednesday nights.

SEACREST: It's a good point. Wednesday being in that Kodak Theater in Hollywood, when you're there, it is not a television show.

UNDERWOOD: No.

JACKSON: An unbelievable experience.

SEACREST: An unbelievable event, isn't it?

JACKSON: It's so great.

ABDUL: And it's the most -- it's exhilarating.

SEACREST: I thing we need a group hug.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: That's the winning moment, Carrie. Look. There it is. What's the reaction? Oh!

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: Your mom was in shock. It was really (INAUDIBLE).

JACKSON: Love your mom. Your mom's cool, man.

ABDUL: That's another thrilling thing, is getting to see how your parents, how their lives changed and the joy and the pride that they have. It's just...

SEACREST: You hadn't been on a plane, nor had she, right?

(CROSSTALK)

UNDERWOOD: The first time I was on a plane was when I went to the Hollywood round. The first time she had been on a plane was when she came out to see me.

JACKSON: I love it. I love it.

SEACREST: I know that you kept a pretty detailed diary of your journey on "Idol." Right? Where you wrote down all the -- the most intimate thoughts.

UNDERWOOD: It was actually Lindsey's idea. She had -- she had one first. And I was like, man, that's a good idea. So that was like my stress reliever kind of thing.

SEACREST: When will we get a reading?

UNDERWOOD: I don't think...

JACKSON: A couple of years...

(CROSSTALK)

UNDERWOOD: It depends on when I announce that I've had an affair with somebody on the show.

JACKSON: Oh, yes, of course, of course.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: And Bo...

BICE: So that's when the word comes out about us. We're trying to build that up.

SEACREST: We're looking forward to that.

Bo, I know that you have come to love shopping because of the wardrobe budget on "American Idol."

UNDERWOOD: Bo goes beyond the budget.

BICE: I plead the Fifth Amendment.

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Yo, yo, yo, but you know what? You can rock in the fly boots and the fly clothes, but (INAUDIBLE) the dog. Appreciate it, baby.

UNDERWOOD: He spends the budget on his shoes.

BICE: On open-toe shoes, right?

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: Exactly, exactly.

BICE: I love those cats, man.

SEACREST: Lots of perks along the way. But the best part is that you connect with millions and millions of people on the show.

(CROSSTALK)

ABDUL: This is the time to document every first everything.

COWELL: Can I go now?

SEACREST: Oh, Simon...

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: You always spoil a great moment.

ABDUL: He hates -- yes, the good moments.

SEACREST: You know what?

(CROSSTALK)

COWELL: ... terrible (INAUDIBLE).

SEACREST: You know what? We'll let you go. We'll miss you.

We're going to take a break. Simon, we love you.

COWELL: Bye, everyone.

SEACREST: We'll miss you and we'll see you... (CROSSTALK)

COWELL: Well done, Bo. Well done, Carrie.

SEACREST: Hit the gym, buddy. See you. We'll be right back on LARRY KING LIVE. Stay with us.

(MUSIC)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC)

SEACREST: Moments after the announcement is made that Carrie is the new "American Idol," I say here is a microphone and you got to sing. That's the way we do it. How tough was that?

UNDERWOOD: That was very difficult. I was just thinking -- this is going to sound awful. I'm going to watch this back later and be, like oh, my gosh.

SEACREST: But it is, I think, great to see that raw emotion on the show.

JACKSON: Oh, I love it.

SEACREST: You know what I mean? I think it's OK to see those unvarnished moments on our program.

UNDERWOOD: But I seriously doubt anybody was listening to it thinking, oh, my gosh, she's off, oh my gosh, oh my gosh.

JACKSON: No, no, all judgments off at that point. It's just great.

SEACREST: So to sum up the season, Paula, final thoughts?

ABDUL: The most thrilling so far, absolutely. The most endearing. The most exciting. The most upside down.

JACKSON: Best talent we've ever had. Best ratio of boy to girl talent. I mean, just so happy that it's these two. I mean, it broadened the base so much. Who knows, next year maybe it can be opera and jazz.

SEACREST: Opera and jazz?

JACKSON: Who knows.

UNDERWOOD: Reggae.

JACKSON: Reggae.

SEACREST: What's next for you guys?

UNDERWOOD: The tour's coming up. Single's out June 14th. SEACREST: Single's coming out June 14th.

UNDERWOOD: Never thought I'd say that.

JACKSON: And then Bo's single is coming out soon.

BICE: Soon after that, yeah. And then obviously, the tour's going to be huge. We're already selling out dates.

SEACREST: The 43 dates.

UNDERWOOD: Forty-three...

(CROSSTALK)

BICE: It's going to be madness, man. We're looking forward to getting into the -- into the fans' faces, man, and getting them in here.

UNDERWOOD: No more competition. It's going to be...

ABDUL: Then you guys get to come back next season and grace the stage and...

JACKSON: Exactly. Exactly.

ABDUL: I will be out there going, yeah.

JACKSON: Cheering for you. Cheering for you.

SEACREST: That's what Bo said at the finale before we went on the air. He said, you know, man, I'm happy about tonight, I'm looking forward to it. But I'm also really excited to hit the road and meet the people that voted for me.

BICE: That's it, man.

ABDUL: I think it is going to be a record for everyone to come out and see you guys perform.

JACKSON: We're going to come out and see you, right, Paula?

ABDUL: We are.

JACKSON: Ryan, come on.

SEACREST: Paula, we'll be out there. Jackson, thank you. Congratulations, Carrie. Congratulations, Bo. We love everybody here.

ABDUL: Yes, we do.

(CROSSTALK)

SEACREST: That's it for tonight's edition of LARRY KING LIVE. My thanks to Larry for letting me sit in here for the hour. He'll be back on Monday, to begin a week-long celebration of CNN's 25th anniversary and his 20th anniversary, with guests like vice president and Mrs. Cheney, former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. Also, former President Bill Clinton, Dan Rather, even Barbara Walters celebrates by interviewing Larry on his own show. That's next week on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good night, everybody. Stay tuned for "NEWSNIGHT" with Aaron Brown.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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