Rosie O’Donnell: Look for a More ‘Objective’ View

By Chris Ariens 

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TheNewViewRehearsals continued today for the new “View,” which debuts Monday. Returning host Rosie O’Donnell says the audition process for the new season, “was very much like the ‘Hunger Games.'”

“I think Whoopi and I were both a little shocked at having to do a chemistry test,” O’Donnell tells Variety. “I don’t know if there’s a way to test that. It felt very negative and competitive.” Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace made the cut.

And Rosie still hasn’t buried the hatchet with one of her former co-hosts, “Fox & Friends'” Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

O’Donnell regularly clashed with former exec producer [Bill] Geddie and Hasselbeck, who exited in 2013. “Elisabeth would go into the dressing room with (Bill) and go over Republican talking points that are sent out every day, and then come out and recite what she had ingested,” O’Donnell says. “I tried to get her to talk more about her own self and how she felt rather than being a robotic pundit.”

Hasselbeck has chosen not to comment on Rosie’s latest comments about her. As for how the new season will compare to seasons’ past:

O’Donnell has always been a whirlwind of ideas, and she shared her vision for the new “View.” She wants the show to be smarter. “No one is going to think the Earth is flat,” she says, referring to an infamous flub [Sherri] Shepherd made when she started. “When I was at home watching that, I thought I was going to have an aneurysm.” She also wants the segments to rely less on star power.

She explains that the Hot Topics will include pre-taped newsy intros to catch viewers up on stories they might not be as familiar with. “In talk shows like ‘The View’ or ‘The Talk,’ sometimes the argument is over what the givens are,” O’Donnell says. “We’d like to first present an objective view of the situation.”