Conservative political commentator Nicolle Wallace has taken the lead to become the new Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and October Gonzalez (wife of NFL star Tony) also tops the list of those expected to join Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell in September on ABC‘s The View.
MSNBC’s Wallace — who was George W. Bush’s communications honcho and famously portrayed by Sarah Paulson in HBO’s Game Change — and Gonzalez — who famously posed naked with her husband for PETA to discourage fur wearing — were among those ABC chemistry-tested yesterday on the set of The Chew before a test audience, while Jenny McCarthy was saying so long to The View on that set after one season with the show.
“Fear not — we won’t,” O’Donnell tweeted this morning in response to a tweet by You Tub-er Michael Buckley, begging the daytime talker not to cast “a jerk” for the sake of flying sparks:
“It’s all speculation at this point — we don’t have any announcement; no decisions have been made,” a rep for the show told Deadline. That said, the handful of semi-finalists did practice rounds with Goldberg and O’Donnell for the express purpose of chem-testing them to reach some conclusions as to how to best cast a new panel that includes the two hosts who are set to return — O’Donnell after a several-season break.
Wallace was not the only conservative political talker to test; CNN’s Crossfire conservative S.E. Cupp was among those tested. But CNN contributing legal analyst Sunny Hostin had been widely reported to be the frontrunner to fill a presumed political-pundit slot heading into yesterday’s Chem Test. Also among those tested yesterday were CNN political contributor Ana Navarro, who previously worked on the campaigns of Sen. John McCain and others, as well as Bloomberg TV managing editor Stephanie Ruhle; also tested were ESPN anchor Sage Steele, ESPN.com columnist Jemele Hill, and Good Day LA co-host Lauren Sanchez.