NEW YORK – A soap actress, the wife of an NFL quarterback and a survivor of MTV's "Real World" (search) are the last three standing in daytime TV's hot new drama - who'll be the new co-host on "The View" (search)?
The winner of the race to replace Lisa Ling (search), who left last year to host a National Geographic (search) adventure series, will be instantly catapulted to fame as the youngest member of the morning-TV coffee klatch.
Barbara Walters (search) announced the finalists at the top of yesterday's show - after two months in which 21 women were tried out in Ling's former seat.
The three finalists: Rachel Campos (search), who appeared on MTV's "The Real World: San Francisco"; Elisabeth Hasselbeck (search), who was on "Survivor: The Australian Outback" when she was known as Elisabeth Filarski before marrying Redskins quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, and Erin Hershey Presley (search), a member of the cast of the soap-opera "Port Charles."
"Our producers, Barbara [Walters] and I included, and our co-hosts sat around and talked a lot and took into account what our viewers wrote in," said "View" co-executive producer Bill Geddie. "If I had to say who got the most mail, it would be these three people."
Geddie said Campos, Hasselbeck and Presley were told they were "finalists" last Friday.
"There was a larger pool of between seven to nine women before we made up our minds," Geddie said.
Each of the finalists will co-host for a week - comprised of four shows - with Campos co-hosting this week, Presley next week and Hasselbeck the week after that.
Walters says she will announce the winner on "The View" Nov. 24.