It's Jerry O'Connell, Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Natalie Morales like you've never seen them — and PEOPLE has all the details
The Talk made beautiful music this Halloween.
For the CBS daytime show's annual spooktacular celebration, hosts Jerry O'Connell, Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, Akbar Gbajabiamila and Natalie Morales were transformed into five of music's biggest artists for a bash that honored everything fans love about the singing and rapping legends.
The season 14 episode — which features guest JoJo Siwa and a performance from Bush — airs Tuesday, but PEOPLE can exclusively reveal the first look at the host's costumes.
PEOPLE also caught up with each host, Siwa and members of The Talk's creative team to chat about their looks and what goes into putting the show together.
Chart-toppers, it turns out, was a theme that was a no-brainer for showrunner and executive producer Rob Crabbe. "It was such a huge year in music that it felt like that was all everybody was talking about, especially with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé's tours. So we decided pretty early on pop stars was going to be our theme," he says. "Then from there, it was about putting all the elements together, including getting Bush to perform so we had some real rock stars in the room."
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Once everyone decides what they're going to be, costume designer Cara Giannini and assistant designer Natalia Foroutan then spend several weeks creating the looks. About half of the materials are purchased and altered, while the other half are custom-designed with the help of costume maker Maggie Berry. "We base it all around the photos we're trying to match," says Giannini, Foroutan sharing that "it's fun" to see the host get into character, "speaking like them and acting like them."
Production designer Lou Trabbie has his work cut out for him as well. To match the theme, the set was designed to look like the Hollywood Bowl, the famed outdoor concert venue in Los Angeles. "We just wanted to create a sort of a fun, cool vibe," said Trabbie. "We're using a lot of digital images, and just creating a space where all these singers would be. It's been really fun."
Trabbie, Giannini and Foroutan are just a few of the creative team helping bring The Talk's Halloween episode to life. "The Halloween show is always circled on the calendar. From the day one ends, you start thinking about the next one," Crabbe says. "The challenge is always in the execution because there's so many elements to a show like this. But we have a great team of producers, crew, craftspeople and writers at our disposal, so it's a huge team effort. And everybody has the most fun working on it because it uses every element of every department."
Below, find out what the cast has to say about their looks:
JERRY O'CONNELL as POST MALONE
PEOPLE: What made you choose Post Malone?
O'CONNELL: First of all, I'm a huge fan of his music. I have teenage daughters, so Posty is on heavy rotation in our car and our lives. But, I don't have any ink on my body and this is sort of a fun way to live sort of vicariously through him. If I was going to do ink, I would do it like this — just everywhere.
How long did the transformation take?
About three and a half hours. The longest part was holding my arms up for them to put the tattoos everywhere, But that wasn't the most uncomfortable part of the costume — that would have to be the beard. Gluing hair to your face is really itchy. I want to itch my face! I like it, though. He's got a little bit of — this is a mullet, right? Yeah, it's like a mini mullet. I'm thinking of doing a lot of this in my life!
Does your wife, Rebecca Romijn, and your daughters (14-year-old twins Charlie Tamara Tulip and Dolly Rebecca Rose) know you're dressing up like this?
I kept it all a surprise. My children are freshmen in high school. I'm going to wait outside their high school. Normally I sit in my car and wait for them to come to me, but I'm definitely parking and getting out and standing in front of the school. I might even blare some Posty, 'You probably think that you are better now!' That'll probably get a lot of action in their chat groups on Snapchat.
Rebecca, I'm not sure how she'll react. My wife, they may be into this! I may have to change who I am! I may have to get some facial hair involved in my life and I may have to get some ink — this might be a new me.
SHERYL UNDERWOOD as BEYONCÉ
PEOPLE: Was there any question you were going to be Beyoncé?
SHERYL: In my mind, no. I felt it. But it had to be right, down to the details. I was considering between the red look she wore on tour and then the silver one, and wardrobe was pushing me to silver because they could make the jacket. I was kind of on the fence but we the undergarments right, we got the shoes right, the jewelry, the hair. And then when I saw the horse? I was like, 'Oh yeah, this is happening.'
What was the most challenging part?
I've been doing the Halloween shows here since season 2 and what I will say is, the team here, nobody ever puts me in a position where it's something uncomfortable. I mean, I didn't really feel any uncomfortableness, even on the horse! But I did go get nails to be Bey — 'cause I do not wear nails, so that was new. But even there, I met these college students and they were like, 'Do chrome! Use one different finger on each hand!' So I felt really empowered. It was like a spirit or something that said, 'Okay, you're doing this.'
And did this, you did — you rode in on a horse!
Then men pulling me, that was my favorite part of the costume. Both of them were very fabulous, with the silver paint on them.
AKBAR GBAJABIAMILA as JAY-Z
PEOPLE: What influenced your choice this year to go as JAY-Z?
AKBAR: I didn't think it'd be a hard look for me to pull off [Laughs] He's always been one of those intriguing people. And we've watched him evolve over the years from the rapper to the young hustler, the businessman, the record exec, the clothing line operator, the father, the team owner, the mogul. There's a lot to play with. Plus, one of my craziest stories ever was meeting JAY-Z for the first time...
Well, now you have to tell it.
So it's 2005 and I go to see the Houston Rockets play against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in New York City. I'm sitting courtside, and there are some big names there. I'm only a couple years in the NFL, so I feel like, 'I don't belong in this crew.' And in walks JAY-Z and sits next to me. I'm like, 'Okay, stay cool!' Then 15 minutes later, Beyoncé comes in. And I'm like, 'This is crazy.'
You must have been freaking out.
I was. I don't even remember who won the game, 'cause the whole time I was like, 'Oh my goodness.' [Laughs] So halftime comes, and I'm nervous but I'm faking it. I go, 'Oh, what's up JAY?' Acting cool. And I tell him I played for the Raiders, and I'm just out here hanging out, trying to figure out what to do. He goes, 'Oh, I got a spot out here.' And in my head I'm like, 'Yeah, duh, 40/40 Club.' But I'm playing dumb and when he asks if I've ever heard of it, I'm like, 'No, I'm from L.A.' So he invites me and puts my name on the VIP list.
Well, that night, I obviously go but someone, I'm the first one there. Like a nerd. Not even playing cool — I forgot how to play!
Eventually, everybody started rolling through — JAY-Z, Beyoncé, Tracy McGrady, Stefan Mulberry — and it was just the craziest night. There were no smartphones back then, so you couldn't fiddle on your phone. You had to kind of make your way around the room and be in the moment, you know? And it was one of those nights I will never forget. If I had a camera, I would've filmed the whole thing.
What a great experience to have.
I've been a JAY-Z fan ever since, you know what I mean? And I've never really given him his props for that. If he ever reads this, JAY — thank you for inviting me. You made a young kid from South Central L.A. feel special.
AMANDA KLOOTS as TAYLOR SWIFT
PEOPLE: Are you a huge Swifty?
KLOOTS: Yes! Became a Swifty this summer because I went to the Eras Tour, and I was just in awe of Taylor Swift and everything she's accomplished and all the songs that she's written. I thought the concert was amazing and it was so fun to be there. So that really started my Swifty era. It was fun to dress up as her.
At what point in the process did you feel like you had become her?
I think after we put the wig on. We did the makeup first but when the wig came on with the Taylor Swift signature bang, I felt like, 'Whoa!' That was the transformation moment for sure. Luckily, the rest of the costume was so easy. I mean, Taylor Swift is all about glitzy, sparkly, awesome costumes — and an amazing red lip. So she's pretty easy.
Do you and your 4-year-old son Elvis go all out on Halloween?
I am not a huge Halloween person, but in the last couple of years with Elvis, I've become a fan of Halloween again. It's really fun to dress up with your kid and see that magic through their eyes. This year, we're going to a friend's party and he's in a big dinosaur phase, so he's going to be a Spinosaurus and I am going to be Laura Dern from Jurassic Park. He's bringing out my inner love for Halloween now!
NATALIE MORALES as OLIVIA RODRIGO
PEOPLE: Olivia Rodrigo looks good on you!
MORALES: Thank you! I love her and I love her music. She's an incredibly talented singer and one of the biggest breakout stars. She's just huge! It's fun to play the part.
What was the most challenging element of your costume?
Wearing this wig, which is killing me right now! It's probably like, 5 lbs. of hair! But she's such a cool cat — there's nothing not cool about her — that being her is easy. Everything looks gorgeous on her, so I just had to pull it off.
Do you like dressing up?
I have been doing it for so long — dressing up for one show or the other, and it's always fun to do with a cast. Like, we have an unwritten rule around here that we try not to see one another until we're out on the stage because the big reveals of all of us are so fun.
What did you think of everyone's looks?
My first time seeing Jerry as Post Malone, I was just, it was like gobsmacked. And Akbar with that hair? He acts the whole show like he's JAY-Z, it's unreal. And then Sheryl makes a grand entrance on that horse with her very handsome accessories? And I mean, Amanda is Taylor Swift — look at her! She could walk out and go to the grocery store in that outfit and people would think that she's Taylor and would ask for an autograph.
GUEST JOJO SIWA as PINK
PEOPLE: You were hanging from the rafters up there! Is that why you wanted to choose Pink?
SIWA: Oh, my gosh. I mean, Pink is just so cool. And if I get a chance to go all out, who more fun to go all out with, you know?
Absolutely. Are you a big Halloween person?
It used to be my favorite holiday. Now I'm the Thanksgiving-Christmas girly.
I don't know, actually! Something about this year, it just changed. Normally Halloween's a working holiday, so I have a lot of fun set memories from Halloween. It's a good holiday! This year, I think I might head back to Dancing with the Stars and sit for a taping there, which I'm excited about!
The Talk airs weekdays (2 p.m. ET) on CBS.
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