Katniss Everdeen has nothing on the ladies of The View. After Barbara Walters' departure from the show in May, followed by Jenny McCarthy's and Sherri Shepherd's exits in August, competition to fill their spots was fight-to-the-death fierce. Rosie O'Donnell locked up a spot alongside Whoopi Goldberg pretty early on, but the two other chairs at the table remained empty until Sept. 3, when ABC announced that Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace would round out the panel.
"It was very much like the Hunger Games, how they did it," O'Donnell told Variety of the process to audition and hire her new co-hosts. According to the mag, all candidates were "herded into a room" last month to participate in mock debates with both the comedienne, 52, and Goldberg, 58.
"I think Whoopi and I were both a little shocked at having to do a chemistry test," O'Donnell said. "I don't know if there's a way to test that. It felt very negative and competitive."
Negativity ruined the star's first experience as a co-host on The View back in 2007. She famously quit the show after a live, on-air fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck that spring, and until February 2014, when she returned for a Hot Topics segment, she never looked back.
Now, as she gears up for her second go-round at the table, she's looking to do things differently. One of her top priorities, Variety notes, is to make the show, and its hosts, smarter.
"No one is going to think the Earth is flat," she told the mag, throwing some not-so-subtle shade at former co-host Shepherd, who made headlines in 2007 for saying she didn't know whether the Earth was round or flat. "When I was at home watching that," O'Donnell continued, "I thought I was going to have an aneurysm."
Her vision for the show isn't fully developed, but she's excited to get going. "I think it's going to be must-see TV," she told Variety. "My goal is to come in peace. And the contrast between what the show will be and what it was is going to be glaring."
Read Variety's full interview with O'Donnell here, and tune in to The View's season premiere on Monday, Sept. 15.