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Y’all know we have so much love for our “The Talk” family and we couldn’t be more excited about Season 13 kicking off TODAY!

The Talk Season 13 Key Art

Source: Courtesy CBS / Courtesy CBS

Our Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden chatted with Sheryl Underwood and Akbar Gbajabiamila ahead of the new season to get the exclusive scoop on what to expect! This season marks the second for Ghajabiamila who joined the panel along with Natalie Morales and Jerry O’Connell in Season 12.

“Season 12 we came together pretty quickly and were able create chemistry,” Akbar told BOSSIP.” Season 13, after one year together I’m looking forward to taking our relationship to the next level. Growth is the evolution of all great relationships!”

Sheryl matched Akbar’s excitement when we asked her what it’s been like having him join the panel.

“It’s been amazing,” Sheryl told BOSSIP. “He’s so fun and spiritual, but a rascal. I love talking sports with him. We are like brother and sister. But I love his innocence. He’s a great family man who likes to have fun.”

Akbar also was happy to sing Sheryl’s praises for welcoming him to the show.

“It’s hard to list out all the things Sheryl has taught me,” Akbar told BOSSIP. “Something that I’ve learned from Sheryl that has really hit home is to maximize my platform and continue to grow in this industry. Sheryl is the consistent connector; she’s always looking out for all of us. She thinks about creative ideas that are unique to our personalities and truly looks for ways for all of us to shine.”

It’s giving dream team, right?

Sadly, Akbar and Sheryl as well as the other members of “The Talk” cast and crew were devastated by the recent passing of the show’s Executive Producer and showrunner Heather Gray this summer.

“This is all too difficult for me to process and to be quite honest I haven’t dealt with the emotion and loss of our beloved Heather Gray,” Akbar told us at the time of our interview, but he did make a promise about how he and the rest of the cast will move forward in remembrance.

“Trust me when I say, we will honor her properly on the show and throughout the entire season.”

Monday’s episode of “The Talk” will pay tribute to Gray by welcoming an audience full of cancer fighters and survivors who will take home huge giveaways including a cruise vacation.

Sheryl, who joined “The Talk” in its second season, not long after Gray began working as a producer there, also expressed her commitment to carrying on in the spirit of the show’s late leader.

“Heather Gray was our champion and she left us a blueprint – or “gray print,” for us to follow,” Sheryl told BOSSIP. “We’ve come together as a family with the mantra, ‘What would Heather do?!’ Also, I joined our fantasy football league Heather started and I’m having fun while I learn.”

This season should be a particularly eventful one for both Akbar, who also hosts NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and “American Ninja Warrior Junior,” while Sheryl has her radio show and a new podcast. Underwood also has lost 85-90 pounds during her health and wellness journey over the last year and a half. With a new season ahead and a new body to match, Sheryl’s also looking for a partner and her “The Talk” co-hosts will be helping her out with a new segment called “FIND SHERYL A BOO IN ’22”. We can’t wait to watch this!

“HA! Oh Boy! Okay, let me give this a go…” Akbar said when we asked what qualities he thinks Sheryl’s ideal match would have. “The perfect man for Sheryl would be 6’3 235lbs. He has to be strong and a God-fearing Christian. He has to have a good sense of humor because Sheryl is so funny. But he can’t try to compete with her humor, because he’ll lose- she’s too funny! If he is a new-age, sensitive type the relationship won’t work either!”

Akbar knows Sheryl well okay! We got her take as well on what she’s looking for.

“I’m looking for an older version of Akbar, willing to live in their own house, we text more than we talk, but once we get to know each other better,” Sheryl told BOSSIP. ” I’m old school. If we don’t talk before the nightly news, my favorite show or my bedtime…I’ll holla at him in the morning if God says so! Romantic, who’s a good kisser, someone who knows the Lord and that if wine is in the Bible, it’s ok to drink it!”

Being a public figure we assumed that it had to be difficult for Sheryl to put herself out there and open up for love.

“The hardest part about putting myself out there is men taking me seriously, understanding the duality of my life,” Sheryl said. “Also, you don’t have to overspend. I like a fried bologna sandwich as much as a like a great steak dinner and if I can’t enhance your life as your mate, why am I here?”

Questions that definitely need answers. If you know anyone that fits the description, be sure to send them Sheryl’s way or submit them for “The Talk” so one of her co-hosts can advocate for them!

Season 13 definitely seems like it will be an incredible one for “The Talk”.

When asked what she’s most looking forward to, Sheryl’s immediate answer was “Everything!”

“The food, family, fun & fellowship,” Sheryl told BOSSIP. “We are the destination for great conversation and the audience is the 6th host at “The Talk” table. We have a Latina as our moderator, male voices and female voices, we can reflect on topics that have depth to them as well as entertainment and discuss relationship topics. We can do that because of the diversity of our hosts. I want the audience to yell at the TV saying, ‘Tell it Natalie, tell it Jerry, tell it Sheryl, tell it Amanda, tell it Akbar!’ So, keep on watching and we’ll keep on talking!!!

“The Talk” returns to CBS today, Monday, September 12th. Check your local listings for airtime information!

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