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    1:20PM

    Raul de Molina Did Not Get Eaten by Lions. Until This Morning.

    Raul de Molina, Matthew Hiltzik client and co-host of Univision Network’s top-rated entertainment television show, has been in South Africa for more than a month now covering the World Cup.

    “I’m actually very happy, because I was rooting for the Spanish team,” said de Molina, who was born in Cuba and grew up in Spain. “They came in as the favorite for the World Cup, and they lost in the first match! At the beginning I was a little concerned, but they’re going to the finals.”

    On Sunday, Spain will play the Netherlands for the World Cup championship game, and neither country has ever earned this top honor. Though Imus compared watching soccer to watching somebody paint a house, de Molina was into it.

    Despite a slow start with many 0-0 ties, he thinks this World Cup has been fantastic. “People from all over the world have come over here, and they’re having a great time, and everything has worked out great,” he told Imus, perhaps a tad too optimistically.

    “Everything’s not going to work out alright, no matter where you are in the world,” Imus informed his chipper guest. “You’re obviously having a big party there in Johannesburg. We’ll all just get by.”

    Part of de Molina’s party included swimming with sharks and going on safari. At one point, his producers encouraged him to drive a Mini Cooper into a lion enclosure where people drive themselves around, unlike most of the parks where a guide is required.

    “The car had some problems with the clutch, and it became overheated,” de Molina said. “It stopped in the middle where the lions were. The car was on fire! I was outside the care for 15 minutes, and no one came to rescue me.”

    On learning that de Molina’s show was entertainment-centric and not focused on sports, Imus quickly compared him to Billy Bush and, of course, to Pat O’Brien.

    Hoping to find common ground with the I-Man, de Molina boasted that he was a big NASCAR fan, and that he roots for driver Juan Pablo Montoya, with whom he is very close.

    “Now you definitely sound like Pat O’Brien,” said Imus. “Next thing, you’ll be leaving phone messages.”

    -Julie Kanfer

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