At first glance, The Mole's Anderson Cooper appears no different than any other reality host. But the former TV journalist says if viewers look closer, they'll see that he is actually the antithesis of Survivor's Jeff Probst and Big Brother's Julie Chen.

"I think you just have to go with your instincts, and I knew from watching Survivor what I did not want to be doing," the ex-ABC News correspondent tells TV Guide Online. "And certainly, from Big Brother, I knew what I really didn't want to be doing."

Prior to signing on to the series, Cooper sat down with executive producers Scott A. Stone and David G. Stanley and co-executive producer Clay Newbill to discuss how he envisioned his role as host. And while some critics described his persona as too intense, Cooper admits he's relaxed a bit since those initial episodes.

"The first couple [of] days, I wasn't used to being around 10 people competing for money," he says, "and I wasn't really sure how I should be. So, finally, I just sort of gave up caring and just started being myself, and that's where I felt more comfortable."

Cooper — who won an Emmy for his coverage of Princess Diana's funeral — says he "wasn't out looking to do a game show," but found himself intrigued by The Mole. "I never saw it as giving up my career," he explains. "I wanted to do something different. And the game itself I found fun. Just because I'm obsessed with news and love news does not mean that I can't occasionally have fun."