Well, this is awkward. Just one day after Michael Strahan announced he was leaving ‘Live,’ he returned to co-host the show — but Kelly Ripa was noticeably absent. Michael did bring up the elephant in the room — but didn’t even mention her until the very end of the show.
Ana Gasteyer filled the seat next to Michael Strahan on April 20 when he told the audience that yes it was true, he was leaving the show. In a heartfelt speech, he thanked everyone for their support, but he didn’t bring up Kelly Ripa. It wasn’t until the very last few minutes of the show that he came back with another statement and thanked Kelly. With reports that she was “blindsided” by the news, many are thinking she’s really upset by the news — and the fact that she didn’t come to the show is just stirring the pot.
Naturally, Michael had to address the news while on Live on April 20.
“I’m leaving this show and I’m going over to GMA full time, which is going to happen in September,” he said on the show. “I do want to say to all of our viewers out there and to everybody who has watched this show over the last four years — thank you, guys. I can’t ask for better fans, and you guys have been absolutely amazing. On top of that I’ve worked with an incredible staff here and I’m always available to guest co-host if I get a call because I consider myself a part of this family forever.” But just when we thought that was all Michael was going to say, he awkwardly made a second statement right at the end of the show and said, “I thank you [Kelly], I love you, everybody thank you. I’m not going to cry on TV now, Momma.”
Now when he announced his departure on April 19, he did thank Kelly in his statement. “My time with LIVE with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans,” he said.
Following the taping of yesterday’s show, Michael pulled aside the EP and Kelly to tell them the news, a source told TMZ — and they were both “stunned and upset.” Their sources also claimed that he was told to not say anything about his move to Good Morning America, but it now puts Kelly and the network in the tough spot to find another host. We’ve actually heard exclusively that they may let the audience be a part of the process — but it’ll be a while beffore that happens.
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you think Kelly should have shown up? Let us know.