Kelly Ripa’s Triumphant Return to Live!
“My dad who was a bus driver for 30 years thinks we are all crazy and I think he is right!” concluded Kelly Ripa as she returned to her show today, Live with Kelly and Michael (soon to be Live with Kelly and WhoTheEffKnows).
If they want to keep the Michael, they should call me! I won the Co-Host contest back in the summer of 2012 right before they announced Michael Strahan as the permanent new host, and I nailed it!
Many tuned in to see how Kelly would handle her return. Last week, it was announced that Strahan would be leaving LIVE this fall for Good Morning America. Kelly found out around the same time the world did and was pissed, as she should have been.
I get it. This is show business and a lot of behind the scenes negotiations goes on in secret and the powers that be told Strahan not to tell her, but it is still pretty shitty.
Many articles called her a ‘diva” for not showing up to work. If Kelly Ripa was a diva she would have gone in the next day and flipped out on the air, or refused to come back until Strahan had gone to GMA, or released a visual album called Lemonade and dragged ABC and Disney and their good hair. But I digress.
I actually have a first hand account of Kelly Ripa not being a diva that I would like to share. Often publications list “sources” saying someone behaved like this or did that and they have no actual truth.
I was on the set of Live with Kelly for a week and she was delightful to every single person. Every producer, every hair and make up person, every cameraperson, every audience member was treated as a friend. I was in some lower level staff person’s office and there were pictures of her and Kelly and she said “Oh that is from Kelly’s Christmas Party last year” and she told me about the party that Kelly personally hosts for the staff of the show. And she went on and on about how lovely Kelly Ripa was.
The day I won, I had like 9 people with me. She insisted they all come into her small dressing room and take photos and hang out and have small talk. She could not have been nicer to every person in the building. I just wanted to share that in case anyone thought Kelly Ripa was a diva for staying home from work last week.
She skipped one day. She was set to go on vacation the following day. It made perfect sense for her to stay out and “process” it as she said today and then come back fresh today as scheduled.
Today she returned triumphantly! Wearing red felt like a powerful statement. Also appearing vulnerable and strong at the same time was perfect and authentic. Yes, she was blind sighted. Yes, she was hurt. But she loves the show. She loves the viewers. LIVE has been going for 30 years. This is just one incarnation of it. She takes great pride in the show and you could feel it. She also handled it with great humor joking about how the world was taking this all very seriously. But most importantly she said this “started a conversation about communication and consideration and most importantly respect in the work place.” Yasss! Queen of Daytime TV, Yasss!
So, where we go from here? Michael Strahan will leave much earlier than anticipated, May 13th and take the summer off before joining Good Morning America. GMA has lost ratings as of this year and with an all female cast except for George Stephanopoulos, they are hoping Strahan will bring some testosterone and new eyeballs to the morning show, many of whom jumped ship from the Today Show a few years ago and seemed to have jumped back.
Kelly Ripa will spend the summer with guest co-hosts and hopefully I can be one of them. Even just for old times sake it would be nice if they invited me. I imagine it will come down to one of the big names who was close to getting the job back in 2012. Hopefully for Kelly and ABC, they will still want it. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out! 2012 was an Olympic year and 2016 is an Olympic year! May the best co-host contender win the gold! Sorry, I see everything in Olympic cycles! Strahan won 4 years ago.
Time for a new champion over at LIVE!