Talk about a long wait!
We all knew Regis Philbin was irreplaceable, but it seems it took a bevy of auditions with a whopping 59 people to get his replacement right. The "Live With Kelly" show will soon have a new name in its title- and Kelly Ripa's new co-host will be one of the 59 guest hosts who have sat next to her since Regis's final show last November.
Boy? Girl? Kardashian? Here are the top contenders -- and who we can probably rule out!
The former NFL star has logged a lot of guest gigs on "Live," co-hosting with Kelly a total of 14 times (his most recent was in early July). In May he was touted a s a top contender for the permanent hosting spot, but did his "Magic Mike"-esque stripping stint turn on viewers -- or turn them off?
Long touted as a frontrunner due to his excellent chemistry with Ripa, singer Josh Groban told Vanity Fair, "When they asked me to do it, I was kind of skeptical myself on how it would go. [Kelly] makes it so easy, and we've just had a really wonderful friendship and a great chemistry, so it's been a lot of fun to wake up early for." While he added that giving up music in any way, shape, or form" would be terrifying to him, he said he's had more fun co-hosting with Kelly than many other things he's done in the past.
New baby, new job? Expectant dad Nick Lachey wants this gig so bad he even serenaded Kelly Ripa for the job! After he sang his case -- to the tune of Barry Manilow's "Mandy"-- a swooning Ripa said, "Get the contract, for God's sake!"
If you were hoping to see "Saturday Night Live" funnyman Seth Meyers as Ripa's new co-host, don't get too excited. Despite his numerous guest stints on the show (most recently, he did a week-long stretch in mid-July), he says a permanent spot isn't going to happen. Meyers told the Sun-Sentinel: "I know [Reege's replacement] is a very important thing down there. But, right now, what I would say to you: I'm really in love with the job I have. I'm very excited to be going back [to "SNL"] for the election season, which is always fun." Sounds like a no-- or maybe he's just playing a joke on us!
While the idea of a hubby and wife team is so Ricky and Lucy, it's unlikely. He's great as a substitute co-host, but Ripa's husband, Mark Consuelos, has said he doesn't think a permanent morning show match-up would work. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Ripa revealed, "No one would make me happier than Mark, but he values our marriage. He says that he doesn't see how we could stay married and both do that show."
So who else has co-hosted with Kelly over the past nine months? Everyone from "Dancing With the Stars" pro Derek Hough to Michael Buble to Kim Kardashian have sat in the coveted co-host's chair. Other popular guest hosts have been Neil Patrick Harris and Jerry O'Connell.
Kelly Ripa will walk on stage with her new co-host on the September 4 show.
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