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Ryan Seacrest smiling close up

Ryan Seacrest All Smiles As Kelly Ripa's Replacement Revealed

By Rebecca Cukier

Ryan Seacrest is grinning from ear to ear as Kelly Ripa vanishes and her replacement is revealed. The 50-year-old talk show queen was today nowhere to be seen, with the "Live! With Kelly and Ryan" set looking a little different as 45-year-old Seacrest was joined by today's temporary co-host. On Monday, viewers of America's most-watched morning talk show saw Ryan joined by Maria Menounos, with the 42-yea-old media personality already generating mixed comments as fans rushed to comment. Check it out below.

Kelly Not There

Ryan Seacrest and Kelly backstage

Scroll for the video and Ryan's big grin. The "American Idol" host, already making headlines yesterday for his unzipped taxi hail ahead of last night's airing of the competition series, was today throwing out a big welcome to Maria, who rocked up to the set in a killer plaid shorts-and-jacket set, plus a long braid. "Live!" did not announce why Kelly is absent, although it's assumed the blonde is taking a short break from the show she's hosted since 2001.

See Ryan's Big Grin!

Ryan Seacrest and Kelly backstage

A caption from "Live! introduced Maria, writing: "@mariamenounos is gues cohosting today!" As The Blast reported just today, fans have been very much showing two opinions. Some were keen to see Maria stay, with one writing that they loved the new two-some's "energy."

"Kelly isn’t allowed to be gone. Maria’s laugh is sooo irritating. Please no more," a fan wrote, seemingly not too pleased to see Kelly gone. Ryan, meanwhile, has since updated his Instagram, and he was all smiles. See it after the video!

Ryan All Smiles

Ryan Seacrest smiling for a selfie

See the photo below. Posting on Monday, Ryan updated slipping put of his morning show shoes and right into his hosting ones for "American Idol." His 5.1 million followers got a promo shot from last night's episode, one showing all the judges and Ryan in the middle. Seacrest was looking dapper in a dark jacket suit and black tee, with the "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" producer throwing out a big smile. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan were likewise looking happy. See Kelly's shock reveal below!

Kelly Staying Or Leaving?

Kelly Ripa and husband at home

A caption from Ryan read: "Can’t wait for live shows to start! Until then, only a few more rounds of Idol bootcamp. Hollywood Week continues tonight at 8|7c on ABC! #AmericanIdol."

2020, meanwhile, saw Kelly open up to Parade, revealing that she might soon be done with "Live," saying: "“I’ve been writing a lot, so my goal ultimately would be to eventually get off camera and start working behind the camera more in that creative aspect because I really do enjoy the writing process so much."

Scroll for Kelly's jaw-dropping bikini body.

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