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Kelly Ripa close up with Mark Consuelos

Kelly Ripa Breaks Silence As 'Live' Fill-In Proves Popular

KellyRipa/Instagram
By Rebecca Cukier

Kelly Ripa has broken her silence amid a media frenzy over her absence on "Live! With Kelly and Ryan." The 50-year-old talk show queen is currently front-page news for an unexplained no-show lasting two days straight this week, with the blonde now having made a move on Instagram. Co-host Ryan Seacrest was, on Monday and Tuesday, joined by temporary co-host Maria Menounos, with the 42-year-old media face largely proving immensely popular amid viewers. While some missed Kelly, others wanted Maria permanent. Check it out below.

Big Hoopla On 'Live'

Kelly Ripa backstage with Ryan
LiveKellyRyan/Instagram

Scroll for a video of Maria on "Live!" plus Kelly's share. While 2020 saw Kelly ditched by Ryan – once for day off and once to await COVID results – it's Kelly's turn this time. The former "All My Children" actress, presumed to be enjoying a well-earned break, didn't show her face at all this week, with Maria filling her shoes in leggy outfits and interviewing faces including 40-year-old "Open Book" author and singer Jessica Simpson.

"Where's Kelly?" fans had asked.

See Maria Menounos!

Ryan Seacrest selfie
RyanSeacrest/Instagram

On Tuesday night, Kelly took to her Instagram stories with an adorable post showing a good heart. The dog owner and lover was shouting out National Puppy Day, filming from what was likely her $27 million NYC home and including footage of two pooches including her well-known Chewie. The video showed a floor setting and two dogs just hanging out, with Kelly writing: "#NationalPuppyDay" as she swung the camera around, also peeping her super-stylish interiors.

See Kelly's video after Maria and Ryan.

See Kelly's Video!

Maria Menounos at an event
Shutterstock | 2288669

The response to Kelly's temporary absence has proven immense, particularly with comments left to "Live!" Kelly has hosted the show since 2001, although in 2020, she hinted to Parade that she might be done.

"Great show with Maria and Ryan,fresh energy much needed for the show. I started my work later just to watch her. Prayers for your mama 😘🙏🏻❤️," one fan replied, with another saying they dug Ryan and Maria's "energy." "Maria fits in well!! She’s funny too!" a third added.

Kelly Gushes Over Ryan

KellyRipa/Instagram

While Kelly said that "eventually" getting "off camera" was the plan as she's been doing more writing, she did take a moment to reflect on Ryan possibly being the reason she's still on the show. Gushing over the "American Idol" host, Kelly said:

“I talk about this with Ryan [Seacrest] all the time because I was really looking to retire like by now, but Ryan Seacrest is so fabulous to work with and he is such a good friend."

If you missed Kelly's nudie shower with oranges, just scroll.

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