There’s no scandal she can’t handle! Bellamy Young, who was the first guest on Live With Kelly and Michael after Kelly Ripa’s return, described the awkward tension backstage before the Tuesday, April 26, show.
Ripa had been absent from the daytime talk show since it was announced on April 19 that cohost Michael Strahan would be leaving for a full-time gig at Good Morning America. “They were tense, bless their hearts,” the Scandal star, 46, said of the behind-the-scenes vibe during an interview with Jenny McCarthy on her Dirty Sexy Funny SiriusXM show.
“Backstage there was some tension because it could have gone any way, but once it was underway, it was beautiful,” Young said. “Kelly gave a monologue. She got to clear the air, and then they went on. They’re professional people, and there’s a lot of love.”
When McCarthy, 43, noted that the guest dressing rooms are right next to the ones for the cohosts, Young revealed that Ripa, 45, and Strahan, 44, weren’t talking ahead of walking onto set holding hands. “It was sort of separate,” she said.
“Then everybody went out, and the show started,” Young continued. “And everybody remembers that we’re grown-ups and we have jobs and we do our jobs.”
At the beginning of the show, Ripa addressed the audience and explained why she took a week off — which included a sick day and scheduled vacation days — following Strahan’s announcement. “The show of support through this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. … I needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts after 26 years with this company. I earned the right, and let’s be honest — I know half of you called in sick to be here, so we get each other,” she joked.
As Us Weekly previously reported, the former football star is exiting Live several months ahead of his scheduled September departure. Hours after Ripa’s big return, the show confirmed that Strahan’s last day will be Friday, May 13.
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