Ryan Seacrest appeared on “Live” with Kelly Ripa for the final time tonight, and the co-hosts were upset over his leaving in the pre-recorded program.
Both Ripa, 52, and Ryan Seacrest, 48, cried as they walked out for the “Bye Bye Ry Ry” episode, which Ripa described as “a great day of celebration.”
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“Spring has never been better in New York since you announced you were leaving the show,” Ripa joked.
Ripa remarked about how he made the world fall in love with him before going into a montage of Ryan Seacrest’s best “Live” moments.
“I’ve been in love with you, but now everyone is in love with you,” she declared.
“You’ve given us a lot of laughs around here, but over the past six years, you’ve given us more than just laughs,” Ripa said, sharing that they’ve supported each other through both good times and bad times.
“I, for one, have grown accustomed to seeing your face every morning.”
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest get emotional.
Later in the show, she shared tearfully, “This has been without question the best six years of my life, and although we have been friends for decades, I feel like I’ve gained through this process a younger brother slash oldest son — that’s how I feel about you, it’s the weirdest thing.”
“I’m so grateful that our success together on this show has led to us developing an even closer yet codependent relationship,” Ripa said, adding that Ryan Seacrest will always be the “funcle” to her kids.
“You are forever our family. We will never say goodbye to you, we will only say see you soon and I love you,” she concluded.
Ryan Seacrest went on to share how “lucky” he is, and said that it was “hard to put into words” just how appreciative he is.
“It’s not lost on me how fortunate I am to have this seat next to you, Kell, for six years,” he said. “I’m honored to be part of this family. I’m blessed with so many memories … I will cherish, I will relish those memories. I will relive those memories forever.”
“There’s no place like this on television,” Ryan Seacrest added. “I really do feel like a family member.”
Ripa told USA Today on Thursday, right after Seacrest’s big finale, that his goodbye was “extraordinarily emotional” and that the two of them will definitely cry – despite their resolve not to.
“Like, ‘No, you’re gonna cry.’ ‘No, I’m not gonna cry. You’re gonna cry,’” Ripa said. “And then we were like, ‘Nobody’s going to cry. Because if we start crying, then our parents will cry, and your sister will cry. We’re going to keep it together. We’re going to keep it professional.’”
But they couldn’t even hold it together offstage before the taping.
“We were backstage waiting for Déjà (Vu Parker) to make the final announcement, and I looked at him, and we just locked eyes,” Ripa shared. “And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! This sucks!’ And then we both started crying, and I was like, ‘No! No! We are not crying before we get out there. It’s going to be a disaster!’”
Ripa was emotional as she walked out with Seacrest for the last time, stating she would miss his humor, generosity, and the telepathy they’d created to communicate over the years.
But she believes their bond will endure.
“I don’t think a lot will change about our fundamental relationship. We just won’t be having a talk show on TV every morning,” Ripa said. “So it’s not as terrifying as it would be if it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I loved working with this guy, and now he’s gone.’ I know we’ll still see each other at the holidays. We’ll still travel together.”
Ryan Seacrest hosted a farewell dinner for the “Live” crew at a three-Michelin-star restaurant on Wednesday, ahead of his final day as co-host.
“Welcome to this evening. It’s so nice to see our ‘Live’ family and our ‘Live’ family’s family,” Seacrest started his speech, which the show posted on Instagram.
“There really is no other place in our business like the ‘Live’ show,” he continued. “I’m grateful to have been a part for six years. I wanted to get together and enjoy something that I like a lot, which is great food.”
Ryan Seacrest announced his departure from “Live With Kelly and Ryan” in February after six years as co-host, citing a desire to relocate to Los Angeles as a reason in his decision.
“This is something that [Kelly] and I have been talking about for a long time, and it was a tough, tough decision,” Ryan Seacrest stated at the time. “Last year we spoke, and I made the decision to make this my last season as co-host.”
Ripa’s husband and frequent guest co-host, Mark Consuelos, 52, will be taking over, and the ABC program will be rebranded as “Live with Kelly and Mark” — which begins Monday, April 17.
“The only person I can think of that is capable of holding [Ryan’s] torch the way [he has] held it would be my husband, Mark Consuelos,” Ripa said.
Ryan Seacrest burst into tears on television after introducing Conseulos to the show.
Seacrest posted a tribute to his co-host on Instagram at the time of his announcement, writing, “I’m going to miss my work wife and all the laughter we share. When I signed on to host Live in 2017 it was meant to be for three years, but I loved the job and working with Kelly so much that I extended my time and last year I made the decision to stay on for one more final season. I’ve been grateful to be able to share a cup of coffee with our viewers every day, one of the best parts of the gig.”
But the TV and radio presenter has assured that “Live” hasn’t seen the last of him, claiming he’ll return to co-host or guest when he’s in New York.
“Live” airs on ABC during the week (check local listings).