Kelly Ripa Co-Host: Search Narrows As ‘Live’ Finds Non-Celeb Replacements

The search for Kelly Ripa’s co-host continues, but now it’s taking a rather unexpected turn. Not only is Ripa getting the viewers at home involved, but she’s also getting out of the celebrity pool.

As we know, Kelly Ripa and producers at ABC have been searching for a replacement for Michael Strahan since May. Since then, many famous faces have sat next to Ripa as guest co-host and many are favorites, such as Jerry O’Connell, Fred Savage, Jussie Smollett, and Andy Cohen. That said, the search for Ripa’s partner in crime just changed a bit. Ripa’s alleged favorite co-host to replace Michael Strahan, Anderson Cooper, is now out of the running.

Inquisitr reported that Kelly Ripa’s co-host search became much smaller when Anderson Cooper decided to re-sign a deal with CNN that would ultimately pull him out of the running to sit next to Kelly on a permanent basis. Cooper has guest co-hosted for Live! with Kelly numerous times, and it seemed like the two had instant chemistry, but not enough to pull him away from CNN. The new deal Cooper signed would cement him as a recurring reporter on 60 Minutes and continue as host of Anderson 360, so his schedule would be too busy to continue guest co-hosting.

Despite Anderson Cooper being out of the running, there’s still a lot of potential when it comes to Michael Strahan’s replacement. Recently, ABC and Kelly Ripa flipped the search on its head by inviting guest co-hosts outside of the Hollywood realm.

The search for Kelly Ripa’s co-host has made its way to non-celebrity people. The Live! star teased that there was an exciting announcement and everyone assumed it had to do with the permanent replacement, but instead Kelly and ABC decided to drop the news that they would be welcoming ten regular contestants, and only one would go on to win the October 21 slot next to Ripa.

Kelly Ripa announced the special “Live with Kelly and You” contest with her pal Anderson Cooper.

Here’s the real kicker: viewers at home will be able to vote on who gets to sit alongside Kelly Ripa in a newly announced “Live with Kelly and You” contest. So far the search has been narrowed down to three contestants.

The contestants who are vying for guest co-host for Kelly’s October 21 show are as follows:
• High school teacher Richard Curtis from Perkasie, Pennsylvania
• Stay-at-home dad Dax Holt from Anaheim, California
• Actress and reporter Beth Keener from Atlanta, Georgia

Whomever is picked to guest co-host with Kelly Ripa will join a star-studded week which includes the following list:

Sam Champion on October 17
Matt Bomer on October 18
Ciara on October 19
John Leguizamo on Oct 20.
Bucks County Herald, a local paper, reported that a Pennsylvania man was one of the contestants who was still in the running to be Kelly Ripa’s guest co-host. Richard Curtis, from Perkasie, is a teacher and told the Bucks County Herald about how big of a fan he is of Live! with Kelly.

When asked about the opportunity, the father of two said:

“I’m a huge Kelly fan. She has such great energy. She’s one of the best talk show hosts of our generation. It would be a dream to co-host with her.”

He continued:

“Regardless of what happens, this has been a great experience. I’m excited. My family is excited. My students are jazzed up. You can’t beat it.”

Who do you think will win Kelly Ripa’s co-host spot on Friday?

[Featured Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]