Julie Chen’s emotional goodbye on The Talk came with an unexpected pitch. The longtime CBS host, who exited the daytime talk show she has hosted since 2010 in the aftermath of her husband Les Moonves’ firing from the network, recorded a video message as a farewell to fans and her former co-hosts, and she offered a suggestion as to who should fill her seat on the Emmy-winning CBS talk show.
During her individual goodbyes, Chen didn’t forget Carrie Ann Inaba, who was filling in as a guest co-host on Tuesday. Chen addressed Inaba directly in her farewell video message.
“Carrie Ann,” Chen said to the longtime Dancing with the Stars judge. “I don’t know, but in my opinion, you look awful good sitting in that chair my Asian sister. I’m just saying.”
The audience cheered at Chen’s suggestion, and a camera pan to Inaba showed her in tears. Carrie Ann Inaba later took to Twitter to post about her latest co-hosting stint on The Talk, writing, “It was an emotional day at @TheTalkCBS It was an honor to be included today. Sending out so much love.”
Julie Chen previously told Entertainment Tonight, it all comes down to “chemistry” when casting a new panelist on The Talk, explaining, “You don’t have to just have good chemistry with one person, you need to have good chemistry with all [of us].”
Carrie Ann Inaba was asked about Julie Chen’s pitch later in the day. During an interview on The Steve Show, host Steve Harvey asked Inaba if she would ever consider taking Chen’s seat at The Talk table. Inaba admitted she was caught off guard by Chen’s show of support as she goes through such a tumultuous time in her own life.
“When she made that video announcement I was shocked. I was shocked that she even mentioned my name. So of course, who wouldn’t want to take an opportunity like that. I’m still kind of in shock and honored that she even supported her Asian sister. Not a lot of women do that. She showed me what she’s made of. ‘I support you my Asian sister’ as she’s going through so much. I have respect.”
Carrie Ann Inaba has been one of the most prolific guest co-hosts on The Talk. The former Fly Girl, who has been a judge on ABC’s Dancing with the Star since 2005, has appeared as a guest co-host on the CBS chatfest a whopping 26 times since 2017, per IMDB.
Inaba appeared to be a top contender when The Talk was doing a search to fill former host Aisha Tyler’s seat last year. Rapper Eve was ultimately chosen as the permanent co-host, but Inaba’s guest spots on the show have been memorable.
Last fall the dancer detailed her own #Me Too story when she opened up about being sexually assaulted by a martial arts teacher. Inaba also performed in The Talk’s Rocktober Lip Sync War, where she channeled her inner Lady Gaga for a performance of the song “Bad Romance.”
You can see Carrie Ann Inaba’s response to Julie Chen’s suggestion that she should permanently join The Talk below.
The Talk airs weekdays on CBS.