For the first time in years, Jenny McCarthy will not be ringing in the new year with a few million of her closest friends.
The longtime host of New Year's Rockin' Eve decided to bow out this year, leaving Ryan Seacrest without his usual sidekick and giving McCarthy the chance to celebrate with those she loves. As People magazine noted, she had actually announced her decision a few months ago, saying in October that her duties with The Masked Singer and a request from her teenage son led her to decline hosting duties.
"We're shooting Masked Singer 3 in December and January and my son, who is now 17, said, 'Can we please stay home this year?' He's going to be 18, he's going to want nothing to do with me," McCarthy said during an appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
"We're so busy that I said, 'You know what, we're going to tap out.' "McCarthy said she had a wonderful time and loved working with Seacrest, but was ready to spend more time with her family and watch the ball drop from her sofa.
The absence will likely be noticed by fans. McCarthy generated headlines seemingly every year for her on-the-street interactions with revelers in Manhattan's Times Square and even for her appearance. During the show, many took to Twitter to note the television host's changing appearance and rumors that she had gotten plenty of work under the knife to achieve the look.
McCarthy's husband, singer Donnie Walhberg, seemed to like the change. He said in an interview with Closer Weekly that he is happy to have his wife at home for the first time since she became the co-host of the annual New Year's Eve extravaganza a decade ago. Wahlberg noted that every holiday week seems to get cut short when Jenny is called into her hosting duties, so this year will be a pleasant reprieve.
"It's amazing," he said. "To be able to spend some time together this Christmas and not have to think, 'We have to leave tomorrow for Times Square for New Year's Eve.' "They seem to be enjoying the holiday season together. Earlier in the week, Jenny and Donnie took in a Boston Celtics game, and Jenny shared some other pictures from their Christmas together on her Instagram page.
Lucy Hale will be filling in for Jenny McCarthy on New Year's Eve, ringing in 2020 alongside Seacrest on New Year's Rockin' Eve.