Ryan Seacrest All Smiles With Blonde Kelly Ripa Fill-In

Ryan Seacrest smiles close up
Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest is all smiles as his "Live!" co-host Kelly Ripa continues to be a no-show. The 50-year-old talk show queen has been MIA all this week from the syndicated series, with 45-year-old Ryan yesterday confirming that Kelly is taking time "off." Filling Kelly's shoes this week have been 42-year-old media face Maria Menounos and 56-year-old actress Ali Wentworth, with Thursday bringing the second day in a row of Ryan co-hosting with Ali. Shortly before airtime, "Live!" offered the latest sneak peek.

Kelly Vanishes From 'LIVE'

Scroll for the latest video. Kelly, last year ditched by Ryan for two days as he both took time off and awaited the results of his COVID test, is throwing it back to the "American Idol" host this week. The former "All My Children" actress, who has hosted the show since 2001, herself updated her Instagram for National Puppy Day while enjoying her brief time off.

On Thursday morning, "Live!" posted behind-the-scenes Instagram prep showing Ryan all dapper behind the set's desk, plus Ali sashaying around in tight, high-waisted jeans.

See The Video!

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest backstage

Aly, going funky in neon pink heels, plus a loose, short-sleeved, and colorful printed shirt, was introduced as being "back today as guest cohost." 

"And back today filling in is Ali Wentworth," Seacrest said amid a sea of welcoming applause, adding that Kelly is having "the day off" - again, it would seem.  Fans, who have already called for leggy Maria Menounos to replace mom of three Kelly, are sending Ali the thumbs-up. 

"She’s hilarious! How does she not have her own show ?" one asked. See Kelly's killer legs after the video!

Kelly Hints At Big Quit

Kelly, who made 2020 headlines for celebrating her 50th birthday, has opened up on whether or not she'll continue to host "Live!" The pint-sized star told Parade that she's got something else up her sleeve.

“I’ve been writing a lot, so my goal ultimately would be to eventually get off camera and start working behind the camera more in that creative aspect because I really do enjoy the writing process so much,” she said, however Ryan was stated as a possible reason for staying on. See more photos below!

Staying Because Of Ryan?

Kelly Ripa leggy in a dress

Kelly was quick to mention her trusty side-kick. The Persona Nutrition spokesperson added:

"We’ve been friends for two decades, and I’ve got to tell you he is really such a draw to me there. I just love working with him so much. He makes every day feel like I’m not working and that’s when you know you have a great working relationship.”

Ryan, meanwhile, has been busy appearing on the latest season of "American Idol." He has, however, finally quit the E! red carpet after 14 years.