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Kelly Ripa in blue dress

Kelly Ripa Absence from 'LIVE' Explained Amid Guest Co-Hosts

By Gary Trock

Kelly Ripa is usually the smiling face who greets America every morning on her daily talk show, "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan," but even she can't work every day of the year and is currently taking some well-earned time off.

Many fans of the long-running ABC morning show were surprised Monday when TV personality Maria Menounos was revealed to be sitting in the seat as a guest co-host opposite Ryan Seacrest. Menounos ended up filling in for two days on "LIVE."

Maria & Ali Fill In

Maria Menounos in business suit
Maria Menounos / Instagram

On Wednesday, instead of Kelly Ripa returning, "LIVE" revealed Ali Wentworth to be filling in as co-host. Ali regularly appears on the show and has good on-screen chemistry with Ryan Seacrest, as many fans pointed out they were enjoying mixing it up with co-hosts.

"I absolutely love Ali. She is hysterical!! I haven’t laughed this hard in awhile. Great picks for replacement co-hosts this week!" one fan wrote on Instagram.

Although Ali and Maria did a great job, many still wondered when Kelly Ripa would return.

Kelly Will Be Back

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on set
LIVE with Kelly and Ryan / Instagram

Luckily, any drama surrounding the guest co-hosts can be put to rest.

The Blast can now reveal, from a close source to the situation, that Kelly Ripa will return to co-hosting "LIVE" after her annual 2-week vacation. We're told the TV star regularly takes the last two weeks of March off, "to spend quality time with her family and has for the last 20 years."

Mystery solved ... unfortunately we will have to power through another week of celebrity guest co-hosts, but Kelly Ripa will be back!

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