With Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, what you see is what you get.
Despite a report claiming the newly paired morning show co-hosts have gotten "off to a rocky start" in their second week on Live, fans shouldn't believe the rumors. "They're thrilled to be working together, and it shows," a rep for the show tells E! News. "Their chemistry is palpable."
What's more, a source close to the program is adamant that there is "no truth" to Page Six's gossipy report of "friction" between Ripa and Seacrest, who are longtime friends. "They get along famously. They truly love each other and speak several times a day. They respect each one another. She supports his other commitments and he supports hers. Ryan and Kelly have the same work ethic and values," the source explains to E! News. "That's why it works so well."
Seacrest was announced as Michael Strahan's replacement May 1, following a nearly yearlong search for Live's co-host. "They are having a good time. People want to create drama but there really is none," the source insists, adding that he was Ripa's first choice. According to another insider, the partnership is everything she hoped it would be. "Kelly is the happiest she has been in a while," the insider says. "She has a partner now, and it's taken a lot of pressure off of her."
So, why the rumors of behind-the-scenes tension?
After ABC acquired American Idol, reports suggested Ripa was fearful Seacrest would jump ship, as she'd felt Strahan did when he began reporting on Good Moring America (and later joined the show full-time). Not true, multiple sources tell E! News. "Kelly and Ryan have open and transparent conversations. There will be no surprises," the source explains. "They are partners."
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Seacrest hasn't even decided if he'll return to host the singing completion in 2018. "There is no contract for Idol. He is in early conversations. His deal with Live was made independent of Idol. No decisions have been made," Seacrest's rep swears. "His priority is Live and his radio show."
The logistics of American Idol's revival are still being worked out—and as everyone knows, the hardest working man in show business isn't one to make rash decisions. "He's seeing if they can make it work, but it's a big commitment for him. It's a lot for him to consider," the source says. Ripa, for her part, would like to see it happen. "I went into seclusion when American Idol was canceled," she joked with him on Monday's show. "Are you going to host it? Please tell me yes."
"Whatever you want. You're my work wife! I say 'yes' and bow to you," Seacrest replied. "No, I don't know about that part yet. We haven't gotten that far. This was news to me last week; I had said at the end of the series, 'Goodbye for now,' hoping somewhere it would come back."
When Seacrest mentioned his busy schedule, Ripa offered words of encouragement, echoing what the show's reps have said about their dynamics. "I know that you're busy in the mornings. I get it. I understand it's hard doing double duty. You've got the radio show. You've got this. But your nights are free; you don't have that much to do. You can do this! You can disconnect for that! On days where it's the day after...You won't even have to think," she vowed. "I'll do it all!"
And that's the truth. "She is having the best time with Ryan and truly feels she has a partner in her co-host," Ripa's rep tells E! News in an exclusive statement. "Should Idol happen, she feels Ryan Seacrest is the heart and soul of American Idol and therefore she's 100 percent on board."
Ripa will always have Seacrest's back—and vice versa. In fact, after taping their first show together last week, they spoke to the media about what makes the show work. "I think when we're hosting the show, I don't know what she's going to say, but I kind of know when she's going to say something-ish," Seacrest said, gesturing to Ripa. "I think you feel the same way."