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Regis Philbin is not an easy act to follow. For nearly eight months, Kelly Ripa has been testing out guest hosts on Live with Kelly, looking for a cohost who can fill the spot Regis occupied for 30 years. Well, it seems that she's finally narrowed it down... to three. And the entertainers in question -- Seth Meyers, Josh Groban and Michael Strahan -- couldn't be more different from Regis (or each other)!
According to Showbiz 411, Saturday Night Live's Meyers, 38, is the top contender for the permanent seat next to Kelly. Best known for hosting the SNL's "Weekend Update" segment, Meyers is also SNL's head writer -- a job that he'd almost certainly have to give up if he took the daytime gig. The comedian cohosted Live with Kelly a few times in April and May, and starting this Monday, he'll be appearing on the show for a whole week. Is this a "tryout" for a full-time job?
If Meyers doesn't make the cut, there are two other big names vying for the position. Just a few weeks ago, former New York Giants player and nine-time guest host Michael Strahan, 40, was said to be the top choice.
"All bets are on Michael Strahan. He's funny, does well on camera and gets along really fabulously with Kelly," a source told Hollywood Life in May. "Michael is the top name that is seriously being thrown around right now."
Then there's "You Raise Me Up" singer Josh Groban, 31. A longtime talk-show favorite (he's been on Oprah six times), Groban has gushed about how much he loves hosting Live.
"(Kelly) makes it so easy, and we've just had a really wonderful friendship and a great chemistry, so it's been a lot of fun to wake up early for," Groban told Vanity Fair in April. When asked if he'd take on the job full time, he answered, "I've had more fun doing it than many things I've done in the past -- it was a great time. So yeah, maybe, you never know."
Now that we're down to the final three, it means that a few fan favorites are out of the running entirely, including Anderson Cooper (who has his hands full with his CNN show and daytime talk show) and Neil Patrick Harris (who has his hands full with every other job in show business). Ripa's husband Mark Consuelos is also no longer in consideration, which doesn't seem to be a problem for Kelly.
"No one would make me happier than Mark, but he values our marriage and he says that he doesn't see how we could stay married and both do that show," she admitted in May.
We have to say, we love the idea of Seth Meyers taking the gig. He's cute, funny, smart and has never spent enough time on camera at SNL. Of course, if he could also keep doing "Weekend Update" -- as Showbiz 411 says he would -- then SNL fans could have their cake and eat it, too.
We can't wait to find out who gets picked -- or, for that matter, how Kelly makes the announcement. We've got two words for you, Kelly: rose ceremony.