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NY Post
Page Six
17 Feb 2024

NextImg:Rita Ora confirms she was asked to co-host ‘Today’ show last minute after Kelly Rowland walked off set

Rita Ora confirmed she was asked to fill in as a guest co-host on “Today” last minute after Page Six exclusively revealed the morning show’s producers were left scrambling after Kelly Rowland walked off.

“Well, this happened!” the “Ritual” singer, 33, captioned on Instagram Friday a slideshow of photos and videos featuring her co-hosting alongside Hoda Kotb.

“We had two minutes to prepare ahhh, thank you @hodaandjenna for asking me to co-host the show…”

Rita Ora confirmed via Instagram she was asked to fill in last minute on the “Today” show. Instagram/@ritaora
“We had two minutes to prepare,” the singer shared on social media. NBC

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Ora then graciously praised the “Today” show staff, adding, “Everyone was so lovely and kind, I had SO much fun doing it!! ???????????? Love to everyone that tuned in, maybe we should do more??!!!”

Kotb, for her part, took to her Instagram Friday to commend the “Praising You” singer after she co-hosted.

“We manifested— and it will happen @ritaora ❤️,” the journalist, 59, captioned a slideshow from their episode together. “What a talent!”

Page Six learned Kelly Rowland was initially supposed to guest co-host. TODAY/NBC
However, the Destiny’s Child member allegedly did not think the dressing rooms were up to par. TODAY/NBC

Although it all seemed to work out well in the end, Page Six previously learned there had actually been a lot of madness going on behind-the-scenes early Thursday morning when Rowland allegedly walked off set when the show’s dressing rooms were not up to par.

“Kelly and her team were not happy,” a source said on Friday. “They did not like the dressing room, so they decided to pull her off the show, leaving [Kotb] without a guest host for the 10 a.m. hour.”

We were also told producers scoured the building to find the Destiny’s Child member a more suitable space for her and her team, leaving them playing a game of “musical dressing rooms.”

Insiders previously said Kotb and the producers were left scrambling to find a replacement. NBC
Ora said online she was asked to fill in, while sources previously said she “volunteered.” Instagram/@ritaora

However, when none of the rooms were allegedly up to Rowland’s standards, Kotb and the “Today” show colleagues were left searching high and low for a replacement — ultimately landing on Ora, who was already booked as a guest and we were told “volunteered.”

One insider told Page Six of Rowland’s abrupt exit, “She’s beloved at ‘Today.’ She was getting the full hour, and Hoda’s the biggest hype woman on the planet! It made no sense.”

The “Mea Culpa” star, who appeared on “Today” in the first place on Thursday to promote her Netflix flick, has not addressed the ordeal and her reps did not comment.