NBC’s Today Show Scrambles for Guest Host After Kelly Rowland’s Unexpected Exit

NBC News’ Today with Hoda & Jenna faced an unexpected challenge as singer Kelly Rowland abruptly departed, prompting a last-minute search for a guest host.

Kelly Rowland
Singer Kelly Rowland walks off Today show.

NBC News’ Today with Hoda & Jenna encountered an unforeseen predicament when singer Kelly Rowland abruptly left, necessitating a hurried quest for a replacement guest host.

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On Thursday, Rowland, who had initially appeared in the 8 a.m. hour, was expected to step in for Jenna Bush Hager during the fourth hour as a guest host alongside Hoda Kotb. However, reports suggest that Rowland was dissatisfied with her dressing room, prompting her unexpected departure.

In the eleventh hour, singer Rita Ora, who had been a guest on the morning show, graciously stepped up to co-host alongside Hoda Kotb. The swift transition was detailed by a source familiar with the situation.

Despite the curious turn of events, Today’s representative chose to remain silent on the matter, and a spokesperson for Kelly Rowland did not promptly respond to requests for comment.

Rita Ora took to her Instagram page to share moments from the impromptu hosting gig, expressing appreciation for the opportunity. She revealed the spontaneous nature of the switch, stating, “Well, this happened! We had two minutes to prepare ahhh, thank you @hodaandjenna for asking me to co-host the show… Everyone was so lovely and kind, I had SO much fun doing it!! Love to everyone that tuned in, maybe we should do more??!!!”

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In a surprising twist, Ora’s sister, who happened to be with her at the studio, made an unexpected appearance, adding to the unplanned excitement. Ora humorously questioned the reality of the day, stating, “Wait a minute, Is today real? Because I just don’t even know what is even happening today.”

The New York Post initially reported on the reasons behind the last-minute change, citing Rowland’s dissatisfaction with her dressing room. Despite being offered alternative options, Kelly Rowland declined, highlighting the challenges posed by the limited size of dressing rooms at 30 Rock, a result of the historical nature of the building and the constrained layout of studio space in midtown Manhattan.

The incident shed light on the intricate logistics and unforeseen challenges that can arise in the fast-paced world of live television production.

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