After weeks of speculation but no official confirmation, former NFL player Michael Strahan emerged this morning as Kelly Ripa’s new co-host on Live! With Kelly. The show underwent an extensive bout of on-air testing of potential sidekicks for Ripa since the exodus of Regis Philbin, including Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas. Thomas, who bantered with Ripa on the show for a week in July, confided during his Heineken All Access Lounge appearance with fellow MB20 member Kyle Cook that he had no interest in joining Ripa on a permanent basis.
“That is a skill set that is all on its own,” Thomas said. “To be that cheerful that consistently, for that many years, that early…crazy! She is a master at it.” But perpetual cheeriness isn’t necessarily a staple of the music of Matchbox Twenty nor Thomas himself.
“My mind gets dark and blue,” Thomas admitted. “So like there’s a lot of sh** that I just could not say if I was on the Kelly Ripa moment. Like just subjects that I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about. And just for that one hour, I’m sitting there and all that’s going through my head is, ‘Don’t say fu**, don’t say fu**, don’t say fu**’, that’s all I’m saying in my head.”
Thomas also has no idea how the final product of his appearances with Ripa came off, saying that he never went back to view recordings of the shows after they were completed. “I don’t remember the last time that I’ve watched like a TV performance that I’ve done or something like that,” he confessed. “You feel like once you do it you can’t take it back, it’s already there, so wherever it is you just leave it where you left it and move on to the next one.”
And while today doesn’t mark the debut of Thomas as a permanent Live! with Kelly co-host, it is still a special day for Thomas and the guys of Matchbox Twenty with the release of North, their first full-length studio album in ten years.