Best: Kelly Ripa
When Kathie Lee Gifford departed “LIVE! Regis and Kathie Lee” in 2000 to focus on her singing career, Regis Philbin began auditioning candidates to fill the difficult spot. Diminutive fireball Kelly Ripa was the frontrunner from day one of her audition, when a psychic revealed on the air that Ripa was pregnant with her second child. She was announced as Gifford’s official replacement on February 5, and within months had upped the show’s viewership dramatically, particularly among younger viewers. —XFINITY Entertainment Staff (Photo: Charles Sykes, AP Images)
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