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Hoda Kotb offers Kelly Rowland ‘Today’ show ‘redo’ after alleged dressing room walkout

Alexandra Del Rosario – Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager extended olive branches to Kelly Rowland: an opportunity to return to the “Today” show, and promises to spruce up their backstage accommodations.

The co-anchors discussed making amends with the “Mea Culpa” star and former Destiny’s Child singer a week after she reportedly walked off the “Today” show. Last week, Page Six reported that Rowland and her team abruptly left the New York studio due to a disappointing dressing room.

“There’s no one who’s more gracious or grateful than Kelly,” Kotb told Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday. “We’ve been texting back and forth. … I gave her a call, I said, ‘C’mon girl, we’re waiting. We’ll do a redo.'”

Rowland was set to co-host a segment of the “Today” show with Kotb, but after her abrupt exit, the broadcast vet reportedly scrambled to find a replacement. Ultimately, singer Rita Ora filled the spot. Ora had been scheduled as a guest that morning. (“We had two minutes to prepare,” the singer wrote on Instagram, alongside a carousel of photos and video.)

Kotb’s Wednesday comments echoed sentiments she shared during Tuesday’s broadcast. Addressing reports of the dressing room drama, Kotb said, “she can share my dressing room. We’ll be together.”

A representative for Rowland praised the singer — “one of the kindest, most amiable humans I have ever met” — this week but did not confirm or deny whether the allegedly subpar dressing room played a role in the singer-actor’s sudden “Today” exit. Kotb, however, admitted on Wednesday that “our dressing rooms are not the greatest.”

“None of them are great,” she said, before likening the backstage spaces to the less-than-luxurious dressing rooms at Broadway venues. “It’s kind of the charm of the ‘Today’ show.”

Bush Hager, who also voiced love for Rowland earlier this week, offered to beautify the “Today” dressing rooms herself, expressing her interest in interior design.

Savannah Guthrie, promoting her new book, “Mostly What God Does,” also told ET that they “need to remodel and decorate” the “Today” dressing rooms. Another report about Rowland’s exit alleged that Guthrie’s questions about Beyoncé and her new music drove the “Freddy vs. Jason” star away. Guthrie did not address those allegations.

“We need ‘Extreme Makeover: Today Show’ edition,” she told the website. “We are in a historic studio — 1A — it’s the same studio that has been used for decades. It’s incredible, it’s iconic and it’s old … if you want history, sometimes you’re going to have a few little chips of paint coming off the walls.”

She continued: “We try to do our best, and hopefully the main thing is how people feel and the reception they get. I hope they feel the warm hug from all of us on the show, because we’re really grateful for our guests for coming.”

Earlier this week, Rowland received love (and a luxurious dressing room) from daytime TV host Sherri Shepherd. Throwing some subtle shade at the dressing room debacle, the Instagram account of Shepherd’s show shared a video of the 43-year-old’s luxe accommodations, which included a spacious couch, multiple plush chairs and a blue velvet ottoman.

“A TIME WAS HAD with the legendary Kelly Rowland at the Sherri Show,” read the video’s original caption, which has since been edited.

While promoting “Mea Culpa,” written and directed by Tyler Perry, Rowland praised Shepherd for being a “light, positive energy in this space, in this time.”

“We needed you, and I thank you so much for your light,” Rowland said.

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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