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Michael Strahan’s ‘Bittersweet’ Good-bye to ‘Live!’ — Was There Tension with Kelly Ripa Before the Final Taping?

Michael Strahan’s ‘Bittersweet’ Good-bye to ‘Live!’ — Was There Tension with Kelly Ripa Before the Final Taping?

Earlier this morning, Michael Strahan made his final appearance as co-host of “Live! with Kelly and Michael” after four years on the show.

Despite the drama that has swirled about his relationship with Kelly Ripa, the pair were seen holding hands and hugging while sitting side by side on his final show. At the top of the show, Michael told the audience, "We did it. We made it out here, at least.” Ripa added, “Don’t take this as a bad sign — it’s Friday the 13th. But you said 13 is a lucky number.”

As for his last day, Strahan told the audience, “It’s bittersweet. This is a moment I didn’t anticipate being here. (But) it’s here; we’re going to enjoy it. I’m not dying. I’m still in the family. I’m still available to come back if I’m ever called to co-host... I’m not going anywhere.”

After hearing Michael’s comments, Kelly joked, "You could fill in for me. I start vacation in a couple of weeks.” Michael declined her invitation, explaining, "I don't know about that. That's a little too soon."

During the taping, Kelly introduced retrospective clips of Michael while he was her co-host after taking over for Regis Philbin in 2012. She said, "As part of Michael's Flashback Friday Farewell, this is your flashback. Here we go. Stories, dancing, eating, playing games, trending topics, and surprises are just some of the things that make up this part of the show. These are the first 20 minutes of the show. Sometimes 13, sometimes 27. We get to sit here and talk about the day's events and what's new in our lives, and it's become a signature of our show. And as a matter of fact, a lot of shows, by the way. It really has. So now, let's take a look back at some of the most memorable host chat moments we have had together.”

Michael’s “Magic Mike XXL” co-star Matt Bomer also appeared on the show and shared some kind words for him. Bomer gushed, "I've got get a little sappy to start this off, and thank Michael helping the great unrequited love of my life, Kelly Ripa, host this show so well. It's been a pleasure doing this show for four years. Whether you're here looking all dapper or in a gold lamé thong on 'Magic Mike,’ you always conduct yourself with great intelligence and generosity, and I wish you the best."

The night before, Michael attended Tag Heuer's Timecrafters event at the Park Avenue Armory, but refused to address his relationship with Kelly. He simply said to Us Weekly, "I can’t. Sorry.” He did express some love for the show during a recent interview with DuJour magazine, sharing, "I’m looking forward to moving to 'Good Morning America' full-time, but I loved being at ‘Live.’ It’s a great show, great people, and I’m very fortunate to have been a part of it."