Today guest host Kelly Rowland walks off show, leaving Hoda Kotb to find replacement

singer kelly rowland face shot from Nickelodeon's 2023 Kids' Choice Awards
Singer Kelly Rowland appears at the Nickelodeon’s 2023 Kids’ Choice Awards at the Microsoft Theater. Pic Credit: © Bennight/AdMedia

Singer Kelly Rowland’s recent appearance on Today ended shorter than expected as she stormed off due to unsuitable dressing room conditions.

The actress and singer appeared on the show to promote her new movie Mea Culpa and was part of an interview with Today’s Savannah Guthrie.

While some felt part of that interview was “disrespectful,” sources indicated that wasn’t why Rowland abruptly left the show.

After appearing during the 8 a.m. portion of Today, Rowland was going to stick around as a replacement for Jenna Bush Hager on Today with Hoda & Jenna.

However, sources said that Rowland was unhappy with her dressing room conditions, leading to her dramatic departure earlier than expected.

“Kelly and her team were not happy. They did not like the dressing room, so they decided to pull her off the show, leaving [Kotb] without a guest host for the 10 a.m. hour,” the source said, per Page Six.

Source says Rowland and team played ‘musical dressing rooms’

Since Rowland and her team weren’t happy with the dressing room situation, they attempted to switch things. Page Six’s source says they tried to play “musical dressing rooms” and asked about a green one upstairs since “they didn’t like the one she was in.”

At the time of Rowland’s arrival, celebrity guest Jennifer Lopez was using the dressing room they’d inquired about. Lopez was on Today to promote her new album This Is Me… Now and its accompanying film, The Greatest Love Story Never Told.

Today’s dressing rooms are known to be smaller than most within the television industry, with one source referring to them as “glorified closets,” per Page Six.

Reportedly, Today tried to offer Rowland and her team other options while there, including some of the talent dressing rooms and larger utility closets or makeup rooms. However, they weren’t interested in these options.

“They didn’t want that. [The show] basically offered up as much as possible, but they weren’t happy with it, so they walked and they left,” said the inside source.

Rowland appeared earlier in the program for an interview that mostly focused on her new movie Mea Culpa, which she stars in and was a producer on with Tyler Perry.

The interview also featured anchor Savannah Guthrie asking several times about Rowland’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate, Beyonce Knowles, and her recent foray into country music.

Hoda scrambled to find a last-minute replacement guest host

With Rowland’s abrupt departure, it meant Hoda was without a guest host. Luckily, she found a replacement in time, as singer and TV personality Rita Ora saved the show.

Hoda shared a carousel post of photos featuring herself and the singer as they appeared on Hoda & Jenna.

“Thank you so much for guest co-hosting with @hodakotb this morning, @ritaora 💜 You smashed it, we love you!” Hoda wrote in the caption of her Instagram post.

Based on Page Six details, Ora took a dressing room similar to the one rumored to have caused Rowland’s dramatic exit.

Ora filled in with limited notice or preparation but handled it admirably. During one segment, she spoke about her mother being a breast cancer survivor and her work ethic. Her sister also appeared as part of the segment as she was in the studio.

“Is today even real? I just don’t even know what’s happening today,” Ora joked.

Per the publication, reps for Today and Rowland didn’t comment. Rowland did not share any social media related to the show either.

“[Rowland’s] beloved at Today. She was getting the full hour, and Hoda’s the biggest hype woman on the planet! It made no sense,” Page Six’s inside source said.

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