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Kelly Rowland Walks Off ‘Today’ Show as Guest Host Because ‘Dressing Rooms Weren’t Up to Par, Rita Ora Fills In




A behind-the-scenes mishap led to Kelly Rowland's sudden departure from Today, resulting in Rita Ora stepping in to keep the ball rolling.



The R&B singer and actress was a guest on the 8a.m. hour of “Today,” and was then expected to fill in for Jenna Bush Hager in the fourth hour as guest host of “Today with Hoda & Jenna.”


Rowland, however, dropped out at the 11th hour because her dressing room wasn’t up to par, and she left Hoda Kotb scurrying to find a replacement, sources told us.


“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,” a source familiar with the situation told Page Six.


Rowland was on the show to promote her new Tyler Perry-produced Netflix movie, “Mea Culpa,” in which she stars and is also a producer.


Rowland’s abrupt exit left “Today” insiders perplexed because, “She’s beloved at ‘Today.’ She was getting the full hour, and Hoda’s the biggest hype woman on the planet! It made no sense,” a source said.


Rowland and her team played a dramatic game of “musical dressing rooms,” we hear.


They inquired about a green room upstairs because “they didn’t like the one she was in.”





Unfortunately, the upstairs room was occupied by Jennifer Lopez, who arrived to the studio prior to Rowland to promote her new album, “This Is Me… Now,” and her accompanying film project, “The Greatest Love Story Never Told.”


Dressing rooms at “Today” are known to be some of the smallest in the TV industry — practically “glorified closets,” as one source put it.


“They’re not nice. It’s the oldest building. There are major space limitations, [it’s] not glamorous. It’s not fresh flowers, and candles and gourmet food. It’s basically [a] white box,” shared the TV source.


Still, we’re told “Today” producers offered Rowland several other options, including multiple talent dressing rooms and some much larger utility makeup and hair areas.


“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,” the insider said.





Thankfully for Kotb, singer Rita Ora volunteered and filled in for Rowland.


We hear she happily took a dressing room similar to the one briefly occupied by the former Destiny’s Child star.


Reps for “Today,” and Rowland, did not comment.


I love you Kelly, but she needs to understand that in New York City a lot of the buildings are old and the rooms are tiny including the apartments. Maybe if she showed up earlier than JLo she could have gotten the bigger dressing room? Then JLo probably would have complained like Kelly is.


Sometimes you have to roll with the punches, especially since if you're going to be on TV. You're not going to be spending all of your time in the dressing room.



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