Dr. Lillian Glass Gives Body Language Analysis of Kelly Rippa on Michael Strahan’s Last Day


Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan during their last episode together
David M. Russell/Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution

Exaggerated perkiness, distancing postures and a lack of eye contact: Ripa’s body language “leaked out her animosity” during her co-host’s farewell episode of ‘Live! With Kelly and Michael.’ Expert Lillian Glass, PhD, breaks down the telltale signs.

Drama, drama, drama. That’s one way to describe the happenings during the last few weeks on Live! With Kelly and Michael. It started on April 19 when it came to light that co-host Michael Strahan and ABC and Good Morning America producers hadreportedly been planning for months for him to depart the duo-led daytime show and join GMA full time in the fall, without Ripa’s knowledge. Strahan co-hosted his last episode ofLive! on Friday, May 13, and though Ripa — who missed several tapings following news of the former football star’s exit breaking mere minutes after she was informed — gushed during the champagne toast, her body language communicated feelings that were quite the opposite. Saysbody-language expert Lillian Glass, PhD: “While she may try to be a good actor and disguise her true feelings, the body doesn’t lie, as it leaked out her animosity.” In short: Strahan probably shouldn’t expect a holiday card from the Consuelos-Ripa clan this year. Below, the five ways Ripa indicated she is still seriously miffed and hasn’t quite moved on.

Pointed perkiness and courtliness: From the moment Kelly Ripa steps out in front of Michael Strahan, she is far too bouncy and acting as though she is happy. Ripa further compensates by acting like the “gentleman,” pushing in his chair in a reversal of the normal routine between the two, indicating that she is taking control of the situation.

Overt friendship gesture, covert drawing away: She displays a phoniness as she puts her arm around Strahan under the guise of friendship, but her body tells the real truth as she leans her torso back. He knows it is fake, as he purses his lips in discomfort and holds on to himself in order to contain himself during this awkward moment. Ripa keeps her arm around his shoulder, which clearly makes Strahan feel more uncomfortable. You can see the tension in his face.

Uncontrollable minimizing: Ripa’s discomfort seems to leak out as she says the phrase, “another day,” as though she is calling Strahan’s departure just another day on the job. She seems to be bracing herself to keep calm and control her emotions. The joke Ripa cracks about the coffee cups becoming “discounted merchandise” is a clear dig, which Strahan corrects in a quick pivot by calling the cup a “collectors’ item.”

Done, done, done, done signals: Another sign of how she really feels about him and the situation occurs when Ripa asks if Strahan is excited about his new gig. She hunches way over as she takes a sip of her coffee and avoids eye contact during his response.

Style cue: Another poignant sign of Ripa’s disdain is that the fashion plate, who normally favors bright Diane von Furstenberg pieces and colorful Dolce & Gabbana or Roland Mouret frocks, is dressed in a simple black dress. Subconsciously, she is saying that she is mourning the Kelly and Michael show.

Even though Ripa seems to be trying to make nice, viewers can feel the overall tension. When Strahan gives his heartfelt goodbye speech and says that Ripa changed his life, she surprises the audience by merely saying, “I know.” Balling her hand up in a fist as she says farewell shows her anger. In stark contrast to the pair’s first show together on September 14, 2012, when they couldn’t stop touching one another, here’s one final stilted moment in which they can’t even bring themselves to look at one another during their last show together:


One thought on “Dr. Lillian Glass Gives Body Language Analysis of Kelly Rippa on Michael Strahan’s Last Day

  1. Wonderful analysis. I find her antics on that show to ALWAYS be extremely phony and over-exaggerated though, to the point of being cringe-worthy. I wonder if she is really happy on that show at all. I find his antics usually were fake and phony as well – I guess those two never really got along.


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