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The host of Live with Kelly talks to PEOPLE about the search for her next co-host after Michael Strahan's sudden departure

By Blake Bakkila and Jeffrey Slonim
Updated July 31, 2016 12:05 PM
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Credit: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

Kelly Ripa loves rotating her potential co-hosts for Live with Kelly.

“It’s fun, it’s energizing,” she told PEOPLE at the 19th Annual Super Saturday NY event for Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) on Saturday. “It’s what we do best. And I think that it’s been a blast. I love it. I know our production team loves it and I know the audience loves it.”

Ripa faced some difficulty after being blindsided when her former co-host, Michael Strahan, decided to leave the show for a full-time Good Morning America gig. Strahan and Kelly hosted Live! With Kelly and Michael together for nearly four years.

The list of people to fill Strahan’s slot over the past couple of months is rumored to be down to eight contenders, including Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen and Fred Savage.

In April, a source told PEOPLE that Ripa “wanted more than anyone else” for Cooper fill her former co-host Regis Philbin‘s spot in 2011, but he was busy launching his own talk show (the short-lived Anderson) at the time.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in May, Ripa opened up about what it takes to find the perfect “chemistry and camaraderie and trust.”

“It doesn’t fall out of the sky,” she told PEOPLE. “It takes a lot of work, and it takes a group discussion.”

To fill Strahan’s spot, Ripa echoed her previous statements on Saturday, saying the decision is a group effort.

“The decision is such a big decision,” she says about the final selection. “It’s so beyond just me. Of course, I think that it’s really the audience loves a co-host search … Do I know who I click with? I make it my job to click with everybody. So, I’m only as successful as the person sitting next to me.”

Ripa also said she has not yet had a bad experience with any of her guest hosts.

“The great thing about the co-host search is that it highlights people and their strengths,” she says. “And that’s what’s so good about it.”

The host also said this testing period will go on as long as the audience continues to love it.

“I guess until the audience gets tired of it, which hasn’t happened yet,” she says about the trial period. “We love it. I have to say, we have a policy that we only allow people who are positive and who have a great energy in the building. And we’ve been so lucky we’ve had such good experiences. People are very willing to do it.”

Live with Kelly airs weekdays (check local listings).