Inaba, who has been a judge on DWTS since the first season in 2005, has guest co-hosted The Talk frequently over the past year

By Aili Nahas
January 02, 2019 02:03 PM
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2019 is starting off with a bang for Carrie Ann Inaba!

The Dancing with the Stars judge is joining The Talk as permanent co-host, replacing Julie Chen who quit in September after nine seasons.

“I feel so fortunate to sit at the table with these five brilliant women,” says Inaba, 50, who will sit alongside fellow co-hosts Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Eve and Sheryl Underwood. “They’re very dynamic, they’re all really different and I love every one of them.”

Inaba, who has been a judge on DWTS since the first season in 2005, has guest co-hosted The Talk frequently over the past year.

“It’s been such an enriching experience,” she says. “During the process, bonds were formed. It’s really rare in this business to really get along with people. It reminds me of how it is with Len [Goodman] and Bruno [Taglioni] on Dancing.”

Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty

Chen, 48, announced that she was leaving the show in an emotional video statement that came just days after her husband, former CBS CEO Les Moonves resigned following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him. In the video, Chen said she was leaving, among other things, “to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son.”

“I was blown away by that video,” says Inaba. “It doesn’t often happen when someone is so gracious in such a challenging time for themselves.”

Continues Inaba: “Julie has been nothing but supportive. When she heard I got the job, she sent me the most beautiful floral arrangement. She told me, ‘I’m always in your corner.’ She’s amazing.”

David Livingston/Getty; VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty

Now, Inaba is raring to go in her new role.

“I feel so blessed to do this,” says Inaba of The Talk. “When you have five women who know who they are and can come together, even if we don’t always agree, it’s wonderful. I’m really excited.”