“Aubrey’s been a rock during the tougher times this past couple of years,” the source says of the 25-year-old model, whose full name is Aubrey Paige Petcosky. Most recently, that means supporting the American Idol host, 48, amid the news that he’s leaving Live after nearly six years.
“Ryan has been very kind to himself recently,” the insider adds of the radio personality. “He regulates himself a lot better and doesn’t burn the candle at both ends. He still loves working, but he’s taking more time for himself.”
The Georgia native announced his exit from the morning talk show on February 16. Seacrest joined the series in May 2017 alongside Kelly Ripa after a lengthy search for a permanent cohost.
“Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” the Emmy winner said in a statement about his departure. “She has been an amazing partner, friend and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
“He’s had some amazing times on Live and wants to go out on a high,” the source explains. “Plus, he still looks forward to making guest appearances and staying in close contact with everyone concerned. He’s thrilled she’s got Mark by her side as his replacement and says it couldn’t have been scripted better.”
Ripa, 52, announced that Consuelos, 51, would be joining the show the same day that Seacrest confirmed his exit from the series. The Hope & Faith alum and the Riverdale veteran tied the knot in 1996 after meeting on the set of the soap opera All My Children.
“Mark and I owe everything we have in our professional lives to ABC. We met there at the beginning of our careers and got married and had our kids while there,” the Live Wire author told Us earlier this week, referring to sons Michael, 25, and Joaquin, 19, and daughter Lola, 21. “So many wonderful moments have happened while with ABC, so it only makes sense for us to come full circle and work together once again for the show that has given us so much joy and so many years of memories.”
Seacrest, for his part, has been linked to Paige since May 2021. After the couple made their red carpet debut last year, an insider told Us that the duo were getting more serious.
“Ryan is increasingly confident he and Aubrey have what it takes for the long term,” the source said in June 2022. “He’s trying not to get too far ahead of himself, it’s still relatively early days after all, but the fact he was willing to go red carpet official was a big step.”
When the On Air With Ryan Seacrest host announced his exit from Live, Paige was spotted in the audience cheering on her beau.
“Once American Idol starts from Los Angeles live later in the spring, I’ll head out to the West Coast and host that show — the 21st season of American Idol — from Los Angeles,” the Kardashians executive producer told the crowd, explaining the timing of his planned exit. “I love the fact that we get a chance to sit here every day and connect with you at home, in your kitchens, in your living rooms at work. There’s nothing like this on television.”
For more on Seacrest’s Live exit, watch the video above and pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.