‘The Talk’ Adds ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Host to Replace Cast Member Who Recently Left

by Madison Miller

News just broke that a brand new face will join “The Talk” very soon.

The CBS talk show has brought in Akbar Gbajabiamila as the new permanent co-host for season 12. You may recognize Gbajabiamila for his role as the host of the very popular competition show, “America’s Ninja Warrior” and “American Ninja Warrior Junior.”

Akbar Gbajabiamila Joins ‘The Talk’

He is the replacement for Elaine Welteroth as she exits the program. Gbajabiamila will join Sheryl Underwood, Amanda Kloots, and Jerry O’Connell. This new season will premiere on September 13. Gbajabiamila is no stranger to the program, seeing as he’s made several guest co-host appearances in both June and July.

He was popular enough with both viewers and his fellow hosts to now join full-time.

“It’s a new day in daytime for Season 12 of The Talk and we are thrilled to welcome Akbar to the family. His engaging personality, openness and quick wit really impressed us when he appeared as a guest co-host last season,” said Heather Gray, executive producer and showrunner of “The Talk,” to Deadline.

The showrunner of the program, Kristin Matthews, added that he has a wonderful “candor and humor.”

Also, his position as a father and husband makes him have a “special connection” with viewers everywhere.

Akbar Gbajabiamila responded to the special news on his Twitter account today.

“Praise God for this exciting news. It is an absolute honor to be joining @TheTalkCBS as a co-host! I am so excited for this new generation of such a hallmark establishment in daytime television. To be a part of this diverse group, is truly a dream & a new statement for this show. In a world as divided as ours, I look forward to showing up as my fun and authentic self everyday and advocating for conversation over confrontation. My prayer is that I will add value to the consciousness of our viewers and make this world a better place,” he wrote.

The Search for Permanent Host

The show has had to search for replacements following Carrie Ann Inaba and Elaine Welteroth’s departures this year. Sharon Osbourne also exited “The Talk” due to a plethora of controversy. Welteroth is leaving the show after only one season citing her desire to pursue other projects.

“It is an absolute honor for anyone, but especially a young Black woman, to occupy space on-air where our perspectives are largely underrepresented. It was gratifying to be able to show up as my authentic self in front of a live national audience every day in a world as divided as ours and to stay true to myself and what I stand for,” Welteroth said, according to Decider.

Gbajabiamila is an active activist and volunteer. He is on the board of the Asomugha Foundation, which is an organization that fosters educational opportunities for impoverished communities. He is also a published author and executive-produced the movie “Sylvie’s Love.”

Gbajabiamila was also an NFL linebacker and defensive end for five years before eventually becoming an analyst.