Kelly Ripa returned to Live with Kelly and Michael for the first time since it was announced that Michael Strahan was leaving to go to Good Morning America full time in August. In case you missed it and care about what she had to say on the show, here's video and a synopsis of what happened.

Instead of ignoring the circus surrounding Michael's departure, she tackled it head-on.  Here's how it went down:

Kelly and Michael walked out hand-in-hand, which felt a little awkward.

Kelly started the show by standing in front of the crowd and giving a speech about the whole fiasco.  They didn't cut away from her, even when she addressed Michael, which was strange.  And she didn't really make any excuses.  She started off with a couple jokes . . . like saying, quote, "our long, national nightmare is over."  Then she admitted she needed some time to clear her head after she was told that Michael was leaving for "Good Morning America".

She also said, quote, "It started a much greater conversation about communication and consideration, and most importantly respect in the workplace."

She said that "apologies have been made."  She didn't say who apologized, although it seems like she was most upset with the higher-ups.  And she also said, quote, "Our parent company has assured me that 'Live!' is a priority."

After the four-minute speech, Michael thanked Kelly, and complimented her.  Neither of them looked particularly comfortable.  And even though Kelly said she's "thrilled" for him . . . it's clear that the situation flared up too much for their feelings to be 100% genuine at this point.

The BEST part of the whole thing was when Michael told Kelly, quote, "I'm right down the street, [if] you need me I'm coming back!"  And her reaction was priceless.  It's like she was thinking, 'Wow, OK, well that isn't going to happen.'

After the show, ABC announced that Michael's last day would be May 13th . . . three MONTHS before he was originally supposed to leave.  Apparently both Kelly and Michael were eager to move on . . . professionally and personally.

Officially, ABC said the earlier date would allow time to give Michael a proper goodbye, while also giving him time to prepare for his new gig.  It'll also let Kelly start the search for a new co-host right away.