"Sharon was the star of the show, on camera and behind the scenes. She was the leader and the lady that had the final say," the OK! source explains. "Everyone knew their role, which was basically to shut up when Sharon was talking."
OK! previously reported that Osbourne parted ways with The Talk on Friday, March 26, weeks after the daytime talk show went on hiatus following a heated on-air spat between her and Underwood over Piers Morgan (Osbourne previously defended his freedom of speech after he questioned claims made by Meghan Markle during her and Prince Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview) — and now the remaining women are ready to fight it out to fill Osbourne's shoes, according to the source.
"Now that the leader has left, the other four ladies are all trying to take over on camera and behind the scenes,” an insider adds. “Sharon leaving has caused a huge power vacuum that each of the other ladies are looking to fill."
In particular, insiders dish that Underwood, 57, and Welteroth, 34, appear to be butting heads on who deserves the prominent title of "boss."
"Sheryl, who is now the show's longest-serving host, thinks she should be the boss. However, Elaine thinks she’s the voice of the new generation and wants to be the lead host," the source continues, adding: "It is unclear who is going to win, but what is clear is that anyone who thinks the drama is over now that Sharon is out is very much mistaken.”
- Sharon Osbourne Will Break Her Silence Following 'The Talk' Exit On Upcoming 'Real Time With Bill Maher'
- 'The Talk' Host Sheryl Underwood Makes It Clear To Jerry O'Connell That She Is The 'Star Of The Show' Post-Sharon Osbourne Ousting
- 'False Narratives Have Been Spun': 'The Talk' Returns Without Sharon Osbourne, Ladies Address Recent Controversy
And while the cohosts seem to be friendly on air, sources insist that their claws are coming out. “Don’t underestimate Sheryl or Elaine,” a source warns. “These two slayed the dragon named Sharon. Now they are coming after each other.”
Following Osbourne's on-air meltdown, CBS launched an internal investigation into the episode, putting the show on hiatus. Shortly after, racist allegations were made against Osbourne.
The Talk returned to the air on Monday, April 12, after CBS’s internal investigation led to the departure of the embattled host.
Underwood started off the show, from backstage, by addressing the March 10 drama. "We haven’t been together at the studio since the week of March 10," she began. "And as you may know, during our break, Sharon decided to leave.”
Underwood continued: “We need to process the events of that day and what happened since, so we can get to the healing.”
Later on, Welteroth came to Underwood's defense regarding the heated Morgan discussion, praising her for her "strength" and "will power" to be able to maintain her composure while talking to Osbourne.
And while both women remained cordial with each other during the most recent episode, things are sure to heat up backstage!