The announcement was made official on Wednesday when The Talk hosts Sharon Osbourne, Sara Gilbert, Sheryl Underwood and Eve welcomed the 50-year-old Dancing With the Stars judge to the CBS daytime talk show. Inaba is replacing former host Julie Chen, who left the show in September following her husband, Les Moonves', exit from CBS, due to multiple women going public with sexual misconduct allegations against him. Moonves has denied the allegations.
Inaba walked out to Pink's "Raise Your Glass" on Wednesday's show as the audience cheered.
"I'm so excited," Inaba said with a huge smile on her face. "I've been backstage saying to myself, 'Oh my god, is this real?'"
"I feel so fortunate to be able to sit at the table, to be sitting with such beautiful, intelligent ...dynamic women ... and I look forward to having more deep conversations," she continued.
Osbourne later praised Inaba after a montage of her on the show was aired.
"You have been so open about personal things and just everything that goes on in the world," Osbourne said. "You're fearless and I love that about you."
"The last two months have been really tough on us but you have pulled us together and I love you for that," she added.
Meanwhile, Eve echoed, "It feels amazingly right and it's been so nice to get to know you."
ET's Kevin Frazier was on set of The Talk on the big day, and Inaba revealed that she cried when she heard she got the co-hosting gig.
"I've been guest co-hosting for, I think, over a year now," she explained. "Oh, it's going to make me cry -- it got so... I felt like I ran a marathon. Like, since the first time I was on the set, I just felt like I love these women and I have so much to grow by being with them, and I just cried. I actually laid down in my hallway and, 'Oh my god. I actually get to do this for a living? This gets to be my job? I get to come here and be with these incredible women and learn and share with them?' I'm lucky, very fortunate."
Gilbert noted to ET how Inaba's seat at the table just felt natural.
"I think she's the right person because she feels like that, right?" she said. "How great is that? I mentioned it on the show, but I feel like she's our friend, and that is what the show is about. It's about being girlfriends, sharing and honest. She's always got something to say. She's always bringing it to the table and we just feel connected to her and that's everything."
News actually broke last month that Inaba was replacing Chen, routinely filling in for the Big Brother host since her departure. Chen herself made it no secret that she wanted Inaba to make the high-profile gig permanent, giving the dancer a shout-out during her emotional video announcing she was leaving The Talk that aired in September.
“You’d look awful good sitting in that chair, my Asian sister," Chen said. "I’m just saying.”
For more on Chen's emotional departure from The Talk, watch the video below: