We finally know who the AGT Season 15 judges will be, and it turns out they all have one very interesting thing in common. This week, it was announced that actress Sofia Vergara and model Heidi Klum will replace Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough on the panel.
The ladies will join longtime judges, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell. Have you figured out what they all have in common yet? Well, here’s your answer — none of them were born in the United States.
All The ‘AGT’ Judges Were Born Outside America
Sofia Vergara, the show’s first Latina judge, was born in Colombia. Heidi Klum, who judged previous seasons and returned for Champions this year, was born in Germany. Howie Mandel is from Canada. And of course, Simon Cowell is originally from England.
It might seem strange for a show called America’s Got Talent to be judged by people from outside the United States. However, three of the judges — Sofia, Heidi, and Howie — have U.S. citizenship.
In fact, Sofia shared in 2014 that she got a perfect score on her citizenship test. “You know what? It’s a very emotional moment for me,” Sofia told Jimmy Kimmel. “It took me a lot of time to get my residence even though I was working here for a long time.”
What Other Foreign Judges Has The Show Had?
Over the years, AGT has had several judges born outside the United States. Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Mel B are all from England. Even Jerry Springer, who hosted Seasons 2 and 3, was born in England.
This trend actually fits quite well with the show’s philosophy. It emphasizes that immigrants are an important part of American culture. And considering how many AGT acts are from outside the U.S. (including recent Champions winners V. Unbeatable), having judges who represent other countries also makes sense.
America shouldn’t just be for those born inside its borders. And neither should its talent shows. It also makes AGT stand out compared to The Voice and American Idol, whose current judges are all American-born.