With Simon Cowell currently recovering from back surgery, fans are wondering when he might be ready to return to America’s Got Talent. According to fellow judge Howie Mandel, it could be very soon.
Howie talked to the Today show about Simon’s unexpected injury, Kelly Clarkson filling in, and how the show is working to air live shows in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When Is Simon Cowell Returning To ‘AGT’?
Over the weekend, Simon Cowell fell while riding an electric bike, breaking his back in multiple places. He underwent a six-hour surgery in which a metal rod was placed in his back. Because of this, Simon was absent from Tuesday’s first America’s Got Talent live show.
“I was shocked. I love the guy. He’s not only my boss and my co-worker, but he’s a good friend and I was so scared and so worried, but Simon is from another planet. He’s an amazing guy,” fellow judge Howie Mandel told Today on Wednesday.
As Simon is already up and walking, Howie said he “wouldn’t count him out for the live shows yet.” He added that “there may be a Simon sighting before the end of the season. As much as it’s devastating, it’s also good news that he is going to be fine and make a full recovery.”
According to the Mirror, Simon was determined to keep working even in the hospital, sending emails from an iPad just hours after surgery. A source told the outlet, “Nothing is definitive as yet but we very much hope Simon will be well enough to attend both the AGT final on September 23 and the BGT live final in the UK in October.”
What Did Howie Think Of Simon’s Replacement?
On Tuesday night’s show, Kelly Clarkson filled in for Simon Cowell as a judge on AGT‘s first live show of the season. The episode aired from Universal Studios Hollywood, with acts performing on stage, remotely from areas of the park and backlot, or via video feed from out of the country.
“It’s amazing. And Kelly was amazing. It was hard for her to judge with her chair facing the act. She’s not used to that,” Howie joked, referring to Kelly’s usual gig judging blind auditions on The Voice. “But she adapted like that.”
Howie also praised the crew for their hard work on the show. “We all walked into last night not knowing what to expect,” he said. “This whole world has been upside down with the pandemic, with what happened to Simon and we didn’t know what they were going to do, and what an amazing team.”