OCD be gone? Howie Mandel's struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder and germaphobia has long been documented, and on the May 26 season 10 premiere of America's Got Talent, a professional hypnotist shockingly seemed to cure his phobias.
On Tuesday's show, Chicago-based hypnotist Chris Jones took a break from the high school and college tour circuit to perform for Mandel and fellow judges Heidi Klum, Mel B., and Howard Stern. Trust Us Weekly: His audition must be seen to be believed.
Urging anyone in the studio audience who didn't want to be hypnotized to leave the studio before his act, Jones then brought Mandel, 59, onstage and asked if he would consent to hypnotherapy. Mandel was open to the idea, but had one condition: That Jones not touch his hands. "Anything but my hands," Mandel said. “I don't shake hands."
What happens next is nothing short of, well, hypnotic. As Mandel falls asleep on Jones' command, the reality TV judge learns that he'll then be able to shake hands with those in the studio wearing (pseudo) gloves, including the contestant, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Drake. On Jones' command, Mandel awakes from his trance and easily shakes hands with Jones — and his fellow judges — twice! "Are you f—king kidding me?!" Mandel said when he learned of the ruse.
Following Tuesday's show, Mandel told Us Weekly that his compulsion for hand washing and cleanliness often rules his day. "I can get stuck. I didn't get stuck that day [during the pre-taped performance], but that doesn't mean I won't get stuck again, so I'm not cured. As I talk to you, I'm well medicated," Mandel, who undergoes behavioral therapy, said.
Looking back at Jones' audition, Mandel admitted that he felt he was somewhat taken advantage of. "I didn't know what he was going to make me do, and then when I saw it after I felt like I was taken advantage of. I've talked to my therapist since and they've said it was actually good for me to do," he told Us. "I make jokes about it, but it is real and it's painful each and every day I deal with it."
America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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