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‘America’s Got Talent’ Judges Reveal Whether Simon Cowell Will Return This Season

On the mend. Although Simon Cowell was replaced at the America’s Got Talent judging table by Kelly Clarkson during the Tuesday, August 11, live show, everyone is hopeful that will only be a temporary change. Cowell, 60, broke his back on Saturday, August 8, while riding an electric bike.

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“We have been told he has been recovering tremendously,” judge Howie Mandel, 64, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview posted on Wednesday, August 12. “I would not count him out before the end of this season.”

The former Deal or No Deal host, 64, also provided a small update regarding the producer’s condition.

Americas Got Talent Judges Reveal Whether Simon Cowell Will Return This Season
Simon Cowell. Dymond/Thames/Syco/Shutterstock

“He’s had a six-hour operation and he is already on his feet, which is above and beyond expectation, so I am thrilled,” he shared. “I love the guy, I miss the guy, and my hearts and minds are with him and each and every moment.”

On Tuesday night, the show kicked off its live shows for the first time this season and Clarkson, 38, filled Cowell’s seat, quickly adapting to the show and getting along great with the hosts.

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“Obviously we miss the boss. There is no one who could actually take his place, even though Kelly did absolutely amazing today,” judge Heidi Klum said. “[She did] an amazing job and she had so much fun, but no one is like Simon. That is just the way it is.”

Mandel agreed, calling the London native “irreplaceable,” but noting that The Voice judge is a “brilliant” addition. “She’s done it. She’s a pro. She brings something to the table.”

Americas Got Talent Judges Reveal Whether Simon Cowell Will Return This Season
Howie Mandel, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell during ‘Americas Got Talent’ auditions. Trae Patton/NBC

Sofia Vergara, however, is just looking forward to having Cowell back, since this is her first season on the reality competition series.

“I want Simon back. This is my first time. I want things to be normal,” the Modern Family alum, 48, added. “I want the coronavirus to go away now.”

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On Saturday, a spokesperson confirmed to Us Weekly that Cowell fell “whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family.” The statement continued, “He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He’s doing fine, he’s under observation and is in the best possible hands. Simon has broken his back.”

The X Factor creator went on to undergo back surgery and is set to miss Wednesday’s live show as well.

America’s Got Talent airs on NBC Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET

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