America's Got Talent's judges have opened up about how Simon Cowell's recovery is going! In an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel talked about when Cowell could return to the show, and what production currently looks like.

Cowell might return to America's Got Talent this season

America's Got Talent seems like it could still be on the table for Cowell before the season wraps, at least according to Mandel and Klum! "We have been told he has been recovering tremendously," he told Entertainment Tonight. "I would not count him out before the end of this season."

"You're right," Klum said, agreeing with her fellow judge. Mandel then said that Cowell's recovery has already gone better than expected! "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."

Klum says Kelly Clarkson was great, but "no one is like Simon"

America's Got Talent underwent a bit of a shakeup this week due to Cowell recovering from his serious bike accident! Even though a source says that the AGT judge has started to get back to work after surgery, Kelly Clarkson was tapped to step in to judge this week's live shows in place of Cowell!

"Obviously we miss the boss. There is no one who could actually take his place, even though Kelly did absolutely amazing today," Klum said of Clarkson. "[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 was quick to echo her sentiments.

"I think that Simon is irreplaceable and Kelly was brilliant," he agreed. "She's done it. She's a pro. She brings something to the table." Mandel also had a suggestion for another judge who could step in if need be! "I would love to see Judge Judy. I love her judging," he shared. "She's honest, she says it like it is, and I would love to have her at the desk."

First time AGT judge Vergara: "I want Simon back"

America's Got Talent has also faced the unique challenge of being in production during the pandemic! As Entertainment Tonight mentions, the show's production has had to adapt to social distancing rules and safety measures, with frequent coronavirus testing and even an onset nurse. "I want Simon back. This is my first time. I want things to be normal," Vergara admitted. "I want the coronavirus to go away now."

Klum mentioned how she's glad the show is able to continue despite the current circumstances of the world. "We are super thankful that America gets to see this talent and they get to vote on all these amazing people... I am super thankful that this could go on," she said. "It was a lot of fun too."

Klum talks about doing AGT finals without live audience

Klum then described the experience. "We came in the room and it was like all these people from America were behind us [on] all these little screens... I mean it was amazing," she shared. "It felt like we were not alone. I mean, we know people are watching at home, but it actually felt like there's a lot of people there in that room with us. It was really cool."

"It felt big, but it felt perfect. I didn't know what I was walking into because it's my first time in the finals, so... I didn't even know what to expect," Klum continued. "And then I was worried because we don't have the audience, that we sometimes feed from their energy, but it was spectacular. I would forget that I was there working and just get fascinated by what the people are doing. I had the best time."

Mandel calls AGT's return his "panacea for this pandemic"

America's Got Talent's most seasoned judge, Mandel, admitted even he "didn't know what to expect" upon the show's return. However, he was pleasantly surprised by what he saw! "Walking into that room was such a surprise, it was bigger and more spectacular production than we've ever had," Mandel said of the experience.

"This is something I needed personally, to watch these people with hopes and dreams come true, and to be in this room and with this production company. This has been my panacea for this pandemic." Hopefully the current AGT judges are right about Cowell's future with the show, as it would make circumstances seem just a bit more normal!

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