'America's Got Talent' Season 16: Meet Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and other judges of NBC show
Season 16 of 'America's Got Talent' returning with all four judges in top form along with a live audience
'America's Got Talent' returns to NBC on June 1, 2021. NBC's hit show is about to premiere its 16th season with a bang and there's going to be something to look forward to every Tuesday night. From straight-up bizarre 'talent' to contestants coming to the show with unmatched skills - 'AGT' has never failed to impress.
While it's true that it's the talent that makes or breaks a show, but the judges also play a huge role in ensuring that viewers continue to tune in to the show week after week. Let's take a look at the 'AGT' judges panel which boasts of some of the biggest names from the entertainment industry.
Simon Cowell needs no introduction. He's one of the reasons the audiences tune in to the show even after all these years. He did have a major health scare in the previous season after he endured a back-breaking bike accident that led to him being absent for a couple of episodes. But he has bounced back and he's ready to wear his invisible crown and sit on the panel, much to the delight of the audiences who have loved him since times immemorial.
"If you saw the scan, I mean, I was like a millimeter away from just completely cutting my back in half. So I consider myself lucky," Cowell explained while talking about his horrific accident. "It could've been a lot worse," he added while also noting there was a silver lining to him being stuck in his bed, recuperating. "Weirdly it was a good thing that it happened," Cowell said. "I didn't get COVID because I wasn't able to travel and I probably would've done my fair share last year," he added.
Mandel joined 'AGT' in Season 5 and since then has been a constant fixture on the judges' panel for a decade, and in show business for more than 30 years. Apart from being a judge on the summer series, Mandel also judges the global winter edition of 'America's Got Talent: The Champions'. Mandel is an award-winning host, having been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for 'Deal or No Deal', the CNBC game show for which he's also the executive producer.
Mandel is also a huge name on the American comedy and talk show scene having done countless comedy specials on cable as well as network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show 'The Howie Mandel Show' and he continues to clock in an estimated 200 shows per year throughout Canada and the USA.
Vergara is the newest addition to the 'America's Got Talent' crew, having joined the panel only on Season 15. The Emmy-Golden Globe- and SAG-nominated actress is best known for playing Gloria Pritchett-Delgado on the Emmy award-winning comedy show 'Modern Family', which aired on the same network. The series ended last year but Vergara was retained by the network, to appear on another hit offering from their stable.
Apart from making waves in the entertainment circuit, Vergara is an entrepreneur and a global ambassador, representing big-hitting brands. She also supports microfinance initiatives by partnering with Kiva, the world's first personal micro-lending website to raise $50 million for the Global Covid-19 Response Fund. This fund focuses on providing direct and efficient funds to marginalized populations across the world, including minorities, women, and those in isolated areas impacted by Covid-19.
German-born model Heidi Klum had been a judge on 'America's Got Talent' from 2013 to 2018. She then returned to the show in 2020 and will be returning to the panel in 2021 for Season 16 as well. She has also judged the winter edition of the series for both seasons alongside Mandel. Like Vergara, Klum too is an entrepreneur and a global ambassador. She's worked on a number of brand campaigns over the years and graced the covers of the biggest magazines across the world.
She also lends support to charity organizations including - UNICEF, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the American Red Cross (as part of its celebrity cabinet), God's Love We Deliver, amfAR, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. She also appears in PSAs for Stand Up to Cancer.
'America's Got Talent' Season 16 premieres on June 1, 2021, at 8 pm ET on NBC.