'America's Got Talent' Judges Explain How They're Filming Live Shows Amid Pandemic (Exclusive)
By Desiree Murphy
Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
On America's Got Talent, the show must go on... even amid a pandemic! ET exclusively spoke with judges Simon Cowell and Sofia Vergara, along with host Terry Crews, who explained how the crew is safely producing the competition show live.
"A few weeks ago, we were having this conversation, and I thought it wasn't going to happen," Cowell admitted to ET's Kevin Frazier. "I mean, there are so many hoops you gotta go through, right? But I think we pulled it off. It's going to look different than any other previous year. It's gonna be big, it's gonna be entertaining, it's gonna be wild, it's gonna be unpredictable, but I love that. I like that thrill of being on a roller coaster when you're like, 'This is gonna have its ups and downs, but I don't know what's coming.'"
"We, the whole crew, tested, [have] masks. We just got tested, so it's safe," he continued. "We're going to keep our distance but at the same time make sure it's a great show. And the contestants are going to be amazing. They're all pumped up for it, they're excited, so it's a miracle we pulled it off, I gotta be honest."
Vergara, who is new to the judging panel, also weighed in, telling ET, "The good thing is that because I've never done this, I'm not gonna know the difference."
"I'm going to try to just get along with everyone and follow the lead of all these guys that are professionals and that have been doing it for a long time," she shared. "So I think I'm going to be OK, and I think I'm going to enjoy it too."
"It's such an amazing job to be part of this show, to be able to see these people, have these dreams, come and perform," she added. "I mean, it's amazing! It's not just sitting there and judging them -- it's just sitting there and also getting entertained so, it's like the perfect job."
During the interview, Cowell also spoke about how he was looking forward to getting to ride golf carts and motorbikes around the AGT set with his fellow judges. The interview took place just a day before he broke his back in a bike accident this past Saturday. Cowell underwent six hours of overnight surgery and is currently recovering.
"We are going to be in golf carts, motorbikes and probably God knows what else, going from place to place, so that is the part I am most excited about," he said at the time. "We don't know where we are going next, who we are going to see, I think we pulled off a miracle here."
America's Got Talent returns with its live shows Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. However, due to recovery, Cowell will not be participating in this Tuesday and Wednesday's live telecasts.
"Simon had a fall from his bike testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family," his rep told ET. "He hurt his back and was taken to hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible hands."
Cowell also spoke about the incident on Twitter over the weekend, writing, "Some good advice... If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time."
"I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages, and a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors," he added. "Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone. Simon."