'America's Got Talent's' New Judges Dish on Bringing 'Compassion' and 'Empathy' to the Competition (Exclusive)

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With America's Got Talentcurrently taping auditions for their upcoming 14th season, new judges Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union are getting a chance to bring their voices and experiences to the judges' table.

ET's Keltie Knight spoke with the new AGT judges at the red carpet kickoff celebration for the show's upcoming season, and they opened up about what they are bringing to the table.

"One thing that Gabrielle and I bring is an empathy and a compassion, because we have been rejected many times, and we know what it feels like," explained Hough, who previously served as a judge on Dancing With the Stars for several seasons. "So before [the contestants] even come out, they should know we're rooting for you and we want to see your best."

Hough and Union are joining the show, along with new host Terry Crews, following the recent departures of long-time judges Heidi Klum and Mel B. But Hough says they aren't trying to replace them, but instead bring something new and different.

"You can never take anybody's spot. We're not here to fill anybody's shoes. We could never replace Heidi or Mel," Hough shared. "I just feel so grateful that now we get to be here."

For Union, signing on to AGT is an opportunity to help people reach for their goals and establish their careers, which is something she seems to be looking forward to.

"I love being a part of making dreams come true," the actress shared. "As an artist who gets told no a lot, it's nice to be a part of saying yes to someone's dream."

When it comes to recreating the confrontational dynamic and drama between Mel B and fellow judge Simon Cowell, it seems that both Union and Hough feel that they're not the ones who will be starting fights.

"I don't generally disagree with most things he's saying, except perhaps tone-wise," Union said of Cowell's infamous critiques. "But I like straight shooters, and when you are on the other side of the table, when people say no it's always helpful to know exactly what you can go home and work on. And he doesn't just say, 'No, you suck.'"

Fellow newcomer Crews -- who is taking over hosting duties from Tyra Banks after hosting the recent special America's Got Talent: The Champions -- also shared his excitement over being a part of changing lives.

"I am a bodyguard for these acts' dreams. I protect them and make sure they have what they need," Crews shared, beaming. "Because no one out here, not the judges not the crew, not the me, want to see anybody fail. We want to see you make it and want to see you do your best."

Returning judge Howie Mandel is also looking forward to sitting with Hough and Union at the judges table during the coming season, explaining, "I love that there's a whole new skill set that's been brought to the table, besides just beauty and smarts."

"If you look at Julianne, who's been in this business since the time she was a kid, [she's] a singer, a dancer, an actress, and a wonderful person, a very positive person, who really knows a lot about this business," Mandel reflected.

"Then you've got Gabrielle, who's a New York Times bestseller, actress, producer, a triple threat," he continued. "I don't need to give them advice [other than] to be themselves and bring whatever it is that has made them as successful as they are to our stage."

A source close to the AGT production told ET back in February that NBC signed on the new judges simply because they wanted to "change things up," adding there wasn't any particular reason for swapping out Mel B and Klum.

"It was a network decision. The show does well because it has no problem adding new people and making changes," the source adds. "Also, Heidi,  Mel B and Tyra [Banks] have major projects coming up that they need to focus on. There was no drama."

Season 14 ofAmerica's Got Talent premieres May 28 on NBC. Check out the video below for more on the show's new judges.

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