Heidi Klum on 'Amazing' Return to 'America's Got Talent: The Champions' (Exclusive)

'I didn't expect it for everyone to be this welcoming.'

Heidi Klum's America's Got Talent return went off without a hitch!

ET's Denny Directo caught up with the 46-year-old supermodel ahead of the premiere of the upcoming season of AGT: The Champions and she gushed over returning to the franchise after her 2018 departure.

"It feels so good to be back and everyone has been so amazing," Klum said. "You know, there were welcome signs everywhere, the whole audience was chanting my name. I was like, 'Oh my God.' I was going beet red."

"It was just really sweet," she continued. "I didn't expect it for everyone to be this welcoming."

As for the decisions she made as part of the panel, Klum teased that she pushed her golden buzzer for someone that left her "mind blown."

"I'm like, 'How come this person is not a star already that we have not heard of this person yet again?'" she recalled. "I'm actually so honored and proud that I got to push my buzzer for this person and hopefully help them launch it or go to the next step."

"I mean fingers and toes crossed that my golden buzzer is gonna win this thing," she added. "I know I've said it before, but this time mark my words -- this is it."

Klum's return will see her joining the likes of Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon behind the judge's table, but one contestant is laser focused on wowing the supermodel specifically.

"The judge I would say I'm probably trying to really impress would be Heidi," comedian Ryan Niemiller admitted. "Simon and Howie, they already know me. I think I've got a good rapport with them. I know Alesha just from kind of doing my research of Britain's Got Talent. She loves to laugh, she loves the comedians, so I'm, like, OK. I feel good about her. But Heidi sometimes with the comics can... stone face ya."

While fans will have to wait to see if Niemiller impressed Klum, Mandel opened up about the one act that left him awestruck.

"The biggest surprise I ever had was on AGT and it was this year, but they're coming back to Champions," Mandel said of Mumbaian dance and acrobatic crew V. Unbeatable. "... It's so dangerous, so exciting, so much fun. I believe they'll do good on the world stage."

And while Dixon may be new to the American version of the competition series, she's no stranger to talent, having served as a judge on the British show since 2012. That experience, she said, allowed her to learn the ropes "pretty quickly."

"I'm kind of learning everyone's personalities and character traits," she said. "They're all super easy and the blend is nice, because you never know when you put a panel together like how the chemistry is gonna be."

As for the support she's received from former judge Mel B, who left the franchise in 2018, Dixon counted it of another example of women supporting women.

"She's just really nice and genuine and if she didn't mean that, she wouldn't have said it. I feel like Mel's always had my back," Dixon said of the Spice Girl member's supportive tweet. "... I feel like there is this preconceived idea that women can't support one another. And I think it's really important to show that women and mothers, that we can support each other and champion each other and be happy for one another."

Season two of America's Got Talent: The Champions will premiere Jan. 6 on NBC.



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