Cowell broke the news on Thursday morning, telling Today's Joe Fryer that it was ultimately the network's decision to put him on the show -- but he did admit that he dropped hints that he was interested in the gig. "I had sort of popping up in my head... 'You know, if you are looking for a very good-looking British judge which sort of fits on this show, I know someone,'" Cowell revealed.
Like he's done on other reality competition programs, the 56-year-old TV personality plans to bring his ruthless and sarcastic tone to AGT. When asked if all contestants will get a fair chance on the show, Cowell said, "If they're good, yes. But if they're terrible, no."
He added, "I can't sit in front of someone who's useless and say, 'Take a couple of singing lessons and everything will be fine.'"
What will Cowell's fellow judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandell and Mel B think of his judging techniques?
Cowell has taken a bit of a break from show business following the birth of his son, Eric, nearly two years ago. "You become responsible for somebody else," he said. "And of course, that's your protective gene that kicks in."