Howie Mandel Q&A: ‘America’s Got Talent’

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above) “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel says Season 12, which debuts May 30 on NBC, is “more fun” than ever before. “I think that last year, and every year, it just keeps getting better and better and better,” he notes of the long-running reality TV show. “And I’ve always talked about how I think that the viewers all over the world are inspired by what they see the year before.”

“Last year it was so exciting to hit a Golden Buzzer for somebody like Grace VanderWaal, who I think is gonna be the biggest star to come out of any of these shows,” Mandel recalls about the Season 11 “AGT” winner, a preteen singer-songwriter/ukuleleist. He continues, “This year, we’re already in the audition stage and [seeing] 12-year-olds and 11-year-olds who are inspired by her. For me, just being back together with that panel — Mel B and Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell — is incredibly exciting.”

“You notice if you’re looking at me right now, I’m wearing glasses,” Mandel notes about his appearance in the video. “Apparently, I can’t see. And this is the first season I’m wearing glasses. So to me, this is the first year I’ve actually seen the show. And I’m telling you, as a first-time viewer, it’s amazing! So up until this season I’ve been doing blind auditions, which works for ‘The Voice,’ but it’s even better to see the show that I’ve been a part of for eight years.”

Also in our interview, Mandel praises the show’s hard-working production team and roots for “America’s Got Talent’s” Emmy Awards chances, he speaks about what fans can expect from new host Tyra Banks, what it’s like working side-by-side with Cowell, and whether “St. Elsewhere” might ever have a revival season like “Twin Peaks” or “The X-Files.”

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UPLOADED May 24, 2017 4:23 pm