Heidi Klum (‘Making the Cut’) on this new platform for fashion: ‘I will always help designers, especially young designers’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

Just how hard was it for Heidi Klum and her fellow “Making the Cut” judges, including supermodel Naomi Campbell and designer Nicole Richie, to decide between German designer Esther Perbandt and her black aesthetic and L.A.-based Jonny Cota with his more commercial outfits at the end of the Amazon show’s first season?

“It was until 3 a.m. in the morning kind of hard because we all had our favorites and we all were fighting for who we believed should win,” says the model and Emmy-winning former host of “Project Runway.” “But it really was a super close call and I think everyone would have been happy with Esther winning. Naomi and I were going more for Esther and the other judges were more for Jonny, even though I love Jonny too.”

The judges’ votes were split with Perbandt and Cota getting two each. It came down to Richie’s deciding vote, which went to Cota. Klum is certainly happy with that. “I will always be behind him, to support him and obviously today I am wearing this.” And by “this” she means Jonny’s winning look from the show’s “Digital Marketing Campaign” challenge. “Hopefully there will be red carpets again in the future at some point. I will always represent and help designers, especially young designers.”

She and fellow executive producer, co-host and fellow “Project Runway” alum Tim Gunn initially went to Netflix with their idea with a streaming reality fashion competition but decided that the retail component of Amazon’s online store made it possible to instantly sell winning designs as soon as an episode premiered.

“For me, having the clothes sold, that was always the missing link,” she explains. “Doing ‘Project Runway’ for so many years and loving this show and it was the same thing. I went around trying to sell that show and they would say, ‘Why would we want to watch designers sew?’ And it was a very different animal. Like here, we’re trying to make an actual brand. Someone who is not only an artist and who’s super creative, but someone who can also have this business brain and make a real business out of this and hopefully be loved by people around the world. That really is what the goal here was for ‘Making the Cut.'”

Klum also spoke about her return to her judging duties on “America’s Got Talent” and why she kissed a rather enormous pig on stage on the May 25 premiere of Season 15. Her reason? “Sometimes these things overcome you and you just don’t know. My feet just want to get up, I just want to go and get on that stage and kiss this pig. I don’t know what got into me.”

She also talks about how five days into shooting the new season, she fell ill and thought she might have been infected with Covid-19 and had to stay home. As she has discussed previously, she was initially unable to get tested but ultimately learned she didn’t have it. Klum also teases what’s to come for her at the “AGT” judges’ table in an upcoming episode at the 17 minute and 40 second mark in the video above. But beyond that, the show is still figuring out how to maintain social distancing for future shows as the season continues.

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