As one of the only comedians cast in Season 2 of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” Ryan Niemiller knows he has to do his best to stand out. But he’s got his eye on one judge in particular this time around: Heidi Klum. “I’m pretty excited actually about Heidi,” he says in his pre-show interview (watch above). “She is notoriously kind of harsh on comics sometimes. She doesn’t always get what the comedians are trying to do. She doesn’t necessarily like it right off the bat. And I love those kind of challenges.”
Heidi is back on the judging panel after sitting out of last summer’s 14th season. She and Mel B were replaced by new judges Juliane Hough and Gabrielle Union, but they didn’t work out so they were dropped before “AGT: The Champions” started filming. Sitting alongside Heidi, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel is Alesha Dixon of “Britain’s Got Talent” fame.
Last year Ryan came in third place behind winner Kodi Lee and runners-up Detroit Youth Choir. The three acts appeared together in Kodi’s Las Vegas show at Planet Hollywood, along with dance group V. Unbeatable and violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa. Now Ryan has another shot at claiming victory thanks to “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which brings back 40 acts from all over the world.
“Life since ‘AGT’ has been crazy,” Ryan declares. “I have been touring nonstop. Right after the finals I flew home, I basically did laundry and took a nap and then went right back on the road. I signed up for ‘Champions’ because I feel I have a little unfinished business. I set a goal when I did Season 14 to win and I got close. Close isn’t enough for me.”
Ryan is also interested in coming face-to-face with Alesha for the first time. “I’m excited to hear Alesha Dixon’s laugh in person,” he notes. “It’s such an iconic, very unique, clear laugh and I love that type of laugh at a comedy show. It’s how you know you’ve really got somebody, when you hear that, so I’m hoping I hear that right away.” He now says returning to “AGT: The Champions” is his “full-circle” moment.