Kelly Clarkson is stepping up to the judges’ tables to replace a recuperating Simon Cowell on “American’s Got Talent.”
Clarkson will fill in for Cowell, who is on the mend following surgery after he broke his back in an electric bike accident at his Malibu, California, home on Saturday.
“My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for ‘AGT.’ But no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler and hotter is taking his seat! The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson — you’re welcome in advance!” the 38-year-old host of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” said in a statement to TV Line on Monday. She will judge alongside Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofía Vergara — who sent him wishes for a speedy recovery — starting this week.
Three-time Grammy winner Clarkson, who nabbed a 2020 Daytime Emmy for her talk-show duties, was discovered by Cowell in 2002 on the inaugural season of “American Idol,” which she won.
Cowell — who was with his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman, their 6-year-old son, Eric, and her 14-year-old son, Adam, at the time of the incident — underwent six hours of surgery to fix “a number of breaks” and had a metal rod put into his back, according to a source. “Friends at the scene quickly checked that he could move fingers and toes — he could have been paralyzed,” said the source. “When he fell off the bike, he landed right on his back.”
On Sunday, Cowell himself tweeted about the incident.
“Some good advice . . . If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time. I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages,” Cowell said. “And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone.”
“America’s Got Talent” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday on NBC.
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