“We had one day so far, and it was amazing,” Heidi Klum, 46, said to reporters when discussing her new America’s Got Talent co-star, Sofia Vergara, 47. “She was nervous coming in obviously. She said, ‘it’s like I’m the new kid in the school.’ But I said, ‘but you have all great classmates. We all love you and there’s nothing you can do wrong here. Just speak your truth. Whatever you see, don’t hold back. Give them criticism on things that you see that needs to be criticized. If you loved everything, tell them that. Just speak from the heart, and then nothing can go wrong.’
“I’m like, ‘it must be so amazing to not have to memorize anything for a change,'” added Heidi. When asked what it was like to be back on the AGT set, Heidi said it “always feels great when people ask you back. It can’t be more of a compliment when people ask you to return to something. So, I was super flattered. And I love the show. I always have so much fun being here and discovering new talent and helping them to get to their next level or help them fulfill their dream. I mean, when you push that golden buzzer and their confetti comes and you see their faces, it’s a beautiful moment. You see a lot of happy people and that stage.”
Sofia joins Heidi, Howie Mandel, 64, and Simon Cowell, 60, on the judging panel for Season 15 of AGT. Heidi previously served as a judge from seasons 8-13, before departing in 2018. She also was on the judging panel for both seasons of the spinoff, America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
By saying how it “feels great when people ask you back,” Heidi may have inadvertently thrown shade at former AGT host Gabrielle Union. Heidi and Sofia’s addition comes after Gabrielle, 47, and Julianne Hough, 31, were let go after one season. Gabrielle had a three-year contract with the show, and her exit caused a firestorm after Variety reported that she was dropped because of workplace complaints she filed with AGT’s network, NBC. Those complaints included a racist joke allegedly made by guest Jay Leno, and how producers reportedly criticized her and Julianna’s appearance, including how they supposedly told Gabrielle that her changing hairstyles were “too black.” NBC, in a statement, said that the “judging and host line-up has been regularly refreshed over the years, and that is one of the reasons for AGT’s enduring popularity. NBC and the producers take any issues on set seriously.”