Simon Cowell, 60, broke his back just one day before he had to start filming the live rounds of America’s Got Talent season 15. His fellow AGT judges — Sofia Vergara, 48, Heidi Klum, 47, and Howie Mandel, 64 — continued to film despite Simon’s absence. They left his seat open while he recovered at home. “We miss our boss!! Come back fast,” Sofia captioned her Instagram photo showing the judges pointing to Simon’s empty AGT seat.
Heidi also posted the same photo on her Instagram page and wrote to Simon, “Wishing you a speedy recovery.” All three of the judges were wearing protective face gear as they filmed America’s Got Talent content. The judges and the crew are following strict health and safety protocols due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Simon confirmed that he had indeed broken his back after falling off his electric bike on Aug. 9. “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,” he tweeted. He added, “And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone Simon.”
Simon’s rep confirmed to HollywoodLife that the AGT judge had “broken his back in a number of places” after falling off his bike in the courtyard of his Malibu home. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors “operated overnight,” and he’s “doing fine” now.
The America’s Got Talent season 15 live shows will begin airing Aug. 11. The remaining acts will compete for the judges, and then there will be eliminations after America votes. There’s no word yet when Simon will return this season.