‘AGT’ Live Shows: Everything To Know About Simon Cowell’s Absence & More

The 'America's Got Talent' season 15 live shows have arrived, and Simon Cowell will be missing from his judging seat. HL has rounded up the key things to know about his absence and what it means for the show.

Simon Cowell
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Image Credit: NBC

When watching the Aug. 11 episode of the America’s Got Talent live shows, you might be asking yourself: where is Simon Cowell? Just days before America’s Got Talent started the season 15 live shows, the AGT judge and executive producer broke his back after falling off his electric bike. The 60-year-old had surgery after the accident and is now recovering from home.

The AGT live shows will be looking a little different for a while as Simon recovers. Kelly Clarkson will be taking his place as a temporary judge in the meantime. Kelly knows a thing or two about judging reality shows. She’s been a coach on The Voice since season 16.

America's Got Talent
The ‘America’s Got Talent’ season 15 live shows start Aug. 11. (NBC)

Kelly and Simon have a very long history. Simon was one of the judges on American Idol when Kelly won the very first season. The news about Kelly replacing Simon as he recovers was announced one day before the start of the live shows.

“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!” Kelly’s statement read. Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel will be judging the acts like normal.

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson will be Simon Cowell’s temporary replacement judge on ‘AGT.’ (Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal)

The Aug. 11 episode will feature performances of the first 11 of the 44 remaining acts. The Aug. 12 episode will reveal the 5 advancing acts based on America’s vote. The set-up of the live shows will also be changing. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, strict health and safety protocols have been implemented to keep the judges, the acts, and crew safe. The live shows usually take place at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, but they have been moved to the Universal Studios Hollywood lot. America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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