‘AGT’ Judge Howie Mandel: Why The Season 17 Finale Will Be One Of The ‘Toughest Years’ Yet

Howie Mandel spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about the stakes of 'AGT' season 17 and why he thinks it's 'anybody's game' to win the season.

Howie Mandel
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America’s Got Talent season 17’s auditions are wrapping up, and this season has featured some of the most incredible acts we’ve seen yet. Howie Mandel gave his Golden Buzzer to 11-year-old singing sensation Madison Baez, sending her straight to the season 17 finals. With singers Madison and Sara James nabbing two of the Golden Buzzers, does Howie think a singer can win season 17?

“I think that it’s anybody’s game because season 17 is bigger and more exciting and has more to offer than any other season previously,” Howie told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I think that this is probably going to be one of the toughest years when we come down to the finals because there is so much good talent and good viral moments that people are sharing worldwide. I think just showing up and being on our show creates a winning moment.”

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel with his Golden Buzzer pick Madison Baez. (NBC)

Howie raved over Madison as an “incredible and surprising talent” who is “poised much beyond her years.” The AGT judge has said on the show that this season is blowing his mind when it comes to the talent on the stage.

He believes that while the world has been shut down for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has allowed some acts to “hone skills that maybe they thought they didn’t have. They also reevaluated life to just decide to go for it and try things that they’ve never tried before. I think you sense that excitement and that excitement explodes onto our stage like never before. I feel like there’s no better escape for the people on stage and for the people watching than the season 17 of America’s Got Talent.”

The comedian also spoke about his partnership with ISSA [The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association] and why it’s important to him. “The fuel of my comfort is clean and ISSA is the leading association that represents everything in the cleaning industry. As somebody who, when I’m not washing my own hands on my own body, I’m around the world trying to make strangers smile. In order to do that, I have to touch surfaces that I’m not aware of. Whether that be in hotels, restaurants, just theaters, wherever I am, I’d like to think that it’s clean. But it isn’t always clean. So this is the association that oversees the entire industry that is responsible for keeping our world clean.”

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ (NBC)

He added, “I’ve never been more excited about a partnership. I feel like a superhero now. I do. I’m hoping that the lovely people at ISSA present me with a cape or something.”

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