Following the announcement that Howard Stern would depart as a judge on America’s Got Talent, the speculation has been confirmed that Mr. Talent Competition himself, Simon Cowell has been named the new judge for the talent competition show, reports Variety.
Cowell will snag the fourth judge’s chair alongside Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and former Spice Girl Melanie B for the upcoming 11th season of the popular NBC show. Nick Cannon will also return as host.
Simon Cowell created the show under his Syco TV production house. The show is based on Britain’s Got Talent, on which Cowell has also served as a judge. The TV personality has also been involved in both the U.K. version of The X Factor singing competition, where he famously put together now popular boy band One Direction, as well as the U.S. version, which was cancelled after three seasons.
Cowell rose to fame in North American as a judge on American Idol, where he was known for his brazen, nasty, but brutally honest critiques of the contestants. Notably absent form the North American TV scene over the past few years, likely due to the birth of his child, it’s clear Cowell is ready for a comeback. Or perhaps feels that he’s the best face to replace the well-liked Stern and keep America’s Got Talent performing well in the ratings. The shock-jock tended to show a softer side as a judge on the show, along with his clear passion as both a judge and a fan of the show. It’ll be interesting to see if Cowell has softened at all over the years.
While Cowell is the mastermind behind America’s Got Talent, and has sat on many a judging panel for competition shows on which he’s been involved, he’s never sat behind the judges table on this one. The original judging panel included David Hasselhoff, Brandy Norwood, and Piers Morgan. Sharon Osbourne replaced Norwood in the second season, and Mandel took over for Hasselhoff in the fifth season. When Morgan left in 2012, Stern took his spot. Mel B replaced Osbourne in 2013, and Klum was added for a new fourth judge’s spot. Before Cannon’s stellar run as host since season four, there was Jerry Springer, who hosted for two seasons in 2007 and 2008, and Regis Philbin, who hosted the inaugural season.