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Kelly Clarkson to sit in for Simon Cowell on America's Got Talent judging panel

American Idol star will replace her friend and ally while he recovers from back surgery.

Published: Tuesday, 11th August 2020 at 12:43 am

The first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson will replace TV entertainment supremo Simon Cowell on the judging panel of NBC's America's Got Talent while he recovers from a broken back.


Clarkson took to Twitter to break the news that she would replace Cowell in Tuesday and Wednesday's live shows, quipping that "someone far wiser, cooler and hotter is taking his seat".

Clarkson will join the panel alongside Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.

It's no great diversion for Clarkson, who has been a coach on fellow NBC talent show The Voice.

Clarkson won the Simon Fuller-created American Idol in its debut season in 2002. Her career has had remarkable longevity both as a singer and TV personality and most recently she hosted Emmy Award-winning talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show, for which she also was named outstanding host, according to Deadline.

Meanwhile, Cowell continued to recover from a complex back operation on Saturday evening, but was well enough on Monday to give some sage advice on social media: "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."

Cowell's spokesperson told Today on Saturday that he "had a fall from his bike on Saturday afternoon whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family.”

“He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He’s doing fine, he’s under observation and is in the best possible hands,” his publicist, said before the operation on Saturday evening.

He was apparently at home with his six-year-old son, Eric, and partner Lauren Silverman when the accident occurred.

Cowell has been quarantining at his Malibu home during the COVID-19 pandemic and was preparing to start filming on the America’s Got Talent live auditions.


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