America’s Got Talent judges Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel have spilled on what it’s been like to work with newcomer Sofia Vergara on the show.
Klum detailed her “amazing” first day with the 47-year-old Modern Family actress. “She was nervous coming in, obviously, because when you do something I guess for such a long time … ” the model told press at the America’s Got Talent premiere at the Pasadena Civic Center, in Pasadena, California, on Wednesday, March 4. “She said [to me], ‘It’s like I’m the new kid in the school.’”
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She then talked about the advice she gave to Vergara to help her succeed in her new position. “I said, ‘But you have all great classmates. We all love you and there’s nothing you can do wrong here. Just speak your truth,’” Klum continued. “‘Whatever you see, don’t hold back. Give them criticism on things that you see that needs to be criticized. If you loved everything, tell them that. Just speak from the heart and then nothing can go wrong.’ I’m like, ‘It must be so amazing to not have to memorize anything for a change.’”
Mandel shared that Vergara got comfortable right away, and she wasn’t even afraid to call out the former American Idol judge Simon Cowell on certain things.
“Within the first couple of days or the first day of taping, she was already calling out Simon. They didn’t agree on something, but this is your first day and that’s your boss! She didn’t care,” Mandel told Us Weekly on Wednesday. “She’s so honest and so great and she’s just electricity, this beautiful, vibrant, electric, human being.”
He went on to reveal what he has learned about the newcomer so far. “I learned that she’s actually from Memphis and I heard her talk without the Spanish accent and I thought that character she played on Modern Family, so wonderful. And she just said, ‘Y’all, you have a good time. Sit down and watch my work,’” Mandel said.
Lastly, Cowell told reporters at the premiere why Vergara was approached to be a judge on America’s Got Talent.
“I met Sofia three or four years ago and we really hit it off and we ended the meeting with, ‘Let’s agree that one day we’ll work on something together.’ That’s how well we got along,” he explained. “So when I heard Sofia’s name was in the mix, I was so excited. But I didn’t want to jinx it, so I never told anyone.”
Cowell continued, “I called her and I said, ‘How are you feeling?’ She said, ‘I’m excited. I’m nervous.’ I went, ‘Perfect!’ It’s a little bit like when Terry [Crews] joined. When we first met, within five minutes we just clicked. It felt like we’ve been working together all our lives and we’ve become close friends through this whole process, and I think Sofia was a similar kind of vibe. She just gets what the show’s all about.”
In February, NBC announced that Klum and Vergara would be joining America’s Got Talent for season 15. The actress’s casting comes after Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were dismissed from the competition series in November 2019 as judges.
On February 29, Vergara explained why she was “super excited” to join the show.
“[It’s] something completely different than I thought I was going to do after Modern Family. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something different after 10 years of such a fantastic TV show,” she admitted. “I didn’t think I was going to get something like that, but I think it’s better to mix it up for a while.”