Television

Heidi Klum & Howie Mandel Talk New Changes to Filming ‘AGT’ During Pandemic

Heidi Klum & Howie Mandel Talk New Changes to Filming ‘AGT’ During Pandemic
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“America’s Got Talent” is taking the show outdoors. When “AGT” returns next week, the judges will critique the contestants from an all-new drive-in movie theater set. Judges Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel spoke to “Extra’s” Terri Seymour about it today.

Heidi has been spending time at home with her husband Tom Kaulitz and kids during the pandemic. “We all painted this COVID-19 painting together,” she says. “It was just something I thought would be good for everyone to do. You can be creative and just let your feelings go on the canvas.”

Now, she’s back to work with Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara, and Howie on “AGT” for the “Judges Cuts.” Klum said, “It was very strange, but so nice at the same time… Nice to actually see your friends in the flesh.”

She added, “We get tested [for COVID-19] before, no one touched me, and I didn’t touch anyone. I did all my hair and makeup myself, I mic myself, I bring my own food… People are there; everyone is wearing masks and gear and gloves. They are all far apart…We also have a nurse there.”

Terri asked Howie, a well-known germaphobe, if he had any reservations about returning. He admitted, “I have been terrified almost the whole time, the whole season. The first thing that terrified me, to be totally candid with you, was Heidi [being sick in March]. I was really concerned and at that time, as luck would have it, it turned out not to be COVID-19, and even more importantly, she is fine.”

Heidi added, “I was worried too…This was in the very beginning. Now we know so much more… I was like, I probably have it and who knows if I gave it to all these people?”

They are both happy with how the show has been able to keep going during the health crisis, even without an audience.

Howie said, “They created a way, if we are lucky enough to have a Season 16, I would imagine that’s the way they will do it... The production of the acts is so much more than it would have been had they been on a dark stage somewhere.”

Heidi thinks fans will enjoy the new setup: “It is the best solution that we could continue on, and it’s still amazing… I think the people at home will enjoy it.”

“AGT” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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