Simon Cowell AGT Update: Is He Coming Back to Judge? When Will He Return?

Simon Cowell AGT

NBC Simon Cowell has been absent from the "America's Got Talent" season 15 live show while he recovers from surgery following a back injury.

While America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell continues to recover from a broken back which required surgery, he will be absent again for week 2 of the AGT season 15 live quarterfinals.

After AGT announced that Cowell would be missing the first week of the live shows due to his unexpected injury, Heavy asked a source close to Cowell when he’s expected to return to AGT and if there’s a possibility that he will have to sit out from the rest of the season. In response, the source said, “It’s very much a case of taking it day by day but everyone is optimistic and hopeful for him to be able [to] return before the end of the season.” Cowell has not made a statement about when he intends to return to the show.

Kenan Thompson Will Be a Guest Judge for ‘AGT’ Quarterfinals Week 2

In Cowell’s absence, comedian Kenan Thompson will be filling in as a guest judge for the second week of America’s Got Talent quarterfinals performances and results.

Thompson promoted his involvement on the show as a guest judge, writing on Instagram, “Beyond excited to witness America’s Greatest Talents!!! Literally a household favorite of ours!!! Ask Georgia!!! @nbc @agt thank you for having me!!”

It makes sense to have Thompson step in as a guest judge. Not only does he have judge experience (he served as a judge for the comedy-based talent competition Bring the Funny), he also stars in a new NBC sitcom premiering soon, called Kenan.

Cowell broke his back days before the quarterfinals were scheduled to begin, and shared the unfortunate news with his fans on social media. In a post on Twitter and Instagram, he wrote, “Some good advice… 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. And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone. Simon.” Kelly Clarkson took his place on the judges panel for week 1 of the live shows.

Cowell Has Been Watching the Show While He Recovers From a Broken Back

While Cowell was unable to be physically present as a judge for week 1 of the quarterfinals, that didn’t stop him from tuning in. After America’s Got Talent aired, Cowell took to Twitter to share his approval of the performances and the judges’ work in his absence; he wrote, “Thank you @kellyclarkson. Miss all of you. What a Great Show. #AGT.”

Days after his surgery, the source close to Cowell and his family told Heavy via email, “He’s doing well, in good spirits and walking around a little more. He’s likely to be at the hospital still for a few more days,” adding, “He’s already been doing some work in the last few days.” The source also said, “Simon knows he had a very lucky escape and is very grateful for that and the medical teams who have been incredible.” Cowell’s surgery took 6 hours and required the insertion of a metal rod.

New episodes of America’s Got Talent season 15 air live on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.

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