America’s Got Talent season 15 continues the competition with the start of semifinals on September 8, but judge Simon Cowell will be noticeably absent yet again. Days before the season’s live shows were scheduled to begin, Cowell suffered from a broken back following an electric bike injury; the injury required surgery, and Cowell has been sitting out from AGT judging while he recovers at home. While Cowell’s fellow judges continue to wish for his quick recovery and return, Cowell has not commented on when (or if) he intends to return to the reality talent competition.
The Hope Is for Cowell to Return to AGT ‘Before the End of the Season’
As news of Cowell’s accident and subsequent surgery spread, Heavy asked a source close to Cowell and his family about what the injury meant for his return to America’s Got Talent season 15. The source told Heavy, “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.” Heavy’s request the following week for further comment or an update regarding his anticipated return to America’s Got Talent was not met with a response.
Britain’s Got Talent, on which Cowell is also a judge, is also in its semifinals stage of competition. Amanda Holden, who is a judge on BGT alongside Cowell, offered The Sun her thoughts regarding Cowell’s potential return to the show. She said, “I know one of our producers spoke to him earlier this week and says he sounds amazing, really well.” She added, “If I was a betting woman, I would say he will be back for the final in some form because I don’t think he could bear to miss it. But at the moment we are acting like he’s not coming and doing the best we can without him.” She suggested that if he does make it back before the season’s end, she thinks “he will do it live by Zoom.”
In an interview with Deseret News, semifinalist Kenadi Dodds said, “I miss Simon so much, and if Simon for some reason ever hears this interview, then come back, because it is not the same without you. We need you, because you are like the rock, the foundation of ‘AGT.’”
Cowell’s Friends & Family Have Been Making Jokes About His Accident
While Cowell has not been offering updates on his recovery process, it seems to be going well since those closest to him have no problem making lighthearted jokes about the bike accident at his expense. On Twitter, Cowell revealed that his fellow AGT judge Howie Mandel gifted him a tricycle. With a photo of the aqua blue tricycle, complete with a basket, Cowell wrote, “This just arrived at my house! Thank you @howiemandel.”
Cowell’s brother Tony shared a photo he took of a bike in Greece. With the photo, he joked, “A bike. A normal bike. Much safer than electric bike.”
Not everyone is approaching the scary injury from a place of humor. Holden told The Sun, “I honestly panicked it could be fatal. It was gut-wrenching. I got a text in the night. I couldn’t sleep after. I felt physically sick as I didn’t know how bad it was. I didn’t know what was going on.” Holden added, “I wanted him to be alive, but I also wanted him to be able to walk as he’s such a good friend.”
New episodes of America’s Got Talent season 15 air live on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern time/7 p.m. Central time on NBC.