‘America’s Got Talent’: Why Judge Simon Cowell Called This Season ‘Surreal’

America’s Got Talent, one of this summer’s most popular TV shows, got thrown off its typical shooting schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, one of AGT‘s most controversial judges, Simon Cowell, are happy to be back at work (with outbreak-style conditions in place). Still, filming during a pandemic no doubt makes the experience a bit “surreal.” Here’s what Cowell thought about America’s Got Talent Season 15.

On Season 15 of ‘America’s Got Talent’, things are a little different than in other years

America's Got Talent
Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent | Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Recently, USA Today reached out to America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell. This season of AGT has obviously been a bit different, considering the COVID-19 outbreak impacted the filming. Cowell, however, had mostly positive things to say about America’s Got Talent Season 15.

“It was surreal, like being in a movie,” Cowell wrote to the publication about filming the Judges Cuts episodes. He went on to describe what this season was really like.

“As we drove onto the lot, everyone is walking around with masks and we go into this room and we’re told what we can do, what we can’t do and I’m thinking this is going to be a tough day,” Cowell admitted. However, the AGT judge was surprised at how well it went.

“… there was this real buzz of excitement that we were all back together,” he gushed. According to USA Today, America’s Got Talent Season 15 will also have more live shows than most seasons, “to partly compensate for the loss of performances during the abbreviated Judge Cuts round.”

‘AGT’ exec says the season 15 contestants’ auditions were ‘inspiring’

The same publication also interviewed NBC’s EVP of alternative programming, a woman named Jenny Groom. While many live-taped programs had to shut down their production completely due to COVID-19, Groom claims that was never on the table for AGT.

“We wanted to figure out how can we do this in a safe manner and for fans to feel like they still get the show they love,” she said. And besides — America’s Got Talent is in many ways a feel-good show. Many people could use that right now.

Simon Cowell and Terry Crews attend the America’s Got Talent Season 15 Kickoff | Amy Sussman/Getty Images

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“We also talked a lot about how this is this show we feel America needs right now,” the NBC exec told USA Today. “They need to feel like they can escape.” And, it sounds like the contestants on this season of America’s Got Talent made the show even more motivational.

“It ended up being really inspiring,” Groom continued. Still, some of the contestants had a harder time than others.

“When you have a bunch of pigs that are doing tricks or an aerialist, that’s a little bit harder to do on an iPhone,” the America’s Got Talent exec shared.

Simon Cowell believes that the show is doing the right thing by getting ‘back to work’ in summer 2020

“As bad as it is, you always have to find a solution to get back to work,” Cowell wrote USA Today. He’s convinced that America’s Got Talent can be a light for viewers in this dark time.

“I have sympathy for so many people in this situation, but if our show is an example, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” the AGT judge explained. “It’s different, but hopefully it will still be as popular.”