As previously reported, in February, veteran host Nick Cannon quit the America’s Got Talent” series after alleging that NBC wanted him to turn down the swag. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with Cannon (or NBC) who TMZ claimed was gunning for the actor after he made an on-air joke about the request, claiming if he did so, he’d lose his “Black card.”
Although Cannon tried to save his job, saying he loves hosting “AGT,” he also felt as though “my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices. I can not see myself returning.”
Shortly after news of Cannon’s resignation, “AGT” announced that former cat walker Tyra Banks would step into Cannon’s shoes. “Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible,” Banks stated in a press release. “I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!”
Now, it appears that everything has come full circle, as the cast of the hit show recently gathered at a recent red carpet event, where they admitted they’re sad to see Cannon go, but they also unleashed their excitement over the show’s growing girl star power.
“I didn’t know much about it — maybe I should have known more about it,” Cowell told “ET” of the initial shock. “I mean, look, the point is that he was the first to send me a bottle of champagne on the first day [as a] congratulations, which interestingly, he didn’t send to the others.
“I didn’t know that Nick wasn’t going to be on the show until about two or three weeks before we started filming, and no one told me about this stuff. Anyway, it happened. I spoke to him, I thought he was going to come back but he wasn’t — then he was, wasn’t — and then, in the end, we decided to start filming without him. After one day, we get a phone call — Tyra Banks wants to meet. I thought I was being wound up, to be honest with you.”
Still, Cowell is confident that Banks will bring a little something special to the table. “The hardest thing is when you’re trying to replace someone who has been really good, and you don’t want someone who’s going to be the same kind of personality,” he explained. “I mean, look, she’s funny, she gets it. From what I’ve seen so far, I think she is having a good time.”
Meanwhile, fellow judge Howie Mandel, who called Banks the “consummate professional,” revealed he’s spoken to Cannon since his shocking exit. “He’s holding up great, he is so excited, he’s doing a lot,” he said. “He’s really creating a lot on digital and on his own. He’s got tons of businesses. I don’t know where this guy gets all this energy, but he is a warrior. He’s creative, he’s made his own decisions.”
“I was heartbroken that I’m not getting a chance to work with him right now,” Mandel continued. “I hope I get to work with him again in the future, but you know, God bless him that he is out there and doing what he wants. Life is short, do what you need to do.”
As for resident judge Heidi Klum, she is also filled to the brim with excitement to be working with her fellow Victoria’s Secret Angel, again. “Yes, we have Tyra Banks in the house,” she tells “ET.” “She’s our new host, which is fabulous, because girls rule. Now we’re three girls against two boys, which is fabulous. It’s a lot of fun. It’s definitely different to see her come onto the stage. We’re used to seeing Nick coming onto the stage, but I have to say, she fit right in there, you know.”
What are your thoughts on the switch up? Sound off in the comment section below.