Kelly Clarkson Temporarily Replacing Simon Cowell on America's Got Talent

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With Simon Cowell taking some time away from America's Got Talent while he recovers from a broken back, we're getting a replacement judge. 

Kelly Clarkson, who Simon discovered way back when on American Idol, is stepping into his role as judge of the NBC reality series. 

Clarkson is joining Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara during the first live shows of the season. 

Kelly Clarkson and Simon Cowell

“My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT," the Kelly Clarkson show host said in a statement.

"But no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat! The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson 😜 You’re welcome in advance!”

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Tragedy struck on Saturday when Cowell broke his back while testing his new electric bike at his home in Malibu, Calif. 

He was rushed to hospital and subsequently underwent a five-hour surgery, but he is now expected to make a full recovery. 

“Some good advice, if you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time,” Cowell tweeted late Sunday, adding:

“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.”

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This really is a season of AGT like no other. 

It was forced to shutdown earlier this year to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that there was a break in between episodes. 

Production resumed in June, but there were a wealth of safety precautions thrown in to make sure everyone working on the show was safe. 

To help matters, the series left its usual Hollywood auditorium behind for an outdoor location in Simi Valley. 

Simon Cowell Attends AGT Premiere

It resembles a drive-in theater, and allows the judges to have an appropriate distance between them to maintain social distancing. 

To help bridge the gap between fresh episodes, NBC scheduled a string of retrospective specials. 

When the series did return to the air, the Judge Cuts were slashed from four episodes to one. 

For now, Cowell is only expected to take the two live shows from this week off, but given the severity of his injuries, this could change in due course. 

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What are your thoughts on Kelly replacing Simon for the time being?

Hit the comments below. 

Catch AGT Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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