Simon Cowell is determined to finish this year’s season of America’s Got Talent despite the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s come up with three different options to do so.
Cowell, the show’s creator and panel judge, emphasized in an interview with People Magazine that he’s dedicated to finding a solution that will enable the 2020 series run to finish.
NBC’s hit show had been filming auditions for its 15th season in Los Angeles well into March, albeit without an audience, but when the pandemic escalated and stricter lockdown restrictions came into force, the production was forced to shut down operations altogether.
It had also lost one of its judges in Heidi Klum, who fell ill in March and never returned to the set.
The live shows had been scheduled to take place later this summer, but Cowell now hopes that they can happen in the fall.
America’s Got Talent team are working on ways to stay on air
The music mogul spoke about how he and the production team sat down and thrashed out a strategy of three possible scenarios for finishing the series. He said they had been “racking their brains” to come up with a solution that would keep the show on the air.
“We’ve worked out about three different scenarios for how we can shoot the live shows with or without an audience, or a limited audience. And each one of them creatively works,” he explained.
Cowell pointed out that as people had already auditioned, then it was important that they got the opportunity to compete and perform and possibly win the prize money.
He stressed that “the most important thing is that we have to ensure that since people have auditioned, that they do get the chance safely to be able to compete as they normally do, and get that chance to win a million dollars, or at least appear in the final.”
Simon Cowell says ‘there will be a winner’ on AGT
He assured fans and performers alike by reiterating, “There will be finals, and there will be a winner. Someone’s going to walk away with a million dollars.”
The English version of the show Britain’s Got Talent has also been hit with similar issues, and crisis talks on how to proceed with it are continuing on the other side of the pond. As with the American version, the live shows are currently on hiatus, but with hopes the show can go on in the fall.
America’s Got Talent suffered from controversy last year when two of its judges, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, left the show after being subjected to alleged sexist abuse and a toxic masculine culture.
A number of commentators blamed the show’s creator for allowing a situation where Union and Hough had to leave the show, including former judge Howard Stern.