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HOME > America's Got Talent > America's Got Talent 11

'America's Got Talent' creator Simon Cowell: I was really nervous about joining the show as a judge

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/31/2016 

America's Got Talent creator Simon Cowell is showing his vulnerable side. 

After serving as a judge on American Idol for years and then creating an American version of The X Factor that got pulled from the air after only three seasons, Cowell signed on to judge Season 11 of America's Got Talent alongside veterans Heidi Klum, Melanie "Mel B" Brown and Howie Mandel.

So how did Cowell feel going into his latest stint on television?

"I was really confident until I sat in the chair and you kind of go, 'Oh God, this is a big show here.' I'm used to being on big shows, but I'm thinking, 'I really hope this is going to work.' And for about 10 seconds, I felt nervous. And then this 83-year-old woman in a leotard came on and stood on her head and sang the national anthem and I said, 'Know what? I'm home,'" Cowell told The New York Times.

"And I never looked back," he added.

America's Got Talent premieres its new season Tuesday, May 31 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC, and the sharp-tongued Cowell -- who is replacing Howard Stern as a judge -- said he still has something left to prove to American viewers.

"Yeah, of course. Particularly this year with the end of Idol, I've been reminded about it a lot. It takes me back to when I first launched the show. Being on a show that big, it's the best feeling in the world. I'm not going to lie. When we were doing big, big numbers it was incredible," Cowell explained.

Nick Cannon will be reprising his role as host of America's Got Talent.

After judging nine seasons of Fox's American Idol, Cowell left the show to pursue his own project The X Factor in the US, which debuted in 2011. Because The X Factor didn't pull in the ratings Fox had hoped for, the show was canceled in 2013 after three editions. Cowell has also been involved with The X Factor U.K. and Britain's Got Talent for years.

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