Mel B and Heidi Klum Take 'America's Got Talent' to 'a New Level'

Pasadena, Calif. — The judges from America’s Got Talent and host Nick Cannon joked like old friends at NBC Press Day at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on Monday.

“I’m going to be an honest judge. You saw how great I was last season,” returning judge Howard Stern said during the show’s session.

“He’s bringing humility to the panel,” deadpanned fellow returning judge Howie Mandel.

For the show’s eighth season, NBC has replaced judge Sharon Osbourne with Spice Girl Mel B and supermodel and former Project Runway host Heidi Klum.

Mandel said that the new four-judge panel has breathed new life into the talent competition. “This show has now gone to a new level in so many ways. First, in our panel, you bring people from different backgrounds. We have more opinions, more critiques.” He added that the show’s new home, Radio City Music Hall in New York, acts as a fifth judge. “For the first time, in any of these talent-driven contests, we’re actually sending the talent to the iconic mecca of entertainment.”

The panel laughed about some of the more thrilling stunts they’ve seen. “There’s been some really close moments,” Mel B said, describing a bullwhip incident involving Nick Cannon and a contestant.

But as Mandel explains, “That’s part of the entertainment — you never know what’s going to happen on our show and I think it’s worth watching. So yes, we’ve had some moments: amazing, scary, dangerous, thrilling, everything that makes up America’s Got Talent.”

The new season premieres June 4 on NBC.