“America’s Got Talent”, NBC’s ultimate variety competition show, premieres June 4th. During a recent press conference, new judge this season Melanie Brown, a.k.a, Mel B., a.k.a. “Scary Spice” of British all-girl group “Spice Girls” fame and comedian and game show host Howie Mandel answered the media’s questions about the new season.
Four Judges Instead of Three:
The heart and soul of our show is we are the last bastion of variety. We truly have variety.
With the help of two more international superstar judges – Mel B. and Heidi Klum, Howie said, “its harder for acts to get through because now we need three yes’s instead of just two.” Howie said “The fact that they have to get three yes’s to say – to go through. Two and two doesn’t get you – is virtually a ‘no’ so you need three yes’s. So, you have to appeal to three people.”
Mel B. said, “Four people on the panel come from not only four different worlds of entertainment, but from all over the world. And as Howard keeps saying, we want to find an international star. We don’t want to just find somebody that wins AGT and gets the million dollars and ends up at Radio City Music Hall. We want to find somebody that’s going to be an international star. I think that this addition to these two judges from all over the world is going to send us in that direction.”
The Pros and Cons of being a Singer or Comedian on AGT:
They don’t need to be a singer, they can be anything. This season , Howie said, “We had more dangerous acts, more exciting acts, more wacky acts, and more brilliant, you know, classic talent than we’ve ever had before.”
Mel B. said the bar is being set so high. It’s terrorizing for a comedian. They have to make the audience laugh and the judges laugh. Howie added that Mel B. is a tough judge. “We’ve had a couple of comedians on, and if they don’t rise to the occasion, she pulls no punches in telling them. ‘I’m going to tell you why I don’t like you; because you’re not funny,’ and she’s right, but that’s what you want from a judge.”
“If you’re entertaining, you’re going through to the next level. As a singer, you do have an advantage. But because it’s a variety show, what about the guy from his basement and he’s doing something new that hasn’t be done before. You can see a singer songwriter around a campfire.” But, Howie thinks that singers still have an advantage because it’s something that people are used to and it’s familiar.
Why does Howie continue to come back?
He said, “I’m back as long as they continue to have me. I love this. As a fellow performer I love the energy of anyone who’s willing to come out. I love being there. I can’t believe that this is a job. “I go to clubs and I watch people, and I watch TV 24 hours a day. I watch things that aren’t even in English. I’m just fascinated by people trying to entertain.
If Spice Girls Were Contestants:
Mel B. answered, “The good thing is its not just a singing show its a variety show. There’s dancers, there’s magic acts. Hopefully we would do well.” Howie said that if the Spice Girls were on AGT, “I think they would do well. The things that we look for, at that time they were original. There are young girls that are inspired and watch dreams come true (on AGT).”
Girl Power on AGT:
The Spice Girls signature statement was all about “girl power.” Mel B. said, her and Heidi “We root for the girls to be extra-specially good because we’re all about supporting women. I’d love a woman or a girl group to actually win this season.
The Judging Table Could Get Heated:
“We all hold our own and we’re just all very honest. And, we all think differently sometimes”, said Mel B. Howie responded, “We respect each other and each others opinion though we don’t agree and there’s times where we really- and we’re all four very strong-minded, opinionated people and we’ll fight for what we think is right and honestly think the other person’s wrong. It could get heated.”
Howie said the best part of the shows, is to see something so new that’s so original and daring. His reaction is ‘Where have you been for the last couple of years?’ “The greatest moment so far is when our jaws drop.”
Why Mel B. Said “Yes” to AGT:
“Why not? It’s America’s Got Talent. Everyone loves the show. Everybody watches it. Everybody talks about it. I was living in Australia and got offered the job, I said ‘yes’”. She said she had to move her family back to the states, but “It’s been the best move ever.”
As for the contestants, Mel said, “We’ve seen a lot of really talented women on this stage. Their all done with the auditions and now on to boot camp. “I’m worried because of the 300-400 people we’ve seen ,we have to whittle it down to 40-50 people or acts. It’s going to be so tough because we’ve had equal amounts of lady talent and boy talent and everything else in between. So, it’s going to be really hard.”
Special Sneak-Peek Promo Below: