‘America’s Got Talent’ Recruits Kelly Clarkson to Fill In for Simon Cowell After Bike Accident

Kelly Clarkson
Richard Shotwell/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Kelly Clarkson will temporarily take over for Simon Cowell on the “America’s Got Talent” judging panel. The news comes after it was reported over the weekend that Cowell underwent back surgery over the weekend following a bike accident.

“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,’ but no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat!” Clarkson joked in a statement. The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson. You’re welcome in advance!”

She joins fellow judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara. Terry Crews is the host. Clarkson will be present for at least the Tuesday and Wednesday live telecasts.

Clarkson is no stranger to reality competition shows, with the celebrated singer currently serving as a coach on the singing competition series “The Voice.” She was also the first ever winner of Fox’s “American Idol” back in 2002, which launched her music career.

Cowell was hospitalized Saturday night after a bike accident at his home in Malibu. According to a statement from his reps, Cowell was testing out a new electric bicycle in the courtyard of his home when he fell. He was in surgery for five hours but is now said to be recovering.

He put out his own statement on Sunday thanking fans for the outpouring of support he has received. He also thanked the doctors and nurses at the hospital, calling them “Some of the nicest people I have ever met.”