Heidi Klum Talks America’s Got Talent, Season 9

Heidi KlumWe spoke to Heidi Klum about Season 9 and she was excited by one of the big changes this season; the initial rounds are no longer held in cities around the country. Now, acts submit videos and are invited to audition in New York City or Los Angeles, a move that she says has made it easier to find astounding talent. “The acts are more intense,” she says during the L.A. auditions, where, over six days, she watches roughly 240 performances. “You would have thought that after last year, we would have found all of the talented people in this country, but there are so many amazing people! We give standing ovation after standing ovation! We’re on the edge of our seats.”

According to Klum, the ever-changing array of superb talent is the factor that brings the show’s fans back year after year. “It’s great to have the variety, because it doesn’t get boring! It doesn’t get boring for me, it doesn’t get boring for them and that’s why it’s the No. 1 show in the summer, because of the variety. You never know who’s going to come on that stage next!”

When I spoke to Klum via phone, she giddily told me, “We’re having a party here one set!” If 8:30am seems like an early time to have a party, Klum said “When you get up at 5am, 8:30 feels like lunchtime!” I can only imagine what a party inside the Dolby Theater is like, it is, after all where the Adacemy Awards are held, a fact that isn’t lost on Klum as even she admits to feeling nervous — both for herself and this year’s contestants. “This is where the Oscars take place. It’s a huge stage; it’s a huge audience,” she says. “I see their legs shaking and I put myself into these people’s shoes and think about how they must be feeling on that stage for the first time.”

I asked Heidi what motivated her to join the judging panel of America’s Got Talent, and she said she had four reasons: Her foour children. “They always loved America’s Got Talent, and when I was asked to be a judge on the show, you can’t imagine how excited I was, but also how excited they were. Their mama was going to be sitting there pushing the X! They came to visit me the other day and they got to push the X, they think this is so much fun.”

Heidi KlumKlum says her favorite parts of judging “America’s Got Talent” are finding acts that make her say, “Wow, that is really different,” and spending time with her co-judges: comedian Howie Mandel, radio personality Howard Stern and former Spice Girl Mel B. “We always have fun together. Every year, I get an extra 10 wrinkles on each eye because I’m laughing all day.” Klum tells of a recent mishap when the show’s signature X-shaped buzzers stopped working. “There was this act on the stage and we were all buzzing, and the buzzer, the X wouldn’t go off! Normally there’s this sound, “rrrrrrrrt!” and the X goes off and the act has to stop. And we’re buzzing and buzzing and we’re like, ‘why is this light not coming on in the X?’ the guys come over to find out what’s wrong. Mel B had unplugged the buzzers to charge her cellphone! We all laughed hysterically. She took her charger to plug her phone and unplugged the buzzer system. It was hilarious. I hope that they show it in its entirety on TV.”