Interview with Simon Cowell and Mel B of "America's Got Talent" on NBC From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Simon Cowell and Mel B 

Interview with Simon Cowell and Mel B of "America's Got Talent" on NBC 7/25/16

NBC UNIVERSAL
Moderator: Natalia Desrosiers
July 25, 2016 5:26 pm CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the America’s Got Talent conference call with creator Judge Simon Cowell and Judge Mel B, press and media.

During the presentation all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards we will conduct a question and answer session. At that time if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone.

If at any time during the conference you need to reach an operator, please press Star zero. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Monday, July 25, 2016. I would now like to turn the conference over to Natalia Desrosiers . Please go ahead ma'am.

Natalia Desrosiers: Thank you. And thank you everyone for joining the call today. As (Kelma) said, we have our creator and Judge Simon Cowell and Judge Mel B. We are enjoying our highest rated season in five years and have some of the best acts that we've seen in the show's history.

Please don't be shy with your questions. We will try to get through all of them. Please know that we're here to talk about AGT so please keep your questions to the show. We are ready to go ahead (Kelma).

Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-toned prompt to acknowledge your request.

If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you are us3ing a speakerphone, please lift your handset before entering your request. One moment please for the first question.

Thank you. Our first question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with scifivision.com. Please proceed with your question.

Jamie Ruby: Hi guys. Thanks for talking to us today. It's nice to talk to you again.

Simon Cowell: Likewise.

Mel B: Lovely.

Jamie Ruby: So I know obviously it's hard for you guys regardless to kind of decide who's moving on. But I've always been curious. Sometimes like when I watch it, I know it - some things to me seem so hard to compare different types of acts like singing to magic or, you know, things that are so different.

Is there like a certain like type of criteria or way that you kind of figure that out because I don't know? To me like it's hard to kind of reconcile which is better because they're so different sometimes.

Simon Cowell: Mel, do you want to go first?

Mel B: No, you go first.

Simon Cowell: Okay. Well it's a good question. I'll tell you what happens. I mean, like you said, there is no way any judge in the world can be an expert on everything. And we're judging everything from dogs to jugglers to singers.

And sometimes - actually not sometimes - a lot of the times you have to put it down to do you want to see that act again and do you think that they can improve and how are you feeling in that moment to be honest with you. Because I do look back on the show sometimes with the people we do put through.

And I'm thinking, what were you thinking at the time? I mean there's no logic to it. But I think that's what makes this show fun. There are no kind of rules and there's no, like scoring system you could possibly use when you're judging some of these crazy acts.

Jamie Ruby: Okay.

Mel B: Do you want me to add onto that?

Simon Cowell: What do you think Mel? Yes.

Mel B: Yes. I mean I - I mean I basically judge on if I'm entertained or not no matter what their act is whether it's a danger act, a singer - I mean, or something that's just really abstract that I've never seen before.

If I'm entertained, if I say to myself, “Oh my God, I would pay to go watch that show in Vegas,” then I'm going to vote yes all day long.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. Great. And then as a follow up, the other thing I was kind of wondering is obviously the audience gets to see the kind of clips about the people before they go on stage. Do you guys, like, know anything about the people before they come out? Do you have any, like, notes that you've gotten or do you really just find out when they say hi, I'm such and such and this is what I'm doing?

Simon Cowell: Nothing. I mean…

Mel B: It's a surprise.

Simon Cowell: …I ask for them to tell us absolutely zero about anybody. And look, sometimes they might say there's something so sensitive, don't go there. But that's really…

Jamie Ruby: Right.

Simon Cowell: …really rare. Our job, funny enough - when we talk to them on stage, is to find out what we can and what they want to tell us - and not knowing makes it much more fun and interesting for us and the audience sitting behind us I think. But then of course…

((Crosstalk))

Simon Cowell: …the audience at home to know everything that we don't know.

Jamie Ruby: Right. Okay. Do you have anything to add Mel?

Mel B: No. I was just about to say that. Simon took the words out of my mouth.

Jamie Ruby: Oh. Okay. Well…

Mel B: I mean, I am a very, very nosy person. So I like to find out a bunch of stuff before they act. And I think the audience appreciates that because we're seeing it just like they are for the very first time. And I think that comes across.

Jamie Ruby: Okay. Okay. Well thank you so much both of you.

Simon Cowell: Yes. Thanks for your questions.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Stephanie Piché with Mingle Media TV. Please proceed with your question.

Stephanie Piché: Thank you. Hi Simon and Mel.

Simon Cowell: Hi.

Mel B: Hi.

Stephanie Piché: How you doing?

Mel B: Good.

Simon Cowell: Good thank you.

Mel B: Good, good.

Stephanie Piché: So my first question is kind of following on the previous caller. I was wondering are there some key indicators that you look for when evaluating the success of the act being a long-term success. I mean there's a one hit wonder but, you know, for them developing new content, do you think about that while you're evaluating their performance?

Simon Cowell: Mel, you can go first on this.

Mel B: I mean I don't because I like to just like react to what I'm seeing there and then. You know, Heidi sometimes says, “But what are you going to do next?” And to me I don't care what they're going to do next. All I know is I'm in that moment and I'm thoroughly entertained.

And sometimes I think to myself it's better left unsaid and it's better not to even ask. So it is more of a surprise the second time round because sometimes even though they seem like a one hit wonder, they can pull some stuff out of the bag in the next - the next time that you see them that you wouldn't have even thought of.

Stephanie Piché: Sure. Okay. Okay. Simon.

Simon Cowell: Yes. I mean I agree actually with what Mel said. I think in this day and age it's almost impossible to predict that kind of stuff because so many factors have to happen after the show.

I mean if you look at One Direction or Susan Boyle, I mean I don't think any of us when we first worked with both acts could have possibly have predicted what was going to happen next.

And a lot of time to be able to - it comes down to the act. It's got to be in them that they are going to push and fight for a successful career afterwards. And some people do it and some people don't.

And sometimes when we're sitting doing the audition - with Grace as an example - this is the little girl who played the ukulele - and she had this massive response of the show. Genuinely on the day I thought she was good. I didn't think she'd get that response.

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: It really took me by surprise. I mean I was happy for her. But the same thing with Tape Face. I mean I thought yes, that was funny. And then he gets like 30, 40 million hits on YouTube or something. You just can't predict (things) anymore.

Mel B: He went viral big time.

Simon Cowell: Yes. Which is good. I like that.

Stephanie Piché: So a quick follow up to my question again is as it relates to this season, what are you seeing that's made the season so hot for viewers to watch on TV outside of the temperature outside?

Simon Cowell: Well let's start with Mel on that one but I think I know the answer.

Mel B: No. Let's start with you Simon.

Simon Cowell: No, no darling. I'll follow you.

Mel B: Please.

Simon Cowell: What? Yes. I'll follow you.

Mel B: What was the question again so I can just answer…

((Crosstalk))

Simon Cowell: Why is the show so much better this year?

Mel B: …in a nice way rather than making it all about myself.

Simon Cowell: Has anybody in particular made a difference? I think that was sort of her question.

Mel B: I mean…

Stephanie Piché: I didn't say it that way but yes.

Mel B: …(for me). You know, I think I - I mean I love Simon. And yes, I'm here on the phone and I will say - you heard it from me - I love working with Simon. And with Simon you don't know what to expect. But you know with all of his experience and his personality - he's a very loveable guy by the way. I'm just happy that he's on this panel. I think he adds so much.

And I know from what people are telling me like the public and my friends and just in general, people are warming to Simon so much. And I don't think they expected him to be like this. I mean I expected him to be like this because I know Simon. But I really think his addition has like taken it to a whole new level. And Simon, don't get a big head and start repeating this. Okay?

Simon Cowell: I don't need to repeat it. I'm actually not going to say anything after that. You kind of said it all.

Mel B: There you go.

Stephanie Piché: Perfect. Thank you so much.

Simon Cowell: I do love you Mel. And actually you know what really makes a difference - I mean I'm teasing Mel and but I do agree with her - is the acts actually - the show is all about the acts. And I think what's happened is that the - we've been able to attract better music acts, which you do need in a mix on a show like this. And also it has to be fun, this show.

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: If you ever get too serious particularly in this day and age with so many - so much bad news on the news and everything, (gosh) you got to have escapism. And you've got to have a show where most things end up well and they're fun. And that's why I think the show has worked so well this year and it is a great panel. I have to tell you.

Stephanie Piché: Great. No it is. I'm enjoying it. Thank you so much.

Simon Cowell: Thank you. Appreciate it.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Michele Angermiller with Billboard. Please proceed with your questions.

Michele Angermiller: Hello Simon and Mel.

Simon Cowell: Hi.

Mel B: Hi.

Michele Angermiller: I have a question about - hey guys. I have a question about the singers this season. I think this has been a stronger season yet as far as - I mean first you've had John Hetlinger who went viral with Drowning Pool…

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Michele Angermiller: …and then he performed twice at the - I was sad to see him go - understood why. But no…

((Crosstalk))

Michele Angermiller: Why do - sorry. Why do you think singers are so hot this season? And also, what's your temperature on Sal? He was a former Idol guy.

Simon Cowell: Who?

Michele Angermiller: Sal. He did (this natural).

Simon Cowell: Was he on Idol?

Michele Angermiller: He was - yes. He was on Idol. He was on with - Adam Lambert pushed him -he was on the panel that put him through - Brooklyn. And he was - I remember he had a good run in Hollywood. But I guess like Harry didn't think that - I guess, you know, Harry - how particular he is about the standards or whatever. But he had such a huge reaction on America's Got Talent.

Simon Cowell: Well maybe he was…

Michele Angermiller: I just think…

Simon Cowell: …too good.

Michele Angermiller: Maybe. But why do you think the singers are so hot this season?

Simon Cowell: Well, I think, you know, we did do a lot of work in advance to tell a lot singers - all the singers in fact to trust the show because, you know, the show's always done well.

I don't think we've had enough good singers turning up for the show in the past. So we all made a huge effort this year. I did a lot of radio interviews basically trying to put the message out look you can trust the show. Singers can do well on this show as long as the variety act - as well as the variety act.

And it was a combination of that - the producers cast it very well. People just wanted to be on the show. And they were judged well on the show. You know, you could see that when you watched the singers back. You know, you had a panel on who really liked - I think unanimously the same kind of music, which really helped.

Michele Angermiller: How did everybody - how did you like it when you had Louis there on the panel.

Simon Cowell: Having what? Louis is great. I mean it was so funny and it was so kind of odd, you know, that he had auditioned for me five years ago. Now he's sitting where I'm sitting judging other people and doing it really well. I was really happy for him and he loved doing it.

Michele Angermiller: Well the One Direction guys are going in the right direction. You got Liam with the solo album. I don't know if you’ve heard the new music and I'm sure it's awesome. But…

Simon Cowell: Yes. I mean they're - we talking to all of them at the moment. And you know what the great thing about these boys are - well not all of them but most of them. They're incredibly loyal. And you don't always expect that. Niall, Harry, Louis, amazing.

Michele Angermiller: Well thank you. This has been such a fun season. I mean I know people that are watching it that have never watched the show before.

Mel B: Yes.

Michele Angermiller: They're going crazy.

Simon Cowell: You know what. I'm having so many people say that to me this year. It's so strange.

Mel B: Ah, Simon.

Michele Angermiller: And the guy that is - with the chain saw and swallowing the swords and everything, that's crazy.

Mel B: Oh.

Michele Angermiller: Do you think…

((Crosstalk))

Simon Cowell: I like that stuff though.

Michele Angermiller: How do you think that would sell in Vegas though?

Mel B: (Terrifying). That was absolutely…

Simon Cowell: I think they like all that stuff in Vegas. I mean it's like watching a horror movie. You kind of don't like it but you do like it and you want to see more of it. I like the whole mix of the show this year. I think they've done it very well.

And I think the final - I sat with the producers a couple of days ago and we looked again at the people who've made the finals. I mean there's so many people this year who could win. And I think it's going to feel like a competition.

Everyone feels that they've got something stepped up for the next round. But it's going to be interesting. The Kodak Theatre is a very - well, the Dolby now. It's a very intimidating place because of its kind of history. But I think it's a brilliant theater. So I'm looking forward to tomorrow now.

Michele Angermiller: And you're coming home.

Simon Cowell: Exactly. We're coming home.

Michele Angermiller: To Dolby. Thank you Simon. Always a pleasure. Thank you Mel.

Simon Cowell: Likewise. Lots of love.

Mel B: (Yes).

Operator: Our next question comes from the line of Matt Carter with CarterMatt.com. Please proceed with your question.

Matt Carter: Hi. Good afternoon Simon and Mel.

Simon Cowell: You're scary Matt.

Mel B: Hi.

((Crosstalk))

Matt Carter: Oh, thank you very much Simon. That's very kind of you. I watch your stuff. What country? So my first question for you is just we talked to - we already heard a little bit about singers. And there are still so many of them left in the competition this season.

So what do you think they individually do to differentiate from each other and stand out to people voting at home?

Simon Cowell: Mel.

Mel B: Well I think it's all about being really clever with your song choices. You know, because if you're going to choose a popular song, which will always go down well, you have to put your own twist on it. So I think just, you know, they've got to really do their research and put their own stamp especially if you're a singer.

But when I look at the whole, you know, light show as a whole, you have everything there from, you know, we've got a 90-year-old stripper. We've got a footballer that does magic. We've got so many different genres of acts that are really good and really entertaining.

And, you know, the singing performances and acts that have gone through are really, really good too. And I think what's been great this season so far is everybody's back-story like they really are hungry for this.

They're not just doing it because they're talented and somebody told them to do it. They're actually on this show to really, really win and be a serious competitor. And that like raises up the stakes and raises up the ante especially with live shows because with live shows anything can happen.

Simon Cowell: Is that it?

Matt Carter: Hello?

Mel B: That is it Simon.

Simon Cowell: Very good darling. I like the fact that you started with the 90-year-old stripper.

Mel B: Yes. She's great. I mean what other…

Simon Cowell: It's all about relating to the (unintelligible) though isn't it? What?

Mel B: (Was great). I said what other show do you get to see that on but next to a singer?

Simon Cowell: Not many. But they're always welcome. Matt, I think your point about the singers is, you know, what I've noticed this year particularly on the show is it's been a learning curve for me - a big learning curve because I think the old rules are starting to - are starting to go now.

You know, we - there was a pattern when we first started these shows where there was a kind of a formula for what people should or shouldn't do. And I think now it's all about showing people who you are. And if you've got the confidence in who you are, you stick with it.

And we've seen a couple of singers who have suddenly popped on the show like Brian because he did what he felt passionate about and he took a risk. And you never know what's going to work in the room or what's going to work through TV. But this guy has really popped and he's been honest.

And the one thing we - Paul Telegdy said to me before we started this show - he came over to the house and we had the judges, you know. And the - and as he walked out the door, he said, “The one thing I love about America’s Got Talent is that we're an inclusive show.” And that stuck in my head.

And I think people have seen with this show and it's an important (know this) that everyone's got the confidence now to say this is who I am, I'm proud of it. And that they're welcome on this show because I don't get rules of talent shows - I've never understood them.

There's an age range or this or that. You know, if you're talented and you're up for it. And the 90-year-old guy proves that - the singer - he was brilliant. Then goes on to one of the coolest bands in the world. So, you know, I think that's what people - and certainly what I like about the show this year. It feels fresh.

Mel B: It does.

((Crosstalk))

Matt Carter: Another follow up. Just in talking a little bit about Golden Buzzers and, you know, the judges - Golden Buzzers in particular. Do you both think that there's a little bit of an inherent disadvantage of going into these live shows and that they've only performed, you know, America once whereas everybody else has performed twice? Or do you think that just having that attachment to each one of you as judges is enough to kind of cancel that out?

Simon Cowell: Well, you know, that's a very good point Matt because you can argue it's an advantage or a disadvantage because like you said, you've had one less performance.

I like them a lot. I mean we - that started about four years on the show in the U.K. and then we brought it over here and it's very - it's interesting how much the audience in the room love it. When they really like someone, they start screaming Golden Buzzer, Golden Buzzer.

I think it's a badge of honor. I think it puts a certain amount of pressure on the contestants. But I think it's good pressure. So I think it's a good thing. And I think it's going to be interesting now to see how the people who are in the judge cup now compete with the people who have the Golden Buzzers. So I think it makes it more interesting. So…

Mel B: Well if I can add to that. I also make - I also think it makes them feel that little bit more like confident. Like if they had a little bit…

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Mel B: …of self-doubt, hopefully it will have gone. I mean for example, my Golden Buzzer Laura, she was so like timid and almost a bit frail. Soon as she started to sing, I mean it was almost like she couldn't even believe how great her voice was.

And the fact that she got that Golden Buzzer, I think somewhere inside of her, you know - a bridge. It's like yes, I've been approved ahead of time. And I think it's going to - I think it's going to boost their confidence a little bit.

Simon Cowell: And actually what it really is it's just a real stamp to show how much you like it. I think when you watch it back on the show; I think it looks great that moment. I really like it.

Matt Carter: I totally agree. I probably watched some unhealthy amount of times on YouTube and I love the addition and I'm glad you guys brought it over to America. Thanks both of you so much for your time.

Mel B: You're welcome.

Simon Cowell: Yes. And thanks for everything you've done Matt. Appreciate it.

Mel B: Thank you. I can't wait to see that group. What is it? The dance group Malevo - Malevo, the George Lopez Golden Buzzer.

Simon Cowell: You like those don't you?

Mel B: They were so good. Oh my God.

Simon Cowell: Yes. They are good.

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: Mel, let's not make small talk darling.

Mel B: I am making small talk. I like it.

((Crosstalk))

Mel B: …haven't you? Shut up.

Operator: The next question comes from the line of David Criblez with Newsday. Please proceed with your question.

David Criblez: Hey Simon. Hey Mel B. How are you?

Mel B: Hi.

Simon Cowell: How are you?

David Criblez: Excellent. We're really excited here on Long Island to have a contestant in the finals. And I wanted to ask you about the - yes. Wanted to talk to you about Sal a bit. He performed My Way. And he got an interesting connection with the crowd. And I wanted to ask both of you why you think he connected so well and how do you see him doing going forward.

Simon Cowell: I - you know what. I think…

Mel B: He was a…

Simon Cowell: …this is - sorry Mel. I think it's one of my favorite auditions of all time when I watched it back. I mean his family and his…

Mel B: (Hello).

Simon Cowell: …swagger and his confidence in the fact he's flirting with all the girls. But you know what I loved about him is that he's an old soul and he loves this kind of music.

I know what he's singing next actually and it's going to surprise a lot of people. But I think it's going to work. I love him. I love everything about that guy.

Mel B: He was…

((Crosstalk))

Mel B: …his personality was bigger than his voice almost.

David Criblez: Right. Right. And how much do you think that has an impact both when you have the personality matched with the performance?

Simon Cowell: Well you have to…

Mel B: Well you have to be likeable and he was really likeable. So it worked in his favor.

David Criblez: Absolutely. Absolutely. And do you - were you surprised that he got the Golden Buzzer?

Simon Cowell: No I wasn't. And I'm really happy that he got it even though he was really confident. Every singer always in that moment slightly doubt themselves a little bit. And, you know, he did his thing and he's got his shtick. But when he got it, you could see in his eyes and particularly with his family how much it meant to him.

And I think, you know, following, you know, Matt's question before, I think it's important that he's in the next round with the Golden Buzzer and he's got something to live up to now. And there's an expectation. And he deserved it.

I thought the whole - like I said, that whole clip particularly his cousin in the wings. I mean you can make a show…

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: …with that family. They were amazing.

David Criblez: That's the absolute truth. And I think, you know, obviously over three million views on YouTube and people's reaction in the theater there proved that.

Simon Cowell: Yes. You could see that. People really like him. And, you know, I really loved in him the moment when he said, “I'm not here to compete. I'm here to win.” I always…

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: …love that in a competition that people actually really want to win. And that makes the show really exciting.

David Criblez: And you think he has a good shot?

Mel B: Oh yes.

Simon Cowell: I think he's got a shot, yes.

David Criblez: Absolutely. Well thank you so much both of you. I enjoy you. Simon, thanks for coming back to TV.

Simon Cowell: Oh cheers. Appreciate that. Thank you.

Operator: Our next question comes from the line Tracy Swartz with Chicago Tribune. Please proceed with your question.

Tracy Swartz: Hi. Thanks so much for chatting with us today.

Simon Cowell: How are you?

Mel B: Hi. You're welcome.

Tracy Swartz: Good. We have two Chicago area acts this week - Laura, the opera singer and…

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Tracy Swartz: …Musicality, the group from the Southwest side - the ensemble group. So Mel, you mentioned Laura before but I'm curious looking back at all the acts now, are you glad that she was your Golden Buzzer?

Mel B: Oh my God yes. Are you kidding me? I mean just the fact that - I mean I said this earlier. She was just so timid. And I actually got worried for her when she was talking in the pre-chat - she wasn't actually going to be able to deliver.

And then she started singing and a whole new world opened. I mean I'm so glad that I hit my Golden Buzzer for her. I mean yes. She was great. What else can I say about her?

Tracy Swartz: And I'm curious. You know, Musicality came on and they were the final act to get the go ahead. Did you at all consider their back-story and some of the pain that they sort of sang through in this last audition?

Simon Cowell: Yes. It really made - I mean the - one of the first questions was about the back-stories. And, you know, they were very open with us when they came on the stage and told us, you know, where they were from, what life was like, you know, some of the disadvantages they've had to deal with.

But - and they used to rehearse in a stairwell and stuff like that. And every single one of those people you could see it in their eyes how much it meant to them. And the guy who was the conductor and their musical director is a fantastic guy. And they've really, really done well together.

And they're the sort of group who you really want to do well. And they work hard. They definitely improved from the first audition to the second audition. And that's one of those yeses you love giving because you could see how much it meant to them.

And again, what I'm hearing through the producers during the rehearsal is that they've stepped up again. And, you know, this has given them the confidence this show and the reaction they've had to carry doing. I think they'll inspire a lot of people. I learned a lot about the whole art education program here, which has been slashed to pieces.

So it's important I think that a group like this is represented and do well and they're fun. I like them.

Mel B: And I think as well, you know, you want to kind of root for the underdog. And at the end of the day…

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Mel B: …it's down to America to vote. So, you know, you want to have that story that connects with people. And it's not a false story. That's just the way that they live and, you know, they're dealing with whatever's happened to them.

I mean the guy had his sister killed, you know. I mean you just - you're heartbroken after that.

Simon Cowell: Days before (audition).

Tracy Swartz: Right.

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: Yes. I mean it was tragic. But, you know, you felt for him. And like I said, that's one of those moments where you just love giving them a yes and watch the reaction back on TV. They were fantastic. So I think both of those groups from your area have got a shot in the next round.

Tracy Swartz: All right. Great. Well thank you so much for your time.

Simon Cowell: No worries. Thank you.

Mel B: (Thank you).

Operator: Our next question comes from Hal Boedeker with Orlando Sentinel. Please proceed with your question.

Hal Boedeker: Thank you. Thank you for all the entertainment this summer. What do you think of Orlando juggler Viktor Kee's chances?

Simon Cowell: I like him. I really do. Again, you know, his story, you know, when we found out about it afterwards was very sad. But he's a real showman that guy. I could see him in Vegas or somewhere.

I normally - if I'm being honest with you, I can't bear those kind of acts. Soon as someone says the word juggler it's oh God, this is going to be awful. But he was brilliant. And he's such a fascinating person.

It's quite interesting because I've done this show for ten years in England. And often after you've done the auditions, you forget 90 percent of the people afterwards because it's just a blur.

But on this show and with people like him because they were so different, you do remember them. And he's got an interesting personality. Look, I think it's going to be tough for him up against some of the better-known acts. But you never know on this show.

Hal Boedeker: And I look at these numbers for the social media views, which are just astonishing. Do you think those people have the edge?

Simon Cowell: Well, I don't know what - I suppose yes. I mean if someone gets traction, you know, on social media, there's a reason for it. And this show was always designed, you know, to take advantage of social media in the hopes that, you know - that you would have that secondary window so that people get to know about the acts that they've missed the show and they come back and watch the show.

But that's not always the case that they're going to win. The year that Susan Boyle got more social media than I've ever seen in my life on an act - she was the red-hot favorite in the final to win. And she got beaten by a dance act who on the night was just better.

And no one expected that to happen. They're a group called Diversity and they were amazing. So sometimes it works for you and then other times on the night someone else does better and then you don't win. So it's good unpredictability I think.

Hal Boedeker: It's great to have you back. How do you think you've changed as a judge?

Simon Cowell: I mean…

Mel B: Oh, let me tell you.

Simon Cowell: …I think I was edited badly years ago is the honest truth. And I haven't always been rude. I mean maybe at times I get a little bit frustrated. But I actually like most of the acts but you just never saw that before I don't think.

Hal Boedeker: But bad editing, huh?

Simon Cowell: Well, I wouldn't say bad. I'd call it selective.

Hal Boedeker: Thanks again.

Simon Cowell: Okay. (Unintelligible).

Mel B: That was funny.

Operator: Our last question comes from the line of Will Mendelson with Us Weekly. Please proceed with your question.

Will Mendelson: Hey guys. How are you doing?

Simon Cowell: I'm good. How are you?

Mel B: Good. (How are you)?

Will Mendelson: Good. Thanks. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.

Simon Cowell: Well you've got the last question so this has got to be a good one.

Mel B: I know.

Will Mendelson: Oh gosh. I feel like - no pressure or anything.

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Will Mendelson: But, you know, everyone else has mentioned how many amazing acts there are this season and, you know, I think this is why it's, you know, personally my favorite season to, you know, watch as a viewer. You know, for the both of you, who - if you had to pick one act, who are you most excited to see and why?

Simon Cowell: Okay. Mel, you go first on this because I've got to think about this one.

Mel B: This is really, really, really hard. Because I mean when I look at the list of, you know, all the 30, 40 people that are going to be through to the live shows, they all hold like a - they have a special place inside me because I've agreed with nearly every single act that is going through.

But I have to say - like in the break in between interviews right now, I was raving about the dance group that was George Lopez's Golden Buzzer…

Will Mendelson: Yes.

Mel B: …Malevo, Malevo. They are - I mean I love a dance group. Not everybody on the panel does. But the way that they came out with such power and passion, it was just hot. So I'm super excited to see these guys.

And yes, I mean they're one of my favorites obviously apart from my own Golden Buzzer. But yes, I cannot wait to see what they bring to the stage because I know it's going to be on fire.

Will Mendelson: Totally.

Simon Cowell: You know what. This is really difficult and it is a good question. I was teasing you but it's a good question because I can't - I'm sort of fascinated to see what the 90-year-old stripper's going to do next. I mean I was never in this position before. I mean does she take more off or does she get the tassels to work this time.

Will Mendelson: Right.

Simon Cowell: I don't know. At the same time, I'm obviously excited about the singers because that's an important part of the show. And my own Golden Buzzer Calysta, you know, I've got a soft spot for her because I loved her story and I love her and I think she's really good. I like Grace. I'm really curious to see what she's going to do next.

Mel B: Yes.

Simon Cowell: Sal we've spoken about is a real (talent).

Will Mendelson: Yes.

Simon Cowell: I like the guy who drills things into himself. I like Tape Face. So there's not many people who I'm disappointed about. Normally at this stage there's about ten I actually care about. This year fortunately there's a lot more than that.

I think there's going to be a lot of surprises because America's taking over the show for the first time as from tomorrow so we've completely lost control of it. So I'm fascinated to see what they're going to do with it.

Will Mendelson: Yes. I'm real excited.

Mel B: And can I add to that? What I'm excited to see is the kids because I do feel like this season the kids have just popped out of nowhere with such confidence. So I'm - I mean I'm really excited to see what they're going to bring especially the two young comedians.

Will Mendelson: Oh my God. Yes, they're amazing.

Simon Cowell: And you know what. I think this guy Brian who I talked about earlier and he wasn't, you know, he hasn't got the biggest personality. He was quite shy when he first performed with us. But he sang Creep in the second round and I thought he was superb; really, really good. I'm really excited to see what he's going to do because he's a big singer and he's got great taste.

So like I said, I think there's going to be some surprises. I've got no idea what's going to happen but I'm really looking forward now to tomorrow.

Will Mendelson: Yes. I mean too. Thank you guys so much.

Simon Cowell: Yes.

Mel B: Thank you.

Simon Cowell: And thank you everyone for your questions and coming on today. I really appreciate it.

Operator: I will now turn the call over to Natalia.

Natalia Desrosiers: Thank you. Thanks everyone for taking the time to jump on the call today. And just a reminder that we start our live show tomorrow from the Dolby Theatre, starting at 8:00 pm. So we hope you can join us. Thank you.

Simon Cowell: And thanks Natalia.

Natalia Desrosiers: Thanks you guys.

Mel B: Bye. Thanks guys. Thanks Simon.

Simon Cowell: Thank you Mel.

Mel B: Thanks Natalia.

Simon Cowell: Bye darling. Thanks.

Mel B: See you all tomorrow.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude the conference call for today. We thank you for you participation and ask that you please disconnect your line.

END

America’s Got Talent 

*        Is delivering its most-watched season in five years (averaging 13.4 million), up +8% vs. last year at this time (12.4 million). 

*        Ranks as this year’s #1 summer series on the Big 4 networks in 18-49 (2.1 rating) and total viewers (13.4 million). 

*        Has been the #1 entertainment telecast on the Big 4 nets every week this summer, six of six weeks to date. 

*         Already discovered talent who are amassing hundred of millions of video views: 

  • Grace VanderWaal – 120 million Facebook video views in one week 
  • Tape Face – 34.6 million YouTube views 
  • Caly Bevier – 9.1 million YouTube views 
  • Laura Bretan – 22.6 million YouTube views 
  • John Hentlinger – 8.6 million YouTube views 
  •  Is heavily time-shifted: the June 28 “Talent” jumped +2.6 million viewers in “live plus three day” results, the biggest L+3 lift for any primetime program on the Big 4 networks all summer long. 
  •  On July 5, delivered its most-watched episode in nearly five years (12.8 million in “live plus same day”), best since the season-six finale(14.4 million on Sept. 14, 2011). 
  •  Is ranking as the most-watched summer unscripted series for an 11th year in a row 

Simon Cowell – A Biography

Simon Cowell is a record company executive, a television and film producer, and a global TV icon. Known for his eye for talent and candid verdicts, Simon – born in 1959 in London – has completely transformed popular culture through his entertainment enterprise.

Simon’s joint venture with Sony Music, Syco Entertainment, is one of the world’s leading global music, film, and TV production companies and is responsible for some of the most successful global music and TV franchises. Artists signed to Syco Music include One Direction, Little Mix, Susan Boyle, Ella Henderson, Il Divo, Labrinth, Fifth Harmony, Fleur East and Collabro. Syco’s television assets include two worldwide record- breaking shows: The X Factor and Got Talent. In 2014, Cowell was awarded MipCom’s Personality of the Year Award for his global transformation of popular culture through his wide-reaching TV and music enterprise.

Cowell has received The Rose d’Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA’s Special Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry. He has also been awarded the International Emmy Founders Award. In total, television shows created by Cowell have received 23 awards including eight National Television Awards and five BAFTAs. In 2015, Cowell was honored with the Music Industry Trusts Award, the British music industry’s most prestigious accolade, in recognition of his contributions to the industry and many charitable causes. Previous winners include Sir George Martin, Annie Lennox and Sir Elton John.

Before starting Syco Entertainment, Simon Cowell was an established record label executive. He first appeared on television as a judge on the UK talent show Pop Idolbefore launching American Idol in 2002 where he lead the judging panel for 8 years.  The X Factor, created by Cowell, premiered in 2004 on ITV and has since gone on to be a national television event, airing in 186 countries and being locally commissioned in 56 territories. The X Factor has created more international music stars than any other television format with artists discovered by show having sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 200 No. 1s, and 380 Top 10 records.

As well as being a judge on The X Factor, Cowell is also a judge on Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent.The Got Talent format is officially the world’s most successful reality TV format of all time, airing in 186 countries worldwide and holding the Guinness World Records title for the highest number of adaptations, having been commissioned in an impressive 68 territories worldwide. To date, Britain’s Got Talent has won three National Television Awards and two Royal Television Society Awards and America’s Got Talent has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. America’s Got Talentcontinues to be the #1 summer series, with the 11th season currently delivering its most-watched season in five years. In total, more than one billion people tune in every year to watch Got Talent

In 2014, Syco Music was named the No. 1 A&R label in the UK for both singles and albums and is home to internationally successful artists who have sold more than 380 million records to date. Syco’s artist roster includes One Direction, who have sold more than 65 million records worldwide, have headlined four sold out world tours which have sold more than 10 million tickets and have won countless awards across the globe including the IFPI for Global Recording Artist for three years in a row.

For his newest take on the singing competition, Simon Cowell teamed up with Univision Communication to create La Banda. The first season, which aired this past fall, searched the US and Latin America to put together the next Latino boyband. The winning group, now known as CNCO, signed a recording contract with Sony Music Latin and Syco Music. Season two, which will air this fall 2016, is searching for the next great Latino group with boys and girls.

In addition to music and TV, Cowell has also extended into feature films. He has produced a 3D concert documentary about One Direction entitled ‘This Is Us.’ The film was the No. 1 movie worldwide for the opening week box office. Additionally, Simon Cowell and the Weinstein Co. produced ‘One Chance,’ a movie chronicling the remarkable story of Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts. Most recently, Syco announced a long-term animated development deal with Animal Logic, the animation and visual effects studio behind films including The LEGO Movie and Happy Feet. Syco currently has a number of film projects in development. 

Cowell is a devoted supporter of The Association for Children’s Hospices, Against Breast Cancer, The Health Lottery, Save The Children, Comic Relief, Battersea Dogs Home, RSPCA, The K9 Angels, PETA, Hope Sanctuary Barbados, and Help For Heroes. Cowell is a patron of Together For Short Lives, The Katie Piper Foundation and the Linda Blair Sacred Heart Foundation, as well as an Ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital. In May 2015, he was made Vice President of Shooting Star Chase. He has also been awarded Variety International’s Humanitarian Award for his charitable work. 

MEL B

Mel B returns for her fourth season as judge of “America’s Got Talent,” now in its milestone 11th season. 

Melanie Brown, best known to audiences as the iconic Mel B of the Spice Girls, is a chart-topping music artist, actress, author, television personality and groundbreaking entrepreneur.  Brown has found a home on television across the globe — she made television history when she joined “The X Factor” in the U.K. as a judge sitting next to Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh. It’s her third #1 show on three different continents, along with a stint as coach on Australian spinoff “The Voice Kids.”

The versatile talent competed on season five of the ABC hit series “Dancing with the Stars,” where she came in second place with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She’s appeared on episodes of “Hollywood Game Night,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Celebrity Name Game” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” sharing her winnings with charity. In theater, she headlined as Mimi in a major production of “Rent” and appeared in a presentation of “The Vagina Monologues.”  She frequently co-hosts national television talk shows, including “Today,” “Live with Kelly & Michael” and, most recently, “The View.” Mel B also voiced the character of Fury in the Disney animated feature “Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast.”

Mel B’s brash persona was at the core of the Spice Girl’s global success, racking up worldwide record sales of $55 million, a Guinness Book of World Records status for most #1 entries in the U.K. charts and most consecutive #1’s for a new act. The group’s enduring popularity brought about one of the most successful concert tours of 2007-08 with the reunion trek grossing more than $70 million. In 2012, the Spice Girls reunited in London for a performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony and for the premiere of “Viva Forever,” the musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls.

Mel B currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters. Follow Mel B on Twitter at http://twitter.com/OfficialMelB 

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