Kelly Clarkson introduced Simon Cowell on her afternoon talk show as “…the man I’ve known for almost 20 years, y’all!”
Of course, she’s referring to competing on and winning the inaugural season of American Idol WAY back in 2002. Both Simon, a judge on the show, and Kelly were unknowns at the time. But look how far they’ve come! Kelly is music and television superstar, while Simon creates and stars in his popular X Factor and Got Talent franchises.
In fact, Simon dropped by The Kelly Clarkson Show this week to promote the upcoming 16th season of America’s Got Talent, premiering on NBC Tuesday, June 1.
Simon still has a huge rod in his back. His son Eric compared him to Iron Man
But first, Simon discussed last summer’s horrific electric bike accident that landed him in surgery and on his back for months. He missed all the live shows, and at one point, Kelly subbed for him on the judges panel.
“I’ve still got to this rod in my back and I’ve got like, screws…I have titanium in my body.” Simon compared himself to the Terminator. That’s an apt description, at least as far as Simon’s young son Eric is concerned. While explaining to Eric what happened, and why Simon would be laid up for months, Simon’s partner, Lauren, compared him to a superhero. One morning, Eric said to Simon, “You’re like Iron Man, aren’t you?” At that point, Simon knew that Eric understood, and he stopped worrying about his reaction.
“I was a millimeter away from breaking my spine which would have been a disaster. So in a weird way it was kind of meant to happen,” Simon describe the accident, and the aftermath, “I was really pushing my luck. I was buying these crazy bikes and this particular bike I bought had so much power. I was thrown about eight feet in the air, landed on my back, in front of Eric…this is at the front of my house.”
Simon and his son are creating a children’s book together
Speaking of Simon’s son Eric, the two are “writing” a book together. “I used to make up these animals with him when he was younger…if you had half cat and a half a dog, it would be called a cog or a dogat.” Simon further explained, “And the first thing he came up with was a snog, which was half a snail and half a dog…” Simon met with some book publishers, and now the book will become a reality.
As far as fatherhood is concerned, Simon admits that Eric has brought his softer side to the fore. “…after I lost my parents I genuinely felt…I would never feel that kind of love for anyone ever again.” But when he saw Eric’s sonogram for the first time, everything changed. “I used to call him Tad because he looks like a little tadpole…that moment I saw the scan…I [was] besotted. And now…I just cannot imagine my life without him. He’s the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.”
America’s Got Talent, which premieres June 1 will have many COVID related backstories
It sounds like the upcoming AGT acts will have many COVID and quarantine related backstories. In fact, some of the acts were created while people were in lockdown. “They weren’t all great…but it was interesting how they use their time. I found it fascinating. I love that…there were some amazing stories,” said Simon.
Regarding his favorite AGT acts, Simon said, “I love the unpredictability. My personal favorites are people who aren’t professionals, they have regular jobs. They always dreamt about doing something and they develop this incredible talent.”
Simon calls Kelly one of the nicest, most loyal people he knows
Simon LOVES Kelly: “You always knew who you were, and…the kind of artist you wanted to be. You didn’t need anyone to give you that kind of guidance.” Simon added, “I use you as an example. You are one of the nicest people I’ve ever met [and the] most loyal, I can say that because we’ve known each other a long time.” When young acts ask him for advice, Simon tells them. “Follow Kelly.”
Kelly asked Simon about the secret to spotting talent: “You can see it in people’s eyes…when they audition…they’re fearless. And even if it’s not perfect it’s just something you recognize.” He acknowledges that he doesn’t always get it right. But feels that he has ” a pretty good track record.”
Camila Cabello almost didn’t audition
Discovering young talent like X Factor’s USA’s Camila Cabello can be all about timing. “Camilla wasn’t even meant to audition. She was reserve…and I went backstage to have a cigarette and she was lying on the floor crying.” The producers told her they didn’t have time for her audition. Simon told her, “… just got an audition! So she came out five minutes later…amazing. Just one of those lucky moments…”
Also, Simon chatted a bit about the new USA format AGT:Extreme, which will air on NBC in January. AGT: Extreme will feature some of the most “extreme” envelope pushing acts from around the world. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
America’s Got Talent will open a Las Vegas residency later this year.
Simon also teased that America’s Got Talent will open a residency at the Luxor in Las Vegas later this year. “We had a fantastic conversation with MGM…and we agreed to do it.”
Check out Simon Cowell and Kelly Clarkson’s The Kelly Clarkson Show chat below.