Simon Cowell will reportedly not appear at all in the finals of Britain’s Got Talent. The Got Talent judge and creator broke his back earlier this month after falling off an electric bike at his Malibu home.
“It was decided that the idea of having him judge the BGT finalists via a link was just not feasible – nor sensible,” said the source. “Everything is fixed, he just needs healing time. Flying halfway across the world is not part of the plan and he has agreed to put his health first.”
Ashley Banjo of Diversity will sit in for Simon Cowell for BGT’s semi-finals
The shows start filming in two weeks, and ITV has confirmed that Ashley Banjo, who won the show with his dance group Diversity back in 2009 (they beat Susan Boyle for the win), will fill in for Simon during the semi-final round. Ashley will sit on the judges panel alongside Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.
“As if 2020 couldn’t get any crazier!” Ashley said. “It’s super humbling and super exciting! I remember being on that stage last year and talking about how it’s been ten years since we won, and how people should never tell you, you can’t do something.”
Simon said that Ashley “will be a fantastic addition to the panel”, adding that “he knows the power of the show; and the responsibility of it”.
Britain’s Got Talent has already been struggling with delays due to restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Although the audition episodes aired in April ITV postponed the live finals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The network put safety protocols in place to keep the crew and acts safe, and there will be a virtual audience.
And, instead of live shows, the episodes will be pre-recorded and shown in what would have been the X Factor’s prime-time Saturday night slot.
Will Simon Cowell return for America’s Got Talent?
If Simon won’t even be dialing into the Britain’s Got Talent finale, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll be back at America’s Got Talent this season. AGT has five more weeks of live shows. Perhaps Simon will dial in to say hi or to congratulate the winner, but I have a feeling his injury will keep him from returning to the studio.