'America's Got Talent' boss Simon Cowell praises Tyra Banks, dubs her 'a bit of a diva'
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Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” premieres May 30 on NBC and show boss and judge Simon Cowell praised incoming host Tyra Banks in a candid May 22 interview with Natalie Morales on “The Today Show.” The British music mogul spoke highly of the supermodel and actress saying, “I’ve seen a completely different side of her. She’s funny, she’s goofy. She’s still a bit of a diva.”

Morales smiled at the latter description and asked Cowell to define “diva.” Cowell replied, “Diva is, I mean it as a compliment by the way. It’s kind of like that presence when you walk in a room.”

Cowell is right. Banks has a commanding stage presence. She’s certainly experienced at helming a reality show, having executive-produced and presented “America’s Next Top Model” for a whopping 22 seasons. She steps in after Nick Cannon’s sudden series departure and she seems like a very natural choice for the next AGT host.

Cowell told Morales he had no idea Cannon was leaving. He confirmed, however, that they did talk "a lot" once he got the news and in the end, “it was as positive as it could be.”

AGT judging regulars Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum will return on the season 12 judging panel, alongside Cowell. It'll be interesting to watch the new season unfold after last season’s magical win by 12-year-old singer-songwriting sensation Grace VanderWaal.

The pint-sized New York native songstress won the season 11 AGT title after being Howie Mandel's Golden Buzzer pick. She's had a whirlwind year following her inspirational “miracles can happen, so anything is possible” victory.

VanderWaal's first EP, Perfectly Imperfect dropped last December. She performed her signature lead single “I Don’t Know My Name” at the 2016 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and performed opposite one of her music idols, Jason Mraz, at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. She also recently won the 2017 Radio Disney Music Award for Best New Artist.

Renowned record producer Simon Cowell definitely recognizes potential in untapped talent. He’s responsible for forming two of the biggest groups in music history with One Direction and Fifth Harmony hailing from his other reality competition shows, “The X Factor UK” and “The X Factor USA” respectively. He predicted "America's Got Talent's" young VanderWaal  would become the next Taylor Swift. Cowell returns to AGT for the second year in a row and will pull double duty as he resumes his judging role on the upcoming season of “The X Factor UK” as well.

Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” premieres Tuesday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC. Watch a sneak peek of the upcoming season in the attached video and stay tuned to AXS for AGT updates.


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