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Spoilers ahead for the latest round of America's Got Talent Season 15 quarterfinals on September 2.
The race to the America's Got Talent finals sped up with the last round of quarterfinals, but the most memorable moment of the night might have been a tribute of sorts to Simon Cowell that actually had nothing to do with any of the competitors vying for the Season 15 grand prize. Simon has of course been missing from America's Got Talent since early August due to a broken back, and AGT has found ways to compensate for his absence. Some of the ways were super fun and entertaining; the latest tribute was just... well, kind of weird. Judge Howie Mandel brought out a Simon Cowell puppet.
It all started with the kind of classic America's Got Talent skit that the show uses to fill the time between reveals in live results episodes. Sofia Vergara with her puppet Mr. Grumpy sat down for a chat with former AGT champ Darci Lynne Farmer and her puppet pal by the name of Edna. Unsurprisingly, Darci Lynne was the superior ventriloquist, although Sofia put up a good showing... and then Howie Mandel turned up. Edna had wanted to see Simon Cowell, or as she called him, her "hunka hunka English man."
Edna told Howie Mandel that he could join them if he was Simon, but Howie ran off to "get Simon." Sofia Vergara tried to tell Edna and Darci Lynne Farmer that Simon wasn't there and so Howie was definitely not getting him, and it was at this point that I genuinely wondered if AGT was going to drop a surprise and bring out a healing Simon. Instead, Howie returned with a Simon puppet, complete with white V-neck and sunglasses, bandages on his head and arm, and a very dubious English accent.
Sofia Vergara and Darci Lynne Farmer seemed mostly unimpressed and weirded about by Howie Mandel and puppet Simon, but Howie certainly thought it was a hilarious turn of events! I just hope that Howie is capable of a better English accent and was playing his terrible accent for laughs, considering how much time he has spent with the real Simon Cowell. In case Howie with his puppet Simon Cowell is a performance that needs to be seen to be believed, take a look!
In a tweet that Howie Mandel posted following the debut of Simon the puppet on America's Got Talent, he referred to it as "my impression of Simon," so I for one would like nothing more than to see the real Simon Cowell's reaction. Howie and Simon have given each other a hard time for laughs on AGT before, so I can only imagine what he would say to Howie's accent.
Fortunately, Simon Cowell is on the mend after breaking his back, although only time will tell if he makes an appearance in the flesh on AGT before Season 15 is over. The show filled his slot successfully with a pair of fun guest judges, then simply proceeded with just Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum as judges. Check out new episodes of America's Got Talent on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see how the show continues to work without Simon! For more viewing options, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.