He knows if you’ve got talent. He knows if you’re a hack. He’s done this many times before, and now he’s coming back.
Yes, Simon Cowell, the iconic and acerbic arbiter of talent, is returning to the judging table for an American TV talent show. It’s not for the final season of “American Idol” or some new incarnation of “The X Factor,” which left the air in 2013.
For the first time Cowell is becoming a judge on another talent show that he helped create, replacing Howard Stern on “America’s Got Talent.” Cowell joins returning judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Melanie (Mel B) Brown.
And the show will be looking for talent in Kansas City. Open auditions are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m Saturday at the Kansas City Convention Center, 301 W. 13th St. Producers recommend pre-registering for the show and filling out the required paperwork.
While the judges won’t be in Kansas City, other talent evaluators will, trying to find a star.
It wouldn’t be the first time a talent show winner has come from Kansas City in one of Cowell’s shows. In 2012, judges for “The X Factor” found eventual winner Tate Stevens of Belton here. And Cowell was a judge on “American Idol” in 2008, the year Blue Springs’ David Cook won.
Cowell, who launched “America’s Got Talent” in the U.S. and created “Pop Idol” (which spun off “American Idol”) and “The X Factor” in England, saw his shows expand worldwide. But by far his biggest hit is the “Got Talent” franchise, which has spawned spinoffs in 58 countries, including “Britain’s Got Talent,” “India’s Got Talent” and “China’s Got Talent.”
The 56-year-old Brit told “USA Today” why he decided to join the “America’s Got Talent” judging panel.
“About five or six years ago I was offered the chance to be on the show,” he said. “At the time I couldn’t do it, but I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to.… At the point we really knew Howard wasn’t going to come back we then had serious conversations with NBC. I thought, ‘I think this is the right time.’ So, I’m excited about it.”
Premiering in 2006, “America’s Got Talent” has launched the careers of several performers, including Terry Fator, a Texas ventriloquist who won the $1 million prize in the show’s second season. In 2008 Fator signed one of the largest deals in Las Vegas history, inking a $100 million contract with the Mirage Hotel and Casino.
Unlike reality singing shows, “America’s Got Talent” is open to anyone. It has no age restrictions, and accepts any kind of act. Each judge has a loud “X” buzzer they can press if they feel an act is not worthy to continue. If all three judges hit their buzzers, the act is immediately out of the competition.
The show already has traveled to San Diego and also has auditions scheduled in Atlanta on Jan. 30; Los Angeles on Feb. 6; Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 19; and Dallas on Feb. 27.
Visit AGTAuditions.com for more information.