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Kelly Clarkson to Fill in for Simon Cowell on ‘America’s Got Talent’ After His Back Surgery

”No worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat,“ Clarkson says

Kelly Clarkson will be filling in for her former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell on “America’s Got Talent” this week while Cowell recovers from back surgery, NBC said Monday.

Clarkson will join Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara at the judges’ table on this week’s live episodes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT, but no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat! The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson ? You’re welcome in advance!,” Clarkson said in a statement.

Cowell underwent five-hour surgery on Saturday night after suffering a serious injury while testing his new electric bike outside his Malibu, California, home. His representatives said in a Sunday statement that the operation involved “a number of fusions and metal rod put into his back,” and Cowell remained in the hospital recovering.

The British star took to Twitter Monday to make light of the injury, writing, “Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”

Production on this 15th season of “America’s Got Talent” resumed back in June after shutting down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic back in March. This week’s episodes — which feature new safety precautions, including an outdoor location and greater distance between the judges — are the first live episodes of the season.