Why America's Got Talent's Simon Cowell Is Comparing Julianne Hough to Paula Abdul

Get the scoop on the big changes coming to season 14 of the hit NBC series

By Chris Harnick May 28, 2019 7:56 PMTags
Watch: Simon Cowell Explains Switching Up "America's Got Talent" Judges

America's Got Talent returns for another summer of fun and there are big changes afoot. Joining Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel at the judge's table are Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough. On stage it's Terry Crews hosting the festivities.

Why now for season 14?

"I have no idea," Cowell told E! News' Melanie Bromley. "Seriously. These things just happen, not for any bad reason, I think people just wanted a change. I was nervous at the beginning, because I really liked working with [Heidi Klum and Mel B], but the first day they were on set, I felt fine about it."

Cowell said Union and Hough had clearly seen the show and knew how to handle themselves. There have been disagreements, which Cowell said has been fun.

Terry Crews Gushes Over Being Chosen as "AGT" Host

"Julianne said to me after two weeks, on the first day she thought she'd made, seriously, the worst decision of her life. I went, ‘Why?' and she said, ‘You!' because she didn't understand, kind of, the British sense of humor and then she quickly got it. She's like when I used to work with Paula [Abdul]. What she says really makes me laugh because it makes no sense at all, but then she does argue back which means that we're comfortable," Cowell said.

Union told E! News' Will Marfuggi that it's hard to say no to contestants.


Watch: Gabrielle Union & Julianne Hough Ready for "America's Got Talent"

"As someone who's heard ‘no' millions of times, you don't want to be the person to tell someone no," Union said. "You try to say no with some constructive criticism, something you can go home with, because there's nothing worse than just, ‘No!'"

Without naming names, Union said she's been impressed with animal acts and Hough is into the mentalist types of performers.

Click play on the videos above to hear more.

America's Got Talent premieres Tuesday, May 28 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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