AGT's Simon Cowell Admits He Sometimes Hates The Finalists: 'You're Like, Oh My God.'

 Simon Cowell talking to Trailer Flowers in America's Got Talent Season 18.
Simon Cowell talking to Trailer Flowers in America's Got Talent Season 18.

Simon Cowell has been a judge on Britain's Got Talent and America’s Got Talent for years. He’s seen countless contestants audition for the shows, and he’s witnessed so many journeys from that first stage to being a finalist. Of course, not every season is the greatest one ever – for example, last year’s AGT winner faced criticism from fans – so it makes sense that sometimes the judge finds that he doesn’t always like a season’s set of finalists.

With Britain’s Got Talent’s winner being crowned this spring, and America’s Got Talent getting started on the 2024 TV schedule, the judge sat down with Captial Breakfast (via Yahoo! News and Cover Media) to chat about what it’s like judging these shows. He said he really enjoyed this year’s BGT finalists, however, that’s not the case every season, as he explained:

The thing is, when you do these shows, everyone always says, 'Yes, it's the best ever' and blah, blah, blah. The truth is, you can't fake it, you know, you either like it or you don't and I really really liked it this year.

We know Simon Cowell keeps it real. From his days on American Idol to his work now on the Got Talent shows, he’s never one to mince his words or pretend like he likes something. So, it’s not terribly shocking that he admitted this.

Continuing to candidly explain why he doesn't like all the finalists every season, the longtime judge said:

There have been years I haven't liked it. After all the auditions, you sit there and you know who the finalists are you're like, 'Oh my God.' And the winner's announced and I'm like, (sarcastic voice) 'Oh, great.' And then I'm off.

Simon Cowell has been a judge on BGT since 2007 and AGT since 2016. He’s seen what feels like an infinite number of auditions, and sometimes a season just isn’t as strong as another.

However, it’s nice to hear that he thought this season of Britan’s show was excellent. Hopefully, the same can be said for America’s Got Talent, especially since the big Golden Buzzer change gives all the judges an extra opportunity to send deserving contestants further into the competition.

It does seem like this year’s installment of America’s Got Talent is off to a strong start, and it looks like Cowell won’t be sarcastically saying “Oh, great” at the end of the season. We’re only a few episodes in, and the longtime judge told one of the Golden Buzzer winners that her performance felt like being “punched in the face” “in a good way.” That’s a pretty high compliment, and as he said, he “can’t fake” his feelings about a contestant, so I’d say AGT is going to be great this year.

In the past Cowell has ranked his favorite auditions across both competition shows, and if you look at the list, you’ll notice that not every season of BGT and AGT are represented. However, there are multiple entries from a few seasons too. The simple truth is that some years are just way better than others.

As America’s Got Talent continues to air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, let’s hope the auditions continue to go great, because the last thing we want is a group of finalists that Cowell and the audience aren't a fan of. To see how that all pans out, you can watch AGT on NBC or with a Peacock subscription.