America’s Got Talent had its season 12 kick-off on Monday, and the excitement was at an all-time high.
The event, which took place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, had fans screaming and lining up along the red carpet for high fives and autographs from judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Spice Girls‘ Mel B.
Earlier this month, Tyra Banks was confirmed to replace Nick Cannon as the show’s host, after some offseason drama with the longtime MC. The model stepped out of a black SUV in bright lavender lipstick and a sheer lace bodysuit for her AGT debut.
When asked if she got any pre-show hosting advice, Banks told Billboard, “[Producer] Nigel [Caaro] said, ‘You be you, darling. If they give you any lines that don’t feel natural, just throw it out and be you. That’s why I have you here.’”
She said the girl power will also be prominent this season, since the guys (Cowell and Mandel) are now outnumbered, adding that Mel B and Klum “are girls’ girls. There’s no catty crap going on. It’s all love here.”
This won’t be Banks’ first time hosting a television series: She has been hosting America’s Next Top Model since 2003, taking a one-season break this year when Rita Ora took over, and will balance both shows in the summer, when both the live production of America’s Got Talent and season 23 of Top Model begin.
Banks isn’t overwhelmed just yet, though. She joked about the combination of the two drastically different series, saying, “Maybe I’ll have my models do crazy stuff! I want to see them do a backflip while juggling and yodeling!”
The other judges are just as excited about Banks joining the AGT family. Mandel gushed over the model. “You wouldn’t think that she was the new kid on the block, and the beauty is that she’s funny. She’s comfortable.
“She’s a great cheerleader and she’s got that motherly instinct that only a woman can have. I think it’s a benefit and a bonus that she’s a beautiful woman. If you get heartbroken because it didn’t work out so well for you, you really want to go backstage and get a hug,” he added.
As for this season’s predictions, judge Cowell says there has to be someone out there with the it-factor to wow him.
“If you can’t find one good person, bearing in mind the size of this country and the size of this show, then we’ve totally screwed up; there’s a problem. I can’t accept the odds like that. It’s like, enough people have talent: There’s got to be one,” he said.
Season 12 of America’s Got Talent premieres May 30 on NBC.