"He was supposed to be here as a hologram, and then [they used] the projector
for Coachella," Howie Mandel quipped about Stern's absence.
That was just the first of many jokes at the expense of Stern's reputation,
but the overall message was that the "AGT" fan turned judge is taking his
"He is really invested in the show and he's invested in finding great new
talent," Osbourne told MSN TV after the session. "He wants to be a part of
finding the next biggest star in America. That's what's so great about him,
because it's not just, 'I want to be on TV.' He doesn't need to do this. That's
what's so pleasurable about it."
Osbourne added that she had no reservations when she heard Stern was coming
on board. "I've known Howard over 20 years," she explained. "You know, people
forget: He's a dad. He brought up three daughters. And he's smart. He
knows. Never ever was I scared about the way he's going to behave or what he's
going to say. I'm more scared about myself!"
Host and producer Nick Cannon was not very concerned, either, in spite of his
past with Stern.
"I loved the idea, but at the same time, previous to this, Howard and I
always had this love-hate relationship," Cannon admitted to MSN TV. "He would
say things about me that I didn't agree with and I would say things about him he
didn't agree with, because I was on his old radio station. We've become the best
friends since then, but we've always had respect for each other. He's always
done nothing but give me compliments about being host of the show. And he's the
King of All Media. We disagree, but still at the end of the day, I have the
utmost respect for him."
So how is Stern behaving as a judge? With the brutal honesty fans expect,
with an added dose of compassion.
Sound off: Are you excited to see Howard Stern on "America's
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"The other day, an adorable child gets up and starts to rap," Mandel
recounted for the press. "Now, I'll be honest with you, as a judge: This kid
didn't have talent beyond being adorable. There is no reason why this kid should
have been rapping on national TV. Howard, being who he is -- honest -- and doing
what he's supposed to do -- judging -- hit his buzzer on
this 7-year-old little boy. The reaction was heartbreaking. The kid just
heaved and collapsed in tears.
"Howard turned to me and said, 'Oh, my God. This is not what I signed up for.
Oh, my God.' The kid was crying. He couldn't be consoled. Howard got right out
of his seat and ran up onstage."
Osbourne interrupted to joke that Stern kicked the kid. Of course, that's not
how it went down.
"He picked up this child, coddled this child and rocked him, just going, 'I'm
so sorry. I'm so sorry. I want to take you Vegas. I want to take you to Vegas,'"
Mandel marveled. "He consoled the child. It was just amazing television."
In another fun twist, Stern is facing a live audience and live criticism for
the first time. "He's so used to his quiet radio studio, and there's not 2,500
people behind him," Raff said. "He says something [the audience doesn't agree
with] and they start booing him. He was shocked that first time."
Needless to say, the house has been packed with Stern fans throughout
auditions, making taping feel like a rock show. Word is the contestants have
also stepped up their games this season. Someone even shot himself out of a
"I've never been in a taping that is more electric, more fun and more
energized than 'America's Got Talent' Season 7,' Mandel promised.
Oh, and for the record, Stern fans, "AGT" won't be letting him use the fire
hose. "He did ask for it a couple times, but he got quite happy with the
buzzer," Raff previewed.
Remaining contestants Trace Adkins and Penn Jillette have mutual respect for each other. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on...
Remaining contestants Trace Adkins and Penn Jillette have mutual respect for each other. "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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