(NBC) — “America’s Got Talent” returns tonight for a new season, and like just about everything else, it too has been impacted by the coronavirus.
It started as a normal season when production began three months ago, with the arrival of a new judge in Sofia Vergara and the return of another with Heidi Klum.
But nine days into auditions COVID-19 took hold.
“This is the nightmare that’s been going on in my head for the last 64 years,” says AGT judge and noted germaphobe Howie Mandel.
The crew managed to get in two days of filming without an audience before they were completely shut down.
“It just didn’t feel safe anymore,” judge Simon Cowell says.
How AGT moves forward beyond the auditions remains up in the air.
“It’s definitely going to look differently, but I don’t think the quality’s going to be compromised,” Cowell says.
For the next two months though, it’s the same show audiences know and love, including an emotional audition tonight.
DNA evidence exonerated Archie Williams last year in Louisiana, and after years behind bars watching AGT, he was finally free to audition.
His performance wowed the crowd and the judges.
“It’s a really, really sad story, it’s still a story about hope and courage,” Cowell says.
“America’s Got Talent” premieres tonight at 8 p.m., on NBC4 followed by the season four premiere of “World of Dance” at 10 p.m.
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Contestants Tuesday, May 26th 8 p.m.
- Pork Chop Revue, Pig Act, Hometown: Myakka City, Florida
- Bad Salsa, Salsa Acro Duo, Hometown: Bagdah, India (Sonali) – Bhubaneswar, India (Sumanth), Current City: Mumbai, India
- Broken Roots, Singing Duo, Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
- Malik, Drummer, Hometown: Washington, D.C., Current City: Riverdale, Maryland
- Ryan Tricks, Magician, Hometown: Slough, England, Current City: Maidenhead, England
- Archie Williams, Singer, Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Dan Nowman, Singer, Current City: Pasadena, California
- Old School Skaters, Dancing Roller Skaters, Hometown: San Diego, California
- Michael Goldenberg, Puppetry, Hometown: Munster, Indiana, Current City: Los Angeles, California
- Double Dragon, Singing/Dancing Twins, Hometown: San Francisco, CA (originally from Lima, Peru), Current City: Pacifica, California
- Walking Piano, Piano Dancing Duo, Hometown: Achim, Germany
- Vincent Marcus, Impressionist, Hometown: El Paso, Texas, Current City: Los Angeles, California
- Muy Moi Show, Danger Act, Hometown: Spain
- Voices of Our City Choir, Homeless Choir, Current City: San Diego, CA