"America's Got Talent" judge Howie Mandel is just as excited for the live show starting this week as we are here at WPXI.
I chatted with Howie on Monday about his favorite act and some behind-the-scenes fun.
"I'm excited to see - It's not really about me - but my Golden Buzzer, Courtney Hadwin," Howie said.
Mandel sent the 13-year-old straight to the live show in the famed Dolby Theater after being blown away by her singing performance of “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding.
“(She) has gone viral with over a half a billion hits online,” Howie said. “She was this little flower of a 13-year-old, and when the music started she just exploded into Janis Joplin or Mick Jagger.”
Howie told me he will be seeing her in the live shows for the first time since her audition.
It’s also been the most dangerous season yet, with magicians using scorpions, alligators and weapons in their acts.
I had to ask him about his nail-biting moment on stage with Aaron Crow, the magician. Aaron picked Howie to be a human prop in his trick.
Aaron placed a pineapple on Howie’s head and attempted to slice it with a sword—blindfolded. Aaron succeeded without hurting anyone, but I had to know why Howie got up there in the first place. Did Howie trust this guy?
“There was no trust,” Howie said. “He’s just a goofball guy who gets asked to do something, and I say 'OK.' And I went home and heard about it for a week from my wife: why did you do that?”
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He went on to say that if he gets asked to come back next year, he will ask to change the rules about not knowing what a contestant is going to do.
"You can't just take a person and put pineapples on them and have strangers from other countries slice the pineapples," he said. "You can't do that to people."
There will be plenty of thrills at the live performances beginning 8 p.m. Tuesday on WPXI, followed by the results at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
That means you can start voting for your favorite acts. More information on how you can vote is here. You can also have a chance to save an act in jeopardy during the Wednesday show via the Dunkin Save.
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