Simon Cowell is set to return as a judge for the America's Got Talent finals after recovering from back surgery. Reflecting on his health, Cowell expressed that he feels better than ever before, attributing it to the exercise he has been doing since his accident. He also praised the contestants and production crew for surpassing his expectations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Cowell has been inspired by the incredible stories of resilience shown by the contestants this season, such as Nightbirde, who impressed him with her original song about her battle with cancer. Unfortunately, Nightbirde had to withdraw from the competition due to her worsening health. Despite the setback, Cowell believes that her dream of having her music heard by millions has been realized through her AGT audition. Cowell shared that he had a difficult conversation with Nightbirde about whether or not to enter the show. He advised her not to, considering the stress and her current situation.
He assured her that she was not letting anyone down and that her music will still be appreciated even if she didn't continue in the competition. During the live shows, Nightbirde made a virtual appearance to express her gratitude for the support she received, which she said restored her faith in humanity. Cowell, visibly moved, assured her that she had already won by prioritizing her health and well-being. Looking ahead to the results show, Cowell revealed that his frontrunner to win Season 16 is Aidan Bryant, a self-taught teenage aerialist.
Cowell praises Bryant's talent and believes he has the potential to headline his own show in Las Vegas. The finalists competing against Bryant include singers Victory Brinker, Jimmie Herrod, and Brooke Simpson, quick change artist Lea Kyle, comedians Josh Blue and Gina Brillon, magician Dustin Tavella, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, and Northwell Health Nurse Choir. The winner of Season 16 will receive a $1 million prize and a residency at Luxor in Las Vegas. America's Got Talent airs on NBC on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.