The TV world sometimes seems to have 10 reality competitions for every specialty, whether it’s cooking, singing or designing clothing. But “America’s Got Talent” is the rare show that is looking for almost any kind of talent. Contestants can audition with whatever they’re good at, whether it’s singing or something more unusual, like magic tricks. The show returns Tuesday with a new season of talented hopefuls, with judges Heidi Klum, Howard Stern, Mel Band Howie Mandel weighing in on their skills, with some help from host Nick Cannon. We got the skinny from Klum on tips for people auditioning, and what skill she’d audition with.
Do you find you prefer certain types of acts over others?
I love being surprised! Anyone who comes on stage and can really shock me with a new and interesting talent that I’ve never seen before always gets my vote. I do also love the kids that come on our stage. They put their little hearts and souls into their performance and I’m always wowed by what they are capable of.
What advice do you have for people considering an audition?
Always be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy. Don’t come audition with some talent that you think will get the most laughs or claps. Do what you love and stick to it. Master that. The audience loves to see people who love what they’re doing. Maybe also ask a really honest, close friend for feedback before you come on.
Do you find yourself getting caught up in the stories of the performers?
You definitely listen to some of the stories and feel for what the contestants have been through but ultimately, it’s a talent competition show. They have to show us what they can do and why they deserve to be a million dollar act in Vegas.
As a judge, what kind of feedback do you think is important to pass on to people?
A lot of people come on stage and forget to connect with the audience. Performing is all about forming that connection. The viewers at home are voting. You want to show them your special sauce.
What performance has most surprised you?
We had a guy on the show who called himself The Regurgitator. I don’t want to spoil too much but I think the name really speaks for itself. I was amazed. There are almost no words to describe it because I have never seen anything like it before and neither have you!
If you were going to audition for the show with any skill, what would you want to do?
People always ask me to yodel. I don’t think I would necessarily audition as a yodeler but we did have a yodeling granny this season and I gave her a run for her money.