when three ukrainian acrobats multiple falls from dangerous heights On the stage of “America’s Got Talent,” famed OCD judge Howie Mandel nearly has a nervous breakdown.
“The tension and the fear in the room…I remember saying, ‘I can’t watch this,'” he told the Post about the balancing act of the female troupe, who called themselves three grams.
“These three young men have left a war-torn country with their lives, the lives of their families and their futures at risk.”
The women who showed up on the season 18 premiere of “AGT” last week kept picking themselves up and trying again — and that inspired Mandel.
“They’ll risk everything and you’ll feel that through the tears and the pain and the hurt, just to have a better life in a different place, and you’ll feel that on stage,” he said.
The daring jugglers are still in the running – after Mandel and fellow judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum voted to keep them in the competition.
The 67-year-old Canadian native — who first appeared on “AGT” in 2009 — said the contestants are willing to take the risk because they know they can benefit from the exposure they get through the NBC series.
“It wasn’t just a dumb talent show. It was life changing,” he explained. “If you walk down the Vegas strip right now, I don’t think there’s a single billboard alive that doesn’t have a connection to ‘America’s Got Talent’ in some way.”
What happens on the “AGT” stage stays on the Las Vegas Strip, and Mandel names ventriloquist Terry Fator, magician Mat Franco and hip-hop dance troupe Jabbawockeez as some of the success stories currently playing in Sin City.
He did, however, acknowledge some of his rivals this season — such as The man who came all the way from Japan to land the rc helicopter on his back – very funny.
“I was the only one who got a standing ovation,” he said. “The guy who landed a helicopter on his ass. There’s no middle ground. You’re either laughing hysterically or crying uncontrollably.”
Opening up about his OCD and germaphobia, Mandel was so invested in the series that he contracted COVID from it — after he was asked to undergo a Kids’ Choice Awards Best Reality Show April 2022.
“They said, ‘You’ve got to show up … it’s good coverage, it’s going to go viral.’ And I think the only one going viral is me,” he quipped.
He is friends with all the judges outside of work, Attended Klum’s 50th birthday party June 1 — No Cowell, who is filming Britain’s Got Talent.
“We’re all in this together … it’s not unusual,” he said. “We hang out, we hang out, we’re real friends,” he said.
When he’s not on set, he hosts a podcast”howie mandel doing things” and his daughter, Jaclyn SchultzThe show features guests like Tom Sandoval, Al Franken, Rob Zombie and Paulie Shore, who haven’t been able to see each other for two years because of the pandemic.
“We used to spend hours on the phone not only talking to each other but doing pranks or calling my celebrity friends,” he said.
Future dream guest is Sacha Baron Cohen. I love his comedy, I love what he does, I love his activism,” he gushed. “My favorite genre of comedy is pranks and hidden camera stuff. And he is the king of it all. “
Mandel loves the podcast format. “I love the joy of interacting and connecting without physical contact,” he says.