What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell's Voice: Did He Loses His Vocal Cords in Freak Health Scare?

Find out “What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell’s Voice?” With Simon Cowell being one of the most opinionated judges in AGT history, viewers may be confused as to why he can’t speak on Season 18.

Along with television personality Howie Mandel, model Heidi Klum, and actress Sofia Vergara, Cowell is one of four judges on America’s Got Talent, NBC’s reality TV talent show competition. A judge on America’s Got Talent since Season 11, Cowell is the creator of the international Got Talent franchise, which includes America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, Canada’s Got Talent and more than 60 other talent shows.

What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell's Voice: Did He Loses His Vocal Cords in Freak Health Scare?

As a result of America’s Got Talent’s success, three spin-off shows have also been created: America’s Got Talent: Champions, America’s Got Talent: Extreme, and America’s Got Talent: All Stars. In light of this season’s lack of commentary from one of Britain’s most critical judges, you may have noticed that the show hasn’t been as critical as it used to be. Find out why Simon Cowell is unable to speak on America’s Got Talent by reading on.

What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell’s Voice?

Why can’t Simon Cowell talk on America’s Got Talent Season 18? Cowell revealed in an interview with USA Today in May 2023 that he lost his voice while filming America’s Got Talent after something became stuck in his throat. “I think what happened was the acid from my stomach literally burned my vocal cords,” Cowell said. “So this doctor came over and put a camera up my nose, down my throat, and I could actually see how badly burnt they were.”

Cowell explained that he was put on vocal rest, which meant that he couldn’t talk or provide commentary a lot of the early auditions. “It was torture. There was so much I wanted to say, and I literally could not talk,” Cowell said. “We tried writing things. At one point, I used this kind of iPad device where I had things I’d said before. I tried to use Sofía to translate for me, and she deliberately said the wrong things, so it was just chaos.”

What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell's Voice: Did He Loses His Vocal Cords in Freak Health Scare?
What Happened To AGT Simon Cowell’s Voice: Did He Loses His Vocal Cords in Freak Health Scare?

He continued,“For about seven days, I had to sit there and not say anything, so all I could do was just listen to them. And it was very interesting, because they’ve all got enough confidence now that they have their own preferences. So we probably disagreed more this year, but in a healthy way. You can’t be an expert on everything when you judge this show, because of the variety of acts.”

Cowell’s fellow America’s Got Talent judges, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel, also confirmed he lost his voice while filming Season 18 in an interview with People magazine in March 2023. “Who would have thought that season 18 would have left Simon literally speechless?” Vergara said. “And of course Simon nominated me to give his reactions. He’s passing notes to me like we are back in school.”

Mandel added, “There are no words to describe the excitement level of season 18, That’s why it’s serendipitous that this is the season that Simon lost his voice finally.” Cowell joked in the interview, “I’m at a loss for words.”

Why can’t Simon Cowell talk on America’s Got Talent?

Cowell’s voice loss was also apparent on the Season 16 finale of Britain’s Got Talent — which Cowell is also a judge for — in June 2023. During the finale, Cowell was seen losing his voice as he gave commentary on contestant Amy Lou’s performance, which led hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly to pivot the show. “He’s got something in his throat!” Holden said as Cowell stood up and pointed to his throat after Lou’s performance of Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection.”

After the episode, viewers took to Twitter to comment about Cowell’s voice loss. “U OK Simon hun? Take some water hunny,” a user tweeted. Another wrote, “What’s wrong with Simon’s throat? LOL.” A third tweeted, “Simon casually choking in the background.” Another wrote, “The Way Simon was choking and instead of Amanda patting him on the back, she stroked his back softly.” A fifth tweeted, “If Simon stopped eating during the acts, then maybe he’d stop choking. I find it so rude!”

Did He Loses His Vocal Cords in Freak Health Scare?

Cowell’s voice loss isn’t his only recent health issue. In an interview with Today in May 2023, Cowell opened up about breaking his arm in an electric bike accident, which led him to wear a cast for most of America’s Got Talent Season 17’s filming. “It was painful, it wasn’t great,” Cowell said. “However, I was so unfit before the accident. I didn’t know that I was until I had to do all the stuff afterward, and I’m like, ‘My God!’”

He continued, “Things like that, I believe happened for a reason. I’m still going to stay on my bike. I’m obsessed with these things.”

Cowell also confirmed the accident in an interview with Access Hollywood in May 2023. “I broke [my arm] pretty bad; however, it’s healed. I didn’t have to have an operation,” Cowell said. “I was lucky, ’cause I nearly snapped the ligament. If you snap ligaments, then that’s bad.”

He continued, “I’m fine. It was a stupid accident. It was just annoying mainly because I couldn’t ride my bike. For six weeks, I [was] walking, and walking is the most boring thing on the planet.” Though he’s “fine” now, Cowell did tell Access Hollywood about how he missed cycling.  “It’s dreadful,” he said. “I can’t bear it…cycling, you can go anywhere. I feel better because of that. I’ve been exercising again and feel good again.”

America’s Got Talent airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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