Simon Cowell will not surprisingly be skipping America’s Got Talent‘s first two live shows this week as he recovers from back surgery. An NBC rep confirms to TVLine that Cowell will be MIA during AGT‘s inaugural live episodes on Tuesday Aug. 11 and Wednesday Aug. 12.
Cowell broke his back on Saturday while testing his new electric bike in the courtyard of his Malibu, Calif. home. He was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent a five-hour surgery. He is currently recovering at home.
“Simon had surgery overnight and is doing okay this morning. It was a five-hour surgery and he has had to have a number of fusions and metal rod put into his back,” a source told People. “He landed on his back when he fell from the bike. The injuries are bad but he’s also been told he was lucky.”
Late Sunday, Cowell took to Twitter to thank fans “for your kind messages” and also offer “some good advice” about using electric bikes (see below).
This is the latest setback to befall Americas’s Got Talent‘s current 15th season. After a months-long shutdown due to COVID-19, the summer smash resumed production in late June — albeit with a host of new changes. As a safety precaution, AGT relocated from its lavish Hollywood auditorium venue to an outdoor setup in Simi Valley designed to resemble a drive-in movie theater, with judges Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and newcomer Sofia Vergara now seated an appropriate distance from one another. Additionally, the number of Judge Cuts episodes was trimmed from four to just one.