Behind the Scenes: Controversial Comments and Laughter on “AGT”

In the 2023 installment of “America’s Got Talent” Season 18, viewers eagerly tuned in to the qualifiers. However, during a live broadcast on NBC, an unexpected moment arose that may not have been aired if it weren’t happening in real-time. While the judges were sharing their thoughts on a performance by young ventriloquist Brynn Cummings, Howie Mandel made a cheeky remark regarding Sofia Vergara’s recent separation from Joe Manganiello. Although Vergara was seated close to Mandel, her response was memorable.

Brynn Cummings, a 12-year-old, introduced a puppet act in which her character searches for a new romantic partner after a breakup and enlists assistance from Heidi Klum. Following the act, Mandel humorously suggested to the young artist that if she sought advice on finding new potential partners, she might want to consult Sofia, given her current status. This remark hinted at Vergara’s recent split, causing a ripple of mixed reactions from the audience and fellow judges. Simon Cowell appeared a bit puzzled, and Heidi Klum tried to maintain a neutral gaze. Host Terry Crews was quick to intervene, steering the segment forward. However, Vergara embraced the jest, laughing and gesturing grandly, turning what could’ve been an awkward moment into a light-hearted one.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t Mandel’s first playful jab at a co-judge’s personal situation on the show. He once playfully brought up Simon Cowell’s accident with an electric bike. Cowell, like Vergara, took it in stride. Being around a comedian like Mandel might mean anticipating the unexpected, especially during live broadcasts. Vergara had previously shared the heartwarming tale of Joe Manganiello’s engagement proposal in an earlier season of “AGT”.

By mid-July, news circulated that the “Modern Family” star and her spouse of seven years were parting ways. The stated reason was typical of many separations. Shortly afterward, sources indicated that Vergara felt both grateful for her life’s blessings and the sadness surrounding the marriage’s conclusion, even though she didn’t address it personally. The official separation documents hinted at what she hoped to retain post-split, including various personal belongings. However, there was no debate over the couple’s pet’s custody.

The true nature of Sofia Vergara’s response to Mandel’s comment, whether genuine amusement or just good-natured tolerance, remains ambiguous. Yet, she undoubtedly made the moment memorable. Fans can catch more interactions between the judging panel on “America’s Got Talent,” airing on NBC on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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