Simon Cowell: See 1st Photo Back On ‘America’s Got Talent’ Set For Season 16 After Back Surgery

See the first photo of Simon Cowell and the judges on the set of ‘America’s Got Talent!’

Simon Cowell is back and looking better than ever. The America’s Got Talent judge, 61, joined Sofia VergaraHeidi KlumHowie Mandel, and Terry Crews behind the desk for one of the first photos from the season 16 set of AGT. In the snap, all four judges looked camera-ready as they sat in the chairs just behind their buzzers. Terry stood behind Sofia and Heidi with his arms outstretched, welcoming audiences back to the 16th season of the beloved talent competition series!

Simon Cowell with Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Terry Crews on the season 16 set of ‘America’s Got Talent’ [Trae Patton/NBC].

The group photo, which was also shared to Sofia’s Instagram on March 29, commemorates the second day of filming for the landmark 16th season of the show. The image also marked Simon Cowell’s official return to the series, after suffering a terrifying back injury that resulted in extensive surgery and rehabilitation. Longtime viewers will recall that Simon was actually absent for most of the second half of season 15, after retaining intense injuries from an electric bicycle accident near his home in August 2020.

Following his six-hour spinal surgery in August, HollywoodLife learned EXCLUSIVELY in October 2020 how the judge and AGT creator was recovering. “[Simon] is doing as well as one could be after back surgery, and he knows that he really dodged a bullet and could easily be paralyzed or worse dead,” a source shared with HL. “So, he is counting his lucky stars and is very happy that he is able to enjoy this birthday at home in Malibu and it is as calm as it can be.”

Simon Cowell on a past season of ‘America’s Got Talent’ [NBC].

But while Simon was in recovery mode, he had the opportunity to spend some quality time with his beloved seven-year-old son, Eric. “[Simon] really is enjoying this time with Eric, and he is loving that Eric is actually a big help around the house and getting things for his dad throughout his recovery. Whether it is something like a drink or food or a book, Eric is really stepping up and helping out,” the source went on.

Clearly, Simon is incredibly excited to be back in his element for the filming of season 16 of AGT. The longtime judge has surely missed being a part of the series’ atmosphere, and working with his beloved co-judges. Fans cannot wait to see what AGT has in store for this season!

America’s Got Talent season 16 will return Tuesday, June 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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