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The GoPride.com Interview

Heidi Klum and Mel B

No rivalry: America's Got Talent judges Heidi Klum and Mel B


by Jerry Nunn
Top-rated reality competition series America's Got Talent returned this summer for its eighth season on NBC. Joining the cast is Heidi Klum and Melanie Brown.

Klum is an American-German model being the first to be a Victoria's Secret Angel who then went on to be the host and judge on the reality show Project Runway. Brown joined the Spice Girls pop group back in 1994 as Scary Spice. She went on to several solo albums after the group folded. No stranger to judging herself she appeared on the Australian version of The X Factor.

ChicagoPride.com's Jerry Nunn talked to the two fabulous women from the judging panel about America's Got Talent this season.

JN
: (Jerry Nunn) It was great meeting you both on the red carpet in Chicago for the auditions. Can you talk a bit about the contestant from Chicago Brendan James?

HK
: (Heidi Klum) I love Brendan. I think he has a lot of potential to get very far. I think that you know, America fell in love with him as much as we did.

MB
: (Mel B.) I agree with her.

JN
: You both have been very supportive to openly gay contestants like Brendan.

HK
: Another contestant who I fell in love with too, I don't know if you remember him, his name is Jonathan Ellens. He also is a very, very good singer, too. He also has a very sad story that he was telling us about, not being welcome over to his parents' home anymore. He didn't have a job and it was all because he is gay. They couldn't deal with it, the parents, and they basically kicked him out.

I remember when I met him for the first time, he opened his mouth and sang, I was so happy for him that he has this talent, and hopefully, a new career might start for him here on America's Got Talent.

JN
: Do either of you have a secret talent that you could try out with on America's Got Talent.

MB
: I have a secret talent that is very x-rated that I cannot show you.

HK
: Can I come into your room later and you show me what that is?

MB
: I will personally show it to you later, Heidi.

HK
: Yippee! Mine would be cooking because I love cooking, but I don't think anyone cares about cooking. Well, then again, a lot of people do.

MB
: They have amazing cooking shows. Look at Rachel Ray and Martha Stewart. I actually don't have another talent that's why I am a singer.

HK
: That's not true. You are a good dancer.

MB
: Yes, a little bit.

JN
: With judging shows in other countries, Heidi with Germany's New Top Model and Mel B. with Australian X Factor, how is this different when judging America?

HK
: It's hard to say because the show here is a variety show, so it's not like specifically on just singing or just dancing or just a circus act. What is so different about this show is that it is variety. You know, when I do Top Model, it's about models, photo shoots, and how they walk on the runway, so you can't compare it.

MB
: I think that is the biggest thing. You don't even know what to expect on this stage. It could be a danger act, a magician, someone who rides a bike. It is varied talents.

JN
: With all of those varied acts then is it hard to be critical with something you are not familiar with?

MB
: Entertainment is entertainment, no matter what it is, so it's really kind of easy to judge for me because I'm an entertainer, and I like to be entertained, so it doesn't matter what the act is, as long as it keeps my attention. It can be as diverse as watching a ballet dancer, or watching somebody with a bunch of TVs on stage making mad, crazy patterns. It all really depends on if its entertaining. That I my number one thing.

HK
: For me it gets hard when they're all equally good. When you get rid of the people, yes, who have a talent, but who are not a ten out of ten. Once they're gone and only the best is left, then to say this person is better than that person, that for me is the hardest to judge, because when they all deserve to be there and when they all deserve that shot in Las Vegas to get their own show and get the $1 million, then for me it is the hardest.

JN
: Which acts do you think have grown the most during the competition of America's Got Talent?

HK
: I think Colin's Key. He started with like smaller magic tricks where he made a dollar disappear and then all of a sudden it was in a closed snack chips bag that I had in my hand, clearly he did not open it while I was holding onto it.

He went from a smaller trick into a bigger one with using our names on a paper. It was beyond crazy.

MB
: One of my favorites was Television, but they didn't make it through. I thought they really stepped up their game from the very first audition to then the Vegas audition and then to New York. I thought that they were brilliant, but not everybody agreed with me, and that's just what happens.

JN
: What does America's Got Talent give these artists that they wouldn't have otherwise?

MB
: Oh my God, they get exposure to 15 million people each week. They get to experience performing in front of 6000 people right there live, and then all the people watching at home. They get complete exposure, and they get an experience of what it actually takes to perform live and deliver.

HK
: Well, I think also it's good to see how many talented people are out there in the world that we never see and know about. There's someone maybe in your office that all of a sudden have these hidden talents and all of a sudden they're standing in line for America's Got Talent!

I think that there are so many people out there and it's a platform for them to show how good they are. Maybe one of them will win that million dollars and go to Vegas, and you just have to be in it to win it. Yes every year there are all these dreamers and people that think that they're really good. At the end of the day, everyone gets to be put in their place in terms of how good their talent is next to someone who is maybe better and the next one who is even better.

So I think it's good. I think it's great for everyone to have that opportunity to be seen by millions of people, and ultimately, America will vote who they think is the best out of all these people.

JN
: Heidi, what advice do you give contestants for the future?

HK
: It's always up to you to continue or not. For example when I do Top Model I tell the girls all the time pack your bags and go to either Paris or New York, and really be in a place where you have to be in order to be a model. You can't win Germany's Next Top Model and go back to your small town, sit by the phone, and think something's going to happen.

Once you win, you have to keep working. It's the same as Project Runway and the people who have won Project Runway or even have not won Project Runway. The people who work and send you clothes and put their face out there and attend events and just hustle, someone like Christian Seriano for example, who sends me always clothes, so I wear them. They get seen.

You invite all these designers, and who comes? He does. So I think that it's up to you at the end of the day that even if you win or you're second runner up or whatever that you are making your destiny. I think that we can only push someone forward and out there, but ultimately it's up to them to keep it going and put yourself out there and be professional and do it.

Watch America's Got Talent on NBC every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9/8c
 
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