America’s Got Talent has seen a few stars come and go over the years. One of the most enduring changes has to take place on the jury, where a whole host of famous faces have sat behind the famous desk with the big red Xs. While Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum held the fort for season 17 in 2022, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, David Hasselhoff, Howard Stern, Brandy Norwood, Mel B, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union were previously named all the judges on the ABC show (which, in Union’s case, met with a fair amount of controversy).
But it’s not just the famous faces that hit those big red (or gold!) Xs that have been rotating since the talent show first hit our screens in 2006. The show has also seen its fair share of presenters over the years, with the late Regis Philbin helming the series first despite only being on a single season. While Nick Cannon, Tyra Banks and Terry Crews have all preceded him, Philbin passed the baton to another TV legend in the former of Jerry Springer, who hosted the series for seasons 2 and 3. But why did the talk show host really choose to do it? hang up his mic?
Jerry Springer left America’s Got Talent due to work commitments
It was 2009 and America’s Got Talent had already seen a major upheaval with Regis Philbin stepping down as presenter and Brandy Norwood leaving the judging panel, but another major shift was about to happen. After the season 3 finale, Jerry Springer announced that he would not be returning to the talent show, blaming a busy schedule as the reason for his departure.
“These last two seasons, working with everyone associated with the show and all of the extraordinary and talented cast members across America have been an incredibly rewarding experience for me,” Springer said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter, and gave admitting that he loved his two seasons of hosting the show. “This summer I will be pursuing a wonderful opportunity in the theater. That, coupled with my syndicated speaking, more than fills my plate,” he added. It seemed like there weren’t any uncomfortable feelings either, as NBC’s alternate programming director Paul Telegdy said, “We thank him for his hard work and dedication to the show and congratulate him on this new endeavor.”
However, Springer did not fully part with the show. Today, in 2009, he confirmed he would serve as the host of “America’s Got Talent Live” in Las Vegas before then hosting “America’s Got Talent: All Stars Tour,” which toured 40 cities across the United States. Springer even returned to AGT. to promote the tour and to commend Nick Cannon for his duties as host.
Jerry Springer didn’t think he could fill Regis Philbin’s footsteps
When Jerry Springer became the news face of America’s Got Talent, he admitted that doing what legendary host Regis Philbin did was never his plan. “You know Regis is the best there’s ever been in this business, so I’m not even going to pretend to be able to fill his footsteps. It would be offensive to him and stupid of me,” Springer said on a conference call at the time (via TV Fanatic). “I’ll be what I can be as best I can. But it will be me, it’s not Regis. I would never pretend to have his competence,” he added.
However, Springer was obviously quite excited to be on the show. Variety reports Philbin said goodbye to the variety show due to what he described as “heavy travel commitments,” but Springer knew he was the perfect person to step in. “I was with some of America’s most talented people on my show, so I’ll feel right at home hosting America’s Got Talent,” he said.