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Simon Cowell makes his America's Got Talent debut in exclusive clip

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Trae Patton/NBC

America’s Got Talent is back, but the biggest return belongs to Simon Cowell.

After years of terrorizing contestants on American Idol and The X Factor, Cowell is set to make his return to U.S. television as he joins the America’s Got Talent judging panel for season 11. In the exclusive clip above from Tuesday’s season premiere, watch the seemingly softened Cowell meet a unique pair of contestants.

The reality talent show is based on Britain’s Got Talent, which Cowell created and has been a host throughout the show’s 10 season run. U.S. audiences last saw him in 2013, when X Factor was canceled after three seasons.

America’s Got Talent, also featuring Nick Cannon, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Melanie Brown, airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.