"No worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat!" Clarkson quipped in a statement.

By Rachel Yang
August 10, 2020 at 07:02 PM EDT
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Oh how the tables (or judging chairs) have turned! Kelly Clarkson will step in for Simon Cowell on this week's America's Got Talent episodes, EW can confirm. It was previously reported that the judge will miss Tuesday and Wednesday's live telecasts as he was hospitalized after sustaining a broken back in an electric bike accident on Saturday.

Clarkson, who will join fellow judges Sofia VergaraHeidi Klum, and Howie Mandel, released a cheeky statement about her guest gig.

“My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT, but no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat! The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson 😜 You’re welcome in advance!” Clarkson said.

A representative for Cowell told PEOPLE on Sunday that Simon underwent surgery that night.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

They added, "He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible hands."

AGT premiered season 15 on May 26 with pre-recorded auditions shot before the pandemic and online auditions thereafter due to production suspensions in Hollywood. Cowell and his fellow judges reunited in person to shoot a Judge Cuts episode on June 22 with contestant performances viewed via video conferencing. Live tapings of the NBC reality competition series were set to return for the first time this season on Tuesday.

Clarkson recently won a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host category for her eponymous NBC show. The singer is no stranger in the judge's chair, given her coaching role on The Voice, but this is the first time she's taken over for Cowell. He served as a judge on American Idol's inaugural season which Clarkson won.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesday, 8-10 p.m. ET/PT and Wednesday, 8-9 p.m. ET/PT.

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America's Got Talent

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  • NBC

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