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Heidi Klum ranks 'America's Got Talent' judges from 'goofy' to Stern

June 17, 2013 at 9:51 AM ET

As one of the new judges on "America's Got Talent," Heidi Klum has been extra busy this season. In addition to reviewing the talent on stage, she's also been assessing the talents of her fellow panelists.

How do they rank? Klum revealed her thoughts on Howie Mandel, Mel B and Howard Stern during a Monday morning visit to TODAY.

As for Mandel, she considers him the lovable, laughable "goofy" one of the bunch, and that's had an unexpected impact on how she evaluates some of the contestants.

"The stuff that comes out of his mouth, he just makes me laugh all the time," she said. "There's a lot of comedians also that try out on 'America's Got Talent,' so I'm always judging them next to him. … I'm like, 'You're not as good as Howie Mandel.'"

Klum describes her fellow newbie judge Mel B as "strict but fair." And Stern? Well, he's living up to his name.

"But he's also right in what he says," she insisted. "I do like him a lot. He's very much a lamb behind the scenes but when the red light is on and they're recording, then he gets quite stern."

Since joining the show, Klum's found herself being a bit tough too -- even with the youngest contestants.

Video: Actress and mom Heidi Klum, the newest judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” tells Hoda Kotb and guest co-host Dean Cain that when saying no to an act, she tries to give positive feedback.

"A kid comes on to the stage, and I'm always rooting them," she explained. "I always hope that they're going to be good, especially when they sing and they're off. I'm like, 'Oh no! Now it's going to be my turn, and I'm going to have to tell the kids truth.' I feel like I have to though. I'm a judge, and I can't say, 'You sounded amazing,' if they didn't."

See what Klum -- and the rest of the panel -- has to say when the next episode of "America's Got Talent" airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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