May 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM ET
Heidi Klum returns this month for a second tour of duty on "America’s Got Talent," re-joining fellow judges Howard Stern, Mel B and Howie Mandel. In addition to a few new twists and “amazing people” competing for the $1 million prize, Klum told TODAY Friday that season nine will feature some truly wacky moments from the judges’ panel.
Chalk it up to the breakneck taping schedule of Judgment Week, when the four must narrow a field of 180 contestants to just 47.
“It is a little bit like ‘Groundhog Day’,” Klum admitted to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “We shoot for, like, four or five days. We always are in the same hair and makeup because it gets all cut together into one episode. ... You go a little bit loopy and you do crazy things.”
Like, say, kiss a contestant’s pig.
“I don’t know what happened to me,” Klum laughed as she recalled the animal encounter. “All of a sudden I’m like, ‘I wanna kiss this pig because it’s so cute.’”
(Notably, Klum did not use the word cute to describe Mandel dancing shirtless on stage, another GIF-worthy moment fans can look forward to.)
As for the contestants, this season introduces a feature called the “golden buzzer,” which allows each judge to save one act that otherwise would be eliminated. Klum didn’t dish on the contender she spared, but she did reveal that she was the lone voice of dissent.
“I hit my buzzer when (all the other judges) didn’t like the performance,” Klum told TODAY. “They all said no, no, no, and I loved (the performance), so I just went bam. ... Sometimes ... you love someone that much and you want to save them.”
Of course, Klum can be ruthless, too, as evidenced in her longtime gig as a judge on “Project Runway.” Of that show, Guthrie told the former model, “I love you as a judge, but you’re so hard, so opinionated!”
“You what I think? I think all the nice bits they cut out,” Klum joked. “Because I do always say nice things. ... But sometimes (contestants) have to hear it if it’s not good.”
"America’s Got Talent" returns to NBC May 27 at 8 p.m.