April 8, 2013 at 10:55 AM ET
"America's Got Talent" may not be back on the NBC airwaves until this summer, but the roundup of talent has already begun -- and judges Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel (along with host Nick Cannon) are already hard at work. They took a break from sifting through the talent on Monday morning to join TODAY's Matt Lauer on the plaza to talk about the newly-configured judging panel, whether last year's winners were the right ones, and what kind of bikini top to wear during a water rescue.
Fortunately, the group seems to be getting along famously. "The female energy is there!" crowed Mel B.
"Literally from this television show I'm getting 10 new wrinkles," said Klum, who also sits in judgement on Lifetime's "Project Runway," because I'm laughing all day, because they're all so funny."
"I've taken Heidi under my wing, Matt, and I'm teaching her about judging -- that's why she'll be excellent," declared Stern.
There is tension, admitted Mandel, but it's a "respectful tension. I don't agree a lot with some of the other judges." He also doesn't always agree with America, saying that last season's winners (the Olate Dogs) were not the best act. "I would have picked another act to win," he said. "But America chose them. ... America is buying the tickets."
As for that water rescue -- Klum raced into the ocean while vacationing in Hawaii when her son and one of his nannies were caught in a riptide at the end of March, and she talked about it during the visit. "It just shows you in your life you never know what's going to happen," she said. "In one second, everything and then all of a sudden the next second your son is smooshed by a wave in the ocean." But her kids have been swimming since they were 2 years old, she added, so her son was able to help save himself.
Stern, naturally, learned a different lesson than to teach your children how to swim. "And your top fell off," he noted. "In a rescue, make sure to wear a tight top."
"America's Got Talent" returns this summer on NBC.
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