The tenth season of America’s Got Talent will premiere May 25, 8pm on NBC, but as judge Howard Stern says, it’s really just the fourth. (It’s his fourth season.) In an interview before the premiere, Stern admitted that his judging on the show has changed over the years. He said he’s more relaxed and that his point of reference (from the prior three seasons) makes his job easier. “I know what to look for now,” he says.
Some people think the only way to win is purely on talent, but Howard says it’s not. “You have to be gracious to the audience, sometimes it takes on a beauty pageant quality. You have to know how to…play to a television audience in the sense that they are voting.” Stern knows that the audience is always voting for entertainers, whether it’s by texting and calling like on America’s Got Talent — or with their wallets, buying tickets and product. “Everything you do has to be a strategy.” Stern says he tells contestants, “It is a popularity contest, maybe you should be more humble here.”