It's impossible to slip anything by superfans of America's Got Talent (AGT). They remember any contestant we've seen before and they could tell you the winners of any given season. So when judge Heidi Klum was absent from her judging chair for two episodes of Season 15, fans wanted to know what was up. Rumors started to circulate because it's unlike her to miss anything and, because of the timing, people wondered: did Heidi Klum have COVID-19?
What happened to Heidi Klum on June 16 episode of 'AGT'?
Viewers tuned in to the show on June 16 and the first half of the show was all business as usual with the judges doing their thing and the contestants being a hit or miss.
However, things changed halfway through the show when instead of Heidi being in the judge's seat sitting next to Howie Mandel, Eric Stonestreet was between Howie and Modern Family co-star and new AGT judge, Sofia Vergara. It's really hard to mistake Eric for Heidi and fans took note of her absence.
Eric, being a friend of Sofia, reportedly was able to step in a few hours notice to cover for Heidi who left the taping mid-show because she was not feeling well. The audition episodes were being filmed in early March 2020, around the time the world was starting to become impacted from COVID-19.
Heidi was absent from the next week's show as well, and fans were curious what happened, wondering why she suddenly disappeared and why no one really said anything. Also, was Eric going to be a permanent judge – was Heidi OK?
Did Heidi Klum have COVID-19?
In an interview with People, Heidi admits that she felt ill during the taping of the episodes that are now just airing on TV. Since the filming was happening in early March – before any stay-at-home orders were in place — Heidi and the crew were concerned her symptoms may have been due to COVID-19.
"When I fell ill, it was on March 10. I was experiencing fever and sore throat, so I told production and immediately the medic did my vitals and said, 'Yes, you have a fever,' and then I was dismissed," Heidi said.
"It felt strange to leave, but that was the right thing to do," she added. "I told them how I was feeling. They looked at me, checked me out and said, 'Yeah, go home.' Then I was asked to get tested ASAP so that I could go back to work because we didn't know that this was all unfolding the way it did. They were like, 'Okay, get tested as fast as you can.' "
At that time, it wasn't simple to get ahold of a test for the novel coronavirus and Heidi said she had trouble getting tested. "I tried and I went on the search for the test. I was unaware that there were no tests anywhere. I was just asking everyone because we were told that there are tests for everyone," she said.
It was later revealed that Heidi did not have coronavirus, but it was the right thing to do to step away from the large audience, crew, and contestants when she had symptoms that could have been COVID-19.
Will Heidi Klum return to 'AGT' Season 15?
"I only got to tape for five days before I fell ill. And when I fell ill, they continued for, I want to say, another five days. So, I never got to see the changes within our production because when I was there it was a full audience," Heidi said.
It is yet to be seen how the show will handle the remaining part of the season since the production went into pause. However, a teaser trailer for the show does go further than episodes that have already aired, so it looks like we will just have to wait to find out.
America's Got Talent airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.