Howie Mandel has not left AGT, but he was isolated following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis and has subsequently been battling with mental health issues.
America’s Got Talent (AGT) kicked off its seventeenth season in May 2022, with judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara.
But after a couple of episodes, fans realised that Mandel was not present and thought that he had left the show. But this was not the case; Mandel tested positive for COVID-19 and was subsequently isolating.
How long has Howie Mandel been part of AGT?
Howie Mandel is technically the longest presiding judge on the AGT panel from the current panel of judges and host.
He joined the show in 2010, and Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum, joined the following year in 2011. Sofia Vergara joined the panel after the end of Modern Family in 2020, and Terry Crews has hosted AGT since 2019.
Why Howie Mandel left AGT
Suspicions arose when Howie Mandel all but disappeared from the auditions on AGT with no explanation. Fans on social media started asking if there was a reason for his absence during the auditions as it seemed that some auditioners were looking forward to seeing the comedian.
Eventually, Mandel revealed the reason for his absence when he commented on a Twitter post, confirming that his absence was due to testing positive for COVID-19 and isolating.
During his isolation period, Mandel went into a depressive state that was more detrimental to him and his mental health than the COVID-19.
He corroborated this by stating, “I still feel like I'm recovering from that, the insanity. And I'm not joking. I got incredibly depressed, incredibly neurotic. My only panacea to my physical health and my mental health is distracting myself. You can't distract yourself for 10 days alone in a room.”
Where did Howie Mandel contract COVID-19?
Howie Mandel contracted COVID-19 at his first official outing to the recent Kids’ Choice Awards, where America’s Got Talent won an award.
Howie Mandel on the Kids Choice Awards win
In an interview with TMZ after his COVID-19 diagnosis, Mandel suggested that he felt like he had “lost” despite winning the award alongside the rest of the panel, claiming that he would have rather been slimed.
When will Howie Mandel return to AGT?
Currently, it is unknown when Howie Mandel will return to the show. However, he still promotes the show on his social media accounts, suggesting that maybe during the live episodes, he will return.