Simon Cowell makes his America's Got Talent debut...but strange Tape Face act steals the show

Simon Cowell returned to US television screens on America's Got Talent but it was a silent contestant with tape on his face who stole the show.

Simon made his first appearance as a judge on the show, two and a half years since his last TV role in the States on the short-lived American version of The X Factor.

And the British star didn't have to wait long for one of the strangest acts in the show's history to impress the judges.

The unnamed man refused to introduce himself as he took to the stage with a piece of tape over his mouth. But he quickly left the audience roaring with laughter with a pair of singing oven gloves.

And after another hilarious routine to Chris De Burgh's Lady In Red, Simon called the act "simple, clever, unique, funny, brilliant", as the contestant sailed into the next round.

Young opera singer Laura Bretan became an early front runner for the one million dollar winner's prize with her stunning performance of Nessun Dorma.

The 13 year old earned the golden buzzer from Mel B to advance beyond the audition rounds to the competition's live shows.

Simon was left in fits of giggles as a contestant called Jose danced around the stage with his pet dog Carrie, which was wearing a dress.

"My ex-wife did not dance with me," Jose told the judges.

"This is going to be a really weird season," Simon replied.

Simon, who is known for his his reputation as being tough to please, hailed the act as "incredible".

"I would love my dog to do the same thing," he added.

Simon's fellow judge Howie Mandel was so impressed by Thommy and Amelie, known as the Clairvoyants, that he described the duo as "the most amazing thing I've seen on America's Got Talent".

After Amelie sat blindfolded on the stage and correctly guessed a series of random items handed to Thommy by the audience, Mel B said: "I feel like I'm stuck in a crazy Twilight zone."

One act which failed to impress was an all-male group dressed as the Spice Girls as they mimed to Spice Up Your Life.

"Obviously I enjoyed it," Mel B said. The same couldn't be said for the other judges who ditched the act.

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