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Hyper-Realistic Simon Cowell Deepfake Sings on America's Got Talent

Metaphysic and Daniel Emmet created a stunning illusion in front of Cowell himself.
  • Fans of America's Got Talent probably thought they'd never see Simon Cowell singing on stage, but a preview from Tuesday's episode reveals just that. The only catch? It's not actually Simon Cowell.

    Former AGT contestant Daniel Emmet teamed up with a company called Metaphysic to create a hyper-realistic deepfake to make it appear as if the judge, who's notorious for harshly critiquing singers, was on stage singing "You're My Inspiration" by Chicago. Emmet sang beautifully on stage as an image of Simon Cowell appeared on the screen behind him in perfect synchronicity.

    Host Terry Crews and judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum were stunned at how convincing the deepfake was. Cowell even covered his face in embarrassment seeing himself appear to be singing the classic love song. The performance got a standing ovation from the audience, prompting Cowell to joke, "Is it inappropriate to fall in love with a contestant?"

    "I cannot even imagine the amount of work to be able to create something so perfect because if I was not paying attention and I see this on TV, I think it’s Simon 20 years ago singing," added Vergara.

    Klum was entertained to the point of laughing hysterically, saying, "Honestly, this was the best thing I’ve seen all day... Because of you, I’m going to get five more wrinkles because I was laughing so much."

    As for Cowell's final thoughts on "auditioning" for AGT? "We've always said, 'Is there such a thing as a perfect contestant? A great singer who looks incredible?'" he said. "We just found them."

    Metaphysic and Emmet were voted on to the next round by all the judges. Their audition will air on the June 7 episode of the competition series, which airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

    Kirstie Renae is a writer, blogger, and Austin-based actress with a penchant for binge-watching TV with her dogs. Follow her on Twitter @KirstieRenae.

    TOPICS: America's Got Talent, Daniel Emmet, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Terry Crews, deepfakes, Metaphysic