Despite her popularity, Gabrielle Union will not return to America’s Got Talent after just one season. Fellow judge, Julianne Hough will also not be returning.
Union and Hough made their debuts as AGT judges earlier this year replacing longtime judges Mel B and Heidi Klum. According to NBC New York, despite their unexpected exit, the pair have projects of their own to focus on with Union returning to the Bad Boys spin-off series L.A.’s Finest. The series debuted last summer with Union reprising her role as “Syd,” whom she played in the 2003 hit film Bad Boys II, alongside co-star Jessica Alba.
According to People, Union described her first season on AGT as “emotional.”
“It’s emotional for me to watch people come so close to their dreams coming true and being so close,” she admitted. “Seeing their faces contort and anguish in pain, I don’t like it. I don’t find that entertaining.”
Union also described a moment during her time as a judge where she was truly touched by a contestant; Kodi Lee, who is blind and has autism, gave a breath-taking performance during AGT‘s last season and went on to be crowned the season 14 winner. Union called Lee an inspiration and hoped his win would help others.
“Hopefully, it’s going to be a little easier for parents with special needs children to get the resources that they need,” she said. “All of them can get the chance for their dreams to come true and for them to reach their fullest potential.”
People reported that long-time judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel, as well as Terry Crews, who made his debut as AGT host last season, will be returning next season. As of Sunday, neither Union nor Hough has commented on their exit from the show and there is no word on who will be their replacements for the 15th season of the show.