Heidi Klum puts fashion aside as TV's 'Talent' judge

Fri Jun 7, 2013 9:10am EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - German supermodel Heidi Klum, who has strutted from the runway to entrepreneur and reality TV host, will now try her hand as a judge on NBC's television competition show "America's Got Talent."

Klum, 40, nicknamed "The Body" for her statuesque figure, has carved a career beyond modeling, as the host of Lifetime's fashion series "Project Runway" and "Germany's Next Top Model."

For "America's Got Talent," the model stepped out of her role as fashion expert for the first time, to sit alongside former Spice Girl Mel B., comedian Howie Mandel and radio host Howard Stern on the judging panel for the show's eighth season, which began this week.

Klum, who has her own fashion empire with jewelry, clothing and fragrances, spoke to Reuters about her transition from a model to entrepreneur and major television player in the United States and Germany.

Q: What is it like to be in your first non-fashion role?

A: I think (producers) look at me as a judge that has traveled a lot for 20 years. I have climbed from the bottom up through many different maneuvers ... and I think that's why they wanted me there. I don't think they want me there for fashion. I look at (contestants) for their talent and not necessarily the way they're dressed and if their hem length is right. That's what I do on "Project Runway" but not here.

Q: In what kind of role do you see yourself as a judge?

A: I look at it as a woman, as a mom, someone who has seen a lot of shows. You know, I think about, "Hey, is this an act that is interesting? Is this something that I want to see again? Did that excite me? Would my children love to watch this?"   Continued...

Supermodel Heidi Klum arrives at the 2013 Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscar Party in West Hollywood, California, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas