heidi klum lingerie and heels

Modeling comes with a lot of perks, but career longevity isn’t one of them, even for a knockout like Heidi Klum.

So the Sports Illustrated cover girl and Victoria’s Secret Angel parlayed her fame into even more success with fragrance, shoe and clothing lines, such as the Heidi Klum Intimates she’s modeling on this page. She’s also forayed into television, hosting Project Runway and, since 2013, serving as a judge on America’s Got Talent (Tuesdays, 8/7c), which returns for its eleventh season this week.

And here’s a twist: Simon Cowell will bring his trademark snarky comments to the judges’ table, joining Klum, Mel B. and Howie Mandel, along with host Nick Cannon. In this enlightening Q&A, Klum talks about the show, the acts that creep her out, and a few hidden talents of her own…

“To a lot of critics, I’m maybe not always right, because I don’t go the safe route. I’m never one that likes to blend in.”

It’s your fourth season on AGT. What keeps you coming back?
Because it’s the most fun show on television, and to be able to sit in the front row and have it happen all right in front of you, it never gets old. We all love a laugh, and I think also America loves a laugh. They can sit in front of the TV for two hours and be entertained by so many different things.

Do you notice a change in the kind of people who try out?
People are getting more creative. They want to top themselves or top something that they’ve seen before. I think because of Simon, there’s more singers this year. A lot of the magicians will ask us to help them on the stage, and that’s always frightening. I’ve been cut in half.

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Is there a type of act you don’t like?
The nasty, weird things. The guy with the meat hook went too far for me, too much. He had a meat hook through the nose, out the throat with a ball hanging off it, like a heavy bowling ball. That was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. Those kind of things, I don’t need to see. What are these people doing? I have no idea. I have to turn around. I can’t watch. Also, someone with a gigantic stone on their head or throwing a bowling ball at their head. Those kinds of things I don’t love. America’s Got Talent is a family show. I watched it with my kids even before I was on it. I don’t know how to explain stuff like that to my kids. I don’t want them to get weird ideas.

Do your kids have talents?
My daughter is really into dancing but it’s more of a hobby for her. These kids are like, they want to be dancers, that’s their passion and some kids have that. My kids don’t really have that—that they want to be entertainers and be on stage, and I’m fine with that, I’m not pushing them to go that way. There are many other jobs that they can do.

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Do you have any talent we don’t know about?
Maybe yodeling. Cooking. I try to cook very healthfully, from great chicken soup to meatballs to German schnitzel with sauerkraut.

What about your style? How has it evolved over the years?
I’m very eclectic. I have a big personality and I feel like it shows in my clothes. To a lot of critics, I’m maybe not always right, because I don’t go the safe route. I like to have fun with clothes, with fashion. I’m never one that likes to blend in. I like to have fun with it.