"America's Got Talent": Host Nick Cannon eyes a winner

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 23: Nick Cannon attends "Americas Got Talent" Season 8 Pre-Show Red Carpet Event on July 23, 2013 in New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Dimitrios Kambouris

Nick Cannon may not have a say in who wins season 8 of "America's Got Talent," but he definitely has an opinion on who should.

The host of NBC's hit summer series told CBSNews.com he'd like to see something different this year.

"I'm really excited to see a band win," said Cannon. "That's never happened on any reality competition. So, it would be cool to see an opportunity gave way to a band -- we have a lot great bands on this season. So hopefully that happens."

With the live finales kicking off Tuesday night at New York's Radio City Music Hall, the competition is definitely heating up. The first 12 acts of season 8's top 60 contenders performed, including the rock band American Hitman. Another 12 competitors will take the stage Wednesday evening, as viewers will see just four of the previous night's acts advance.

"It's probably the best season just because we're doing the live shows from Radio City Music Hall and because of two new judges -- Mel B. and Heidi Klum, along with Howie [Mandel] and Howard [Stern]. It's brought a whole new energy to the show.... It's been a really good season," said Cannon.

And as for the newbie judges, Cannon says that everyone generally gets along. "We don't really have drama -- so what you see on the show -- the chemistry from the judges -- is pretty organic and authentic," said Cannon.

When asked why "America's Got Talent," which hit the airwaves in 2006, still resonates after all these years, Cannon pointed out the show's broad appeal: "It's an everyday American who has a chance to strive for their dreams and then everyone at home connects to [them]....You feel like all these people are people you can relate to -- and you welcome them into your house every week."

But putting the show together isn't always easy. Cannon said his days on the NBC series are very long. "They can go from 16 hours to 20 hours a day -- and that extends to 3 or 4 days. So what people see in an hour or two we put in several, several hours of deliberating and judging and viewing people," Cannon said. "It's pretty intense."

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old entertainer will put his own talents to use soon on a new project -- he's helping to resurrect the classic TV series, "Soul Train." And the new version of the musical variety series will have plenty of interactive and social media elements attached to it, something that wasn't a part of the original show when it aired in syndication from 1971 to 2006 with the late Don Cornelius at the helm.

"It's really introducing it to a whole new generation and reintroducing it to the people who loved it before. This time we're stepping it up in the fact that we're taking it to network television," said Cannon, who will both host and co-produce the show.

Snapple reveals its Lady Liberty-sized sandal with Nick Cannon as part of Snapple's re-enFACTments program in New York on July 22, 2013.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

Between "Soul Train," "America's Got Talent," his music career and his MTV show "Wild N Out," Cannon has quite a lot on his plate. Not to mention his family life with wife, Mariah Carey and their two children, 2-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan.

And as if he didn't have enough going on, Cannon was in New York a day before the first "America's Got Talent" live finale episode to be a part of Snapple's re-enFACTments campaign, which offers Snapple drinkers an interesting factoid under each bottle cap. He helped unveil the Statue of Liberty's enormous size 879 sandal, a real fact that can be found under Snapple's bottle caps.

And with that, here's a fact about Cannon: He wears size 12 shoe. "The Statue of Liberty has me beat by quite a bit," said Cannon. Just by a little.