“America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel is in full support as Sofia Vergara takes on the single life.

During Tuesday night’s live episode, Mandel touched on Vergara’s new single lifestyle after she and Joe Manganiello announced they were divorcing in July. Joe and Sofia were married for seven years.

The joke came after Brynn Cummings, a young ventriloquist and mentalist, chose Heidi Klum to “set” up her puppet, Penelope, with a boyfriend.

Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara

Howie Mandel says that Sofia Vergara is looking for eligible bachelors after her divorce. (Photo by Trae Patton/NBC)

After Cummings concluded her performance, Mandel applauded her before saying, “I have one more piece of advice for you: If you’re looking for eligible bachelors, you should’ve talked to Sofía, because she’s in the market right now.”


Vergara let out a loud cheer and threw her hands in the air after Howie’s joke.

Host Terry Crews intervened, quipping, “No, we’re not doing that here!”

Klum ended the segment by thanking Brynn for her performance. “Well, thank you that you picked me. I think I did a fantastic job, and so did you,” she said.

Brynn told Fox News Digital, “Basically, we chose Heidi to pick Penelope a boyfriend, and she did really good at it.” When asked if Penelope (Brynn’s puppet) had a good time, she replied, “Yes, I had a good time! I got a boyfriend out of it, of course I’m having a good time.”

Following the show, Mandel spoke with Extra and defended his on-air joke.

“People were online saying, ‘Too soon.’ I think as soon as you’re available, it’s never too soon. She’s fresh, people,” Mandel began.

He continued, “People thought that was mean and insensitive. If you watched Sofía, she screamed after she came over to me and thought it was funny. She said, ‘Yes,’ so she’s got a great sense of humor, and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt a fellow — a friend first, and a fellow co-worker.”

WATCH: Heidi Klum picks a boyfriend for puppet of ‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant

Heidi Klum picks a boyfriend for puppet of 'America's Got Talent' contestant Video

When asked who he believes would be the best suitor for Vergara, Mandel replied, “I think everybody watching who is available believes they’re the perfect match for Sofía. I don’t think, Sofía, to be honest . . . she doesn’t need my help.” 

He added, “She really doesn’t. I believe that she’ll be fending them off. I mean, she is a great friend, a brilliant person, businessperson, a powerhouse, an amazing sense of humor. She checks every box, so whoever ends up with Sofía is going to be really, really lucky.”

“Let’s try and do it by the end of the season,” Howie teased. “We’ll find her a match and leave it to America to vote.”

Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel says that Sofia Vergara “doesn’t need” his help when it comes to meeting eligible bachelors. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Vergara and Manganiello issued a joint statement to announce their separation.

“We have made the difficult decision to divorce,” the statement began. “As two people that love and care for one another very much, we politely ask for respect of our privacy at this time as we navigate this new phase of our lives.”

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello walk red carpet together at Oscars party

Joe Manganiello filed for divorce from ex Sofia Vergara in July after seven years of marriage. (Presley Ann)

Vergara, 51, and Manganiello, 46, first met at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014.

Vergara attended the event with her then-fiance, Nick Loeb.

Manganiello recalled immediately falling for the “America’s Got Talent” judge when he first saw her and detailed the encounter on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” in 2020.

Howie Mendel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell behind the judging panel at America's Got Talent

Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell are all “America’s Got Talent” hosts. (Trae Patton)

“As we’re walking around, who comes swooping down in front of us and just walks in front of us for about 100 yards is Sofia Vergara,” Manganiello said. “She was wearing this dress that looked great on her, and I just could not take my eyes off of her.”


Her “Modern Family” co-star, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, eventually introduced them. Vergara later ended her engagement with Loeb.

The “True Blood” star heard of the broken engagement, and from there, he made his move.

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at Oscars party

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello met in 2014 and were engaged one year later. (Getty Images)

“I hit up Jesse Tyler Ferguson and said, ‘Hey man, was she broken up with the guy at the time?’” recalled the actor. “He said, ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t have tried to pull anything if that wasn’t the case.’ I said, ‘Well, I don’t know what kind of emotional state she’s in but tell her I want to take her out.'”


The couple said, “I do” in November 2015.

Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink contributed to this report.

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