Sofía Vergara has once again shut down her America’s Got Talent co-host Howie Mandel after he made another joke about her single status.
During the popular talent competition’s latest episode on Wednesday (13 September), the Modern Family star, 51, who joins fellow judges Mandel, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell for her fourth season, was asked to take a lie detector test on stage.
While hooked up to a polgraph test, Vergara fielded questions from her co-hosts.
When it was Mandel’s turn to throw out a question, he asked the recently divorced Vergara if there was anyone in the audience she was “interested in”.
The Colombian actor immediately exclaimed “That’s it!” before taking off the arm cuff and returning to her seat at the judges’ table.
This marks the second time Mandel has teased Vergara about being single live on air, following her recent divorce from her partner of seven years, Joe Manganiello.
In August, Mandel, 67, was criticised by social media users for his “low blow” joke about Vergara being “on the market”.
After 12-year-old contestant Brynn Cummings performed her magic and ventriloquism act, she enlisted Klum to help her puppet find a love connection. Mandel then told Cummings that she should have picked Vergara instead.
“If I have one word of advice, if you’re looking for eligible bachelors, you should have talked to Sofía because she’s in the market right now,” Mandel said, to a mix of cheers and boos from the audience.
Vergara took it on the chin when she jokingly exclaimed “yes!” and threw her hands up in the air.
AGT host Terry Crews then stepped in to defend Vergara, saying into the microphone: “No, no. We are not doing that here.”
Following the online backlash, Mandel defended his light-hearted joke, telling Entertainment Weekly: “I was helping Sofia!
“I just thought, ‘Oh my god. Using Heidi to find an eligible bachelor? Hello! Who’s right here? Sofia is on the market, ready and eager!’” he said. “And then online people said it was too soon and it was tasteless.”
He continued: “It’s not too soon! It’s too soon when she’s still married. Last season was too soon. Even if she saw it coming. I don’t think she did. I’m just saying, that was too soon.”
In July, Vergara and Manganiello announced they were divorcing after seven years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences”.
America’s Got Talent airs every Wednesday night at 8pm EST on NBC.