NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider AGT Franchise

Simon Cowell Made the Sweetest Gesture on Fantasy League for His 9-Year-Old Son Eric

Simon Cowell vowed to pick an AGT: Fantasy League Act for his mini-me son. "This one's for you," he said as he chose a young magician.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

Keen strategizing goes into assembling a Dream Team on America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League. But sometimes, the choice is a matter of the heart.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League on NBC and Peacock.

When Simon Cowell selected teenage magician Cillian O’Connor it was a loving shout-out to his 9-year-old son Eric.

“I promised Eric I would pick one [Act] for him,” Simon said during the latest AGT: Fantasy League. “Eric, this one’s for you.”

RELATED: Simon Cowell Welcomed a Sweet New Puppy Into His Family — and You'll Adore Her Name

Simon happily recruited magician Cillian O’Connor, who’s from Mornington, Ireland for his Dream Team. He placed third in Britain’s Got Talent Season 16 last year and Cowell thinks the young magician has what it takes to earn him bragging rights on AGT: Fantasy League if for no other reason than the fact that his son is a fan.

Who is Cillian O’Connor?

Cillian O'Connor on stage during AGT Fantasy League Episode 104

Diagnosed with autism, Cillian was closed off before discovering magic seven years ago.

“I saw magicians on America’s Got Talent, and that really inspired me to get into magic myself,” he said before the AGT: Fantasy League performance.

Magic is a platform where Cillian has soared. Simon has declared that Cillian is “one of the best magicians we've ever had on our show.”

“When Simon chose me to be on his Dream Team,” said Cillian, “I just couldn’t believe it.”

As for Simon’s advice for the gifted young magic man: “Tell a story, and use great music.”

Cillian O’Connor’s AGT: Fantasy League Act

Cillian O'Connor, wearing a suit vest and tie, standing on stage with his hands together.

“In a world that’s often upside down, there's a chance for fun and happy moments to pop up when we least expect them,” said Cillian, as he walked up to Judges Simon, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel.

Cillian held a deck of cards with random phrases written on them. He set a sheer hankie with the word “dog” on it on the panel’s desk.

Simon shuffled half of the cards. Howie chose a card with the word “believe” on it from the rest of the deck. Cillian shuffled all of the cards. He wondered if the mixed-up words could magically rearrange to tell his story.

He read the cards as stacked: “Autism … isn’t a disability … it’s an ability. Magic … has changed … my world … Simon … I’m here … because of you … Thank you.”

Meanwhile, the word “believe” was now on the hankie, which Cillian held in the hankie before vanishing into thin air amid a cloudburst of confetti. He reappeared to cheers.

Simon summed up his take on Cillian’s Act in an I’m-not-crying-you’re-crying moment: “I really love you.”

What Simon has said about his own son Eric on AGT

Adrian Stoica, Hurricane, Erik Cowell, and Simon Cowell on the "America's Got Talent" red carpet

If Cowell's unfiltered feeling about Cillian has a sweet paternal vibe, it’s par for the course. When Cowell has an opportunity to talk about his own 9-year-old son, Eric, who's been called his mini-me, he takes it.  

Simon recently shared that Eric appears eager to get his Act together and show it off on stage.

[Hes] decided hes going to audition for Britain's Got Talent," Cowell told Entertainment Tonight.

He added that Eric plays drums and sings and is deep into Green Day.

That's going to be total torture,” Simon said. He was kidding. He’ll be a huge support.

Then again, if a music Act doesn’t pan out, Eric might try mind-reading. Simon recently shared with Access Hollywood that even before AGT Season 18 results were announced Eric accurately predicted Adrian Stoica and Hurricane would win. “He really, really called it," Cowell said

Adrian shared a delightful photo of himself and the Border Collie posing on the red carpet alongside Simon and the pup’s “special new friend” Eric.

Simon makes no secret about his son’s seismic impact. “I’m a very different man to the one I was 10 years ago,” he said. “Eric changed everything, to be honest. 

That’s the real-life magic of being a dad.

Tune in every Monday at 8/7c on NBC to watch AGT: Fantasy League. If you can’t watch the show live, new episodes will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.