Staff Writer & Content Editor
Part Two of our countdown features some of the best judges from all genres of competitive Reality TV shows!
Not only are these judges: veterans in the entertainment industry, but also all of them have at least served at least two seasons on their respective show’s panels and influenced the careers of some of our favorite entertainers.
15. Jennifer Lopez (American Idol: 2011 to 2012)
J. Lo is considered the most influential Hispanic superstar in America, and her presence on the American Idol judging panel helped save an otherwise sinking ship. Alongside Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, J. Lo brought a breath of fresh air and new life to Idol and was influential in discovering winners Scotty McCreery (season 10) and Phillip Phillips (season 11) who both have had great success, as well as other rising stars like Jessica Sanchez, Hailey Reinhart, Lauren Alaina, Colton Dixon and Stefano.
14. Adam Levine (The Voice: 2011 to present)
The Maroon 5 front man, multi-Grammy winning and platinum selling artist, has appeared on The Voice since its inception and guided some of his artists to post-show success including Javier Colon, Tony Lucca, Amanda Brown and Melanie Martinez. With his sometimes-controversial sarcasm and banter with fellow judges, Adam is one of the most genuinely entertaining reality TV judges currently on television.
13. Steven Tyler (American Idol: 2011 to 2012)
The Aerosmith front man rejuvenated the aging singing competition when he joined forces with Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez for two seasons of American Idol. Tyler was a force on the panel and defended several contestants (i.e.: Casey Abrams, Haley Reinhart and Jessica Sanchez) when his co-judges wrongly blasted the contestants’ performances. In addition, Tyler laid down the gauntlet when it came to judges performing on their shows with his outstanding cover of “Dream On” during the 2011 finale.
12. Cee Lo Green (The Voice USA: 2011 to 2012; 2013 to present)
Grammy winner Cee Lo Green remains one of the most unique artists that have ever served on a panel. From his zany outfits and his pets (Hey Purrfect!) to his interesting critiques, the “Forget You” singer has helped The Voice attract and reboot several artists’ careers. Vicci Martinez, Juliet Simms, Tony Vincent, Nicholas David and Cody Belew are among the artists that have received his guidance.
11. Carrie Ann Inaba (Dancing with the Stars (U.S. Edition): 2005 to present)She is not only Dancing with the Stars’ lift police captain but the former Madonna dancer is also one of the show’s most beloved judges. While others may complain about her honest critiques (ex: Maks, Ralph Macchio and Andy Dick), Carrie Ann has championed numerous celebrities who have made a mark on the show’s history including Sabrina Bryan, Mario Lopez, Kristi Yamaguchi and Gilles Marini.
10. Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance: 2005-2009, 2010, 2012)
The Queen of Contemporary is one of the brightest lights on any season she is involved with; apart from choreography, Mia served as a guest judge on multiple seasons and became a permanent judge on season seven. She has won multiple Emmys for her work on the show and has been influential in the success of many dancers including Travis Wall, who is now following in her footsteps as an Emmy- winning choreographer.
9. Howard Stern (America’s Got Talent: 2012 to present)
The King of All Media brought a wild energy to the show that successfully rekindled NBC’s summer hit. He has great chemistry with all of his judges and show host Nick Cannon, plus he has helped several acts including Tom Cotter, William Close and Andrew De Leon get into the spotlight.
8. Sharon Osbourne (The X Factor UK: 2004 to 2007 & 2013; America’s Got Talent: 2007 to 2012)
Sharon Osbourne remains one of the few Reality TV judges that have successfully served on the panel of two successful franchises in two different countries. Ms. Osbourne has played a role in discovering international superstars such as Leona Lewis, Terry Fator, Recycled Percussion, Jackie Evancho, Fighting Gravity and Daniel Joseph Baker. Ms. Osbourne will continue her search for the next global superstar during the tenth season of The X Factor UK.
7. Louis Walsh (The X Factor UK: 2004 to present)
For 10 seasons, the Irish music manager has been the heart of the show and no matter if he bickered with his fellow judges or gave out harsh criticism, fans continued to flock to every season of The X Factor UK. Without Walsh’s presence, Leona Lewis, One Direction, JLS, Little Mix, Cher Lloyd and Olly Murs would not be the international superstars they are today.
6. Christina Aguilera (The Voice USA: 2011 to 2012; 2013)
The divalicious Voice mentor is one of the most polarizing judges in the singing competition circuit. While she has helped both Frenchie Davis and Chris Mann out in broadening their careers, the show’s fans have bashed the “Your Body” singer for her harsh treatment of other contestants (Tony Lucca, Tony Vincent & Melanie Martinez) and her rude behavior towards musical guests. Despite her antics, the four-time Grammy winner remains the judge everyone either loves or hates, but her star power and stage presence remains unmatched.
Don’t see some of your favorites? Maybe you missed Part One of our countdown so be sure to check it out here!