Brown was known as “Scary Spice” during her time as a member of the British girls group The Spice Girls, which enjoyed its heyday in the 1990s.
Brown will join Howard Stern and Howie Mandel as the celebrity judges given the task of whittling the pool of “amateur” performers—many of who come with professional resumes—down to an eventual winner.
Sharon Osbourne, who was with “America’s Got Talent” since its second season, vacated her chair last summer prior to the season finale, in which dog-centric act Olate Dogs was crowned the Season 7 winner.
“I’ve known Melanie since she did “Dancing with the Stars,” said Paul Telegdy, NBC president of alternative and late-night programming. “To know her is to know a very frank, strong, enduring entertainer…The contestants will get a lot of constructive feedback from her and I can’t wait to see her chemistry with Howard and Howie.”
The announcement comes just weeks before the filmed auditions, which include the judging panel, begin filming.
Although “America’s Got Talent” now has three judges in place, a fourth judge is not out of the question, as many of the international versions of the show have a quartet of judges.
“The right person has to show their hand,” added Telegdy about the possibility of adding a fourth judge.
Want to add instant credibility to your reality show’s judging panel? Add someone with a British accent, no matter how unknown and irrelevant that person is.
This is a simplistic—and quite possibly narrow-minded—point of view, but one that seems to be employed by some of TV’s biggest “reality” hits, including “Dancing with the Stars,” “The X Factor” and, during better days, “American Idol.”
Maybe Mel B—who was relevant at one time—will prove to be a solid addition to “America’s Got Talent,” but as far as star power goes, she’s a weak addition.
Isn’t it interesting that a show that aims to spotlight American-grown performers has turned to a Canadian (Mandel) and Brit (Brown) to judge that talent?
Like Stern said during his maiden season on the show last year, he is literally America’s judge on the show’s panel.
If the fourth judge option comes to pass, this viewer hopes it will be a more logical addition, such as former “Today” show host Ann Curry, who would do well in such an environment.
“America’s Got Talent” airs on KSL 5 in Provo and is expected to premiere in May.