Melanie Brown has quit Channel 7's "The X Factor" Australia, where she was a judge since 2011, to become a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent." NBC made the announcement on Feb. 21, 2013. Brown (also known as Mel B and also known as Scary Spice from the Spice Girls) is replacing Sharon Osbourne, who quit "America's Got Talent" in 2012, after five years of being a judge on the show.
Simon Cowell is an executive producer of "The X Factor" and "Got Talent" shows worldwide.
By relocating to the United States for "America's Got Talent," Brown (a native of England) is also leaving Channel 7's "Dancing With the Stars Australia," which she began co-hosting in 2012.
On "America's Got Talent," Brown will be on the judging panel with Howard Stern and Howie Mandel. In 2012, the show relocated its live episodes from Los Angeles to the New York City area to accommodate the New York-based Stern.
In late 2012, British tabloids published a rumor that Brown was competing with Osbourne to become a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. as a replacement for Tulisa Contostavlos. The tabloids have been saying for months that Contostavlos will be leaving the show (either by quitting or getting fired), but "The X Factor" U.K. has not yet announced its judging panel for 2013. Representatives for the show aren't commenting. British tabloid The Sun later reported that in 2013, Brown would continue to be a judge on "The X Factor" Australia and a co-host of "Dancing With the Stars" Australia, but now that report has proven to be false.
Brown was one of several guest judges on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, when the show was seeking a permanent replacement for Kelly Rowland, who parted ways with "The X Factor" U.K. after she was unable to reach an agreement over her salary and time commitment. Nicole Scherzinger ended up replacing Rowland in June 2012.
Brown made this statement in a press release about becoming an "America's Got Talent" judge: "I’m thrilled to be part of this season of ‘America’s Got Talent’ and to get to work with Howie and Howard. It’s so exciting to be bringing some Girl Power to the panel!”
NBC president of alternative and late night programming Paul Telegdy said: “This exciting addition of the dynamic Mel B to our lineup of judges promises that fans will see a strong, talented and opinionated woman match up against our equally outspoken judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel. Her presence has powder-keg potential for lots of fireworks this summer as the #1-rated ‘America’s Got Talent’ will return with even bigger and more exotic acts than any year before.”
"America's Got Talent" executive producer Sam Donnelly added: “We are ecstatic to add chart-topping musical star Mel B to the judging panel. Mel's experience in music, dance and acting will certainly come in handy as she judges and advises some of the best and most unique acts in the world that will be coming her way this season on America’s Got Talent.”
"America's Got Talent" executive producer Jason Raff commented: “Mel B is an international superstar and we’re thrilled to welcome her to ‘AGT’ Season 8 – we know she’ll definitely add some ‘spice’ to our panel.”
It has not been announced yet who will replace Brown on "The X Factor" Australia. Guy Sebastian, Ronan Keating and Natalie Bassingthwaighte were the show's other judges in 2012, but the show's entire judging panel for 2013 has not been announced yet.
Brown became famous for being in the Spice Girls, but since the group broke up in 2000, she has launched a solo career, became a fitness expert, and started doing a lot of reality TV. She came in second place on Season 5 of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" U.S. in 2007. She and her husband and kids also starred in the Style Network reality show “Mel B: It’s a Scary World.”
The Spice Girls did a reunion tour in 2007 and 2008 and a reunion performance at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony in London. And the Spice Girls' music is the basis of the West End musical "Viva Forever," which premiered in December 2012. The Spice Girls attended the opening night of "Viva Forever" but did not perform at the event.
There are constant rumors that the Spice Girls will do another reunion tour, but Victoria Beckham (also known as Posh Spice) reportedly doesn't want do it. Brown and Geri Halliwell (also known as Ginger Spice) have been open in telling the media that they would like to do another Spice Girls reunion tour. However, with "America's Got Talent" keeping Brown busy for most of the year, a Spice Girls reunion tour definitely won't be happening in 2013.