America’s Got Talent has a new judge! NBC has announced former Spice Girl Melanie Brown is taking the judge’s spot vacated by Sharon Osbourne. Brown’s fellow judges include Howard Stern and Howie Mandel.
“I’ve known Melanie since she did Dancing with the Stars, and I’ve known her as a performer in The Spice Girls before that,” NBC president of alternative programming Paul Telegdy tells Entertainment Weekly. “To know her is to know a very frank, strong, enduring entertainer. Someone who has a very strong point of view.”
Telegdy says Brown, aka Mel B and Scary Spice, is a good fit because she has past experience with reality TV competitions – in 2011 she appeared as a judge on the Australian version of The X Factor, and last year she served as a guest judge on The X Factor UK. “We needed somebody who was qualified for the job. She’s an amazing singer, dancer and a huge personality. The contestants will get a lot of constructive feedback from her and I can’t wait to see her chemistry with Howard and Howie,” he says.
Osbourne broke her contract with America’s Got Talent last summer after accusing NBC of unfairly firing her son Jack Osbourne from a reality show because of his MS diagnosis. “It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled,” she said at the time.
“They can’t make me do something I don’t want to do,” Osbourne said of breaking her contract. “All they can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years.”