entertainment The Best Reality Show Judges  

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List Rules Judge and panel members from any reality competition game shows

Reality show competitions and judges are two things that go together like peas and carrots. Without a judge, it's nearly impossible to have a competition. On some shows, the dynamic between the judges is almost as interesting to watch as the contestants. When American Idol first hit the airwaves in 2003, viewers were curious to watch people sing for a recording contract, but it was the special chemistry between Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Simon Cowell, who was also a judge on the British singing competition The X-Factor, that drew viewers back week after week. Cowell in particular was able to build an entire empire based on the public persona he crafted on Idol.

Similarly to Idol, the judge teams on America's Got Talent, and The Voice help make those shows popular. After all, when else will you be able to see Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel hang out together. The same goes for Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Blake Shelton, and a rotating cast of judges. The faces of the contestants may change, but the judges for the most part stay the same.

Here's your chance to vote for the best reality show judge. There are plenty of reality TV judges to choose from so select the judges who you think should sit atop this Ultimate List.
list ordered by

1
286 321
Howie Mandel is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Howie Mandel America's Got Talent

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2
490 268
Simon Cowell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Simon Cowell American Idol, The X Factor

3
369 256
Adam Levine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Adam Levine The Voice

4
279 317
Howard Stern is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Howard Stern America's Got Talent

5
192 353
Piers Morgan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Piers Morgan America's Got Talent

6
319 260
Blake Shelton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Blake Shelton The Voice

7
246 311
Sharon Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Sharon Osbourne America's Got Talent, The X Factor

8
302 258
Christina Aguilera is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Christina Aguilera The Voice

9
276 220
Paula Abdul is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Paula Abdul American Idol, The X Factor

10
194 147
Pharrell Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Pharrell Williams The Voice

11
261 261
Shakira is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Shakira The Voice

12
221 232
Heidi Klum is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Heidi Klum Project Runway

13
230 216
Usher is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Usher The Voice

14
220 185
Ellen DeGeneres is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Ellen DeGeneres American Idol, Ellen, The Ellen DeGeneres Show

15
77 92
Ivanka Trump is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Sandy Bolton added Ivanka Trump The Apprentice

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16
178 218
Melanie Brown is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Melanie Brown America's Got Talent, The X Factor (UK), The X Factor

17
179 280
Demi Lovato is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Demi Lovato The X Factor

18
188 225
Randy Jackson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Randy Jackson American Idol

19
43 66
Donald Trump is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
asplatt added Donald Trump The Apprentice, The Ultimate Merger, Retrosexual: The '80s

20
149 225
Cee Lo Green is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Cee Lo Green The Voice, Freaknik: The Musical, Cee Lo Green's The Good Life

21
97 65
Julianne Hough is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
shockwavesam91 added Julianne Hough Dancing with the Stars

22
159 218
Steven Tyler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Steven Tyler American Idol

23
169 197
Cheryl Cole is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Cheryl Cole The X Factor (UK), The X Factor, This Morning

24
129 182
Jessie J is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Jessie J The Voice UK

25
185 244
Britney Spears is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Britney Spears The X Factor

26
83 72
Bruno Tonioli is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Bruno Tonioli Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing, DanceX

27
81 61
Carrie Ann Inaba is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
shockwavesam91 added Carrie Ann Inaba In Living Color, Dancing with the Stars, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann

28
182 233
Jennifer Lopez is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Jennifer Lopez American Idol

29
131 185
Tom Jones is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Tom Jones The Voice

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30
146 213
Nicole Scherzinger is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Nicole Scherzinger The X Factor (UK), The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars

31
159 171
Keith Urban is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Keith Urban American Idol

32
121 234
David Hasselhoff is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
David Hasselhoff Baywatch, Knight Rider, America's Got Talent

33
75 57
Len Goodman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Len Goodman Dancing with the Stars, Strictly Come Dancing, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two

34
70 65
Seal is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Seal The Voice (AU), Love's Divine

35
91 150
Carmen Electra is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Carmen Electra Baywatch, Singled Out, Tripping the Rift

36
106 175
Will.i.am is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Will.i.am The X Factor

37
88 51
Ricky Martin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Ricky Martin The Voice (AU), Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

38
86 146
David Walliams is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
David Walliams Little Britain, EastEnders, Little Britain USA

39
68 84
Drew Carey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Baseballislove added Drew Carey The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK), Whose Line Is It Anyway?

40
64 58
Mary Berry is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Mary Berry The Great British Bake Off

41
73 131
Danny O'Donoghue is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Danny O'Donoghue The Voice UK

42
90 140
L.A. Reid is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
L.A. Reid The X Factor

43
30 19
Tyra Banks is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
asplatt added Tyra Banks America's Next Top Model, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Price Is Right

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44
105 152
Kelly Rowland is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Kelly Rowland The X Factor (UK), The X Factor, The X Factor (U.S.)

45
93 158
Amanda Holden is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Amanda Holden Britain's Got Talent

46
55 52
John Henson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Baseballislove added John Henson Wipeout, Talk Soup, The John Henson Project

47
60 65
Paloma Faith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Paloma Faith

48
82 51
Kylie Minogue is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Kylie Minogue Neighbours, The Kylie Show, The Henderson Kids

49
98 202
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
Mariah Carey American Idol, America: A Tribute to Heroes, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Concert

50
54 54
Emma Bunton is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Reality Show Judges
ColinBoddy added Emma Bunton Don't Stop Believing, Emma (1999)