The Best Reality Show Judges

Over 3.5K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Reality Show Judges
Voting Rules
Judge and panel members from any reality competition game shows
Latest additions: Sara Bareilles, Adam Shankman, Robbie Williams
Most divisive: Christina Aguilera

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 singing competitions like 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. Some reality show judges like Tyra Banks, have been the judges for over 20 consecutive seasons of a show.

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.

Ranked by
  • Simon Cowell
    American Idol, The X Factor
    1,718 votes
    • Birthplace: London Borough of Lambeth, England
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
  • Blake Shelton
    The Voice
    1,278 votes
    • Birthplace: Ada, Oklahoma, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Adam Levine
    The Voice
    1,342 votes
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Shakira
    The Voice
    1,020 votes
    • Birthplace: Barranquilla, Colombia
    • Nationality: Colombia
  • Gwen Stefani
    The Voice
    391 votes
    • Birthplace: Fullerton, California, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America
  • Janice Dickinson
    America's Next Top Model, The Surreal Life, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency
    59 votes
    • Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
    • Nationality: United States of America