America’s Got Talent has added some spice to its judges roster. NBC has revealed that Melanie Brown — also known as Mel B and Scary Spice — will occupy the spot vacated by Sharon Osbourne when the series returns for its eighth season this summer. Brown joins Howard Stern and Howie Mandel who return along with host Nick Cannon.
Osbourne broke her contract with the show at the end of last season during a dust-up with NBC when her son Jack— newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — was denied participation in the rigorous reality show (and eventual ratings bomb) Stars Earn Stripes.
“I just can’t be fake,” Osbourne told the New York Post. “It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled.” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt countered that his network did offer Jack his choice of “substantial alternative roles” in the series which he turned down.
“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,” said Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBC in the networks press release announcing Brown’s hiring. “Her presence has powder-keg potential for lots of fireworks this summer as the No. 1 rated America’s Got Talent will return with even bigger and more exotic acts than any year before.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of this season of ‘America’s Got Talent’ and to get to work with Howie and Howard,” said Mel B in the same release. “It’s so exciting to be bringing some Girl Power to the panel!”
Telegdy also told Entertainment Weekly that AGT would consider adding a fourth judge, a la international versions of the series, but no hiring decisions have been made.
Season 8 auditions are slated for New Orleans, San Antonio, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
So what do you think, AGT fans? Did they get the right lady to fill Sharon’s shoes? Is a fourth judge necessary? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.