After courting controversy last summer with the addition of legendary shock jock Howard Stern, the producers are doubling down on glam for this go-round.
Former Spice Girl Mel B. was brought in to replace outgoing judge Sharon Osborne, and a fourth judge, supermodel Heidi Klum, was also added. It’s the first four-judge panel in the show’s history, and it promises to be a fiery mix.
Mel is used to the judge’s role, having been on The X-Factor in the U.K. and Australia, as well as other various gigs. But her new job will test her abilities with a wider breadth of talent.
“You really don’t know what you’re going to get,” she says. “You could get anything from a great magic act to somebody who swallows swords to somebody who is an amazing ballroom dancer. The pool of talent is just so huge, especially because it’s in America. You can’t get any bigger than that.”
Aside from the action onstage, viewers will be drawn to the fireworks bound to go off between Mel, Klum, Stern and Howie Mandel. So far, however, she says the mutual respect they all feel for each other has won out.
“We’re all adults. We’re all mature,” she says. “So we all get on, and we’re all respectful of each other. But let’s not get it twisted, we’re all very different people. We come from different backgrounds, we’re all quirky, we all hold our own, we’re all very confident, so that makes for an interesting panel. At the end of the day, we’re all quite funny. We’re all quite feisty as well. We stick to our ground.”