With Howard Stern and Howie Mandel locked in, America’s Got Talent has been short at least one judge after Sharon Osbourne left the show at the end of last season. With initial auditions already started, NBC has finally announced its choice as Osbourne’s replacement: former Spice Girls singer Mel B, a.k.a. Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the deal has been in the works for awhile, but was just finalized on Wednesday. NBC has yet to comment, although earlier rumours had floated the idea of a four-judge panel for this season.
“I’ve known Melanie since she did Dancing with the Stars, and I’ve known her as a performer of The Spice Girls before that,” NBC president of alternative Paul Telegdy told EW. “To know her is to know a very frank, strong, enduring entertainer. Someone who has a very strong point of view. 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.”
Mel B is hardly a neophyte when it comes to judging talent competitions on TV; she previously served as a judge on the U.K. and Australian versions of The X Factor, which, like AGT, is produced by Simon Cowell.