- Aside from icons like Simon Cowell, there is frequent turnover for judges and hosts on reality TV.
- Usher and Ellen DeGeneres are among the celebrities with short-lived careers as judges.
- Louis Tomlinson got his start on a reality TV show and later became a judge on one.
Ellen DeGeneres had a brief stint as a judge on season nine of “American Idol.”
In 2010, DeGeneres replaced Paula Abdul as a judge during the ninth season of “American Idol.” In 2015, Degeneres admitted to Howard Stern that she regretted becoming a judge.
“That’s one of the worst decisions I’ve made,” she said on Stern’s show, according to Today.com.
Specifically, she expressed her discomfort with publicly passing judgment on the contestants’ abilities.
“I’m like everybody else at home, so I thought I’m gonna represent those people at home that have opinions, but then I just thought, like Howard says, I can’t break this person’s heart. Let somebody else do that,” DeGeneres said.
Nicki Minaj was a judge during season 12 of “American Idol.”
In the fall of 2012, Nicki Minaj’s new role as a judge on “American Idol” was confirmed.
Minaj left the show after one season, writing on Twitter in May 2013 that her experience on “American Idol” was “life changing” and that she “wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
“Nicki Minaj is a superstar who brought a level of honesty and passion to ‘American Idol’ and who had a tremendous positive impact on so many contestants this season. Given her extremely busy career, we understand and respect her decision and wish her the best,” Fox said in a statement following the announcement of the rapper’s departure.
Jerry Springer hosted the second and third seasons of “America’s Got Talent.”
By its second season, “America’s Got Talent” had swapped host Regis Philbin for Jerry Springer.
The decision to welcome Springer onto the family-friendly show in 2007 surprised some viewers, as he had previously been known for hosting “The Jerry Springer Show,” which leaned raunchy and provocative. Others thought it was a good match.
Announcing Springer’s new role in 2007, Craig Plestis, a senior executive at NBC Entertainment at the time, addressed Springer’s reputation, saying, “To say the least, he is known for presiding over an unpredictable show where the unexpected is the typical order of each day.”
“America’s Got Talent” audiences welcomed Springer with open arms, chanting his name just like audiences did during “The Jerry Springer Show.”
He left the show after season three aired in 2008.
Khloé Kardashian co-hosted the second season of “The X Factor.”
In 2013, The Washington Post reported that Khloé Kardashian notified fans of her role on “The X Factor” via her website, writing, “Hi loves. I’m sure you’ve been hearing the rumors and I’m SO excited that I can finally confirm the news — I am joining ‘The X Factor’ as co-host with Mario Lopez!!!!”
But soon after bringing the popular reality-TV star onboard, Simon Cowell announced Khloé Kardashian would not be returning to the show for its third season. Kardashian’s co-host, however, would be returning — this time, as a solo act.
Louis Tomlinson, who got his start in 2010 on “The X Factor” in the UK, returned to the show as a judge in 2018.
In 2010, Louis Tomlinson auditioned to be a contestant on season seven of “The X Factor.” Later in the season, judge Simon Cowell placed him, along with four other contestants, in the soon-to-be-wildly successful One Direction.
Eight years later, Tomlinson returned to the show that kicked off his career — this time, as a judge. One of his former bandmates, Niall Horan, posted a congratulatory tweet after hearing the news, writing that he was “absolutely delighted.”
According to Digital Spy, Tomlinson discussed his new role with BBC Radio in September 2018, saying, “I suppose like any job, I was nervous the first couple of days. I was a little bit overwhelmed on day one … But once I felt like I’d found my rhythm and I knew the format of how everything worked, honestly, I’ve absolutely loved it.”
CeeLo Green was a judge on “The Voice” for three seasons and later returned to advise Adam Levine.
CeeLo Green judged “The Voice” on seasons one through three (2011-2012), and he later returned to help Team Adam in season 15 in 2018.
His one-season hiatus was, in part, due to his involvement in a 2012 drug-related case in which he faced felony charges after a woman accused him of putting ecstasy in her drink. He pleaded no contest to the charges, and he was sentenced to 360 hours of community service, The Guardian reported.
He denied he had sexually assaulted the woman and prosecutors found the sex was consensual, according to The Guardian. But Green posted a series of tweets that addressed his accuser’s experience and which many found highly offensive. In a later interview with the Sunday Times, he apologized for the tweets, which he called “highly irresponsible.”
In a 2015 interview with Billboard, he said, “I’m glad and very fortunate for yet another opportunity to be myself and be creative, and be embraced unconditionally by so many loving people.”
Usher was a judge on “The Voice” during its fourth and sixth seasons.
Usher became a judge on “The Voice” during seasons four in 2013, and later returned for season six in 2014.
In 2012, Usher expressed excitement about his then-upcoming role to MTV, saying, “It’s still new news, but I’m really excited about it. It’s the type of show that I feel really sets up an artist and makes it about what matters most first: the voice.”
“I love being a mentor,” he added.
Miley Cyrus was a judge on seasons 11 and 13 of “The Voice.”
Miley Cyrus was a judge on “The Voice” in 2016 and 2017.
In 2016, on the “Today” show, Cyrus discussed her commitment to the contestants she mentored on the show.
“Even on days when we’re not filming, I go there and I check in with my team, and I’m constantly texting with them and making sure they feel good,” she said.
For one season, Ariana Grande was a judge on “The Voice.”
Season 21 of “The Voice,” which ran from September to December 2021, was judged by a panel that included pop mega-star Ariana Grande. She judged contestants alongside Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, and Blake Shelton.
In March 2021, she announced her new role on Instagram, writing that she was “beyond thrilled, honored, [and] excited” to become a judge on the show.
She did not return for season 22, as she was cast in the upcoming movie adaptation of “Wicked.”
Model Karlie Kloss hosted seasons 17 and 18 of “Project Runway.”
Kloss replaced Heidi Klum as the host of “Project Runway,” but her tenure was far shorter than that of her predecessor. After hosting for just two seasons between 2019 and 2020, she did not return in a full-time capacity for season 19.
Her departure from the show was announced soon after she and her husband, Joshua Kushner, welcomed their first child.