One of the personal complaints that I’ve had with NBC’s flagship summer show, America’s Got Talent, is regarding the judges panels. While there are many fans who enjoy Simon Cowell and Mel B’s “hilarious and clearly not staged” antics, I’m just not one of them. In most cases, I find their banter entirely disrespectful, especially when it’s done in front of an act that just poured their heart into a performance. What they’re doing is deliberately drawing attention away from an act’s few minutes of fame, and I just don’t understand why they constantly feel the need to have the spotlight on them. Are they not getting enough attention already?! Should the show hire someone behind the scenes specifically to shower them with attention so they don’t feel depraved when they step into the studio? Staged or not, these antics have soured my opinions of those two judges, and the remaining two are either useless, or have made decisions in the past that have pushed them beyond the point of redemption in my eyes.
A few weeks ago I did a post talking about what I would change about AGT if I were producing it, which you can check out HERE. In it, one of the points I made was how, if it were up to me, I’d overhaul the entire judges panel. As a follow up to that point, I wanted to compile what the panel I would put together after the overhaul would look like. This would be my dream panel, and when putting it together I considered the following three points:
1- Are they smart and can they deliver strong and insightful critiques?
2- Professionalism: Will they treat the acts with the respect and courtesy that they deserve for putting themselves out there for judgement?
3- Can they act as a role model to the acts?
Those three points are really all that’s important to me. I don’t care about what revealing outfits they bring to the table, I just want to know that they’re professionals who will handle the position with class and empathy for the contestants. I don’t think that’s asking to much, and I think my picks would make for a great show. Actually getting them to sign on though is an entirely different story that is never going to happen, but it’s fun to dream big every so often.
Anyway, on to the panel!
Dream Judge #1: Howard Stern– Alright, screw that last point, I just want Howard back. Not only was he my favorite judge on AGT, he was actually my favorite judge from any reality show that I’ve ever watched. The dude’s just so smart and occasionally hilarious that my panel would feel like it was missing something without him. Since he left, AGT has been noticeably declining and I think he is the only one who can come back and save us from the Simon Cowell apocalypse currently going on. Please AGT gods, bring back Howard. The show needs him, and he’s worth any money it takes to persuade him to return.
Dream Judge #2: Sara Bareilles– If it were up to me, I’d have banned solo singing acts from AGT seasons ago. Since that of course is never going to actually happen with the real thing, I’d like a singer on my panel who is down-to-earth, relatable, and, for lack of a better term, normal. Mel B is just way to extra (look no further than the outfits she wore to the live episodes), and I think Sara has some great insight into the industry that many up-and-coming young artists would really appreciate. She’s also wickedly smart, and I think could be a great role-model for the singers. If there must be a singer on the panel, let it be Sara.
Dream Judge #3: Penn Jillette– AGT is all about its variety acts, and having Penn onboard to represent the magicians seems like a no-brainer. He’s incredibly smart, and I think would add some much needed color to the show. It would also do my heart no better greatness than to see him fill the seat that once was Howie Mandel’s.
Dream Judge #4: An AGT Alumni– Yep, I really want an established AGT alumni to sit on the judges panel. I think having one would really remind the contestants about the greatness that can come from the show, and would put them at ease knowing they are being judged by someone who went through the same things as them and knows what they’re going through. Currently I’m torn between that alumni being Terry Fator, Paul Zerdin, and Matt Franco. Any of those three would be a great choice.
We also would need someone to replace Tyra Banks as the host.
Dream Host: Neil Patrick Harris– Neil is the perfect person for AGT. He basically checks off every box of mine for what goes into a perfect host on one of these shows. He’s funny, insightful, and has fantastic hosting skills. I think he’d do well in this role.
So that’s who’d be on my AGT dream panel. Who’d be on yours? Do you want to see Howard Stern back? Which AGT alumni do you think would make a good judge? Let me know in the comments below!
Until we meet again in another post, later!