As much as the general public is fascinated by televised talent competitions, nobody wants to watch a bunch of people they’ve never heard of offer advice to a bunch of contestants they’ve never heard of. That’s why celebrities make the perfect judges – at least, in theory they do. Sometimes the producers of these shows don’t know quite what they’re getting into, as evidenced by some of the personalities on this list. We rank the celebrity judges of American Idol, The X Factor, and more from least to most absurd, after the jump.
Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles, and Shawn Stockman
Really, the current Sing-Off crew is the most normal of the whole bunch of celebrity judges, and they’re all pretty perfect choices for a competition that’s entirely about a cappella music. As a former Boyz II Men member, Stockman knows how to blend as one voice in a big group; Bareilles has a brilliant ear for harmonic composition (have you heard the intro to her last album?); and Folds is so into a cappella that he even produced an album of his own songs being covered by college groups. What more could a reality TV audience ask for?