Each talent show brings together a roster of famous guest judges each season to spice up the competition. Some celebrities are impressive in the role of guest judge and are able to establish a huge presence in the talent show circuit. Who is the best guest judge ever? Let’s rank some of the greatest and most memorable guest judges in history.
8. Quentin Tarantino
Looks like many moons ago, director Quentin Tarantino debuted as a guest judge on American Idol Season 3. Music is an integral part of all of his Oscar-winning films, so it wasn’t such a far-fetched decision to bring him into the series. He told Diana DeGarmo that he “didn’t care” that she removed all the notes during her performance. Tarantino held nothing back for his time on the show, a lesson that other guest judges should take note of. American Idol even brought him back as a guest judge again in Season 8. Tarantino has always been a huge fan of the show. The best guest judges are always celebrities who watch and enjoy the show.
R&B singer Ne-Yo knows an incredible talent when he sees it. He was a guest judge in season 11 of America has talent. Ne-Yo hit his Golden Buzzer for magician Jon Dorenbos after being completely blown away by his turn. He even hilariously looked around and under the judges’ table to see how Jon pulled off the trick. This appearance paved the way for Ne-Yo’s career as a talent show judge. He then sat alongside Derek Hough and Jennifer Lopez on the Dance world jury.
6. Joe Jonas
Joe Jonas was a guest judge on American Idol in season 9. Jonas joined Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell at the judges’ table. It was clear he was a little nervous at first and danced around hurting one of the artist’s feelings. After rising to fame on the Disney Channel with the Jonas Brothers, Jonas was more than qualified to find the next young talent. He even recognized Todrick Hall’s “star power” during his audition. It didn’t hurt that literally every contestant had a crush on Jonas, just like the rest of us back home.
Lizzo was a guest judge in season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When RuPaul asked Lizzo how she was feeling, she replied, “good as hell”. These are the lyrics of his song of the same name on which the two queens at the bottom ended up synchronizing on the lips. It became one of the best lip syncs ever as Lizzo tipped her head towards the song. The best part about Lizzo appearing on the show is that she made a Musical clip for her song “Juice” with some of the franchise’s most popular queens.
4. Miley Cyrus
In the season 11 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Miley Cyrus sneaked in as a staff member. Once she revealed her identity, all the queens panicked. She gave them great advice and then joined the jury during the episode. RuPaul’s Drag Race is really to embrace who you are, something Cyrus has always done. She danced as the queens performed her song “Best of Both Worlds” during the lip sync battle. It was a tribute to Hannah montana we never knew we needed it.
3. Chris Hardwick
We have to thank Chris Hardwick for giving Angelica Hale the Golden Buzzer in Season 12 America has talent Judge the cups. Hardwick brought major enthusiasm to the concert. You could tell he was delighted to be there and was floored by all the talents. It’s the same enthusiasm he has for his AMC show, Talk dead. He was brought back again as a guest judge in Season 13. Hardwick was already a big face on NBC, hosting The wall since 2016. He was the only America has talent the guest judge will never be invited to return for another season.
2. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga made all of our dreams come true when she posed as a candidate on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9. The Queens really thought she was a Lady Gaga impersonator. Tears flowed as she revealed her true identity. Lady Gaga judged a show inspired by some of her best looks. The whole episode was just fun and full of life. In a special turn of events, no one was knocked out from the episode. Lady Gaga definitely worked her magic to keep all the queens in the competition.
1. Joel McHale
Joel McHale is the talent show’s premier guest judge. McHale is by far the most unforgettable RuPaul’s Drag Race guest judge of all time. He kept screaming, “Yeah!” during the Season 11 show, which clearly annoyed Michelle Visage. It was obvious that he was thrilled to be there and brought his many years of comedy experience to the series. McHale has always been a frequent guest judge on The masked singer. His love-hate relationship with Community co-star Ken Jeong was a hit with viewers. They bicker like siblings and it’s absolutely hilarious to watch. McHale will return as a guest judge for Season 6.
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