American Idol: Every One Of The Judges Ranked From Worst To Best

  
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When American Idol first launched in June 2002, it catapulted to the top of TV ratings and soon became one of the most successful television shows in the history of American television. American Idol became the launching board for several similar reality competition series, and its success was unprecedented for many seasons before interest started to wane, the original judges had departed, and it eventually came to an end in April 2016. In March 2018, the former FOX series was rebooted by ABC, with three new judges bringing the total American Idol judges up to 14! Some were loved, some were hated, and some were in between, so take a look back at all 14 judges ranked from worst to best:

14. Nicki Minaj

Season 12 of American Idol aired from January 16, 2013, to May 16, 2013, and saw one of the biggest judge shakeups of the show’s history which included the addition of Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Keith Urban to judge alongside American Idol veteran Randy Jackson. For many, the addition of Minaj was a “stunt-casting” in an effort to renew interest in the fading show, but instead, it only drove viewers away even more. Between Minaj’s feud with fellow judge Mariah Carey and her inability to critique contestants with useful feedback showed that the judging chair was not for her.

FOX

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13. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is one of the most personable and easy-to-watch people on TV, and while she might be good at a lot of things, being a judge on American Idol was not one of them. The beloved talk show host joined the judging table in season nine following the exit of longtime judge Paula Abdul, and it was not the best decision. With no background at all in music, DeGeneres really had no constructive criticism that would help any of the singers and knew going in she was there to simply represent the viewers at home. Unfortunately, a judge needs to offer something which DeGeneres just could not do, and she left after only season saying the show just “didn’t feel like the right fit,” which was the best decision for herself, for viewers and for contestants.

Michael Becker / ©FOX / Courtesy Everett Collection

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