Mel B Dishes on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 8


By// Starrene Rhett Rocque

Based on her stints as a judge on X-Factor Australia and UK, it’s clear that Mel B is entertaining. She was also member of the Spice Girls, did a stint on Broadway, had a residency in Vegas and produced her own reality show—obviously, she knows what it takes to make it in show business. That’s why producers asked her to join the panel of judges on the forthcoming season of America’s Got Talent. caught up with the jet-setting diva to chat about her newest gig, which returns to TV on June 4.

Did you watch America’s Got Talent before joining the show as a judge?

Yeah. Me and my family have watched that show on and off for the last few years it’s such a good fun family sit down TV to watch.

Describe your judging style.

I’m just really honest. I’ve had my own show in Vegas, I’ve been on Broadway in Rent, I produced my own reality show so, I know what entertainment that I think is gonna work looks like. Having been around the world and in the entertainment world for the last 18 years, and also, I’ve already gone through all the audition processes, so I know how nerve racking that can be and I know you’ve only got a couple of seconds to really grab their attention, so I’m just very honest, because I’ve got so much experience under my belt. So, if I’m gonna give a critique—unless they’re just wasting our time, which some people do just waste our time—they just get up there and do whatever. But there are the ones you can see who really do want it, but they haven’t quite got their vocals down or they’ve chosen the wrong song or their act didn’t go so smooth. I like to give constructive criticisms but on top of all that, I’m just first and foremost very honest and if I like it, I absolutely love it and if I don’t like it, there’s always reasons why I don’t like it.

What have you learned about yourself by judging?

I like to bring my kids to work with me, like, when we were in New Orleans and San Antonio, I brought my 14-year-old with me and it was really nice to get her opinion on some stuff because even though I’m the youngest judge on the panel, I’m still in my 30s, so my daughter was saying to me, “You have to pick some cool and fun and funky acts, so that kids look forward to watching it and so they don’t have to switch the channel to So You Think You Can Dance or any other program.” Because this is the one variety show that you can get everything from an animal act, a magician act, a good singer, a good clogging group, or a good rapper, I’ve kind of been keeping my eyes out for that young edgy vibe.

Do you have any reality TV guilty pleasures other than the competition shows?

There’s Dancing With the Stars, and last night I got to watch a little bit of Housewives which is hilarious and obviously Kim’s a good friend of mine, so I like to watch her and her sister but I haven’t gotten the gall to sit down and watch a lot of that kind of stuff. I’ll just flip in and out of it. And that’s what’s good about reality shows you don’t necessarily have to watch the last three episodes because they always give you a bit of an update anyway.

And about your reality show, is it ever coming back?

We were gonna bring it back since we just moved here [The United States] but it’s about finding that right network, because even though that show was good we felt like we were being a little bit too fair because we are a little bit crazier than that, so we’ve been taking some meetings and it’s something that both of us want to do again.

Would you ever compete on Celebrity Apprentice?

I was asked to do it and it makes me nervous because I’m a team player. I’m used to being with my four to five girls and we all get on, and we all love each other. Even on the panel, no matter what panel, whether I did X-Factor in Australia or the UK, I always have respect for the people that I’m working with, even though I can have a difference of opinion, whereas with Apprentice, it just seems like it gets really catty and bitchy. I don’t think my nerves could take that. I’d rather be with my kids at home [laughs].

Back to America’s Got Talent, what do you want viewers to take away from the show?

This year more than any year is super-talented. Everyone is combining a bunch of stuff together that you wouldn’t even really think of so, it’s gonna be really interesting to see who America ends up loving and who they end up putting through to get their own show in Vegas.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 premieres on NBC, June 4 at 9/8c.