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Mel B. of the Spice Girls joins 'America's Got Talent'

February 21, 2013|By Patrick Kevin Day
  • Melanie Brown (a.k.a. Scary Spice) in 2007
Melanie Brown (a.k.a. Scary Spice) in 2007 (Matt Sayles / Associated…)

Mel B., best known for her time as the Spice Girl "Scary Spice," has been announced as the new judge for the NBC reality competition series "America's Got Talent."

She's replacing Sharon Osbourne, who left the show after last season following a dispute with the network and the producers of another NBC reality competition series, "Stars Earn Stripes." She said she felt they had discriminated against her son, Jack, after he disclosed his multiple sclerosis diagnosis.

Mel B. (real name Melanie Brown) will join returning judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern on the amateur talent show, which is to return for its eighth season this summer. The judges are to begin touring various American cities for the audition portion of the series next month. The live shows are to be broadcast from New York.

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"It's so exciting to be bringing some Girl Power to the panel!" Brown said in a statement. 

This isn't Brown's first stint behind the judges' table on a reality competition series. The singer, who's had a solo career since 1998, has been a judge on "The X Factor Australia" and a guest judge on "The X Factor UK."

Last season, the show's producers had hoped that the addition of the outspoken Stern to the judge's table would generate huge ratings, but the seventh season posted a decline in the ratings from the previous season. There has been debate about whether Stern's presence on the show attracted or repelled viewers.

Regardless, Stern is back for a second season. And Osbourne hasn't totally left the fold either. She may not be on NBC, but she was recently announced as a new judge on "Australia's Got Talent."

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