Our Favorite Talent Show Judges Who Were Contestants on ‘Star Search’

Justin Jenkins
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Britney Spears Star SearchYouTube

During the 90’s before there was American Idol, there was Star Search. The talent show had eight categories for contestants to compete. Each category had a champion and a challenger. The challenger would usually perform first, while the champion performed second. Although the show did not produce any major champions who would become huge stars, some of entertainment’s biggest names have appeared on the show.

All acts were judged by a panel of four judges. Each judge could award an act from one to four stars. Once both acts were complete, the scores were revealed. If there was a tie, a studio audience vote broke the tie, in which case the results were revealed at the end of the show.

Star Search was one of the first talent shows long before American Idol, America’s Got Talent, and The Voice. We are taking a look at some of our favorite talent show judges who performed on the former hit show.


The king of R&B was just 13 years old when he appeared on Star Search. Although he did not win, Usher caught the attention of his first label, LaFace Records. The singer made history for having the longest sustained note ever held by a child on the show, at 12 seconds. Usher’s groundbreaking career led him to be a Voice coach for Seasons 4 and 6. Now with over 100 million albums sold, the singer is taking over the Las Vegas strip with his new residency.

Christina Aguilera

Another Voice coach appeared on Star Search back in the day. Christina Aguilera was 9 years old when she sang Etta James’s “A Sunday Kind Of Love.” The young singer had a big voice and left the audience speechless. Aguilera lost, but history will show she is one of the most successful pop singers ever. The singer recently returned to her roots and dropped her Spanish project La Fuerza.

Britney Spears

Aguilera’s teen rival Britney Spears also appeared on Star Search. The iconic singer was just 10 years old when she performed Eva Tanguay’s “I Don’t Care.” Spears defended her championship title three times on the show. The former X Factor judge is now considered one of the most influential figures in pop music history. With her 13 year conservatorship behind her and a new 15 million dollar book deal, her return to the spotlight will be televised.

Kelly Rowland

Before Destiny’s Child there was Girls Tyme. Yes, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé were in another group before their legendary group changed the music industry. The former Voice: Australia and X Factor judge was 11 years old when she performed in the group category. Now the Grammy award winning singer has legions of fans who are waiting for her next solo album or reunion tour with Destiny’s Child.

Loni Love

Surprise surprise! Loni Love made her way on the list. Technically she is a talent show judge. The comedian has been a guest judge on Rupaul’s Drag Race on more than one occasion. Star Search was not just for singers. The show also had a comedy category. The talented Loni Love actually took home the grand prize in 2003. Now Love has expanded her empire to talk shows, books, and fashion.

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