Talent Recap

5 Reasons Tyra Banks Would Make a Better Judge Than Host on ‘AGT’


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Tyra Banks is always a lot of fun to watch, no matter what she’s doing. However, she’s become a bit of a controversial figure on America’s Got Talent. She now has two seasons as the host of the hit variety competition under her belt, and viewers still remain divided on whether or not she makes for a good host.

Personally, I think Tyra’s zany personality is a great fit for the wackiness of AGT, but I think it would be of more value in a different role than the one she currently holds. Here are five reasons why Tyra would be a perfect candidate for a spot at the judges’ table.

1. She Has An Eccentric And Bold Personality

Let’s face it: Tyra Banks is anything but subtle…and that’s what we love about her! She struts around the stage like a queen, has fun little nicknames for her colleagues (though we have to admit, it’s a little weird to hear “Big Daddy Simon” come out of her mouth) and has big, dramatic reactions to just about everything.

These qualities aren’t really suited to hosting – the focus on stage is supposed to be on the contestants, and while I’m sure it’s not on purpose Tyra’s boldness can sometimes be impossible to ignore – but are great in a judge since it’s important to be able to draw attention to some level when the camera is focused squarely on you and you have to share your opinions on what’s happening.

Tyra just doesn’t work as the “supporting character” the host has to be when interacting with the acts, but as a judge, she would get to be the star of her own little moments multiple times an episode.

2. She Works Better Without A Script

I know what you’re thinking: “But Tyra does get to have her own moments during the show, and they’re always so awkward!”

Here’s the thing: Whenever the camera is focused on just Tyra addressing the audience, she’s usually introducing an act, or bringing us back from a commercial break. During these segments she’s using a teleprompter located just off camera, which she has to read from as the words appear on the screen (kind of like karaoke without the singing).

More often than not, when Tyra does this it feels very obvious and forced. I get that it’s a hard task to make it all sound natural, especially on live TV, but that’s kind of the job of the host. And whenever she’s reciting similar lines from memory, she often makes mistakes (like announcing acts moving on to the last week of the competition as having made it to the semi-finals, or “the calling the first night of the finals “the results”).

Tyra is about as far as one can get from “camera-shy” but there’s something about having to read or memorize a pre-determined set of words and make them sound normal on live television that tends to trip her up. However, she sounds much more comfortable and natural when she’s speaking in her own words; she’s clearly much better at addressing the contestants than the at-home audience. The main job description of the judges is to talk to the contestants and give them feedback, so I think Tyra would probably be much more comfortable in that position.

3. She’s Totally Down With The Wacky Antics And Banter

AGT is probably the weirdest reality competition on network TV – in a good way! Not only do we get silly novelty acts like Yumbo Dump and the Human Fountains in the competition, the panel isn’t afraid to let loose at the judges’ table. Their silly back-and-forth spats have become one of the show’s trademarks, and they’ve even been known to have “water fights” every now and then!

Tyra has proved she isn’t afraid to get silly (like when she dressed as the eagle this season or let the Human Fountains spit right in her mouth) and is open to the kind of variety acts we won’t see anywhere else besides AGT. She sometimes joins in with the judges’ banter, but she can only do so much of the latter from the stage. I’d love to see her really be able to let loose and go off on Simon or Mel whenever she wants to; she’d certainly add some fun flavor to the table!

4. She Knows When To Be Kind…And When To Be Cruel To Be Kind

Tyra’s best quality as a host is her natural ability to support and “build up” the acts. We’ve seen this come into play when she comforts contestants who have “off” performances, and when she defends acts some of the judges are being too hard on (one prime example being in Season 12 when Simon Cowell and Mel B were blaming escape artist Demian Aditya for an error in his act which was actually the fault of the show’s production team).

However, as we’ve seen time and time again on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra is certainly not afraid to give some tough love too. She gives contestants on the show honest – and sometimes harsh – feedback, but it clearly comes from a place of love and desire to see them do better. I think the AGT judges table needs a dose of that sometimes, because Simon really has gone relatively soft since becoming a father, and I feel like the other judges are often hesitant to be honest with the contestants during critiques.

5. Above All, She Knows Talent When She Sees It


In her hosting gig, Tyra doesn’t often get to share her opinions on the acts who perform on the show. But, like the judges, she does get one use of the coveted golden buzzer per season, and her choices so far have been absolutely AMAZING picks.

In Season 12 she hit it for dance group Light Balance, who went on to place third in the competition. (It’s also worth noting that out of nine people with golden buzzer privileges that season, she was the only one to use it on a variety act.) This year she bestowed the honor unto acrobatic group Zurcaroh, who ended up placing even higher than Light Balance did, becoming the Season 13 runners-up.

For those keeping score at home, Light Balance outranked all of the other golden buzzers in Season 12 except Mel B’s (winner Darci Lynne Farmer) and guest judge Chris Hardwick‘s (runner-up Angelica Hale) and Zurcaroh beat out all eight of the other Season 13 golden buzzers. Tyra clearly knows which acts have that special something and potential to be a hit with the audience, and I’d love to see even more of that from her at the judges’ table. And if her current pattern continues, we just might be seeing her next golden buzzer win Season 14!

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