The Longest Running Talent Show Judges

Justin Jenkins
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Talent shows have been a part of popular culture for decades. From Star Search to The Voice, the search for original talent has always brought in huge ratings and helped create some of today’s biggest stars. There is no Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood without American Idol. No Brandon Leake without America’s Got Talent. There wouldn’t be any talent show contestant success stories without the judges who criticize, guide, and mentor the aspiring entertainers.


Simon Cowell

We cannot have a list of long-running talent show judges without the king of reality tv competition shows. Cowell first came on to the scene when American Idol premiered in 2002. The judge was already known in the music industry, but now viewers got a chance to see how cut throat the entertainment industry could be. Cowell became known as the mean judge for his harsh criticism of contestants. The TV producer left Idol in 2010. Since then, Cowell has gone on to judge shows within The X Factor and America’s Got Talent franchises. From bringing his own style of judging to talent shows, Cowell has amassed a net worth of $600 million.

‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judges

Never has there been a group of judges who has lasted for 30 seasons on a talent show. Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, as well as Bruno Tonioli were all a part of Dancing With the Stars since it premiered in 2005. Each judge brought something to the table as the show has lasted for close to two decades. Usually competition shows are a revolving door of judges, but these three have managed to continue without any rumors of replacements. The past two years have seen the show only add former pro dancer on the show Derek Hough to the judges table.

Blake Shelton

The self proclaimed king of The Voice, Blake Shelton has been the longest running coach on the show’s 21 season history. Shelton is also the most successful, winning the show a total of eight times. The country singer has been known to mentor country artists all the way to the finish line. Shelton has watched many great coaches come and go, but he has remained, becoming the backbone of the show.


Randy Jackson

Although fans have not heard his name in a while, Randy Jackson’s legacy can not be dismissed. The original American Idol judge holds the title of the longest-serving judge on the show, still today. Jackson judged Idol for 13 seasons and watched as the show consistently grew. These days the producer is back on the road with the band Journey as well as promoting health with his business ventures.

Howie Mandel

The Canadian comedian joined America’s Got Talent in Season 5 of the show. Fans can agree that Mandel brought the funny with him after the judges table had a revamp. Since he joined the show Mandel has made a name for himself as the funniest and wildest panelist, but also someone who had an eye for talent. The entertainer’s Golden Buzzer pick for Season 11 Grace VanderWaal won the competition and has become one of the most successful America’s Got Talent acts of all time. 

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