Fans Say These Are the Worst Reality Show Judges Of All Time

A judging panel on a competitive reality show is now a standard part of TV pop culture that usually denotes some sort of comedic interactions with their fellow judges. It also brings high expectation of giving a reasonable critique of a contestant’s performance, whether as a singer, dancer, or general novelty act. 

While most of today’s judges are likable, we’ve seen our share of some nasty ones. No, we don’t necessarily have to make it obvious and say Simon Cowell. The irony is he’s become one of the most likable judges recently after years of being the most despised.

Are there others in the history of the competitive reality show era? Some fans have used Ranker to compile who they consider the worst. Some of these choices were just ill-suited to judging, but your head will spin when you see the #1 choice.

4. Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus on The Voice
Miley Cyrus | Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

You might remember when Miley Cyrus did some judging on The Voice for a couple of seasons. There’s a strong feeling she’s risen to the bottom here simply because she has numerous haters over her personal life and her recent breakup with Liam Hemsworth.

She wasn’t always overly detailed in her analysis when judging on The Voice. Nevertheless, she did give useful information about image — almost akin to Gwen Stefani’s judging style.

Some reports several years ago suggested the other judges couldn’t stand Cyrus because she was too loud and obnoxious. There wasn’t always a display of that in her chair, but rumors like this likely affected her score.

3. Derek Hough

For whatever reason, fans think Derek Hough is one of the worst reality show judges in TV history.

At the moment, he’s judging on NBC’s World of Dance with Jennifer Lopez. While most fans knew him previously from dancing on Dancing With the Stars (and the brother of Julianne Hough), perhaps his ability to translate how well a dance routine goes doesn’t always translate well for the audience to understand.

For Hough himself, the transition from being a dancer to being a judge hasn’t been super easy. He’s more apt to tell dancers to focus on their choreography than obsess over every dance move. Perhaps it’s why some viewers moved him up to the Top Four, merely because he isn’t critical enough in peeling apart bad dancing.

2. Ivanka Trump

Maybe you weren’t expecting to see a Trump on this list. On the other hand, you probably should have. Far too many people have forgotten Ivanka Trump appeared in the boardroom segments of her father’s The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice.

Knowing what we know now about how much White House power Ivanka has gained through her husband, Jared Kushner, we shouldn’t be surprised at why she’s #2. A lot of analysis since those days also points out how much she used the show to forward her business interests.

Ivanka did display a calm and charming demeanor when on The Apprentice, back when everyone thought she had more sense than her father. Now that we know Donald Trump’s The Apprentice was indirectly responsible for where we are now, it only paved the way to the most inevitable No. 1 choice.

1. Donald Trump

Sure, you probably saw this coming a mile away. A lot of people have conveniently forgotten we can deem Donald Trump a reality show “judge.” If this term is purely semantics, there won’t be anyone else in history coming close to being the most despised reality show judge than The Donald.

Considering how much his role changed our entire political trajectory in our country, we now finally see the dark side of reality shows and how much they can shape who we become.

Analyzing this to the core will take many volumes of history books. No doubt this tidal wave of awareness is why we’re seeing reality shows shift to themes of helping people rather than being vessels of self-promotion.