Why Dolly Parton Won’t Be a Judge on Competition Shows

Dolly Parton seems to have a fun and bubbly personality. She is also one of the greatest country singers of all time. Her talent and personality would make her a perfect judge for a competition show like American Idol or The Voice. Unfortunately, Parton once said she doesn’t plan on judging a competition show any time soon. Here’s why.

Dolly Parton was reportedly asked to be part of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Dolly Parton wears a white dress while holding her hands out and smiling during an awards show red-carpet walk.
Dolly Parton | John Shearer/WireImage

Parton has a following among people from all walks of life. One show that she’s been reportedly asked to participate in is RuPaul’s Drag Race. According to HuffPost, panelist Michelle Visage says Parton has been approached many times, but she has declined each request. “Just to let everybody know we have asked Dolly Parton for 11, 12, 13 years,” says Visage. According to Visage, the issue is scheduling.

Parton was also reportedly asked to host game show Family Feud. Instead, comedian Louie Anderson filled the role. He remained on the show from 1998 until 2002. Steve Harvey then assumed the hosting role in 2010.

Why Dolly Parton won’t judge competition shows

Although Visage cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for Parton’s absence from RuPaul’s Drag Race, this might not be the entire reason. In her book Dream More, Parton says she prefers to turn down offers to judge competitions because she can’t bring herself to tell one person that they’re better than someone else.

Parton says she has received “hundreds” of offers to judge songwriting, beauty pageants, television shows, drag queen shows, and even dog shows. Parton says she doesn’t want to tell someone that “they are not as good as someone else.”

Parton remembers feeling “less than” the other kids when she was a child. Some of the local churches would bring big baskets of food and sometimes toys. Although Parton was grateful for the gifts, she says it reminded her of her family’s financial status. “We knew we were getting [the donations] because they judged us as ‘poor,’” wrote Parton.

Celebrity judges through the years

Competition shows are known for having an impressive lineup of celebrity judges. One notable celebrity judge was Jennifer Lopez on American Idol. Although Lopez turned out to be a great host, she was initially warned not to take on the hosting gig. During an interview with Variety, she says people close to her told her appearing on a talent show could ruin her chances of getting major movie roles, but she chose to go with her gut.

“It was a big turning point in my career,” Lopez tells Variety. “Everybody was like, ‘Don’t do this. Your career will be over, and they won’t offer you any movies. They’ll think you’re a joke as an artist.’ And I was like, ‘The truth is, I’m not getting offered a whole bunch of movies, so what are they not going to offer me?’”

Other celebrity judges include Mariah Carey, Lionel Richie, Steven Tyler, and Katy Perry on American Idol and Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, Gwen Stefani, Usher, and Ariana Grande on The Voice.

RELATED: Dolly Parton Convinced Her Husband to Wear ‘Sexy See-Through Underpants’

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