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American Idol

American Idol Judges: Who Are the Best and Worst Of All Time?

If you had to pick from all of the American Idol judges over the past twelve seasons, who would be your favorites? Who would you go back and never cast on the show because they sucked so badly? We have our picks to share, but we'd love to know yours!

Worst American Idol Judges:

Ellen DeGeneres -- TV personality. Comedienne. Wife of Portia De Rossi. American Idol judge? Yeah, it still seems like it was a dream, doesn’t it? Or maybe a nightmare. Joining the cast for its ninth season, many were scratching their heads as to why the comic would be asked to join a reality show singing competition.

Everyone knew she was a huge fan but, other than that, we were left wondering what qualified her for the relatively prestigious position. She seemed set on changing that way of thinking, adding her two cents in her signature funny way for the first few episodes. She quickly lost steam, though, and almost seemed uncomfortable occupying the chair.

In the end, she walked away from a five year contract and reportedly tens of millions of dollars because it wasn’t the “right fit.” And, as the person we’ve named as the worst American Idol judge in their 12 seasons, we thank her for that.

In the runner-up spot is Steven Tyler, who, by the end his run on the show, only seemed to wake up when someone took the stage in a short skirt and/or low cut top.

Best American Idol Judges

Much like Ellen, Steven started out strong, reviving the show with his signature sound (or scream) and funny sayings. By the end, though, it almost seemed like he sent a dummy of himself along a la Weekend at Bernie’s. At times, viewers (and probably his fellow American Idol judges!) probably wondered whether he was alive. To boot, he offered some solid critiques at the beginning of his Idol run but, by the conclusion, he might as well have said, “pass.”

When it comes to choosing the best judge in American Idol history, we’re going to have to call a tie between Simon Cowell and Nicki Minaj. Again, one has to consider the early Simon to understand, as he could barely contain his own disdain for the show by the end. In the early years, however, his tough critiques coupled with his barely contained flirtation with the loopy Paula Abdul were the equivalent of TV magic. Oh, how we miss that.

Right now, we’re calling it a tie between Simon and Nicki -- however, if you come back in five years and Nicki is still there (and the show is still on!), we truly think she has what it takes to surpass the acerbic Simon.

We were skeptical at first due to the much hyped (and ultimately lame) drama between the rapper and resident diva Mariah Carey. However, once we got beyond that, we realized how much we love her passion for the music and the kids, her hilarious “Nickinames,” and the tough love she bestows on these hopefuls in the name of constructive criticism. Quite frankly, we’re beginning to adore her.

Who would you pick as the best Idol judge? And who has been the worst?

02.19.2013 / 05:02 AM EDT by Marnie Brodersen
Related: American Idol, Gossip, Reality Gossip

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