“She’s very unpredictable, very competitive,” Cowell, 63, told Us Weekly and other reporters of Mel, 48, at America’s Got Talent’s season 18 finale on Wednesday, September 27. “However, that was part of the reason why I was excited that she was going to come on the show.”
Cowell explained that the team asked current judge Sofía Vergara to join the new series, which premieres in 2024, but she “couldn’t do it.” The obvious next choice was Mel (real name Melanie Brown).
“When we spoke about who would be the best fourth judge, everyone said Mel. She’s a lot of fun and she’s really smart,” Cowell revealed. “She did such a brilliant job with the Spice Girls, and you don’t know what to expect with her. So, it’s going to be interesting.”
Mel stepped back from America’s Got Talent in 2018 and has since become more focused on the Spice Girls and solo projects. In November 2018, the Spice Girls announced a reunion tour with Mel (Scary Spice), Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Melanie C (Sporty Spice) and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice). The original fifth member, Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), did not join them during any 2019 tour stops.
Cowell, for his part, would be happy to have Mel perform with her bandmates on America’s Got Talent — if it made sense for the singer.
“I love that group. I mean, for me, I think [the Spice Girls] were arguably the best girl band of all time, and Mel was a big part of their success,” he gushed. “Like I said, she’s really, really smart. And off camera, she is a great person. I mean really, really, really nice. But she’s also funny and like I said, unpredictable. And that’s what makes her fun to work with.”
“I love Mel B,” he exclusively told Us on Wednesday. “Mel B created AGT. You think about all the seasons she’s on, it’s, like, her name is synonymous with America’s Got Talent.”
Mel first became a judge on America’s Got Talent in 2013 during season 8. She remained a part of the panel for five more seasons before her 2018 exit after season 13. She returned as a judge for season 1 of America’s Got Talent: The Champions the following year.
Unlike the original series, AGT: Fantasy League will find the judges competing against each other with their own roster of acts. The acts come from a pool of 60 past performers that will be narrowed down to 40 prior to the premiere.
With reporting by Kat Pettibone