Gone are the days of washed up pop stars on judging panels of reality singing competitions like American Idol and X-Factor. Now, it seems these seats are reserved for current headliners like Jennifer Lopez, Nicki MInaj and Usher.
These shows are serving as re-launching pads for their judges as much as a talent search for newbies.
What is it about this platform that artists find so appealing? Perhaps it’s the millions of fans and millions of dollars that come with the prime time gig.
After abandoning her $18 million American Idol post, Mariah Carey is headed on a world tour after years of laying low. She took a cue from J-Lo, who topped charts during and after her Idol stint.
Usher was reportedly paid $7 million for his stint on the fourth season of The Voice. He’s currently filling in for CeeLo Green who is busy touring since his career was revived in large part due to the NBC singing show. While Usher will leave the show next season, he is already signed on for season six.
Kelly Rowland stole a spot on the upcoming season of X-Factor for a cool $1 million. She’ll be replacing Britney Spears, who is also enjoying a post-show revival with a residency in Las Vegas.
Despite the fact that Kelly had already slated a tour with The Dream, she changed her plans to take the job as a judge next to Demi Lovato, Paulina Rubio and Simon Cowell.
Even Nicki MInaj put the brakes on her booming rap career to take the judging job at American Idol last season. The gig earned the diva $12 million and tons of publicity for her feud with Mariah, who collected $18 million for the three-month commitment.
Jennifer Lopez earned a whopping $20 million for her second season on American Idol and is reportedly in talks to return next season. If she did reprise her role as an Idol judge, another superstar, Jennifer Hudson, could join her. The Idol alum is also rumored to be taking a seat at the judge’s table next year.
Aside from the singing competitions, we’re also seeing a surge of singers lighting up the small screen on their own reality shows. KeKe Wyatt is enjoying commercial success after appearing on R&B Divas Atlanta.
Tamar Braxton was able to translate her hit reality show Braxton Family Values, into a bona fide music career. She’s topping the charts only after she won over America one quip at a time.
With the chance to reach millions of fans and a proven track record of putting stars back on the map, it’s no wonder we’re seeing more big names in music on the small screen.
POLL: Is Reality TV better for artists than music?