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All the 'American Idol' judges in history, ranked

INSIDER Logo By Savanna Swain-Wilson of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 15: 
  
    Through 16 seasons reality
    singing competition series "American Idol" has seen 14
    different judges.
  
  
    "American Idol" judges are
    integral to the show's success.
  
  
    The show's original judge trio
    - Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson - were well
    known for their on-screen banter.
  
  
    In 2018 Katy Perry, Lionel
    Richie, and Luke Bryan became the official judges of the
    competition.
  
  
    With season 17 of "Idol"
    premiering this March, INSIDER decided to rank all of the
    judges the show has seen through the years.
  
  
    Overall Simon Cowell was the
    best judge the singing competition has ever seen because of his
    blunt, yet necessary critique.
  

  
  This Sunday
  marks the premiere of "American
  Idol's" second season on ABC, and 17th season overall. The famous
  singing competition show is known for launching the careers of
  Grammy-award winners like Carrie Underwood and Kelly
  Clarkson.
  Like many of the previous
  seasons, the show will follow 20 hopefuls hand-picked from around
  the country vying for the record-deal first prize.

  While the overall fate of the
  show's contestants lies in the hands of voters, the judges get to
  pick at who even makes it to the competition in the first place.
  During the auditions phase of the series, thousands of aspiring
  singers from around the US will have to prove themselves to the
  panel they want the coveted golden ticket to participate.

  Over "American Idol's" 17 years
  (and 16 seasons) on the air, the judge's table has welcomed a
  variety of celebrity faces. While some members have stayed longer
  than others, it's clear each of them has brought a unique
  contribution to the Idol experience. From chart-topping musicians to seasoned
  record producers, each one of the celebrity judges has brought
  something totally unique to the table.

  In honor of the upcoming
  premiere, INSIDER decided to look back on all the show's 14
  judges through the year and rank them based on how significant
  their contributions were to the "American Idol" experience. Read
  more below to see how your favorite "Idol" judge stacks up
  against the others from worst to best.

  • Through 16 seasons reality singing competition series "American Idol" has seen 14 different judges.
  • "American Idol" judges are integral to the show's success.
  • The show's original judge trio - Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, and Randy Jackson - were well known for their on-screen banter.
  • In 2018 Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan became the official judges of the competition.
  • With season 17 of "Idol" underway, INSIDER decided to rank all of the judges the show has seen through the years.
  • Overall Simon Cowell was the best judge the singing competition has ever seen because of his blunt, yet necessary critique.

"American Idol's" second season on ABC, and 17th season overall, is underway. The famous singing competition show is known for launching the careers of Grammy-award winners like Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

Like many of the previous seasons, the show will follow 20 hopefuls hand-picked from around the country vying for the record-deal first prize.

While the overall fate of the show's contestants lies in the hands of voters, the judges get to pick at who even makes it to the competition in the first place. During the auditions phase of the series, thousands of aspiring singers from around the US will have to prove themselves to the panel they want the coveted golden ticket to participate.

Over "American Idol's" 17 years (and 16 seasons) on the air, the judge's table has welcomed a variety of celebrity faces. While some members have stayed longer than others, it's clear each of them has brought a unique contribution to the Idol experience.

From chart-topping musicians to seasoned record producers, each one of the celebrity judges has brought something totally unique to the table.

In honor of the upcoming premiere, INSIDER decided to look back on all the show's 14 judges through the year and rank them based on how significant their contributions were to the "American Idol" experience. Read more below to see how your favorite "Idol" judge stacks up against the others from worst to best.

© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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