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Judging the judges

By Robert Isenberg
Special to MSN TV

TV turns ordinary singers into idols -- but the judges are more like gods.

Intense, witty and super-famous, the judges of "American Idol," "The X Factor" and "The Voice" speak with divine authority, and contestants bow before them with fearful reverence. Fans may grumble about their taste and attitudes, but the judges' judgment is still scripture. For eight seasons, Paula Abdul ruled "Idol" like Queen Isis. Today, competition judges are higher-profile than ever.

But what about those judges? Are they fair? Are they wise? Do their assessments always add up? Does fame alone make them astute arbiters of success? Six of the most exciting new cast members are women, from firecracker Nicki Minaj to three-season veteran Christina Aguilera. They bring a lot of personality and sharp words -- and they're all celebrated singers -- but are they good at sitting in the magistrate's chair?

Here's your chance to judge the judges. There's a new posse in town, and none of them is perfect. Of the six queens of reality singing, who is the best at her job?

Video: 'American Idol' | 'The X Factor' | 'The Voice'

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