Martina McBride Takes a Seat at the Judges Table on “America’s Got Talent”

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As if Martina McBride didn’t already have enough on her plate, she’s adding the role of judge on NBC’s reality competition show “America’s Got Talent.” McBride will join Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Simon Cowell at the judges table on Tuesday’s episode (July 31).

“It was so much fun,” McBride tells One Country. “You never really know what that experience will be like or what goes on behind the scenes. It’s just so fascinating to me to watch that show and wonder what that would be like. Everybody was super nice and just to step into that world for a minute and be a part of it, it was awesome. I loved it.”

McBride is the third of four celebrity judges this season sitting on the panel during the Judge Cuts Round, where the judges narrow down the talent pool before heading on to the live shows.

“We’re really just giving feedback and then at the end of the day, we’re deciding whether they went on to the next round,” McBride said. “It’s just kind of an instinct. Basically, you’re watching people perform and deciding whether it’s entertaining or whether they have the talent that it takes to move onto the next round and compete. I felt like it’s a bit intimidating at first. You’re like, ‘well I don’t know if I’m gonna say anything. I’m not gonna be there every week, so how much do I say?’ But then you kind of just get caught up in it. I just was like, ‘well I’m here, and I’m gonna participate.'”

Following in the footsteps of previous celeb judges, Ken Jeong and Olivia Munn, who both hit the Golden Buzzer for choir acts, McBride shares a small hint about her stint on the show.

“I didn’t give it to a choir,” she teases. “There were some emotional moments. It felt like my job there was to just observe and give some advice. It was all pretty inspiring.”

The famous Golden Buzzer allows each judge to send one act that they find exceptional to go straight to the live show.

“I thought there was so much talent. You don’t make it there that far without having some talent,” McBride adds. “What I loved about it too, is it’s all different kinds of acts.There were not only just singers but also acrobats, magicians and dancers. There is a super wide variety of talent. It’s really entertaining.”

While being a judge on the show was a first for Martina, it’s not the first time her music has been heard on a reality competition show. Many of the contestants use her songs in their auditions, a move that flatters the singer.

“It’s so cool. It’s really cool to watch and just see them interpret the songs—to think that somebody chose my song,” said McBride. “I remember being in local contests in Kansas and singing [Dolly Parton’s] ‘I Will Always Love You’ and different things and choosing your song that you wanted to perform. It’s flattering and it’s cool.”

The “This One’s For the Girls” singer may be unsure if she’d return to the judges chair, “I don’t know about that but it was really fun,” she shared. But when asked if she would participate in a reality competition at the beginning of her career, McBride wouldn’t have ruled it out.

“I don’t know. You can never say never,” she said. “I can’t really project what I would do or what I wouldn’t do. I wouldn’t rule it out, but I love the way I came up playing in the clubs and hammering it out.”

Tune in to see Martina decide the contestants fate on “America’s Got Talent” when it airs on Tuesday night (July 31) at 8pm ET on NBC.

Lisa Konicki
A New Yorker that made her way to the South, Lisa got her love of country music from her dad, who always played the classics. However, her love of fried pickles, a southern staple, came from Blake Shelton, who made her try her very first one. With 20 years experience in the music biz—previously at the helm of Country Weekly Magazine —Lisa loves to de-stress by going to the movies, playing and watching sports or just being outdoors.

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