This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t like to judge, but …” and then proceed to say something very judgmental? Let’s call a spade a spade: People who start a sentence like that do judge. And you know who else likes to judge: TV judges on reality shows. But, in their defense, that’s what they’re there for.

The folks over at Dragons’ Den, the predecessor to Shark Tank, understand with great power comes great responsibility, resulting in great products. You can catch up with the mentoring multi-millionaire dragons being pitched by budding entrepreneurs on BBC America on Wednesdays at 10/9c.

On the other hand, some judges might get a little lost in the process, forgetting their role.

Here are 10 examples of not-so-constructive criticism:

1. Imitation is Not the Sincerest Form of Flattery
Should we start off with a doozy, the worst of the worst? We don’t even get to see the performance that set off New Zealand X Factor judge Natalia Kills in the below clip. Her reaction to the unsuspecting contestant says it all. Kills and fellow judge and boyfriend Willy Moon were both relieved of their judging duties.

2. Don’t Drop the Mic Just Yet
On the Ukraine X Factor (yes, it’s everywhere) the judges stopped a contestant mid-performance because they didn’t believe she was actually singing. It’s not so much what they said to her, it’s what they didn’t say. It appears (we’re relying on the headline, body language and a few identifiable words sans subtitles) that the judges didn’t explain their interruption, which was actually an accusation, leaving the singer dumbfounded. They then asked her to sing a cappella. Which she did.

3. Rolling Your Eyes is Not Model Behavior
We don’t have the actual scene of an outburst that happened on Asia’s Top Model, but the clip was, interestingly enough, included in a promo to highlight the show. Apparently one of the models rolled her eyes when being critiqued and the judge did not take kindly to it as seen below. In her defense, sometimes people roll their eyes without even realizing it. #RME

4. Don’t Look a Judge Directly in the Eye
Yes, the American Idol contestant got a little smart with AI judge Demi Lovato in the below clip, but we trust Lovato could have answered for herself. Instead, Britney Spears snapped back at the aspiring singer and gave him an earful, saying, “I want to know who let you on stage? I feel uncomfortable with you even staring at me.” Waaaas he staring at her, or was he taking part in a conversation and making eye contact?

5. We Could Wallpaper a Room 
It really wouldn’t be a “rude reality TV judge” list without OG Simon Cowell. There has to be countless times he’s unleashed his wrath on wannabe entertainers, but we stuck to just one. And this one stood out because it was so sneaky. Cowell sounds like he’s giving the young girl in the clip a sheet of compliments. He starts with one, a second, and keeps going, just to end with a zinger of an insult. He builds her up just to take her down.

6. Sharks Don’t Throw Stones
Shark Tank‘s Kevin O’Leary, also known as Mr. Wonderful, may not throw sticks or stones, but he did some name-calling when critiquing the aspiring entrepreneurs in the below clip. The two women pitched an idea for unusual color lipsticks. Mr. Wonderful was not having it, calling them cockroaches. How dare they … come up with an idea … he doesn’t agree with. It turns out they’re doing okay with their lip biz.

7. Sing First, Talk Later (Or Not At All)
In this case, the Australia’s Got Talent contestant offended the judges before he even began his performance. While they enjoyed his singing they couldn’t shake off what he had said prior.

8. Lord Sugar is Not So Sweet
Lord Sugar ran the boardroom as part of the U.K.’s competition show The Apprentice. He may have had advisors, but he was the one to make the final decision. Sugar was about to make an announcement to three candidates in the below clip, until he was politely interrupted by Claire. Should she have sat quietly or was it smart for her to speak up? Lord Sugar basically told her he was “sick” of looking at her and sent her away. But to where?

9. A Rumba is a Rumba by Any Other Name
It’s not always the contestants who bear the weight of the judges’ frustration. Sometimes the judges turn on each other. Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel-Horwood complimented Call the Midwife actress Helen George for her execution of the Rumba. Fellow judge Len Goodman was less than impressed. The two exchange words in the below clip.

10. Don’t Be Judging the Judge
Marilyn Milian is indeed an actual judge with a degree and the background to legit hammer a gavel and do some judging, but the People’s Court is … indeed an actual reality TV show. In the below clip she refers to the defendant as “honey.” It does seem a little casual for a legal proceeding, but it’s her court. The defendant, who was being prosecuted by his tenants for holding onto their deposit, asked the judge to use the title “Dr.” instead. It just went off from there … spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well.

Sure, the Dragons aren’t perfect and may lose their cool at some point.

You can be the judge of that. Check out Dragons’ Den on Wednesdays on BBCA at 10/9c.

Which outburst surprised you the most? 

Read More
By Brigid Brown