Tough Room: A Look at Our Favorite Latino Judges

We've seen the first two episodes of American Idol season 10, and we're happy to report that new AI judge, Jennifer Lopez doesn't disappoint. She's all of the things that people are saying she is: swift, sassy, compassionate, tough when she needs to be, and right on the money when it comes to spotting America's next big superstars.

Watching La Lopez do her thing behind the judge's table got us thinking about other Latin TV judges who have her sass-meets-class attitude. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Judges: Jennifer Lopez

2. Judges: Gloria Estefan

Who: Gloria Estefan, 53

The Show: American Idol (Guest Judge)

Why we love them:  J.Lo isn't the only kickass Latina to judge Idol. Gloria Estefan served as a guest judge on the show's third season, and despite decades of experience in the music business, the Latina superstar was incapable of actually judging the contestants. "I don't judge," Gloria told at the time. "I can give them advice as a professional, but I'm certainly not going to sit there and say, 'Oh, you sound terrible.' I admire the fact that [the contestants] get up there and do it at all. I don't think I could do it. I wouldn't have made it past the first round," said Gloria, who was even kind to contestants who completely butchered her songs.

3. Judges: Nina Garcia

Who: Nina Garcia, 45

The Show: Project Runway (Lifetime)

Why we love them:  Unlike most TV judges who rip contestants to shreds, Project Runway judge Nina Garcia has a reputation for giving contestants constructive criticism and design advice that actually helps them become better designers. Garcia, who has held the post of Fashion Director at top magazines like Elle and Marie Claire, knows a great deal about the fashion industry and that comes off on the show.

4. Judges: Maria Conchita Alonso

Who: Maria Conchita Alonso, 53

The Show: Viva Hollywood!

Why we love them: The first time Maria Conchita Alonso appeared on VH1's search for the first telenovela star, Viva Hollywood! the Cuban born actress (and Latina Paula Abdul) greeted the show's contestants wearing a see-through blue dress that very clearly showed off her butt. Then the free-spirited actress issued what seemed like a warning to the contestants in La Casa de los Locos: "The cameras are always rolling," she said, adding, "So take advantage of it." 




5. Judges: Marilyn Milian

Who: Marilyn Milian, 49

The Show: The People's Court 

Why we love them: The daughter of Cuban parents, Marilyn Milian is the first female judge to preside over the long-running show, The People's Court -- and in our opinion, she's also the most entertaining judge on television. Fluent in Spanish, Milian likes to dish out advice (and insults) in both English and Spanish, and the results are always amusing. Watch this video below to see her flip out on a law student from her alma mater who doesn't know when to shut up. You better watch yourself in her courtroom!

6. Judges: Perez Hilton

Who: Perez Hilton, 32

The Show: Miss USA Pageant 2009 (Guest Judge)

Why we love them: In 2009, Perez Hilton served as a guest judge for the Miss United States Pageant, and asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean whether she thinks every state should follow Vermont's example and legalize same sex marriage. But the controversial Cuban blogger was stunned when Prejean answered that she wasn't in favor of same-sex marriage legislation. "Well, I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other," said a nervous Prejean. "We live in a land that you can choose same sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country and in my family, I believe that a marriage should be a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised," she added. Perez's face seemed to change colors upon hearing her answer, but what we love about him is that he had the guts to ask the question in the first place.

7. Judges: Related Links