'Australia's Got Talent' switches spices: Scary out, Ginger in

SYDNEY, April 30 Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:24am EDT

SYDNEY, April 30 (Reuters) - One of Australia's top-rated talent shows has a new spice mix.

Geri Halliwell, known as Ginger Spice when she was part of the Spice Girls, has replaced former bandmate Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, as a judge on "Australia's Got Talent", broadcaster Channel Nine said on Tuesday.

The switch comes after Australia's Supreme Court blocked Brown's appearance on the show, ruling she had breached her contract with the rival Seven Network when she attempted to defect to Nine. The court barred Brown from working for any other network until January 2014.

Nine bought the rights to "Australia's Got Talent" late last year after the program was dropped by Seven.

"I think shows like this are brilliant and I love the opportunity they give to normal everyday people," Halliwell said in a statement.

The "Got Talent" format, where contestants show off a variety of skills from singing to dog handling, airs in more than 50 territories globally.

Halliwell will join Australian singer Timomatic, British comedienne Dawn French and controversial Australian radio host Kyle Sandilands on the judging panel for the show's seventh season.

The Spice Girls, a British pop girl group, were in their heyday in the 1990s, topping charts globally with "Wannabe". (Reporting By Thuy Ong, Editing by Jane Wardell and Elaine Lies)