Although some media outlets are reporting that Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole are definitely going to be “X Factor” U.S. judges, the website that started this story even admits that it is not sure if that information will turn out to be true.
“The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell gave a recent interview to Deadline.com (in an article published on April 24, 2011) saying that he wants Abdul and Cole to be judges on “The X Factor” U.S., but a spokesperson for the show says that Cowell’s comments are not an official announcement that Abdul and Cole will definitely get the job.
“The X Factor” U.S. has two judges officially announced so far: Cowell and former Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid. The other two judges on the four-person panel will be women, says Cowell, and they are expected to be officially announced in April or May 2011.
“The X Factor” U.S. (which premieres on Fox in September 2011) is a contest for unsigned solo singers and vocal groups who are at least 12 years old, legal U.S. residents and legally able to work in the United States. The show has a grand prize of $5 million and a record deal with Sony Music.
A representative for Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter that a decision has not yet been made about the final two judges that will be on the show’s four-person judging panel: “It’s still playing out. Nothing is set, and Paula is one of many people Simon is talking to. He’s said the same thing many times, including on the radio last week. There’s nothing new.”
The spokesperson is absolutely right. It’s very old news that Abdul and Cole are frontrunners for the job, since their names frequently came up as likely candidates ever since Cowell announced in 2010 that he was launching a U.S. version of “The X Factor.”
More recently, Cowell gave several previous interviews in March and April 2011 confirming that Abdul and Cole were in discussions to be judges on the show. In the Deadline.com interview, he just says that Abdul and Cole are his favorites of the remaining candidates, not that they have signed on for the job.
Cowell says about Cole:
“She’s just got a great ability to communicate. She’s a great judge. She’s smart. It’s just a hunch. If people take to her like the British public did, I think she’s going to do really well in America. And Fox was desperate to hire her … [Fox TV executives] Mike Darnell and Peter Rice will tell you they wanted her all the time, I showed a tape to Mike Darnell two years ago of a clip I’d shot in England of Cheryl and he said there and then, ‘I’d hire her now for ‘Idol.’ They absolutely fell in love with her. In a way, the deal, it was almost conditional on Cheryl having the gig. They were desperate for her.”
And this is Cowell’s comment on Abdul:
“I’ve always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. And I’ve been consistent about this. I don’t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she’s right. I’ve never found anyone better than her. I think there’s a good chance it will be her. We’ve agreed that we would meet as many people as possible, and now we’re reaching the deadline we’ve got to make the decision soon. But I think she’s got a really good shot.”
However, Cowell has said in many interviews that he and other executives of the show have regular arguments because they cannot agree on the final two judges for the panel.
In the Deadline.com interview, Cowell also responds to recent reports about celebrities who say they turned down chances to be “X Factor” U.S. judges. He confirms that Jennifer Lopez and Cee Lo Green were in talks to be judges on the show, but Cowell says that the the talks were brief, and Green and Lopez were never offered the job. Cowell also states that, contrary to rumors, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Gloria Estefan and Snoop Dogg were never approached to be “X Factor” judges.
And just in case Deadline.com turns out to be wrong about Cole and Abdul being named “X Factor” U.S. judges, the site has already stated that there is a possibility that Cole or Abdul may not get the job, with the writer saying in the article:
I understand from Cowell that negotiations for Abdul’s deal hasn’t even started and that Cole’s deal isn’t quite done yet. And of course, he could change his mind.
In March 2011, Deadline.com reported that Enrique Iglesias was offered the job to host “The X Factor” U.S., but Cowell told “Extra” days later that the report was false and that Iglesias was definitely not going to host the show.