SimonÂ Cowell gave an interview to Deadline.com about hisÂ judgingÂ panel, choosing Paula Abdul (maybe) and an unknown star, Cheryl Cole (Obv. a known British star). He did acknowledgeÂ approachingÂ Cee-Lo, Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dog, Gloria Estefan and Mariah Carey but for one reason or another it was a bust!
AccordingÂ to Deadline,
Cowell tells me ( Nikki Finke) that in addition to himself and AntonioÂ â€œL.A.â€ Reid, theÂ chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group who resigned toÂ join The X Factor panel on Fox (and about whom Simon saidÂ â€œwas my No. 1 choice to sit alongside me on the show”), he has made up his mind toÂ bring back Paula Abdul beside him and to add aÂ Brit singer convicted of assaultÂ who’s unknown to American audiences,Â Cheryl Cole. Of course, Cowell was once an unknown here, too. 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.
But an insider tells meÂ about Cole that “she’s pretty much a shoo-in for the show” and will be announcedÂ as a judge within less than a week. When I asked Simon aboutÂ “this Cole woman”Â who began judging on the 5th season of Cowell’s British version ofÂ The X Factorwhich is now in its 8th season,Â he laughed at my description of her. I opined about how hard it is forÂ UK personalities to click with U.S. audiences. Though she has her own widely imitated catchphrase there telling wannabe contestantsÂ they are â€œreally, really luv-erlyâ€ in herÂ incomprehensible Newcastle accent andÂ has become a UK tabloid obsession,Â over here she’ll just be another nobody. (As Jennifer LopezÂ asked recently, â€œShe is a singer, right?â€) But Cowell responded:Â “I never think about it as an American or British audience. I genuinely donâ€™t.Â I think thatâ€™s what’s happened on a lot of these shows now is it’s almost like youâ€™ve got to hire well known celebrities to be a judge. And with Cheryl, when I hired her initially, I’d only met her literally once when I offered her the job on [British]Â X Factor. I thought she was bright, cute, knew what she was talking about, ambitious. And you meet someone special a few times in your life.. And this girl is special. She’s just got a great ability to communicate. Shes 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.Â And Fox was desperate to hire her.”
About wanting Paula Abdul on his judging panel,
“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 donâ€™t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her.Â 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’veÂ got to make the decision soon. But I think she’s got a really good shot.”
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Photo from FOX