Has Simon Cowell Chosen Paula Abdul for X Factor?

Simon Cowell gave an interview to Deadline.com about his judging panel, choosing Paula Abdul (maybe) and an unknown star, Cheryl Cole (Obv. a known British star). He did acknowledge approaching Cee-Lo, Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Snoop Dog, Gloria Estefan and Mariah Carey but for one reason or another it was a bust!

According to Deadline,

Cowell tells me ( Nikki Finke) that in addition to himself and Antonio “L.A.” Reid, the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group who resigned to join The X Factor panel on Fox (and about whom Simon said “was my No. 1 choice to sit alongside me on the show”), he has made up his mind to bring back Paula Abdul beside him and to add a Brit singer convicted of assault who’s unknown to American audiences, 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 me about Cole that “she’s pretty much a shoo-in for the show” and will be announced as a judge within less than a week. When I asked Simon about “this Cole woman” who began judging on the 5th season of Cowell’s British version of The X Factorwhich is now in its 8th season, he laughed at my description of her. I opined about how hard it is for UK personalities to click with U.S. audiences. Though she has her own widely imitated catchphrase there telling wannabe contestants they are “really, really luv-erly” in her incomprehensible Newcastle accent and has become a UK tabloid obsession, over here she’ll just be another nobody. (As Jennifer Lopez asked recently, “She is a singer, right?”) But Cowell responded: “I never think about it as an American or British audience. I genuinely don’t. I think that’s what’s happened on a lot of these shows now is it’s almost like you’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] 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. 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 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.”

Will you watch the X Factor?

Photo from FOX