Simon Cowell Reveals Familiar American Idol Face As X Factor Judge

A little off our core subject, but since it involves two American Idol judges I thought I’d share it here. I can’t say I’m surprised by this news, but Simon Cowell has revealed that he’ll be putting a former American Idol judge in a chair next to him at the judges table for X Factor when it premieres in this fall:

Simon has delivered on his promise two months late, but we’ll take it.

Cowell revealed that Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole will join him and LA Reid as judges on the upcoming premiere season of X Factor 2011 in the USA production.

Well look at that. Paula gets dumped by Idol after eight years of support, goes to CBS and gets dumped after one sad season of “Live to Dance,” and then gets right back in to the arms of Cowell where it all started.

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Paula was just half of Simon’s announcement though. Cheryl Cole, his current X Factor UK co-judge, will also be coming over to help him launch the USA version. Cole’s name has been tossed around longer than anyone else and finally looks to be a reality for the UK singer as long as Simon isn’t blowing smoke at us.

What do you think? Should Simon have brought in fresh perspectives or will a familiar face draw you in to give it a try?

Update: THR spoke with Simon’s rep who says the last two seats have not yet been officially filled. Uh huh… Sure. I wonder if Cowell’s wrist still hurts from getting slapped over letting that news out on his own.

Source: Deadline via X Factor Network





  1. I love Paula, but her showing up next to Simon feels like Tuesday's leftover meatloaf. And since this is an American show, I think having two Brit judges is wrong.

    • Seriously you dont need 2 US judges and 2 Brit judges for the X Factor show…….We just need the Queen Of Pop alone to be the judge of this X Factor show cos no one can certify you having an X Factor except for the one and only Madonna.

      Just google MADONNA, and you have the ultimate reasons there. Ciaow 🙂

  2. ai is old news and the show this year is the worse produced I have ever seen. I am so looking forward to this new show…

    • feel the same! and i like the chemistry of simon and paula… that can't be beat. i think AI letting paula go was one of the reasons he stated for leaving ai…'it just wasn't the same'. ai has lousy judges. frankly, i wouldn't be surprised if this will be their last season if they don't get judges who don't suck.

      • Simon has amazing chemistry with cheryl as well! i think all 4 judges will click instantly together and make the show 10x more enjoyable than American Idol where the judges just bore me to death!

  3. PERFECT!it's just GREAT that we'll see Paula and Simon together again!I'm sure it'll be amazing having those 2 back!and cheryl is good too!Paula is really nice too!i'm definitely goin to watch only beacause of Saula! 😉

  4. I am so looking forward to this new show…AI is old news and the show this year is the worse produced I have ever seen. The judges are worthless and the show has become tasteless. Really went downhill when Simon left.

  5. It is especially sad that we are exposed to almost weekly outburts of profanity. Ryan Secreast is the only one of the entire group that I would not fire!! The judges act silly–like pre-teens.(I apologize to any pre-teens reading this).

    • I agree. AI has always been a family tradtion in my house, and I had resevations about ST as a judge. But, I try to be fair and always give someone a chance. He certainly has the credentials, but all he does is play the clown, the lech and the drunken sailor. Very disappointing! He's been a waste of the huge salary I'm sure he is getting. The only person who has done any good for the contestants as far as I can see has been Jimmy lovine-sorry if that's not the right spelling. They should rotate the judges evey year and not give any of them a long contract unti they prove themself capable.

    • Tyler is and always has been a lecher and, apart from his profanities, has also said some inappropriate things to the young gals on the show.

      There is another show on CMT that we watch on Friday that is produced by the same team that does AI.

      They have one permanent judge who is a music mogul and two guest judges. The voting is one person, one vote, the bottom two have to sing off and the judges decide who goes home out of the bottom two.

      As for Paula Abdul on the X-Factor, I fail to see how this is news since it was discussed within a week of Cowell's "farewell" when she made her appearance then.

  6. More drunken comments, ignorance masked as "real" criticism and a beautiful face… no doubt it will be successful…

      • my my my..Paul..Aren't you the ardent x-factor fan? 😀

        I wouldn't call Steven pretty…IF anything he looks like a horse… Also when i wrote the above comment, i was talking about all three of the presumed judges…Paula, Simon and Cheryl in that order… and as sad as Steven Tyler is as a judge, Simon is way sadder…

  7. Been there, done that – how do you make a "new show" New when you have all the old hats in the ring?

    I think it is a mistake to bring in Abdul as she wasn't a good judge on idol she won't be good judge on this show – what was it "x-idol"?

    • It's X-Factor, which has been the most successful of all the talent shows and produced the top selling artist, globally, out of any of them – Leona Lewis.

      It's format in the UK is that they split the acts into four groups and the judges (they have 4 there) actually mentor the acts.

      This year, Simon Cowell was mentoring the 4 Groups that made the final 16. Cheryl Cole the 4 girls, Dannii Minoque the 4 guys and Louis Walsh the 4 over 28's.

      In 2006 when Leona Lewis won, she was mentored by Simon Cowell and went from a singer with a great voice but awkward stage presence into a star – ring any bells for this year's AI??

      She is signed to his company Simco Ltd. (Syco) that operates under the banner of Sony Music and accounts for about 70% of the profits of Sony Music. Whatever people may think of SC, he knows music and what it takes to make a star.

      I hope he brings the same style to the US Version with the mentoring and the fact that the fate of who goes home from final two, as voted by the public, is decided by the judges.

      Cheryl Cole is on the UK Panel and is a member of "Girls Aloud" which is the most successful girls groups outside the USA.

      She has had a successful solo career since 2009 when the group officially went on hiatus.

      Te only problem the US audiences may have with Cheryl Cole is that she is a Geordie (from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North-East of England) and her accent is pretty thick.

      She is known to be a bit of a fashionista and has been the cover girl on a number of top female magazines so it will be interesting to see how Paula Abdul interacts with a 27yr old glamorous star.

      For any fans of British Soccer out there, she was married to Ashley Cole (Chelsea & England) from 2006-2010.

      • Check your facts. Leona Lewis came in considerably behind Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood. Lewis = $11 mil, Gaga = $19 mil, Carrie = $14 mil.

  8. I am happy to know Paula is back. I love her .

    Simon did a good choise. I am XFactor fan alredy

  9. I hope Simon improves his arrogant attitude. I always felt bad for the singers that were trying so hard and to have such a harsh comment from Simon. If this attitude continues I probably won't watch the show.

    American Idol, on the other hand, have great judges this year!

    • What "judging' have they done this year since the "real" contest started?

      I concede that they have found some great talent but, really, they have not done any judging.

      They may as well put a cardboard cut-out of Steven Tyler with a recording that says; "You know I love you; that was beautiful."

      • Simon was harsh but honest; the judges this year have not judged and their blatant favoritism with Casey….and the language…wow.

    • I'm sure it was staged. It's an old photo from the Idol days. You can see a blurred Ford logo there in the background and they often market on Idol. That could even be Randy's hand reaching up.

  10. Matt…Thanks for the update….I'm thrilled to see Simon and Paula back together again. They had great chemistry, especially at the beginning..I hope they recapture that again…..I know I will be watching it and I will still watch AI…..

    • @ Phyllis G. I will be watching X-Factor to see what it is all about. I also liked the combination of Paula & Simon…really think AI (Prior to this year) messed up when they went to a 4 panel judging format. It will be interesting how all this unfolds. In the meantime I will still be watching AI and voting for James. 🙂

      • @Rose A. I totally agree…..Adding Cara just blow the chemistry between the three judges. It took forever to get thru a show because of 4 judges. It was awful except it was season 8 and we had Adam…that saved the show for me…..Adam was something to look forward too…..Now its JAMES…..

    • She will have to be in top form for this contest if they follow the British format because there are four categories; male, female, groups and over 28's and each judge has to mentor the contestants in one of the categories.

      So there is a lot more than just sitting behind a judges desk and being goofy. They have to coach and mentor the acts in the category for which they have responsibility.

      With a $5 million recording contract on the line for the winner, she will have to be fully focused on the job.

      • @Paul….I thought she was good on Live to Dance…..She had constructive criticizm and mentored the dances…..I really liked that show. I will definitely watch X Factor especially if Paula is a judge on it…..but AI will always come first…..

  11. Paula is a washed up has been. If it were not for Idol no one would have ever heard of her again. She was done. They put her on Idol and revived her career and she got greedy and it was not at all amusing to watch her. Drunk, druggie or just nuts, I don't know, but I will not watch her. Therefore, no X Factor for me.

  12. I'll be there checking it out. There are very few shows any more worth watching (too many "reality shows), let's hope this show is fun.

    As for too many Brit judges, why not? It's Simon's show & we all know he knows what he's doing. We had Piers Morgan & Sharon Osborne on America's Got Talent along with "the Hoff", & we all know who was the disaster in that trio.

    Wait & see before you make a judgement..

    • There will 2 British judges and 2 US ones. Cheryl Cole is more than qualified. She has had a great recording career with Girls Aloud between 2002-2009 and a solo one since 2009.

      She was a winner in a talent contest herself back in 2002 from which the Girls Aloud Group was formed and after replacing Sharon Osbourne on the British X-Factor, she mentored the winners in 2008 and 2009.

      I have posted elsewhere about the format, which is totally different to AI, as is the decision for who goes home out of the bottom two because it is the judges who decide.

  13. I'm not sure why this is a surprise because it has been touted since he announced he was leaving AI to focus on the X-Factor.

    If he follows the UK model, it will be much different than AI. There they split the acts into different sections – female, male, groups and over 28's – and each of the four judges mentors the top 4 acts in each group.

    In the 2010 British version, Simon mentored the groups, Cheryl the girls, Dannii Minoque the boys and Louis Walsh the over 28's.

    In the finals, the public vote and then the judges decide who goes home out of the bottom two. There have been some incidents where the bottom two came from the same group and when it happened last year with Cheryl, she refused to cast a vote to send one of her girls home.

    They may need an interpreter for Cheryl because she has a pretty thick Geordie accent but she knows what it is like to be in a talent contest because she was in one back in 2002 from which the Girls Aloud Group was formed.

    With that group and as a soloist since 2009, she has enjoyed enormous success so should make a good judge and mentor to the acts.

    She joined the X-Factor in 2008 replacing Sharon Osbourne, mentored the girls group and one of them won and then in 2009, she was given the boys group and, again, mentored the winner.

    With a $5 million Sony Recording contract the prize for the winner, it should be a great contest.

  14. Simon Cowell is very intelligent and he knows with Paula Abdul on the judge’s panel, more viewers will watch. We love those two together. I only watch one reality show and that is American Idol. I will tune in for X Factor, but only because I love Simon Cowell.

  15. I firmly believe that the reason we got such good contestants this year is because Simon Cowell is gone.

    When giving constructive criticism, it is best to point out the good parts of a work before getting to the bad parts. This will, in general, maximize the improvement of the individual being criticized.

    Simon's thrashing of contestants usually meant when they got back on stage, they were either too nervous, too tense, or were down in the dumps too long to practice well enough for their performance.

    Not to mention, I thought he was wrong many, many of the times he commented and was quite a bully about it. (Just like I felt Jimmy Iovine was wrong many many times…example: Casey and Nature Boy).

    Not to mention, I think many of the most promising contestants this year wouldn't have made it with Simon still as a judge. He's just too technical. I think James Durbin would have been eliminated for his screechiness in the Hollywood/Vegas rounds. I think Casey, Hailey, and Paul probably would have been similarly doomed.

    Not saying that our current judges are any good…and I do agree that S. Tyler needs to be much more professional…but it's still better than having Simon back.

    • I honestly dont think that Casey, James, Pia or even Hailey would have been selected in the first place…. Pia tried to get on the show like 4 times before and she never could make it… Look how good she was this year… Simon was just an entertainer never a good judge… He didn't like Adam, David or Daughtry when he first heard them…So much for a producer's vision… A.I judges have to be more critical..thats for sure…but no one needs a Simon..

  16. Wow, such negativity? You know, you will ALL check out the X-Factor!! I am there!! If nothing else to do, but hide behind a computer and bitc–!

    • Y'know, I really don't have anything better to do at work, otherwise I would be doing it. (and yes, I would do work…if there was any work left for me to do)

      But once I get home, I'm not gonna be sitting at the computer idly reading message boards. I do have like…10 different games to play, 3 different books to read, a kid to take care of, a girlfriend to muck with, etc etc…

      • Nice! The child takes third place after 10 games and 3 books. glad to see you have your priorities straight.

  17. Paula Abdul as X Factor judge??? Duh!!! this is so wrong. Simon is back again??? Realyy so wrong. This X Factor show should be AXED for life.

    AI judges are the BEST ABOVE ALL. PERIOD !!!!!!

  18. One of the good thing about X-factor (aparts from we got Simon back as a judge!) is…we don't have to suffer the same old theme each season (i.e. Movie theme etc. which really bored you to death!!!!)

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