Simon Cowell Reveals the (Almost) Official List Of X Factor Judges

When the U.S. edition of The X Factor premieres on Fox this fall, the four seats at the judges table will be filled by boss man Simon Cowell, Antonio “L.A.” Reid (the chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group), Paula Abdul (of Live To Dance American Idol fame), and Cheryl Cole (from the UK X Factor).

Or so Simon Cowell hopes to announce soon, he reveals in an interview with Deadline.com.

“I’ve always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain,” Cowell tells the site. “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.”

Yes, you read right — Abdul’s deal isn’t done. In fact, talks haven’t even formally started yet. “But I think she’s got a really good shot,” Cowell says.

Cole, meanwhile, at least has been in negotiations with X Factor EP Cowell et al, though the British songstress is not yet signed.

Though Cole’s name has repeatedly popped up in speculation about X Factor judges, it oft has been met with skepticism that the veddy British personality (and her strong accent) will “translate” successfully with American audiences. Cowell, however, insists that Fox brass want her as badly as he does.

“This girl is special. She’s just got a great ability to communicate. She’s a great judge. She’s smart,” Cowell argues. “If people take to her like the British public did, I think she’s going to do really well in America.”