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

“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.”

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  1. Alex says:

    I’ll be over the moon if Cheryl Cole is at that judges table come next fall

    • Stacie says:

      I hope Paula joins the panel. I have head good things about Cheryl Cole. But Paula just adds that extra dimension. She could be a loon, but her with Simon again would be great TV. Especially after the dreck that American Idol has turned into with these very vanilla judges.

    • Christina says:

      I will be too. Cheryl is a dynamic personality on the UK X-Factor, and has great chemistry with Simon. I think the American audience will take to her, if they can understand her accent!

  2. Stacey says:

    Why would Simon announce Paula’s name if her deal has not even been negotiated, or started yet. Something tells me he wanted to take some of hype away from The Voice. And knows just announcing Chery’s name will be no big whoopla. But announcing Paula also in talks, gets more talk even though it sounds like it’s no sure thing.

    And I am not even sure it would work with X Factor. American Idol is one thing. But doing it again, with X Factor is another question all together. Totally different show.

    Who knows, but I sorta hope Paula falls through. Paula showed going to a new voice competition didn’t work. Even with Simon, who knows if people will respond.

    • baj24 says:

      I don’t think that “The Voice” has anything to do with it. “The Voice” premieres on Tuesday and “X-Factor” doesn’t come on until Fall so they aren’t exactly competitors.

      • Stacey says:

        True. But on the week the Voice premieres, he puts this out even though it’s not even finalized or even entered into negotiations on the part of Paula. It’s like he’s trying to hype up his show given minus the blind auditions, The Voice is pretty much X Factor. Just with celeb judges and blind auditions…

    • BRETT says:

      The fact that you think THE VOICE is an actual contender up against something like X FACTOR is hilarious. THE VOICE will not last long – just watch and see…

      • Chance says:

        X-Factor doesn’t premiere til September, The Voice (which begins tomorrow) won’t be going up against X-Factor.

  3. Kirk says:

    I hope Cheryl makes it to the judges panel too. I’m hoping no Paula though, someone who can actually give constructive criticism would be nice.

  4. Scott says:

    Love Paula. She will be amazing

  5. AlistairCrane says:

    I hope it’s Paula. Then the REAL American Idol judge panel will be reunited on X Factor!!

  6. Rolfe says:

    So excited! Finally!

  7. TVDIVA says:

    Paula and Simon together again would be great. Simon is correct that they do have a chemistry together that works and their comments on the contestants balance each other – good cop/bad cop style. Simon is an astute businessman and I cannot imagine him spilling the beans on judges if they do not have iron clad contracts in their hands. If that is the case, then Abdul may be just wishful thinking.

  8. Joe B. says:

    Paula? (Sighs noticeably, checks the medicine cabinet to see if there’s anything he can send her to keep her alert)

    I was really hoping that Cowell would pull George Michael, but I think he would have said something by now.

  9. xav says:

    I love Paula because she gives the most ridiculous reviews and I love Cheryl because she has the best facial expressions ever. But after all those years on American Idol Paula bores me; her schtick is old.

  10. JohnDoe says:

    Can’t wait. This is gonna blow that tired American Idol crap out of the water.

  11. Lisa says:


  12. Charisma says:

    I’m sorry but as a viewer from the UK, Cheryl wasn’t really a good judge or mentor. Some of the crtique she gave to the singers was ridiculous. Especially when she brought up tabloid rumours to another contestant. Saying that, Simon was a pretty bad mentor last season as well. The only respectable one was Dannii. Louis was just funny.

    • JE says:

      what? in 3 years two of her contestants have won the show and last year on of her contestants was runner-up.

      Watch auditions from 2008 and 2009 before she got malaria last year, she was amazing, a lot better than a lot of our US judges.

      • Charisma says:

        Ditto to what Kate said. Also, someone who’s going to be a judge on an American show should probably have an idea on how the industry works in America…

    • Kate says:

      Her ‘mentorees’ winning had nothing to do with her being a mentor, and it was only two Alexandra Burke who was by far the strongest contender that year, and Joe McElderry who got the awww isnt he cute vote! You watch the songs she chooses, she has no idea about music, she has no range outside of what the general public knows, she is awful, but if her bieng in the US means we dont have to have go for it!

  13. John says:

    I’ve watched the last few seasons of X Factor online. The first year, I adored Cheryl, but had problems understanding what she said. Since then, there hasn’t been a problem. She’s great

  14. peanut says:

    I am Canadian, but if I were American I would resent that they were having judges from another country judging American singers. It’s as if they can’t find a suitable American judge.

    • Clarissa says:

      If “AMERICA’S got Talent” can have all three judges be from different countries, then “X-Factor” should be able to as well.

    • Alex says:

      And that’s why you’re not American

      • Lisa says:

        No, @peanut’s part of the country with the highest rating for multicultural tolerance in the world, unlike the United States. Her/his point was simply that the cultural norms of both countries just don’t always translate.

  15. Clarissa says:

    I love both Cheryl and Paula, but I don’t think the panel can work with both of them there at the same time. I’m hoping he goes with Cheryl. I’ve always loved her and Simon’s interactions on the UK show.

  16. DennyS says:

    Cheryl left X Factor UK to join X Factor US ? Sounds like a backstabbing itch to me. I know it’s business and all but I can’t help but think badly of someone who can leave their show to join another THAT easily.

    • ZebedeeDooDah says:

      To be fair, the X-Factor in the UK belongs to Simon Cowell, he created it and he brought Cheryl Cole on as a judge. Her going to America with Simon could be seen as a loyal.

    • debbie says:

      Cheryl is extremely ambitious and as fake as they come. American viewers are not going to like all the fawning Simon does over her. She cant even sing live herself. Shocked that she has been chosen as a judge as her decisions on who to put through in the latest British series led to thousands of complaints that she didnt have a clue what she was doing.

  17. Sue says:

    I hope Paula will be a judge. I think Cheryl should stay in the UK we don’t need her and her voice is annoying.

    • Woodspring says:

      Ever heard of Randy Jackson? With his incessant insistence on calling everyone Dude or Dog regardless of gender.
      “Yo, yo, yo, dog……..dude, yo listen dog”
      Now that’s annoying!

  18. Brock says:

    Paula was soooo articulate on LIVE 2 Dance which was a world from her Idol days. If she can stay off the pills/booze then I think she’ll work well. It was when she critiqued Jason Castro for a performance he hadn’t even done that I knew the girl had reallllly lost it. ;)

  19. Jane Davies says:

    I am British and think it would be a big mistake to have both Paul and Cheryl as judges on the X Factor America will not get Cheryl it just has to be Paula.

  20. PHIL says:


  21. tash says:

    Cole is a rubbish judge, she has no talent what so ever, she also has been convicted of racially attacking someone. She even left her acts to go america to sort her own stuff out shows how selfish she is.

    • Sarah says:

      She hasn’t been convicted of racially assaulting someone, that’s libelous

      • ZebedeeDooDah says:

        You’re right. She was convicted (a fine and community service) of assault, which the other woman claimed was racially motivated. But it was her word against Cole’s, no evidence for it.

  22. teresa says:

    I am shocked the unknown Cheryl Cole is being considered at all. She has a conviction for assault against a black woman. Very nasty incident.

  23. Christina says:

    I like the Cheryl decision. She’s a great personality, and works well with Simon. But Paula??? Didn’t 8 seasons of American Idol prove anything?

  24. liz says:

    Omg Paula!!! this is gonna be awesome.

  25. aimee says:

    I hate the argument Cheryl Cole has won twice so she is a good mentor… she is consistently given what is thought to be the strongest category every single year.

  26. Telugu News says:

    Awesome dude ….. .

  27. Jessicake says:

    If Paula is a judge, I’m out. She does not make for good TV. When she’s straight, she has nothing interesting or helpful to say. When she’s messed up, every second that she is mumbling and slurring her useless ‘advice’ seems to take an hour. There is nothing fun about seeing that. And she and Simon are a nightmare together. Two adults interacting like 7-year-olds who have a crush on each other is not cute or entertaining. At all. It is embarrassing just to watch.

  28. markc says:

    Please not Cheryl. Watching her asnd Simon fawning over each other got very tiresome in the UK. At least she is leaving our version. She has no real talent and I find it offensive that Cowell thinks she is qualified to judge others.

  29. Joshua says:

    Cheryl is a poor judge. She can’t really give any constructive criticism, usually she reels out well known quotes like ‘you’re right up my street!’ or ‘I wasn’t really feeling that’. If she gets the US X Factor job, its all down to Simon’s power – he LOVES her.

    Her singing voice isn’t up to much either.

  30. Sophie says:

    I really hope Paula ends up on the panel. Idol just isn’t the same without her, as much as I love JLo.

    As a girl from London, I see Cheryl in our media a lot and I think she’s a great judge on shows like these. X Factor US would be lucky to have her and she and Simon have some great chemistry going on. I think she and Paula would be really good together since they’re both so sweet and I’d love to see them gang up on Simon when he’s being an ass!

    Cheryl knows her stuff in these competitions – she got famous because she won one ages ago, and she’s done so well for herself. She’s been an awesome judge here and even though I don’t get to see her on our X Factor anymore, I’ll be happy to see her do well in the US!

  31. isabel says:

    Cheryl Cole all the way!

  32. Tammy says:

    Cheryl dont know the US music industry she hasnt cracked it there yet so would be a bad choice, Simon should get someone like Taylor Swift, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyonce or Lady Gaga as judges

  33. sarah says:

    Please, please have Cheryl Cole. If it means she is over in the States and not here I will be very happy. Cole is extremely overrated, beautiful, but not particulary blessed with talent. Cowell wants her on his team because she always backs him up. Dannii Minogue is a far better judge for the UK X Factor, so long as we keep her, all will be well.

  34. Kim says:

    Its all british voting for cheryl because us americans dont want her, simon promised us a superstar! as much as i love paula shes not a superstar at the minute but of course i want her on the show

  35. Philip says:

    Who’s the 4th female on the picture on the front of the article? Is it Katy Perry? I know it’s Cheryl, Paula and Mariah, but who’s the 4th they allude to? I’ve read both articles and they only mention the first three and here they only mention Cheryl and Paula, but show 4 faces. So who is it?

  36. Sharon Pelletier says:

    I’m going to be afraid if Cheryl gets it and Paula doesn’t. I looked at videos of Cheryl and Simon and Simon said he wanted to kiss her and they look like their getting close like Paula and Simon used to be. It will be interesting if both of them get it……..:(

    • Daniela Albert says:

      I know!!!!!!! It would be weird. What if they got in a fight over him and and he had to break it up! That would be so awkward. And then even worse Paula would probably ignore Simon and then she will just watch Cheryl talk to Simon like she used to and her heart will be broken. </3 Saula!!!!!!!!!! <3

      • Anna says:

        It’s embarrassing reading posts like these. Reality check, there’s no such thing as Saula in the real world. It’s all an act.

  37. betsy says:

    I’m sorry, I’m sure Paula is a very nice person, but she was annoying as hell on American Idol and I don’t think she should be a judge on any talent show. Blah.

  38. Leon says:

    Paula is gonna be an awesome mentor! You all doubt Paula but she is a loving person who will bring alot tongue contestants and she’s a dancer so that gives the people she mentors an advantage too! Don’t sleep on ms Abdul

  39. Jess says:

    Seriously, does anyone give two figs about Cheryl Cole in America? I’m confident that if I stopped 100 people on the street and asked if they knew who she was, probably two of them would know…and that’s being generous.

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