Simon Cowell has hinted that he wants to reload the judges panel on “X Factor” with two new women and according to reports, he’s close to landing a superstar who might help the second season of his talent contest much more interesting. While names including Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey floating around as possible replacements for Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul,
the buzz has continued to focus on Britney Spears.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Spears’ fiancé/agent, Jason Trawick, is on the verge of closing a deal as early as next week. If Spears did take the gig, Deadline Hollywood reports that it could come with a $10 million payday.
Cowell has played it coy with the Spears rumors over the past several weeks, telling reporters in a conference call that “there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns over the next few weeks and a lot of things we’re going to announce.” A spokesperson for “Factor” could not be reached for comment at press time.
After some major hype from Cowell, “Factor” underperformed in its first season — putting up solid numbers, but not the gaudy ones Simon had predicted. As a result, he blew up the judging panel, keeping just music executive L.A. Reid by his side and canning host Steve Jones.
Cowell reportedly reached out personally to Spears to get the conversation rolling and he’s been talking her up lately, saying in that same conference call, “are we flattered there would be interest from Britney Spears? Yes.” In a later interview, he said he was “fascinated” with Spears and praised her for resilience after a rough period during which she endured some very public personal struggles.