Nikki Finke posted an interview with Simon on Deadline Hollywood yesterday, and while the piece ran through the gamut of artists whose names have been thrown around as possible judges (Mariah Carey, Cee Lo Green, Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, etc.), it mainly focuses on Paula and Girls Aloud chirper Cheryl Cole, who is a three-season X Factor vet via the original UK series.
Simon says about Paula:
“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.”
Simon says about Cheryl:
“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.”
The writeup points out that negotiations with Abdul haven’t even begun, and the paperwork isn’t quite finalized yet for Cole (despite earlier reports that it was a done deal) . But if all goes according to Simon’s plan, this would give viewers a Cowell, Paula, Cheryl and L.A. Reid panel — a little something old for those Idol purists mentioned before and something new with regards to judges the American public at large might not recognize yet.
We’ll be watching The X Factor either way, but the addition of Paula does spice things up, and add a bit of built-in excitement given her longstanding chemistry with Simon.
Let us know what you think. Is this a X Factor panel you’d be happy with?