“The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell is denying recent tabloid reports that British singer Cheryl Cole has been rejected to be a judge on “The X Factor” U.S., which premieres on Fox in September 2011. Cowell says that Cole is still “in the running” for the job.
In an Arizona Republic interview that was published on March 21, 2011, Cowell was asked about the latest update on “The X Factor” judging panel:
Q: So is Cheryl Cole still in the running?
A: She’s in the running, certainly. Cheryl’s a great judge and she did a fantastic job for three years in England. She’s incredibly popular and very talented, and I believe the American public would feel the same way about her as they do in England.
Q: Can you say who else is in the running?
A: (Long pause) I’m not going to. I’d probably offend somebody (by leaving them out). If you have been reading the stories, you’ve probably got the right names.
Cowell and former Island Def Jam Music Group chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid are the only two judges officially announced so far for the show. The other two judges on the panel are expected to announced in March 2011 or early April 2011. Cowell has been saying in recent interviews that there will be a balance of the sexes on the judging panel. In other words, expect the show’s other two judges to be women.
In the Arizona Republic interview, Cowell commented on Reid, saying that there “was no second choice” when it came to choosing another music executive/producer on “The X Factor” U.S. judging panel. Cowell also described Reid’s personality: “He’s very cool, a real gentleman, but he’s somebody who is infectious, and he isn’t shy about being on TV.”
The Sun and other tabloids have been reporting that Cole was rejected for the job because Fox executives think that she is not a big-enough star in the United States. Cole rose to fame as a member of Girls Aloud, and she has since launched a solo career. Cole has also been a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. since 2008.
As previously reported, Cole has been considered a top contender all along to be a judge on “The X Factor” U.S.
Cowell will no doubt be asked about “The X Factor” judge rumors when he does a live Twitter chat with the public on March 22, 2011 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
UPDATE: In the live Twitter chat, Cowell once again confirmed that Cole is still in the running to be an “X Factor” U.S. judge. When asked, “Will Cheryl Cole be a judge?,” Cowell tweeted: “Cheryl is in the mix, talking to the network this week, hope to announce the 2 remaining judges very shortly.”