These past few months must have been hell for Simon Cowell, but he can rest assured that he has at least one new judge nailed down for the second season of X Factor USA. Britney Spears has signed on the dotted line.
Both Us Weekly
and E! News
have confirmation of the deal but, as it happens, no one directly involved with the project has spoken out just yet.
The first season of X Factor USA ended in a bloodbath, with Cowell ruling that both Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul had to go because they were partly responsible for the decreased interest in the show.
Also then, he fired host Steve Jones as well, reportedly because he had obvious issues with dealing with contestants under pressure.
Since then, various names have been attached to the vacant positions, from Mariah Carey to Katy Perry, Janet Jackson and, as of late, Britney Spears.
The Princess of Pop was offered $10 million
(€7.63 million) for the job, but insiders were saying her team was holding out for more.
It seems that they and network bosses have finally reached an agreement and Britney is officially on board.
“A source confirms to Us Weekly that Spears will join Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid as a judge,” Us Weekly reports.
“There's been a lot of back and forth over the past few weeks as they negotiated the small details, but she's on. It's all completed and Britney is beyond excited,” a source also says for E! News.
“She's ready for this. She can't wait to sit down next to Simon [Cowell] at the judges' table and give this everything she's got. She is excited about showing the world that she can do this, and do this well. This is the perfect next stage in her career. Both Britney and Simon are very excited to work together,” the same insider adds.
What is not mentioned is that, since her 2008 meltdown, Britney Spears doesn't do press anymore (except for pre-approved televised interviews, which are very rare, and e-mail interviews) and her image is entirely and very carefully handled
by her PR team because she can't afford to have another misstep.
In other words, it will be interesting to see how she connects with the contestants and the audience during the live shows.