Is Simon Cowell courting Cheryl Cole AND his former "American Idol" colleague, Paula Abdul, for his new FOX talent series "The X Factor?"
Cole, a 27-year-old British pop singer, has been a judge on the original UK version of the talent series since 2008 and it has been reported for weeks that she may join Cowell on the panel on a U.S. adaptation of the show that he is launching in the United States this fall.
"If people take to her like the British public did, I think she's going to do really well in America," Deadline.com quoted Cowell as saying about Cole. "And FOX was desperate to hire her."
He also said: "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 ... 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."
Cole, Abdul, Cowell and FOX have not commented publicly. Cowell's spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Monday, April 25 that Grammy-winning music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid is the only person who has been confirmed to serve as a judge for "The X Factor" in the United States. His role was announced in March.
Cowell's representative told The Hollywood Reporter that Paula is "one of many people Simon is talking to" about the U.S. version of "The X Factor."
Cowell left "American Idol" in 2010, a year after Abdul quit the show after serving on its judging panel with the British music mogul since the program's debut in 2002. Abdul launched her own talent series, "Live To Dance," on CBS earlier this year. The show received lackluster ratings and was not renewed for a second season, TVLine.com reported.
Auditions for the U.S. version of "The X Factor" are currently being held across the United States. The show is seeking undiscovered talent 12 years old or over, in solo artists or groups who will perform in front of the panel in hopes of winning a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.
Check out the "X Factor" audition dates and a promo below.
April 27, 2011 - Chicago, IL, Sears Centre Arena
May 25, 2011 - Dallas, TX, Dallas Convention Center