Cheryl Cole has been confirmed as a judge for the U.S. version of the singing contest series "The X Factor," joining the acerbic Simon Cowell and music mogul L.A. Reid.
A fourth judge is also set to be announced, FOX said in a statement ahead of the show's debut in the fall of 2011 on the FOX network, which also airs "American Idol," the hit series with a similar format that Cowell had left last year.
"I'm thrilled for Cheryl," Cowell said in a statement provided by FOX. "She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with. She is also a complete brat! Most importantly, this girl can spot talent."
Cole, a 27-year-old British pop singer who rose to fame as a member of the group Girls Aloud, sat alongside Cowell on the judging panel of the UK version of "The X Factor" for three years. It has been reported for weeks that she was in talks to join the U.S. adaptation of the program, which Cowell is spearheading.
"I'm so excited to be taking part in the American version of 'The X Factor," Cole said. "I absolutely love it here in the UK and with the talent they have out in America, I'm sure we're going to find someone very special. I can't wait to get started."
"I just can't decide whether I am more excited to find and nurture the talent or for the unbelievable amount of amusement and entertainment I will have watching Simon doing everything and anything he can to beat me," she added. "He's tried to beat me for three years in the U.K., and hasn't even come close. His ego must be so bruised. America is gonna love this."
Speculation on who will serve as the fourth judge continues. It was reported in late April that Cowell was courting his former "American Idol" colleague Paula Abdul for "The X Factor." She has not commented.
"I've always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that," Deadline.com quoted Cowell as saying. "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."
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.
There are several differences between "The X Factor" and "American Idol," whose contestants are first revealed to viewers via taped auditions in a small room before the show's judges. "The X Factor" contestants' first on-air tryouts will take place in front of an audience of thousands of other people as well. Also, while "American Idol" aims to find the best solo singer, "The X Factor" expands its search to include a "breakout music group."
"The X Factor" has been the United Kingdom's top-rated program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million for its 2010 finale, FOX said.
Auditions for the U.S. version of "The X Factor" began weeks ago. 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.
May 26, 2011 - Dallas, TX, Dallas Convention Center
Through Sunday, May 8, "The X Factor" hopefuls may also audition in specially built high-definition recording studios in Honolulu, HI; Phoenix, AZ; Nashville, TN; Anchorage, AK; Kansas City, KS; and Denver, CO.