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OTRC: Paula Abdul officially becomes fourth 'X Factor' judge

Paul Abdul in a promotional photo for 'Live to Dance' in 2010. (CBS / Miranda Penn Turin)

Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell will sit together at a judges' table once again as FOX announced on Sunday, May 7, that she will be the fourth judge on "The X Factor."

Abdul joined Cowell and fellow judges Cheryl Cole and Antonia "L.A." Reid at the show's first auditions in Los Angeles.

"This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can't believe I am saying this - I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she's on the show," Cowell said in a statement provided by FOX.

"I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor," Abdul said. "I couldn't be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show.

"Im looking forward to being back with the FOX/FremantleMedia family and know that it will be an extraordinary journey -- we're going to have a blast," she added. "I'm also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again...but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!"

The 48-year-old was in negotiations to join the show right up until the last minute, according to reports.

After leaving "American Idol" in 2009, Abdul launched her own talent series, "Live To Dance," on CBS earlier this year, which suffered from lackluster ratings. The Associated Press report claims she was recently released by the network from any further obligations.

Cowell, who is launching the United States version of "The X Factor," had been open about his desire to work with Abdul again.

"I've always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that," Cowell told Deadline.com in an interview in April. "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."

Last week, British singer and UK "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole was confirmed as a judge for the U.S. version of the singing contest series, officially joining Cowell and music mogul Reid.

"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 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.

Antonio "L.A." Reid's role on the show was announced in March.

On Saturday it was reported that Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones will be the hosts of the U.S. version of the singing contest series.

Scherzinger, 32, is a former member of the girl group the Pussycat Dolls and appeared on the UK version of "X-Factor" while Jones, 34, has hosted several shows in the UK, including "T4 Music" and "As Seen on TV."

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" promo below.

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