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Cheryl Cole

X-Factor Nicole Scherzinger, Cheryl Cole, and Paula Abdul

It’s official! Following months of speculation, Simon Cowell confirmed over the weekend that Paula Abdul will indeed be a judge on his new show The X-Factor.

“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this, [but] I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” Simon, 51, said in a statement Sunday afternoon about reuniting with Paula, 48, after judging with her on American Idol.

Paula also expressed her excitement at having a job again doing the show. “I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor,” said Paula. “I couldn’t be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show.”

And despite the rumors that Nicole Scherzinger would be a judge on the show, it was announced yesterday that she will co-host the new series with British TV personality Steve Jones.

X-Factor began its first round of auditions in Los Angeles yesterday and is scheduled to debut in September. Joining Paula and Simon on the judging panel are British singer Cheryl Cole and former Def Jam president L.A. Reid. Simon announced months ago that the winner of the competition will receive an astonishing $5 million recording deal!

Photos below from yesterday’s LA auditions!

TELL US – ARE YOU EXCITED TO SEE PAULA RETURN TO TV? THOUGHTS ON THE X-FACTOR SHOW & JUDGING PANEL?

Following two major commercials on Sunday’s Superbowl, Simon Cowell is now revealing more details about the upcoming reality show – The X Factor (the American version).

While the full list of judges has yet to be selected, Simon does confirm he will be a judge on the show. “Once the show goes into production, I become a judge,” Simon told reporters Monday. “Then I have to put my trust into the producers’ hands, which is effectively how it works in the U.K. Yes, I am judging.”

Simon will also serve as an executive producer on the show, while helping in the selection of the judging panel. Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Simpson, Paula Abdul, Rihanna, Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry and Will Smith are just some of the names that have been rumored as possible judges on the show.

So should we expect a nicer Simon on this new show? “I am gong to try and be consistent, as I have been over the years … People know what to expect if I’m on the judging panel. I don’t think things will change too much,” he said. We’ll take that as a no.

As for Simon’s thoughts or critique rather on the current and 10th season of American Idol, Simon reveals he is not an avid watcher. “I haven’t seen a full episode. I’ve seen three minutes of a recap. From what I’ve seen and from what I’ve heard, it all seems to be going well.”

According to Simon, he is hoping to make the announcement of the judges in three to four weeks. The winner of X Factor will also be awarded a $5 million record deal, in what is being called the largest guaranteed prize in TV history.

TELL US – ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO X-FACTOR? HAVING SIMON BACK ON TV?

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