Monday, June 17, 2024

Paula Abdul to Join “X Factor”: Scooped Here Last August


Simon Cowell is now saying what I told you last August: Paula Abdul will join him as a judge on “X Factor” this fall. This was known last summer. Here’s the link to my original story: When “X Factor” was conceived for America, this much was already on the table. Simon and Paula’s reunion is the single biggest publicity hook that “X Factor” has when it makes its American debut. Add to those judges L.A. Reid, who by September will be a Sony Music executive, and Brit singer Cheryl Cole. Will Mariah Carey pop in and make appearances? Possibly. She’d be the anti-Jennifer Lopez.

But here’s the reality: Cowell expected “American Idol” to tank in the ratings once he was gone. For a while he was right. But then the drama of a couple of good contestants really helped. And Steven Tyler turned out to be enough of his own  X factor that people have wanted to see what he’ll do each week. Jennifer Lopez–not a singer, but looking radiant every week, and expressing sympathy and encouragement to all players–is doing well. So Cowell needs his biggest gun. That’s Paula.

Reps, etc can say that Simon has been toying with different names for a long time. But I was told about Paula last summer, and it’s coming to pass.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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