Paula Abdul joins Simon Cowell on "X Factor"

Sun May 8, 2011 6:52pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul reunited with Simon Cowell on Sunday, joining the celebrity panel on the upcoming U.S. version of the music impresario's TV talent show "The X Factor."

Abdul, whose love-hate professional relationship with the acerbic Cowell helped "American Idol" become the most-watched show on U.S. television, arrived in Los Angeles for the first "X Factor" auditions in front of judges.

"I'm thrilled," Abdul told Reuters Television. "It's a show you don't have to calculate or guess how you're going to approach it. I walk into this, it's a new journey. It's a brand new show and a new experience."

Abdul, who quit "Idol" two years ago in a contract dispute, will join Cowell, British singer Cheryl Cole and record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid on the "X Factor" judging panel.

Completing the celebrity talent, Fox announced on Saturday that former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and British TV presenter Steve Jones would co-host the show.

"The X Factor" is due to air on Fox in the fall, offering a $5 million prize and a recording contract for the winner.

Cowell has made no secret of his desire to work again with the volatile but endearing Abdul, a choreographer and pop singer.

"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," Cowell said in a statement on Sunday.

The celebrity line-up gives "X Factor" a strong British flavor and gambles on introducing new faces to prime-time U.S. television.   Continued...