And the wheels of Simon Cowell’s X-Factor machine grind ever onward. In the latest — and by our lights, biggest — hiring news from the mogul’s turbulent franchise, saucy schoolgirl-turned-femme fatale Britney Spears has reportedly signed a deal to judge X Factor U.S.A.
“The contract is signed,” an excitable “source close to the star” said in an exclusive from E! Online. “There’s been a lot of back and forth over the past few weeks as they negotiated the small details, but she’s on. It’s all completed and Britney is beyond excited.”
Her excitement is unsurprising, as Spears will apparently be earning $15 million for just one season on the show. That’s basically a few months of hollering, “I love you!” to strong single mothers with improbably mellifluous vocal chords, and “you will never succeed, I am repelled by every aspect of your person and soul” to everyone else involved. And intermittently looking distressed.
Fox has not yet verified the deal, although it is expected to announce final details about the show on Monday. Still, the source goes on:
“She’s ready for this … She can’t wait to sit down next to Simon at the judges’ table and give this everything she’s got. She is excited about showing the world that she can do this, and do this well. This is the perfect next stage in her career. Both Britney and Simon are very excited to work together.”
But Britney had best not get too comfortable: in the space of two seasons, Cowell has already parted ways with Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Welsh TV presenter Steve Jones and Cheryl Cole, a former judge on the UK version of the show, in an effort to find the right mix of personalities.
Assuming the Spears gig comes through, that leaves one more open slot alongside her, Cowell and music producer L.A. Reid. Among the rumored contestants vying for the seat are Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and LeAnn Rimes. If Cowell can’t decide, though, we have a humble suggestion: Cancel the next season of X-Factor and replace it with America’s Next Top X-Factor Judge.