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Phew! All the speculation over who Simon Cowell will pay entirely too much to join the judges on the American version of The X Factor in a clear attempt to draw their fan base to the show and improve rating can end. Thank goodness. The winner is none other than Miss Britney Spears.
By “winner,” we mean that Britney’s people and Cowell’s people finally agreed on an absurd salary that they can both live with. The end result is $15 million for one season.
Ever since Cowell canned Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, and Steve Jones after the first season, rumors of their potential celebrity replacements have been swirling. Stars ranging from Fergie, Gwen Stefani, Beyonce, the late Whitney Houston, and Janet Jackson have all been rumored at one point as being considered for the empty positions. Many of the stars have poo-pooed the talk as rumors, but others – like Miley Cyrus and LeAnn Rimes – appear to be legitimately talking with Cowell’s people and considering the job.
As the first new judge confirmed, Britney will be planting her toned derriere next to Cowell and L.A. Reid this fall to offer encouragement and carefully worded constructive criticism to youngsters vying for their big break into Hollywood.
“The contract is signed,” a source close to Britney confirmed. “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."
How will Britney do when face-to-face with the meanest Brit in reality television? It sounds like she’s not intimidated.
"She's ready for this," an insider in the Spears camp said. "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."
Britney’s only other experience with reality television was her series Britney & Kevin: Chaotic with then-husband Kevin Federline, which did not go over so well. The UPN series lasted a mere one month in 2005 and received unanimous negative reviews.
But 2005 was ages ago. Britney is a changed woman since then, having become a mom twice over, divorced, endured multiple public meltdowns, taken a (much-needed) hiatus from the spotlight, gotten (recently) engaged and is now back on the road to rebuilding her career. It seems Britney has stabilized herself and is in a good place to give put herself out there to the public in an unscripted environment. Best of luck Brit-Brit – we’re rooting for you!