*Simon Cowell’s rep is shooting down a report that he has determined the judges panel for the U.S. version of his show “The X Factor” and that it will include Paula Abdul.
“It’s still playing out,” Cowell’s rep told The Hollywood Reporter. “Nothing is set, and Paula is one of many people Simon is talking to. He’s said the same thing many times, including on the radio last week. There’s nothing new.”
It’s been widely reported for months that Cowell has had his sights set on Abdul, his former “American Idol” colleague, as well as Cheryl Cole, who served as a judge alongside Cowell on the British version of “X Factor.” He began discussions with the two as early as October.
But Cowell also has floated several other names over the past few months — including George Michael; former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger; and Mariah Carey — as potential judges on the Fox singing competition, which premieres in the fall.
As previously reported, Antonio “L.A.” Reid has already signed on to serve as a judge alongside Cowell. The panel is expected to include four judges.
Reid stepped down from his post as chairman of Island Def Jam to take the “X Factor” gig; it is believed he will land a position at Sony Music, which is awarding the winner of the show a recording contract worth $5 million.
Auditions for the show began March 27 in Los Angeles.