*It’s been previously confirmed that Whitney Houston had expressed interest in becoming a judge on Fox’s “The X Factor” before her death, and that her name was mentioned with a number of other high-profile celebs to fill the two judging vacancies left by Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
While Mariah Carey appears to be Cowell’s dream casting, Janet Jackson is confirmed as being in preliminary talks with the show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, L.A. Reid primarily dealt with the Whitney’s camp, though talks seemed very premature at the time of her death.
“We love Whitney and we would have certainly considered it,” Reid says. “The truth is it never quite came to that. There was an interest there, but we never actually had meetings about it. But again, we’re both big fans of Whitney and we’re very sad about the loss. But we really didn’t get that far, so I don’t think it’s proper to comment beyond that.”
As far as planning some kind of tribute for Houston on the second season, Reid says he has wanted to pitch it to Cowell. But, the executive producer seems to have one eye on the competition at all times right now.
“I have a feeling, L.A., just a hunch,” he says to the Epic Records exec. “That you may see a Whitney tribute on ‘The Voice’ and ‘Idol’ before us. In which case if we decide to do it, we have to do it in a different way. But, the important thing is that we’re going to continually pay tribute to Whitney Houston on this show, because we love her, we love her songs, and there will probably never be a season where you won’t hear a Whitney song. They’re timeless.”