Jessica, Mariah, Paula Among Frontrunners to Judge Cowell’s ‘X Factor’

by | March 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM | TV News

Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey (Photo: Jemal Countess/Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey (Photo: Jemal Countess/Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Simon Cowell could be reunited with his favorite person to roll his eyes over at the judging table.

Cowell’s former fellow “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul is reportedly on the short list of potential judges for his new Fox reality competition “The X Factor,” according to “Access Hollywood.”

“We’ve taken it down to a smaller group of people and she’s in that panel,” Simon said. “But, you know, it’s more than me who makes the decision.”

Also under consideration are George Michael, former Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger and Mariah Carey.

People also quoted a source saying Jessica Simpson is in the running. “No one has been offered a judging role yet as new names keep coming forward who want the role, but there are some frontrunners and it’s fair to say Jessica is one of them. She’s very keen,” said the source.

“It’s not about necessarily the TV show per se, it’s people. You genuinely gotta trust that they’re gonna be able to do the job you’re paying them to do. And like I said, a hit-maker who worked in America and has had experience, I think is crucial to this panel as well,” Cowell told “Access Hollywood.”

The format of the hit British show calls for the judges to serve as mentors to the contestants, working on music, dancers and styling.

The competition is open to groups as well as individuals, with the winner taking home a $5 million recording contract. “We want groups to audition, but any type of group — choirs. I’d like to find the next *NSYNC, the next Spice Girls, the next Jackson 5 … anything. So we’ve taken all the rules off,” Cowell said.

“X Factor” will premiere on Fox in the fall.

Watch Simon Cowell on “The Tonight Show”

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