With the shocking firings of judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger from Fox’s “The X-Factor,” creator Simon Cowell is on the hunt for a new high-profile judge to take their seat. The name that keeps popping up in conversation is none other than Britney Spears.
For several weeks, the blogosphere and various entertainment news sites have all picked up on rumors and statements from insiders claiming that Cowell is desperately trying to get pop superstar Britney Spears to be the colossal star power draw to “The X-Factor,” which failed to live up to expectations in the ratings following its first season. Reports indicate that Spears is in final negotiations to sign with the reality singing competition show, but that an initial $10 million offering and a 2-year commitment to the show are areas of the contract Spears wants to tweak, and rightfully so. As of now, Spears is said to be nearing a contract that would pay her $15 million, tying her with Ryan Seacrest as the highest paid reality show personality and would make her fiancé Jason Trawick an executive producer with the show.
Spears is not some washed-up pop star who would be getting a second career wind by signing onto “The X-Factor.” She is still a bonafide star and a force to be reckoned with in music. Just this past year, Spears released a hit album (her seventh) that spawned four massive singles and resulted in a top-grossing world tour. That hardly sounds like someone who’s in dire need of a day job like “The X-Factor” to keep their star power shining. Naturally, reports claim that Spears is holding out for more money and the ability to jump ship after one season should she find that judging new talent just doesn’t suit her.
If Spears were to become a judge, “The X-Factor” would undoubtedly become must-see television and be the ratings ploy and cash-cow the network and Cowell are hoping for. At least for the first few weeks, many people will tune in out of sheer curiosity just to see how Britney Spears performs in such a drastically different role. Because Spears is such a mysterious figure now publicly, and has lately managed to avoid much of the limelight that led to her struggles in the past, it will be interesting to see if she’s ready to thrust herself in front of millions of Americans every week on a show such as this. She’s got the name, the face, the brand, the hits and the recognition that make the idea of her joining “The X-Factor” pristine. It would also place her in some juicy competition with Jennifer Lopez on “American Idol” and former “Mickey Mouse Club” castmate/frenemy Christina Aguilera on “The Voice.”
One has to wonder though, in the end, if Spears is too big a name for her to take this job. Clearly she still has the ability to sell records and perform in sold-out arenas. Would a gig such as judging a singing competition stifle such an illustrious and tenacious career? Only Britney knows the answer.