LOS ANGELES (AP) - Britney Spears is coming to the rescue of
Fox's "The X Factor," the singing contest in search of a ratings
The Grammy-winning pop star has signed on as a judge for the
show's second season, a person familiar with the deal said
Thursday. The person was not authorized to publicly discuss details
and spoke on condition of anonymity.
A call to Spears' publicist seeking comment was not immediately
"The X Factor" debuted last fall to ratings that fell short of
creator Simon Cowell's sky-high predictions. The show's slate was
wiped nearly clean in January when judges Paula Abdul and Nicole
Scherzinger exited along with host Steve Jones.
That left Cowell and music producer Antonio "L.A." Reid as
judges on "X Factor," which is based on Cowell's hit U.K. series.
Spears signed a one-year, $15 million contract, E! News reported
Wednesday, citing an unidentified source.
Fox declined to comment on Spears or other cast additions for
"The X Factor."
Shock jock Howard Stern, however, didn't hold back at a news
conference in New York touting his own new TV gig.
"I think Britney is going to stand there and eat a lollipop and
wear a sexy outfit and I don't expect great opinions out of her.
I'll tune in and see what kind of a train wreck she is," said
Stern, who debuts Monday as a judge on NBC's "America's Got
Spears, 30, is a former child performer who became an
international star with her 1999 debut album, "Baby One More
Time." More hits followed, including "Oops!.. I Did It Again"
and "Toxic," but her personal life was difficult, including rehab
spells and time in a psychiatric ward.
Last fall, as she toured in support of her seventh album, the
hit "Femme Fatale," she told The Associated Press in London: "I
hear the older you get, the wiser you get and the more you know
what you want - so hopefully it'll be a good year."
The "X Factor" job comes at a time of change. In April, her
fiance, Jason Trawick, got approval from a Superior Court judge to
become a co-conservator over the singer, joining her father in that
Earlier this year, Cowell was coy about rumors that Spears, as
well as Fergie and Janet Jackson, were under consideration for the
He was also guarded about how "X Factor" will fare when it
returns this fall. After Cowell predicted it would be a hit in its
freshman outing with 20 million viewers, the show averaged around
12 million weekly viewers, which is respectable but not a
Melanie Amaro was the winner of the show's first season.
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