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Abdul rejoins Cowell as ’X Factor’ judge

NEW YORK (AP) — Paula Abdul will be back at the judging table with Simon Cowell, this time on Fox’s “The X Factor,” a person familiar with the negotiations said Saturday.

Though widely expected, confirmation of Abdul’s joining the new singing contest was held up as negotiations continued until the eve of the show’s first taping, according to the person familiar with the talks. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because Fox and the show’s producers had not authorized public comment.

Representatives for Abdul did not respond to requests for comment.

Whatever the holdup, it had nothing to do with any prior commitment between Abdul and CBS, which featured her on “Live to Dance” earlier this year. She was recently released by the network from any further obligations, a person at CBS said Saturday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the network had not authorized public discussion of the issue.

“Live to Dance” was a talent competition series starring Abdul that premiered on CBS in January. It was a ratings flop.

Abdul will be on hand for Sunday’s taping in Los Angeles of the first judging session for “The X Factor.” This will reunite her with fellow judge Cowell, her former sparring partner on the “American Idol” judging panel. Other previously announced judges include British pop superstar Cheryl Cole and Grammy-winning producer Antonio “L.A.” Reid.

“The X Factor,” based on Cowell’s hit British show, will debut this fall on Fox.

The 48-year-old Abdul is a dancer, choreographer and recording artist. She reigned on “Idol” as the nice if sometimes dizzy-seeming judge who often clashed colorfully with Cowell in his role as resident bullyboy. She left “Idol” in 2009, after eight seasons.

Late Saturday, Fox confirmed that co-hosts of “The X Factor” will be Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger. Jones is a popular TV host in Britain. Scherzinger is a former member of the girl group the Pussycat Dolls who has appeared on the British version of “The X Factor.”

“The X Factor” is open to solo singers and vocal groups age 12 and up. The winner will get a $5 million record contract.

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Online:

www.fox.com/theXfactor

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