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April 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Although he says he’s still open to other possibilities and deals have not been completed, Simon Cowell has told blogger Nikki Finke that he expects singers Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole will join producer L.A. Reid and himself on the judging panel of the U.S. version of The X Factor when it debuts in September. Despite the fact that Cole is virtually unknown in the U.S. (Finke referred to her as “this Cole woman”), Cowell said that she is “pretty much a shoo-in for the show.” He said that when he first invited her to become a judge on the U.K. version of Factor, he did so because “I thought she was bright, cute, knew what she was talking about, ambitious. And you meet someone special a few times in your life.. And this girl is special. She’s just got a great ability to communicate. She’s a great judge.” As for Abdul, Cowell said, “I’ve always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. And I’ve been consistent about this. I don’t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she’s right. I’ve never found anyone better than her.” He did not indicate whether talks with Abdul about her fee had begun. She reportedly quit American Idol after rejecting an offer of about $5 million per year on a new contract. Under her previous contract she reportedly received $2 million per year.