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May 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Simon Cowell will have two familiar figures sitting next to him when the U.S. version of his The X Factor debuts in the fall — Cheryl Cole, who sat at the judge’s table with him on the British version of the show, and Paul Abdul, who sat at the judge’s table with him on American Idol. The deal with Abdul was struck at the eleventh hour on Saturday, and some reports suggest that not all the i’s have been dotted or the t’s crossed on it. But she was on hand for the tapings of the first X Factor auditions on Sunday, along with her co-judges and the shows new hosts, Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones, who were named on Saturday. Scherzinger was a member of the Pussycat Dolls singing group; Jones is a U.K TV host. Terms of the deal with Abdul were not disclosed. She reportedly left American Idol because she felt she was being stiffed by the show’s producers. But she proved to be no big draw when she fronted her own talent show on CBS, Live to Dance, last year — which flopped. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Cowell blamed “attorneys” for the delay in bringing Abdul on board, but he did not spell out the nature of the dispute. “The issue was that these conversations had gone on long enough. It’s not like I sprung this on somebody. I just thought it’s time for everyone to do their job and get the deal done. I couldn’t have sat in front of you lot and said (Paula) wanted to do the deal and we couldn’t.” He did intimate, however, that the deal Paula wanted was costly. “I admire that at the 11th hour, she decided to play hardball. It’s a little nuts,” he said. As for Abdul, just like old times, she again left reporters scratching their heads when she was asked about joining the show. For example: “Getting into that chemistry of what’s gonna happen, you have to throw it all away … anything goes.”