The fall lineup of The X Factor will be announced today during the Fox network’s upfront presentations, and the judging panel will reportedly consist of Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato. News of the addition of 19-year-old “Give Your Heart A Break” songstress Lovato comes a week after reports surfaced of Spears’ $15 million payday to join the second season of the fledgling TV singing competition.
Britney and Demi will replace ousted pair Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, who sat alongside Simon and L.A. Reid during Season 1 last fall. While the stateside launch of the UK series garnered headlines in the lead-up to its American premiere — particularly for the reunion of onetime American Idol judges Cowell and Abdul, and the sacking of Cheryl Cole early on — The X Factor struggled in the ratings, and its winner, Melanie Amaro, failed to land a hit with single “Respect” upon its release in February.
The show’s fortunes could be completely different in its new season, however, given that Spears is coming off a hot streak. Last year she embarked on a sold-out tour, and her chart-topping LP Femme Fatale produced three Top 10 singles, including “Hold It Against Me”, which made it to #1 on the Hot 100.
Likewise, Lovato has three Top 10 albums to her name, including last year’s Unbroken and previous LP Here We Go Again, which reached #1 on the Top 200 in 2009. Her current single “Give Your Heart A Break” has been steadily climbing the Hot 100 and could become her first bona fide radio smash given today’s impending announcement.
On the flip side, Scherzinger’s highest post-Pussycat Dolls chart placing in the States was with “Right There”, which stalled at #39 on the Hot 100 last summer. Her debut LP Killer Love never got a US release when all was said and done. And as for Abdul, she racked up her last significant chart hit in 1995.