After months of negotiations, speculation, and reports, Fox has officially confirmed that international superstar Britney Spears, along with former-Disney princess, Demi Lovato of Sonny with a Chance and Camp Rock fame will join the 4-person judging panel, for the second season of the U.S. version of The X Factor, which aired it's first season from September 21, 2011 to December 22, 2011 on Fox.
Spears, 30, and Lovato, 19, will be the replacements for former U.S. X Factor hosts, Nicole Scherzinger, the former lead of The Pussycat Dolls, and Paula Abdul, who also co-judged American Idol along with Simon Cowell (the creator of X Factor) up until Abdul's departure in 2009 and Cowell's departure in 2010. Scherzinger and Abdul were let go from their judging duties on X Factor, earlier this year.
Up until this official announcement, several names had been tossed around regarding who would take the remaining 2 places on the judging panel, including Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, and up until her unfortunate February 2012 death, Whitney Houston. Of course, the remaining 2 judging seats will be occupied by Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid. Reid serves as the current head of Epic Records - an imprint of Sony Music Entertainment.
During Fox's upfront presentation in New York City, on Monday, the judging panel all appeared to announce the 2 new judges and to promote the second season.
"I couldn't be more excited to join The X Factor juding panel. I'm a huge fan of the show and now I get to be a part of the action," Spears said during the annual presentation, "I'm ready to find the next true star."
Lovato, who just completed her Special Night with Demi Lovato tour earlier this month, which had stops in the U.S., Mexico, and Central & South America, said during the upfront presentation, "I'm totally stoked to be here, [and to] represent my generation and find the winner!". Lovato will kick off her Summer Tour in Del Mar, California on June 12, 2012. Her Summer-long tour isn't expected to mess up her judging duties.
Simon Cowell showed appreciation, approval, and excitement with the new judging panel.
Spears will reportedly rake in a cool $16 million to judge the second season of the hit singing competition show. Since the second season will contain approximately 26 episodes, that equals out to about $615,000 per episode. It is unknown how much Lovato will earn from the show.
No word yet on who will replace former X Factor host, Steve Jones - who was fired from his position as host in January. X Factor U.S. is scheduled to begin auditions in Austin, Texas on May 24, 2012.
The United Kingdom counterpart of The X Factor is expected to return for it's ninth season in August 2012, however will not feature Cowell as a judge.
The second season of The X Factor U.S. will premiere in September 2012.