Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell are back together — and it has been sealed with a kiss. After rumors swirled, it has now been confirmed that former American Idol judge Paula has officially joined her ex-“Idol” partner Simon as a judge on his upcoming U.S. version of The X Factor.
“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this — I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” Simon said in a statement, via MTV news, Sunday evening, announcing the highly-anticipated news that pal Paula would be sitting next to him at the judges’ table.
The decision was reportedly reached at the eleventh hour, as contractual issues were preventing Paula from sealing the deal—causing Simon to nearly cancel Sunday’s auditions because Paula had yet to ink a deal.
“I am excited beyond words to be a part of the X Factor. I couldn’t be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show,” Paula said in the announcement. “[I] know that it will be an extraordinary journey — we’re going to have a blast. I’m also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again … but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!”
Paula joins former music executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid and British singer and U.K. X Factor judge Cheryl Cole to complete the judges’ panel on the upcoming reality competition.