Well, it's going to be just like old times over at "The X Factor USA" when the first live studio tapings take place this weekend. According to the Associated Press, Simon's old "American Idol" buddy Paula Abdul will be on the judging panel!
Until now, only Island Def Jam music mogul Antonio "L.A." Reid and "X Factor U.K." judge Cheryl Cole had been confirmed as "X Factor USA" judges, but Paula's name kept cropping up as a rumored possibility, especially after the massive failure and cancellation of her own CBS reality show, "Live To Dance," left her free to take the job. And it seems Simon has just been waiting for the day that she could say yes. Apparently, Paula is forever Simon's girl.
"I've always wanted Paula," Simon recently told Deadline.com. "Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left ['Idol']. 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."
Although "Live To Dance," on which Paula was the lead judge calling the shots, was a flop, I have a feeling viewers will welcome her back in this sidekick role with open arms. After all, the sweet and kooky ex-cheerleader has always been the perfect foil for big mean villain Simon, and as popular as new "Idol" judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are, many viewers are tiring of their shtick and missing the old "Idol" formula.
But that is the one caveat here. With two-thirds of the classic "American Idol" panel reunited on "The X Factor," what will differentiate this new show from its logical Fox predecessor, and not just make it seem like a hokey ripoff? Hopefuly Cheryl Cole (pictured right) and L.A. Reid, both of whom are largely unfamilar to America's TV-viewing public, will be the joint answer to that question.
So there you have it. While the chemistry between Simon and Paula, and Simon and Cheryl, is well-documented and proven, it'll be interesting to see how Paula and Cheryl get along; how L.A. Reid will fit into this mix; and if newly confirmed cohosts Nicole Scherzinger and Steve Jones (no, not the Sex Pistols guy, sadly) bring some excitement to the stage. Cast chemistry is so important on these shows, so we shall soon see if "X" marks the spot.
Are you excited that Paula is back?