"I couldn't be happier that Demi wants to come back this year," Simon said in a statement Thursday. "She's a superstar in her own right and was a fantastic mentor last year. Even though she can be really, really annoying--I truly enjoyed working with her, and so did the artists. I’m especially pleased she’s back even during her world tour!"
“I am so excited to return as a judge and mentor on 'The X Factor,'” said Demi. "Last season was an unbelievable experience and I really enjoyed developing personal relationships with the contestants and the panel. I look forward to taking my previous experience and applying it to make this season even better!"
While Demi was undoubtedly a polarizing judge on "The X Factor" last year, I think her re-hiring is a good developement for the show, and maybe she can make it better. Despite her tendency to drastically make over her protégés in the image of existing pop stars like Rihanna, Ke$ha, or, um, herself--not to mention her constant (but somewhat justifiable) complaints about "being bored"--Demi was one of the few things that actually went right for "The X Factor" last year. She was invested, engaged, and enthusiastic (unlike grumpy old L.A. Reid), and she had, to use one of her own catchphrases, a certain "sparkle in the eye” that viewers sadly never saw behind Britney’s glazed façade. She's also a credible, current force in the real pop world (unlike, say, any “X Factor USA” alum so far), with her single "Heart Attack" shaping up to be a fab follow-up to her 2012 smash hit, "Give Your Heart A Break."
And did I mention that Demi earned only ONE-FIFTEENTH of Britney’s eight-figure salary last season? Maybe it's time for Demi to ask for a raise, if she hasn't already gotten one.
However, there are still two open seats on the "X Factor" judging panel, since no replacements for L.A. or Britney have yet been announced; rumors about the hiring of new judge Ne-Yo or the reinstatement of fired Season 1 judge Cheryl Cole (both of which I’d also totally co-sign) remain frustratingly unconfirmed. In the meantime, the Season 3 audition process continues apace, in New Orleans on April 14 and on Long Island on April 25.
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