The new "X Factor" judges have been confirmed as Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio, Fox announced today. They'll join returning judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato when "The X Factor" Season 3 premieres in September.
“It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!)," Cowell said in a statement. "Paulina and Kelly both have great taste and massive experience in the music industry and together with Demi, this is going to be a fun panel. It just feels like the time to do something different.”
“I am very excited to be reuniting with Simon Cowell and 'The X Factor' family,” said Rowland. “It feels great to be able to take this journey here at home in the states!”
“I love 'The X Factor'! I can’t wait to find the next big music star here in America,” added Rubio. “I’m so thrilled to be part of the show as a judge. Simon, be careful what you wish for, let’s see if you are ready to handle me, empieza la fiesta, amigo!”
“We are thrilled that Kelly and Paulina are joining Demi on the panel this season, in what is sure to be a triple threat of talented and successful women against Simon week-to-week,” said Mike Darnell, President, Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “This is an incredible panel of judges and we can’t wait for fans to see what’s in store for Season 3 of 'The X Factor.'”
“Kelly’s incredible talent as a member of one of the world’s most successful groups, Destiny’s Child, combined with her judging experience as part of the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor,’ make her an ideal choice to join this talented panel,” said Trish Kinane, executive producer for FremantleMedia North America. “Paulina is an amazing Latin superstar who brings glamour and fiery passion to the judges’ table. We welcome both of them in joining Simon, Demi and Mario in what will prove to be an exciting season.”
Rumors began to circulate on May 19 that the former Destiny's Child member and Latin singer/actress were nearing deals to replace Britney Spears and L.A. Reid for the reality show's third US season.
The clock has been ticking for Cowell and Fox to firm up the judging panel ahead of the competition's first audition show in Charleston, South Carolina on May 21.
Rowland already had experience with "The X Factor," having served as a judge on Season 8 of the original UK series. Rubio also has her share of reality experience, having coached on "The Voice Mexico" and signed on for upcoming offshoot "The Voice Kids" for Telemundo.
According to The Wrap, "The X Factor" took a different approach this season in trying to identify replacements for Spears and Reid -- reportedly placing judging panel chemistry with Cowell and Lovato ahead of simple name recognition, which is a marked difference from the strategies of rivals "American Idol" and "The Voice," which secured Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Shakira and Usher for their latest cycles. It's a plan that might pay off -- if a public figure as controversial as Spears couldn't boost the ratings, it's unlikely that another high profile artist could, short of Beyonce or Bieber.
As previously reported, Mario Lopez will return to the competition series as a host without Khloe Kardashian Odom.
Do you think Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio are good judging choices? Who would you rather see beside Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell?