The speculation concerning the judges on FOX's upcoming "The X Factor" continues!
In an interview with Deadline's Nikki Finke, Simon gushed about his desire to work alongside his former "American Idol" pal, Paula Abdul, on his new series.
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"I've always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show. 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," Simon said. "I've never found anyone better than her. I think there's a good chance it will be her. We've agreed that we would meet as many people as possible, and now we're reaching the deadline we've got to make the decision soon. But I think she's got a really good shot."
Despite his enthusiasm for Paula, a rep for Simon told The Hollywood Reporter that nothing was decided.
"It's still playing out," his rep told THR on Sunday. "Nothing is set, and Paula is one of many people Simon is talking to. He's said the same thing many times, including on the radio last week. There's nothing new."
Simon also expressed his support for Cheryl Cole, the British singer who was a judge on the UK version of "The X Factor."
"I never think about it as an American or British audience. I genuinely don't. I think that's what's happened on a lot of these shows now is it's almost like you've got to hire well known celebrities to be a judge. And with Cheryl, when I hired her initially, I'd only met her literally once when I offered her the job on [British] 'X Factor.' I thought she was bright, cute, knew what she was talking about, ambitious. And you meet someone special a few times in your life… and this girl is special. She's just got a great ability to communicate. She's a great judge. She's smart. It's just a hunch. If people take to her like the British public did, I think she's going to do really well in America. And Fox was desperate to hire her," Simon said in the interview with Deadline.
A source added, "She's pretty much a shoo-in for the show."
A rep for FOX was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Access Hollywood on Sunday.
Former record label executive L.A. Reid was previously announced as the first judge to sit beside Simon on the FOX reality competition set to debut this fall.
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