Britney joins US X Factor

One of American TV’s worst-kept secrets slipped out of the bag, when Britney Spears was confirmed as a judge for the new series (or season as they call it in the States) of the X Factor USA.

Rumours had been circulating for months, after Simon Cowell had expressed his admiration for the singer’s comeback from her personal problems. All that was in question was the size of Spears’s contract. Speculation suggests that it is in the region of $15 million. Britney will be happy that the sum is considerably more than her lifelong rival Christina Aguilera is being paid as a judge on the US version of The Voice.

The news was announced at an industry showcase for potential advertisers. "I'm ready to find a true star," Spears told the suits. "It's going to be so much fun and so different than anything I've ever done."

Spears, once a teenage starlet, is now the industry veteran joined on the judging panel by the latest teen sensation Demi Lovato. "I'm totally stoked to be here," the 19 year-old Lovato said. "It's just an honour to be standing next to Britney. I'm excited to represent my generation, and I'm ready to find the winner."

Cowell is pulling out all the stops to establish X Factor in the States. It had a troubled launch in 2011, with Cheryl Cole sacked as a judge at the outset and Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul also departing after disappointing ratings. Cowell is hoping that Spears is the name that will pull in the big numbers.

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