"Womanizer" singer Britney Spears and "Camp Rock" star Demi Lovato replace Paul Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger following major shakeup
Britney Spears and Demi Lovato will take to the judges' panel when the American version of "The X Factor" returns for a second season, it was offiically announced Monday at Fox's upfront presentation to advertisers at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.
"The X Factor" executive producer and judge Simon Cowell made the reveal after weeks of reports, arriving onstage accompanied by fellow judge L.A. Reid along with their new colleagues.
"I am so excited about this whole experience," Spears said. "I'm ready to find the true star."
Declaring herself "totally stoked," Lovato said that she's "excited to represent my generation."
Despite the shakeup — and less-than-hoped-for ratings — that marked the first season of "The X Factor," Cowell promised the advertisers in attendance that the series would rebound for its second go-round.
"This year we are seriously ready to kick ass with these two," Cowell noted.
Cowell teased the reveal moments before taking the stage, tweeting a picture of the four of them with the note, "Can't believe it's finally happened. Very exciting!"
As reported by TheWrap in April, "Womanizer" singer Spears will receive $15 million for the gig — about $13 million to judge on the series, and another $2 million as a bonus for performing on the show.
The $15 million was arrived at after negotiations, during which Spears rejected a $10 million dollar offer to judge on the show, instead seeking $20 million.
It is not yet known how much 19-year-old Lovato — who, like Spears, spent time in the service of Disney and has made headlines with her personal difficulties — will receive.
Spears and Lovato are coming aboard after a major house-cleaning effort on the show that saw judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, along with host Steve Jones, get the axe after the series' first season.
Cowell and record executive Antonio "L.A." Reid will remain on as judges for the second season.
Following the implosion after the first season, a number of names were mentioned as potential replacement judges, including Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie.
The "X Factor" portion of Fox's upfront presentation made much of its rivalry with NBC's singing competition "The Voice," with Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Entertainment, making note of the "precipitous decline" of "The Voice"'s ratings this season since its post-Super Bowl premiere, and Cowell noting that he was eager to compete with "The Voice" this season.
During the upfront presentation, which was hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the network also offered previews of its upcoming comedies "The Mindy Kaling Project," "Ben & Kate" and "The Goodwin Games."
The beginning of the presentation featured a procession of stars from Fox's existing and upcoming series, including Kevin Bacon from the upcoming drama "The Following"; Jane Lynch, Cory Monteith and several other members of the "Glee" cast, Seth MacFarlane and Mila Kunis from "Family Guy"; and Gordon Ramsay of "MasterChef." (Notably absent from the assemblage: Kiefer Sutherland, star of the network's new drama "Touch.")
The presentation concluded with Mary J. Blige performing a cover of U2's "One."