LeAnn Rimes Inches Closer to “X Factor” Gig

Call it the “Token Country Vote!” Down-home crooner LeAnn Rimes has joined the litany of singing sisters hoping to raise their voices as celebrity mentors on the second season of Fox’s The X Factor.

It’s true — the “Blue” hit-maker is tossing her hat into the ring, hot on the heels of news that Janet Jackson is out of contention for one of the two judges seats left vacant by the January axings of Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.

We hear the “Can’t Fight The Moonlight” hit-maker reportedly spent all day Wednesday locked in a secret meeting with show chief Nigel Lythgoe. Even though fellow X Factor honcho Simon Cowell was not present, the meeting went well, according to insiders with X17 Online.

The X Factor is in the process of reconstructing after a tough first season in the ratings. Insiders say the former child country star is touting her vast experience in the genre in hopes of becoming the show’s answer to Blake Shelton — who serves as the resident Nashville star on NBC’s The Voice.

Not to mention she’s got a real thing for talent shows: LeAnn got her singing start appearing on Ed McMahon’s Star Search. Additionally, Rimes brings the accolade of being the youngest Grammy winner in history. The star took home a gong at the ripe old age of 14.

LeAnn is facing some stiff competition: Britney Spears, Pink, Fergie, Mariah Carey and Kelly Rowland are all also reportedly in the running to join Cowell and fellow record executive L.A. Reid as judges on the next season of Factor.

Experts are expecting an announcement on the revamped X Factor panel sometime in the next three weeks.

The show will return to the tube — featuring a new host — in September.

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