Simon Cowell Paula Abdul Back Together Again; “Straight Up” Star Joins “The X Factor” As Fourth Judge

Reunited and it smells so bad! Paula Abdul is rejoining frenemy Simon Cowell on the talent show circuit. The ditzy ’80s pop star behind hits like “Straight Up” And “Rush Rush” will appear alongside Cowell, music mogul Antonio “LA” Reid, and British pop tart Cheryl Cole at the judges’ table when The X Factor America debuts on FOX in September.

Abdul’s participation reunites her with fellow judge Simon Cowell, her former sparring partner on the American Idol judging panel. The announcement comes just months after the ex-Idol pundit was “devastated” to learn that her shortlived CBS reality dance series, Live to Dance, had been axed after just one season. There had been rumors that Abdul’s development deal with CBS would keep her off the Factor panel, but Abdul was on hand for Sunday’s taping of the first judging session in Los Angeles. A CBS source, who spoke to The Associated Press under condition of anonymity, said that Abdul has been excused from any additional obligations with the network.

The X Factor USA — hosted by Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger — is open to solo singers and vocal groups from 12 to 100. The winning act will receive a cash prize of $5 million and a recording contract — its the biggest talent show bundle in the history of American television, says Cowell, who created the show.

The series will premiere this fall.

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