News first broke in early March that the pop star was in negotiations to join the judges' panel on Fox's reality singing competition, and just as speculation seemed to be dying down, Deadline reports that Spears' team and show producers have reached agreements on several key contract details, including the star's salary.
It was reported that Spears was being offered $10 million for a season of the show, but the latest news is that her offer is actually closer to $15 million, which is $3 million more than Jennifer Lopez earns as a judge on "American Idol."
Several stars — from Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey to, at one time, the late Whitney Houston — have reportedly been discussed as possible replacements for Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, though no deals have been announced. The buzz surrounding Spears seems to be the most reliable, as sources close to the show report that her fiancé and former agent Jason Trawick is actively negotiating the deal.
Cowell reportedly reached out to Spears personally to gauge her interest in joining the show and has been singing her praises publicly, saying in a March conference call with reporters that he is "fascinated" by Spears and believes work on "The X Factor" will be easy for the hardworking singer.
"This girl has resilience. I would think that if she's managed to sustain a family, a career, which is tough, ["X Factor" would be] a walk in the park," Cowell said. "I would be fascinated to hear what she has to say. She's still hot, she's still having hit records and she's still controversial. There's a reason for that."
A point of conflict has reportedly been Cowell's insistence that Spears sign a two-year contract with the show, while she wants the option of opting out after just one season if she feels the gig is not a good fit. Whether Trawick and Cowell were able to reach an agreement on the issue has not been made public.