Simon Cowell will be exactly where he likes when the third season of “X Factor” kicks off in the fall: with women on all sides. The noted lothario has officially added former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and Latin pop sensation Paulina Rubio to the panel of his reality singing program.
The hires have been rumored for several days, but Fox finally confirmed the news on Monday. “It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!),” said Cowell in a statement. “Paulina and Kelly both have great taste and massive experience in the music industry and together with Demi, this is going to be a fun panel. It just feels like the time to do something different.”
Rowland was a judge on the eighth series of the British version of the show and also did a tour of duty on the Australian dance competition “Everybody Dance Now.” The singer, who recently turned heads with her single “Dirty Laundry,” which revealed her jealousy of former bandmate Beyoncé, said in a statement that she was psyched to join the panel.
“I am very excited to be reuniting with Simon Cowell and ’The X Factor’ family,” she said. “It feels great to be able to take this journey here at home in the states!” Rowland’s new album, Talk a Good Game, is due out on June 18.
Latina singer Rubio, who began her music career in 1984 and has sold 20 million records to date, said she loves the show and can’t wait to get a jump on the first major American reality singing show to have three female judges. “I can’t wait to find the next big music star here in America,” said Rubio, who judged on “La Voz … Mexico” and “La Voz Kids.”
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the show as a judge. Simon, be careful what you wish for, let’s see if you are ready to handle me, empieza la fiesta, amigo!”
Rowland and Rubio replace L.A. Reid and Britney Spears, who departed the show after last season. Auditions for season three kick off on Tuesday (May 21) in Charleston, North Carolina.