Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole in as X Factor judges, Simon Cowell says (kind of)

Simon Cowell has confirmed the judges for The X Factor, kind of. Besides himself and previously announced judge L.A. Reid, they are Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole. If this holds up, it basically means that months of leaks and reports in trade and gossip press have been pointless, because Paula was rumored to judge 18 months ago, and Cheryl Cole was first mentioned last fall (along with Nicole Scherzinger) before the real onslaught of rumors that even included Lindsay Lohan.

The “kind of” qualification comes because Deadline’s Nikki Finke talked to Simon and reports that Simon “made it clear to me he has finally decided on his judging panel.” But in her either sloppy or clever way, she does not quote him directly, and notes “that negotiations for Abdul’s deal hasn’t even started and that Cole’s deal isn’t quite done yet.” Still, she insists Cowell “has made up his mind to bring back Paula Abdul” and use UK judge Cheryl Cole.

As to reports that Fox was unhappy about an unknown UK judge, Simon said, “No, absolute opposite. Mike Darnell and Peter Rice will tell you they wanted her all the time, I showed a tape to Mike Darnell two years ago of a clip I’d shot in England of Cheryl and he said there and then, ‘I’d hire her now for Idol.’ They absolutely fell in love with her. In a way, the deal, it was almost conditional on Cheryl having the gig. They were desperate for her.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.