If Britney Spears is getting $15 million to judge X Factor, it should be renamed Money Dumpster

A report today suggests what’s been rumored for months: Britney Spears will join Fox’s The X Factor as a judge in the fall. E! News reported the confirmation, citing a source obviously on Britney’s side of the equation who said, “She can’t wait to sit down next to Simon at the judges’ table and give this everything she’s got. She is excited about showing the world that she can do this, and do this well. This is the perfect next stage in her career.”

She’ll reportedly receive $15 million. For one season.

That is ludicrous. Ryan Seacrest has earned his $15 million, but when was the last time you recall hearing Britney speak a coherent paragraph? UPN’s Britney & Kevin: Chaotic? Nope, not then. And now she’s a television personality worth as much as Seacrest, who’s put in 10 years of actual work backed by actual talent, even if he is a smarmy twit sometimes?

Simon Cowell appears to have his head so far up his ego he can’t see what worked so well for The Voice and American Idol that he cannot bring himself to emulate those shows: selecting judges who have the right combination of on-camera charisma, ability (Britney cannot sing and dance at the same time, literally), and star power (Blake Shelton may not have been a household name pre-The Voice, but he made up for it with his commitment, energy, and expression).

Sure, people might tune in to see Britney Spears: trainwreck. And perhaps she’s ready for a comeback and will surprise us all and be a better judge than fired judge Paula Abdul or fired judge Nicole Scherzinger. But paying $15 million for a tiny chance? That’s as stupid as The X Factor.

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.