By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
With Whitney Houston tragically out of the running for the job as a new judge on The X Factor, there has been mounting speculation over who will fill the seats vacated by Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger since they were fired, but the show’s remaining stars aren’t spilling any secrets.
Huge names including Britney Spears, Fergie and Janet Jackson are all said to be keen to park their booties next to Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, and in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday the pair addressed the questions over the job vacancies.
“This happened last year, there is a load of speculation, some true, some not true,” explained Cowell, keeping his cards close to his chest.
“It’s true to say that a lot more people have entered the frame this year, and we really waited to see who was going to contact us before we contacted people.
“We’re in that place right now, which is a good place to be in. We will meet a number of people over the next few weeks, mainly to explain to them that this is a big commitment when you do a show like this because of the mentoring aspect. But I can’t confirm or deny any of these rumors at the moment,” he said.
When pushed as to whether they would welcome reformed train-wreck Britney to the group since her life makeover, Reid refused to be cornered into an answer.
“The only thing that you can count on is that we would likely have two girls,” he replied. “That’s 100 percent,” agreed Cowell.
“What we’ve learned on the show is you’ve got so much information you’ve got to relay as one person now, and I think it’s almost impossible to have one person doing a hosting job,” explained Cowell.
“You’ve got to give out so much information now on telephone lines, the integration with the sponsors, I mean, they’re like newscasters now these hosts. It’s a much, much bigger role.
“I think there’s a more fun way of doing it with two people, so that they can be in different parts of the studio throughout the show, and I think that you’re going to see a very different chemistry with two people. I always wanted a boy and a girl to host the show, and I think that’s definitely going to happen now.”
Reid went on to explain that the original plan was to have Nicole and Steve co-host, but then the former Pussycat Doll got promoted to judge.
Open auditions for The X Factor begin on March 14 in Kansas City, MO, but producers aren’t under pressure to rush into signing on a new hire before then.
“The live auditions are the ones which aren’t filmed,” explained Cowell. “So we probably don’t need to confirm the new judges by then. That will happen over the next few weeks.”