Looks as though Britney Spears, the 30-year-old pop singing trainwreck whose fiancé is also petitioning to become her co-conservator, is about to become a mentor and important life-lesson giver to 13-year-old wanna-be pop stars on Simon Cowell’s singing competition series “The X Factor.”
Britbrit, the tabloid darling who married childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander in 2004 and had it annulled 55 hours later, and who is now under a conservatorship (Dad) since a ‘08 breakdown, has not yet signed on the dotted line to become the new Paula Abdul, or maybe the new Nicole Scherzinger on the show. But hands have been shaken on a deal in which Brit’s paycheck would be in the neighborhood of $15 million per eason – aka, half of Matt Lauer’s new ‘Today’ show salary.
When last we tackled this subject, in February, Simon was being coy about Britbrit, who seemed to head the list of chicks said to be interested in replacing the two chick mentors who got nuked in January.
Simon refused to confirm or deny Spears as a contender during the phone call he’d lined up with The Reporters Who Cover Television, in order to say “X Factor,” in the same sentence as “The Voice” and “American Idol” as many times as possible in 25 minutes. In that way, he hoped to train the reporters to think of all three shows as being equals.
On Wednesday, Fox network was still declining to confirm or deny.
Last fall, creator Simon Cowell delivered to the network a successful show. Problem was, it was not the 20-million viewer ratings behemoth he’d bragged it would be. Which was why, in late January, Simon made the decision to set of a bomb. When the dust settled, only Cowell and judge/mentor L.A. Reid were left standing; judge/mentors Abdul and Scherzinger, and host Steve Jones, had all fallen victim to the show’s less-than-monumental ratings.