Madonna and Zac Efron have now joined the list of celebrities who have reportedly been approached to be judges on "The X Factor" U.S.
The show’s executive producer/judge Simon Cowell recently named several celebrities (including Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and George Michael) as being among those who have been in discussions to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.S.
According to the Daily Mirror: "Cowell, 51, is now pinning his hopes on Zac Efron and is also talking to Madonna and Paula Abdul."
The Daily Mirror is also reporting that Cee Lo Green was in discussions to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.S., but instead he chose to be a coach on NBC’s rival singing contest "The Voice," which premieres April 26, 2011.
"The X Factor" U.S. premieres sometime in September 2011 on Fox. Auditions begin March 27, 2011, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Each winner of "The X Factor" U.S. gets a grand prize of $5 million and a record deal with Sony Music.
Cowell is the only "X Factor" U.S. judge officially announced so far. There are three other people who are supposed to be on the show’s judging panel. The "X Factor" judges act as mentors to contestants in the following four categories, with each judge getting a selected category: young female solo singers, young male solo singers, vocal groups and older singers.
With all these rumors floating around about which people will take those three remaining spots on the judging panel, here is a rundown of the possible contenders:
The Most Likely Possibilities
As previously mentioned, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and George Michael have all been publicly confirmed as possibilities by Cowell.
Other top contenders:
Cheryl Cole is "confirmed" as an "X Factor" U.S. judge according to Sharon Osbourne.
Jessica Simpson is a "frontrunner" on the short list, according to People magazine.
Other Rumored Possibilities
Madonna might ultimately be too busy and too expensive for the show.
Zac Efron, who rose to fame because of the "High School Musical" franchise, has said in interviews that he now wants to focus on non-musical projects, so he may not be interested in being an "X Factor" judge.
Noel Gallagher (co-founder of the now-defunct band Oasis) has a thick, mumbling British accent that may be too hard to understand for most American viewers.
Jamie Foxx may ultimately be too busy and too expensive for the show.
Victoria Beckham is due to give birth to her fourth child in 2011, so she will probably not be interested in the time-consuming demands of being an "X Factor" judge when she has a newborn baby.
Clive Davis is the chief creative officer of Sony Music, making him an ideal candidate if the judging panel has a non-performer.
David Foster is an A-list producer/songwriter, but his 143 Records is affiliated with Warner Music, a competitor to Sony Music.
Tommy Mottola probably won't get the job because he is Carey’s ex-husband, and his Casablanca Records is affiliated with Universal Music, which is an "American Idol" partner and a Sony Music rival.
Johnny Wright has experience with managing hit artists (‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers, to name a few), as well as being a judge in talent contests.
Katie Price is a British model/tabloid regular, but she is not experienced in making hit music, and she not well-known enough in the United States to be considered a serious contender.
Jay-Z may be too expensive and too media-shy for the show.
Definitely Not Possibilities
Christina Aguilera is a coach on NBC's rival singing contest "The Voice."
Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5) is a coach on "The Voice."
Cee Lo Green is a coach on "The Voice."
Harry Connick Jr. is not available because he set to star in the Broadway reimagining of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," which begins in the fall of 2011.
Usher told "Extra" in February 2011 that he is too busy to be a judge on "The X Factor."
Justin Bieber is too inexperienced and too busy, but he says he wanted to be an "X Factor" judge, so don’t be surprised if he makes a guest appearance on "The X Factor."
Sean "Diddy" Combs is "too expensive," says Cowell.
Will Smith is definitely not going to be an "X Factor" judge, say his representatives.
Elton John was never in discussions to be a judge on the show, says Cowell.
Lindsay Lohan was never in discussions to be a judge on the show, says an "X Factor" spokesperson.
Katy Perry is unavailable due to her touring schedule, says Cowell.
Mick Jagger was never in discussions to be a judge on the show, says Cowell.