Paula Abdul in “Final Stages” of X Factor Contract Talks

 Christopher Polk/Getty; Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage


As The X Factor is set to begin production Sunday, a source tells Us Weekly Paula Abdul is in the "final stages" of inking a long-rumored deal to appear as a judge.

Abdul's appointment would reunite the 48-year-old singer with her American Idol frenemy, Simon Cowell, who left Idol last May to launch The X Factor Stateside. Should her deal go through, Abdul would sit on the panel with Cowell, L.A. Reid and just-announced judge Cheryl Cole.

"[Her negotiations are] in the final stages — who knows if it will be done in time or even at all," a source familiar with the talks tells Us ahead of Sunday's judges' round taping in L.A. "Nothing's signed yet. Things change all the time."

As the talks continue, Cowell, 51, remains adamant in his desire to sign Abdul.

"I've always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain," he has said. "I don't know what it is about her, but I've always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she's right. I've never found anyone better than her."

With The X Factor's September premiere still months away, Cowell is also keeping the identities of the show's two hosts under wraps.

On Saturday, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and British TV presenter Steve Jones were in the running, with a casting announcement said to happen imminently.

By Allison Corneau for For more Channel Surfing, click here.

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