Simon Cowell Confirms Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole as X-Factor Judges

 Theo Wargo/; Christopher Polk/Getty Images; Chris Jackson/Getty Images

After months of speculation, Simon Cowell has confirmed that Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole will join him as judges on The X-Factor.

The panel will also include Antonio "L.A." Reid, who was previously the chairman of Island Def Jam Records.

"I've always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left [American Idol]," Cowell, 51, told Deadline. "Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. . .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."

As for Cole, who served as a judge on the British version of the show for the past three seasons? "I thought she was bright, cute, knew what she was talking about, ambitious. And you meet someone special a few times in your life, and this girl is special," Cowell raved of the Girls Aloud singer, 27. "If people take to her like the British public did, I think she's going to do really well in America. And FOX was desperate to hire her."

Despite Cowell's announcement, both Abdul and Cole are still in contract negotiations; FOX has yet to officially confirm their hiring.

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