Simon Cowell revealed recently that he was starting talks about his X Factor judging panels this month and already some of the possible names are starting to be bandied about.
Cowell will have to make at least one replacement on his American version of the show, after L.A. Reid confirmed he was leaving last month. The music mogul wants to go back to being a record label boss, or as he put it ‘back to the day job’ so one spot on the panel of the hit Fox show is currently open.
Ne-Yo has confirmed that he has been in talks with show bosses about taking Reid’s seat but speaking to That Grape Juice insisted that nothing has been decided just yet.
“There have been a few conversations, but nothing is set in stone. There’s been a few lunches and dinners but that’s all I can say right now.”
The X Factor will return to US TV screens this September but of course judges auditions kick off months before, around May time. The biggest barrier to Ne-Yo becoming a full time job is his bond with Universal Records, Sony’s biggest rival. Cowell is of course a Sony man, owning SYCO a branch of the record company.
This time last year Ne-Yo was named senior VP of A&R at Motown Records, which is affiliated with Universal Music company. Ne-Yo’s music company Compound Entertainment also shares links with Motown.
When Reid joined X Factor two years ago he gave up his job at Island Def Jam Music Group (another Universal Music company) and instead became chairman/CEO of Sony Music’s Epic Records, a job which he continues in to this day.
Ne-Yo of course is no stranger to reality TV or the talent show format, as he has appeared on “The X Factor” USA as a guest performer in the 2011 season finale and in October last year he also performed ‘Let Me Love You’ on the UK version of the show. Earlier that year he assisted Nicole Scherzinger in Dubai, as she chose her final contestants for the British series.
Cowell recently confirmed that while he hasn’t settled on who will be judging for him just yet, those decisions will have to be made over the next few weeks.
He said: “No-one’s contracts have been picked up. There are a series of meetings taking place in a couple of weeks’ time.
“All the Brits are coming in, all the Americans and we’re going to make some decisions then. We’re going to mix it up.”
He will also have to replace Britney Spears on his US panel, as the ‘Toxic’ hitmaker recently revealed she wouldn’t be back for a second series.
With rumours circulating that Gary Barlow won’t be back on the UK show and Tulisa Contostavlos is in lone for the sack, it seems as though Cowell is going to be a busy man trying to fill all these seats before auditions begin.
Who would you like to see on the panels? Do you think Ne-Yo would make a good judge? Leave your comments below….