Why Paula Abdul Is The Most Important Person On Fox’s “X Factor”


Paula Abdul has officially joined Fox’s “X Factor,” a singing competition that will showcase undiscovered musical talent (but mostly Simon Cowell‘s ratings-magnet sauciness).

Abdul getting onboard signals the end of the months-long, rumour-filled “X Factor” casting process.

Sitting next to her her on the judging panel will be Cowell, UK pop star Cheryl Cole, and former Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid.

Cole, who counts as a new face to most Americans, brings pretty-singer energy, while Reid has superproducer savvy.

But — as Cowell undoubtedly realised as casting went on — Abdul’s presence is the most important one on the panel.

First of all, her established pattern of positive reinforcement (however spacy it may be) will help “X Factor” hedge against the concern that, as the love-everyone “Idol” and “The Voice” prove successful, it might not be the right time for a show built around Cowell’s signature criticism.

More importantly, though, adding Abdul means a chemistry shortcut for Cowell.

He knows he’ll have his time-tested foil at his elbow — and that Abdul, as she always has, will play into his aura instead of subtracting from it.