Fox held a conference call on Wednesday afternoon the discuss the upcoming auditions for season two of The X Factor, but predictably, all anyone wanted to talk about was who would be sitting next to Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid in the judging panel next fall.
And while the open call auditions kick off March 14 in Kansas City, Mo., Cowell said not to expect an announcement on the new judges by then (the open audition rounds are not filmed for the show).
“We probably don’t need to confirm the new judges by then,” he said. “That will happen over the next few weeks.”
Cowell refused to speculate on names that have entered the rumor mill as possible judges – Britney Spears, Fergie, Janet Jackson – saying that he couldn’t confirm or deny any of the names at the moment. Reid did say that they are looking for two female judges though, to fill the roles left vacant by the ousted Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
“A lot more people have entered the fray this year,” Cowell said. “We’ve really waited to see who was going to contact us before we contacted people and we’re in that place right now, which is a good place to be.”
Cowell also confirmed that he will replace season one host Steve Jones with two hosts, one male and one female. (Which, for those of you keeping score at home, was the original plan when Jones and Scherzinger were to host, before the latter stepped in for the booted Cheryl Cole early in filming).
“You’ve got so much information you’ve got to relay as one person now and I think it’s almost impossible to have one person doing a hosting job,” Cowell said. “I think there’s a more fun way of doing it with two people so that they can be in different parts of the studio throughout the show. I always wanted a boy and a girl to host the show, and I think that’s definitely going to happen now.”
Cowell did say he would doubt that the new hosts would come with hosting experience, and may come from different backgrounds. He also threw cold water on the idea of Ryan Seacrest jumping over from American Idol, praising the host’s negotiating skills and saying, “He’ll stay on Idol.”