5:20am PT by Erin Carlson
'X Factor': What Kind of Judge Will Britney Spears Be?
It's getting near that time. X Factor auditions -- the ones where the judges need to be present -- are due to start next month yet the panel is still missing two key members.
This week comes word that Britney Spears is nearing a deal to fill one of those seats. A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that X Factor was hoping to lock in the pop star for a cool $10 million, but with dad Jamie Spears steering the ship (he along with Spears' fiance, agent Jason Trawick, also controls her conservatorship), the Britney camp was holding out for $16 million.
Reports on Wednesday cite sources who say that the deal may come closer to $15 million with a producer role for Trawick. A Fox spokespeson had no comment while a Syco Television rep refused to confirm the show is in talks with Spears.
Meanwhile, industry insiders and people around the Spears camp are genuinely concerned as to whether Spears will be able to competently handle having to give an opinion in a live setting. After all, this is a performer who hasn't done a proper interview in years, and one of the last that people remember -- 2006's teary sit-down with Matt Lauer -- was deemed by many to be a TV disaster.
At the same time, the public seems to be rooting for the long embattled starlet in what could be a classic comeback story.
So far, creator Simon Cowell and judge L.A. Reid have shown their public support for the idea but stopped short of announcing Spears' impending arrival. Reid was just asked about it on Monday during an appearance on Live with Kelly, saying: "I actually don’t know yet. I don’t know. I wanna know."