May 07, 2011 9:32am PT by Matthew Belloni
'X Factor' Hosts Are Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger (Exclusive)
Steve Jones and Nicole Scherzinger have won the jobs of hosts of Simon Cowell’s US version of The X Factor, a source close to the show tells The Hollywood Reporter.
A formal announcement is expected shortly. Jones and Scherzinger will join the highly-anticipated singing competition on Sunday, when its judges rounds kick off in Los Angeles. The show will bow in September on Fox.
Jones, 34, is unknown to U.S. audiences but he’s hosted big live TV shows in the UK including T4 Music, a popular music series, and As Seen on TV, a BBC One celebrity panel quiz show. He's repped by the UK's Independent Talent and John Ferriter in the US.
Scherzinger, 32, is a former member of the girl group the Pussycat Dolls and has appeared on the UK version of X-Factor. She's repped by WME.
Scherzinger has been widely expected to join the show but Jones is a bit of a surprise. Many news outlets pegged former High School Musical star Corbin Bleu as the show’s host. Insiders close to the show says Bleu was considered by Cowell but his chemistry with Scherzinger was not especially strong. Jones's deal is said to have closed late last night.
The hosts join previously announced judges Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Antonio “L.A” Reid. The fate of Paula Abdul, who is said to be negotiating to join the judges’ panel, is not clear. As of Friday night, Abdul was still in talks to join the show, according to sources. But the clock is ticking. (Full backstory on Abdul's talks here).
X-Factor is a co-production of Cowell's Syco Television, Fox and Fremantle North America.