'X Factor': Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio Nearing Deals to Join as Judges

Kelly Rowland
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Rowland bowed out of the U.K. "X Factor" in October due to a throat infection.

The new panel is expected to be in place by Tuesday when the Fox show shoots in Charleston, S.C.

Kelly Rowland has a new album to promote, and according to a source, she and Mexican singer and actress Paulina Rubio also are nearing a deal to join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato on the U.S. version of The X Factor.
"The deals aren't final yet," an insider tells The Hollywood Reporter, but plans are for the new panel to be in place by the time auditions kick off in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday. They will fill the seats of season two judges Britney Spears and L.A. Reid, who both vacated their posts in 2012. Contracts are expected to be signed by Monday.

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The move is unsurprising, as Rowland previously served as a judge on the eighth season of The X Factor U.K. This wouldn’t be the first time Cowell has pulled talent from his series across the pond. In the first season of The X Factor U.S., Cowell had initially tapped Cheryl Cole to judge, though she was ultimately replaced by Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, who herself later moved across the pond to judge in the U.K.  

Auditions without the judges already have concluded in a handful of cities, including Denver and Los Angeles, the latter where an estimated 10,000 people attended open-call tryouts March 6.

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As THR previously noted, Mario Lopez is set to return as series host, while former co-host Khloe Kardashian is out. It is not yet clear whether Lopez will host the show solo, or whether another co-host will be selected prior to the live broadcasts.

A representative for Fox had no comment.

Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci