Paula Abdul may not wait until The X Factor’s American debut in the fall of 2011 for her next television role. The former American Idol judge is allegedly in talks to join ABC’s rebooted version of the talent competition Star Search in the dual role of judge and host, EW’s Ausiello Files reports. Abdul was previously rumored to be rejoining her former AI cohort Simon Cowell at the judge’s table for Cowell’s X Factor, but sources now say Abdul is close to finalizing a deal that will give her the Ed McMahon role on the Star Search revamp. On her Twitter page today, however, Abdul wrote, “Once again, until you hear it from me, you can’t believe what you read.”
The news of Abdul joining Star Search comes just one day after reports emerged that Cowell is considering bringing U.K. X Factor judge Cheryl Cole along with him for the American version of the show. “I’d love to have Cheryl on the show. We have a great chemistry,” Cowell reportedly told the U.K.’s Daily Star.”Cheryl’s a natural star. People can’t help but warm to her.” As Rolling Stone previously reported when Cowell first revealed plans to bring X Factor to the U.S., Abdul was immediately rumored to be among the judges for that program, with Cowell allegedly wining and dining Abdul to convince her to join him on the show.
For the moment, Abdul’s possible move to ABC — where she was also briefly but erroneously attached to a season of Dancing With the Stars — and Star Search overshadow American Idol’s own upcoming casting decisions, as Simon Cowell previously announced this season would be his last on AI. Producer Steve Lillywhite, Perez Hilton and Howard Stern have all lobbied for the opportunity to join current judges Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres on the top-rated show.