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Simon Cowell Confirms Fergie in Talks for 'X Factor,' Gloria Estefan Shows Up at Miami Auditions

by Hilary Rothing, posted Apr 7th 2011 5:30PM
In a press conference call this afternoon, 'X Factor' mastermind Simon Cowell confirmed that Fergie's name was "put forward" in the ongoing saga of settling on a panel of judges for the fall show.

Cowell also revealed that Gloria Estefan showed up at the Miami auditions this morning and was "great." But did she "do that conga?!"

Simon, who's in London at the moment, was not aware that Estefan was planning to crash the auditions but seemed open to considering her for the ever-growing pool of prospective judges. "I had no idea she was going to be there but apparently, she was fantastic," said Cowell.While the purpose of the call was to talk up the audition studios the show has planted in the further reaches of the country, like Anchorage, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii, Simon did touch on the talent search everyone really focused on right now, 'The X Factor judges' search.

Back in February, Simon told the press he hoped to reveal the panel in a few weeks, but so far the only name we've got is L.A. Reid. And with the commitment level the show requires (5-6 days a week for the live shows and mentoring the contestants) the logistics of booking an in-demand star, like say Fergie, seem to be slowing down the process. In fact, Cowell said he's worked on shows that haven't settled on their fourth judge until the day before taping. So maybe we shouldn't hold our breath on this one.

"We're still having nightly arguments (over the judges' selection)," said Simon. It seems 'The X Factor' creator is willing to wait it out to find the right fit, rather it's the show's audition process he's more concerned with.

"(The auditions) are going great, the numbers are much higher than anticipated, just under 20,000 in Los Angeles and the producers are happy with what they've seen in L.A."

However, like in the past, Cowell isn't attending the auditions, opting to experience the performers along with the audience at home (ala 'The Britain's Got Talent' Susan Boyle shocker).

On that note, he did admit to the enormous amount of pressure hinging on the quality of talent 'The X Factor' pulls in, with the great lengths the producers are going to by scouring the country for a star. "If I can't make it work after all this effort, I'll admit that I failed, there's a certain amount of pressure..." said Cowell.

But having launching numerous wildly successful talent competitions and superstars, it's safe to say no one is doubting Simon Cowell's ability to make 'The X Factor' an institution as American as 'Idol.'

A few other tidbits from today's call:

• Simon is excited to see how Twitter and Facebook mix with 'The X Factor,' particularly in promoting break out stars as the show happens.

• He's hoping to see less familiar faces (ala folks like 'Idol's' Thia Megia who already had a run on 'America's Got Talent') but is open to those deserving a second chance.

• Simon advises contestants to act their age. With the show's age requirement at just 12, he encourages contestants to sing songs that will appeal to their peer group and not to listen to overbearing stage moms/dads who try to age them up.

• 'The X Factor' is all about finding a star with staying power, not just someone who can win a competition. "We agreed to do the show with the five million dollar contract, that's with the belief that we're going to find someone with a long lasting career. That's why I'm going to a lot of effort to get the word out," said Cowell.


'The X Factor premieres this fall on FOX.'

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