Simon Cowell, the 51-year-old British music mogul, began work on his highly anticipated new show, 'Us X Factor' on Sunday (8th April 2011), reports Bbc News. Simon Cowell was joined on the judging panel by pop singer Cheryl Cole, former Def Jam Records chairman L.A Reid and the recently acquired Paula Abdul.
There had been much speculation as to the identity of the show's judges, with 48-year-old Abdul the last to sign up. Cowell spoke of his delight at working with the singer-songwriter again, having last appeared together on American Idol, saying, "This show would never have been the same without Paula". Abdul said she was "excited beyond words", adding, "But you might want to check back with me in a week or two!" Although no details of the first auditions have been released, it was confirmed that Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger and Welsh television presenter Steve Jones are hosting the show. Jones, best known for his work on Channel 4's 'T4' show, said he "couldn't be happier" about his role on the new programme.
Yesterday's auditions took place at the University of Southern California auditorium. The competition is open to solo singers and vocal groups age 12 and up. The winner will receive a $5 million record contract with Simon Cowell's 'Syco/Sony Music' label.