Simon Cowell has told Nikki Finn at Deadline that Paula Abdul has always been his choice for a judgeship on X-Factor. He said he missed her the minute she left American Idol and Kara and Ellen didn’t come close to grabbing his admiration. Antonio L.A. Reid was Cowell’s No. 1 choice. Reid resigned his position as chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group to join X-Factor. Reid has signed Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Pink, Toni Braxton and Usher among others. Fellow Brit, Cheryl Cole, is almost, but not quite signed. Cowell is keen on Cole. She is currently a judge on the British X-Factor. Cowell says America doesn’t know her, but she is “cute, bright and knows what she is talking about.” Did I mention that Paula isn’t quite signed…yet?
“I’ve always wanted Paula. Always been very vocal about that. I missed her the second she left the show. Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. And I’ve been consistent about this. I don’t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she’s right. I’ve never found anyone better than her. I think there’s a good chance it will be her. We’ve agreed that we would meet as many people as possible, and now we’re reaching the deadline we’ve got to make the decision soon. But I think she’s got a really good shot.”