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People Top 5
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- May 28, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 22
Her $15 Million X Factor Deal: Britney's New Job!
It's Official: The Pop Star Is Taking a Seat Next to Simon Cowell as a Reality Show Judge. But Can She Handle It?
But is trading the stage for the judges' table a wise move? Since her breakdown four years ago, the pop star, 30, has made a comeback with two albums (2008's Circus and 2011's Femme Fatale) and two successful world tours. Yet some critics wonder whether Spears, who will earn $15 million for the season, can handle the rigors of auditions, mentoring contestants and trading barbs with Cowell on live TV. "It's an intense environment," says an X Factor source of the six-day-a-week schedule. (Spears and Lovato are replacing Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger; the show is also looking for a new host.) New America's Got Talent judge Howard Stern has already predicted she will be a "train wreck," while a Spears insider worries that the sometimes-timid pop star "isn't capable of being spontaneous."
Cowell, of course, has confidence in her. "She'll be interesting and serious," he tells PEOPLE. The foursome will begin auditioning contestants May 24 for the show, which returns this fall, and a source close to Spears insists she's ready for her next act: "She is thrilled. Britney is looking forward to having a lot of fun with the other judges. It's going to be fun for her."
- Reported by Lesley Messer/New York City,
- Jennifer Garcia/Los Angeles.
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