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Jessica Simpson Is a 'Frontrunner' to Judge The X Factor

03/02/2011 at 03:45 PM EST

X Factor Judges - Jessica Simpson May Join Simon Cowell
Jessica Simpson and Simon Cowell
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage, Kevin Winter/Getty
Although buzz about which celebrities could join Simon Cowell's new show The X Factor is already going strong, a new name has been added to the mix. Jessica Simpson is a frontrunner to become one of the judges alongside Cowell, a show insider tells PEOPLE.

"There [are] loads of conversations happening at the moment," says the source. "No one has been offered a judging role yet as new names keep coming forward who want the role, but there are some frontrunners and it's fair to say Jessica is one of them. She's very keen."



Simpson, 30, has the skills needed for this particular format, which features a $5 million recording contract as the grand prize, says the insider. Still, there are a lot of factors that go in to making the final choice.



"She knows what she is talking about [and] is talented and likable," the source says. "But Simon's not in a rush to decide. The judges have to mentor on The X Factor – it's more than just turning up for a few hours a week to appear on TV."

The judges will have to "work with contestants on music, dancers, styling," the source continues. "It's a lot of work."

The X Factor, which is already a hit in Cowell's native U.K., will debut in the U.S. on FOX in the fall, so producers have time to make a careful choice.

"They have to get the decision right, which takes time," the source says. "Those final decisions may not happen for a few weeks."

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