The worst-kept secret in showbiz got confirmed today, as “The X Factor” guru Simon Cowell introduced the show’s new judges – pop stars Britney Spears and Demi Lovato – at Fox’s upfront presentation. And though Britney looked fantastic, rocking a tight white minidress, she looked absolutely petrified as well. Which leads us to ask: Is she really up for this gig?
Along with Simon, Demi, and fellow judge L.A. Reid, Britney walked out on stage to greet hundreds of potential advertisers. (These upfronts are closed to the public, so no video or photos from the presentation have emerged.) And while Simon couldn’t have been prouder of his new lineup, crowing, “Well, we delivered,” Britney stood frozen with an awkward smile plastered on her face. Britney did speak briefly to the crowd, throwing out some generic statements about how she’s “so excited about this whole experience” and how “it’s gonna be so much fun.” But once she was finished, she looked like she couldn’t wait to hand the microphone back to Simon.
So did Britney bite off more than she can chew here? We all remember her wild, head-shaving, umbrella-swinging days of a few years back. But lately, Britney’s been living surprisingly under the radar, just quietly cranking out slinky disco-pop tunes and taking care of her kids. (Her home life has settled down, too; she got engaged to her former agent, Jason Tradwick, last December.) Signing on for “The X Factor” marks a huge step back into the limelight for Britney, and now she has the responsibility of carrying an entire TV series -- and maybe even an entire network -- on her very tan shoulders.
One thing’s for sure: Fox and “The X Factor” aren’t backing down from their newfound rivalry with NBC’s hit singing competition, “The Voice.” NBC announced earlier today that “The Voice” will debut a new season this fall, putting it right up against “The X Factor’s” make-or-break sophomore season. Before introducing the “X Factor” crew, Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly couldn’t resist taking a swipe at “The Voice,” gleefully noting the show’s sharp ratings decline following its post-Super Bowl debut. And Simon addressed the rivalry as well, saying that he wished “The Voice” “the most sincere luck – but second’s not great.” Britney vs. Xtina, round 2… let the battle begin.