Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul are back together again, hoping to recapture their TV chemistry on the US X Factor.
The two former American Idol judges have reunited to assess would-be singing stars on Cowell’s X Factor, which debuts this autumn in the US.
Glammed up in a shoulder-baring purple dress and purple stilettos, Paula greeted Simon with a hug outside the University of Southern California auditorium where contestants were set to audition.
Besides the long-time TV sparring partners, the judges include pop star Cheryl Cole and Grammy-winning producer Antonio LA Reid.
“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this: I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” Simon said in a written statement.
“I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor,” Paula added. “I’m also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again … but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!”
The 48-year-old singer, dancer and choreographer reigned on Idol as the nice if sometimes dizzy-seeming judge who often clashed colourfully with Simon in his role as resident bully. She left Idol in 2009, after eight seasons, in a contract dispute.
Paula and Simon, seated together at the taping as they typically were on Idol, quickly slipped into their familiar, bickering ways.
But Paula also proved willing to stand up to Cowell, who is now her boss as well as fellow judge: he is an executive producer of the Fox version of the hit show he created.