Tattle: Abdul puts her 'X' on the line

Paul and Nancy Shevell: The $650,000 question.
Paul and Nancy Shevell: The $650,000 question. (Associated Press)
Posted: May 09, 2011

IN THE BATTLE to differentiate itself from TV's singing talent-show competition, it's now clear which program is going to have the daffiest judge.

Simon Cowell's "X Factor" has inked a deal with Paula Abdul to sit alongside Simon, L.A. Reid and beautiful Cheryl Cole.

Take that, "American Idol," "The Voice" and "America's Got Talent" (when you're not featuring jugglers, acrobats and hog callers).

Per BANGShowbiz.com, the "X" babe factor also will get a boost from former Pussycat Doll (and "Sing-Off" judge) Nicole Scherzinger, who has been confirmed as the "X" co-host, with Welshman Steve Jones.

"These two are going to be great together," Simon said. "I have always wanted Steve to work with us; I think he is a real star.

"Nicole is fantastic. I loved working with her on the UK 'X Factor' last year. She is gorgeous and super-talented."

As for Paula, negotiations went almost to last night's first taping in Los Angeles.

"The X Factor" is open to solo singers and vocal groups age 12 and up, and one of the nice things about the British version is when a kid or some forty-, fifty- or sixty-something comes out of nowhere to stun the judges (Susan Boyle, by the way, came out of "Britain's Got Talent," not "X Factor").

That offbeat contestant never wins the whole bowl of pudding, but it's cool to see someone besides a faux-hip teenage shrieker get his or her moment in the sun. There are a lot of elements about the British "X-Factor" that make it Tattle's favorite, but some of those elements are so uniquely British (the regional favoritism, the small-town innocence and the way the entire country becomes engaged in the contest), they will be hard to translate.

Whether all these shows are actually good for developing and sustaining pop stars is another question entirely, but it's difficult to see Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Eminem, Bruno Mars or the Black Eyed Peas coming out of a TV talent show.

* Speaking of Gaga, the Hollywood Reporter says that she will mentor the final four "American Idol" contestants on the May 11 episode.

James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, Haley Reinhart and Lauren Alaina will perform songs written by Leiber and Stoller, who wrote most of Elvis Presley's most memorable hits, like "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock." They also wrote "Stand By Me" (with Ben E. King) and "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

If Gaga's HBO special is an indicator, the final four better get accustomed to the F-bomb.


TATTBITS
  • Organizers say that this month's Cannes Film Festival will screen two new films by Iranian filmmakers recently sentenced to six-year prison terms at home.

    Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof have appealed the prison sentences and accompanying 20-year bans from filmmaking on charges that included "making propaganda" against Iran's Islamic regime.

  • Life & Style reports that Sir Paul McCartney got engaged to Nancy Shevell with a $650,00 engagement ring.

    "Nancy's ring is huge!" said an eyewitness.

    If Sir Paul had bought an emerald instead of a diamond, Nancy could be the Green Lantern.

  • Will and Kate have adopted a baby penguin from the Chester Zoo.

    The BBC reports that the couple were given the 12-month adoption of Acorn, an endangered Humboldt penguin, as a wedding present.

    The zoo said it hoped that Will and Kate would visit Acorn and extend the adoption period (a/k/a cough up some dough) when it ended next May.

    According to the BBC, Humbolt penguins live naturally on the coasts of Peru and Chile, thus implying that they live unnaturally in Great Britain, where the climate has never been confused with either Peru or Chile.

    A zoo spokesman said: "We thought that as they're both fairly nearby now on Anglesey, then William and Kate might like to take advantage of the free tickets in the adoption pack and spend a day here."

    Because what was keeping them away was the cost of the tickets.

  • When it comes to being royal publicity whores, the Chester Zoo, it appears, is just like Steve Hirsch, of adult-film distributor Vivid Video.

    TMZ.com reports that Hirsch's latest scheme to get mentioned in the non-news section of newspapers was to offer Pippa Middleton $5 million if she would shimmy out of that slinky white dress and have sex on film.

  • Maybe Charlie Sheen should start a day-care center, as he seems to be very good with toddlers.

    He's expecially interested in vocabulary skills, so Charlie told TMZ that he is teaching his twins with ex-wife Brooke Mueller the word "rehab," "so they always know where their mom is."

    Happy Mother's Day, Brooke. *

    Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

    Email:gensleh@phillynews.com.

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