X Factor

It's official! Paula Abdul joins 'X Factor'

May 8, 2011 at 5:59 PM ET

Chris Pizzello / AP /

She's back!

Fox announced Sunday that former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul is joining her former co-panelist Simon Cowell on his new singing competition "The X Factor." Abdul will be the fourth judge, alongside Cheryl Cole and L.A. 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,” said Cowell in a statement.

The two famously bickered on "American Idol" -- with Abdul as the overly sympathetic judge, and Cowell as the caustic one -- before she finally left after season eight. Cowell left "Idol" after season nine to launch "The X Factor," which he produced and judged in the U.K.

"I am excited beyond words to be a part of 'The X Factor,' " Abdul said in a statement. "I couldn't be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show. ... 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!"

On Saturday, Fox announced that the competition would be co-hosted by former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and U.K. reality TV host Steve Jones. "The X Factor" debuts on Fox this fall.

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