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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 9

Report: 'American Idol' and 'The X Factor' both seeking Tommy Mottola

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/26/2010 

Simon Cowell apparently isn't the only one who thinks Tommy Mottola would make a good judge.

The music producer is the "first choice" to join American Idol as Cowell's replacement and is also at the top of Cowell's list to join The X Factor's judging panel when it launches stateside in 2011, Deadline Hollywood reported Monday.

"Mottola is frontrunner for Idol," a source told Deadline Hollywood.

"But when Simon became aware of this, he began trying to get Tommy to team with him and Paula Abdul for his new show The X Factor."

Cowell recently inked a deal with Fox that will end his American Idol judging role while also launching his British The X Factor reality competition series for the network in Fall 2011. The deal will reportedly pay Cowell nearly $175 million, according to Deadline Hollywood.

He has been hinting that The X Factor may give a chance to reunite with Paula Abdul -- who announced last summer that she was leaving American Idol -- since announcing the show will be coming stateside.

While Cowell also has previously mentioned the 60-year-old Mottola as a "good choice" to join The X Factor, Fox reality chief Mike Darnell and American Idol's FremantleMedia production company have reportedly come up with a list of 25 people also led by Mottola.

"What's he doing now? Good question. He's got some label. But in truth he hasn't do much," a source told Deadline Hollywood about Mottola, who left Sony in 2003 and subsequently started Casablanca Records.

"Mottola is in the middle of all that and benefactor of it. Mottola has remarkable leverage because of this tug of war and will get a big payday from somebody."

Should American Idol be unable to land Mottola, Deadline Hollywood reported the show's second and third choices are 38-year-old Madonna business partner Guy Oseary and 56-year-old Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

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