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Report: FOX looking to add another Brit as fourth 'American Idol' judge


By Reality TV World staff, 11/23/2003 

Is FOX once again looking to add a fourth American Idol judge? According to a recent report in The Sun newspaper, Pete Waterman, who along with Simon Cowell, Nicki Chapman, and Neil Fox function as the four-person judging panel for the UK's Pop Idol, is "in talks" with FOX to join Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson as a judge for this January's third edition of American Idol.

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Waterman, who was one of the United Kingdom's first big name DJ's before becoming one of the most successful writers/producers of all time, is said to be hoping to finalize a judging contract worth somewhere around $1,700,000 in the next few weeks.

Given that FOX also attempted to add a fourth judge before the second edition of American Idol, reports that they are once again attempting to do so this season should come as no surprise, however the addition of Waterman, if accurate, would seem to be a bit of an odd choice. If the network felt the need to add a second British judge, then we'd think that Chapman, who already works for Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment production company, would be a more natural fit than Waterman, who we'd expect would already have his hands full dealing with Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley, and the rest of his roster of artists.

The addition of the 56-year-old Brit would certainly represent a marked change in direction from last season's aborted addition of New York DJ and recording artist Angie Martinez. Martinez, who after accepting the position admitted to never watching the first season of Idol, quit the judging gig after only five days, stating that it was "too uncomfortable" for her to tell someone else to "give up on their dream."

Should FOX succeed in adding a fourth judge in time for the third season, we suspect that as was planned for last season's four judge panel, Simon Cowell would have tie-breaking authority in the case of any 2-2 split decisions -- an opportunity Cowell no doubt craves.



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