EXCLUSIVE: We’ve learned that singer/songwriter/actress Demi Lovato‘s deal was done late last night. So Fox will introduce her and already locked-in Britney Spears as its new judges for Simon Cowell’s fall talent show The X Factor at today’s upfront in NYC. (UPDATE: The pair were announced and came onstage. Read our story here.) Unlike last year when the network went along with Cowell’s low-profile judges’ choices (after chaotic early months of on-again/off-again choices), this fall the show is stressing its celebrity quotient in an unabashed bid to grab younger demographics. Both Lovato and Spears received their starts as cogs in the wheel of the Disney star machine, with Lovato a star of the Disney Channel series Sunny With A Chance and in the Camp Rock movies.
Spears was first to close her deal in April to join Cowell on the judging panel in Season 2 following a month of talks. Deadlline was first to report that the pop star received a $10 million offer to join Fox’s singing competition and finally signed up for even more than that — closer to $15 million. That means Spears exceeded the $12 million which Jennifer Lopez received on American Idol last season. Cowell and Fox had focused on getting Spears on board before moving to fill the other vacant judge chair on the show. The names most mentioned for that spot were Lovato and Miley Cyrus, another Disney star. An insider told Deadline that Cyrus decided she didn’t want the gig so a full-court press ensued to get Lovato’s deal done over the weekend. The recruitment of both singers now successfully replaces first-season X Factor judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. Cowell has been mum about his courtship of Lovato but effusive in his public praise for Spears who was the bigger ‘get’ for his show: “I’m fascinated by Britney,” he said during a radio interview with Billy Bush in February. “The fact that she’s one of the most talked about — not just pop stars but people — in the world today, means that you’ve got this star power. This girl has resilience. I would think that if she’s managed to sustain a family, a career, which is tough, [X Factor would be] a walk in the park. I would be fascinated to hear what she has to say. She’s still hot, she’s still having hit records and she’s still controversial. There’s a reason for that.”