Britney Spears joins judges table on “The X Factor”

Britney Spears is set to judge on Season 2 of FOX's "The X Factor".Inking a sweetheart deal that will earn her $15 million for offering little more than words of encouragement to wannabe recording artists, former Princess of Pop Britney Spears will join Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid in judging Season 2 of FOX’s “The X Factor.”

Spears replaces Paula Abdul, whose presence on Season 1 of the show was touted as a can’t-miss reunion between she and Cowell, a pair that popularly feuded on the original incarnation of “American Idol.” The reason for Abdul’s departure was not disclosed, but it’s clear that Cowell, who also produces the show, has been forced to shake things up in light of underwhelming initial ratings. The show’s average weekly viewership during Season 1 was significantly less than current “Idol” numbers.

Also gone are judge Nicole Scherzinger, whose replacement is rumored to be either Demi Lovato or Miley Cyrus, and host Steve Jones.

Hopefully Cowell and FOX also decided to axe the outrageous, headache-producing stage and production design of “The X Factor”‘s first season, which were overly lavish in attempts to make the show seem grandiose, large-than-life.

Spears has been rather quiet since her scandalous public behavior earlier in the millenium, and has presumably gotten her act back together in the years since. Whether or not she can offer a charismatic personality in the judge’s chair remains to be seen, but at $15 million, she better.