Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid dance around the rumor that the pop queen may be a judge on the show

By Rennie Dyball and Mia McNiece
Updated February 22, 2012 07:35 PM
Xposure; Jill Johnson/JPI

First Janet, now Britney?

Less than a week after Janet Jackson sparked speculation that she may be joining The X Factor as a judge, Britney Spears is now the subject of casting buzz.

“Are we flattered that there could be interest? Yes,” Simon Cowell told reporters on a conference call Wednesday, but wouldn’t discuss what he thinks Spears would bring to the show as a judge. “I’ve learned a big lesson: keep your mouth shut. Don’t give it all away.”

Fellow judge L.A. Reid also played coy about the Spears rumors. “The only thing you can count on,” he said, “is that we will likely have two girls.” (The two newcomers would replace ousted judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul.)

In addition to Spears and Jackson, Fergie‘s name has also been bandied about as a potential new judge.

“There is a load of speculation,” added Cowell. “Some true and some not true. It’s true to say there are a lot more people who have entered the frame this year and we really waited to see who was going to contact us before we actually contacted people.”

“We are in that place right now, which is a good place to be. We will meet a number of people over the next few weeks.”